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Old 12-30-2013, 12:46 PM   #1
lkool
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Average savings from disney dining plan

On average when paying full price for the disney dining plan how much does money does it save? We used it last time and liked it for ease of use and budget but its hard to say how much we actually saved, I should have tracked it wen we were there.

Anyways I am wondering if the savings are more than 10% because on our next visit I am thinking it might make more sense to take advantage of the 10% off of dining that I get from the disney premiere card.

Thoughts?
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:49 PM   #2
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On average when paying full price for the disney dining plan how much does money does it save? We used it last time and liked it for ease of use and budget but its hard to say how much we actually saved, I should have tracked it wen we were there. Anyways I am wondering if the savings are more than 10% because on our next visit I am thinking it might make more sense to take advantage of the 10% off of dining that I get from the disney premiere card. Thoughts?
I took hours to figure this out. I went over menus and prices and figured out average meals for our family of 4 on our 6 night trip. We are saving $220 by using the DDP compared to paying OOP.

But of course each family is different and results will vary.
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Old 01-01-2014, 11:57 PM   #3
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I took hours to figure this out. I went over menus and prices and figured out average meals for our family of 4 on our 6 night trip. We are saving $220 by using the DDP compared to paying OOP.

But of course each family is different and results will vary.
That is about what we saved when we were there on the DDP. For me, moreso than the cost it was knowning that everyone could order what they wanted and I wouldn't "worry" about the cost.
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:55 AM   #4
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I agree that it is different for each family and their eating styles. For us it is a savings if only for the fact of he ease of use. I love the convenience of it and already having it paid for when I arrive.
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:57 PM   #5
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I'm so on the fence about the dining plan. I agree, I know we wouldn't get a dessert with every meal if we are paying OOP. I've tried plugging in numbers and it is just taking me forever! Right now, I'm thinking it might be better to just pay OOP.
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:01 PM   #6
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Forgot- one thing I am wondering. One of my children just turns 10 later this month-- of course, being 10 when we go I would have to pay for the adult prices for the dining plan. If I pay OOP would I be able to tell them he's just 9- like for buffet prices? I'm sure he could order off the kid's menu, no problem!
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Old 01-02-2014, 07:19 PM   #7
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We have used the Dining Plan every time we have visited Disney. Our last visit was last summer and it was just my boyfriend and I. To be quite honest, the reason we enjoy is simply because we can make reservations and places that we enjoy without having to worry about paying out of pocket at the moment. Also, not worrying about what everyone is eating is a HUGE plus! When we travel with our family of five plus grandpa this Spring Break, we are also using the dining plan. Our 11 and 13 year old children will be able to get WHATEVER they want to eat. They are SO excited.

Overall, I think there are pros and cons, but for our family and our needs it has always worked out wonderfully.
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:17 AM   #8
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Last trip we saved $156. It's not much but not having to worry about food money while we're there it's enough for me.
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:56 PM   #9
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We saved about 23% last time we went on regular dining plan. Of course, we also went during F&W and used all of our snacks on that, and booked the most expensive restaurants that were one point. We did Yachtsman for two and that was our "special" night, and we still wound up on top.
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:04 PM   #10
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You have to figure out for yourself what your savings might be, because it is extremely dependent on the makeup of your party and how you will be using it. You'd need to add up where you would go and what you would order if you had the dining plan and compare it to where you would go and what you would order if you didn't have the dining plan.

You must also decide if you are looking at it from a strict monetary standpoint, or if the "convenience" of having your meals prepaid may make up part of the value for you.

Quote:
If I pay OOP would I be able to tell them he's just 9- like for buffet prices? I'm sure he could order off the kid's menu, no problem!
This board is not going to suggest that you lie about your child's age to prevent paying adult buffet prices for him. Disney's rule is that if he is 10, he pays adult buffet prices.

Yes, in most places (non-buffet or AYCE) you should be able to order a kids' meal.
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:13 PM   #11
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What if you go to a restaurant and you're not using the dining plan? Do they still say if you are 10 and up you still have to order off the adult menu? I'm not talking about a buffet, just a regular menu? Just looking at some of the menus, I know my youngest wouldn't even eat some of the adult meals. He's more of a chicken nugget and fries kinda guy! He certainly won't eat (or appreciate) a $40 filet
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:27 PM   #12
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We have used the QSDP once and the DDp once and only used them because they were free.

You can eat much cheaper paying OOP.

The TS credit is worth 37.50. Most entrees I order at TS places are $20 or less. We do not eat dessert with our meals. We do not use the snacks.

I can eat 3 meals a day cheaper than what the DDp costs.

Example: CS breakfast $8
CS lunch $11
TS dinner $25

That's $44 paying OOP. The DDp is around $58 per person. So I got 3 meals and saved $14 by paying OOP.

Even if I would have had a $4 dessert at lunch and a $6 dessert st dinner I still would have paid for 3 meals and 2 desserts for less than what 2 meals with the DDp cost.
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:56 PM   #13
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What if you go to a restaurant and you're not using the dining plan? Do they still say if you are 10 and up you still have to order off the adult menu? I'm not talking about a buffet, just a regular menu? Just looking at some of the menus, I know my youngest wouldn't even eat some of the adult meals. He's more of a chicken nugget and fries kinda guy! He certainly won't eat (or appreciate) a $40 filet
In most restaurants that are not buffet or AYCE you should be able to order a child's meal for him.
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:33 PM   #14
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I took hours to figure this out. I went over menus and prices and figured out average meals for our family of 4 on our 6 night trip. We are saving $220 by using the DDP compared to paying OOP.

But of course each family is different and results will vary.
This is why I didn't do DDP years back and, instead, went with Tables in Wonderland, although that value seems to be fading, now (another thread). The DDP makes dining overly complicated to me. It's akin to trying to figure how to save money using coupons. Sure, I know people do it and some people do it quite well but that's a lot of time and organization involved.

I also didn't like that while I was supposedly saving (and this is all from memory from a few years back when I looked at it), that that savings really only amounts to anything if I have everything planned out quite well and use up all of my credits. Any meal or snack that I'm not hungry for is just lost. So let's say you figured you were going to save $200, overall, if you used all of the credits but you sleep in and miss a breakfast or two and maybe one evening you selected restaurant that isn't participating in the dining plan.. That $200 savings gets eaten up fairly quickly and, in my head at least, I'm sort of locking myself into the rigorous inconvenience of it all.

Cash, or credit cards, work everywhere and your only limitation is what you want to spend. DDP is buying into the hope that you'll save money and being limited by your choices. I'm sure it saves some people, but, again, in my head, it seems like you'd have to be really diligent in it's use to get that savings.

Anyway, that's why I went with TiW. Any meal I miss really isn't costing me anything as the cash just stays in my pocket and, well, before when TiW was cheaper, it'd pay for itself fairly quickly.
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:24 AM   #15
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It depends on who I am traveling with -- sometimes the DDP is a good value and other times not so much.

This upcoming trip I'm traveling with a group of young adults/teenagers. I opted for the dining plan simply because it keeps them (especially the boys) confined. This way they each know what they have for food on a daily basis and they know they have to order things within the guidelines of the dining plan. This way I don't end up with a HUGE unexpected food bill like I did on a previous trip. Plus with the dining plan it is easier to get them to understand that all of us eating dinner together is a non-optional requirement.

Now when I travel with my husband and younger kids TIW is a better option for us. So the value of the DDP all depends on where we eat and who is a part of the group.
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