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Old 09-23-2012, 02:29 PM   #1
MMrules
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Are these good choices if we purchase DDP?

We are going to WDW in February. WE are a family of 4 with 2 small children (6 & 7). We have DVC so we are going to be giving my parents a studio room to go on vacation with us (They are in their 60's). We are staying at the Boardwalk Villas.

We are thinking of purchasing the Dining plan (no free offers for DVC). HOwever, I am not sure it is worth it price wise when I compare paying OOP. The pros are it will be paid for and we can eat meals sitting down and plan on dining at somre more expensive places instead of watching our pennies during meal time.

A con is that my 2 sons are not big eaters and may not eat at all. Another drawback to this is that when in attendance at a buffet meal we would still get charged even if he doesn't eat, so paying for the plan would cover some of those high ticket buffet prices.

I have already booked some meals, but am wondering if these are the most bang for your buck choices.

SO far we have:
O'hana for dinner
50's prime Time cafe
Biergarten
The Garden Grill
Cape May Clam bake dinner

We are thinking of chaning Garden Grill to Teppan Epo in Japan. Are these good choices for the money I will be paying for the plan or should we switch for higher priced options?

Thanks DIS'ers
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:45 PM   #2
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50's Prime Time Cafe & Biergarten are two of our all-time faves & never disappoint! I think you'll really enjoy both of those meals in terms of food flavors, options, and theming. "Bang for your buck" at 50's PTC depends on what you order. DH orders Mom's Sampler (with fried chicken, pot roast, and meatloaf) with a PB&J milkshake, so we usually end up ahead there. I've had almost everything on Biergarten's buffet & most items at 50's PTC, and I've always been very pleased. Due to their prices, I would never pay OOP at Garden Grill, 'Ohana, and Cape May. I would, however, gladly use a dining credit (and have used dining credits) at any of those. (Personally, I would keep Garden Grill over Tappan Edo because we have a good hibachi place in my city. Garden Grill is a nice way to relax after a long day hoofing it in the park.) Have a great trip!
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Last edited by NOLA_Tink; 09-23-2012 at 03:51 PM. Reason: added info about Garden Grill/Tappan Edo
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:59 PM   #3
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You should also consider the TiW card. You could put the money that the dining plan would cost into a savings account or wherever. Link a reward cc to your KTTW card and use that for meals. Then when you get home you have the money to pay it off. If your son doesn't eat much you could let them share meals at the non buffet meals. Also by using the TiW if he wanted just an appetizer that would still be covered in the 20% savings.
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMrules
We are going to WDW in February. WE are a family of 4 with 2 small children (6 & 7). We have DVC so we are going to be giving my parents a studio room to go on vacation with us (They are in their 60's). We are staying at the Boardwalk Villas.

We are thinking of purchasing the Dining plan (no free offers for DVC). HOwever, I am not sure it is worth it price wise when I compare paying OOP. The pros are it will be paid for and we can eat meals sitting down and plan on dining at somre more expensive places instead of watching our pennies during meal time.

A con is that my 2 sons are not big eaters and may not eat at all. Another drawback to this is that when in attendance at a buffet meal we would still get charged even if he doesn't eat, so paying for the plan would cover some of those high ticket buffet prices.

I have already booked some meals, but am wondering if these are the most bang for your buck choices.

SO far we have:
O'hana for dinner
50's prime Time cafe
Biergarten
The Garden Grill
Cape May Clam bake dinner

We are thinking of chaning Garden Grill to Teppan Epo in Japan. Are these good choices for the money I will be paying for the plan or should we switch for higher priced options?

Thanks DIS'ers
Are you AP holders or Florida residents? If so you may want to look into the Tables in Wonderland card, you may get a better value there.

From your list we have been to 'Ohana dinner and 50's PT. They were both good choices. Personally with 'Ohana i would recommend an earlier time for dinner, we had a later res like 8:30 pm and it was packed and rushed. We would have asked our server to slow down the food if he ever came back after dumping it all down! We had to get another server to get him/our bill. I think it was off service, but I have read similar reports. At 50's PT the fried chicken, onion rings, and PB&J milkshake were to die for!
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princessallegra

Are you AP holders or Florida residents? If so you may want to look into the Tables in Wonderland card, you may get a better value there.

From your list we have been to 'Ohana dinner and 50's PT. They were both good choices. Personally with 'Ohana i would recommend an earlier time for dinner, we had a later res like 8:30 pm and it was packed and rushed. We would have asked our server to slow down the food if he ever came back after dumping it all down! We had to get another server to get him/our bill. I think it was off service, but I have read similar reports. At 50's PT the fried chicken, onion rings, and PB&J milkshake were to die for!
You can purchase it as a DVC member.
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:13 PM   #6
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All of our meals are on the early side (5:00 ish) as i am not a fan of late eating and know the later it is the potential for waiting is there.

We are annual passholders and I was going to purchase TIW this summer but I didn't. I know that it is a 20% discount, but then when you add in the 18% gratuity it seems like you are only saving 2%, which I guess is better than nothing, but not a huge savings.

I keep trying to number crunch. I definately think the plan is a good savings for the children and the buffets that I chose, but not a great deal for adults.

any other thoughts???
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMrules
All of our meals are on the early side (5:00 ish) as i am not a fan of late eating and know the later it is the potential for waiting is there.

We are annual passholders and I was going to purchase TIW this summer but I didn't. I know that it is a 20% discount, but then when you add in the 18% gratuity it seems like you are only saving 2%, which I guess is better than nothing, but not a huge savings.

I keep trying to number crunch. I definately think the plan is a good savings for the children and the buffets that I chose, but not a great deal for adults.

any other thoughts???
If you have the DDP gratuity is not included at all, so you must add it to your bill and pay OOP anyway. Well unless you don't plan to tip or tip less than the 15-20% that is normal.
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Old 09-23-2012, 05:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butsy113 View Post
If you have the DDP gratuity is not included at all, so you must add it to your bill and pay OOP anyway. Well unless you don't plan to tip or tip less than the 15-20% that is normal.
We don't want to turn this thread into one focussed on tipping, or it will be closed by the mods. Just want to note that if they are a party of 6 (including the grandparents) the gratuity is automatically added to the bill and is not optional.

OP, if you want to max the use of the DDP, then book the most outrageously overpriced meals that you would likely eat at. This is usually the buffets (especially the character meals), family style all-you-care-to-eat meals, and dinner shows. The Fantasmic dining package is also a good deal if eating at Mama Melrose, since an appetizer is included in the plan. A lot of the single TS a la carte meals are fine OOP.

My advice is to just pick the restaurants that you WANT to eat at and compare the meal prices there vs the cost of the DDP. Why pick restaurants that you don't really care about only because they are the best bang for the buck?
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Old 09-23-2012, 05:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMrules View Post

I have already booked some meals, but am wondering if these are the most bang for your buck choices.

SO far we have:
O'hana for dinner
50's prime Time cafe
Biergarten
The Garden Grill
Cape May Clam bake dinner

We are thinking of chaning Garden Grill to Teppan Epo in Japan. Are these good choices for the money I will be paying for the plan or should we switch for higher priced options?

Thanks DIS'ers
Whatever you do, don't cancel Garden Grill. It's quite possibly the best character meal out there. If you really want to do Teppan Edo, I'd cancel 'Ohana. There have been lots of reports recently about the food being blech.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:59 PM   #10
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The cost of the kids' buffets is pretty much the cost of their DDP, so they get their QS and snack "free." With two kids, that's roughly a $20 savings per day.

For the adults, you'll need to "spend" $15-20 each on your QS and snack each day to break even.

When you put the two together, you should have no problem at least breaking even over what you would spend OOP.

However, if all four of you don't want/eat a snack each day or have dessert with your QS meal or drink soda/tea, then you MIGHT be able to spend less OOP.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:50 AM   #11
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Thanks so much for the feedback!! SO much to ponder .

I will say that we ate at O'hana in August and the meal was fantastic!!! We had superb service, the food was excellent and the entertainment was fun too! Not sure what the bad reviews are there, but my family loved it! I think I will try to keep Garden Grill (Not sure if my dad will appreciate the characters, but I love the atmosphere there and my mom is a huge Chip and Dale fan).

So looks like I will be crunching more numbers to see what's the best option.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:51 AM   #12
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You get more for your money at a la carte then buffets. You can go to allears.net and view menus with pricing.

Also since you are staying at the Boardwalk, I would go to Kouzzina! You get alot for your money and the food is great! Another place we like when we are on DDP is Chefs of France.

You can also get more bang for your buck if on your CS meals if you are willing to eat outside the parks.

For these we like Wolfgang Puck Express(great deal on DDP) in DTD, Cooks of Dublin in DTD and Pepper Market at Coranado Springs.

I would go to allears.net and look over the menus and decide what would be best for your family.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:07 AM   #13
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Just my 2 cents...

I'd definitely go for TiW over the DDP. We've done both and always make out better with TiW. Yes, they add 18% gratuity on automatically but in most cases that's what you would have added as a tip yourself anyway. Someone suggested putting your money you would have used for the DDP in a savings acct and just paying off the credit card you use each meal with that money when you get back. That's a great idea or you can put the money on a Disney gift card and use that as you go to pay. Hope you get it all figured out!
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:32 AM   #14
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We are using TIW for the first time next year. We are AP holders & DVC, so we are getting the TIW for $75 because we are AP holders, DVC it is $100.

We are looking forward to this option. There are so many foods we have not tried at Disney because they are not an approved DDP Meal or Snack and we didn't want to waste money.

We are also free to not feel obligated to eat more than what we want because we have paid for the DDP credits. This is great for us. We have done this often.

We have decided to buy gift cards and charge our meals to our room and then pay off with the gift card when we reach a certain amount every few days.

I did possible run throughs at High price of everyone getting a meal at almost every meal including buffets, CS, ala carte TS meals, Snacks, and a trip to the Garden View Tea Room, our mugs and the cost of the TIW card. It all comes out to the price of the dining plan, estimated high. I do not see each of us eating a meal at Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. I think we will come out better in the end with TIW because we often share breakfast and lunch or just snack.

I think it is a good idea to do research. I wish we would have done this years ago. I will have to see how it turns out after our trip next year.

Good Luck! Look into TIW & cost of DDP. Make a mock run of what you think you will eat each day. This was fun for me. You may be surprised

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