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Old 10-23-2012, 12:40 PM   #16
reking96
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We love the DxDDP. Like many others have said, we wouldn;t go without it. Now it is just 2 adults in our party so we view our vacation a little differently then those with kids. We eat breakfast no later then 7:30 each day so by lunch we are ready for another meal. We prefer the TS meals because we just like the break and time to relax in the AC!! ha-ha. Then we may head back to the hotel fro the afternoon then ususally do a 2 credit meal for dinner. Again, without kids, we eat a little later dinner then most. But like I said before, we won't go to Disney without it. =)
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:10 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by sheilanne View Post
How many days before your actual trip can you add the dining plan to your package? We will arrive 11-27 and staying @BLT.
Dining must be added at least 72 hours (3 days) prior to arrival. I think DVC members staying on points can add it 48 hours (2 days) prior, but for regular packages, it's at least 3 days .

We tried the DlxDDP in 2010 and loved it. We didn't feel it was too much food or that it took too much time away from other things. We always do a sit down for dinner as well as a few TS breakfasts during our trips, so we thought the deluxe plan was great for us since we usually ended up paying for a few meals OOP when we've gotten the regular DDP .
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:01 PM   #18
bedogged
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Originally Posted by CraigInPA View Post
I've done DxDP 3 times. Like your husband, I hate counter service. We tend to do a table service breakfast or lunch, with a signature dinner. Disney claims saving 20% or 25% on food using the plans, and I found my savings were actually 25-35%, depending upon the trip.
I agree with this. We always do DXDP and love it. We do two meals a day including a Signature at night. We use our snack credits for breakfast or lunch depending upon which we do TS at. I think , at least for this year, it is a much better value than the regular dining.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:28 PM   #19
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I do. I do! Have done the last 4 Disney vacations with the DxDP. Having said that, with the price increase for 2013, I don't think we'll do it again (more on that later).

I think the people that don't like it are trying to eat regularly 3 meals per day. We will do a breakfast or lunch and then dinner (usually a Signature). We also arrive early enough on our arrival day to have lunch + dinner and leave late enough on our last day to have breakfast + lunch. We will leave 7 hours between lunch and dinner (so light breakfast at 7:30 am, full lunch at 11:30 am, light snack at around 3:30 and full dinner at 6:30 pm). We are not large people (I'm 110 pounds!), so you don't need to be a huge eater to enjoy the DxDP. I do often leave some food on the plate, so if that's an issue (I was brought up Catholic) then DxDP may also strike out.

I also think DxDP needs to match how your family eats at home. I'm fairly particular about what I eat (not "picky", I eat everything, just very mindful of eating high-quality food). At Disney, we may have 1 meal at a quick service, the rest are at table service restaurants. The food is so much better and I personally prefer to sit down, order and be served. This matches how we eat at home. At home, we eat dinner out 3 times per week and it's never fast food - it's real restaurants. Our kids think artisan cheese plates are a feature of *all* restaurants, since they have been pretty much eating that way since they were toddlers. So, we don't change our eating style by going DxDP at Disney.

I also think DxDP saves families with kids under 10 the most. The cost of DxDP is not that much more than one character buffet and you get 2 snacks and 2 other credits to use for a great signature meal, daily. So, every vacation, we eat at like 4 or 5 character meals. This time, we ate at Cape May, Akershus, Tusker House, and CRT. But, we have done almost all the character meals (only missing Garden Grill, but cannot bring ourselves to eat that sad, sad menu when there are such good dining options at Epcot or nearby!).

In the last 4 trips we have eaten at all the signatures (except Artist Point), including 4 times in a row at Cali Grill.

Going forward, I will probably do a little bit of calculations to see if DxDP will continue to save us. For a family with 2 adults and 2 kids, you may be better off paying out-of-pocket, especially if you know that you will be sharing or if you won't be ordering both an appetizer and a dessert each.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:48 AM   #20
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We also like the Deluxe Dining Plan. We'll be leaving in a week for our 2nd trip using it. Although we eat out pretty frequently, it is rare that we each order our own appetizer, entree, and dessert here at home. But, that's part of the fun and indulgence of being on vacation for us! We use our credits by having either a table service breakfast or lunch each day, and do a Signature dinner each night. Since we go during Food & Wine, using our snack credits there helps get the most value out of the plan.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:43 AM   #21
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I've given this quite a bit of thought recently. My wife and I are in our mid 40s, and currently crunching numbers prior to purchasing DVC. We have used the DxDP on our most recent trips, found it to be a good value for us, and enjoyed it. Part of that value comes from the ability to not look at prices, and take some time away from the parks and lines. Our primary goal for the 7-10 days we are there in early December is to get away from work and the associated calls, texts, emails, etc... DxDP helps a lot with that!

2013 pricing makes it a little more difficult to make the decision based solely on dollars based on our past dining habits. Neither of use eat a large breakfast. It's usually coffee and a snack, or leftover dessert. That has freed up additional credits for other meals in the evening, or to be converted to snacks at the end of the trip to bring treats home for friends and family.

I used current pricing for restaurants we usually dine in, for a 7 day trip. Before tax we would have spent $788.33 or about $112.62/day. I think the DxDP is priced at $99.97/day for 2013. Not eating breakfast consistently, and the number of signature meals we have hurt our return on the plan. With snacks and the treats we take home from unused credits we do a little better than the numbers indicate. That being said it has delivered a reasonable financial value, and giving us one less thing to think about which has been priceless.

We probably won't use DxDP after purchasing DVC. We will probably be spending 10-14 days per year at Disney then and using the AP or PAP with TiW seems to be the better option at that point. Using the same numbers $751.22 would have been eligible for the 20% discount, for a total of $638.06, before tax and tip (including the one meal not covered by TiW).

The first year with DxDP it was a no brainer. We stumbled into a promotion that included free DDP, and we just paid the price to upgrade to deluxe. The return on investment that particular year was greater. With increasing prices, and our changing travel plans we are spending a lot more time looking at numbers and deciding what we are most likely to do in reality to figure out where the best value is for us.

I hope this helped some, rather than just making it more confusing!
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:57 PM   #22
lunamum
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It is great to hear that there are people who are in favor of the Deluxe Plan.

My DSis and I are going to WDW for the first time in January and it will be our first time on a dining plan and we decided on Deluxe .

I was wondering is there a general information thread on the basics of the dining plan, and I mean very easy and basic, maybe including pictures of quick service signs, etc.?

I think I understand Table Service restaurants and have made all of our ADR's, but I am having a little bit of anxiety about QS and snacks: how to order, how to look at a sign and know whether something is included on the dining plan.

For example, I have looked at the official snack thread and saw a picture of a display case for the caramel place in Germany, (it looks fantastic and we are definitely planning on using a lot of snack credits there), but am wondering, how would I know walking up to the dsplay case which things are avail for a snack credit?

I have heard of the DDP purple square symbol thing but haven't seen them on any actual signs.

Also, I'm worried that at Counter service I will slow the process down by not knowing how to order properly. Sounds like things are so crazy rushed I don't want to annoy people by asking a million questions or holding things up trying to figure things out.

I have enjoyed combing through all of these threads and posts and know one of you will definitely be able to point me in the right direction. Thanks!
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:24 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lunamum
It is great to hear that there are people who are in favor of the Deluxe Plan.

My DSis and I are going to WDW for the first time in January and it will be our first time on a dining plan and we decided on Deluxe .

I was wondering is there a general information thread on the basics of the dining plan, and I mean very easy and basic, maybe including pictures of quick service signs, etc.?

I think I understand Table Service restaurants and have made all of our ADR's, but I am having a little bit of anxiety about QS and snacks: how to order, how to look at a sign and know whether something is included on the dining plan.

For example, I have looked at the official snack thread and saw a picture of a display case for the caramel place in Germany, (it looks fantastic and we are definitely planning on using a lot of snack credits there), but am wondering, how would I know walking up to the dsplay case which things are avail for a snack credit?

I have heard of the DDP purple square symbol thing but haven't seen them on any actual signs.

Also, I'm worried that at Counter service I will slow the process down by not knowing how to order properly. Sounds like things are so crazy rushed I don't want to annoy people by asking a million questions or holding things up trying to figure things out.

I have enjoyed combing through all of these threads and posts and know one of you will definitely be able to point me in the right direction. Thanks!
The snacks included on the plan have a DP symbol next to it in the menu ir in the case. If you look at the display case pic again you see the white and purple symbol.

For QS it is pretty much the same. You will see the meal and what it includes for a credit and get to choose a dessert and you will get a drink.

I promise it sounds harder than it is. Our first time we knew nothing and we were fine. It makes more sense when you are there.

Dont worry about asking questions!!! Thats the easiest eay to figure it all out. It wont hold anyone up longer than a few moments.

Have you looked at the DXDP brochure? Check out some DXDP dining reports to get an idea of what others ordered at a QS or used for a snack. But stick with things marked by that symbol and you will be just fine :D
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:52 PM   #24
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We love the deluxe plan. I always tell people it is the best way to go unless you can get tables in wonderland. My DH hates counter service as well. He wants reservations and TS for our meals. If you use the plan right, you save money and you do not have to stuff your face just because you are allowed an appetizer, entree and dessert. It is up to you if you want to order it all, eat it all or wrap it up for later. The best way to utilize your credits is a breakfast or lunch and a signature dinner. And remember those credits do not expire until midnight of the day you check out. So if you have time before your departure home, you can use any leftover credits on your checkout day.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:18 PM   #25
lunamum
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Thanks for the info about the plan. I will definitely go back and look at pictures and see if I can see the symbols so I know what I"m looking for when I get there.

I also appreciate your comment about it being easier than it sounds and not to be afraid to ask questions.

thanks again
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:22 PM   #26
mfulk
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We love the DxDP. We've done it the past two years for 10 nights both times. We tried going with no dining plan for 7 nights a few weeks ago and hated not having the deluxe plan! We decided not to go back again without it.
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:32 PM   #27
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It works well for some people. The big question is will it work for you?

I would recommend booking all of the ADRs that you want and then sit down and do some math. At each restaurant, estimate your cost based on what you would like to order if you're not looking at price and just ordering exactly what you want to order. Add it up. Add any snacks you'd be interested in. I tend to estimate on the side of caution and if I think there's a chance that we might want an item then I include it in the estimate. Once this is done, compare it to the DxDDP. Most likely your estimates at this point aren't using all of the allotments of credits. If the prices are close or DxDDP is less then it's worth getting the plan and using it as an excuse to splurge on maybe a dessert or appetizer that you wouldn't have otherwise ordered but want to sample just a few bites and using up the snack credits for souvenirs. If the DxDDP is significantly more expensive than your estimate then just pay OOP.
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:53 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clanmcculloch View Post
It works well for some people. The big question is will it work for you?

I would recommend booking all of the ADRs that you want and then sit down and do some math. At each restaurant, estimate your cost based on what you would like to order if you're not looking at price and just ordering exactly what you want to order. Add it up. Add any snacks you'd be interested in. I tend to estimate on the side of caution and if I think there's a chance that we might want an item then I include it in the estimate. Once this is done, compare it to the DxDDP. Most likely your estimates at this point aren't using all of the allotments of credits. If the prices are close or DxDDP is less then it's worth getting the plan and using it as an excuse to splurge on maybe a dessert or appetizer that you wouldn't have otherwise ordered but want to sample just a few bites and using up the snack credits for souvenirs. If the DxDDP is significantly more expensive than your estimate then just pay OOP.
I second this.

I made a schedule of our ADRs. We do a sit down bfast and sit down dinner. I went to allears.net and looked at the menus for each restaurant and picked out what I figured each person would order. I added up the total and compared to the total of the DP. I added an additional amount (I think it was $6.00 or something) per person each day for a snack. I think I even did a generic amount for a QS meal.

Anyway, we ended up coming out ahead a bit (not much). But even if it was a little more to do the DXDP I still would have. The freedom is something we factor in as well.
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:38 PM   #29
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Love it! Eating at whatever place you want, whatever days you want. Not having to worry about having money at the end of your vacation to purchase meals...signature meals at nice restaurants, dining in the castle, that 4 table service credits right there...we might not even use every meal credit but its money i dont have to worry about on our trip...my daughter and i's first trip and we ended up spending something like $98 for the two of us to eat at crt...ever since we have had the dining plan...to me it seems like eating for free and not having to worry about prices at dinner...also like the fact that if we want to eat chicken nuggets or a cheeseburger we can do that, or if we want fancy meal we can do that as well..great value and stress free as far as im concerned, even if it has been going up in price. Still worth it to me.
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:35 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by OLIVIA'S DADDY
Love it! Eating at whatever place you want, whatever days you want. Not having to worry about having money at the end of your vacation to purchase meals...signature meals at nice restaurants, dining in the castle, that 4 table service credits right there...we might not even use every meal credit but its money i dont have to worry about on our trip...my daughter and i's first trip and we ended up spending something like $98 for the two of us to eat at crt...ever since we have had the dining plan...to me it seems like eating for free and not having to worry about prices at dinner...also like the fact that if we want to eat chicken nuggets or a cheeseburger we can do that, or if we want fancy meal we can do that as well..great value and stress free as far as im concerned, even if it has been going up in price. Still worth it to me.
Glad it makes you happy. Makes disney stockholders even happier.
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