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Old 12-11-2012, 10:19 AM   #1
MrRomance
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Dining Plan Upgrade Opinions...

Hi all,

We're heading to WDW on 26th October '13 for 2 weeks. We've been a number of times and have free dining. We are staying at SSR so with our package we'll get the regular DP. We've had it twice before and it worked quite well for us. Our last trip we stayed at POR and had the free QS Dining Plan which we HATED!

So this time I'm considering upgrading to the Deluxe. The reason we hated the QS plan was that we got REALLY sick of eating fast food. The downside with the Regular Plan was that we like to do a few 2 credit meals (Yachtsman, Dinner Show, Royal table etc) and we like to do some of the character meals with our daughter. I guess we find ourselves between plans...we don't need 3 meals a day but there are days when we need 3 Table Service Credits.

My questions to anyone who has upgraded to the Deluxe is did you end up with a ton of credits left? Would you recommend the upgrade? I'm not sure that the £812 cost to upgrade would be more than it would cost to pay OOP for extra meals. Any opinions?

Thanks!
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:10 AM   #2
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Character breakfast usually are cheaper than your TS credit value.

If you only need a few TS credit to save for your 2TS meals, then you could probably pay OOP for the morning meals (granted that you included them in your plans) and save the credit for a later use.

If you intend to do dinner shows, do the maths to see if it's worth paying off with the DDP or paying OOP

For example, Spirit of Aloha on the DDP only gets you cat2 or cat3 seats. Some don't mind, we do, lol
you pay $53 for your adult DDP day, let's do the maths :
a quick service is roughly between $10 and $14, a snack maxes out at $4.99, and let's toss in $1 for your refillable mug daily cost.
So let's say you'll spend $18 a day on non TS food. You're left with a TS credit that's worth $36 (at least that amount, it could be more if you don't eat the most expensive QS or snack, it could easily reach a value of $40)
Your cat2 seat is worth $62.99 (and even less if you get cat3)
if you pay with the DDP, you'll pay 2 credits each worth at least $36 (or even $40) so on the DDP you'll pay $72 or even $80 for a seat you would have paid $62.99 for, had you paid OOP.
Of course with the dinner show, the gratuity is included. 18% on the pre-tax amount leaves the actual value of the meal to be at the same level as the value of the 2 TS credits. Let's say that you break even.

So, is it really worth it to save a TS credit to use for a dinner show ? my answer is no, I'd rather pay OOP, and keep the 2 TS credits for other use, at meals where I can get a better value for my credit.

Do the maths, but maybe that will make is easier for you to save TS credits if you realise that you'd be better off paying oop for the shows, instead of paying oop for a TS meal on the day you "saved" your credit.

I would also pay CRT OOP, because CRT is $52.
The value of a TS credit is between $36 and $40 as previously calculated.

So you'll pay $72 or $80 on the DDP for a $52 meal (gratuity included)
That's just not worth it. I'd better pay OOP and keep my 2 TS credits for 2 other meals.

Of course you got the DDP for free, so talking of the value of a credit might seem irrelevant, still, from my standpoint, you could make a compromise.
1 - Save some credits on character breakfast days (which are not expensive and are of very small value on the DDP credit) pay those character breakfast OOP and save the credit for signature restaurants.
2 - Pay for special events OOP, because you only break even on the DDP if you use your credits, and, let's face it, where does that extra credit come from ? you'll need to eat something on the day you save that credit. And in the end it will come more expensive.

In your situation, I don't see the point in upgrading, unless you want to make your trip a truly culinary experience. (in that case, allow me to point to the impressive review made by Dixonsontour http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3023087 )
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:17 AM   #3
MrRomance
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Lots of valid points, thank you. That's what I'm trying to weigh up. It was actually reading that trip report/review that made me consider the upgrade. The problem is, I don't see us eating 3 meals a day most days and we wouldn't eat at so many signatures.

I'm leaning toward taking the extra £800 as a "food fund" in addition to my spending money and paying OOP for extras. Thanks for the insight!
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:27 AM   #4
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My friend was upgraded for free a few years ago, and was quite fed up with eating by the end of their trip. She felt that they spent a massive amount of time either eating or travelling to eat(their kids were 7 and 9 at the time). Might be worth weighing up how much you actually want to eat!
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:52 AM   #5
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We thought about it but then said no. We find the regular enough food and if we wanted an extra table service i would rather pay for it and the cost to upgrade is extra spending money
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:12 PM   #6
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We've done regular ddp twice and dxddp once - link for food report from our deluxe trip in October is in my signature - Dixons go Deluxe.

We did 2 meals a day on deluxe - character breakfast or early lunch and a signature dinner or show for dinner.

We went for it as the upgrade cost wasn't much more than we would have spent oop - wanted to try some shows/signatures. I do know the cost of deluxe has jumped alot next year.

It is alot of food but done as 2 meals a day we found it manageable.

We just did disney for 15 nights so had plenty of park time. Didn't feel it took away from park time in fact some days we stayed longer as we were refreshed after a nice sit down lunch. We did before park opening meals several days, DD met all characters at the meals so we didn't queue in the parks.

It did need a heck of alot of planning. I like planning and adr's but if you don't it's not for you.

Also we had a car which made things easier getting to adr's at the resorts. The nights we used disney transport so we could have a drink it made me realise how time consuming it would have been without and would have eaten into our time much more.

Glad we tried it. I don't think we will again mainly for cost reasons - OKW with ddp for 2013 was similar price to what we paid for OKW with deluxe in 2012.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:17 AM   #7
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For me it would all come down to the maths! Work out what meals you want to do and a rough cost of each (for signatures divide the cost by 2) then allocate your credits to the most expensive meals.

Then see how much the meals over your DDP allowance will cost. Less than the upgrade pay OOP more expensive upgrade your plan
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:49 AM   #8
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We did upgrade to deluxe plan once when we stayed at Beach club. We found we ate breakfast, sometimes we had lunch or used snack credits and often we had room service dinner which was great for us when very tired.
We used all our meal credits.

Last year we stayed at OKW and just had normal dining plan as they do not do room service. We ended up with quite a number of unspent meals.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:42 PM   #9
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When we were at Disney in August, we had free DDP, and booked three 2TS meals over the fortnight. We found that we generally had breakfast in our room, split a CS meal and snack credit for lunch, then a TS or 2TS for dinner.

On a couple of days, we found that we had sufficient CS credits for an evening meal - we ate at Wolfgang Puck Express Westside twice, and also had a couple of CS breakfasts at WPE Express Marketplace when we were visiting Seaworld and travelling over to Tampa.

In te end, we managed to use up all of our TS credits, and still had a couple of CS credits left over, so you may find it's not worth spending the extra £800. If you did find yourself short of credits, could you eat off-site on some nights if you have no park visit planned?
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:55 PM   #10
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In 2011 we stayed at SSR for 3 weeks. We paid for an extra person in the room which meant we had to buy an extra ticket at a cost of around 220 pounds I think. This gave us 21 extra meal credits which we then used to for 7 signature meals over the course of 3 weeks. This worked out far cheaper than the deluxe plan. We would never have eaten all the extra starters and extra snack credits. I asked Disney if it was ok to do this and they said it was fine aslong as we paid for the extra ultimate pass. When I got back I wrote to Disney US and said that I had a pass I was unable to use and they upgraded it to expire 31/12/12 so I used it this year in August. I was surprised they did this and hadn't expected them to so was very happy. That was probably last time we will do dining plan as I just think SSR is too expensive compared to Wyndham Bonnet Creek, even taking into accoutn free dining. Anyway, we loved the deluxe restaurants.
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Portugal1000 View Post
In 2011 we stayed at SSR for 3 weeks. We paid for an extra person in the room which meant we had to buy an extra ticket at a cost of around 220 pounds I think. This gave us 21 extra meal credits which we then used to for 7 signature meals over the course of 3 weeks. This worked out far cheaper than the deluxe plan. We would never have eaten all the extra starters and extra snack credits. I asked Disney if it was ok to do this and they said it was fine aslong as we paid for the extra ultimate pass. When I got back I wrote to Disney US and said that I had a pass I was unable to use and they upgraded it to expire 31/12/12 so I used it this year in August. I was surprised they did this and hadn't expected them to so was very happy. That was probably last time we will do dining plan as I just think SSR is too expensive compared to Wyndham Bonnet Creek, even taking into accoutn free dining. Anyway, we loved the deluxe restaurants.
Now THAT is a brilliant idea! That would do the trick just fine! Thanks
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Portugal1000 View Post
In 2011 we stayed at SSR for 3 weeks. We paid for an extra person in the room which meant we had to buy an extra ticket at a cost of around 220 pounds I think. This gave us 21 extra meal credits which we then used to for 7 signature meals over the course of 3 weeks. This worked out far cheaper than the deluxe plan. We would never have eaten all the extra starters and extra snack credits. I asked Disney if it was ok to do this and they said it was fine aslong as we paid for the extra ultimate pass. When I got back I wrote to Disney US and said that I had a pass I was unable to use and they upgraded it to expire 31/12/12 so I used it this year in August. I was surprised they did this and hadn't expected them to so was very happy. That was probably last time we will do dining plan as I just think SSR is too expensive compared to Wyndham Bonnet Creek, even taking into accoutn free dining. Anyway, we loved the deluxe restaurants.
That is such a genius idea - can I just ask did you have to invent a name/DOB for guest 4?

Would also avoid the you can only have 2 adult meals at once with QS (we are 2 adults and a child) - just add another adult so there would be 3 adults and 1 child in our room on paper.
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dixonsontour View Post
That is such a genius idea - can I just ask did you have to invent a name/DOB for guest 4?

Would also avoid the you can only have 2 adult meals at once with QS (we are 2 adults and a child) - just add another adult so there would be 3 adults and 1 child in our room on paper.
I added another person to the room and gave their date of birth as being an 11 year old. I had actually thought of the idea the year before while already at SSR and was kicking myself for not thinking of it earlier. My husband was worried that we would get into trouble so that is why I I asked Disney but to be honest there is probably no reason to. I am sure they don't care aslong as you are paying for the ticket. I always check in alone anyway while husband and son are looking around resort and I have never been asked where the other guests are. I am sure that there will be alot of people that think this is not right. We did have alot of counter service credits left over though but did use some for breakfast. However one thing I would say with eating at the signatures was that we spent a fortune in tips. They were come to nearly $40 everytime which is crazy as you could feed three adults at Longhornes for that. Thats partly the reason we have decided to stay at Wyndhams Bonnet Creek from now on. Superior resort and room is atleast twice the size on SSR and about a third of the cost.
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