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Old 01-09-2013, 01:44 PM   #1
minerva78
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: NC
Posts: 164

Am I thinking about the dining plan wrong?

I'm planning a Disney trip in 2014 in which I decided we will spend about 6 nights in a rental house with extended family for the first part of our trip and stay onsite for 3 nights with just my DH and 2 DDs. Since I'm going to purchase tickets through Undercover Tourist, I calculated it would likely be cheaper to rent points to stay at a DVC villa and add the dining plan than to stay at AoA then add a one day ticket and the dining plan.

I'm trying to figure out whether or not it would be cheaper to pay OOP, but it's hard to do since I would probably do different things if I pay OOP versus having the dining plan! If I did the dining plan, I would try to do dinners at Akershus, Ohana, and Chef Mickey (I think) while if I paid OOP I would likely do breakfasts at Akershus and Chef Mickey and still dinner at Ohana. If I paid OOP I would probably like to try out the Earl of Sandwich in DTD, while if I did the dining plan I would love to try WPE. Based on the 2013 dining plan and menu prices, I would come out slightly ahead just with the 3 dinners, before I even calculate the costs of CS meals and snacks. But it gets harder to tell the value if I do the 2 breakfasts and cheaper CS meals. Before I decided to add an onsite stay, I was okay with doing breakfasts, even though that would cut into time in the parks in the early morning, simply because it was cheaper. But now I think I would prefer to do something small for breakfast, a CS lunch and TS dinners - it's hard to know what would be best since this will be my first Disney trip as an adult with children. I still have quite a while to decide, but I'm trying to wrap my mind around possible costs as early as possible since we're saving up for this trip.

So...I know a big debate of the dining plan is "is it worth it?" And I know people tell you to calculate based on how you would normally eat, but for frugal people like me, isn't the reality that your dining habits would probably change if you prepay your meals? Or is it just me? I'm starting to sound like a person who would try to maximize their meals on the dining plan to get the best value, and I don't know if that's a good or bad thing!
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