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Old 01-12-2013, 11:18 AM   #1
nigel-bigel
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Think about WHAT you order when deciding to get the plan!

We just returned from our ninth trip to WDW, our first using the dining plan. I have always crunched the numbers before and it never seemed to be significant savings for us, so we always opted out. This trip, however, we did the Play, Stay and Dine. While it wasn't free dining, the savings were considerable (about $750 over 5 days), so we did the plan this time.

It was certainly easy enough to understand, but you do need to keep track of your credits. Our numbers seemed to fluctuate at random, actually lower in the beginning of the day than at the end! Upon checking out it said we had three QS credits less than my receipts showed. Since we couldn't have used them anyway I didn't bother discussing it with anyone.

The biggest problem for us with the plan is that it didn't fit the way we eat. We are a family of four, and at WDW we like to order a few appetizers to share, someone will maybe get soup, we split two entrees, and then maybe a dessert or two.

Dollar-wise, this works out to about what we would spend if on the plan. However, the plan doesn't let us order what we want. This time the savings were significant enough that I would do it again, but not if the savings were only a couple of hundred dollars. I paid for that savings with my ability to be flexible.

Also, people remark that they like everything being paid for before their trip - except it isn't. For every TS meal we still had to pay around $50 for tip and the occasional cocktail or appetizer.

I do think the plan has affected the quality of food at WDW, and overall made dining there less pleasant (crazy ADRS six months out, dumbed-down menus, etc). However, I don't feel - as others here have posted - that I received slower service or my dish would have been any better if I were paying OOP.

Just some things to consider when deciding if the dining plan is right for you...

Nicole
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:35 PM   #2
6disneykids
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We still expect to tip separate from the DDP, and take that into account. The reason we still do DDP is because of the amount for kids on the plan. There is no way we can feed them for less including snacks for less than $17 a piece and have any family harmony while on vacation. With my 6, there is always a time when I hear "I want my own" or "I don't want the same thing as he/she wants" Once they are all (or the majority of them) are Disney "adults" we will probably not continue to use it.

We do plan on sharing some CS meals (hubby &I) and any remainder we will get to take on the road with us. We did this 2 years ago, and it worked out wonderfully for us. Same for snacks, we used them for things like chips that the kids got to take in their lunches when we got home.

As with everything, it works for some families and not for others.
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:46 PM   #3
Reddy
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I have only done the quick service dinning plan
but we don't go out to eat alot at home so table service isn't that important to me
I don't like having to wear a watch to keep up what time do we have to stop to go eat - I want to eat when I get hungry not when the clock says so

if we do make an ARD then it is for breakfast before the park opens & I take gift cards to pay for that
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nigel-bigel View Post
However, the plan doesn't let us order what we want. This time the savings were significant enough that I would do it again, but not if the savings were only a couple of hundred dollars.
That's why we do the DxDDP and still save money. We can order what we want without any issues and skip dessert if we don't feel like it. We both get appetizers and split them between us and the kids so we all get something new.

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Old 01-14-2013, 09:14 AM   #5
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You definately have to do what suits your family the best. we've done it all, and for us the qsdp is the best. you don't have to pay anything else, it is so much food and we know the restaurants to go to for a variety. we LOVE it!!! we've never had to pay for it cause we do the free dining but on this next trip we will pay for it and it's worth every penny to us.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:59 AM   #6
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I agree, this is the first time we will not be on the dining plan, and I think we will be saving money.

Last time, we HAD to go out to table-service once a day, even though the kids would have been happier with quick-service. We also had to ensure we'd be at a certain park at a certain time, so our trip was really ruled by our reservations. It was not, by any means, relaxing. At a few restaurants, we probably paid more in tip than we would have paid for half of our food at a quick-service place.

I know that it's nice to not have to look at prices. But because the savings were not very substantial (we crunched the numbers and found we'd be saving less than $100), I found myself scouring the menu to find the most expensive thing (steak) and ordering that, rather than what I would have normally ordered (chicken, which was usually much less expensive) and liked most. So I still found myself paying attention to prices.

I don't think the QSDP would be good for us, though, because we DO like to eat at a few table-service restaurants . . . just not every day. So it makes sense for us not to use the plan.

I'm still not sure whether this will be better for us, but I'm excited to try it and see.
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:00 AM   #7
OThopeful35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginny Favers View Post
I agree, this is the first time we will not be on the dining plan, and I think we will be saving money.

Last time, we HAD to go out to table-service once a day, even though the kids would have been happier with quick-service. We also had to ensure we'd be at a certain park at a certain time, so our trip was really ruled by our reservations. It was not, by any means, relaxing. At a few restaurants, we probably paid more in tip than we would have paid for half of our food at a quick-service place.

I know that it's nice to not have to look at prices. But because the savings were not very substantial (we crunched the numbers and found we'd be saving less than $100), I found myself scouring the menu to find the most expensive thing (steak) and ordering that, rather than what I would have normally ordered (chicken, which was usually much less expensive) and liked most. So I still found myself paying attention to prices.

I don't think the QSDP would be good for us, though, because we DO like to eat at a few table-service restaurants . . . just not every day. So it makes sense for us not to use the plan.

I'm still not sure whether this will be better for us, but I'm excited to try it and see.
I agree! The savings are just not that substantial anymore with the recent price increase, even if you pick the priciest buffet, CS and snack; you only save a couple of bucks. Even if you order steak everyday, you are basically breaking even. I loved having the DDP on our last trip, it was so convenient! But with DS being a "Disney Adult," it just does not make sense for us and I know for a fact he is not going to eat $55 worth of food.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:44 AM   #8
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Deciding what dining plan to choose is always such a toss up. This coming trip we've opted to go with QS instead of DP (which we enjoy). We figure we'll save money on having to tip with QS - which can really add up in the long run over the course of a week.

While we enjoy TS, having to do one each and every day (or two depending on credit usage) was a pain and we felt that we spent too much time trying to make it to reservations on time.
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:21 PM   #9
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There was a rumor lately that free dining would be changing and that mods would be offered a QSDP. I am hoping the rumor is true. Our cheapest option as a family of five is to stay at POR with the murphy bed, and I prefer QSDP for the convenience of not being tied down to an ADR every day. We would not pay out of pocket for either plan. It is more food than we need.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:28 AM   #10
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You wouldn't think dining would be so personal, but at WDW it sure is.

One really has to examine how it works to see if its a savings or a good fit.

For me, there is no question. My DD needs a TS each day, its a forced break and a time to calm down and reset her sensory acceptance clock. So far, she has always been a disney child, there is no way I could feed her OOP for less. I am a cheapskate with expensive tastes - I would never let myself order the expensive fish OOP, I would get the cheap option, which I probably wouldn't enjoy nearly as much. We love desserts, and consider them a special vacation treat.

Our last trip, our bill at Akershus was more than I paid for the DDP for the whole day, and we also had a QS breakfast and a snack that day.

I understand there are people for whom it doesn't work at all, but for me, it gives me freedom to enjoy meals on vacation. With only 2 people, even the tip at our super expensive Akershus dinner was $20, most were $11 or $12 (and I am at least a 20% tipper for good service).
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:36 PM   #11
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I agree with Itsnotmuchofatail. We love the DP and are impatiently waiting for free dining dates for the fall. We have had 2 trips now for free dining (2007 & 2010) and really want to go again this year. Our daughters are 16 & 13 and they love the dining plan as well. We always do the regular dining plan and for us, it is a huge money saver. We would not be able to do nearly as many table service meals on property without the dp. It is so nice to be able to take our kids to really nice places and let them order whatever they want. And if they decide to order a burger, so be it! They are happy. We have certain places that we do every trip (Akerhaus for TS, Wolfgang Puck Cafe for QS), but we love to try new places too. One of these days we will upgrade to the DxDP. I am fine with paying OOP for alcohol and tips. The only change I wish they would make is giving you a choice between wither an appetizer or a desert. I love deserts, but my hubby loves appetizers.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:33 AM   #12
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We have always loved the dining plan. No worries about what my kids order. While it's normally more food then we can eat, we've shared meals and been able to include signature restaurants without paying OOP, except for tips and an occasional drink. It works for out family, but I think everyone has take the choice that best fits their family.
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