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Old 01-19-2013, 11:22 PM   #1
sunnydays28
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Is this math correct?

I don't think we are doing the dining plan, but ran the numbers just in case.
We are mom, dad and child staying for 8 nights off season:

8 x $55.xx = $440 x 2 = $880

8 x $17.xx = $136

$880 + $136 = $1016

Correct?

That is unbelievable to me, there is no way, even a vacation, that we would spend $55/day on food for the adults and absolutely not $17 on my daughter. Granted we are only doing 2 character meals and are not into fancy food or restaurants, but I have been to WDW before and do not recall any of the food being that expensive, so why do people use the DP? I am truly curious how this is a cheaper, easier way to buy meals.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:00 AM   #2
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I just checked menu prices because we're trying to decide if we'll do the dining plan for our next trip. Our daughter will be 11 so we'll be charged an adult rate for her, but I think we could pay out of pocket cheaper and she'd be happier with the kids meal and we would too because it wouldn't be as expensive.

Some of the buffets are expensive. Take Boma for example; it's 39.40. If I spend $40 for this dinner, $10 for lunch at a counter service, $2.50 for a drink with lunch, and then $3.99 for a snack (some cost more, some less--took a standard snack rate average), I've already spent $56.50 and with dining plan I would have spent $55 and gotten an additional dessert with my counter service lunch, so I'm money ahead on the dining plan (only by $1.50; around $5.50 ahead on dining plan if you add in the dessert you'd also get with the lunch that I wouldn't pay OOP).

With other restaurants, like Via Napoli, that I can get an individual pizza for $19, my dinner is less expensive and at the end of the day I'm money ahead if I pay OOP.

For kids, we've always been money ahead with the dining plan. Example: the kids' plan is $17 per day. One meal for dinner alone at Boma or Ohana is $19.16. It costs more to pay for that dinner OOP than it would have to pay for the meal plan for the whole day. Let's say lunch is $5.49 for kids' meal. Then a snack at $3.99. Then the meal at Ohana for $19.16. You're better off to do the meal plan ($17) vs. OOP you would pay $28.64. You'd save $11.64 by doing the meal plan.

Besides being potentially money ahead (depends on where you eat & I don't think you'll be money ahead every day; you'd have to calculate out where you'd go and what you'd order), it's also very convenient to have the dining plan. It's nice to know it's all paid ahead of time and you don't have to worry about the money while on vacation--no bill shock when your bill comes at the end of the meal.

We also like having the dining plan so that we can book up to 10 meals at one time. That's nice being able to set your reservations all at once. We look forward to eating at a TS meal each night so the meal/dining plan has worked for us in the past.

While we've always done the plan (it's always been money ahead for us because of the restaurants we've chosen), it's never been this high and now that my oldest daughter will be charged a huge amount now, it may be time for us to pay OOP. We can forgo some of those expensive TS meals and eat CS for lunch and dinner for some of the time and find some savings.

Anxious to hear what others have to say...
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:29 AM   #3
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Alway run the Numbers

I always advise people to check menus and run the numbers. Just 5 years ago the DDP was a good value at only $38 per day. Now $55 is hard to do unless you do the higher cost but not Signature restaurants.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:40 AM   #4
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I did not think it would be a good deal, but when I ran the numbers, we will save about $200 using the ddp. So even if we don't order the most expensive meals at each place, we should still come out ahead. Now when DD8 turns 10, I am thinking it won't be a good deal for us. The best way to decide is to look at the menus. We decided where we want to eat, looked at the menus, figured out what everyone would order, and priced it out. Plus, my DH does not have to worry about what he is ordering. He would hate to "have" to pick the cheapest item on the menu if that is not what he wants.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:10 AM   #5
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I just ran the numbers for a 10 day trip since I'm on the fence with my oldest daughter being charged an adult fee for the first time. I plugged in the restaurants we ate at on the last trip and what I felt we would order. I would order differently if I was paying OOP. I wouldn't order a dessert at each CS for lunch. I also would probably order a kid's meal myself for lunch a few times. I ordered a kid meal for my daughter a few times and an adult meal a few times, whereas on the dining plan she would be able to order off the adult menu each time. I tried to think realistically what we would do. I also did not get a dessert each time after every TS meal. I did have a TS meal each day like we would if on the dining plan.

I was VERY surprised by the results. We were only $80 cheaper by paying OOP. (And I did not calculate tax. I wasn't sure if you were charged that. I know that sounds silly that I'm unsure of that, but it states specifically on the buffets, like Boma, that the tax is included with the set price; I wasn't sure if that was with all meals or just the buffets since that wasn't mentioned on the other meals). If tax is not included on all meals (which I'm assuming it's not), then that $80 difference will be eaten up with tax.

Also, I gave us a CS meal our first night vs. a TS so I skewed it by one less TS. When I added in one additional TS and took out what I would have paid for the CS, I actually would pay MORE OOP. Shocker!

Plus, the way I added it up was with me eating a kids meal a few times, my daughter eating a kids meal, etc. If I went with the dining plan, I wouldn't have to make her stick to the kids meal. She could get an adult meal of a food she prefers but just not eat all of it because the portion was too large for her. That makes me cringe because it's wasteful, but what do you do?

For only $80 difference, I have more freedom to always order off the adult menu if wanted. I can book my meals all at one time for the entire 10 days. We get the extra desserts and snack that I didn't add in every day and the additional TS that we would have paid OOP MORE for. Plus, I'm very frugal with our money. While the $80 would be nice to save, it might be nice for my peace of mind to pay it ahead of time. There's nothing like sticker shock as you're presented with your bill each time. Since we've always been on the dining plan, I'm accustomed to being able to order and not worry about the money. I'm afraid seeing the bill and having to pay each time would put a slight gray cloud over me and damper how I felt each time.

I was very surprised by the numbers!!!!
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:58 PM   #6
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If you're only planning to do a couple sit down meals, the DP wouldn't be a good choice for you. If you plan to have one every day, it very likely is. If you haven't been in awhile, you might want to check the menus. Prices have indeed gone up EVERYWHERE. You need to get at least a rough plan of where you want to eat, look at the menus, and price it out to really have an answer. The prices make my chest hurt when I'm ordering at the world, so it removes stress for me as well.
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:36 PM   #7
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OP - it's just different for everyone. My family eats a sit down breakfast/dinner each night. The DXDP ends up saving us a couple hundred bucks not including any snack credits we'd use. Just depends how you eat. We also got a discounted DP which helps with the cost versus OOP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by disneybliss2 View Post
I just ran the numbers for a 10 day trip since I'm on the fence with my oldest daughter being charged an adult fee for the first time. I plugged in the restaurants we ate at on the last trip and what I felt we would order. I would order differently if I was paying OOP. I wouldn't order a dessert at each CS for lunch. I also would probably order a kid's meal myself for lunch a few times. I ordered a kid meal for my daughter a few times and an adult meal a few times, whereas on the dining plan she would be able to order off the adult menu each time. I tried to think realistically what we would do. I also did not get a dessert each time after every TS meal. I did have a TS meal each day like we would if on the dining plan.

I was VERY surprised by the results. We were only $80 cheaper by paying OOP. (And I did not calculate tax. I wasn't sure if you were charged that. I know that sounds silly that I'm unsure of that, but it states specifically on the buffets, like Boma, that the tax is included with the set price; I wasn't sure if that was with all meals or just the buffets since that wasn't mentioned on the other meals). If tax is not included on all meals (which I'm assuming it's not), then that $80 difference will be eaten up with tax.

Also, I gave us a CS meal our first night vs. a TS so I skewed it by one less TS. When I added in one additional TS and took out what I would have paid for the CS, I actually would pay MORE OOP. Shocker!

Plus, the way I added it up was with me eating a kids meal a few times, my daughter eating a kids meal, etc. If I went with the dining plan, I wouldn't have to make her stick to the kids meal. She could get an adult meal of a food she prefers but just not eat all of it because the portion was too large for her. That makes me cringe because it's wasteful, but what do you do?

For only $80 difference, I have more freedom to always order off the adult menu if wanted. I can book my meals all at one time for the entire 10 days. We get the extra desserts and snack that I didn't add in every day and the additional TS that we would have paid OOP MORE for. Plus, I'm very frugal with our money. While the $80 would be nice to save, it might be nice for my peace of mind to pay it ahead of time. There's nothing like sticker shock as you're presented with your bill each time. Since we've always been on the dining plan, I'm accustomed to being able to order and not worry about the money. I'm afraid seeing the bill and having to pay each time would put a slight gray cloud over me and damper how I felt each time.

I was very surprised by the numbers!!!!
Yes, you are charged tax. Tax is included with a DP credit.
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarcher86 View Post

Yes, you are charged tax. Tax is included with a DP credit.

Ok, so my $80 savings paying OOP just went away. Meaning, we can eat using the dining plan cheaper and get more food (extra desserts, snacks, and my daughter, who will be 10, could always order from adult menu. While I don't think she'll always want that portion size, it will expand the options that I know she'll want).

Wow, I'm surprised that after running the numbers that even with the crazy, high price of the dining plan I'm money ahead using it.

Out of curiosity, what is the tax % charge? Thanks!
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneybliss2

Ok, so my $80 savings paying OOP just went away. Meaning, we can eat using the dining plan cheaper and get more food (extra desserts, snacks, and my daughter, who will be 10, could always order from adult menu. While I don't think she'll always want that portion size, it will expand the options that I know she'll want).

Wow, I'm surprised that after running the numbers that even with the crazy, high price of the dining plan I'm money ahead using it.

Out of curiosity, what is the tax % charge? Thanks!
I don't remember anything about taxes. But, me and my ten year old meal share. The portions are SO huge it just doesn't make sense to order two servings. Because of this a lot times we only get the Quick service dinning plan.
Our next trip we went all out with the disney dinning deluxe plan! Excited about our character dining's with my DD6!
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneybliss2 View Post
Ok, so my $80 savings paying OOP just went away. Meaning, we can eat using the dining plan cheaper and get more food (extra desserts, snacks, and my daughter, who will be 10, could always order from adult menu. While I don't think she'll always want that portion size, it will expand the options that I know she'll want).

Wow, I'm surprised that after running the numbers that even with the crazy, high price of the dining plan I'm money ahead using it.

Out of curiosity, what is the tax % charge? Thanks!
FL tax is 6.5%
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:30 AM   #11
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Thanks for the tax info!
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:02 AM   #12
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While you would probably not spend $17 on a kid in the "real world", it is very easy to do at Disney World. As previous posters have said, a kids meal at some of the character meals or other buffets or family style meals (Boma, Ohana, etc) a kids meal is much more than $17. It really depends on how you think you will eat. For my family, I can't feed my kids at WDW for less than the cost of the kids DDP. With the DDP each child can also get his/her own snack and I don't have to hear the whining about sharing, which is a sanity saver for me so I can enjoy my vacation too.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggerificamanda View Post
I don't remember anything about taxes. But, me and my ten year old meal share. The portions are SO huge it just doesn't make sense to order two servings. Because of this a lot times we only get the Quick service dinning plan.
Our next trip we went all out with the disney dinning deluxe plan! Excited about our character dining's with my DD6!
My 2 year old ate a kids QS meal all on her own

We do deluxe on our trips. Enjoy! We do lots of character meals - saves lots of time from standing in line at the parks!
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:38 PM   #14
sunnydays28
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The main reason we thought we would not do DP was my daughter's food allergies (dairy and citrus, no juices or soy milk), and it will be hard to substitute for every meal and her snack credits would be wasted, and as a family we only drink water and the occasional tea. But I took a second look because as I understand it, all the credits are there to be used by whomever, certainly dad and I could use up the snack credits while bringing her safe stuff into the park with us. We are only doing 2 sit-downs: Cinderella breakfast and Garden Grill lunch, and will be doing safe stuff in the room or quick service, and after looking at the QS menus, there is no way we will spend over $1000 on meals at WDW, so DP is not a good deal for us.

Thanks everyone, it was a big help to read your responses.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:38 PM   #15
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bummer about your daughter's food allergies. My 4 yr old has peanut allergies, I have always found the restaurants to be wonderfully helpful. (specifically TS) Most of the time, the Chef will come out to assist you with choices or preparing special meals to accommodate allergies. I would call with ADR's so the allergy can be noted, and then again when you arrive.
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