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Old 02-05-2013, 12:20 PM   #1
TKH
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 178

How the DDP worked for us...

Just a quick run-down, in case it's helpful to anyone. We're a family of 5 - 2 adults and 3 children (ages 3, 7, 8). We just got back from WDW, and we had purchased the regular dining plan. One snack, one counter service, one table service per day. It was $1,138 for a 7 night stay. We didn't go out of our way to order the most expensive things, but also didn't limit ourselves to cheaper items or share foods.

Chef Mickey's - $144
Hollywood and Vine - $122
Teppan Edo - $150
50's Primetime - $105
Yak and Yeti - $95
T-Rex - $90
Biergarten - $122
Counter Service total - $375
Snack total - $158
Refillable mugs - $85
GRAND TOTAL - $1,446

Now, if we didn't have the dining plan, we would have ordered a few things differently. For example, we probably would have had more water to drink, and we would not have ever ordered dessert. I would have shared some meals with my 3 year old, since he doesn't eat much. I figure that paying OOP, we would have spent $693 on table service, $300 on counter service (this is because my 3 year old would have shared more, but my 8 year old would have ordered off the adult menu a few times), and $80 on snacks. We would not have purchased the mugs. So the total OOP would have been $1,073. So, we're $65 off from what the DDP cost was. No tips have been included, and of course tips were higher because of ordering more food with the DDP.

All things considered, we would not do the dining plan again. We found it too stressful to get to each ADR, and we generally appreciate a more flexible, go-with-the-flow style of touring. These were restaurants we wanted to try though, and this was a good time to do it because the kids were all still counted as 'children'. No way would the dining plan be of value once our 8 year old is considered a Disney Adult. Also, it was just too much food. We felt forced to get snacks when we weren't hungry. We ended up with 3 leftover CS credits, but a CM at Contempo Cafe suggested to trade them in for 9 rice krispie bars on the morning of our departure. We did that. It was a good experience but kind of a been-there-done-that for us, and next time we'll probably order groceries and eat a few TS and CS meals. We did enjoy being able to order what we wanted and not worry about paying.

Hopefully that's helpful to someone! Any questions, just ask!
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