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Old 03-15-2013, 03:17 PM   #1
4Minnies1Mickey
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Dining Plan Value spreadsheet calculator

So I'm still somewhat new to the boards but I saw a post on the Touring Plans blog today and it seemed so cool I wanted to know if anyone has any experience with it. It sounds like a spreadsheet that you put in where you are going to eat and it tells you if you should get a dining plan and how much to budget if not. Anyone have any experience with this? I don't have Excel so I would need to go to my library. Should I???!?!


Here's the link http://blog.touringplans.com/2013/03...r-spreadsheet/
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:21 PM   #2
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I'll save you the trip to the library: Don't get the dining plan. It's not worth it.

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Old 03-15-2013, 03:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghtx
I'll save you the trip to the library: Don't get the dining plan. It's not worth it.

Perfect answer
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:33 PM   #4
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Just sit down with a pad of paper and a pencil. Make a daily list....where you'll eat and the cost, pp, for each meal. Be sure to be realistic. Too many times people 'think' they won't order more but they always do!!!
Figure out what counter service meals you'll have each day, pp, as well. And be sure to add in a snack pp each day. Then, add up each person's daily cost...1 table service meal, one counter service meal and a snack. Then, compare that to the daily cost of the dining plan.
Be sure to compare apples to apples though..if you'll want 2 or more dining credits a day, be sure to figure on that.
Also, be sure to add in tips when figuring the daily cost. Many people forget to add that to the daily cost of the ddp!!! And it can be sizable!
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:37 PM   #5
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We're going in August and considered a plan until reading DIS posts on the topic. There was a defnitite theme that the majority of people who had used a plan inthe past felt like they had to eat more because, hey, they already paid for it. So where ordinarily someone may not have ordered a desert they were etc.

We did some quick math and none of the plans made sense for us (2 adults/2 kids 9 & 11).
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ghtx View Post
I'll save you the trip to the library: Don't get the dining plan. It's not worth it.

Wow, that's not exactly true or helpful.

It all depends on how you & your family eats while on vacation. For some people it's not worth the money & for others it is. For my family, the dining plan has always saved us money. I think it's worth it to look at that spread sheet to see if the dining plan will work for you or to figure out how much money to budget for meals.
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goofy4tink View Post
Just sit down with a pad of paper and a pencil. Make a daily list....where you'll eat and the cost, pp, for each meal. Be sure to be realistic. Too many times people 'think' they won't order more but they always do!!!
Figure out what counter service meals you'll have each day, pp, as well. And be sure to add in a snack pp each day. Then, add up each person's daily cost...1 table service meal, one counter service meal and a snack. Then, compare that to the daily cost of the dining plan.
Be sure to compare apples to apples though..if you'll want 2 or more dining credits a day, be sure to figure on that.
Also, be sure to add in tips when figuring the daily cost. Many people forget to add that to the daily cost of the ddp!!! And it can be sizable!
I am pretty sure that this is exactly what the spreadsheet does.
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:40 PM   #8
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Here is the link to the You Tube video on how to use the spreadsheet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jMDgzoJLI8
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by MustangMike View Post
Wow, that's not exactly true or helpful.

It all depends on how you & your family eats while on vacation. For some people it's not worth the money & for others it is. For my family, the dining plan has always saved us money. I think it's worth it to look at that spread sheet to see if the dining plan will work for you or to figure out how much money to budget for meals.
Thanks for going first Mike. I too feel like my family has saved money by getting the plan (we go when free dining is offered). With kids you want to do the character meals. If I was paying out of pocket, I doubt that we would do more than 1 whereas we usually try for 3 or so.

But you know what, what works for one doesn't work for others. Until to actually do it, you will never know if it does or doesn't work for you.
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:51 PM   #10
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Moving to the dining board
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:57 PM   #11
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I tried figuring for the counter service plan before, and if I figured 2 counter service meals, plus a snack, plus about $4 a day towards the included mug, that it came out about even if I made sure to use every single credit. I think in my quote the counter service plan added about $38 per person per day to the quote. So I kind of decided against it, since if I didn't eat even one meal I would probably be losing money. And I would still have to pay for some breakfast donuts or snacks for the room, things like that. I suppose I could see some people wanting it just so they could say all the meals part of the costs were prepaid.
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freediverdude View Post
I tried figuring for the counter service plan before, and if I figured 2 counter service meals, plus a snack, plus about $4 a day towards the included mug, that it came out about even if I made sure to use every single credit. I think in my quote the counter service plan added about $38 per person per day to the quote. So I kind of decided against it, since if I didn't eat even one meal I would probably be losing money. And I would still have to pay for some breakfast donuts or snacks for the room, things like that. I suppose I could see some people wanting it just so they could say all the meals part of the costs were prepaid.
This is basically the advantage of the dining plan. It isn't so much that it saves you lots of money; it's that some people like the idea of not having to pay for meals OOP (feels more like an all-inclusive vacation).
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Old 03-15-2013, 05:38 PM   #13
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I always calculate out my dining expectations vs. dining plan, and I found that spreadsheet to be very close to my own calculations, so if you don't want to put in the time yourself, it can be a good resource.

It does require you to have some knowledge of what you're going to eat (you actually put in each restaurant) it simply saves you the trouble of actually looking at each menu.

I have us saving around $200 by not doing the dining plan.
- I included costs for 3 meals a day. Most are counter service, but I have 6 TS planned for a 7 night trip. (if we got the regular dining plan, we would only get 2 meals and a snack)
- We're planning a day at Universal, so I don't intend to eat TS at Disney that day.
- I planned in desserts and sodas a few times, but I don't expect we'll order them with every meal. We have a couple buffets planned, so we can get them there without an extra charge anyways. We can split desserts, or get them later if we choose to.
- I planned a snack for each of us every day.
- I planned on purchasing some food for our 2 year old. He will likely eat off our plates some, but I'm sure there will times when he eats something else.
- We are not big soda or coffee drinkers, so the resort mugs are a complete waste for us.

I prefer the flexibility of not having the dining plan. I'm one of those people who we be worried the whole time about getting the best "value" out of the dining plan, so any convenience would be lost on me.

You may find out something about yourself that is entirely different.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:47 PM   #14
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Thanks for the link, I think it sounds like it's worth checking out...
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:02 PM   #15
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thanks for the link to that excel spreadsheet! so awesome! i had already done rough calculations and because we are doing a grocery order and have a full kitchen, for our 8 night stay even with 4 character meals, 2 table service meals, a fantasmic dining magic, and snacks at the park everyday, we save about $400 off a dining plan for family of 4. so now i'm going to actually use the spreadsheet and see if my own rough estimates were appropriate. that was even with factoring in some alcoholic beverages, all tips and being really generous with daily snack budget. we do not drink any pop or milk or juice, kids drink only water we eat lots of fruits and vegetables and yogurt and protein drinks throughout the day and i really don't like the idea of not being able to order just an appetizer or share an adult meal with my kid with the dining plan. so given all these things, to be quite honest even if it was almost the same price for OOp versus DP I'd probably pick out of pocket for the flexibility of it and given the type of eaters my family has.
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