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Old 03-14-2013, 10:28 AM   #16
Nina1
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Originally Posted by amomma23
The plan works perfectly for us, too. We like to get out early for RD, so granola bars and juice boxes (brought from home or delivered) make a good quick breakfast. Since we had a small breakfast, we're ready for a QS lunch around 11:00-11:30 (allowing us to beat the lunch rush). We plan a TS meal for dinner so we can sit down and talk about our day. Snacks get used here and there for drinks and treats, and any leftovers are used to bring some home.
This sounds almost exactly like what we do. Except, we have several cases of water delivered to the resort, so we use snacks for treats, fruit or something like a bagel with peanut butter for our son for breakfast. We love the convenience of the dining plan, have our favorite restaurants and, while we don't eat dessert with lunch and dinner everyday when we are at home 1. We are on vacation, so we treat ourselves when we want it 2. We don't stuff ourselves and stop eating when we are full 3. There are healthy dessert options at most places and there always is the option of taking back to the resort. And finally, based on how we eat when at WDW, the DDP saves us money, when we have paid for it. We have had FD the last four years and use this discount when we stay at POFQ. When we stay at the Wilderness Lodge, room discount promos outweigh the FD, though, and we pay OOP for the DDP.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:19 PM   #17
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We'd be two adults, one child, one under three, with a few character breakfasts. My husband and I drink a soft drink with meals and usually get an appetizer or dessert. Sometimes both - we enjoy eating, I won't lie.

This was one or two TS meals and one QS a day. Maybe I'm the right demographic for it or something but the DP is coming up the winner even if I plan to bring in some food and most drinks from outside.
You are absolutely the right demographic! Families with children under 10 who want to do character meals usually find the DDP a savings over paying OOP since those character meals are so darn expensive! My 13-year old DD is a fussy vegetarian "Disney Adult" and it just doesn't work for us. There is no way she would eat $57 worth of food every day even though her father and I would give it a good try.

It looks like this might be your first trip back as an adult. Is that true? I have two pieces of advise: (1) If you're on the DDP, do a character lunch or dinner. Don't waste your precious morning eating unless you are doing at an absolutely dead time. You will be able to take advantage of the lower morning crowds and your kids will appreciate the "down time" later in the day. (2) Run your numbers without the desserts at the CS restaurants. With a couple of notable exceptions, they are pretty nasty. I felt bad throwing out desserts after a while and then just started asking for a side of grapes instead. Yeah, the grapes are fine but that little package is no where near the $4.00 (with tax) that you probably used to calculate the value of the DDP.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:51 PM   #18
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I really like the DDP, and I think it works great, and saves me $. My DD needs a TS break every day to reset her sensory clock's tolerance for WDW. We like character meals and buffets. We occasionally share a CS for a late breakfast when we do RD (we eat granola bars early on those days to take the edge off for a few hours) or for dinner after a later TS lunch.

I also like not looking at prices and getting dessert.

It definitely works for some people, I think people with kids who do character meals and buffets fall into that group.
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:02 PM   #19
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I get it every time, both kids under 10. For my sanity, I need to sit and have a peaceful TS every day and won't cook in the room even if there is a kitchen. This trip I planned out our ADRs and then calculated the cost which was $125 less, for the entire week, than the DDP. So for me it was a no-brainer, for $125 we're getting 21 QS meals, 21 snacks, and 3 refillable mugs. If they're older or we did less character meals or didn't eat TS every day maybe not but for now, it definitely works for us.
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:42 PM   #20
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I get it every time, both kids under 10. For my sanity, I need to sit and have a peaceful TS every day and won't cook in the room even if there is a kitchen. This trip I planned out our ADRs and then calculated the cost which was $125 less, for the entire week, than the DDP. So for me it was a no-brainer, for $125 we're getting 21 QS meals, 21 snacks, and 3 refillable mugs. If they're older or we did less character meals or didn't eat TS every day maybe not but for now, it definitely works for us.
So you spend $125 more, have to give Disney your money ahead of time for food that may not be consumed (trip gets canceled, people get sick at Disney, etc.), lose some flexibility (in case you want to skip some meals at that moment if having too much fun). Doesn't make sense to me.
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:26 PM   #21
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So you spend $125 more, have to give Disney your money ahead of time for food that may not be consumed (trip gets canceled, people get sick at Disney, etc.), lose some flexibility (in case you want to skip some meals at that moment if having too much fun). Doesn't make sense to me.
I think she was saying that just for the cost of the TS meals, it was $125 less than the dining plan. But with the plan and she will get QS, snacks and mugs. I don't think there is any way she could get all that for less than $125 OOP.
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:43 PM   #22
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I think she was saying that just for the cost of the TS meals, it was $125 less than the dining plan. But with the plan and she will get QS, snacks and mugs. I don't think there is any way she could get all that for less than $125 OOP.
Gotcha. Makes sense when you reread it.
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:42 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by geckodani
It saves us money. Maybe not a ton, but I've run the numbers several times against what we have actually ordered, and it always comes out ahead. We are two Disney Adults, and here's our general eating pattern:

Quick Service Breakfast, usually at the resort. I tried eating a granola bar and having an instant breakfast in the room and was starving a few hours later, so we do a solid breakfast now. We do not generally use a dining credit for breakfast, we pay OOP for breakfast since those items are generally cheaper, and then use a credit for lunch.

Quick Service Lunch in the parks.

Snack; sometimes it's a coffee, sometimes it's the sinfully good cinnamon roasted pecans in Epcot ...

Table Service Dinner. Yes, every night. We've tried doing the big meal in the middle of the day, and it just doesn't work for us. This way we spend the morning and afternoon without worrying about an ADR.

I've run it five ways to Sunday, and we still come out ahead. I even calculated what it would have cost on this last trip we took where we spent a day at Sea World and Medeival Times, and it was the ONLY case in which we would not have saved money if we had the DDP (we didn't), since we weren't on property for the equivalent of two TS meals.

ETA: I just realized that I hadn't even taken snacks into account when I ran the numbers, so we DEFINITELY come out ahead, even if we use the snack credits on a $2.50 pop. Didn't take tax into account either, so the prices I was using for OOP were even lower than the actual cost, making it that much better. You have to pay tips either way, so those are a non issue for me.
But would you have ordered what you did if you weren't on the plan? Most people order the most expensive menu items to maximize value of the plan - did you? Also, 99% of people not on the plan don't get CS dessert - would you have? And Would you have bought all of the snacks? What I'm saying is that it's not apples to apples. the plan will give you convenience, but won't save you money. I argue that you should put the money on a gift card instead and pay for meals that way..
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:24 PM   #24
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We go with the deluxe dining plan. A table service restaurant for lunch and a signature restaurant for dinner every day. Works out great for us. We saved well over 300.00 last time.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:30 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by honeymo78 View Post
I think she was saying that just for the cost of the TS meals, it was $125 less than the dining plan. But with the plan and she will get QS, snacks and mugs. I don't think there is any way she could get all that for less than $125 OOP.
That's what I meant, even if I could manage CS for $18/day for the 3 of us (maybe sharing 2 adult CS between us 3?) I'd still have to get at least a few snacks throughout the week so even though I wouldn't normally get 3 snacks per day and I wouldn't get the mug for any of us let alone all of us, it was still a savings.
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:35 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by davedmaine View Post
But would you have ordered what you did if you weren't on the plan? Most people order the most expensive menu items to maximize value of the plan - did you? Also, 99% of people not on the plan don't get CS dessert - would you have? And Would you have bought all of the snacks? What I'm saying is that it's not apples to apples. the plan will give you convenience, but won't save you money. I argue that you should put the money on a gift card instead and pay for meals that way..
When I add up what we would most likely order if we were paying OOP and then compare it to the DxDDP, the DxDDP saves me about $400. While it may not work for you, it DOES work for some of us.
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:56 PM   #27
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We go with the DXDP and save. We do a TS breakfast, TS dinner and a QS lunch each day. Most are character meals. We have 2 child priced children. I'll have to re-evaluate when my oldest (now 7) turns 10 since she's a whopping 37 lbs and will in no way eat enough to make the adult pricing even out. She also prefers macaroni and fruit which isn't much of a hot commodity on the adult menus lol.

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When I add up what we would most likely order if we were paying OOP and then compare it to the DxDDP, the DxDDP saves me about $400. While it may not work for you, it DOES work for some of us.
I agree. The DXDP is hard to save on, but it DOES happen.

I did the same math as everyone else. At full price the DXDP was about $100 more than OOP, but I didn't include any snacks at all. We easily spend that much in snacks throughout the trip. With the SPD we had on our trip in February we ended up saving about $700 in meals alone AND had to cancel our last breakfast because of an illness, so it would have been more. Factoring in the 50 or so snack credits we used would have increased the savings even more.

We ordered what we wanted and didn't look at the prices. Even if it was $100 more for the DXDP I'd still do it. I love that everyone gets an appetizer and dessert - we wouldn't always order an appetizer OOP and we would RARELY order a dessert (and no, I didn't add those on to my OOP comparisons. I legit went with what we'd probably order). It is more food at a single sitting (we eat 3 meals a day) than we would normally eat, but I don't feel the need to lick my plate clean by any means. If I ordered the same meal OOP I still wouldn't be finishing it. The portions don't change.
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:21 PM   #28
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That's an extremely good point. This would be the first time going for us, and really for any kind of long trip that didn't involve staying with relatives. I have no idea if we'd have the same habits every day as we do for occasional eating out.

I guess it's a bit of a risk either way. Go OOP, find we do eat the same way, and be out $, or go DP, find we don't, and be out $. Lol!
I think many families who do the DxDP do signatures so some of their dinners are 2TS credits.

We are using DDP with 4 of us, two teens that LOVE desert. Itnwill be our first time using the DDP. We rarely order dessert out! The deciding factor For me on this trip is that my DH by the third day or so is adding up the meals in his head and becomes a bear because he feels cash being sucked out of his account! We cruised for the first time a few years ago and he kept saying all the way home how the fact that everything was paid for made the trip so much more enjoyable. Our bill was only close to $1000.00. He had no clue how much the trip or excursions cost! Money isn't tight for us, he was raised dirt poor and physically spending money puts him overthe edge! That said we eat out 4 or more times a week depending on schedules. So OOP wouldn't be so much different than at home but Inguess he feels more in control of it.

I figure we try it once and see how it goes!
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:28 PM   #29
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We will definitely come out ahead on the dining plan. We have a DD4 (will be 5 by our trip) and DD3. When crunching the number, the adults will be ahead by a little, but for the girls, we'll be ahead by a good bit. We are doing 3 character meals, and the cost of those alone will be a bit more than what we will pay for their DDP. So their lunches/snacks will be "free". I know they won't eat all of their food all the time, and I'm sure some of the adults won't either. But the convenience of it is SO worth it to us. DH loves being able to sit down and look at a menu and not worry about the price, just order whatever the heck he wants.

We are also taking my MIL on this trip, and she hasn't been to Disney since the late 80s...so of course she has never been on the DDP. Her mind is going to be BLOWN!
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:52 AM   #30
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I ran the numbers and we are going to save money doing the DxDP. I will have one child-aged kid and two under-threes.

We plan on doing a Character Buffet every morning before park openings, a light lunch, and then Signature Dinners for the adults (one adult stay with sleeping kids).

Though we typically eat lighter at home, when we go on vacation we like to eat well. We always order apps and a dessert. DH and my inlaws will get coffee with bkfast and dinner. So it works for us. Plus, we will have a ton of snack credits to use for lunch at F&W on our 2 epcot days.
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