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Old 04-03-2013, 01:08 PM   #1
jpessa
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To DP or not to DP? Help me with my math!

OK this will be a rather long post, so thanks for sticking with me and giving me your thoughts! I was originally dead set AGAINST doing DDP this next trip. Last 2 trips with DH, DD and I (DH was 2 or under so didn’t pay), we got FD as part of our fall deal. This time, arriving September 29th for 6 nights, it’s just DD and I (she will be 3). We’re staying at AoA, LM rooms, so I know there will be no FD or room discount. Which is OK, because I priced it and it’s about the same to do the LM room and add Dining than switching to POR with FD if they offer it, and I’d rather stay at AoA LM rooms this time (usually go moderates, but this is for her and she LOVES Ariel).

So I thought, since it’s just me and DD, I’m mostly going to do CS. We’re on a budget, and it’s easier and cheaper. Therefore, no dining plan needed. Then I started doing my research and put a tentative plan together. I went on allears.net to check menus and prices, and when I add it all up, well… tell me if I got this right (everything is for one adult, one child and for me I only get an entrée, and I included 6% tax):

Day 1:
Lunch at AoA: $18
Dinner at Pecos Bill: $17
Day 2:
Breakfast in room
Lunch at Tamu Tamu: $19 (I didn’t see any kid menu options?)
Dinner for me at the Food & Wine Festival: $40 (guesstimating)
Dinner for her at a CS (babysitting done by in-laws): $8
Day 3:
Breakfast at Tusker House: $54
Lunch at AoA: $18
Dinner at Be Our Guest: $35
Day 4:
Breakfast in room
Lunch at Tangierine: $21
Dinner out in Orlando somewhere: $30 (guesstimating)
Day 5:
Breakfast in room
Lunch at Be Our Guest: $22
Dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table: $107 (already paid this… whoa! but a must-do for me this trip)
Day 6:
Breakfast in room
Lunch at a tbd CS in HS (I know, I know!): $18
Dinner at AoA: $18
Day 7:
Breakfast in Room
Lunch at Cosmic Ray’s: $17

Add to that I will likely spend $5 per day on snacks ($5 x 6 days = $30) even though I pack most of my own... try telling a 3 y.o. she can't have a Mickey ice cream every day of her vacation.

So before any tips (I want to compare apples to apples with getting the DP or not), I’m looking at spending about $472. Does this look right?

The Dining Plan for the 6 nights would be $436.

In my plan I have 9 CS and 4 TS (CRT counts for 2), but could easily do 2 more TS instead of CS. I wouldn’t go into Orlando to eat. I’d have to pay 2 additional tips than originally planned but we’re only looking at $20 more. I’d use most of my snack credits on the F&W festival, so that would be almost free. I’d have to pay for 2 CS meals out of pocket, so another $36. This reasoning brings my total WITH dining plan and OOP expenses (before equivalent tips) to $492 vs. all OOP $472 (before equivalent tips).

What do you think? Is my math right? Am I losing my marbles over-planning this vacation? It was so much easier when I had FD, I didn’t have to think about it! What would YOU do?

Thanks!
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:03 PM   #2
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I didn't do all the math but the only thing that looks off to me may be Tusker House. I don't think breakfast for 1 adult and 1 child in September is that expensive......I just went through this very same thing. Tried to get the ddp NOT to work for us, but we are doing "Ohana, Tusker Housee, Akershus dinner (all at peak season prices and are doing dinner at F&G using our snack credits) and Cape May dinner, so the ddp is actually saving us money and we get desserts and drinks with our cs meals that we wouldn't usually order. We almost never do a ddp anymore, but if you know your prices and where you are going to eat it is easy to do the math. Sometimes it actually DOES save you money.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:11 PM   #3
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Usually if you have a child and are doing a lot of character meals, then the dining plan saves you money. You are doing BOG for counter service, so you would definitely save money on that meal. Tusker House for breakfast was great, so that is a good one. You would need a few more expensive table service meals to make the dining plan pay off for you. There are a lot of character meals that a 3 year old would love.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eeyoresmom View Post
I didn't do all the math but the only thing that looks off to me may be Tusker House. I don't think breakfast for 1 adult and 1 child in September is that expensive......I just went through this very same thing. Tried to get the ddp NOT to work for us, but we are doing "Ohana, Tusker Housee, Akershus dinner (all at peak season prices and are doing dinner at F&G using our snack credits) and Cape May dinner, so the ddp is actually saving us money and we get desserts and drinks with our cs meals that we wouldn't usually order. We almost never do a ddp anymore, but if you know your prices and where you are going to eat it is easy to do the math. Sometimes it actually DOES save you money.
Yes, thanks for the tips, I assumed highest prices at Tusker House as allears.net showed a range, but the differences were not that great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood Nymph View Post
Usually if you have a child and are doing a lot of character meals, then the dining plan saves you money. You are doing BOG for counter service, so you would definitely save money on that meal. Tusker House for breakfast was great, so that is a good one. You would need a few more expensive table service meals to make the dining plan pay off for you. There are a lot of character meals that a 3 year old would love.
Agreed, if I did the DP I would add 1900 Park Fare for dinner an Akershus for a late breakfast/brunch (Princess crazy maybe?)

I would also do snacks as meals instead of an extra CS one day or eat in the room, etc. I've done DP before and there is so much food it's easy to fill up.

So far, 2 for DP. Keep 'em coming!
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:39 PM   #5
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Based on your info, sounds like the DP is a no-brainer. I love the idea of the addition of Akershus and 1900. Good call!
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaBelle View Post
Based on your info, sounds like the DP is a no-brainer. I love the idea of the addition of Akershus and 1900. Good call!
I agree!

Sounds like a really fun trip! I wish I had done things like this when my kids were little~
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:15 PM   #7
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Yeah, I already have my ADRs for 1900 and Akershus, just in case I get the DP. I will give it time to sink in.
Originally I thought I could get away with $300 on food, but then I want this and that. Oy! Looks like $500 now. "sigh"
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:58 AM   #8
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Not usually a fan of the DDP in any form, but in your case, a child under 10 and character meals you hit the winning combo for a DDP to be in your favor! With character dining you will also lose less park time to character meet and greets since those meals make meet and greets so easy.
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Old 04-04-2013, 03:08 PM   #9
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It looks like the DDP plan works for you! I would get it and enjoy a couple more TS meals. Our Akerhus meal in Nov (me and DD9) actually cost more than the DP for the whole day, so our Sunshine Seasons breakfast/lunch (late breakfast for lunch after granola bars in the room for early breakfast LOL) and afternoon snack were free that day.

I can't see a way for the DDP to cost more for 1 adult and 1 child if you are eating at character meals or buffets.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:25 AM   #10
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Seems like a no-brainer

Assuming all your totals are correct, I would most definetly do the DP. More TS meals means a nice break for a sit-down meal some time during the day/night, with AC. Its nice to pay with a credit instead of having to mess with how much each menu item costs, and how much you have left in your budget...more time to spend having fun! We also find already having our ADRs and schedule planned in advance leads to less confusion and indecisiveness about what to eat & where. I think the DP works the best for people with children under 10, because they save a bunch on character meals. Enjoy your trip!
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:31 PM   #11
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Use the calculator....

The Disney Dining Plan Calculator, it's an Excel spreadsheet, another thread has the details... I have downloaded it and it is a useful tool.

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3050182
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:41 PM   #12
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Count me in as another vote for the DP. In most cases you can come out considerably cheaper by paying OOP but in the case of a child's pricing and eating at character buffets the DP usually works out to be the better deal
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:21 PM   #13
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I would choose the dining plan. You have done your OOP research and DDP is a better value. I really enjoy the DDP and would not want to go without it. We had many TS meals cost more than the daily cost of plan. Tips are based on what meal would have costed so they are higher but that's ok with me. Even the peace of mine my trip is paid for is more enjoyable to me.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:32 AM   #14
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Another vote for the DP. We always get it even when it's not free simply because it makes more sense with all the character meals we do.
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