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Old 04-03-2013, 06:59 PM   #1
jpessa
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To DP or not to DP???

I posted this in the Dining Plan sub-forum but posting here too. Thanks!

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, 07:14 PM   #2
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I can't help you with the math part, but...when I went just my son and I, I didn't do the dining plan. By about day 2, we were sharing most meals. Otherwise it was just way too much food.

Value wise, too much food might be a good thing, but it was also just a big waste. Counter service, we could share a kids meal and sides at most places and then get a snack later. Table service we mostly did buffets but I would imagine an entree and appetizer would've filled us somewhere else.

Obviously you've planned what you think you'll eat already though, so...YMMV.
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:27 PM   #3
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My husband and I did the dining plan on our honeymoon last July and are doing it for our vacation this December. However, we are two adults. I think if you have just you and a kid, the DDP will be too much food. Each CS and TS you get an entree, dessert, and drink. It was almost too much food for us but we wanted to not have to worry about getting the most expensive items on the menu since it was a special trip. I find that by the end of your trip, your daughter will most likely have started sharing food from your plate.

Once she gets older, the DP might be worth it. It is to us just to have everything prepaid. With her being so young, I think you'd do just fine without it. Have an amazing trip!!
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CtinaDitty View Post
I find that by the end of your trip, your daughter will most likely have started sharing food from your plate.
Although I know it will be too much food, even if she starts sharing my plates the most I will save over the few times will be about $20, which still makes it on par with the dining plan as far as how much I spend. I think, that since I'm spending the money, I'd rather not worry about menu choices like you mentioned, and also do more character dining instead of CS for the same price.

Thanks for your reply!
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:11 PM   #5
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When I do the math on the dining plan compared to what we would just do on our own, I come out about the same. For our family of 4, the dining plan is something like $1020 (w/o tip). Doing it OOP, including tax & tips, my math puts us at like $1008.

But when I do it my way, I get the appetizers when I want and a bit of liquor here and there rather than the standard entree/dessert of the dining plan. I would also prefer to share meals with DH, and I know the kids would rather share a meal and get a snack/ice cream later in the day.

So we decided against the DP just for the flexibility.
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CtinaDitty View Post
My husband and I did the dining plan on our honeymoon last July and are doing it for our vacation this December. However, we are two adults. I think if you have just you and a kid, the DDP will be too much food. Each CS and TS you get an entree, dessert, and drink. It was almost too much food for us but we wanted to not have to worry about getting the most expensive items on the menu since it was a special trip. I find that by the end of your trip, your daughter will most likely have started sharing food from your plate.

Once she gets older, the DP might be worth it. It is to us just to have everything prepaid. With her being so young, I think you'd do just fine without it. Have an amazing trip!!
Actually, the way I see it is.... the DDP is a waste UNLESS you have children. Once they are paying adult prices, I rather switch to OOP.

You may be saving some money if you actually were going to buy a dessert with every meal and ordering the most expensive item on each menu, but that gets old quick. With all adults, it's better off just ordering what you want and paying for it... most likely you will save money if you compare both side by side.

As for kids, the DDP is pretty cheap. You will definitely save money there.
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albytaps

Actually, the way I see it is.... the DDP is a waste UNLESS you have children. Once they are paying adult prices, I rather switch to OOP.

You may be saving some money if you actually were going to buy a dessert with every meal and ordering the most expensive item on each menu, but that gets old quick. With all adults, it's better off just ordering what you want and paying for it... most likely you will save money if you compare both side by side.

As for kids, the DDP is pretty cheap. You will definitely save money there.
I completely agree! When our gang becomes Disney adults we Will discontinue ddp.
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