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Old 04-13-2013, 10:15 PM   #16
juliebug1997
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Originally Posted by gilby View Post
We have always done the 1 qs, snack and one table service and it is actually too much food. We usually have quite a few snacks left at the end of our stay.
You can always use your snacks for bottles of water. It makes it easy to stay hydrated if you use them that way.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:01 AM   #17
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Do the math to confirm whether it is a savings for you. My kids are young, but the DXDP always works out for us and saves us money. We don't do signatures (aside from CRT), but we do lots of character meals. We'll eat a TS breakfast, QS lunch, and TS dinner. It's a lot of food for one sitting, but we don't feel the need to lick our plates clean or anything... aside from that we eat 3x a day anyway so it's fine. I've never really understood the 'too much food' thing personally. We use about half our snacks and then cash them all in for treats to take home.

We did have the SPD special earlier this year. Receipt to cost comparison (not even including the 45 snacks we used!) came out to about $700 in savings. We cancelled a TS due to illness which would have made it a greater savings. Comparing to the full price DXDP it was about $100 less to go OOP but after I throw in all the snacks it still would have saved us a bit of money. Combined with the convenience, it's a no brainer for us.

It's definitely not for everyone, but it CAN absolutely save you money or be the convenience you're looking for. As long as you know what's what going into it and you've done the math, I'd say go for it.

That dining plan calculator came out crazy inaccurate for me. I prefer to use the old fashion pen and paper method.
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Old 04-15-2013, 06:38 PM   #18
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If your kids don't mind sitting for meals and you want to do character meals I'd say go for it. We're doing the DxDP for 9 days in August and the meal planning was very exciting for my husband and I. We planned and early breakfast and a late dinner each day,(all three girls are night owls) plenty of character meals, a handful of signature meals, so everyone will get what they're looking for. Three DD's 10, 7, and 5 are great restaurant diners, and although we have to pay adult prices for our ten year old, she's a 5 foot tall 90lb swimmer who can eat! She'd never survive off a kids menu anyway. I say it's vacation, it's a time to splurge, have fun with it! And as others have said, I think the extra food will be great to share with the little ones. They don't quite have to appetite for huge meals, but they do love to try mom and dad's food, so that works for us. We've done DDP for short trips and were able to make it work, but this time we felt like we would need more food for a nine day stretch. Have fun!!

Last edited by martinezmom3; 04-16-2013 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:46 AM   #19
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I have enjoyed the regular dining plan multiple times and it always has worked out well for us, at least in my mind! (admitting I've never done the actual math). We are actually thinking of going deluxe on our next trip, but here are the factors...

1) We have been to WDW many times now and are out of that phase where we feel like we need to be pounding the pavement from attraction to attraction as we did when we were relative newbies. Our first several trips especially (and especially when DD was younger and less patient at restaurants), I would not have wanted to be in a sit-down restaurant for a meal more than once a day.

2) We have dined at numerous one-table-service-credit restaurants and have enjoyed most! There are some we like to go to over and over. But we haven't tried many signature restaurants and I am ready to change that! My thinking is that most days we will have a lovely sit-down breakfast/character buffet in the morning and then dine signature in the evening.

When we were newbies with a young child, the regular Disney Dining Plan fit our needs perfectly.
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:44 PM   #20
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I have enjoyed the regular dining plan multiple times and it always has worked out well for us, at least in my mind! (admitting I've never done the actual math).
Mistake #1.

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Originally Posted by ShannonMB View Post
We are actually thinking of going deluxe on our next trip,
Mistake #2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShannonMB View Post
1) We have been to WDW many times now and are out of that phase where we feel like we need to be pounding the pavement from attraction to attraction as we did when we were relative newbies. Our first several trips especially (and especially when DD was younger and less patient at restaurants), I would not have wanted to be in a sit-down restaurant for a meal more than once a day.
It's hard to predict without running estimates. Did you make reservations yet? Do you know where you want to go?

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2) We have dined at numerous one-table-service-credit restaurants and have enjoyed most! There are some we like to go to over and over. But we haven't tried many signature restaurants and I am ready to change that! My thinking is that most days we will have a lovely sit-down breakfast/character buffet in the morning and then dine signature in the evening.
The signature restaurants usually count two TS points on the regular plan. I understand why you are thinking about the deluxe plan, but please, run the numbers first. The deluxe is almost always WORSE than the regular dining plan, which is almost always WORSE than OOP.

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When we were newbies with a young child, the regular Disney Dining Plan fit our needs perfectly.
How would you know? You never attempted to see if it was true.
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:59 PM   #21
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How would you know? You never attempted to see if it was true.
Notice I said the dining plan fit our needs, not that it was necessarily the most cost-effective way to dine at Disney. My needs include ease of plan, having meals paid for ahead of time, not counting every penny when my daughter wants a Mickey ice cream, etc.

I am a neonatal intensive care nurse. Making a mistake is giving a patient the wrong medication. NOT which dining plan my family chooses to utilize while vacationing in our happy place. But thanks for your concern!
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:16 PM   #22
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I am a neonatal intensive care nurse. Making a mistake is giving a patient the wrong medication. NOT which dining plan my family chooses to utilize while vacationing in our happy place. But thanks for your concern!
Love!!! Vacation how you want to vacation! Who books first class because the have too? They book it because they can, and they want to...if you love it, use it,,,if not don't
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:34 PM   #23
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Love!!! Vacation how you want to vacation! Who books first class because the have too? They book it because they can, and they want to...if you love it, use it,,,if not don't
Which is exactly why Disney will keep raising the price of the dining plan. People are willing to pay more for the "convenience" which makes absolutely no sense.
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:42 PM   #24
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Which is exactly why Disney will keep raising the price of the dining plan. People are willing to pay more for the "convenience" which makes absolutely no sense.
There are very few people who at some point throughout their day to day lives, don't pay more for convenience for something. Be it fast food, packaging for a certain product that you prefer, which gas station you choose, which gym you belong to...but every one of those is a decision that you make, no one forces you to. If you like the dining plan go for it, if you don't like it, thankfully, you have the option not to use it. It's really quite simple.
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:47 PM   #25
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Notice I said the dining plan fit our needs, not that it was necessarily the most cost-effective way to dine at Disney. My needs include ease of plan, having meals paid for ahead of time, not counting every penny when my daughter wants a Mickey ice cream, etc.
I'm not suggesting you count any pennies. You should be as carefree to spend OOP as you would on the plan. It will probably be just as expensive either way. I'm not telling you to eat less. I'm telling you that you're (probably) being overcharged for food with the DDP.

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I am a neonatal intensive care nurse. Making a mistake is giving a patient the wrong medication. NOT which dining plan my family chooses to utilize while vacationing in our happy place. But thanks for your concern!
If you cash your paycheck out in singles, make a big pile of bills and burn it every week, that's your business. It doesn't matter to me. Just don't be surprised if others think it foolish. Also don't be surprised if your advice to others to do the same is met with resistance.
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:52 PM   #26
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. We usually have quite a few snacks left at the end of our stay.
Perhaps a waste of money to be on the Plan if you are paying for it?
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:59 PM   #27
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The way we've done the deluxe plan is to use it for two table service meals a day, one being a 2 TS meal (e.g., signature, CRT, or dinner show) and the other being a 1 TS meal (which includes most character meals).

The minute you start using it for CS meals, the value prop (if there is any to begin with) vanishes quickly.

And as others have stated, trying to use it for 3 TS a day is too much food and takes too much time.

The value prop is better for kids than it is for adults, especially if you plan to eat a lot of character meals. The flip side, as has been mentioned by PPs, is that kids often find the signatures meals to be too long (these can easily last 1.5 to 2 hours). It's also tough to spread lunches and dinners far enough apart with kids (i.e, picking an ADR time such that the adults are hungry enough for dinner without it being too late for the kids).

That being said, we've used the deluxe plan on two trips and have had good results using it for two TS meals a day, as described above.

On the first trip, we upgraded from free dining and our party was me, DW, DS8, DD2, and MIL.

On the second trip, our party was the same, except it was with my parents instead of my MIL (on that trip, we were treating them and sort of forced into the DxDP because my parents would never have agreed to pay those prices OOP - instead, I told my dad I got a "deal" like on the Seinfeld "tip calculator" episode).

On both trips, it helped that the adults outnumbered the kids as far as dining at the signatures went.

On our next planned trip, DS will be 10 and there's no way I'm paying $100 a day for him to eat. So we'll likely pay OOP with TIW (mostly letting DS order off the kids' menu - which at most signatures is still a very substantial meal for a 10 YO).
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:01 PM   #28
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Lol, apologies OP, did you ever get an answer to your actual question! Three TS (app, entree, dessert, non alcoholic drink) per day, can also be used as a QS (but wouldn't seem to be as good of a deal), and two snacks, per person, per day. We chose this for our upcoming stay and were able to schedule lots of character meals, and handful of signature meals, and some interesting looking TS meals in Epcot and BOG. We basically planned an early breakfast and a later dinner, and plan to use the snack credits to fill the gaps at lunchtime when we need them. We ran numbers and it saves us money, while allowing us to splurge on a few things that we may be hesitant to try, if we were on a stricter budget this trip. So, add it up, see what you think, and have a blast!!!
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:05 PM   #29
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The signature restaurants usually count two TS points on the regular plan. I understand why you are thinking about the deluxe plan, but please, run the numbers first. The deluxe is almost always WORSE than the regular dining plan, which is almost always WORSE than OOP.
We have done the deluxe 4 times so far in the past 3 years and we always come out ahead with the plan. We have 4 kids under the age of 9 and do 1 character meal a day and 1 signature a day and we have saved around $400 after paying tips after each stay. It all depends where you eat and how you plan things. The Deluxe plan work for us and we love it. It's the best of both world IMO.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:55 PM   #30
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I know two year olds vary widely in what they eat, how much they eat, etc., but when we traveled to Disney with our two year old, we found the fixed price buffets/family style all-you-can-eat meals to be of good value to our family since our two year old could get his own plate of food and not be charged. Otherwise, if we went to a counter-service location or a non-buffet table service restaurant, we had to pay for a separate meal for him, or he was expected to share off of my or my husband's plate (which was fine, but affected what meal we chose to order for ourselves).

In your case, assuming you would like your two year olds to have meals rather than share off of your plates, I would think that the buffets/family-style options would work out well for you since you wouldn't need to buy your toddlers separate meals. Additionally, these meals often are quicker than most table-service, non-buffet locations since you simply get seated, grab a plate, and can begin your meal. (The only thing that's a pain is working your way through a buffet line with young kids.)

If you think the buffets/family-style meals are how you'd like to eat, the dining plan generally saves you money over buying the same meals OOP.
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