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Old 06-21-2013, 10:15 PM   #16
TwinkleKS
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We do it #1 for convenience.

And we eat mainly character meals / buffets so doing that we end up okay when we go back and do the math on it.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:16 PM   #17
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I'm thinking that we'll either choose the TiW card, or eat off property for the most part, and choose a few favorites at disney.

It's becoming less expensive renting a car and going out to eat.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:27 PM   #18
sharonabe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinkleKS View Post
We do it #1 for convenience.

And we eat mainly character meals / buffets so doing that we end up okay when we go back and do the math on it.
And you must have Disney kids. For adults, even the character meals are no longer a guarantee of saving any money on the DDP. Except for Chef Mickey and Akershus, they are all under $40 even at dinner and under $30 for breakfast. So, you still have to "spend" $19 on your QS and snack to break even when doing a character dinner and you'd have to "spend" $29 if doing a breakfast.

But if you have kids, their character buffet is usually right at the cost of the DDP for the day, so their QS and snack are free which would be a savings and the adults break even or save a buck or two.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:51 PM   #19
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I did the math by looking at every menu and what we would order. At pretty much every place our sit down meal is the same price as the entire day on the dining plan. So we are getting our snacks, beverages, & QS for free! I know a PP said this was true for kids & we do have three on the kid plan. But this was the case for us too. We love the dining plan & feel it really adds to the experience of our trip. We wouldn't eat at all the restaurants if not for the plan and those dining experiences are now such a big part of our vacation.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:04 PM   #20
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I did the math by looking at every menu and what we would order. At pretty much every place our sit down meal is the same price as the entire day on the dining plan. So we are getting our snacks, beverages, & QS for free! I know a PP said this was true for kids & we do have three on the kid plan. But this was the case for us too. We love the dining plan & feel it really adds to the experience of our trip. We wouldn't eat at all the restaurants if not for the plan and those dining experiences are now such a big part of our vacation.
This exactly. My husband told me to just get the dining plan, but i couldn't do it without justifying it to myself. I did the spreadsheet comparison and by the 3rd day we had already exceeded half the cost of the dining plan for 7 days.

In real life, i cook at home most days. if we do eat we usually order water, never dessert. But in Disneyworld if my kids want the sundae, I want to tell them YES and not worry about the cost. I'm so frugal in normal life that vacation for me is a vacation from that mindset, too. Plus as I started to look through our ADRs to see which one I might eliminate, I realized that we wanted all of them. I allow myself this one week not to worry about it.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:10 PM   #21
Terpgirl79
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I used to enjoy the DDP when the tip was included. I find it's way too much food to get our money's worth and I'm so sick of fighting for ADR's. it's taken a lot of fun out of Disney dining for me. We just do great QS anymore.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:15 PM   #22
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We have free dining for our trip in September, so we're definitely coming out ahead , but we would have paid for it anyway (and have), for several reasons.

I did the spreadsheet and it said I would save a couple of hundred bucks. However, I went around myself and priced out every single item we would eat and it appears we would have come out ahead doing the DDP. Could we eat cheaper OOP? Yes, if we shared meals, ordered just appetizers as our meal, or we adults ate kids' meals. However, that's not something we ever do anywhere else, so I'm not going to do it at Disney. And yes, the convenience of having pre paid food is very nice, too.

Oh, and we get another set of refillable mugs, so--once again, totally worth it.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:38 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by honeybunches View Post
This exactly. My husband told me to just get the dining plan, but i couldn't do it without justifying it to myself. I did the spreadsheet comparison and by the 3rd day we had already exceeded half the cost of the dining plan for 7 days.

In real life, i cook at home most days. if we do eat we usually order water, never dessert. But in Disneyworld if my kids want the sundae, I want to tell them YES and not worry about the cost. I'm so frugal in normal life that vacation for me is a vacation from that mindset, too. Plus as I started to look through our ADRs to see which one I might eliminate, I realized that we wanted all of them. I allow myself this one week not to worry about it.
You couldn't have said it any better.

You sound just like me! My oldest daughter will be 11 on our next trip which means another adult charge for the dining plan. I crunched the numbers because I just knew we would be money ahead if paying OOP since she might not always order the adult entree. I had to find out which way would be cheaper. When calculating it, I also took into account sharing, me ordering a kid's meal occasionally, us not getting a dessert after lunch every day, sharing desserts for dinner or skipping, etc.--things we might really do. I didn't go crazy and say I would only eat an appetizer for dinner or I would order a kid's meal every day. I looked at the menu and truly put down what I thought we would do, not all what we would get with the dining plan. I was shocked to find that even with all the cutbacks we wouldn't save by paying OOP. Rather, we would SAVE $80 and get MORE (dessert after every dinner, snacks every day, nobody has to share if they want something different, etc.) by doing the dining plan. I was very surprised!

You perfectly summed up how I feel regarding vacation too. I too am very frugal, and we don't eat out often. I loved how you said you wanted a break from that mindset. That's exactly how I feel. I also tried to cut some TS restaurants from the line up to lower costs further but that's part of the vacation we really look forward to.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Howgreat View Post
We have free dining for our trip in September, so we're definitely coming out ahead , but we would have paid for it anyway (and have), for several reasons.

I did the spreadsheet and it said I would save a couple of hundred bucks. However, I went around myself and priced out every single item we would eat and it appears we would have come out ahead doing the DDP. Could we eat cheaper OOP? Yes, if we shared meals, ordered just appetizers as our meal, or we adults ate kids' meals. However, that's not something we ever do anywhere else, so I'm not going to do it at Disney. And yes, the convenience of having pre paid food is very nice, too.

Oh, and we get another set of refillable mugs, so--once again, totally worth it.
We do like the convenience. We also could make even more cuts like you suggested and only order appetizers, but I don't want to restrict myself to the point I'm not enjoying it anymore. We were surprised by the amount the refillable mug saved us too.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:44 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by disneybliss2 View Post

You couldn't have said it any better.

You sound just like me! My oldest daughter will be 11 on our next trip which means another adult charge for the dining plan. I crunched the numbers because I just knew we would be money ahead if paying OOP since she might not always order the adult entree. I had to find out which way would be cheaper. When calculating it, I also took into account sharing, me ordering a kid's meal occasionally, us not getting a dessert after lunch every day, sharing desserts for dinner or skipping, etc.--things we might really do. I didn't go crazy and say I would only eat an appetizer for dinner or I would order a kid's meal every day. I looked at the menu and truly put down what I thought we would do, not all what we would get with the dining plan. I was shocked to find that even with all the cutbacks we wouldn't save by paying OOP. Rather, we would SAVE $80 and get MORE (dessert after every dinner, snacks every day, nobody has to share if they want something different, etc.) by doing the dining plan. I was very surprised!

You perfectly summed up how I feel regarding vacation too. I too am very frugal, and we don't eat out often. I loved how you said you wanted a break from that mindset. That's exactly how I feel. I also tried to cut some TS restaurants from the line up to lower costs further but that's part of the vacation we really look forward to.

We do like the convenience. We also could make even more cuts like you suggested and only order appetizers, but I don't want to restrict myself to the point I'm not enjoying it anymore. We were surprised by the amount the refillable mug saved us too.
Isn't it fun to take that break and just enjoy? We LOVE the mugs too.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:46 PM   #25
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I don't think its worth it for us but not in a monetary way. We didn't like the constraints of the DDP on our last trip.
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Old 06-22-2013, 12:11 AM   #26
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We are here now, and not doing the DDP, we have done it in the past. there are 4 of us, 2 adults/2 'kids' (6 & 10) so my daughter would have been charged adult price. We have been keeping track, after I predicted that it would be cheaper for us to pay oop... we leave tomorrow and are at about 400 less than it would cost for us to do DDP.
That said, we are not dessert eaters and didn't do snacks every day, we had some snacks in our hotel and stuff but not more than twice at the parks... We also did not order the most expensive thing on the menu. My total also includes my husband getting about 2 beers with most table service meals.
We ate at:
Shutters, Big River Brewery, Le Chefs in France, Le Cellier, Whispering Canyon, Crystal Palace for our table service and a bunch of counter service. My dd ordered off the kid menu about half of the time and adult the other half.
I think after this I would never do Dining again. I'm shocked at how much we saved. There is a website where you can download an excel file that will help you do the math for this..I can't remember what it is right now, but I can check when I get home!
I used that spreadsheet, also. I wish I could remember where I found it...

We've never been to Disney but will be going in August. When I compared the cost of the Dining Plan to our Out of Pocket estimations, we saved almost $300 (with 2 adults, one "Disney" adult who is 11, which I think is ridiculous by the way, and one child who is 9). We were hoping for Free Dining because it would have been the only way we could have afforded a table service meal every day. But the last week in August got squeezed out of any discounts this year. So, we ended up booking off-site and resigned ourselves to cooking our own breakfast and lunch or dinner, depending on what park we're at that day. This saved us another $200 or $300 in dining costs (as well as an additional $500 of savings on our accommodations). We only have two Advanced Dining Reservations - one for Chef Mickey's and one for Sanaa. That's all we can afford.

This vacation is giving me grey hairs. I hope it's worth all of the money and stress it has taken to plan it. We've never been to Disney and I'm not sure if we will ever go again. What a capitalistic organization - raising prices left and right. I can't believe people can afford to visit multiple times.
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Old 06-22-2013, 02:23 PM   #27
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"dad's" guide to Disney has the spreadsheets your referring to - they are very helpful!
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Old 06-22-2013, 04:34 PM   #28
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Did the spreadsheet, came out in favor of DDP, plus we like the convenience.

And since DS tends to always order the most expensive items, no heart attack from DH when the bill comes!
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:15 PM   #29
luvmy3
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For those of you who do the spread sheets, do you decide exactly what you are going to order beforehand? Do you ever not eat what you expected to order?
I cant even decide what I want to eat 2 days from now, I couldn't imagine deciding what I'm going to eat 6 months from now. I understand if you say to yourself I purchased the DDP so I will only get the most expensive meal, but don't you ever just want an app and salad for dinner instead?
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:26 PM   #30
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For those of you who do the spread sheets, do you decide exactly what you are going to order beforehand? Do you ever not eat what you expected to order?
I cant even decide what I want to eat 2 days from now, I couldn't imagine deciding what I'm going to eat 6 months from now. I understand if you say to yourself I purchased the DDP so I will only get the most expensive meal, but don't you ever just want an app and salad for dinner instead?
We never know exactly what we will be eating. And even after making some ADRs, we still change from day to day. It's vacation we go to have fun and not plan every second. I know there are people that do, but it doesn't work for my family. We have our favorite places to eat each trip. The ddp gives us the chance to try different things without looking at price tags. Otherwise I would not get an appetizer or dessert.
Hope this helps!

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