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Old 08-13-2013, 05:13 PM   #1
MikeandReneePlus5
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Real Life DDP vs OOP Example

Just got back from 6 nights in the world.

7 Disney adults.

Meal Plan would have been $55.59 x 7 x 6 = $2,334.78

7 Table Service Meals - We ate at Be Our Guest, Chefs De France, Tony's Town Square, Kona Café, 50s Prime Time, Hoop Dee Doo Review and Ohana (character breakfast).

Counter Service meals were Columbia Harbor House, Casey's Corner, Yak and Yeti takeout, Flame Tree BBQ, Sunshine Terrace and Captain Cook's.

Our gratuities and alcohol consumed at the table service meals totaled $243.07. In addition, we consumed snacks in excess of the meal plan allowance totaling $167.80. We bought two mugs for $32.99. Since we only had 6 TS credits we would have had to pay two meals OOP (HDDR consumes 2 TS each). The cheapest 2 TS meals were roughly $250 combined.

So with the meal plan our cost would have been $2334.78 + 243.07 + 167.80 + 250 - $32.99 or $2,962.66.

Our actual OOP cost for the week was $2,427.19

Cash savings of $535.47

We ordered whatever we wanted and snacked whenever we wanted. And the savings is actually greater because I didn't analyze the non-alcoholic drinks like Wild Berry Foam Lemonade that we ordered here and there that isn't included as a meal plan beverage. Probably ordered at least $40 of those suckers so let's say the savings is $325.

I see some do their own math and the two totals are closer and they say that they like the convenience of the meal plan so they will just pay for the DDP anyway even if the math shows it is more.

We've done the DDP (when it was free) and our experience is the exact opposite - it was SO much more convenient to just order off the menu whatever you wanted and not have to sort out what credits were being used where and if there was a more efficient way of paying etc.

I offer all of this as food for thought.
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Last edited by MikeandReneePlus5; 07-28-2014 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:38 PM   #2
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Glad you had a great trip! DDP works for some, not for others!
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:59 PM   #3
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Thanks for the example --- I always wonder how DDP vs OOP work out for people.

So far we've only used/will use the DDP three times -
Oct 2011: DMIL paid for the trip so it was 'free dining'
Oct 2012: We got the Free Dining deal
Oct 2013: We got the Free Dining deal again

I'm not sure that we would get the DDP if we had to pay for it. This trip I plan to keep good records of all the meal costs and do an example like yours to see how things work out.
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeandReneePlus5 View Post
Just got back from 6 nights in the world.

7 Disney adults.

Meal Plan would have been $55.59 x 7 x 6 = $2,334.78

7 Table Service Meals - We ate at Be Our Guest, Chefs De France, Tony's Town Square, Kona Café, 50s Prime Time, Hoop Dee Doo Review and Ohana (character breakfast).

Counter Service meals were Columbia Harbor House, Casey's Corner, Yak and Yeti takeout, Flame Tree BBQ, Sunshine Terrace and Captain Cook's.

Our gratuities and alcohol consumed at the table service meals totaled $243.07. In addition, we consumed snacks in excess of the meal plan allowance totaling $167.80. We bought two mugs for $32.99.

So with the meal plan our cost would have been $2334.78 + 243.07 + 167.80 - $32.99 or $2,712.66.

Our actual OOP cost for the week was $2,427.19

Cash savings of $285.47

We ordered whatever we wanted and snacked whenever we wanted. And the savings is actually greater because I didn't analyze the non-alcoholic drinks like Wild Berry Foam Lemonade that we ordered here and there that isn't included as a meal plan beverage. Probably ordered at least $40 of those suckers so let's say the savings is $325.

I see some do their own math and the two totals are closer and they say that they like the convenience of the meal plan so they will just pay for the DDP anyway even if the math shows it is more.

We've done the DDP (when it was free) and our experience is the exact opposite - it was SO much more convenient to just order off the menu whatever you wanted and not have to sort out what credits were being used where and if there was a more efficient way of paying etc.

I offer all of this as food for thought.
Actually your savings are quite a bit more. DDP is based on nights, so you would have had 6 table-service meals each. The Hoop-do-Doo is 2 TS credits, so you would have to pay for that one OOP or 2 other TS meals OOP in addition to your total you have named.
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:22 AM   #5
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Glad you had a great trip! DDP works for some, not for others!
True. but actually DDP works for WDW and a few guests.
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wishicouldgomoreofte View Post

Actually your savings are quite a bit more. DDP is based on nights, so you would have had 6 table-service meals each. The Hoop-do-Doo is 2 TS credits, so you would have to pay for that one OOP or 2 other TS meals OOP in addition to your total you have named.
By George you are correct!

Our cheapest 2 TS meals were Tonys and 50s Prime Time. Those would have been OOP and cost roughly $250 net of tip.

So total cash savings is $535! Edited above.

I'm not saying the DDP can't work in your favor ever, but it is a rarity.

Free DDP is another matter altogether and a different calculation.
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:51 AM   #7
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I definitely agree that DDP is more convenient from the standpoint that you don't have to really think about money or spending (outside of an extra snack or a quick little breakfast on the way out to the parks).

For us, DDP, even if free doesn't work as 2 adults. The way we like to eat isn't conducive to the contstraints of DDP. Have we done it in the past? Yes. Would I consider it when LO gets older and we want to do character breakfasts with her. Definitely. But at the present time, doesn't work for us OOP.

And yes, FD is a completely different story. It makes me want to research based on a family of X number kids and adults staying at X level resort, what the actual % shakes out to be. A project for this afternoon!
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:55 AM   #8
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We've used DDP 8 times and it has never worked in our favor except the first time when it was free and when they included an appetizer and gratuity. Those were the days. We still like it though. We never get desert even on the plan, so that's part of the problem. When we stay offsite we also spend a lot less on food.
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Old 08-14-2013, 11:08 AM   #9
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We've done the DDP twice and while yes, we saved on what we would have spent paying for the exact same meals OOP we probably wouldn't order that much food if we weren't on the plan. That being said, we are two adults with no kids and so we enjoy being able to say 'well if I must order dessert then I'll have the cheesecake.' ;-). It works for us at the moment but if we have kids it will probably be something we give up on our trips. Counter service would be quicker and cheaper with kids and we could just pay OOP for any TS we want.
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:02 PM   #10
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I was surprised to log on this morning and see this thread! I just got back from WDW on Saturday and spent an hour this morning totaling up our meals and snacks to see if it we "broke even" or not.

We were there for 6 nights on the deluxe meal plan. We opted for the deluxe because we wanted to take advantage of a couple of character dining and dining experiences that would require 2 table service credits.

We ate at the following places: Teppan Edo (D), Le Cellier(D), Tusker House (B), Cinderella's Royal Table (B), Whispering Canyon Cafe (D), Rose & Crown (L), Raglan Road (D), Maya Grill (D), Hollywood & Vine (D), Chef Mickey's (B), Pepper Market (Breakfast twice, Lunch 3 times)

Here is our break down:

15 meals that would have cost $1921.59 (gratuity not included)
4 refillable mugs that would have cost $61.96
Snacks that would have cost $161.88

Total: $2145.43

We paid $2014.32 for the meal plan

Savings: $131.11


We left with 4 meals unused on Saturday, so our savings could have been higher.

Our out of pocket spent on tips and a glass of wine at Le Cellier was $406.55.

Also, we used all of our snack credits. The morning we checked out I went to the gift shop and used the remaining on Mickey Rice Krispy treats and bags of Mickey shaped cheese crackers and pretzels. The kids are really enjoying these as a special treat in their camp lunches this week

So, all in all, the dining pan worked out for us.
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jelly Bean View Post
We left with 4 meals unused on Saturday, so our savings could have been higher.
I should clarify that we are a family of 4, so we left with one meal unused, not 16, LOL!
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:33 PM   #12
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I think if you're paying for the dining plan, you probably don't save much if anything. When I initially planned my trip, I booked thinking I'd be paying for it and felt it was for convenience--not needing to bring credit cards to the parks and putting gratuities to our room charge.

Though I do wish the dining plan had the option of appetizer OR dessert. I guess Disney realizes desserts cost less money. But that's a lot of junk food that I won't need. At least you walk a lot at WDW.
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Old 08-14-2013, 03:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jelly Bean View Post
I was surprised to log on this morning and see this thread! I just got back from WDW on Saturday and spent an hour this morning totaling up our meals and snacks to see if it we "broke even" or not.

We were there for 6 nights on the deluxe meal plan. We opted for the deluxe because we wanted to take advantage of a couple of character dining and dining experiences that would require 2 table service credits.

We ate at the following places: Teppan Edo (D), Le Cellier(D), Tusker House (B), Cinderella's Royal Table (B), Whispering Canyon Cafe (D), Rose & Crown (L), Raglan Road (D), Maya Grill (D), Hollywood & Vine (D), Chef Mickey's (B), Pepper Market (Breakfast twice, Lunch 3 times)

Here is our break down:

15 meals that would have cost $1921.59 (gratuity not included)
4 refillable mugs that would have cost $61.96
Snacks that would have cost $161.88

Total: $2145.43

We paid $2014.32 for the meal plan

Savings: $131.11


We left with 4 meals unused on Saturday, so our savings could have been higher.

Our out of pocket spent on tips and a glass of wine at Le Cellier was $406.55.

Also, we used all of our snack credits. The morning we checked out I went to the gift shop and used the remaining on Mickey Rice Krispy treats and bags of Mickey shaped cheese crackers and pretzels. The kids are really enjoying these as a special treat in their camp lunches this week

So, all in all, the dining pan worked out for us.
Savings: $131.11


Really? Be honest.

1. You ended up getting snacks to take home. Sure it is nice to have WDW snacks as a temporary momento, but those were more expensive than an equivalent snack you could buy at home. So how much extra did you spend there?

2. And would you have had all those TS meals? Sound like yes. But would you have ordered/eaten/drank all the appetizers, desserts, non-alocholic drinks, refillable mugs, etc.?

So please compare the cost of the DXP, plus tips, to what you would have ordered/spent if not on the plan, plus tips. Then you can see if there really was a savings.
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Old 08-14-2013, 03:48 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by sweetnjmom View Post
I think if you're paying for the dining plan, you probably don't save much if anything. When I initially planned my trip, I booked thinking I'd be paying for it and felt it was for convenience--not needing to bring credit cards to the parks and putting gratuities to our room charge.

Though I do wish the dining plan had the option of appetizer OR dessert. I guess Disney realizes desserts cost less money. But that's a lot of junk food that I won't need. At least you walk a lot at WDW.
You can also bill the meals to your KTTW card.
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:41 PM   #15
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So in the complete boredom work has provided me this afternoon, I did a few "sample" families in terms of cost of using DDP vs. RO discount.

I did the following test cases and ran numbers at a moderate and deluxe resort with 6 day park hoppers for a 7 day 6 night stay:
2 adults
2 Disney adults 2 children
3 Disney adults 1 child
3 Disney adults 2 children (which didn't work for the mod because POR doesn't count for the RO discount so I was only able to do the math for the deluxe.

In ALL cases, using FD was less expensive than doing RO and adding DDP. The one thing I didn't factor in was how people would "really" eat (or how my family would choose to eat). Another project for another day. We are not doing DDP on our next trip because we want to do more TS restaurants and less CS locations, so my average per day food cost is probably elevated vs. the average consumer.

Using FD over RO + DDP saved somewhere between 5 and 25 percent dpending on the test family above (obviously, the bigger the family, the larger the savings as you're getting more per room with FD).

This actually surprised me. However, if you're going to do DDP while free dining is offered, you'd be silly not to take it based on the math. It always works out in your favor even with a 30% RO discount.
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