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Old 09-17-2013, 05:34 AM   #61
mom2AidanAndEli
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Originally Posted by Babsy View Post
DDP has never worked for us. I do the math every trip. I liked the idea so I really wanted it to work. It simply isn't a good deal for us - not ever. We are always better off with the RO discount and TIW card. We don't have children staying in the room with us and we stay in deluxe. There is usually one or, at most two, adults per room.

The only way that I see DP's working is if you stay value or mod with a family of 4 or 5 with kids 9 or younger and eat character meals. THEN, you can save with DP.

There is no such thing as FREE dining. It is a different type of discount that keeps all your vacation $$$ inside WDW. You have to pay rack rate for the room. Enough said.
We don't quite fit your profile here and the "free" dining definitely works for us! We're a family of four, all Disney "adults" (kids are 11 and 13 now). We usually stay value, although stayed moderate last trip. And the free dining is a huge savings for us!

A RO discount is nothing compared to the free dining in our case. For example, we stayed at POFQ. Rack rate is approximately $200 a night. I know RO discounts run anywhere from 5% (ridiculous!) to, if you're very, very lucky 30% (hard to find!). Let's use an average of 20%. So that will save me $40 per night at POFQ. If you have a way to feed a family of four at Disney for $40 a day, I'd love to hear it!

We fly in, so don't rent a car and rely on Disney transport. No eating off site for us. We could do a grocery order and have it delivered. But eating PBJ sandwiches in the room kind of takes something away from the vacation experience for us. We could stick with counter service, but actually enjoy sitting down to a nice meal every day. When those nice meals for our family of four are averaging $100 to $175 and we're only having to pay the tip, that's a huge savings!

I know it doesn't work for everyone, but for this family it's huge! Would I pay for it? Probably not. But everyone who says free dining isn't a good deal, I'd love to hear the rationale for our family. I'm a bargain hunter extraordinaire and I can't see how this is not a good deal for us--unless I'm back to PBJ in the room.
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:07 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Haley View Post
I think his article has a lot of wrong information - like basically saying a package is never a good deal and that you have to get tickets you won't use etc.

I don't think the ddp is the best thing for everyone but it works for some people - depends on where you are eating.

The author also left out that the ddp is convenient - some people like having their meals pre paid and loaded on a wristband and ordering whatever they want vs. arriving at a restuarant and looking at the menu and thinking oh crap this lunch is costing me how much?!? And getting the pasta instead of a steak to save $$. kwim?
We didn't like the DDP because we felt it wasn't convenient. We paid a lot of money up front but we were still paying servers a lot of money with every meal by the time you pay for alcohol appetizers and tip it comes to more than $50 per meal for our party of 5. Far easier to keep our upfront money and put the meals on the room key. We found we had significant change out of what we would have paid DDP and we eat what and where we wanted. With DDP I found myself ordering the steak when I wanted the pasta so it still impacts your freedom of choice.
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:10 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by blueferral View Post
Me the DW, DS 5 and DS 7 are headed to the Mouse's House next week. We will be there 4 days 3 nights. I did the math based on where we have reservations and what we usually order. Between the way over priced "all you can drink" rfip mugs and the under 10 boys we come out ahead about 70 bucks. This is paying for the plan, we are staying on DVC points.

For those of you that say never, I say do the math. If you travel during the holiday season the food costs more, you might save some money. If you cook in the room, go off property, hate to do sit downs then don't buy it. To each their own.
I think what you say is really key especially for Dvcers. If you have soda in the room as we do and say breakfast tea and coffee in the room it really erodes the benefit of the DDP. I think it only has a chance of working if you want that all inclusive eat every meal out type of holiday which many DVCers don't. To me DDP makes more sense when staying in a hotel room and to those with DVC who see a two bedroom only as a larger hotel room. Those who stay DvC for the condo experience probably are bad candidates for DDP.
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:24 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by mom2AidanAndEli View Post
We don't quite fit your profile here and the "free" dining definitely works for us! We're a family of four, all Disney "adults" (kids are 11 and 13 now). We usually stay value, although stayed moderate last trip. And the free dining is a huge savings for us!

{snip}

I know it doesn't work for everyone, but for this family it's huge! Would I pay for it? Probably not. But everyone who says free dining isn't a good deal, I'd love to hear the rationale for our family. I'm a bargain hunter extraordinaire and I can't see how this is not a good deal for us--unless I'm back to PBJ in the room.
Of course "free" dining is a better discount for 4 Disney "adults" at a moderate resort. I don't think Babsy was saying it wasn't. She said that for TWO Disney adults in a DELUXE it isn't.

I believe that her comment here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Babsy View Post
The only way that I see DP's working is if you stay value or mod with a family of 4 or 5 with kids 9 or younger and eat character meals. THEN, you can save with DP.
is the same as mine above. The DDP "sweet spot" is a family of 4 with two kids under 10 that goes to lots of character meals. Your family doesn't fit that description and you said that if you didn't get the DDP for "free" you probably wouldn't pay for the DDP yourself .
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:42 AM   #65
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DDP still works for us, Free is even better. Couldn't disagree with Frommer more. But that is us. We don't leave WDW, we don't go back to the room to rest (What is better rest than sitting in a beautiful air conditioned restaurant!?!) We eat whatever we want and I don't have to give my DH cpr from sticker shock!
It's still a great value for us, too! I totally disagree with the article.
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:44 AM   #66
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I think his article has a lot of wrong information - like basically saying a package is never a good deal and that you have to get tickets you won't use etc.

I don't think the ddp is the best thing for everyone but it works for some people - depends on where you are eating.

The author also left out that the ddp is convenient - some people like having their meals pre paid and loaded on a wristband and ordering whatever they want vs. arriving at a restuarant and looking at the menu and thinking oh crap this lunch is costing me how much?!? And getting the pasta instead of a steak to save $$. kwim?
Yes, it was a very one sided article.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:10 AM   #67
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I don't find DDP convenient at all. So yes, there are people who don't think it is convenient. It is not a one size fits all, nor is it "doesn't fit anybody." The blog writer apparently thinks it doesnt' fit his readers (unless it's free).
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:17 AM   #68
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The author also left out that the ddp is convenient - some people like having their meals pre paid and loaded on a wristband and ordering whatever they want vs. arriving at a restuarant and looking at the menu and thinking oh crap this lunch is costing me how much?!? And getting the pasta instead of a steak to save $$. kwim?
I agree with this. Some folks like having their food pre-paid and not thinking about it while they are on vacation. And not having to pay the bill when they get home! Like the cruise/all-inclusive mentality. It's definitely not always just about the money. There is value in that for some.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:25 AM   #69
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The DDP is definitely not a good value for us and I would never pay for it. I even gave up FD and for me its not all about the money. I don't find it convenient to have to set up dinner reservations 6 months out and work my park plans around them. If I wanted my meals pre-paid I'd just set aside money on a GC and use that. For our recent trip I budgeted a little less than what the DDP would have cost us, and I still ended up spending way less. We never once worried about the cost of meals, we eat what we want and where we wanted at the time (TS restaurants included) and our total spent included appetizers, alcoholic beverages and tips. All of those would have been an additional cost on top of the DDP so there is no way we would have come out ahead using it.
I can see where for some families its beneficial, but definitely not for us.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:26 AM   #70
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I agree with this. Some folks like having their food pre-paid and not thinking about it while they are on vacation. And not having to pay the bill when they get home! Like the cruise/all-inclusive mentality. It's definitely not always just about the money. There is value in that for some.
I would agree with you 100 percent if the DDP were all inclusive. Coming from the UK having everything prepaid takes stress away. But I don't find the DDP does that.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:28 AM   #71
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I would agree with you 100 percent if the DDP were all inclusive. Coming from the UK having everything prepaid takes stress away. But I don't find the DDP does that.
I don't get that either, you still have to pay for xtras (appetizers, alcohol, tips and snacks over your 1 credit).
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:55 AM   #72
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I would agree with you 100 percent if the DDP were all inclusive. Coming from the UK having everything prepaid takes stress away. But I don't find the DDP does that.
True, not 100%, but a large majority of your food bill is paid for.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:21 AM   #73
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True, not 100%, but a large majority of your food bill is paid for.
Yes but my point is it is not small change you are still having to pay it is reasonable sums enough for me personally to invalidate the convenience argument.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:52 AM   #74
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Yes but my point is it is not small change you are still having to pay it is reasonable sums enough for me personally to invalidate the convenience argument.
It's still a large portion of your food bill that is prepaid. Some people like that about it.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:01 AM   #75
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I agree with most of that article. Even when the DDP was a good value and included tip and appetizer, I still never ate enough to justify it. I like quick room breakfasts, one CS meal and one TS meal, but DH and I usually split appetizers and meals. Now my dd is 11 and is tiny and there is no way she would ever eat enough to justify $50+ a day.
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