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Old 09-13-2013, 09:16 PM   #1
vdoucet78
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Debating DDP vs. TiW

We are going for 10 days in early December. All dining reservations are made already. We had booked thinking our dates would fall into free dining, but they didn't. We are now considering TiW instead but need some help deciding if its right for us. It's just DH and myself, and we've both had bariatric surgery and eat smaller amounts. He eats probably as much as a regular light-eating adult, I eat as much as a toddler lol. We were planning to split an entree and maybe an appetizer, but we have 'Ohana, Boma, and Tusker House booked so we will each pay the flat rate to eat there, but we like them enough it is worth it. Also eating at Chefs de France, San Angel Inn, Rose & Crown, Kona, Sci Fi (may switch to Mama Melrose) and Citrico's. Will TiW be the best cost savings for us? We are also planning a trip in Oct 2014, so we will be able to use our AP's and TiW again then. Thanks!
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:55 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by vdoucet78 View Post
We are going for 10 days in early December. All dining reservations are made already. We had booked thinking our dates would fall into free dining, but they didn't. We are now considering TiW instead but need some help deciding if its right for us. It's just DH and myself, and we've both had bariatric surgery and eat smaller amounts. He eats probably as much as a regular light-eating adult, I eat as much as a toddler lol. We were planning to split an entree and maybe an appetizer, but we have 'Ohana, Boma, and Tusker House booked so we will each pay the flat rate to eat there, but we like them enough it is worth it. Also eating at Chefs de France, San Angel Inn, Rose & Crown, Kona, Sci Fi (may switch to Mama Melrose) and Citrico's. Will TiW be the best cost savings for us? We are also planning a trip in Oct 2014, so we will be able to use our AP's and TiW again then. Thanks!
I think there is just about NO question in your case, TiW will save you money. My wife and I have done two trips on the DP just the two of us, and while we haven't had any surgery, she doesn't eat much, and I don't like to over eat. We generally like to share a main, and and app and maybe a desert. When on the DP, we ended up order way more food then we wanted, or could eat, and throwing most away. We felt pressure to order the most expensive things on the menu, in order to "get our money's worth", generally felt more confined then we would be if we were just ordering what we wanted, where and when we wanted it.

I knew after the first trip, DP was not for us, but it took another trip this year to convince my wife. But about halfway through the trip, when we were clearing out our fridge of extra deserts we had brought back for second time already that trip, she turned to me and said "We should never get the dining plan again".

It really isn't much of a savings unless you go out of your way to max out the value. Especially if you are comparing it to using the TiW when you have to figure your food (and alcohol) would be 20% less expensive.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:34 PM   #3
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I thin that TIW would work. We have done the math on the DDP several times now and it just doesn't save the $$$ that RO discount and a TIW card does. Even with not getting great discounts anymore, we still do better without the DDP. We just don't eat that much food between the 2 of us and we stay at deluxe resorts where the 30% GP RO works better. Unless you are a big eater, it seems to me that you need a family of 4 in a moderate resort room to really get value from the FD deal.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:40 PM   #4
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The question is, will you eat the entitlements? Yes you have those 3 buffets (OK one family style, LOL) on there, but beyond that, where will you eat? For your other TS entitlements, you will likely share meals, or someone will get an appetizer or salad instead of a meal, right? On the days with the buffets I imagine you won't be going near counter service, at least not both of you, because that will be so much food?

Will you actually be eating at enough places, and ordering separate meals, to eat up all the TS, CS, and snack entitlements?

That's where we stop in the calculations. We won't. Or, well, we might *go* to each of those sorts of establishments during a day, but we're not each getting a meal with all we're allowed. And with us, DS is often going to be ordering an adult meal or two kid's meals, because he's a growing boy who eats and eats. It just doesn't work out.

Will it work for you?
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:10 AM   #5
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If we stay with the dinning plan we would just order separate meals and a lot would just go to waste. My travel agent told me Disney won't allow us to order 1 meal using 1 TS credit and split it, that since there are 2 of us we'd automatically be charged 2 credits regardless of what we order. I don't know if we'd save anything on the total cost this year (may end up even costing more than what our package costs once we budget food oop) because the APs are $450 more than our 10 day park hoppers would be, but we will be saving on our next trip in Oct bc we wouldn't need to buy tickets.
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:28 AM   #6
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If we stay with the dinning plan we would just order separate meals and a lot would just go to waste. My travel agent told me Disney won't allow us to order 1 meal using 1 TS credit and split it, that since there are 2 of us we'd automatically be charged 2 credits regardless of what we order. I don't know if we'd save anything on the total cost this year (may end up even costing more than what our package costs once we budget food oop) because the APs are $450 more than our 10 day park hoppers would be, but we will be saving on our next trip in Oct bc we wouldn't need to buy tickets.
I think your TA is wrong. We've never done it, but I'm pretty sure you can order one meal and share it, therefore, using just 1 TS credit. The only thing would be the buffets/all you can eat, which would require 2 credits to be used as you can't pay for 1 person and "share" at a buffet. I would do a price comparison between the DDP and TiW. Depending on how many meals you will eat that will be split (just 1 entree/appetizer at a non-buffet), it might take you more time to break even with the TiW. With that said, if you are doing a lot of buffets, it won't take as long since those meals tend to cost a little more (therefore, saving you more). Also keep in mind that if you are going next year with the APs, the TiW will also still be valid, so TiW might just be the way to go. Good luck.
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:35 AM   #7
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I would definitely not pay for the dining plan if I were you. If you are planning to drink alcohol with your meals, then I think TIW becomes even more worth it to purchase.
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:54 AM   #8
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We are a family of four (2A, 2C) who had always used the DDP, but just knew we were wasting $$. We liked the security of having it all paid for ahead of time but there was so much waste. Wasted food, unused credits.

In April, we decided to go without it and use TiW instead. It was great! We could eat the way we normally do, sometimes sharing meals, sometimes ordering apps for a meal. Plus, alcohol was covered under discount.

We ate well over 10 days at restaurants including Be Our Guest, Yachtsman Steakhouse, Tusker House, Via Napoli, Biergarten, Crews Cup Lounge, Beaches and Cream, Boardwalk Bakery, etc... (Ordering separate steak plates at both BOG and Yachstman)

The DDP would have cost us $1500. We spent $1018 OOP on food and alcohol, and didn't suffer from bloating. It was clear that TiW was the way to go, and especially clear now that our oldest will be 10 on our next trip.

And, as for the prepaid aspect? We had put the $$ on a Disney gift card before leaving and just used that the whole time.
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Old 09-14-2013, 06:58 PM   #9
vdoucet78
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Well we had decided to ditch the DDP in favor of TiW, but ran into a problem. Since we booked under a package deal we'd have to cancel everything, even our room. And there were no more rooms in the preferred section of Riverside, which is where we had our hearts set on staying. We didn't want to pay more for Deluxe, or stay in a Value or a different Mod. So we are keeping our dining plan and will chalk it up as an expensive lesson learned. When we booked we did the package thinking we would get Free Dining and thought it'd be easy to just drop the dining plan later if we didn't. This is our last year on the DDP though!
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:34 PM   #10
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I would go with TIW. The DDP is just too much food and not worth it for you. If you want to save even more on eating get a Red debit card from Target and it gives you 5% off Disney gift certificates and for every 5 prescriptions filled they give you another 5% that you can stack on top of the other 5%. That saves you 10% per gift card. You can also pay for your hotel this way too. This was suggested to me when I asked about the dining plan and it just seems like so much better a deal.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:53 AM   #11
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Well we had decided to ditch the DDP in favor of TiW, but ran into a problem. Since we booked under a package deal we'd have to cancel everything, even our room. And there were no more rooms in the preferred section of Riverside, which is where we had our hearts set on staying. We didn't want to pay more for Deluxe, or stay in a Value or a different Mod. So we are keeping our dining plan and will chalk it up as an expensive lesson learned. When we booked we did the package thinking we would get Free Dining and thought it'd be easy to just drop the dining plan later if we didn't. This is our last year on the DDP though!
You can take the dining plan off and keep tickets/resort. It's still a package that way.
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:26 AM   #12
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You can take the dining plan off and keep tickets/resort. It's still a package that way.
Then you can upgrade your park tickets to an annual pass (once you get there), and buy the TiW card. The DDP is a major headache in my book -- if you just don't feel like eating a meal, you'll spend the rest of your trip trying to reschedule dining so that you don't leave any credits unused.
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:04 AM   #13
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Wife and I did free dining last November. Took a nine day trip in May and got TIW, we saved $125 on meals that trip ($25 after deducting the $100 for the TIW card). Haven't added up the savings for the trip we just returned from, but it should be substantial - generally, we eat one table service and one counter service meal per day and since we stay at Values, if we eat there, we also save 20% on the counter service. Have another trip scheduled in two months, so will be saving again.

If you stay at a value and use TIW, you also get the 20% discount on your refillable mug. This turned out to be a wasted expense for us as we bought it for length of stay and only used it twice. Too many people in the Pop area. One other footnote, we bought the mug on our arrival, Sep 4, but did not use it until Sep 10 for the first time. Evidently, the clock starts ticking when you first use the mug, not when you buy it. When we first used it, the dispenser said it was valid until Sep 24.
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:48 PM   #14
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Please, what is TWI? It's been 2 years since I've been to Disney, and I'm returning in Nov. I've booked CBR with FD.
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:20 PM   #15
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Please, what is TWI? It's been 2 years since I've been to Disney, and I'm returning in Nov. I've booked CBR with FD.
TIW is the Tables In Wonderland Card that saves you 20% on food and beverages including alcoholic beverages. If you are an AP holder the cost is 100.00. If you are a Florida Resident non AP holder it is 125.00. I am not sure what the regular price is of it. They take 20% off your meal and beverages but add an 18% tip so what you are actually saving is what you would tip as most people tip 20%.
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