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Old 12-22-2008, 06:40 AM   #61
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We have used the DDP two times and love it. It works great for our family. We usually have something to eat in the room for breakfast, we use our CS for lunch and then we have our TS for dinner. I enjoy making our ADR's and the sit down meal is a way to have a break.

Our last trip was in October and we used a bunch of our snack credits on samples at the F&W festival.
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Old 12-22-2008, 06:49 AM   #62
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We use the dining plan everytime we go except when I go with just a GF. We are on the go the whole time and doing things outside of Disney like Coco Beach and Citywalk and adult things that we only do one sit down meal per visit. But when I go with my kids and husband we always use it because we love to eat at TS. We love it.

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Old 12-22-2008, 06:49 AM   #63
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Having 4 young kids (7,5,3,1) the DP was perfect for us! We did lots of character meals and ate CS once a day, the snacks were great too. I loved not having to worry about the $, I have enough other things to worry about.
If we get to go back , I will definetly do the plan again.
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Old 12-22-2008, 06:55 AM   #64
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For me this trip the regular dining plan works well. I have two kids 4&8 so character meals are still a good choice for us. A kids character meal cost more than the cost of the meal plan for the day and they still get a counterservice meal and a snack. It is possible our adult meals wont' always reach $40 but with the kids difference it all evens out. We also like doing buffets etc for the variety for the kids since they have lots to chose from. We started the planning not intending to use the dining plan but gradually decided that we do like a table service meal each day.
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:16 AM   #65
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We are going to do a sit-down every day (one day, we have 2 booked because of the Nemo tickets), but not doing the dining plan. There are a couple of reasons for this:

1) Many of our planned meals are at signature restaurants. On the DDP, we wouldn't have enough TS credits.

2) Also, the DDP doesn't fit the way I like to eat. At many meals, I may just have an appetizer & dessert, or 2 appetizers and dessert, or appetizer & entree, or some other such combination. If I prepaid for the meal, I'd feel guilty if I didn't eat everything that's been paid for, and ordered stuff OOP instead.

3) The DxDP would give us enough TS credits for the ADRs we have, and includes appetizers, but it's way too much food. I rarely eat an appetizer and a dessert at any one meal, and can't do it twice! And, as noted above, some days I don't feel like having an appetizer, entree and dessert. But if I didn't eat what was offered on the plan, I'm leaving money on the table for stuff I didn't need to pay for.

4) I don't mind planning my meals and making ADRs, but I like the flexibility of cancelling them if we don't feel like eating at a particular place at a particular time. Then if we get another table service instead as a walk up, that's fine; if not, it's also fine. We won't starve.

5) I "prepay" my meals by figuring out how much I'm likely to spend, adding 25% to that figure, and putting it in the bank. That way, I don't have to worry about how much I'm spending at any particular meal. If I want something I'll get it. And I don't have to get the most expensive meal to "maximize" my credits.

6) I don't have to count credits or say, "No, we can't eat there - it's not on the plan."

7) This is a fear that just came up from other threads on these boards - getting sick. If I don't feel like eating, I haven't lost anything.

Now, "never" is a long time. Might I change my mind at some point and try it? Sure. But right now, it doesn't make sense.

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Old 12-22-2008, 08:31 AM   #66
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[QUOTE=2manypets;29259338]My family is the opposite. If we're going to eat at CS, we still have to wait in line, carry an overly crowded tray through a sea of people, on a few occasions wait for a table to open up and we like to linger over the meal.

This trip we're going with the deluxe DDP because we love to take time out of the hustle and bustle to be pampered by the waiters (or at least have some one else bring our meal) We've also been to the parks enough that we don't have to be running from ride to ride anymore. I also love the idea of having an all inclusive vacation. It works better for our budgeting.[/QUOTES]

Same here...like to take the time out over a relaxing meal...otherwise, i doubt it would be a value. Even with the TS everday, i think we about break even, anyway. some days the cs and snack end up being "free" b/c the TS was so expensive, some days not. Just depends.
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:44 AM   #67
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The plan works for us. We enjoy the dining experience, eating at places we don't have anything similar to at home or wouldn't want to spend the money on while at home. For just the two of us, we most certainly save money on the DDP vs OOP for the same meals, and if we are taking a week or so at WDW for a true "vacation" and not just a weekend getaway with our APs then we want to eat a TS meal every day - it is part of the experience for us. If we do a TS and CS in a single day then the basic DDP has saved us money (I do the math). We wouldn't do the DxDP because we think it would be just too much darn food. For short trips we don't do the DDP and generally just eat mostly CS with maybe one TS thrown in if it is a special occassion.

Those that have credits left over are just not thinking or planning very well - it is not at all difficult to use them all up, even if you don't want to do a TS meal every day (double up a couple for a signature meal instead one day, for instance). Snack credits can be used on tons of things.
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:02 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by ShannonMB View Post
Funny how differently everyone enjoys their vacation. I find the basic DP one of the best features of the trip to WDW! Even if I'm not saving tons of $, I love having it paid in advance, and I LOVE a sit down meal each day. A CS meal for breakfast or early lunch and then a sit down when we are about to drop and need a break. Oh, and a mickey ears ice cream in between. Perfect! I think Disney had me in mind when they designed the plan!

No matter how you eat/tour, enjoy your next trips everyone!!!
That's how we felt on the pre-08 version of the DDP. When they took away the appy (which we love and won't do without) and the tip, that meant it wasn't paid in advance--the $38.99 was, but we were still going into pocket at the meal for the appy and tip. It also increased the daily cost for us when you factor those things in--it was more like $48-$50 dollars/day. We can eat cheaper than that, even doing a TS meal each day. So we don't do the DDP anymore.

Last edited by Praying Colonel; 12-22-2008 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:02 AM   #69
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Back when we were Disney World newbies, the plan probably wouldn't have worked for us. Our first three trips were just a week long. We were too busy trying to see and do everything. Our focus was definitely not on food.

Now that we have 13 trips under our belt and our trips have been extended to 10 days, the plan is the only way to go for us.

We spend two days in each of the parks so we know we don't have to cram everything into one day. This allows us to have a nice sit down meal each night.

We aren't breakfast eaters and skip it 90% of the time. We use our counter service credits for lunch, our snack credits mid-day and our table service credits for dinner. I have found that, by utilizing the plan this way, the plan more than pays for itself.

Also, with the plan, we are more apt to try new restaurants and new foods.

This past August, we took a semi spur-of-the-moment one week trip to WDW. Because we didn't have time to plan our ADRs, we didn't purchase the dining plan. I was only able to book one dinner time meal (they were all booked). I was never ever so tired of eating counter service meals in my life! We swore right then and there that we never wanted to go to WDW again without the plan!

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Old 12-22-2008, 09:04 AM   #70
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Another one here on not using the dining plan again.... i usually go solo to the parks and the last 2 trips ive used the dining plan, and it was always so much food, and also i hated scheduling my day around eating... so this last trip, even though it was a short trip... i didnt use any plan, and it was AWESOME!!! One day for lunch all i wanted was some fries... not a burger, fries, drink and dessert!!! It was just nice to eat on the run!! and since this was my 5th trip, i know all the good places to eat so that your not only living off of burgers and chk strips!!
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:20 AM   #71

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Threads about the dining plan are best kept on the Disney Restaurants and Dining Board..

I'll be moving this one there.

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Old 12-22-2008, 09:21 AM   #72

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Threads about the dining plan are best kept on the Disney Restaurants and Dining Board..

I'll be moving this one there.

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Old 12-22-2008, 09:25 AM   #73
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We usually do our main vacation in the summer (and luckily, these last few years have been able to go for two weeks). With the heat of summer, we always like to have a relaxing table service lunch. It may be in the parks or maybe at one of the hotels. Then we'll usually grab a quick bite or snack for dinner.

Although I think the dining plan would be a good deal for DH & I, my DD is 13 yrs old and eats off of the kids menu (and still has left overs). It would not be a good deal at all for her. So we haven't tried the dining plan yet.

I don't plan our day around a meal, but we do enjoy trying some new - and some of our favorites -restaurants. I like knowing I have some place to eat without a long wait. If we change our minds, I just call and cancel.

Have a great trip!!!
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:35 AM   #74
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We have used the Dining Plan three times and will continue to do so. We visit WDW at least once a year and enjoy our 'down time' while touring. TS meals are enjoyable for us and we make time to sit down to eat a nice meal every day. We use the DP for convenience and haven't actually taken the time to run the numbers to determine whether or not we are breaking even on the plan (maybe I'll do that in May .)
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:38 AM   #75
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I've done the dining plan twice & loved it both times. The first was in Sept 2007 and it was free. It was amazing! I bought TGM & planned my days & then made my ADR's. We booked in May, I think, and went in Sept and still got pretty much what we wanted.

I had never been to any TS except Cinderella's castle & Marakesh & Rose & Crown. And I'd been to Disney more times than I could count. So it was a total change in our touring plans. We were normally granola bars for breakfast, CS for lunch, brought in our own snacks, and ate carryout for dinner. Cheapo's. That was us.

Eating at TS places was a revelation to me. I'm a planner anyway so it didn't bother me to work around it. And I was shocked that we could stay the entire day in the parks with a 5 yr old a 6 yr old & a 6 month old because we were taking proper breaks in restaurants. I loved it.

Then this Sept we took advantage of free dining again only upgraded to deluxe for my mom, my sister, and I to take a girl's trip. We ate at the Flying Fish, Jiko, and Artist's Point as our fancy meals. Let me tell you, I would do it again in a heartbeat. I've always said I wasn't a steak person because I didn't know these kind of steaks existed. I thought Outback was it.

So, I understand how some people hate it. But for me, the DDP has been a revelation.

I took my family this time and we stayed offsite so couldn't get it. But because of our previous positive TS experiences we made a few ADR's. I loved it this time around too.

So I won't always do the DDP, obviously since we didn't just do it, but I won't hesitate to take advantage of it either. And to say it isn't worth it when it is free is plumb crazy to me if you are in the bottom bracket of the money world. We stay at budget places & eat free food. Essentially it makes Disney World the cheapest vacation option for my family. Ya know?

But that is what makes Disney great. It's perfect for the people who can stay at GF & afford to eat at Narcoose's every night and it's perfect for those of us who can afford Pop Century and eat at McDonald's. And we all come home feeling like we got a good value for our dollar.
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