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Old 03-21-2009, 10:24 AM   #1
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DDP for Family of 5: (2) Adults, (3) Kids

I am trying to figure out if the DDP is really a good deal. I see a lot of positive and negative things about the plan. My questions is, for a family of 5 with (2) Adults and (3) Children ages 9, 7, and 4, is the DDP worth it?

When we went in Oct 2006, we did not do the DDP, but kids were younger and one of them was only 2. We were there for Sunday evening through Saturday morning but do not know exactly how much we spent in food/drinks/snacks. We ate QS every morning at DPC and a mixed of QS and TS through out the week. TS places were 50's Prime, Hollywood & Vine, Tony's Town Square, Rainforest, Crystal Palace w/ Pooh. QS at DPC food court and Cosimc Rays. Then the snacks and a ton of bottled water.

This June, we are staying at BWI-Club Level, so breakfast and snacks are available through out the day for us. So breakfast for the most part is covered.

We generally don't eat that big of meals, and usually choose the less expensive entrees cause we are frugal. So on the DDP, we would probably eat nicer more expensive meals than normal (like the Ahi-Tuna or Salmon vs. the Chicken Club sandwich or Cesar Salad).

The DDP is $790 for us, and I think that we minimally would break even for out 7 night stay. 6 whole days + Sat evening and Saturday morning. So $790 / 6.5 = $120/day.

Based on that, it seems worth it. If we were to eat at nice TS and a QS/day, it would run ~$150 - if we chose to eat like that.

Can some of you share your what route you went and if you know what it cost you w/ or w/o the DDP?

Thank you,
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Old 03-21-2009, 02:52 PM   #2
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I think the DDP was a great deal when it included the tip, but is still a good deal. I think we will save a little bit of money (even though we have 2 Disney Adult kids), but just as important we will get a much better value for our money. We will not have to limit what we order, and that is a great feeling. We usually do one sit-down, and one counter service, with breakfast in the room each day, and if that is how you eat, it usually works. Check the menus for where you would like to go , look at what you would pay for the meals you would order, don't forget to add in tax, and compare that with what the plan would cost you.
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Old 03-21-2009, 02:53 PM   #3
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For almost all cases, with a child and especially with more than one child 3-10, the plan is a winner for their dining. The kid's plan is $10 a night, which is basically like paying for their TS and getting their CS and snacks free for the trip. Especially if you plan to do character meals, where kids' prices for that meal alone are in the $12-16 range once tax is added.

For adults it is a little trickier. At $40 a day, the plan basically equates to the TS meal and the snack, and is like getting the CS for free - but only if you are planning on ordering the more expensive entrees at your TS. With buffets/character meals the perceived savings is less.

For example, say you book Crystal Palace for dinner one night. You'll eat breakfast at the concierge lounge for free, and have lunch at a CS place in the park. For the kids, the price of dinner at Crystal Palace is about $15 with tax and so they are technically getting a $5 discount on dinner and eating lunch and snack that day 'free.' For the adults, the price of dinner at Crystal Palace is about $31 with tax. Figure a snack for about $4 and that equates to receiving your $12-18 CS lunch for $5. In this case, each adult saved $7-13 and each child saved about $9, for a family savings of $40-50 for the day. We've found this to be fairly accurate, that on average and adult will save anywhere from $5 to $15 a day and a child will save $8-10.

On our last trip with a child in the party, we would have paid $850 for the dining plan (didn't pay because it was free dining), and our total expenditure had we paid oop for everything would have been almost $1500 - lots of steaks, salmon, high-end stuff ordered that week. If we had been paying ourselves, it is more likely we would have spent $1100 or so, ordered the chicken or the pasta, and shared or skipped desserts.

But I like the prepaid aspect of the ddp, so I always book it even if it may not save us all that much money.

The main thing is, would you eat like that if you were paying oop - not necessarily the particular entrees but the meals themselves? We like having a sit-down meal to unwind during the day, and while we may not order desserts or something that is included in the plan if we were eating oop, it still usually works out in our favor by at least 25% over the course of the trip. The biggest savings was my mom's first trip in 2007, where the plan cost me $400 and the receipts tallied up for that trip were $792, for a savings of 49%.

HTH
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Old 03-21-2009, 03:05 PM   #4
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For us, it's worth it. That's because we always have a TS dinner, and if you do that on the DDP, you're coming out ahead. The CS desserts are pretty lousy, so we do not count those into our equation, but you're still ahead if you do what we've done in the past--

OOP breakfast
CS lunch
TS dinner

And snacks here or there.

No question you'll come out ahead.
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Old 03-21-2009, 05:51 PM   #5
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I think $30 per day to feed 3 children is a bargin especially if you are planning on TS meals either way. I've done the plan 4 times and 1 trip without. My children have been under 9 and now over 9. When I return home I always calculate what it cost vs. OOP and we always come out ahead. Even when I subtract out all desserts.
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Old 03-21-2009, 08:18 PM   #6
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My 3 boys were the exact same age as your 3 kids when we went last year. We did do DDP and I definitely felt it was so well worth the money. We did save a lot, ate at lovely restaurants, had character meals, which we would have done either way. The only drawback is not being able to upgrade the 9-year old to an adult plan without also upgrading his park ticket. What we ended up doing was giving him dh's dessert as he's not a big sweets fan or sometimes I'd share my meal with him. Our most enjoyable meal was at Liberty Tavern which I thought was a great value for the amount of food and the fact that it was not just kid food - it was a break from the generic Disney kid's menu. I definitely got my monies worth, plus the fact that it was prepaid was awesome. And the snacks pay for those huge Dole Whips at MK!
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Old 03-21-2009, 08:53 PM   #7
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Thank you everyone. This helped seal the deal for the DDP.
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Old 03-21-2009, 09:07 PM   #8
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BTW-your going to love BWI concierge
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Old 03-23-2009, 02:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PictureJumpr View Post
For almost all cases, with a child and especially with more than one child 3-10, the plan is a winner for their dining. The kid's plan is $10 a night, which is basically like paying for their TS and getting their CS and snacks free for the trip. Especially if you plan to do character meals, where kids' prices for that meal alone are in the $12-16 range once tax is added.

For adults it is a little trickier. At $40 a day, the plan basically equates to the TS meal and the snack, and is like getting the CS for free - but only if you are planning on ordering the more expensive entrees at your TS. With buffets/character meals the perceived savings is less.

For example, say you book Crystal Palace for dinner one night. You'll eat breakfast at the concierge lounge for free, and have lunch at a CS place in the park. For the kids, the price of dinner at Crystal Palace is about $15 with tax and so they are technically getting a $5 discount on dinner and eating lunch and snack that day 'free.' For the adults, the price of dinner at Crystal Palace is about $31 with tax. Figure a snack for about $4 and that equates to receiving your $12-18 CS lunch for $5. In this case, each adult saved $7-13 and each child saved about $9, for a family savings of $40-50 for the day. We've found this to be fairly accurate, that on average and adult will save anywhere from $5 to $15 a day and a child will save $8-10.

On our last trip with a child in the party, we would have paid $850 for the dining plan (didn't pay because it was free dining), and our total expenditure had we paid oop for everything would have been almost $1500 - lots of steaks, salmon, high-end stuff ordered that week. If we had been paying ourselves, it is more likely we would have spent $1100 or so, ordered the chicken or the pasta, and shared or skipped desserts.

But I like the prepaid aspect of the ddp, so I always book it even if it may not save us all that much money.

The main thing is, would you eat like that if you were paying oop - not necessarily the particular entrees but the meals themselves? We like having a sit-down meal to unwind during the day, and while we may not order desserts or something that is included in the plan if we were eating oop, it still usually works out in our favor by at least 25% over the course of the trip. The biggest savings was my mom's first trip in 2007, where the plan cost me $400 and the receipts tallied up for that trip were $792, for a savings of 49%.

HTH
Actually, a child is 3-9. Ten years and up are considered "adults". Your point still stands - just wanted to point it out to anyone that is looking into purchasing the plan.
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:22 PM   #10
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We are a family of five. This year my oldest becomes an adult by Disney standards. With more than one in the child category and especially with three, I think it's a great deal. You won't lose anything on the kids at all and probably come out way ahead. Likely will be the same for the adults if you're on the regular dining plan. It was a huge savings for us last time (about $400) and I'm expecting to still save $100-$200 even as DS is now an adult.
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PictureJumpr View Post
At $40 a day, the plan basically equates to the TS meal and the snack, and is like getting the CS for free - but only if you are planning on ordering the more expensive entrees at your TS. With buffets/character meals the perceived savings is less.
Just a side note, OP is going in June, and there is an additional Holiday
Surcharge for buffets/character meals, so a little more savings there.
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoundMyPrince View Post
Actually, a child is 3-9. Ten years and up are considered "adults". Your point still stands - just wanted to point it out to anyone that is looking into purchasing the plan.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GatorLady View Post
Just a side note, OP is going in June, and there is an additional Holiday
Surcharge for buffets/character meals, so a little more savings there.
Both good points - thanks for the clarification!
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Old 03-28-2009, 01:46 AM   #13
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I went through the menus from allears.net at the places I made ADRs for and typical QS costs from some places. If I was paying OOP, we would eat cheaper and not order deserts and only 1 Char Dining. The Char dining along (Chef Mickey's) is $105+tax.

For 6 TS, 7 QS and 7 Snacks my total for the 5 of us with tax would easily be $900. I have Rainforest in the schedule and they don't take the DDP. Using the DDP and eating not so cheap and price of deserts, I could see spending $1300. Maybe a Dinner show or a Sig. Rest. to burn up 2 TS.

DDP looks to be worth it.
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Old 03-28-2009, 12:53 PM   #14
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I made up a chart

I made a chart for what my family of 2 adults and 3 children would eat if we were paying OOP. We are similar to your family as far as trying to eating frugally. We will generally do b'fast at the camper (cereal and milk, because that's what the kids like to eat for b'fast) and then we'd need maybe 2 meals for the day (a mixture of cheaper TS meals, ff meals, and a couple of must-do character experiences), and some snacks.

At any rate, my chart showed that eating frugally and yet not being super miserly, we would come out almost equal on the 6 day plan including adding in the cost of tips to the cost of the dining plan. It showed that the dining plan would cost a total of about $30 more. And for that $30 we would be eating at much nicer places.
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Old 03-28-2009, 02:43 PM   #15
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I noticed you are two months away from your 7 night vacation...do you have 7 TS ADRs already? You need to have 7 TS planned to get the most out of the plan...perhaps the concierge would help you since you are club level

I calculated that the dining plan is $112.95 per night for your family

It looks like you are traveling during holiday surcharge time (May 24 - July 11, 2009) for buffet and character meals.

So if you used your TS meal for dinner at Crystal Palace...
Dinner: $34.99/Guest (10 and older)--$16.99 Guest (3-9) (regularly $28.99/$13.99) + tax= $128.21 So on that day, WITHOUT calculating snacks or CS, you have saved money...I think the DDP is almost impossible to lose on with 3 kids b/c the price is so inexpensive for them!
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