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Old 09-25-2009, 10:57 PM   #1
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How do YOU make the most of the DDP?

Last year my husband and I were on the DDP for the first three days of our stay, but we also had the perk of having the club level at CSR (free upgrade, awesome!!) so that pretty much took care of our breakfast where we'd normally use a CS - leaving us with a CS and TS for lunch and dinner, and a snack. And for the second half of our stay we had the DxDDP at the GF (no worries about food on that plan!!).

This year, we're just doing the DDP, and I doubt we'll be lucky two years in a row and be upgraded to the club level at CSR if there are no conventions while we're there.

Therefore - how do we make the most of our 1CS, 1TS and 1 snack? I'm planning on packing a Brita with a filter so we don't have to worry about buying or using snack credits for waters, but what do you recommend to make the most of your DDP? Favorite restaurants? Buffets for breakfast? CS Combos for lunch? Snack credit for a light breakfast? TS for dinner?

Thanks for your suggestions!
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Old 09-26-2009, 04:28 PM   #2
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I make the most of my plan by picking restaurants I love, ordering exactly what I want and never use a snack credit for anything under 3 bucks. I snack enough to have to pay oop for some, so I just watch how I use the plan.
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Old 09-26-2009, 08:10 PM   #3
No, no,no, those red signs with the word STOP on them are optional if they have a white border.
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I am the same about snacks, I pay OOP for anything over 3 dollars.. but there is method to my madness.. It makes it so much easier leaving Disney by going to the candy store on Mainstreet right before we have to leave to catch our flight home. We usually have like 8 credits remaining or so and we can take home those big lollipops etc..

We are usually 3 meal a day people unless we have a big breakfast around 10 or so then dinner around 5 so I try to do as many of the "two meal a day" situations as I can and on the 3 meal days I pay OOP for CS breakfast as it is usually the cheapest meal of the day.

On the rare occasion that we have more TS booked than we are alloted I check the menus and pay OOP the cheapest meal (usually a buffet).
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Old 09-26-2009, 08:12 PM   #4
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When we stayed at CSR, i liked using our CS for breakfast. I'd get an omelet with homefries and a muffin. It came with 2 drinks. My dd2 would eat the muffin and we'd share one drink. Then i'd take the 2nd drink into the parks with us.

a few times we used a snack credit for breakfast (muffin, etc.) and that worked out okay.

I never used a snack credit for something that was under $3.

CS places we enjoyed: Pepper Market, Wolfgang Puck Exp.

TS places we enjoyed: CRT breakfast, CP lunch, Coral Reef dinner, Maya Grill dinner, SCI Fi lunch
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Old 09-26-2009, 08:37 PM   #5
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Thank you - this is exactly what I was looking for everyone.

I figure DH and I will probably pay OOP for a buffet breakfast once or twice, or a light breakfast (bagel, banana, coffee), and then use the CS for lunch and TS for dinner (or vice versa). I must get a Mickey ice cream bar, and the popcorn is like crack corn to DH! So those are definite snack musts... but easily paid for rather than using the snack credit for those treats.

I'm sorry - what is 'CRT breakfast' is that Cinderella's Table? That's the only acronym I didn't catch...
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:39 AM   #6
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We really aren't big breakfast eating people, therefore we eat in our room. I pack breakfast bars, cereal and disposable bowls and buy some milk at the store at the resort. The coffee drinkers get a refillable mug. We have used snacks credit for muffins to change things up.

We usually have an extra counter service meal to deal due to our arrival time so we do eat breakfast as a counter service meal at least once during our trip. Also last time we were all getting tired of eating and started sharing our counter service meals, therefore giving us counter service credits for the adults and paid OOP for the kids meal for our last day of our trip.
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Old 09-27-2009, 02:44 PM   #7
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All of the counter-service restaurants have filtered water through the soda dispensers. It is free.
You can also pick the packaged desserts with your meals or fruit and take it back with you for breakfasts.
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Old 09-27-2009, 04:05 PM   #8
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To get the most out of our dining plan, I will typically do a snack credit for a light breakfast, and then a counter service and table service for the rest of the day (I typically use them out of order, I don't have a plan for that). I try to first pick places that I really love to eat. However, the one thing that I do try to do is minimize the use of buffets. I find that you don't get quite as much of your moneys worth with them.

Other suggestions that I have is places like Wolfgang Puck Express. Their a counter service establishment, but their pricing is a little higher, so I think you always feel like you're getting your moneys worth. I also tend to avoid counter service for breakfast.

When I went with my two brothers two years ago, my oldest brother made it his mission to make sure that he was using the dining plan to the fullest extent. He had this entire plan of always picking the most expensive thing on the menu, every single meal we ate. It worked, because we certainly got our moneys worth.

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Old 09-27-2009, 04:34 PM   #9
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The previous post's brother had the right idea about ordering the most expensive thing on the menu at TS rest. I certainly plan to do that
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Old 09-27-2009, 05:02 PM   #10
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I agree with wolfgang puck's for a counter service....excellent food!!!
Also...use your table service for dinner. That would be the most expensive meal.
Some restaurant like chefs de france and le cellier have prix fixe menus that include an appetizer.
But I also agree with the other poster not to worry about the price but order exactly what you want. You are not making the most of the dining plan by getting something you may not necessarily want but it is the most expensive on the menu.
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Old 09-28-2009, 01:54 PM   #11
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We've used the DDP 2x during free dining promos. The first time (when appies and gratuity were included), we just went where we liked and ordered what we wanted. It worked out great and we had too much food and extra credits. Last December, the whole family was on free dining for our trip (10 of us). We decided to "maximize the value" by choosing places and entrees that were expensive. Big mistake. We had a lot of good meals, but sometimes did not order what we wanted or eat where we wanted. Also, tips for TS were expensive because the bills were so high and food was wasted because desserts were left on the dish. We are going in November again, and I am going back to our original plan. Don't get me wrong, we know WPE is a great use of a CS credit, but we will go there because we like it too!
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Last edited by tortoni; 09-28-2009 at 01:55 PM. Reason: forgot something
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Old 09-28-2009, 03:15 PM   #12
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Character meals as they are usually expensive.

If you are interested in ordering the most expensive item on every menu then go that route. I preferred to order what I felt like eating at that particular time rather than ordering the most expensive item which is some cases was not a dish I would want to eat. I enjoyed not having to worry about the cost no matter what I chose.
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:52 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by dansyr2514 View Post
I agree with wolfgang puck's for a counter service....excellent food!!!
Which Wolfgang Puck Express is this? Is it the one that's connected with Wolfgang Puck Cafe and Dining Room? I noticed there is another Express (stand alone?) at the other side of Downtown Disney by Earl of Sandwich. I'm trying to figure out if they are both the same or if one is better than the other. Thanks!
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Old 09-29-2009, 12:02 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by lvdis View Post
Which Wolfgang Puck Express is this? Is it the one that's connected with Wolfgang Puck Cafe and Dining Room? I noticed there is another Express (stand alone?) at the other side of Downtown Disney by Earl of Sandwich. I'm trying to figure out if they are both the same or if one is better than the other. Thanks!
It is the one near the Earl of Sandwich. YUMMY
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Old 09-29-2009, 12:42 PM   #15
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OT question

Jen, I'm curious -- when you got the free upgrade to club level did you ask if they had free upgrades or did they just spring it on you?
We'll be going to CSR this Dec and I'm wondering if I should ask or stay mum.

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