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Old 01-11-2010, 10:26 AM   #1
rmjkharrisfam
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Help! Which trip is the better deal?

Hi -
So I REALLY want to get to Disney this year and I almost have my DH convinced. I've had 2 trips quoted for me with the different offers that are out there right now (%off room or gift card). Which is the better deal?

Here are the details: Both trips are for 5 of us (me, DH, DS7, DD5, and DD1)

Trip #1
Dates: May 8th - 15th
Resort: Pop Century
Tickets: 6 day park hopper tickets
Dining: Disney basic dining plan
Total: $2,500.76

Trip #2
Same as above except no dining plan but a $300 gift card at check in that we would use for food.
Total: $2,004.30

Is $300 enough for food? I haven't been without the dining plan in years. I'm also EXTEMELY flexible on dates and resorts. So if anyone knows of a better time/resort/etc feel free to let me know.

Help me Budget boarders!
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:30 AM   #2
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I just did almost the same calculations for my family for April 30th through May 7th. We decided to go with the room discount since I don't think that the gift card will cover all our meals especially if planning some sit down meals. Also I liked knowing that I didn't have to worry about the cost of food and how much money would be left on the GC.
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:33 AM   #3
kaytieeldr
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$300 probably isn't enough for food - but look at it this way. You'll have that $300, pluse up to the $500 difference between the two packages, to apply to food.
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:35 AM   #4
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wouldn't you have $800? A $300 gift card plus the $500 savings on the package?

We are not fans of the dining plan. We like to eat the way we want how we want maybe just all appetizers? Or whatever.
So I vote Plan B
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:44 AM   #5
rmjkharrisfam
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Hmmm, I didn't think of it that way - $800 savings. I'm torn though, because I do like not having to worry about paying for food.

Other opinions?
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:45 AM   #6
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my family of 3 spent approximately $620 on food and snacks (very few) in 6 days in June, 2009, and that was only 3 sit-down meals. with a family of four (baby eats free) the price would, of course, be higher. you might be able to come out about even, depending on the # of TS meals you were planning. we did biergarten (supper), crystal palace (lunch) and tusker house (breakfast). i had $650 in disney gift cards to use for food and there was about $30 left on them after our last meal. HTH!
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:48 AM   #7
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It sounds like you are leaning towards the dining plan.

Dawn

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmjkharrisfam View Post
Hmmm, I didn't think of it that way - $800 savings. I'm torn though, because I do like not having to worry about paying for food.

Other opinions?
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:59 AM   #8
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I booked almost the exact trip, at pop. we went with the room only discount, and will buy tickets from Undercover tourist. Even though buying the room at rack rate with the dining added on WITH the $300 figured out was about $100 saving BUT it was more out of pocket and I wasn't convinced that the dining plan would save us money on food.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:02 AM   #9
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For me the deciding factor would be how many sit down meals you want and how many character meals you want.

For our family of 4, we love sit down meals to relax and really enjoy the character meals. Our last trip, we did 4 character meals and 3 sit down dinners. It was at least $100 per meal for the character meals and sit down dinners. So, $700 for us...this was not including breakfast, lunch or snacks. For us, the dining plan is well worth the cost.

If you plan on sit down meals or character dining, $800 might not be enough to cover you for the week.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:13 AM   #10
rmjkharrisfam
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Quote:
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It sounds like you are leaning towards the dining plan.

Dawn
Am I that obvious?? I am but DH wants to be VERY cost conscious this trip. I thought it would be interesting to find out what others have spent on food. I wasn't sure $300 would cover. Doesn't sound like it will.....
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:20 AM   #11
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when I calculated it for our 5 day trip for our 2 adults one child (sharing CS breakfast, sharing CS lunch, 2 TS dinners, 2 character meals) it did not cover our meals, but what I calculated cost less than the dining plan...so its a danged if you did, danged if you don't. I see it as the GC is compensation for the money you would of saved booking room only....so no big diff in anything really. I guess it depends if you want to eat TS everyday or not, and if you will share CS meals and whatnot, or if miday 'snack' could be your lunch, etc.

either way no (or slight in one way or another) big savings over one or the other.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:20 AM   #12
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Why not create a fake menu of what you think your family might eat during that time and price it out using the menus here on the DIS? That would be a more accurate way to estimate, since you'll know what your family's needs are better than anyone else. Good luck!
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:30 AM   #13
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I was debating DDP vs. no DDP last year and was glad I did it. I did create a spreadsheet to see if it was worth it. I also went back after the fact and determined that I actually saved about what I predicted tho the costs were higher some places and lower in others. Let me know if you want the spreadsheet and I will e-mail it to you.

My kids are slightly older than yours so our daily costs were slightly higher but our total cost for 5 people was approx $52/QS meal and just under $100 for TS meal. Breakfast was primarily snacks options but the OOP cost would have been $30/meal. Which is a cost of $180/day. This doesn't include additional OOP costs of $200 for the week for extra drinks/snacks not covered by the DDP; DH wouldn't let me bring food from home - that cost would have gone down to about $80 if he had let me bring juice boxes, water, etc.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smile4Me View Post
Why not create a fake menu of what you think your family might eat during that time and price it out using the menus here on the DIS? That would be a more accurate way to estimate, since you'll know what your family's needs are better than anyone else. Good luck!
OP, this is what i did. i used menus and prices on allearsnet.com to estimate what we would spend each day on food, then allowed an extra $15 per day for snacks (DD and i rarely eat them, and DH only gets the occasional soft drink). make sure you figure in the cost of tips for TS meals, no matter which trip you choose-they're not covered on the dining plan anymore.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:50 AM   #15
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I love the dining plan too because we can eat wherever we want w/o worrying about cost.

Just a thought...but want about not going hoppers & save that $ on the tickets & use the difference toward dining? I'm always too tired to hop to a different park & that is even going w/o kids.
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