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Old 12-13-2012, 05:48 PM   #31
EMAW_KSU
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We have done the deluxe dining plan for all of our trips. We were there last week for seven nights two adults and one child. The total of our meals was $1715.26 not including snacks. The cost of the deluxe plan was $1363.81.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:01 PM   #32
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We did the deluxe dining plan a few years ago. I hated it. Way too much food plus I felt like we were always running to our next ADR (even though I was still stuffed from the last meal). We ate at signature restaurants most nights to use up the credits but it was still too much.

OOP works best for us. We ate exactly what we wanted (didn't skimp on desserts, appetizers, snacks, or alcohol) and spent about the same as a regular dining plan would have cost.

All that said, if I had free dining, I would probably upgrade to Deluxe. I would just convince DH that we were under no obligation to eat every meal, course, and snack available.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:43 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EMAW_KSU View Post
We have done the deluxe dining plan for all of our trips. We were there last week for seven nights two adults and one child. The total of our meals was $1715.26 not including snacks. The cost of the deluxe plan was $1363.81.
So after eating two sit down meals each day of your vacation ($75 dinner + $35 other meals), you managed to get about 20% savings (before calculating your snacks). That's good.

But would you have eaten all those calories had you not prepaid?

As I've said again and again, the math for DxDP works if you're willing to eat at least two Signature meals a day (pretty much needing two ADR's each day) and the rest of the folks in your party has to be OK with that too. If you should skip one meal, then nearly all your savings are gone.

I'm not suggesting that the Dining Plan is not a possible savings. It is. And I might also suggest that it's convenient for ease of use and never having to review your dining charges. Regardless, I still believe that the Dining Plan is not a great value for most people.
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Akershus (3.0-stars* Food; 5* princess interaction). blueZoo (4.5* - Best (Sea) Food w/o jacket required), Boma (4.0* buffet breakfast*), Bongo's (3*), California Grill (3.5*food; 5*- Best View), Cape May Cafe (4* charcter breakfast w/ Goofy), Captain's Grille (2*), Chef Mickey's (2* food; 5* characters), Cinderella's Royal Table (2.5* food; 4* characters), Citrico's (3.5*), Coral Reef (3.5* food; 4.5* for the view), Crystal Palace (2*), 50's Prime Time Cafe (2.5*), Flying Fish (3.5*), Grand Floridian Cafe (3*), Hollywood Brown Derby (3*), House of Blues (3.5* - BBQ), Il Mulino (4*), Jiko (3.5*), Le Cellier (3.5*), Les Chefs de France (3*), Marrakesh (3* - Best Value/bit noisy; 4* belly dancers), Narcoossee's (3.5*), Rainforest Cafe (2*), Rose & Crown (2.5*), Sanaa (4.0* - View of Animals on Savannah), Sci-Fi Theatre (2.5*), Shula's Steakhouse (4*), Sleepy Hollow (4* Qwik Serve chicken waffles & coffee drinks), Tamu Tamu (4* - Qwik Serve Hidden Gem) Victoria & Albert (5*- Best Service/Tasting Menu), Wave (3*), Yak & Yeti (2*)
-- Items in BOLD are personal favorites.

On my 'to dine' list: Artist Point (Nov, 2014), Monsieur Paul (2015?), Ohana (2016?), Yachtman's Steakhouse (2015), & Spice Road (2014?).
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:40 PM   #34
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Wow. I must really like to eat. I am pumped about how much food I am going to get! My boyfriend and I are going deluxe in February and we have a sit down meal planned three times a day almost every day! No signatures, just breakfast, lunch, and dinner at a TS restaurant. I think it's awesome and I can't wait! We also planned our ADRs around where we were going to be so we won't be travelling all over disney to get our meals, which I would definitely find annoying. I can understand why people don't want to do that.
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:55 AM   #35
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Every person/family/group of travellers has their own idea of what makes for a good experience, use of money, and use of time for them. If you don't like the dining plans, don't purchase them. But I happen to really enjoy using the deluxe plan and will do so again. My preferences for how I used my plan didn't take away from my desired park time and I'm realizing a savings of about $200 for me alone for 6 nights.

Obviously, the DxDP works for some but not all. I don't think anyone suggested it was a value for all.
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:58 AM   #36
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I LOVE LOVE LOVE my DXDP!!! I literally have to have it every time I go to WDW, or honestly I wont go...shocking huh.

I usually do 2-3 sit down meals a day, sometimes I will sub a CS. I think the dining is a big part of my vacation. I love the food at WDW and I love apps. I have too many TS I have to go to not to do the DxDP.

I usually do a 7:30 character meal, lunch at about 1pm, and dinner after the parks close. I do tend to gain weight on my vacations but I just work hard to lose before and after.

Oh and believe me I totally rack up the cost, so its so worth it.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:42 AM   #37
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We did the deluxe dining plan in January 2012 and we are doing it again in May 2013. We love having a TS for breakfast (always a character meal because we have small kids) and for dinner. It is a nice break at dinner time to just sit and relax. Also we go through the snack credits, usually for the adults it is in drinks.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:58 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JZCubed View Post
So after eating two sit down meals each day of your vacation ($75 dinner + $35 other meals), you managed to get about 20% savings (before calculating your snacks). That's good.

But would you have eaten all those calories had you not prepaid?

As I've said again and again, the math for DxDP works if you're willing to eat at least two Signature meals a day (pretty much needing two ADR's each day) and the rest of the folks in your party has to be OK with that too. If you should skip one meal, then nearly all your savings are gone.

I'm not suggesting that the Dining Plan is not a possible savings. It is. And I might also suggest that it's convenient for ease of use and never having to review your dining charges. Regardless, I still believe that the Dining Plan is not a great value for most people.
I don't do any signature meals and still come out ahead, not including snack credits/cost.

If the dining plan is saving you money, it really doesn't matter if someone would have ordered dessert or not had they been paying OOP. Would someone have eaten all those calories paying OOP? I wouldn't have, no... but I always would have been paying MORE for LESS.

If you do a cost comparison on what you'd pay OOP versus the DP and the DP saves you money, then you're getting something extra you wouldn't get normally and paying less overall.

People who enjoy the dining plans are the first ones to advise others to do a cost comparison and the value is entirely dependent on how/where you'll eat.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:13 AM   #39
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I'm on vaca it doesn't matter how much I eat or how much it costs.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:43 AM   #40
EMAW_KSU
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JZCubed View Post
So after eating two sit down meals each day of your vacation ($75 dinner + $35 other meals), you managed to get about 20% savings (before calculating your snacks). That's good.

But would you have eaten all those calories had you not prepaid?

As I've said again and again, the math for DxDP works if you're willing to eat at least two Signature meals a day (pretty much needing two ADR's each day) and the rest of the folks in your party has to be OK with that too. If you should skip one meal, then nearly all your savings are gone.

I'm not suggesting that the Dining Plan is not a possible savings. It is. And I might also suggest that it's convenient for ease of use and never having to review your dining charges. Regardless, I still believe that the Dining Plan is not a great value for most people.
I agree if you are not going to use at least 2 table service meals per day the deluxe plan does not make sense.

For us signature meals are not the best value for the credit. The best value per credit on the last trip was Tepen Edo.

Last edited by EMAW_KSU; 12-14-2012 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:15 PM   #41
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We are doing the deluxe dining plan for our upcoming trip in Jan of 2013 and we can't wait. We are doing breakfast or lunch and a dinner show or a signature restaurant. We were going to do the regular plan, but there were too many restaurants we wanted to try or eat it.

For us it's not trying to get as much value out of the plan and to see how much we saved, rather treating it as all inclusive. You want an app and desert? Great. Have an extra snack. Let's stop for an extra meal. For us it will be really nice to be able to go and not worry about having to buy extra money.
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:24 PM   #42
melissarose
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spunky946
We are doing the deluxe dining plan for our upcoming trip in Jan of 2013 and we can't wait. We are doing breakfast or lunch and a dinner show or a signature restaurant. We were going to do the regular plan, but there were too many restaurants we wanted to try or eat it.

For us it's not trying to get as much value out of the plan and to see how much we saved, rather treating it as all inclusive. You want an app and desert? Great. Have an extra snack. Let's stop for an extra meal. For us it will be really nice to be able to go and not worry about having to buy extra money.
That's how I feel as well. I knew with the regular dining plan we'd still be spending a lot of money because we eat 3 meals a day. This way we can eat pretty much anything we want pretty much whenever. It makes it feel all inclusive, which is something you can't really get at disney! I like not having to worry about the money aspect. (We have tip money prepared and ready to go).
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Old 12-15-2012, 04:10 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by JZCubed View Post
Regardless, I still believe that the Dining Plan is not a great value for most people.
I don't know that it's meant to be the best value around, though. It's advertised that it can save you up to a certain percentage (which isn't that big), not that it's a guaranteed savings. Many people, including myself, get the dining plan for convenience as you said, and convenience comes at a cost in the service industry (i.e: preferred rooms). If you're not willing to pay for convenience, that's fine, but it's hard to judge the value of it for most people when everyone's idea of what they would pay for the convenience will vary greatly.

Before we got into Disney, we frequently vacationed at all inclusive resorts. The all inclusive vacation industry is successful because people love the convenience. You pay one price before you even get there, and you don't bring out your wallet again (except for tours) until you leave. No one has to think, calculate, worry about what they order, the cost, etc. The dining plan is the closest thing to an all inclusive vacation you can get at Disney. With all the other things to worry about in Disney vacation planning, it's nice to be able to take out the element of budgeting for food, which is why we do it. We know the cost when we book about 10-12 months ahead of time and it's paid for before we even arrive. I don't split hairs over whether I will save $100 doing it out of pocket or not. I don't care. I pay for the convenience and I'm fine with it, and that's why it IS good value for us (and many others!).
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:48 PM   #44
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We love the DxDP and don't go to Disney without purchasing it. Since my kids are huge into the character meals, we always do a character breakfast, then have either a QS lunch or we like to snack (always pay OOP for it), then for dinner we like to eat at the Signature restaurants. Sometimes we switch it up and have a light breakfast in the morning which we always pay OOP for and then have a 1 credit lunch somewhere and then either a 1 or 2 credit dinner. We love the appetizers and desserts (the kids and I are big into the desserts) therefore the DxDP really worth it for our family....my kids are 9 and 11 and are somewhat adventurous eaters....they always find something that they like on the menus.
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Old 12-15-2012, 06:36 PM   #45
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If money was no issue, would you do the deluxe dining plan? Why or why not? How would you use your credits?
I do get the gist of your question, constancefamily, and it is certainly a fair one.
I guess the bottom line is where is your money spent, what your preferences are in terms of food and drinks, and if possible can you spend money more wisely with the attitude that your still not sacrificing...at least in in terms of getting what you want in dining experiences. Right?...and sorry for the rambling description...hah!

No answer is the same for everyone, but after a lot of consideration (things like love TS, we don't eat desert, maybe enjoy an occasional appetizer, but we will often have wine or beer, etc), we've found the Tables in Wonderland card to be the most comfortable fit for what we want. Maybe something to consider for you?

Hey, I hope you have a magical stay at Disney World!
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