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Old 01-06-2013, 08:39 AM   #16
Yahweh
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What we are doing this trip is a split stay (4 night at the Poly, and 3 nights at AKL) and are under the dining plan for the first 4 nights but not the last three.

That way we can eat at the higher 1 credit dining restaurants early in our trip and dine at some of our favorite restaurants which may not be a great value on the DP at the end of our trip.

We are doing 'Ohana, Tutto Italia, The Wave (the have a $34 beef tenderloin), and Kouzzina on the dinning plan.

And Sanaa, Jiko, and the Brown Derby off the dining plan. Two of those three restaurants would have cost 2 dining credits a piece and just not worth it, as they are marginally more expensive than some of the higher end 1 credit restaurants.

I would be hard press to want to do all 7 days on the DP as it ends up being too much food. But 4 days is great, since it is kind of fun being able to order the most expensive thing on the menu, and not worry about the cost. But that gets old after a few days, as you kind of get tired of steak all the time
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:36 AM   #17
OceanStateKelly
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we always use CS for breakfast then skip lunch (still full) and go out to dinner for the TS, and if we need something during the day we use our Snack for Ice cream ect to hold us over.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:38 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneydreamingdebby View Post
If you have two children (9 or under) and plan on doing buffets, then you have a good chance at a savings.

If not, it's probably cheaper to pay oop. We share many meals and drinks, especially counter service. We also don't eat desserts with every lunch and dinner. (When you total receipts, those desserts add up and make the dining plan look awesome!)

Each year the ddp prices go up, and the savings go down.
Agreed. unless you like a LOT of sodas with each meal,same for those desserts....we wouldn't bother buying them anyway...and one large soda is more than enough for 4 of us at a lunch....
We had free dining,and I compared the receipts,etc (fun!) but if I did it oop, I wouldn't have spent as much as the dining stuff,and we overate daily to keep up.
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:57 AM   #19
nat8199
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For us, the DxDP makes sense. We will be doing a character breakfast before opening every day, paying OOP for some lunches, and then doing 2 credit meals for dinner. We won't be using the sodas, and maybe not all of the snacks, but just for the breakfasts and dinners we will save a lot of money.
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:58 AM   #20
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To say whether it saves you money or not is simply subjective. If we didn't have the dining plan, we wouldn't eat a table service meal each day, and we definitely wouldn't be buying the most expensive thing on the menu or having dessert. With a child who's considered an adult, we also would never consider a buffet or all-you-can eat restaurant. Instead, we'd probably eat counter service dinners every other day, and be more frugal when it came to table service restaurants and what we chose to order. If this is the way we wanted to do the parks, and the way we wanted to vacation, we would definitely choose not to add on the dining plan.

With the dining plan, we love the convenience of having it paid for ahead of time, and the fact that we can splurge and order steak or salmon and have a few bites of dessert and not feel bad that we didn't eat it all. For us, this is vacation--feeling indulged and not worrying about every little penny. Since we don't really buy many souvenirs and keep spending in the parks to a minimum, we find that we can comfortably get away with bringing about $500 in tips and spending money for a week's vacation to Disney.

My point is: If you add up what $$ amount we "spent" on the dining plan in meals compared to what we paid Disney, we came out ahead. But had we not had the dining plan, we would have spent far less of our own money eating in Disney.

Granted, during our last vacation, after a week of being on the dining plan, we were sick of food, felt fat and bloated, etc. So for our upcoming trip, we decided to try CL for the last two days of the trip so that we don't have to pay out of pocket for each meal and aren't resorting to penny-pinching and feeling less indulged. We have a dinner reservation booked for our one night off of the dining plan, but we may find that the CL offerings coupled with a counter service meal may be enough and that the last night's reservation may be unnecessary.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:51 PM   #21
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A number of our "musts" for WDW aren't on the DDP plan list - like V&A and the Swan/Dolphin restaurants. I'm not a dessert eater (I might eat 1 during the course of a trip), but I do enjoy a glass of champagne or something sweet for afters. I don't always want an entree - I might just want a salad and an app for dinner and I don't really dig being told what is or isn't "ok" to order. I did the DDP once and hated it. I couldn't eat what or where I wanted and I came out far worse from a monetary perspective. I do think it works great for people that want set meals or want to budget in advance, but it did not work for me, my DH or 2 of my friends, but that's just our habits and we weren't willing to change the what we eat nor were we willing to eat at places we don't really enjoy....

I do think you get a lot of the money using snack credits at F&W.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:09 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanStateKelly View Post
we always use CS for breakfast then skip lunch (still full) and go out to dinner for the TS, and if we need something during the day we use our Snack for Ice cream ect to hold us over.
Using the DDP this way will definitely lose you money. QS breakfast entrees are under $10 (unless you go to WPE everyday) and you only get a drink (lose the dessert option), so that's around $13 at the most. That means you need to "spend" $42 more for your TS and snack. There aren't many places you can do that.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:27 PM   #23
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We definitely saved money "on paper" when we used the DxDP a few years ago. However, we ate more during that week than I would normally eat in three lifetimes. I hated feeling like I had to eat so much and I didn't like always running to the next ADR.

We considered the regular dining plan for our last trip and ended up going OOP. We came out ahead in spite of ordering whatever we wanted,including some appetizers and desserts. Plus I had lots of snacks.

I swore I would never use a dining plan again. But I might make one exception - my mother really wants to go on one of our trips and would absolutely *faint* at the TS prices. The CS prices would also probably disturb her. I can gloss over ticket and room and package prices but I can't hide menus. I would consider using a plan if we do being her on a trip and just telling her that the plan had a substantial built-in discount or something so I wouldn't have to have daily arguments that we should just make peanut butter sandwiches in the room.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:45 AM   #24
holbie18
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We are doing the dining plan instead of a room discount. This will be our family's first trip to Disney. Kids are ages 4 and 6.5. All of our table service meals are buffets (Two of which are character meals). I think the room discount and our dining plan were comparable. For me though, I want to enjoy my trip. I'd be cringing every time we bought something to eat without it. I like to have trips paid for in advance and its easier for me to tell Disney to charge my credit card than it is for me to save cash for our trip.

Now, if we go to Disney again we probably won't do a dining plan because we'd most likely staff off site the next time we go and we'd have a car and be able to pick off site restaurants to stay at.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:19 PM   #25
Southern Bell
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Dining plan

We have used the dining plan 2 times but it was when they offered it to us free. (?) My husband says it was not free! LOL! The first time we paid for an upgrade from Quick to standard dining because we wanted to do several character meals for grandchild and we wanted to try several other places. Buffets worked out great for childen especially if they are under three (eat free on Buffet instead of off your plate) and if they are picky eaters you can find them something. We could not have afforded to have done all that we did. We enjoyed it very much. We learned one reservation a day was enough for us and to make it at the park you wanted to be at for the day. The downside to this was how do you know(not knowing the weather) what park you want to be at 3-6 months in advance. Ours worked out pretty good. I think we cancelled one and changed one. We don't usually ever buy desert with a meal but it comes with it. At our hotel we had more choices for your desert (that comes with your meal) than inside the theme parks and they let us purchase a item for breakfast (muffin, pastry or fruit). Then we could save our snack credit. For instance your going to be limited for the most part on counterservice meals at theme parks to carrot or chocolate cake, that gets thrown away. I for one got sick of the cake and I don't want to carry cake around all day with melted icing. We did get a cookie once a saved it. I read where they would let you choose something else besides the cake (bottled water for instance)but.... we never found anyone that would do that for us either time. Once they upsized our drink for no additional cost. One time my husband had a different choice other than cake and got us a healthy yogurt with our hamburger & fries. LOL! I looked at my husband and said well , What am I supposed to do with that! He said I don't know I just thought it would be something different besides cake! Well we didn't eat it or want to carry it around all day at the theme parks. We gave it away to a family sitting beside us with two children who were shaking their heads no also. The mother took it anyway. We learned when we ate lunch or dinner at the hotel to use our cup for refills with our combo meal and get a (bottled water, milk, juice, coke, tea) for the drink allowance to go. We took our drink back to our room and put it in our luke warm fridge. LOL!
On the standard dining plan it was nice to have reservations and a sure place to sit down and eat every evening, but on the other side of that coin it was nice on the quick dining plan not to have reservations and to come and go everyday where I wanted to. To eat when I got good and ready! LOL! We found on the quick dining plan the food could to be just as good and sometimes we felt like it was the very same chicken or mashed potatoes we had recieved on the standard plan. Only we had to tip afterwards! My husband enjoyed not having to tip on the Quick dining plan. LOL! He said he spent alot on tips and he isn't one to over tip. We could have bought a meal at home for our tip! High priced meals = high price tip! So.. thats something to think about if you are purchasing the dining plan and trying to save money , too. Because I have already done the Standard Plan and visited several restaurants , I think if I were to buy a dining plan I would buy the Quick service and make a reservation (to pay out of pocket...again)for one and no more than two special sit down restaurants if there was a character meal or a nice restaurant I wanted to try. Or even go outside Disney and have one or two special sit down meals. I really feel like if you have transportation you could eat a nicer and cheaper dinner outside Disney for a change of pace. Orlando has alot of nice restaurants. By the end of the week on both plans, I was kind of tired of Disneys food, and we ate alot of different meals on both. This was our fault but ...we also found that we let the dining plan (especially the Standard)keep us inside Disney and didn't venture out into the Orlando area very much. I for one want to see more than just Disney (sorry)when I drive all the way to Florida. But.. I do love to go to Disney! LOL!

Last edited by Southern Bell; 01-07-2013 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:22 PM   #26
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It can. Depends on how you use it. It's probably best for a family with several kids under age 10 and ahead-of-time plans to do multiple buffets, family style or character meals.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:52 PM   #27
OceanStateKelly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharonabe View Post
Using the DDP this way will definitely lose you money. QS breakfast entrees are under $10 (unless you go to WPE everyday) and you only get a drink (lose the dessert option), so that's around $13 at the most. That means you need to "spend" $42 more for your TS and snack. There aren't many places you can do that.
This works fine for us, We are not big eaters so eating a lunch that would be almost the same price as breakfast maybe 2 dollars more in the middle of the day then going out to a big dinner wouldn't work - we wouldn't be able to eat it and then add in dessert forget- I would be full all day and maybe need a snack later..
but thanks for letting me know i need to find TS on the higher side

p.s. and i did get the DP at a discount so that helps too
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:09 PM   #28
LisaBi
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DDP is not worth it for us if we have to pay for it, but usually is a better deal for us than a room discount if they are offering free dining. The discount is less than what it costs me to feed us OOP.

And we are finding that we have too much food with regular DDP. If we eat a TS lunch or buffet breakfast, we aren't eating again, or eating very light. And at most seem to be only getting a total of one snack per day between us. I'm even canceling TS ressies because we are just sick of food. There is no way we can do two TS in the same day. Even one TS and one CS is pushing us over the limits of how much we can eat.
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