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Old 01-11-2013, 12:51 PM   #16
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We decided to do deluxe dining on this trip because we wanted to try restaurants that we would never pay out of pocket for. We are doing 2 meals a day plus quite a few signature restaurants including HDDR and the Luau. Will we save money? Probably not, but it's going to be close and I'm looking forward to having everything paid for in full and not to have to worry about anything but tips. I'm starting to get excited.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:13 PM   #17
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Seems to me you'll get the best savings on the DP if you take your children to the character buffets. The children's price for a single buffet is about the same as the daily cost for the DP so that they're basically getting another meal and a snack for free. Even if I break even on the adult plan, I'm saving a LOT on the kiddos.
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:40 AM   #18
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We just came back and we did the regular dining plan. It was me, DH and DD5. It was not enough. If they had a plan in the middle of 1 ts, 1 qs and 1 snack and 3 of anything and a ton of snack....that would be great. Like 1 ts, 2 qs and maybe 2 snack. DD5 was always hungry with all the walking...we brought snacks from home but it was jot enough for all of us.
Next time I think we will do the Deluxe plan, it will be nice to not worry about it! =)

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Old 01-12-2013, 04:42 PM   #19
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We had 3 ADRs everyday - we ate many character meals including Cinderella's Royal Table - and I do think we came out ahead, but we didn't need that much food. An app, entree and dessert for each person for lunch and dinner was just too much, especially since we had a character buffet EVERY morning - we weren't ready to eat lunch at lunch time!

Because we paid nearly $100/for each adult there was no way we were eating a counter service breakfast or lunch. There were times we skipped an app or dessert, though.

Also, tips cost us more on the DxDP then if we paid OOP because we normally wouldn't order so much food, leaving us with such a high bill to pay a 18-20% tip on, so that's something to keep in mind.

We are trying the DDP when we go back in 2 weeks to see how we like it. If we find ourselves paying OOP too much then we will quit the dining plans all together.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:24 PM   #20
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We're going in May and I have been fighting with myself on "to dinning plan or to not dining plan". I am a DVC member so we get a 10% discount at a lot of restaurants but still not sure which way is more economical. 5 people going....ages 43, 34, 19, 16 and 12. I just wish there was a clear answer! Ugh.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:42 PM   #21
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The DDP will be a good deal for our daughter, son-in-law and two kids age 5 and 3 because of the price of the plan for the kids. I think it will be a break even deal for us. We have either buffets, character buffets or all you can eat meals for 4 of the 6 table services. The costs for the kids meals OOP versus DDP make it a bargain for her family. I think for just my husband and I we will probably break even, since I think on the 2 days we are doing a normal table service restaurant, we won't get our value out of the plan. It is our first time doing the dining plan and it will be interesting to see if we come out ahead or not.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:51 PM   #22
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I think it's very difficult to make the DDP cost effective. I couldn't eat 3 big meals a day and to break even you'll need to do that. The regular DP would probably work better for you. You could still get your character meals (paying OOP for any extras that weren't covered). I would say that the Dinner Shows are better if you pay OOP anyway, because DP reservations you can only get Cat 2 or 3 and it's not a good use of credits.
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:14 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by landiscarrier View Post
We're going in May and I have been fighting with myself on "to dinning plan or to not dining plan". I am a DVC member so we get a 10% discount at a lot of restaurants but still not sure which way is more economical. 5 people going....ages 43, 34, 19, 16 and 12. I just wish there was a clear answer! Ugh.
It might be better for you to price out dining with the TIW card.

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Old 01-14-2013, 11:47 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by bleeps View Post
I definitely agree that the dining plans used to be a better deal economically -- but we still get the deluxe plan.

In addition to what we feel is the benefit of having the trip paid for in advance, I admit that having the plan allows me to enjoy my meals in a way that I don't when we're paying OOP. I get kind of frazzled about trying to save money/trying to cut back ("really? are we that hungry? do we really need lunch or would some snacks do it?") and it's really, really hard for me to look at a menu and order what I really want instead of ordering something that's the less expensive options, skip appetizer and dessert, etc.

So while I don't, on the other hand, always order the MOST expensive thing just to get "value" out of the plan, I do enjoy meals more and love not feeling any pressure to go cheap on myself. We do tend to do signature meals for most dinners, and then TS for lunch or breakfast.

Finally, I also really love the special freedom the plan allows me to just say "sure!" when DS asks for popcorn, or ice cream, etc. We usually end up in the resort gift shop using up snack credits our last day, but in the meantime it's great to be on vacation and say "yes!" to special treats without a second thought.
This is exactly how we look at the Dining Plan. We love the Dining Plan and cannot imagine going to Disney without it. We do the Deluxe Dining Plan now and get to eat at places we would never pay OOP for.

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