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Old 01-12-2013, 06:42 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Mar 2010
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character meals and DDP worth it with kids?

I have been doing a great deal of reading, and am not sure which way to go. We have gone to disneyworld for the last three years and done the plus dining option. Our girls 8 and 6 like the character meals. We usually eat our stuff, but like many who post, we could live without the snacks, desserts, drinks, etc.

Our plan
CRT- Dinner, I would be thrown out of the house otherwise.
Crystal Palace- Breakfast, My DW's favorite meal
O'hana- Dinner My favorite meal ...non character
Be Our Guest- Dinner its new and fits my princess minded girls
Dinner at Epcot - not sure which... went to Napoli last year and liked it.
Buffett somewhere- Dinner could be chef mickey could be cape may, could be whispering canyon.
One night eat qs at our resort (CRT is 2 credits)

at times my wife and I would rather not eat lunch but have a protein bar or something instead, but on ddp we do.

Can we save money going oop? Or is the value of having kids with all the character meals worth the ddp. Any thoughts would be welcome.
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:48 PM   #2
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With all the buffets you have planned and your TWO girls, yes it's probably worth it. The cost for the kids' DDP for one night is roughly the same as the buffet price, so their QS and snack are basically free. Since you're doing mostly dinners, the adults will at least break even most days and probably save a little.
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:51 PM   #3
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One of the categories that pretty much still automatically saves on DDP is a family with kids under 10 who intend to do multiple buffets, family style or character meals. This is assuming you don't leave the majority of your CS credits unused.

Be Our Guest isn't a character meal. Right now you can get a photo with the Beast after dinner, but he doesn't visit tables.
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:07 PM   #4
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We are the people that makes the dining plan a bad deal for Disney World and a great one for us.

Two adults and two children under 10 ( 9 & 7). We are doing Crystal Palace, Tusker House, Akershus, CRT (breakfast as we've done dinner twice). Add that to Fultons and Cali Grill and even without a discount we will save $200. If we actually order dessert, which we didn't at all last time, we would save even more.

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Old 01-12-2013, 11:26 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. My math was telling me we should at least break even, but so many people have voiced concerns about the dining plan rates after the price change, I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:36 PM   #6
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Our kids are the reason we are doing the dining plan, there is no way we could go to as many character meals if we were paying OOP. The price of the kid's plan is equal to the kids price for most character meals
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:39 AM   #7
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We paid for the DDP in December as we were renting points to stay at OKW. We ate at:
CP breakfast
CM breakfast
Tusker breakfast
Garden Grill dinner
LTT dinner
BOG dinner
Cape may Cafe breakfast
Cape may cafe dinner
1900 PF dinner
CP lunch
50's PT dinner
Hollywood and Vine breakfast
Rainforest cafe lunch
Akershus dinner

We are 2 ad 1 ch, and when we got home I crunched the numbers! At the end of our stay we had used all of our TS credits,all snack credits and had 15 CS credits left. But we still just about broke even! So for us it was still worth it as we didn't need to worry about paying for food when we were there.


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Old 01-15-2013, 11:04 PM   #8
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Great thread -- I've been trying to figure out the same thing.

We did the DxDDP last time and it was TOO much so this time, planning the regular DDP. (A little harder to fit in all the TS I want to hit ) but seriously it was way too much food. All I remember about O'Hana (last night) was how sick of food I was. I STILL remember this, and it has been 3+ years.

But like you, we plan to hit pretty much every character dining opportunity, including CRT, Akerhaus, Tusker House, Chef Mickey's (yes I realize those are largely duplicative, but I think the lighting is terrible at TH and DS (now 6) still remembers his visit to Chef Mickey's, so we will go back b/c...well, because...LOL....

Anyway, I did the math of OOP, maybe buying a few staples for the room (cereal bars, lunch type items) as I know we won't want to eat out every meal, and with the cost of CRT and such, we were still ahead using the regular DDP. Add to it that my husband LOVED not having to look at the price when he ordered (he's that guy -- he will order a sandwich at a steakhouse b/c it is 13.00 and the steak is 25.00....he ate steak ALL week our last trip to Disney)

Anyway....I think this is exactly where the DDP is still an option. If we were doing Cali Grill again, or Narcoosee's (both are off for this trip) I think OOP makes more sense. Honestly, we could have split either of our meals from CG last time and been stuffed. Which means the DDP really doesn't have value there, where it is 2 credits....but the price for the kids' meals is crazy at CRT and O'Hana, etc...

October 2013 -- Saratoga Springs -- DS will turn 7 the day before we leave, DD (1st trip) will turn 4 on the trip. Birthdays at Disney!!!!!!
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