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Old 11-04-2013, 10:10 AM   #211
Shaden
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Originally Posted by Autumnslight View Post
I've run a bunch of different scenarios, and found that usually if you have children 3-9 years old, plan mostly table service meals, especially at more expensive restaurants, and tend to order a lot of appetizers, then the regular or deluxe dining plan will usually save you money over paying OOP.
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maybe the Deluxe, but how does ordering a lot of appetizers on the regular dining plan save you money vs OOP?
Yea .... that was my question too.

I have found that if you have kids and do character meals OR if you always go to the most expensive places and only order the most expensive meals you CAN save a little money on the DP. Otherwise you lose. You lose even more when you throw in the possibility of the TiW card.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:32 AM   #212
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maybe the Deluxe, but how does ordering a lot of appetizers on the regular dining plan save you money vs OOP?
Sorry, I got distracted mid-post and didn't word my response well. I actually meant to say desserts and appetizers, not just appetizers. The appetizers obviously don't matter on the regular dining plan, just the deluxe. The other items (desserts, children, expensive restaurants, mostly table service meals) are a factor in savings for both the regular and deluxe plan.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:36 AM   #213
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would you have to order a dessert for every person in your party and an appetizer as well to make it worthwhile?

We bought desserts occasionally. Just not with every meal and not for every person.

I think we only ordered one appetizer our whole trip. It's just too much if we did it all the time.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:42 AM   #214
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would you have to order a dessert for every person in your party and an appetizer as well to make it worthwhile?

We bought desserts occasionally. Just not with every meal and not for every person.

I think we only ordered one appetizer our whole trip. It's just too much if we did it all the time.
Yea see this is how we generally work at a TS restaurant my wife and I will often order and App and an Entrée to split, and sometimes a desert to split.

Or 2 entrees and we will split a desert, though likely we don't eat all the food or aren't ordering the most expensive thing on the menu for both. One of use might have a pasta or salad while the other gets a steak/pork/beef.

It just doesn't work for us to be on the plan. You really have to try to get the value out of it ...
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:46 AM   #215
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I have found that if you have kids and do character meals OR if you always go to the most expensive places and only order the most expensive meals you CAN save a little money on the DP. Otherwise you lose. You lose even more when you throw in the possibility of the TiW card.
I agree. I did a big spreadsheets for our upcoming trip to see if we should do a dining plan, TiW, or OOP. We have two adults and two kids, we're planning mostly table service meals, including several character meals and signature restaurants, we like to order desserts and appetizers, and we generally buy a couple of snacks per day. Basically, food is a bigger part of our trip budget than almost anything else.

We'd save about $140 using the regular dining plan vs OOP, and about $240 using the deluxe dining plan vs OOP. We'd save about $70 using TiW over the regular dining plan, and we'd actually pay about $25 more using TiW over the deluxe dining plan. We'd save about $210 using TiW vs OOP ($110 savings after paying $100 for the card).

For us, the deluxe plan actually gives us the most savings. For other people though, it would be a huge waste of money.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:52 AM   #216
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I agree. I did a big spreadsheets for our upcoming trip to see if we should do a dining plan, TiW, or OOP. We have two adults and two kids, we're planning mostly table service meals, including several character meals and signature restaurants, we like to order desserts and appetizers, and we generally buy a couple of snacks per day. Basically, food is a bigger part of our trip budget than almost anything else.

We'd save about $140 using the regular dining plan vs OOP, and about $240 using the deluxe dining plan vs OOP. We'd save about $70 using TiW over the regular dining plan, and we'd actually pay about $25 more using TiW over the deluxe dining plan. We'd save about $210 using TiW vs OOP ($110 savings after paying $100 for the card).

For us, the deluxe plan actually gives us the most savings. For other people though, it would be a huge waste of money.
Yea that sounds fair enough. I think the trick should almost be to plan what you WANT to eat, where you want to go and what you want to get, and THEN check if the DP or DDP works out best for you. Otherwise I have found my family trying to plan stuff to ensure we get the value out of it, instead of just getting what we want and then finding the best price on that.

My wife is afraid of the Characters, weird I know, she likes them at a distance, but not up close. But that basically keeps us away from the Character meals, and while we do a few signature meals, she/we just aren't huge eaters, even though we love food. The portions are too big for us to get it all in without feeling bad afterwards

I do like the sound of your trip though, food is half the reason I enjoy going to WDW as much as I do.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:54 AM   #217
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would you have to order a dessert for every person in your party and an appetizer as well to make it worthwhile?

We bought desserts occasionally. Just not with every meal and not for every person.

I think we only ordered one appetizer our whole trip. It's just too much if we did it all the time.
I run my calculations assuming that the kids will have a dessert included in their kids meal, or share ours, and that my husband and I will each order a dessert with dinner about 75% of the time.

Appetizers only matter if you're considering the deluxe plan or if you have Tables in Wonderland. Otherwise, it doesn't matter if you order them or not, as you'd be paying for them out of pocket anyway.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:55 AM   #218
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I think the trick should almost be to plan what you WANT to eat, where you want to go and what you want to get, and THEN check if the DP or DDP works out best for you. Otherwise I have found my family trying to plan stuff to ensure we get the value out of it, instead of just getting what we want and then finding the best price on that.
That's exactly how I've been doing it. I look at menus, figure out what we WANT to do, then price it all out and figure out the best deal.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:48 AM   #219
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This trip (mid October 2013) was the warmest of them all for us.

We had more bottles of water and slushies than we have ever ordered in previous trips.

In the past when on the DDP I have always felt the need to eat all the credits and order the most expensive things.

This time we ate what we wanted. DH and I often shared a pop that we got at a CS meal because I don't care for that much pop.

A few times my 6 y/o had a regular CS meal instead of picking something from the children's menu.

My husband lost five pounds from all the walking around in the heat and not eating as much. I didn't feel stuffed sick this trip either.
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:23 PM   #220
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Just curious how you are saving money by going on the dining plan.
Because we have a character breakfast every morning.line of which is CRT and we will also be eating at 2 signature restaurants. So for our 6 day trip we will save about $400 if ordering average priced meals....and considering I have a 2 year old I will not need to purchase much food for if any because of the portion sizes is a bonus as well
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:32 PM   #221
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Just curious how you are saving money by going on the dining plan.
Well @Kiki Mouse...we will be staying for 6 days on the DxDP...for myself, my husband, 14 y/o daughter 6 and 2 year old boys. We will have a character breakfast every morning (which gives us more time on rides at the park instead of gathering autographs). One of of breakfast meals will be at CRT. We also have a few signature dinners planned as well. With the portion size at WDW I almost positive I will not have to purchase food for my 2 year old. My 14 year old can eat WHATEVER she wants without the worry of price and 2 of our signatures includes unlimited. Beer/wine and includes gratuity. So we will definitely be ahead lol
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:08 PM   #222
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Well @Kiki Mouse...we will be staying for 6 days on the DxDP...for myself, my husband, 14 y/o daughter 6 and 2 year old boys. We will have a character breakfast every morning (which gives us more time on rides at the park instead of gathering autographs). One of of breakfast meals will be at CRT. We also have a few signature dinners planned as well. With the portion size at WDW I almost positive I will not have to purchase food for my 2 year old. My 14 year old can eat WHATEVER she wants without the worry of price and 2 of our signatures includes unlimited. Beer/wine and includes gratuity. So we will definitely be ahead lol
The reason we didn't do the DDP this year was after we got home last year we looked at the receipts for all our meals and snacks. We didn't save any money.

I'm not being argumentative or anything, just curious if you think you will eat $2000 worth of food in six days.

I was very surprised when we got home this month and looked at what we spent vs. what the DDP would have cost us.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:43 PM   #223
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The reason we didn't do the DDP this year was after we got home last year we looked at the receipts for all our meals and snacks. We didn't save any money. I'm not being argumentative or anything, just curious if you think you will eat $2000 worth of food in six days. I was very surprised when we got home this month and looked at what we spent vs. what the DDP would have cost us.
No problem at all @Kiki Mouse...where did you dine? We're not huge fast food eaters so we opted for all TSM. Because we do t leave the parks for a rest we enjoy our time in the restaurants for a nice rest. We get up early for the character meals and have a late dinner. The last time we visited we had regular dining plan and with the counter service meals I never felt relaxed lol. I don't know if it's a mom thing but when I go on Vacay...I want to go on vacay lol. I don't want to carry trays every meal or find tables lol. I just want to sit and let someone else do all the work.
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Old 11-06-2013, 06:16 PM   #224
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No problem at all @Kiki Mouse...where did you dine? We're not huge fast food eaters so we opted for all TSM. Because we do t leave the parks for a rest we enjoy our time in the restaurants for a nice rest. We get up early for the character meals and have a late dinner. The last time we visited we had regular dining plan and with the counter service meals I never felt relaxed lol. I don't know if it's a mom thing but when I go on Vacay...I want to go on vacay lol. I don't want to carry trays every meal or find tables lol. I just want to sit and let someone else do all the work.
Breakfasts: Tusker House, Chef Mickeys, Boma, Garden Grove (Swan hotel...you have to pay $15 for parking!)

Lunch: Tonys

Supper: Chip & Dale's harvest feast, Sci Fi drive in, Rainforest Café

We did one day at SeaWorld and had the park ticket/meal dining deal

I know what you mean about the counter service restaurants. They can be a test of patience. We would find a table first and my husband would sit down with the little kids and my older daughter and I would order food. We looked at menus on a dining app. so everybody knew what they wanted before getting to the counter.

Having said that, there are times I feel rushed at Chef Mickeys and Tusker House.
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:55 AM   #225
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Breakfasts: Tusker House, Chef Mickeys, Boma, Garden Grove (Swan hotel...you have to pay $15 for parking!) Lunch: Tonys Supper: Chip & Dale's harvest feast, Sci Fi drive in, Rainforest Café We did one day at SeaWorld and had the park ticket/meal dining deal I know what you mean about the counter service restaurants. They can be a test of patience. We would find a table first and my husband would sit down with the little kids and my older daughter and I would order food. We looked at menus on a dining app. so everybody knew what they wanted before getting to the counter. Having said that, there are times I feel rushed at Chef Mickeys and Tusker House.
I've read a few other post about being rushed while dining..ESPECIALLY CRT. I decided not to do CRT because the breakfast menu look scarce coupled with the "rush" factor. I can't wait until my ADR day 11/13 so that I can stop changing my mind already lol.
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