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Old 02-05-2013, 06:40 PM   #16
Martyap
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Thanks.

We are staying 6 nights.
The boys are 10 and 7 and have never been to WDW.
The twin girls are 9 and have been to Disney.
The restaurants we selected were based more on the reviews we read rather than if they were buffets. Most of the group are not huge eaters and most of the adults do not usually eat desserts.

We selected Mama Melrose because we thought the boys especially would enjoy Fantasmic and MM had good reviews.

'Ohana was selected because of the great reviews.

Hoop Dee Doo we thought would be fun for everyone.....none have been to Hoop Dee Doo.

We plan to grab granola bars for breakfast so we indulged in only one breakfast service at Tusker House.......would that be fun for the kids?
As it turns out AK has EMH that day. Should we do something different for breakfast?

Akershus we picked because the menu looked interesting and the girls would enjoy the princesses.

From what you are saying collectively it seems like we would eat for less $ and probably healthier w/o DDP.....less desserts; water at meals; not so many snacks, etc.........my $200 savings will erode quickly!

Any thoughts or suggestions would really help.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:49 PM   #17
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I would say there are still some questions to be asked and answered:

Does everyone want to do a sit-down every night or would they be happy with a few special ones (Hoop De Doo, Akershus, MM Fantasmic)?

Is there anyone who will have sticker shock when you go to pay for some of those special meals and wonder why you didn't get the DDP?

Is the sit-down a way to bring everyone back together or are you planning on staying together the whole time? If you'll want some time apart, fewer TS ADRs would give you that flexibility.

If you do fewer sit-downs, do you have the time and stamina to look through the QS menus to plan out where you'll want to eat so you're not eating burgers, chicken and pizza everyday? Believe me, there is much more out there. Last time we went for 5 days and I only had one burger and one pizza meal, and all we did that trip was QS. But someone has to do some research to know where to go.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:02 PM   #18
Martyap
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Don't want to eat burgers and pizza so we'll research the CS choices. As for sticker shock it looks like we can still go to the planned TS restaurants but by cutting out some snacks (which we all would not eat) and eliminating some CS desserts (again, which we would usually not order) the $$ difference evens out and we end up eating what we prefer.

How do we handle the 10 year old? He turns 10 two weeks before we leave. Does he always have to order adult meals?
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:58 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martyap View Post
Don't want to eat burgers and pizza so we'll research the CS choices. As for sticker shock it looks like we can still go to the planned TS restaurants but by cutting out some snacks (which we all would not eat) and eliminating some CS desserts (again, which we would usually not order) the $$ difference evens out and we end up eating what we prefer.

How do we handle the 10 year old? He turns 10 two weeks before we leave. Does he always have to order adult meals?
If you're paying OOP, he can order whatever he wants. You will have to pay the adult price for him at buffets, though.
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:59 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by sharonabe View Post
If you're paying OOP, he can order whatever he wants. You will have to pay the adult price for him at buffets, though.
Thanks....we already planned on that. For any CS meals if the 10 year old prefers the kids menu, is that acceptable?
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:08 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martyap View Post
Thanks....we already planned on that. For any CS meals if the 10 year old prefers the kids menu, is that acceptable?
Anyone can order a kids' meal at QS if paying OOP. They don't know who is eating what and really don't care.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:40 PM   #22
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The DDP can be a savings IF you have kids that are still "kids" (ages 3-9) and if you are doing character meals/buffets. The value for kids diminishes if you plan on primarily restaurants that have menus vs. character meals/buffets.

My family will be using the DDP, since 3 of our 6 are still classified as kids, and we have ADRs for 4 character meals. We have been fortunate enough to have been able to go to WDW frequently, so dining for our family is seen as part of the experience, and don't feel it is taking valuable touring time.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:22 AM   #23
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I just posted this in another thread, but I think it belongs here!

We just recently returned from a six night stay at WDW. We were there because our daughter had a gymnastics competition. We were going to buy the discounted hotel and tickets through Disney Sports, and then my travel agent advised me of the Stay Play and Dine offer. When I crunched the numbers, if I added the discounted price of the hotel Disney Sports was offering, and the discounted ticket prices and compared that to the SPD offer, the difference was around 21-22 dollars per person per day. So I took it that was the amount the QS-DP was costing us, for our particular situation. Because there was no price difference between children and adults, we listed our 7 year old as 10 so she could have better eating options. Only on a few occasions did we order off of the kids menu for her. Here are the numbers:

If we had paid for DDP with our daughter as a child 3-9 the cost would have been ~763.00

If we had paid for the DDP with our daughter as 10 or over the cost of the DDP would have been ~902.00

Amount of money the food we got with the DP would have cost us if we paid OOP, ~825.00

Amount of money from the package that paid for the dining part: ~528.00 (keep in mind this is in addition to discounted room and ticket prices.

And we ended up with a bunch of desserts and snacks (some we bought at the MS Confectionary to use up the credits) in our fridge at home, which we still have not finished eating.

So in our case, savings would have only come if our daughter had paid for the child plan, and in that case we would have been in trouble because of the limited options.

We shared meals, desserts and snacks, not to be cheap, but because we did not want to waste food! We all ate very well.

Unless its a special offer (like SPD or free dining) then we would not pay for the DDP. We would save money by going out of pocket, even more than I calculated here, because we would not have ordered all of those desserts!

In 2010, we took our kids to WDW for the first time. At the time, our daughter was 5 and our son was 8. We had the regular plan, and did 4 character meals, as well as two additional buffets. The cost of the DP was lower then, and the savings was significant, even though we ended up with a bunch of snacks as well. At that time we had breakfast in the room.

For this trip we paid OOP for two breakfasts, one at 1900 Park Fare, and one at the hotel (All Star Sports). We also paid for lunch at Legoland. The rest of the meals were covered with the food we got through the plan. This trip did not allow for the regular DP since we had to attend competitions, plus did not have too much time in the parks.

On our previous trip my daughter did not like the Mac and Cheese, she really doesn't do PB J and she didn't like the kids nuggets either. She survived because we had lots of TS, and by sharing with other people. That is the reason we decided to pay for her as an adult for DP purposes. We were lucky that with the SPD offer the price was the same for kids and adults. On the last day I ordered a kids meal at Pizzafari for her, and three adult meals for the rest of us (me, husband and 10 year old). She was pissed when she saw the size of the pizza! Now it might have been enough for her (she is very light) on any other day, but on this day she was hungry! I ended up giving her 3/4 of my pizza, and eating hers instead, along with my salad!
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:10 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TKH View Post
Just a quick run-down, in case it's helpful to anyone. We're a family of 5 - 2 adults and 3 children (ages 3, 7, 8). We just got back from WDW, and we had purchased the regular dining plan. One snack, one counter service, one table service per day. It was $1,138 for a 7 night stay. We didn't go out of our way to order the most expensive things, but also didn't limit ourselves to cheaper items or share foods.

Chef Mickey's - $144
Hollywood and Vine - $122
Teppan Edo - $150
50's Primetime - $105
Yak and Yeti - $95
T-Rex - $90
Biergarten - $122
Counter Service total - $375
Snack total - $158
Refillable mugs - $85
GRAND TOTAL - $1,446

Now, if we didn't have the dining plan, we would have ordered a few things differently. For example, we probably would have had more water to drink, and we would not have ever ordered dessert. I would have shared some meals with my 3 year old, since he doesn't eat much. I figure that paying OOP, we would have spent $693 on table service, $300 on counter service (this is because my 3 year old would have shared more, but my 8 year old would have ordered off the adult menu a few times), and $80 on snacks. We would not have purchased the mugs. So the total OOP would have been $1,073. So, we're $65 off from what the DDP cost was. No tips have been included, and of course tips were higher because of ordering more food with the DDP.

All things considered, we would not do the dining plan again. We found it too stressful to get to each ADR, and we generally appreciate a more flexible, go-with-the-flow style of touring. These were restaurants we wanted to try though, and this was a good time to do it because the kids were all still counted as 'children'. No way would the dining plan be of value once our 8 year old is considered a Disney Adult. Also, it was just too much food. We felt forced to get snacks when we weren't hungry. We ended up with 3 leftover CS credits, but a CM at Contempo Cafe suggested to trade them in for 9 rice krispie bars on the morning of our departure. We did that. It was a good experience but kind of a been-there-done-that for us, and next time we'll probably order groceries and eat a few TS and CS meals. We did enjoy being able to order what we wanted and not worry about paying.

Hopefully that's helpful to someone! Any questions, just ask!
I agree with you! It's hard to do the DDP and table service with kids and I won't do it. I enjoy the QSDP though. I wish they would add the 2nd snack back though, that would make it perfect!
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:56 AM   #25
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You really have to do your homework when making comparisons. I know that people say 'well, we would eat differently on the DDP vs paying oop' but you can't do that when making a decision.
You have to compare apples to apples. You should figure out what you are likely to order at any particular restaurant. Then, total up each day's cost. Compare that to what the ddp would cost. Many people say that the ddp allows them to eat better. I suppose that's true, in a way. But, we tend to order exactly the same things if we pay oop or use the ddp
Haven't found the ddp to be a money saver in the majority of cases.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:30 AM   #26
elaine amj
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DDP was very indulgent for us - which is a big part of why we enjoy our WDW trips so much! Our DDP has always been free - which I'm sure clouds my judgment.

If I was in a situation where paying OOP would result in a very minor savings as compared to purchasing DDP, I would buy the DDP because it helps to relax our thrifty minds - and we would have more treats than we would OOP!

If OOP was a significant savings over DDP, I'd do OOP any day of the week.

We're planning a DLR trip and I'm already mourning not having DDP. More than likely, we'll stick to CS and offsite the whole time. I was debating Ariel's Grotto since my DD adores Ariel, but just can't quite justify it.

That said, we'll be in Orlando for a few days in March and are not doing the parks (As we are going on a Disney cruise) and we are thinking to go to Ohana and pay OOP. We adore Ohana!!
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:58 PM   #27
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I would just agree that it looks like your QS meals are a little high priced, ours were typically 8-12 max. And actually we often split one of those...

The long run down about planned vs free, and booked vs flexible was really well written.

As well the difference between the appearance of "all inclusive" although you pay more for it, and the appearance of paying per meal was well said.

We have booked with the DP for our next trip, but I don't think we will actually get the value out of it ... BUT, I like the idea of the all inclusive illusion. That being said, already thinking our next trip will likely not use the DP. But we have our ADRs booked already, and are excited about them, so we will keep it as is.
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