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Old 05-28-2013, 03:41 PM   #16
SoonerSean
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We're going in November - party of 5 with two kids under age 12 - and are using the DP. The difference for our room/tickets wo the DP and the price when we added it in is over $200/day.

I didn't price each and every meal out but I figure we would spend probably about $40-$50 on a CS meal and maybe even closer to $60.

For dinner I figured about $35 per adult and $15 per child - if you ate at say O'Hana. Now it's more at some of the buffets.

So rough math... $50 for lunch and $135 for dinner. That's $185. Figure an additional $20 for snacks for 5 so a total of $205.

We are probably over-paying by $100 or so for the 6-days. That's a very rough estimate and using fixed price meals like O'Hana or a buffet. Obviously you could spend less at some places or more at others (Crystal Palace buffet is more than the O'Hana meal).

That close over 6-days... it's not too bad and if we splurge and eat all the desserts it's even better.

I do agree with the flexibility issue. Last time we were there we had dining reservations that coincided with an event time we were given. But they worked around us and we were fine. But I do see the benefit to knowing you can cancel a TSR or just have CS a night or two (or three) and save on some stress as well as money. But we've always viewed it that we kind of forced ourselves to take some time off each day to just sit and relax and enjoy a reasonably good meal.
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:03 PM   #17
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We're going in November - party of 5 with two kids under age 12 .
How many in the party are Disney adults (10 and up) when it comes to the Dining Plan?
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:20 PM   #18
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Had forgot one of them would count as an adult... so we have 4 (2 adults, one 16-year old and a 11-year old) and then a 7-year old. The 11-year old was only 9 the last time we went in the spring of 2012 so I wasn't thinking of him being counted as an adult.

Changes the math a bit as he's counting towards more of the $200+ per day than I thought, but the daily figures are still in the ballpark as he'd have wanted a kid's meal most of the time. I'm still thinking we're awfully close with what we paid for the DP vs. what we would have paid for 2 meals and snacks if purchased individually and if he'd been able to order kid's meals.

He won't be happy when we walk up to a CS if he has to order an adult meal vs. kids. But when this happened with our now 16-year old she was able to order off the kids menu. So we should be fine.

Last edited by SoonerSean; 05-28-2013 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:44 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by SoonerSean View Post
Had forgot one of them would count as an adult... so we have 4 (2 adults, one 16-year old and a 11-year old) and then a 7-year old. The 11-year old was only 9 the last time we went in the spring of 2012 so I wasn't thinking of him being counted as an adult.

Changes the math a bit as he's counting towards more of the $200+ per day than I thought, but the daily figures are still in the ballpark as he'd have wanted a kid's meal most of the time. I'm still thinking we're awfully close with what we paid for the DP vs. what we would have paid for 2 meals and snacks if purchased individually and if he'd been able to order kid's meals.

He won't be happy when we walk up to a CS if he has to order an adult meal vs. kids. But when this happened with our now 16-year old she was able to order off the kids menu. So we should be fine.
You also have to consider that you will have large tips for all those TS meals that you might not have if you weren't tied to 'x' amount of TS credits.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:27 PM   #20
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This year we are also paying OOP. The DDP for us would be over $1600.00 I know we are not going to eat that much. Last time we went, we had extra meals and snacks. I don't mind having extra when it was free, but not when I am paying for it.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:38 PM   #21
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I opted for the plan even knowing it would cost me more money. I knew it was the only way I would take the time to sit down to a real meal and get out of the heat that will be there in late July. As it is my first time going solo, I know I would have avoided table service otherwise because of fear of being uncomfortable but would later regret it. Sometimes it is about more than just the monetary cost.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:45 PM   #22
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I think we are going to forego the DDP for our next trip as well. My kids are not big eaters and I know they won't each want their own meal. We usually share an app with the table and they split a kids meal. They also love salad and will sometimes share an adult salad. I'm also one that likes apps for my meal.
And I remember it being sooooo much food last time.
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:29 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Dani C View Post
I opted for the plan even knowing it would cost me more money. I knew it was the only way I would take the time to sit down to a real meal and get out of the heat that will be there in late July. As it is my first time going solo, I know I would have avoided table service otherwise because of fear of being uncomfortable but would later regret it. Sometimes it is about more than just the monetary cost.
I don't understand. How does the dining plan make you more comfortable? You don't get different seats when you're on the plan. The whole restaurant is air-conditioned. It can't be fear of overpaying on the OOP since you said, "Sometimes it is about more than just the monetary cost." You pay with your room key on the DDP and OOP, so no difference there.

Can you clarify?
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:48 PM   #24
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I emailed Disney today and inquired about the policy of making 10+ year olds buy adult meal plans. They responded back that they appreciated my comments - but that 10+ must buy adult entitlements and they can only be used for adult meals - no buying down.

Now I know that's not 100% correct as my oldest was able to secure children's food (perhaps larger portions) at TS meals. So some employees do help you work around it.

But it's more than a tad silly to make 10-13 year olds (or thereabouts) eat like adults.

As for the cost of the plan... if we went to the same TS places and paid OOP we would still have tips/gratuities. Maybe not 18% or maybe very little if the service was poor... but we'd still have some of those costs.

Refiguring things my guess is we're paying about $50+/- per day per adult for the DP. For those of us that will eat true adult meals that's not too much more than we would spend OOP. For my 11-year old it's probably $20 or so per day too much as we would have purchased kids meals OOP vs. adult entitlements on the DP. So we're somewhere between maybe $120-$200 more out of pocket on the DP vs. OOP depending on where we eat for TS. There are some places that cost enough that we'd probably never go there if paying cash and those places close the gap quite a bit when comparing OOP to DP.
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Old 05-29-2013, 06:48 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonerSean
I emailed Disney today and inquired about the policy of making 10+ year olds buy adult meal plans. They responded back that they appreciated my comments - but that 10+ must buy adult entitlements and they can only be used for adult meals - no buying down.

Now I know that's not 100% correct as my oldest was able to secure children's food (perhaps larger portions) at TS meals. So some employees do help you work around it.

But it's more than a tad silly to make 10-13 year olds (or thereabouts) eat like adults.

As for the cost of the plan... if we went to the same TS places and paid OOP we would still have tips/gratuities. Maybe not 18% or maybe very little if the service was poor... but we'd still have some of those costs.

Refiguring things my guess is we're paying about $50+/- per day per adult for the DP. For those of us that will eat true adult meals that's not too much more than we would spend OOP. For my 11-year old it's probably $20 or so per day too much as we would have purchased kids meals OOP vs. adult entitlements on the DP. So we're somewhere between maybe $120-$200 more out of pocket on the DP vs. OOP depending on where we eat for TS. There are some places that cost enough that we'd probably never go there if paying cash and those places close the gap quite a bit when comparing OOP to DP.
The DP isn't a one size fits all, it works for some families and not for others. WDW has made the rules regarding the DP and it's use and it expects it's employees to follow the rules. For a guest it might be a win if the CM gets around the rules, but for a CM it's a lose, their job is on the line.
Jr meals are no longer available and adult entrees can be modified to please the majority of palates. If that isn't an option for your family your choice is to pay OOP for that meal or don't get the DP.
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:08 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Jonathan Swift

I don't understand. How does the dining plan make you more comfortable? You don't get different seats when you're on the plan. The whole restaurant is air-conditioned. It can't be fear of overpaying on the OOP since you said, "Sometimes it is about more than just the monetary cost." You pay with your room key on the DDP and OOP, so no difference there.

Can you clarify?
I think the key to this one was "going solo." The poster was worried about feeling uncomfortable dining alone at a TS restaurant, and therefore skipping it in favor of a QS, where it is not as obvious you are alone. To him, being on the DDP and having a TS credit means he will be "forced" into table service.
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:12 AM   #27
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The DP isn't a one size fits all, it works for some families and not for others. WDW has made the rules regarding the DP and it's use and it expects it's employees to follow the rules. For a guest it might be a win if the CM gets around the rules, but for a CM it's a lose, their job is on the line.
Jr meals are no longer available and adult entrees can be modified to please the majority of palates. If that isn't an option for your family your choice is to pay OOP for that meal or don't get the DP.
I got another email from Disney saying that "Each dining location will have their own policy regarding the Adult dining entitlements. We recommend that you ask a Cast Member at the dining location if there is a substitute meal or if an adult entitlement can be used to purchase a child's meal".

So I don't think we'll get anyone fired.

When we go next time we'll probably go OOP and skip a TS meal for a night or two. In that situation you'd definitely save quite a bit.
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:22 PM   #28
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I don't understand. How does the dining plan make you more comfortable? You don't get different seats when you're on the plan. The whole restaurant is air-conditioned. It can't be fear of overpaying on the OOP since you said, "Sometimes it is about more than just the monetary cost." You pay with your room key on the DDP and OOP, so no difference there.

Can you clarify?
I am a single mum and have always gone with my daughter while at Disney in the past. I love the table service restaurants and am a pescatarian and not a fan of fried foods making counter service non desirable in any case. I know that I will not eat enough to pay for my dining plan, but I would otherwise not make the ressies and avoid doing table service meals alone. I realize the ressies can be cancelled, so it doesn't force me to dine in, but it provides the psychological encouragement needed in my case.

I will say though at times I felt Disney discourages solo dining. I couldn't make ressies without making them for a party of two in certain cases, which caused a follow up phone call to have them adjusted. Even the cast member couldn't initially make them for one person. I had to circumvent the system to manage it.
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:48 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonerSean

I got another email from Disney saying that "Each dining location will have their own policy regarding the Adult dining entitlements. We recommend that you ask a Cast Member at the dining location if there is a substitute meal or if an adult entitlement can be used to purchase a child's meal".

So I don't think we'll get anyone fired.

When we go next time we'll probably go OOP and skip a TS meal for a night or two. In that situation you'd definitely save quite a bit.
In your PP you said a CM could "work around it". that's different then just asking if there is an alternative.
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Old 05-30-2013, 05:56 AM   #30
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First trip with no DDP

In April we took our first trip without DDP and I was extremely nervous. We always have the DDP, but it is getting out of hand with the price increases. I LOVED paying OOP! The flexibility you have is so great. You are not forced to get desserts with EVERY meal, if you only feel like an appetizer instead of a meal, you can order it. Loved, loved the flexibility and will never go back to DDP.
That being said, I did check all the menus on all ears before trip and did a rough estimate of costs of things we would most likely order, we are DVC so I used TIW card for 20% discount on food and beverage, but we still came home saving 400.00 by NOT using DDP. On a 11 day trip, we ate 16 TS and 12 QS meals as well as snacks.
If you like the feeling of everything being prepaid, but the money you would have used on the DDP on GC. I would encourage you to try OOP at least once and if it doesn't fit your style you can go back to DDP.
Go to all ears menus and create a faux meal plan of what you might order and total up your balance and compare to cost of DDP. Have a magical day!
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