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Old 05-28-2013, 08:41 AM   #1
TTA Rider Matt
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DDP or no DDP?

Hi everyone, I'm sure there have been a million threads on this before so please let me know if this is overkill and I'll delete the thread. My wife and I are going on June 30th til July 4th in the parks. Our dining reservations/plans look like this:

June 30 - Quick serve lunch, Coral Reef dinner
July 1 - Captain's Grille breakfast, Be Our Guest dinner
July 2 - Quick serve lunch, 'Ohana dinner
July 3 - Le Cellier lunch, Quick serve dinner
July 4 - Plaza lunch, Marrakesh dinner

The way I see it, I have too many table service, since Le Cellier now counts as 2 even for lunch. So I'm looking at 8 TS (4 dinner, 3 lunch, 1 breakfast).

However, the Plaza is reasonable and I wouldn't mind paying out of pocket, same with Captain's Grille breakfast. I could potentially get rid of Le Cellier and replace it with a table serve that isn't 2...

My thinking is I've been to Disney almost 20 times and have never used the DDP, but would like opinions/suggestions from some of you. Thanks everyone.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:52 AM   #2
missdorado26
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We are going in sept durin the free DP promo and upgraded to the deluxe. I would say just do it. It makes it less stressful having to worry about hat you're ordering etc. I have a family of 4 so it's a little different for me but I think it will be worth it. If not at least I know I tried it and learned a lesson for the next time. This is our first trip so we are going all out
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:54 AM   #3
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I would definitely get the dining plan but I would pay OOP for the Captain's Grille and Plaza meals as they are not worth using a TS credit for. I would use the DDP credits for the other meals you suggested (great selections, BTW!) We haven't eaten at LeCellier since they switched over to a 2 TS meal for lunch. We always enjoyed our meal there but it's not worth 2 TS credits, IMO.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:55 AM   #4
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I have never used the disney dinning plan either. Pete in the first of the 7 in 7 at AoA gives a good idea of how the DDP works and if you should use it or not. I have heard from many people that its a great thing to use. I've also heard from many its a hassle and its to much work. Almost everyone says that its almost to much food even for the quick service because you have to use all your credits and even if your not hungry you don't want to waste those credits. I've considered using it many times but I just haven't yet. I've heard if you book separately and buy the dining plan for only one or two people you can have a good amount of food for a group of four because they do give you a lot of options. Really its all up to how you want to use it and how much food you think your going to eat.

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Old 05-28-2013, 09:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missdorado26 View Post
I would say just do it. It makes it less stressful having to worry about hat you're ordering etc. I have a family of 4 so it's a little different for me but I think it will be worth it. If not at least I know I tried it and learned a lesson for the next time. This is our first trip so we are going all out
For paying for regular Dining Plan, I would say don't do it. It makes ordering more stressful. You have to follow rules and track information. . Kind of defeats the purpose of a vacation. And you can't go all out since there are restrictions.

But if paying Deluxe, you need to run the numbers.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:18 AM   #6
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As you can see by the above some like it and some that don't. There doesn't seem to be much middle ground.

I happen to like the DDP, but only use it when it's 'free', I would never actually pay full price for it. For my upcoming trip we have the QS included (FD) and I have decided against upgrading to the DDP as we aren't doing a lot of TS. Now, if I were going to hit as many TS that you have listed, I would upgrade.

If your worry is monetary (am I getting the best bang for my buck), run the numbers, if it's convenience, only you can decide that.

Good luck and enjoy either way.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TTA Rider Matt View Post
Hi everyone, I'm sure there have been a million threads on this before so please let me know if this is overkill and I'll delete the thread. My wife and I are going on June 30th til July 4th in the parks. Our dining reservations/plans look like this:

June 30 - Quick serve lunch, Coral Reef dinner
July 1 - Captain's Grille breakfast, Be Our Guest dinner
July 2 - Quick serve lunch, 'Ohana dinner
July 3 - Le Cellier lunch, Quick serve dinner
July 4 - Plaza lunch, Marrakesh dinner

The way I see it, I have too many table service, since Le Cellier now counts as 2 even for lunch. So I'm looking at 8 TS (4 dinner, 3 lunch, 1 breakfast).

However, the Plaza is reasonable and I wouldn't mind paying out of pocket, same with Captain's Grille breakfast. I could potentially get rid of Le Cellier and replace it with a table serve that isn't 2...

My thinking is I've been to Disney almost 20 times and have never used the DDP, but would like opinions/suggestions from some of you. Thanks everyone.
I too have only had the DDP when it was free so obviously it was worth it!!

However, not knowing the cost, I would look at the menus for these restaurants and assess what you would probably order and how much it would be. It can be kind of fun to do so. Then, with how much your bill would be (and keep in mind that the DDP include drinks, entree and dessert for both QS and TS) and decide if it will be a significant savings. Oh, keep in mind as well that the DDP includes a snack per person, per day. I think that people's opinions very but if you do the math now, you will feel comfortable with your choice. You can find the menus on Disney dining or www.allears.net/menu/menus.htm.

Regarding the two that you are considering paying out of pocket, why are you doing sit TS? Why not do a quick service and then you won't have to worry about coming out of pocket? Both of those are not even restaurants that I have heard touted by anyone in my 7 years of free dining and a 9 night vacation? Did someone strongly suggest them? Here is my point. I don't know how big of eaters you all are but there is huge amounts of food at these restaurants--both CS and TS. After the first nights meal, my whole family (myself, DH, DD (11) & DD (13) skip breakfast as we are just not hungry. We eat lunch at about 11:30 hoping that by dinner time, we will be hungry again. We rarely use up our snacks because we are so full. It's not that we are light eaters, there is just so much food that you can't possibly eat that much. Think about switching those to CS and with snacks. you should be fine and not have to come out of pocket.

Regarding your restaurant choices--EXCELLENT! Other than the 2 aforementioned, these are all great dining experiences. Ohanas is our absolute favorite, followed by Coral Reef (arrive a little early and request a window seat and be willing to wait a bit--they have alwasy accomodated this request). Marrakesh and Le Cellier also provide some great dining. We have not been to Be our Guest but as it just opened, I am sure it will be an experience.

Good luck. Do some homework and I think you will be happy you did. Then the decision will be based more on solid numbers versus the varying opinions.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BattyKoda View Post
As you can see by the above some like it and some that don't. There doesn't seem to be much middle ground.
And this is where I come in!

In general, the plans work best if you're (this is the general you, not the specific you. English really needs to clarify that for me one of these days!) already planning to dine in the way that the plan is structured. This eliminates (or, at least reduces) the worry about the restrictions. As such, each plan has a pretty specific fit to different types of vacations. The ideal is to find a plan (including OOP as a plan here) that fits the style of the upcoming trip and offers the most amount of savings for said style. This can vary even as an individual between trips, depending on your personal goals.

Do I "like" the plans? Sure. I also know how to work them out ahead of time to tilt the hand into my favor. Do I feel the need to be on a plan and shoehorn it into a trip that it won't fit? Nope.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TTA Rider Matt View Post
Hi everyone, I'm sure there have been a million threads on this before so please let me know if this is overkill and I'll delete the thread. My wife and I are going on June 30th til July 4th in the parks. Our dining reservations/plans look like this:

June 30 - Quick serve lunch, Coral Reef dinner
July 1 - Captain's Grille breakfast, Be Our Guest dinner
July 2 - Quick serve lunch, 'Ohana dinner
July 3 - Le Cellier lunch, Quick serve dinner
July 4 - Plaza lunch, Marrakesh dinner

The way I see it, I have too many table service, since Le Cellier now counts as 2 even for lunch. So I'm looking at 8 TS (4 dinner, 3 lunch, 1 breakfast).

However, the Plaza is reasonable and I wouldn't mind paying out of pocket, same with Captain's Grille breakfast. I could potentially get rid of Le Cellier and replace it with a table serve that isn't 2...

My thinking is I've been to Disney almost 20 times and have never used the DDP, but would like opinions/suggestions from some of you. Thanks everyone.
I'm assuming that you're staying 6 nights from your text and from your list. Right now (as mentioned) you have 8TS credits and 3 QS credits being used. You'd have to do the math on the Le Cellier thing to see which makes more sense, but Plaza + Breakfast is likely to come out cheaper than LC. If it's only 5 nights, then replacing LC or paying OOP (while using the plan at The Plaza) would likely be the better option.

However, you still have 2 or 3 QS credits left and it looks like the days are already full. Without using those credits, you're leaving roughly $15 per person per credit worth of value on the table. This could easily eat away into any savings you gained through the TS locations. (There may be a chance to get them converted to snacks which would reduce the hit, but it's a chance and not guaranteed!)

I'd recommend that you keep your current itinerary if it's what you want to do and pay OOP for it. You'll much more likely come out ahead OOP with that itinerary than you would on a dining plan.

However, as I always say, Do the Math. Take a look at what you'd order if you were paying OOP and what you'd get on the plan. Compare the 3 cases (Paying for the plan, seeing what the plan's items would cost OOP, and seeing what you'd order if OOP) and see which fits you the best.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:51 AM   #9
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The DDP has never been priced for us to even come close to breaking even.

I think *most* people get it for *convenience sake* whether they break even or not (or even lose money). If you usually get the highest price menu items, it might work out, but if you just work to get your *money's worth* it's definitely not worth it IMO. You pay higher taxes/tips with that scenario also, which has to be factored in.
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:05 AM   #10
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You pay higher taxes/tips with that scenario also, which has to be factored in.
While I do agree that it doesn't work for everyone, just a note. Tax on the dining plans is included in the dining plan cost. You don't have to pay any extra for it, so you don't have to factor it in (in fact, you can factor it in as savings). Tips, for sure though .
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:10 AM   #11
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While I do agree that it doesn't work for everyone, just a note. Tax on the dining plans is included in the dining plan cost. You don't have to pay any extra for it, so you don't have to factor it in (in fact, you can factor it in as savings). Tips, for sure though .
Thanks for correction We've never gotten it so didn't know, but of course the tips could be more.
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:21 AM   #12
TTA Rider Matt
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I should have given more information, but thank you all for your input. I am staying 5 nights. NC Disney Fan, my wife is a HUGE breakfast fan, so every time we go she likes to have a sit down breakfast, and we also thoroughly enjoy the Plaza. I view it as one of the most underrated aspects of all of WDW. We love 'Ohana, and I love Le Cellier, but am strongly considering replacing it with either a QS or a cheaper TS option. The other restaurants I have not been to or it's been a while (went to Coral Reef in '95, never to Marrakesh, obviously never to BOG).

We went through late last night and looked through what we'd potentially order the first two days and even with me ordering the most expensive thing on the menu, we still come out around 20-40$ lower than the DDP cost (which is about $55 per person per day). Now, we're not big appetizer people, and are perfectly content with Mickey bars for dessert. I feel like if we got the DDP, we'd be getting food just for the sake of getting it as to not waste it. Financially, I think it makes more sense to pay out of pocket for everything, but I was on an all-inclusive vacation once and remember how nice it was to not have to pay for anything.

Keep the thoughts coming people! Thank you for weighing in.
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Old 05-28-2013, 01:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
I was on an all-inclusive vacation once and remember how nice it was to not have to pay for anything.
it's not truly all-inclusive as you still need to pay for tips, alcoholic beverages, anything else you order off-plan. What it gives you is the FEEL of being all-inclusive, which to some guests is highly valuable. It's up to you to decide if that feel has a high enough value to you to add to the straight price value of the food.
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:05 PM   #14
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I love the dining plan. The kids (considered disney adults) use one QS for b-fast and one QS for lunch (they split the meals, as there is WAY too much food for them).

We didn't do this when they were classified as kids (because they could only order kids meals) but now that their big grown up adults, they order off the adult menu and share. Never had a problem with it either.

Disney doesn't like it....then they need to start charging a kid a kid's share.
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:45 PM   #15
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We like & use the DDP. We are a family of four & it works for us, but it is not for everyone or even every vacation. It is not just a money thing with us. For whatever reason, if we had to pull money out at the table, we would not go to places like Le Ceiler or O'hanna. Even though we do pay for it using the dining plan, it doesn't seem that way when we just drop our tip on the table and leave while we are there. The "feel" of al inclusive is something we like.

We have never felt stressed to "get our money's worth" or any type of pressure to order certain menu items. We know what we like & what we will probably order before we go. We know what is included & what is not before we go also. I think that is the key to deciding about the dining plan. Making sure you have a good understanding of how it works & what you will get.

In your situation, you have some great meals planned. If you have added up and are ok paying out of pocket for the meals/places that you want.. then don't get the plan - just get a prepaid visa card or disney gift card, put the amount you have allotted on that and use it to pay for your food. That way the money is already set aside.

if you get the DDP now, you will have to make some changes to where you want to eat. As you stated you have what would be 7 TS meals and only 3 CS meals. So, if you want to change to fit the DDP just to try it, go for it. You may find that you love it like we do, or you will know that it is not right for you.

As someone who loves the DDP & uses it - I don't know if I would use it if it was just DH and myself going.

Happy Planning!
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