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Old 07-29-2013, 08:56 AM   #1
LouY
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DxDP Hints and Tips???

We're going next year as a family to the Beach Club, 8 People,mostly adults with one 9-Yr-old. Grandma is coming, and is diabetic and needs to eat at scheduled times. Also, we are concerned that if she doesn't feel like going out, we would have to order room service. We want to try several Signature Restaurants: Brown Derby, Le Cellier, Crystal Palace and Maybe Yachtsman since it's right there.

Because of this, Brother-in-law is set on using the DxDP, even though the rest of us think it'll be too much food overall. Money and Value are not top considerations: We're more interested in Convenience and Dining Experiences.

That being said, since most comments on the DXDP are about how it's not a great value, does anyone have any tips on how to maximize the experience?

The reason I'm asking is it's causing some friction with the young adults who don't want to have to rush from one reservation to the next. What are the best value in counter service meals that can be used with the DxDP?
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:27 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouY View Post
We're going next year as a family to the Beach Club, 8 People,mostly adults with one 9-Yr-old. Grandma is coming, and is diabetic and needs to eat at scheduled times. Also, we are concerned that if she doesn't feel like going out, we would have to order room service. We want to try several Signature Restaurants: Brown Derby, Le Cellier, Crystal Palace and Maybe Yachtsman since it's right there.

Because of this, Brother-in-law is set on using the DxDP, even though the rest of us think it'll be too much food overall. Money and Value are not top considerations: We're more interested in Convenience and Dining Experiences.

That being said, since most comments on the DXDP are about how it's not a great value, does anyone have any tips on how to maximize the experience?

The reason I'm asking is it's causing some friction with the young adults who don't want to have to rush from one reservation to the next. What are the best value in counter service meals that can be used with the DxDP?

I always get the DxDP when I go to WDW and it's a great value if you know how to use it. Replacing the TS with a QS won't get you the best value, but if that works for you do it. The plan prices out so that each TS meal is about $30 and $4 per snack(you get two) per day. I always do a character breakfast and a signature TS dinner each day. Because you get a non-alcoholic beverage, appetizer, entrée, and dessert at lunch/dinner with the TS it's very easy to meet the $30 threshold.

If you have to eat three meals a day do it, but you will spend more time eating than you probably will in the parks. You need to make all of your ADR's at the 180 day mark(if staying on Disney property) to be assured of eating where and when you want. If you call 407-WDW-DINE they will tell you the exact day you can make reservations. If I remember correctly, you can call them at 7am or go online at 6am to make reservations. Sometimes the online reservations can be kind of slow.

If you haven't already, go to Allears.net and look at the menus. You can then price out your meals to see what you would get. At a signature restaurant, it's very easy to spend $60 thus maximizing the 2TS credits used.

I've also done the regular dining plan with 1QS($15), 1S($4), and 1TS($32). After doing it one or two times, I found that I liked eating at the TS restaurants better than I did QS. I also found it harder to get value out of the plan with the continued price increases because you don't get an appetizer. I would do a QS breakfast and TS dinner. I hope this helps.
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:49 AM   #3
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The DXDP works for us, although we use it differently than you are planning to.


We do a TS breakfast - typically a character meal, a QS lunch, and then a TS dinner - also typically a character meal.

With breakfast being a buffet we obviously just eat how much we want. Dinners when not character meals can be a little much in food portion since we get an app and dessert for everyone, but I enjoy those feels meals. I can try something new or different. DH and O would never agree on an app of we had to share going OOP. We don't feel like we need to lick our plates clean so we aren't stuffing ourselves to the max and feeling sluggish.

At full price the DXDP is around $100 more than OOP using averages. We typically get it at a discount so it's a no brainer for us.
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:09 AM   #4
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If you're looking to maximize your time, buffets can be faster. You don't have to wait for your appetizers, salads, entree, dessert... You just get up, get what you want, and get out. They aren't always the best table service value, but they are the fastest way to get higher quality eats in less time. Buffets are marked with the "B" on the Deluxe dining brochure.

If you're going to be there during the hotter months, plan for your in-park table service meals as a daily break during the late afternoon. It can sort of serve the dual function of being a meal and also being a nice break from the parks in a cool restaurant. This way it won't feel so much like you're going out of your way to meet your reservation times, but more like a good way to recharge at whatever park you're visiting that day. Sitting down in the air conditioning for an hour will sound like a great idea to those reluctant younger adults who aren't so keen on the lack of spontaneity that table service requires.

Give a look to crowd calendars for when you'll be there. Plan on which park you're going to visit so that you can schedule a restaurant in the park that's a recommended park for that day. Less crowded park means you can get more done, and meeting a dining reservation won't be as much of an interruption to experiencing the parks. Park hopping and resort hopping to catch a reservation kills a lot of time. Some of the resorts have great table service, but the worst thing you can do is over-schedule your resort dining if most of your party is really into the theme parks and not so much into the idea of running around to meet reservations. Even if you have your own car on property, leaving the parks to get to a resort reservation can take a long time.

Of course most of this assumes you're all big on doing a lot at the parks and hitting a lot of attractions. If it's more casual for you all, then it might not be as bad.
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:26 AM   #5
LouY
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Thanks Simba.

I Think this is the closest to what I want to do. We're planning on taking in the Character Breakfast at Cape May and the Yachtsman, and since both of those are inside our resort, we think that will help maximize time at Epcot or a DHS Day. We're going in June, So a lot of the hours and whatnot are still up in the air and will be, but I wanted to nip some of the friction off right away.
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:30 AM   #6
LouY
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That's about what i was thinking. Using a CS for Lunch, and I like Simba's Suggestion to scope out the "B"s. We were afraid of just ending up running from reservation to reservation, But I think with the Signature meals, we'll have a lot of two meal days, and will try to schedule the Counterservice for lunch so we're not running around.
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:18 PM   #7
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If you plan ahead, you can schedule breakfast in parks prior to park opening. This way you get the food but don't miss out on park time either. Just remember to factor in transportation.
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:08 AM   #8
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We've done the DxDP on two recent trips.

We never used if for more than two meals a day and we never used it for counter service meals. We also never park hopped for meals (always chose to eat breakfast or lunch in whatever park we were visiting for that day).

Almost all of our dinners were in resorts, typically a resort close to the park we'd visited that day.

Most often, we'd use it for a TS (usually character) breakfast and a signature dinner. Tried to be somewhat disciplined about not eating too much at the character breakfast buffets (I imposed on myself a two pass limit).

On each trip, we only did one 1 TS dinner, which both times was at 'Ohana (on each trip, we had a breakfast at CRT to even out the credits).

A few times per trip, we used it for a TS lunch and a signature dinner. This has the potential of providing the most value (as TS lunches are usually more expensive, at least for adults, than 1 TS character breakfasts) but you have to be careful to space the meals far enough apart so that you're hungry at dinner. I'd suggest a minimum of 6-7 hours (since your party is mostly adults, you can probably get away with having somewhat later dinners).

On days where we did breakfast and dinner, we used snack credits for treats in the park (and tried to be disciplined about not snacking after about 1 pm so as to not ruin our appetites for dinner).

On days where we did lunch and dinner, we used snack credits for grab and go breakfast items in our resort (and tried to be disciplined about not snacking at all between lunch and dinner).

Doing it this way, we found the DxDP to be a lot of food, but not too much food.

We've moved away from the DxDP, not because it didn't work for us but because it's gotten too expensive and is no longer a value for us, epecially with our oldest recently turning 10. Our next trip will be roughly the same style of eating but we're going OOP with TIW.
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Old 07-31-2013, 03:53 PM   #9
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In the past we've always done the DXDDP and found it to work very well. With some planning, it doesn't have to feel like you are running from one ADR to the next, at least it never has to us. Instead, our ADR time comes up just about when we are getting hungry anyway, and I plan our park touring so that we naturally end up in the right place at the right time for our meal after having explored that section of the park.

But, we are a family that always eats 3 full meals everyday, at pretty regular times. Anything less would lead to an awful lot of grumpiness, lol! If you are more used to grazing or snacking throughout the day, it will be more challenging to make it work.

We have found most of our TS meals to be pretty quick, usually under an hour from start to finish. It's hard to do a CS in much less time, especially if there is a long line to order. I will say that a few we will probably avoid in the future because they are notoriously slow are: Coral Reef, Teppan Edo, CRT, and Tusker House.

To maximize time, definitely don't park-hop for an ADR, especially for lunch. Plan your ADR in whatever park you will be in anyway. And don't plan meals at hard-to-get-to resorts unless its something special that you just can't miss. Take advantage of the restaurants in your own resort, especially for breakfast. And don't be afraid to do the same one multiple times if it makes life easier. (I think you said you were staying at BC, if so Captains Grill is a great breakfast and super fast! We ate there almost every morning on our trip)

As for maximizing value, honestly I never paid much attention to what we ordered, we just got what we wanted. As a vegetarian, I'm sure I wasn't getting the best deal since those entrees tend to be cheaper. (Meat-loving DH probably made up for it though, lol!) The biggest thing is to not forget about your snacks. This was the first time we actually used most of them while there (F&G snack kiosks helped with that), but buying stuff to bring home is a great option too.

Personally I have always loved not having to feel guilty about how much we spend on every meal once we are there... The sticker shock is over months before the trip, so it just "feels free". Even putting the money on a GC wouldn't have the same effect b/c you would still be fretting over how much you were going to have left for other things.

BUT... Even with all that said, I have to admit that it is becoming less enticing with the continued price increases. I'm pretty sure if I did the math at this point, it would be cheaper for us to go OOP. I almost skipped it on our last trip, but couldn't quite get DH on board with it. For our mini-trip next year, it definitely doesn't make sense just because of the timing, so we are going to try going without it. I guess if we hate it, we'll be back to paying a small premium for convenience, but something tells me (sadly) that we may well have already made our very last trip with my beloved DxDDP.

But anyway, DP or not, I don't think that 3 TS meals / day is necessarily a bad thing if you are smart about how you plan them.
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Old 07-31-2013, 05:25 PM   #10
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We do Deluxe Dinning every time we go. Since your group is mainly adults, I would suggest that you use your snack credits for a morning meal in the hotel or use them for a quick lunch should you choose to do a one credit character breakfast. Book a one credit TS lunch at noon if you use your snack credits for breakfast. At night do an earlier Signature meal. This will accommodate the Diabetic person as well as maximize the value of your plan.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:48 PM   #11
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My husband and I are doing DxDP for the 1st time in September this year. We are doing 1TS and 1 signature meal each day, with the exception of BOG. (He's dying to get in there, I, however, am sick of hearing about it since January being on the Dine team.) We are planning a QS BOG for lunch, but I have a Kona back up reservation for that day just in case the lines are crazy when we go.

I can't imaging eating 3 TS meals a day. I'm not even sure I can do 2! I sure as heck am going to try, though!
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