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Old 08-24-2013, 06:58 PM   #46
MinnieLovesMickey12
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To address a PP that said a 30% room discount in a deluxe would be a better value if there were only 2 ppl. If you do the math on that it would have to be a 30% room discount on a room that cost at least $400 a night. a 30% room discount on a $300-$350 room is still not as much of a savings as 2 adults X $58 a day for the DDP. So in almost every circumstance the free dining is a better deal. Especially when there are 5 of you all Disney adults.

We can eat OOP and have a CS breakfast, a CS lunch and a TS dinner, even if we order the $30 steak at dinner, for less than $58 a day. And that is 3 meals instead of 2 that the dining plan provides. So OOP for us will always be cheaper than PAYING for the dining plan. But the 2 times we had the dining plan it was free. all other times we pay OOP.

From now on we will be staying off site at Bonnet Creek and still eating out almost every meal. We will have some breakfasts in the room but we also have some BF ADR's as well as dinner ADR's every day.
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:38 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinnieLovesMickey12
To address a PP that said a 30% room discount in a deluxe would be a better value if there were only 2 ppl. If you do the math on that it would have to be a 30% room discount on a room that cost at least $400 a night. a 30% room discount on a $300-$350 room is still not as much of a savings as 2 adults X $58 a day for the DDP. So in almost every circumstance the free dining is a better deal. Especially when there are 5 of you all Disney adults.

We can eat OOP and have a CS breakfast, a CS lunch and a TS dinner, even if we order the $30 steak at dinner, for less than $58 a day. And that is 3 meals instead of 2 that the dining plan provides. So OOP for us will always be cheaper than PAYING for the dining plan. But the 2 times we had the dining plan it was free. all other times we pay OOP.

From now on we will be staying off site at Bonnet Creek and still eating out almost every meal. We will have some breakfasts in the room but we also have some BF ADR's as well as dinner ADR's every day.
The room discount doesn't have to be equal to the price of the DDP to be better, it has to be equal to the value you get from DDP.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:06 PM   #48
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Real Life DDP vs OOP example...until life throws you a curveball

FWIW, I have always been a dining plan advocate for my family mainly because we have always come out ahead using the DP vs OOP. I run the numbers before each trip and even staying deluxe, getting the DP free was always a better deal for us rather than getting a R/O discount...that is until this past trip. We just returned on Sunday from an 8 day stay (booked the FD BB from last August) and stayed at the BC. We had all our dinner ADR's planned and were ready to go. I started keeping track of all our receipts on our first day until dinner. That's when my oldest DD became ill and we found ourselves at Celebration Hospital the next morning with her. She had a very nasty stomach bug which lasted all week right up until the 2nd to the last day of vacation. Because of this, she missed quite a few TS meals, QS meals & snacks. Even though we got the DP free, I realized very quickly that we "lost our shirts" on this trip. Had everything gone as planned, yes, we would have come out ahead (not by much but still ahead), but it didn't and it made us re-think our future vacations. We ended up upgrading our tickets to A/P's and we got the TIW card (which we did begin using on this trip and it has almost paid for itself already). In October, DH & I are returning to the world and will use our TIW card and when we return next August with the kids, we decided we won't be getting the DP, we'll use the TIW for that trip as well and I'm sure we'll do pretty well. This is a debate that will never end - you'll always have the folks who swear by the DP and those who prefer OOP, to me it's a mute point - different strokes for different folks and I would never try to push my family's preference onto anyone else. I just wanted to comment that "Real Life" threw us a curve ball on this particular trip and we're going to try something else on the next one.
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:46 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeandReneePlus5 View Post
Just got back from 6 nights in the world.

7 Disney adults.

Meal Plan would have been $55.59 x 7 x 6 = $2,334.78

7 Table Service Meals - We ate at Be Our Guest, Chefs De France, Tony's Town Square, Kona Café, 50s Prime Time, Hoop Dee Doo Review and Ohana (character breakfast).

Counter Service meals were Columbia Harbor House, Casey's Corner, Yak and Yeti takeout, Flame Tree BBQ, Sunshine Terrace and Captain Cook's.

Our gratuities and alcohol consumed at the table service meals totaled $243.07. In addition, we consumed snacks in excess of the meal plan allowance totaling $167.80. We bought two mugs for $32.99.

So with the meal plan our cost would have been $2334.78 + 243.07 + 167.80 - $32.99 or $2,712.66.

Our actual OOP cost for the week was $2,427.19

Cash savings of $285.47

We ordered whatever we wanted and snacked whenever we wanted. And the savings is actually greater because I didn't analyze the non-alcoholic drinks like Wild Berry Foam Lemonade that we ordered here and there that isn't included as a meal plan beverage. Probably ordered at least $40 of those suckers so let's say the savings is $325.

I see some do their own math and the two totals are closer and they say that they like the convenience of the meal plan so they will just pay for the DDP anyway even if the math shows it is more.

We've done the DDP (when it was free) and our experience is the exact opposite - it was SO much more convenient to just order off the menu whatever you wanted and not have to sort out what credits were being used where and if there was a more efficient way of paying etc.

I offer all of this as food for thought.
I'm not surprised, when I run the numbers the only way the DDP saves you money (now with all the price increases) is if you would always be ordering the most expensive things from the menu and you would have always ordered dessert with lunch and dinner anyway.

I have a little different scenario. I can chose 30% off or a free Disney dining plan. The difference between these two things is $1606.36. We are a party of 7 (6 disney adults and 1 disney kid) staying 7 nights. If I take out the kid portion at $18 dollars a day for 7 days that leaves $1480.36 which works out to be $35.25 per adult per day. In other words as long as I get more than $35.25 worth of value out of our meal plan per Disney adult we are making out better choosing the meal plan rather than the % off. I can increase the difference between the two scenarios a bit by making some complicated choices, but that would only make the value of the adult meal have to hit a couple dollars more so I think we could still easily hit the mark.

I do agree, I would prefer the freedom of not having the plan, but the numbers in my case seem to indicate it is a no brainier.

edited to add: thanks for sharing your numbers.
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:08 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by eliza61 View Post
When I'm on the ddp I end of stressing over the cost of the meal and I make sure I order t he most expensive thing even if I only want a salad because God forbid I didn't maximize my credits.
That's why I never understand the "not think about what you order" line of thinking.
The two times I did the ddp that's all I did was over whether or not I got the most out of my credits.
I totally understand that. I'm already stressing over it and we don't go until November. I actually booked 8 ts meals even though we only have 7 credits so that when someone wants the "cheap" menu item I can pay oop and save the credit for our 8th meal. The last time I didn't stress because it was "free" (and I didn't know any better), this time I'm choosing between the "free" and the discount ro. This will be the last time we do the dining plan.
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:10 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by NorCalGal View Post
I agree with this, even though I'm a huge fan of free dining and am using it for 10 days in November!

My uncle and I go almost every year and share a room, and meet my brother's family there (they live near Ft. Lauderdale.) The timing is based on my niece's birthday at the beginning of November, so the time we are already going happens to coincide well with Free Dining promos, and my uncle strongly prefers to stay on property, so we aren't picking our hotel based on getting free food. For us, it truly is FREE, IMO, so any money it saves is a gain for us.
Still not free since you aren't taking advantage of the room only discount.
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:21 PM   #52
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Our first two trips when the boys were younger we did not use ddp. We didn't know what our eating schedule was going to be with them, and I didn't like the idea of planning.

We have used the ddp on the last 4 trips because I figured out how to get the most out of it for the four of us. I know our eating habits and how much and when we eat. We share at almost every meal except buffets. We like getting to order more expensive things that we may not normally, and knowing it's paid off in advance.
When it's just DH and I, it may not be beneficial anymore. I will probably just save up money, put it on a gift card, and have it paid off in advance that way.

One thing I wish they would change about ts is getting an appetizer OR dessert, not just dessert. They could even limit it to certain lower priced appetizers.

I will add up our "bill" and try to remember to add it in my trip report when we get beack from our Nov. trip.
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