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Old 09-16-2013, 12:35 PM   #1
christianweecare
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Experience with putting dining dollars on gift card instead of using DDP?

I was wondering if I could get some input from those of you that may have used a Disney gift card for your dining expenses instead of purchasing the DDP. I was wondering how you ended up and if you would do so again. TIA!
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:52 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by christianweecare View Post
I was wondering if I could get some input from those of you that may have used a Disney gift card for your dining expenses instead of purchasing the DDP. I was wondering how you ended up and if you would do so again. TIA!
I have not done this. But if you do it, as opposed to paying each meal with a gift card, you might be better off just charguing your meals to you KTTW card (or magic band) and then paying the bill off via the gift card(s) at the end so as not to lose it/them.
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:50 PM   #3
christianweecare
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I have not done this. But if you do it, as opposed to paying each meal with a gift card, you might be better off just charguing your meals to you KTTW card (or magic band) and then paying the bill off via the gift card(s) at the end so as not to lose it/them.
Yes. That's what I do. Just wondering if I put the same amount on a gift card that would equal the price of the DP, would I come out about the same??
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Old 09-16-2013, 07:42 PM   #4
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Last year I calculated what I thought we'd spend on dining with 2 character meals, all others CS, and snacks - about $500. Got a gift card so we didnt have to bring cash or put it on the credit card. It worked beautifully. We spent less than if we had done the ddp as we had fewer TS meals.
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:28 AM   #5
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We normally do a TS every day. I'm not really looking to cut corners or save money. Just wondering if I can do the same thing by using a GC rather than going the DP route. Just do our own dining plan, so do speak. Of course, I don't want to spend MORE...just come out even.
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Old 09-17-2013, 07:59 PM   #6
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We've done both!

The original dining plan is the most economical, but you have to want to take the time for sit down service meals. If you are just looking to do mostly quick service, gift cards are the way to go. We have done that the last two times we've gone. It helps to manage our budget for food by only carrying in with us 1 $100.00 gift card each day. (our family is only three, more $ may be needed for a larger family) The dining plan gives you a dessert everytime, and it is just too much food for us. BIG TIP!!! BJ's Wholesale Clubs sell the gift cards at a discount!!! $100.00 GC only costs $95.00!!! We buy one a month and save up!
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:14 PM   #7
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The original dining plan is the most economical, but you have to want to take the time for sit down service meals. If you are just looking to do mostly quick service, gift cards are the way to go. We have done that the last two times we've gone. It helps to manage our budget for food by only carrying in with us 1 $100.00 gift card each day. (our family is only three, more $ may be needed for a larger family) The dining plan gives you a dessert everytime, and it is just too much food for us. BIG TIP!!! BJ's Wholesale Clubs sell the gift cards at a discount!!! $100.00 GC only costs $95.00!!! We buy one a month and save up!
We do the same with GC from Target using our Red Card!
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Old 09-18-2013, 05:27 PM   #8
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I have done this both ways, leaving the money in teh bank, charging all meals then paying it off when I got home and using gift cards. The only reason I used the gift cards was becasue they were doing a scripps fundraiser at my school and I wanted to participate so I used my dining money to buy two $1000 gift cards. Loved the gift cards with a nice high balance like that because I don't carry a ton of smaller cards.

Next year, because of magic bands, I will just attach the cards to my account if there is another fundraiser, if not back to the CC and paying it off after I get home from savings account.
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Old 09-18-2013, 05:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by christianweecare View Post
We normally do a TS every day. I'm not really looking to cut corners or save money. Just wondering if I can do the same thing by using a GC rather than going the DP route. Just do our own dining plan, so do speak. Of course, I don't want to spend MORE...just come out even.
This should work, we find ordering exactly what we want when we want still costs less than a Dining plan.
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Old 09-18-2013, 05:59 PM   #10
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This should work, we find ordering exactly what we want when we want still costs less than a Dining plan.
I'm glad to hear you had a positive experience. I don't want to worry about ordering whatever we want.
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:42 AM   #11
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We rented points from a DVC member for this past trip and did not opt to buy the dining plan (had it "free" in the past). We did have a Disney gift card (the one you get from the Disney credit card rewards) and chose to use that as part of our dining plan.
We charged all our food to our room because it was so easy to just tap with the Magic Band to pay. I will give the Magic Bands a thumbs up on that so I didn't have to dig in my purse or remember if I got my card back.
We only wanted to do 1-2 table service meals for the week, so we would have bought the quick service plan and paid oop for the Table Service. Our family made out ahead because we were able to include a TS at Biergarten for dinner for the four of us and a dinner for DH and I at Captains Grill for the price we would of had to pay for a qs dining plan, along with all the snacks and quick service meals we ate the whole week. We were able to do a lot more snacking on this trip. The dining plan as too much food at one sitting for us.
I went down to the front desk the day before checking out and had them apply the gift card to our room charges.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:44 AM   #12
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The dining plan will cost me 7 70 for two people. 8 days. 7 nights. CRT is one of our choices. Doing the math we figured 750 which includes the tips. I got us an 800 gift card to pay for our dining.

It works for us because we will not be getting a desert with each meal. Some places I want an appetizer instead of an entrée. And I want to eat where a dining credit is not worth the money-- earl of sandwich and sleepy hallow


I did not want to worry about getting the best bang for my buck nor did I want to run around and spend many snack credits at the need.
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Old 09-22-2013, 05:18 PM   #13
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This is what we have been doing every visit but two (we got free dining) the past two years. It works perfectly. Yes you can use the KTTW and charge back to room and then pay that off with the gift card but I like knowing my balance as I go and the receipts after each purchase states this.
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Old 09-22-2013, 08:53 PM   #14
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We decided against the DDP. Its only 2 days at WDW before our cruise and I am surprising kids with MNSSHP one night. Since its our only Park this trip and we can't get in til 4pm, I did not want to waste time with a reservation at a TS meal. Looking at menus online helped me budget for about $300 in food for my family of 4 having counter service meals mostly. This also allows us to use or DVC discounts also. I'm just disappointed in the new cup system. $15 each for a mug is a downer for only 2 days. I may just get bottles of sodas and keep them in the villa.

One question.....Does Earl of Sandwich take Disney GC? If not I'll just pay with the KTTW card. My entertainment guide also has BOGO free sandwiches at Earl's so that will save $.
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:53 PM   #15
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DH and I have gone the GC route on our last several visits. I checked the menus of the places we wanted to go to and added up the costs. We had the DDP once (it was free and there was no room discount).When I added things up when we got home and realized that the regular DDP wouldn't have saved us money.We aren't dessert people and didn't always get them even tho they were part of the plan (and "free").Plus we usually get a salad or soup at dinner but very rarely do at lunch (or get an appetizer at either meal)so the Deluxe would be a waste of money..
The GC has worked well for us. Plus you can add in the tips and adult beverages
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