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Old 01-08-2014, 12:06 PM   #1
maddiebee
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But it's just so convenient!

We really love the dining plan. As someone who is constantly pinching pennies and trying to get myself the cheapest thing on every menu, I love not having to feel guilty for wanting the most expensive item. I love not really having to think about it. On the other hand, I sometimes feel pressure to get the most expensive thing, over what I want, to make sure I'm getting my money's worth.

The thing is, after looking at every menu I think we'd want to dine at and doing my own calculations, AND using a dining plan calculator, we end up saving money paying out of pocket, about 50-150$ or so.

The penny pincher in me wants to save that 50-150, but also wants to be carefree at Disney and tell them to keep the steaks coming and to not look at prices.

Is the convenience worth that 50-150? I'm going to over think it all either way, but is there a good middle ground?

Do I want to save money or do I want convenience? Help!!
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:53 PM   #2
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The convenience wins out for us. I like the idea of having it paid for ahead of time and getting dessert. I know not everyone wants two desserts a day but I like the option. As soon as I narrow down our choices and look over menus I’m going to use a spreadsheet I found to do a comparison but only because I’m crazy and want the Deluxe DP!!!

Second thought…probably not the best person to answer this question. . .
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:14 PM   #3
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If you're asking me, no, it's absolutely not worth it just for the perceived convenience. personally I order whatever I want at the time and just pay for it. But there are a lot of people who are just not comfortable doing that, and if you are one of them you may be able to put a personal value on the plan that goes above strict monetary value.
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:16 PM   #4
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I was set against NOT getting the dining plan. But I ran some numbers and found myself choosing the cheaper item. I also KNEW the sticker shock would get me no matter how much I prepared myself. So I just added the plan. I'm actually tired of thinking about it. Lol. So to me, the answer is YES.
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:21 PM   #5
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I too am all about saving money but I hate carrying that much cash around or using my debit card and being SHOCKED when I get home at how much all the food cost. Yes I would probably save money paying OOP but I know I would share a meal, get a cup of tap water, or pick something I maybe didn't want just to save a few $$. Its vacation I say go for it!!!
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audrey2580 View Post
I too am all about saving money but I hate carrying that much cash around or using my debit card and being SHOCKED when I get home at how much all the food cost. Yes I would probably save money paying OOP but I know I would share a meal, get a cup of tap water, or pick something I maybe didn't want just to save a few $$. Its vacation I say go for it!!!
See, I think this is my main line of thinking. Even if I were to say, get prepaid gift cards for the estimated amount I think I'll be paying, I still think that part of me would be too tempted to hold myself back a bit at the beginning to make sure I have enough to get me through the whole week. At the same time, I feel the same way about using my dining plan credits. We do end up paying for a couple meals out of pocket, mainly because I don't like sharing Maybe I should just do the OOP meals first so I'm carefree the rest of the week?

I guess something else I should add, is that I got a great price on stay at the Poly but we wouldn't be able to have the dining plan with the discount we'd get. So do I stay at the Poly without the dining plan or stay at a mod (most likely POR) with it?

Thanks for all the help! Work is very slow this week so I'm keeping myself awake by overanalyzing every part of my trip!
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:35 PM   #7
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There are many things I'd rather do with $50 -$150 than spend it on perceived convenience. That's like throwing money away to me. I'd much prefer going into a restaurant & ordering the most expensive item (if I wanted it) knowing I was still saving money. I don't see the mentality in being unwilling to order more expensive items when paying OOP, but being willing to spend more than necessary on the meal in advance. Money paid in advance & money paid at time of service both come out of the same bank account. Personally, I'll keep the $50 - $150 in my pocket. To me, spending extra for convenience only makes sense if you have plenty of money to blow. Naturally, that's JMO. No offense to anyone who buys DDP for convenience. I just don't understand it. I'd be sitting at the table looking over the menu knowing I paid more in advance than I'd be paying if I waited & ordered exactly what I wanted. I'd be annoyed with myself.
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:13 PM   #8
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You could do a gift card in the amount you *think* you'll spend on food (based on what looks good on the menu now) and then earmark an extra $50-$100 in cash for splurges if something expensive sounds appetizing once you're there and the gift card runs out. If you don't use it, spend it on souvenirs or take it home. I don't see how that's any less convenient than overpaying for something when you don't have to. Personally I'd just add it all (including the extra buffer amount) to one gift card, but that's because I know I'll be back to WDW or shop online and use it eventually.
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:23 PM   #9
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The "convenience" is a cost. The question is "Is this convenience worth it to me?"

The DP doesn't work well for how we eat. Desserts at lunch AND dinner? Not a good idea. I like an appetizer with my evening meal but unless we go for the more expensive "delux" plan it's not included. But maybe the DP works for your eating habits and the higher price tag isn't a budget buster for you but it's only a question you can answer.
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by kathie859 View Post
The "convenience" is a cost. The question is "Is this convenience worth it to me?" The DP doesn't work well for how we eat. Desserts at lunch AND dinner? Not a good idea. I like an appetizer with my evening meal but unless we go for the more expensive "delux" plan it's not included. But maybe the DP works for your eating habits and the higher price tag isn't a budget buster for you but it's only a question you can answer.
All the dessert is something that I hadn't really thought about. I can't eat gluten so I didn't end up eating dessert at most places we went or just threw the gluten free cookie in my bag and forgot about it.

I think I am leaning toward the gift card. I really appreciate all the help!!
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelmjfan View Post
There are many things I'd rather do with $50 -$150 than spend it on perceived convenience. That's like throwing money away to me. I'd much prefer going into a restaurant & ordering the most expensive item (if I wanted it) knowing I was still saving money. I don't see the mentality in being unwilling to order more expensive items when paying OOP, but being willing to spend more than necessary on the meal in advance. Money paid in advance & money paid at time of service both come out of the same bank account. Personally, I'll keep the $50 - $150 in my pocket. To me, spending extra for convenience only makes sense if you have plenty of money to blow. Naturally, that's JMO. No offense to anyone who buys DDP for convenience. I just don't understand it. I'd be sitting at the table looking over the menu knowing I paid more in advance than I'd be paying if I waited & ordered exactly what I wanted. I'd be annoyed with myself.
Well, it could be argued that a lot of the spending we do is for convenience. This might be convenient for some, not for others.

People rent cars even though they're staying on property, for the convenience. People stay at monorail resorts so they can use the monorail, for the convenience. People pay for Early Bird Check In on Southwest, for the convenience.

It's all about individual priorities. Some people don't mind spending a little more if it makes them more relaxed on vacation.

Me, I'll take Free Dining any day!
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:57 PM   #12
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I too am all about saving money but I hate carrying that much cash around or using my debit card and being SHOCKED when I get home at how much all the food cost. Yes I would probably save money paying OOP but I know I would share a meal, get a cup of tap water, or pick something I maybe didn't want just to save a few $$. Its vacation I say go for it!!!
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Old 01-08-2014, 04:21 PM   #13
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I've done the platinum dining plan, which was worth it because it comes with all the tours.. and I did 4 tours on it.

Now that I have done the tours, I do the 1 cs/1 ts plan. Which lets me do my character meals and some fine dining as well as quick breakfasts. Is it more than out of pocket? Maybe, probably, but I know that it's already paid for and I don't need to save $300+ before my trip to pay for meals. It lets me pay for my meals over time, before my trip, as opposed to in lump sum at the end of the trip.
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Old 01-08-2014, 04:22 PM   #14
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It's all about convenience for me. I don't penny pinch every line item for vacations. I like the idea of a paid in full vacation before I leave. I like to splurge on vacation and the deluxe dining plan allows me to do that. If I paid out of pocket, I'd be paying attention to the costs too much. I don't care that is isn't a savings. I expect to pay more than typical when I go to theme parks. The package deals just work best for our family. Everything is paid for up front and not much to think about while there.
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Old 01-09-2014, 06:29 AM   #15
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I've done the platinum dining plan, which was worth it because it comes with all the tours.. and I did 4 tours on it. Now that I have done the tours, I do the 1 cs/1 ts plan. Which lets me do my character meals and some fine dining as well as quick breakfasts. Is it more than out of pocket? Maybe, probably, but I know that it's already paid for and I don't need to save $300+ before my trip to pay for meals. It lets me pay for my meals over time, before my trip, as opposed to in lump sum at the end of the trip.
Exactly! You pay over the course of months instead of throwing 1k down for food for the week. It's all relative but this is how I feel as well.
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