Anybody Else Pay OOP to avoid the hassle?

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by Micca, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. Micca

    Micca Where there's a will, there's an heir

    Dec 5, 2000
    DW and I(& fam) are veteran WDW tourists. A couple of years ago we tried some dining plan that was just more hassle than it was worth. I see all the questions and confusion on these boards and think it sounds like a big headache. We just pay OOP for our meals and snacks. No limitations, no math, no strategies, we just pay as we go. At the end of the day, I think we come out about even. :confused3
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  3. kamikazecat

    kamikazecat DIS Veteran

    Jan 5, 2009
    We didn't find the dining plan to be a hassle at all on our last trip. We love it. :goodvibes
  4. Pakey

    Pakey <img src=

    Aug 29, 2007
    We've tried the regular plan and the deluxe plan and have decided that we,too, would prefer to just wing it. I wouldn't even care if the plan saved us $500 per person, I don't want to spend the week eating desserts I don't want, planning to make sure I use all of those credits, etc.

    I think it's a great deal and am glad to see so many people enjoying it but it's not for us.
  5. chocovrdmicears

    chocovrdmicears DIS Veteran

    Mar 1, 2007
    I can totally understand your reasoning. And that plan does work well for a lot of people. For us the dining plan works better. Not so much for the $ to $ value, but I (the planner of vacations;)) love the freedom of having our meals paid for. We always go on a certain budget. Some trips more than others. With the dining plan I get a peace of mind that I don't have to worry about how much things cost. Everyone can get what they want. For me, the dining plan takes the math out of the equation. :) Which results in Mommy have fewer headaches on vacation. ;) and as they say, that is priceless.
  6. B-Ride

    B-Ride Getting My Disney Fix

    Apr 7, 2008
    Not sure what the big headache is. Just give them your key to the world and they keep track of everything for you. At TS restaurants your server will explain very cleary exactly what you are entitled to.

    If you plan to eat at a TS restaurant each night then the DP definitely makes sense financially.
  7. Pakey

    Pakey <img src=

    Aug 29, 2007
    This is only true if you want to eat an entree and a dessert. I prefer to eat a salad and an appetizer, no entree, no dessert.
  8. Pumbaa_

    Pumbaa_ >Hakuna Matata!< Moderator

    Jan 7, 2001
    I am not a fan of dining plans either and prefer topay as we go. I also found it to be a hassle. Iam not always hungry on a schedule and hate to have to be smewhere at a set time because of meal credits

    Some love the plans some don't. Whatever works best for your family :)
  9. sandym718

    sandym718 DIS Veteran

    Nov 22, 2005
    The DDP works well for us, no hassle. But the way it's set up works well for us and the way we eat - on vacation at least. And with the 2 young children, it Does work out to be a money saver for us. Also, I don't have to listen to DH's sticker shock at every meal ;) If planning and doing the math (in advance - to make sure it will save you some $$), then don't do it. To me that's where the "hassle" (in some views, not mine, I love, love, love all the planning) comes in. I can't see it as a hassle at all once you're actually there.
  10. bangzoom6877

    bangzoom6877 DIS Veteran

    Nov 25, 2007
    Same for us...we have 2 small children and love to go to character meals. We eat a TS dinner every night (on any type of vacation). We eat a CS lunch while in a theme park. We like to enjoy the snacking as well on vacation. For now, the basic DDP makes sense for us. On each trip we will assess and see if it still makes sense for our family, provided it is still available of course. That's why they have different choices though (3 dining plans or option to pay OOP)...not everything works for all of the people. Just do what makes you comfortable!
  11. Aimeedyan

    Aimeedyan <font color=blue>Why get all excited about somethi

    Feb 22, 2004
    Last week, we did both OOP and DDP. We scheduled the DDP for the 3 nights were at Boardwalk Villa because after I booked our dining reservations, I knew we would come out ahead using the plan for 3 of them. Nothing about our dining choices changed.

    The rest of the trip, we paid OOP and ate lots of appetizers instead of entrees and rarely ordered dessert.

    I have done the DDP for an entire trip and do not want to do that again.
  12. carmiedog

    carmiedog needs more kool-aid

    Jan 31, 2006
    We went OOP last trip and it was nice to not feel forced to eat something just because we'd already paid for it. I did a detailed comparison before we left of DDP and what we'd probably be ordering, and it was about dead even. If we were to do a ton of character lunches/dinners, though, the DDP would be worth it with the kids. OOP, we just try to do character breakfasts instead.
  13. wheredreamsbegin

    wheredreamsbegin DIS Veteran

    Mar 11, 2008
    We consider the DDP before each trip, but we have yet to try it. I guess when it comes down to it, I'm afraid that there will be too much food. We eat a TS meal (sometimes two) each day, but we rarely get an appetizer or dessert. Sometimes we choose to share an entree. I think it would be difficult for us to give up that flexibility.
  14. DisneyLover83

    DisneyLover83 DIS Veteran

    Dec 10, 2007
    We have done the deluxe twice and regular once and we will not be doing either again. We always have extra quick service and snack credit and end up getting a bunch of sandwiches and drinks on our last day to take in the car plus we do not eat all of our desserts (if any) beacuse we normally do not eat that much food and we just get so full by day 3. We will be doing OOP from here on out.
  15. Yoshi

    Yoshi DIS Veteran

    Oct 10, 2008
    We are trying the dining plan on our upcoming trip for the first time. I was unsure of it as well because although it is a good deal, it really seems like you are getting stuff you would have never ordered if you were paying for it on it's own. Perfect example is a counter service meal. There are 4 people in my family. We normally get 1 large soda and split it since only 2 of us drink soda, and usually get 1 dessert and split it since we don't need 4 desserts. When going out to a restaurant at home we never order drinks and rarely get dessert. Although I am looking forward to being able to order anything that is allowed without worrying about cost compared to normally trying to order something that is not too expensive like a burger or sandwich rather than an entree.
  16. TDC Nala

    TDC Nala <font color=red>1937, what a year that was<br><fon Moderator

    Jun 22, 2001
    The DDP works best for those who are fine with planning their meal schedule and with allowing Disney to proscribe which restaurants they will patronize and which courses they will order. There are two schools of DDP users - those who use it to save money and those who use it because they like the convenience of prepayment.

    (Some guests do both - but there are many that won't use it for the convenience if it also means they won't save money. Disneyland has a dining plan, but it's not widely used because it's simply a prepayment program and there is no possibility of saving money.)

    If you're the type of WDW guest who wants to eat whenever you feel like it and whatever you feel like ordering, on your own terms, then the planning necessary to use a WDW dining plan will seem like a hassle to you. By choosing a dining plan you are necessarily conceding some control over your vacation dining choices to Disney.

    Last time I used a dining plan I found myself in a situation where I made a last minute spontaneous decision that I wanted to eat in a place that didn't accept the plan - which of course I couldn't do, because I'd already paid for the food allotted by the plan.

    Some consider the fact that the meals are prepaid to be "freedom." Some think "freedom" is the ability to eat at a restaurant that doesn't accept the plan, or to order two appetizers and no dessert if that is what you want, or to order an adult meal for your child.

    The dining plan makes sense if you WANT to eat what you're entitled to under the plan.
  17. PolyAddict

    PolyAddict Donate Life

    Mar 13, 2004
    We pay OOP every trip.

    We basically plan 7 sit downs for a 7 night trip, but then usually end up only doing 5 sit downs.

    We never get dessert with any meal, well very rarely anyway. We prefer to get a sweet snack at non meal times and alot of these are not covered as "snacks".

    I end up spending around $300 less than the meal plan with every last bit of food and drinks purchased on a 7 night trip and with the 5 sit downs.
  18. cbg1027

    cbg1027 Florida Girl

    Aug 21, 2009
    I pay OOP because with my eating habits, the DDP doesn't save me any money. If it did, I would deal with it. But it's too much food, and too restricting for my tastes.

    I love my TIW card!! No hassle there! :love:
  19. xenole

    xenole Mouseketeer

    Aug 30, 2009
    I'm paying OOP. Got 4 x breakfast ADRs booked and if I eat enough, that will mean I'll be full till the evening at least. Don't want to be forced to either eat 3 times a day at certain places or lose out on the cost of the DDP. Also gives flexibility - if I want to eat at Universal 2 days in a row, which I'll be doing, I don't want to have spent money on food I won't be taking advantage off.
  20. shellybaxter

    shellybaxter Dis Veteran <br>Disney Restaurants for one hundre

    Sep 20, 2003
    We pay out of pocket because - to us - being told what to eat (this is included - this is not - this is only for two people - etc) isn't appealing. If we want apps, entree and dessert with OOP we can get it. If we only want apps and dessert or entree and dessert or apps, entree and share a dessert - we can do that too. We also like to order drinks, not just wine - so the wine and dine add on doesn't really work either.

    For us the best "dining plan" is the Tables in Wonderland card, which isn't a dining plan at all but a membership discount. We normally eat at signature restaurants so it pays for itself well before the half way point of our 2 week vacations. I am so thankful that Disney has options for different people with different needs
  21. DisneyFamily123

    DisneyFamily123 Use the Force, Luke!

    Jul 14, 2009
    Our deluxe DDP Savings =$728 or 36% saved compared to not using a dining plan. That was for 2 adults and 1 child for an eight night stay.

    The first time we used the regular DDP (Plus Dining) in 2008, it was a little confusing at first - just breakfast - about what is included. But we figured it out. That DDP didn't include appetizers but we got them when we wanted and the cost was added to the bill.

    In 2008, we had 2 older teens so the meal plan worked well because they were sometimes doing their own thing during the day until we met for dinner.... so they could use their card to cover their breakfast, lunch, snacks without worrying if they had enough money....

    In 2009, on the deluxe DDP, the only thing I remember that was not included were some of the big size sushi selections at California Grill - or I think they would have counted as an entree, not an appetizer. Much of the sushi was considered appetizers on the DDP. Most restaurants are on the DDP except for Victoria and Alberts, Bistro de Paris in Epcot, and some of the Downtown Disney Restaurants.

    Now, I don't always eat dessert either... but my DW does, and I've learned to get my own instead of picking at hers if I want to stay out of trouble! But, even if I don't get an appetizer or dessert at every meal (and I do), I'd still save money with the DDP.

    I didn't gain a pound either with all the park walking.... and didn't have 3 restaurant meals every day because a lot of our dinners were signature restaurants or a dinner show that counted as 2 meal credits.

    Now, we like to dine out.... some people don't. If someone just wants to grab food on the go... there is a smaller scale DDP - Quick Service but I don't know how much that would save.

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