DDE to Dining Plan comparison

Discussion in 'DVC-Mousecellaneous' started by Chuck S, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. Chuck S

    Chuck S DVC Boards Co-Moderator Moderator

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    I thought it would be interesting to compare what our normal meals were compared to a Dining plan cost.

    As to whether or not the Dining Plan will be to your advantage when it is offered to DVC members, it will certainly depend upon your dining habits and how many children may be in your party.

    For us, as two adults, we will stick with the DDE. Totals listed will include DDE discount & tip where applicable. We also usually tend to have our large meal of the day for lunch, not dinner. Most breakfasts were cereal and danish in our room. We also had somesome Publix ice cream for midnight snacks. Overall some days we spent more than the Dining Plan would cost, some days less...but the plan would have cost us more over all. It should be noted that we did not "eat to save $$", this is our normal dining style.

    Where we ate:

    12-6 Lunch - Olivia's (Arrived at 3pm)
    1 - Soup, Salad Sandwich meal
    1- Soup
    1- Monte Cristo Sandwich
    2 Water for Beverages (n/c)
    $24.69

    12-7 Lunch - Rose & Crown
    2 - Soup
    2 - Fish & Chips
    2 - Coffee
    $ 46.48

    12-8 Lunch - Tony's Town Square
    2 - Soup
    1- Baked Ziti
    1- Pasta Primavera
    1- Coffee
    1- Cinnamon Gelato
    $ 45.33

    12-8 Counter Dinner - Cosmic Rays
    2 - Cheeseburger Meals
    2 - Ice water (n/c)
    $12.55

    12-9 Lunch-Brown Derby
    1- Cobb Salad (split as appetizer)
    1- Grouper
    1- Orecchiette Seafood Pasta
    1- Celebration dessert
    2- Coffee
    $ 64.62

    12-9 Dinnner - Everything Pop Food Court
    1- Lemonade
    1- Orange Juice
    2- Tuna Croissant
    $ 20.06

    12-10 Breakfast - Olivia's
    2- Coffee
    1- Sm Orange Juice
    1- Two Egg Breakfast
    1- Pancakes & Eggs
    $ 23.12

    12-10 Lunch -Tusker House
    2- Turkey Wrap & Soup combos
    2- Ice Water (n/c)
    $ 12.42

    12-10 Dinner -Everyhing Pop Food Court
    2- Chicken Parmesan with Arugula
    1- Fruit Cup
    1- Tie Dye Cheesecake
    2- ice water (n/c)
    $ 19.22

    12-11 Lunch - Sci-fi
    2 - BLT soup
    1- Artichoke Dip
    2- Rueben Sandwich
    1- Coffee
    1- Coke
    $ 46.94


    12-12 Lunch - Sunshine Seasons
    1- Beet Salad
    1- Turkey Muffuletta
    1- Soup
    2- ice water (n/c)
    $ 19.14

    12-12 Dinner - Chef's de France (Candlelight Pkg)
    $ 95.00

    12-13 Breakfast - Olivia's
    2- Coffee
    2- Two Egg Breakfast
    $ 19.66

    12-13 Lunch - Liberty Tree Tavern
    2- Soup
    2- Pilgrim's Feast (Turkey)
    2- Coffee
    $ 35.96

    12-14 Breakfast - Olivia's
    (Lost receipt)
    $ 22.61

    12-14 Lunch -Chefs de France
    1- Escargot
    1- Salade Nicoise
    1- Filet of Sole
    1- Perrier
    2 - Glasses of wine
    $ 64.41

    12-15 Breakfast - Olivia's
    2- Coffee
    2- Two Egg Breakfast
    $ 20.16

    Total $ 592.37

    Dining Plan for 9 nights $ 683.82 (plus tax, if they apply it)
     
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  3. JimMIA

    JimMIA There's more to life than mice...

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    I didn't keep careful track of our dining costs on our recent trip, but we used DDE and it is a better deal for us, for the way we eat. We saved $75-80 on our recent trip, so we're in the black already and still have 12 months to go on the DDE card.

    However, there are a lot of folks who don't qualify for DDE and the dining plan will suit many of them. I'm sure there are also people for whom the dining plan is a better option than DDE. For example, someone with 3-4 kids might do considerably better. It's good to have choices.
     
  4. calypso*a*go-go

    calypso*a*go-go <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/" targ

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    This is only true if your children are 9 or under. Otherwise, you have to pay adult price for the DP and it ends up costing more money than using the DDE (in our case anyway). We stayed on a MYW package during our last visit and qualified to purchase the plan, but opted not to for this very reason. I really wish they would have a rate structure for juniors (my kids are 12 & 10).
     
  5. DisFlan

    DisFlan DIS Veteran

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    As Jim says, it's good to have choices. We did well with the DDE last trip because we ate more than one TS on most days, had wine or drinks with most meals and visited several lounges. We saved about $400 during the trip. But this might not remain the same for every future trip. We were four adults on the last trip. If we go with young nieces or future grandchildren (likely meaning more CS meals), we might well opt for the DP.

    DisFlan
     
  6. NMW

    NMW DIS Veteran

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    I think the OP is right, for his family DDE may be better. They seem to eat the majority of their TS meals at lunch, thus making them less expensive. We do the opposite-all TS for dinner, and counter service for lunch. we also do a lot of TS breakfasts too. We were at the BWV Dec 1-9 and we kept really good track of our meals with the DDE discount just so I could compare it to the meal plan! For us, 2 adults & 3 kids, the dining plan wins by far. I think I would still get the DDE card to use for any table service breakfasts and alcohol, but our CS lunch, snack and TS dinner would be covered by the meal plan. We would absolutely save money. A counter service for lunch cost our family around $45 every day. Then you have everyone getting a bottle of soda and my daughters popcorn later in the day, around $15. Then dinner for 2 adults & 3 kids at places like Kona Cafe, San Angel Inn, Rose and Crown, etc. are around $120-$140. It's a big savings. Plus, we love the idea of meals being pre-paid and just going and eating!

    I understand what some say about 10 and 11 year olds, but you'd have to pay adult price for them at buffets anyway, unless you lie about their age, which I wouldn't. Many people on the restaurant board have posted restaurants not letting 11 and 12 year olds order off the 9 and under kids menu or charging them double for a kids meal. In our case, for our Oct trip our oldest turns 10 about 3 weeks before the trip, thus making him an adult in the eyes of Disney. The meal plan is still worth it for us. He ate the adult Counter Service food every time anyway. The kids portions are really tiny at those restaurants. We'd have to pay an adult price for him at places like the Cape May Cafe Clam Bake or Ohana anyway, since he'll be 10.

    I do like the DDE card too. We ate dinner twice at the POLY (Kona and Ohana) and sat at those little tables drinking tropical drinks waiting for our tables and the DDE card does take a nice little chunk off. :) We also have a princess freak in the family and do both princess breakfasts. Although, when the price increase goes into effect for CRT, you can't use DDE anymore anyway. We also always do Cape May's and Crystal Palace's breakfasts and a couple Spoodles too. So, I think the DDE card may still be worth it in addition to the dining plan, as long as we have AP's. I'm just so happy about the dining plan though!!! :)
     
  7. kaseyC

    kaseyC Mom to 3 lovely Princesses

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    For our trip 12/4-12/9, the DDE card was of greatvalue for us. We had a party of 10 and we ate 5 TS dinners(50s PT, WCC, Ohana, CMC & FF) including a good amount of cocktails for the 5 adults and specialty drinks for the kids. We also ate 2 TS breakfasts (Spoodles & PSB) and 1 CS lunch at Flame Tree. We saved over $300. Our dinner at WCC included a special B-day cake for my nephew that I pre-ordered, it was included on our final bill and the discount was applied to it as well which was a nice surprise.
     
  8. Chuck S

    Chuck S DVC Boards Co-Moderator Moderator

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    I absolutely agree that traveling with children the Dining Plan will probably be your best deal. The purpose of my post was to tell adults that unless they normally eat a full dinner, the Dining plan may not be their best value. I encourage everyone (especially all adult groups) that may be traveling to Disney before the Meal Plan is available to add up their actual expenses, as I did, and compare it to what the meal plan will cost, then make their decision accordingly, rather than saying "$38 per person seems like a great deal."

    Personally, I'm surprised at the difference, when adding in that nearly $100 Candlelight Package.
     
  9. crazywig

    crazywig DIS Veteran

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    chuck, i'm curious as to why you were eating dinner at the Pop foodcourt? twice! from your breakfast choice i assume you were at OKW?
     
  10. Simba's Mom

    Simba's Mom <font color=green>everything went to "H*** in a ha

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    Thanks-I found this very interesting. We currently have the DDE card and have often wondered about the use of it vs. the Dining plan in the future. I really appreciate the thorough comparison you did.
     
  11. Chuck S

    Chuck S DVC Boards Co-Moderator Moderator

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    We were going to eat at Earl of Sandwich, but they were packed with people

    We were staying at OKW. We really weren't hungry enough for a sit-down dinner at Olivia's. Having stayed on a previous trip at POP for one night, we liked their food court selections for a light dinner, plus their food court accepts the DDE, so we drove over :) And their tie dye chesecake is yummy ;)

    If we didn't have a car, I certainly wouldn't have tried to get there using Disney buses just for dinner.
     
  12. Dean

    Dean DIS Veteran<br><a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis

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    As I've posted previously, we have had 2 long weekends since this DDP can on board and used DDE. I did go back and look at costs both times and NO day did we spend as much as the daily charge for this year with the DDP. We generally ate 2 sit downs per day, part at Signature restaurants and had MORE than what we wanted. It will tend to be the best value for those on shorter stays, those who can legally have a larger group than what they pay for (multiple rooms), those with older kids who cost as kids (7-9?) and those who want to get the most expensive items. If you plan out where and how you use it you can show a value. Whether it's a real or perceived value depends on what you'd do without the program and the other variables as noted above. Studies have shown that people on All Inclusive type plans start to eat much less after 3 days. My concern is that many people are willing to pay for the "convenience" which I feel is a very poor and uninformed choice, IMO.
     
  13. CarolA

    CarolA <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    I generally just have one sit down meal every few days. Otherwise I feel like I am going to "explode" LOL! SO I can't see how for me the dining plan will be a good deal for someone like me.

    I think that Dean may have hit the nail on the head. Disney figures that at least SOME of us will pay for it "assuming" its a good deal and they will make LOTS of money. When this was first released I read several posts from folks who left Disney with "unused vouchers" or "money in DIsney's pocket"
     
  14. DisFlan

    DisFlan DIS Veteran

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    We discovered this real quickly when we did the Everything package. (Back before Disboard days.) But most guests don't know any better. They figure a Disney "package" has to be a better deal. I've talked to a number of people who aren't aware that a stay can be done any other way. I've been tempted to make cards that say, "Check out Disboards.com BEFORE you make a reservation."

    DisFlan
     
  15. yitbos96bb

    yitbos96bb DIS Veteran

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    Actually, it all comes down to how much you eat. If you eat an appetizer, entree and Dessert, and have a Counter service meal for Lunch, then NO, the DDE is not a better deal. Add it up... use an average TS restaurant with all that the DP includes. I tried it with several restaurants and it is a better deal, UNLESS you order the cheapest items possible... and at that point it is break even.
     
  16. yitbos96bb

    yitbos96bb DIS Veteran

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    Right, and looking at your dining habits, you and your companion are not big eaters... you don't always eat desserts and appetizers... so obviously the DDE is a better deal. It also looks like you go to more TS than CS, which again makes the DDE a better meal... As I have said before,


    DDE - Better deal if you eat at more than 1 table service per day on Average. Better deal if you do not want to eat all of the food available with the DP. If you only go with Entree and Dessert or 1 appetizer to split and Entrees, the DDE is the way to go... as in Chuck's case. Better deal if you like to go to more or all Buffets or Family style (IE, Ohana) places (since many include some form of dessert).

    DP - Better Deal if you like to eat at 1 TS per day and 1 CS per day. Better deal if you like to eat a lot of food at your meal... appetizer, Entree and Dessert.

    Pound for Pound, the DP is the best plan... and by this I mean comparing the same amounts of food. If you order less (or more) then obviously it is not as good of a deal. THe DDE then becomes the plan of choice.

    Obviously for me who considers himself a foodie, the DP is a better deal. I will order all the food included so this makes it a better deal for me and saves me money. (I only wish they had an option to give 2 TS per day, in lieu of the CS. Maybe in the future) But for Chuck, who eats less, the DDE is better. As he said, everyone has to analyze their own habits.

    Of course for those who really like to eat, we offer the DDE and DP combo. Use the DDE for the alcohol, and for extra TS meals. We are using it for V & A which for 2 of us pays for the card and isn't a DP option.
     
  17. yitbos96bb

    yitbos96bb DIS Veteran

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    See we ate the same amount for each meal, but a big part of that was we didn't eat at two TS per day. I don't know if I could have eaten a Appetizer Dessert and Entree for Lunch and Dinner. Too much food.
     
  18. yitbos96bb

    yitbos96bb DIS Veteran

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    That's why you can do both :-) We are the same as you.
     
  19. yitbos96bb

    yitbos96bb DIS Veteran

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    You know studies show that 79% of all cited studies in forum boards are made up? Maybe its the academic in me, but please if you are going to make a "Studies Show..." comment, actually cite a study, preferably with a link. Sorry huge pet peeve of mine as many people cite fictional studies.

    As I showed in the very first DP DVC posting, it all comes down to how much you eat. You also need to add in TIP too, which is included with the DP, to make and accurate comparison. Your habits have to fit into the DP mold in order for it to be a good value... For someone liek you who eats at more TS than 1 per day, it is not worth it. For many people, who Do not eat this way, it is a good deal. Many people will order the food and they order a lot of dishes they might not order due to the price.
     
  20. yitbos96bb

    yitbos96bb DIS Veteran

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    Chuck,

    Did you include tips in your totals?
     
  21. DisFlan

    DisFlan DIS Veteran

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    We rarely ate all three courses, either. But we have a son who, from the time he was 7 or 8, could eat an amazing amount of food. He always ate off the adult menu, and he's always been thin as a rail. And he didn't eat the cheap stuff. He's now 27 and he's still thin. We used to just sit and watch him eat. "Can I have the steak AND the lobster, Mom? And the shrimp cocktail? And that big chocolate cake thingy looks good." He'd eat three meals like this a day at WDW. An hour later he'd want a Mickey bar, a turkey leg and popcorn. The meal plans were worth it for him all by himself. (lol! Yes, we had him tested for tape worms.)

    My sister married a guy with a similar metabolism and appetite. Our next trip will be with them, so I'm thinking both the DP and the DDE might be a good idea.


    DisFlan
     

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