Dining plan killing Disney?

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by fireman17, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. bluejasmine

    bluejasmine DIS Veteran

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    I guess for my family who eats three meals a day and snacks it a great deal not as good as it was in 2005 when tax, gratuities were paid and each person got an appy but still a good deal.

    For a family of 4 the counter service lunch would cost around $60 and the TS meal over $200 plus I'd say at least $22 in snacks and then count in the free refillable resort mug and all its refills..

    I do remember the days of picking up a phone in Epcot and being able to make dinner reservations for that night! I miss that but honestly even if Disney did away with the DDP your never getting those days back! So..if the DDP is good for your family get it if its not then don't! No biggie!!
     
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  3. AlohaAnnie

    AlohaAnnie DIS Veteran

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    Thank You for the advice. I have done so much research on DDP vs. TiW for our family. I did figure everything at original price for tax & tip. I think it will work out better for us. We are really looking forward to it.
     
  4. TDC Nala

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

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    Even if they get rid of the dining plan (which isn't going to happen) food service at the Disney parks is not going to go back to the way it was before the dining plan.

    They introduced the dining plan to go with the way they were changing food service - they didn't change the food service to fit the dining plan. I think now they are doing some of that - the cost structure has been reengineered to steer dining plan guests toward buffets and family-style restaurant experiences. At least that is what I'm seeing.

    DDP is a great deal for a diminishing number of parties, a good deal for some, a decent deal for many, and no deal for many others - it's not meant to fit every party.
     
  5. maggiew

    maggiew If she hates to be wet, then how does the survive

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    Cinderella Royal Table breakfast is $58.13 during peak season! :scared1:

    Akershus Breakfast is $46.85 during peak season!


    We don't do the dining plan. It doesn't fit how we eat. I try to work the numbers to favor the dining plan, but I just can't. The only way I can make it work is if we order stuff that we normally wouldn't. For example my DH would prefer an entree salad (like a salad with chicken, cranberries, apples, etc.). That is what he would order if it is on the menu. That isn't really a good deal for the dining plan. And DH would NEVER order the steak instead of the entree salad just because it is a better deal on the dining plan. He would order what he wants.

    Me and my girls are light eaters. We usually share one entree and one appetizer between the 3 of us and have some left over.

    Personally I believe the dining plan has dumbed down the food at Disney. I'm so sad to see many restaurants have the same menu for lunch and dinner. (50s Prime Time, Brown Derby, Mama Melrose, Sci Fi)

    I also think the price of restaurants is out of line. Many of the places have priced me out of eating there. We make good money and can afford the places, I just don't think it is worth it! We now no longer do any fixed price places. It just isn't worth it for our family and how we eat. I can't justify paying $42.59 for my 18 year old daughter to eat a salad and roll at Cape May Clam Bake! So we go to ala carte places. So far we haven't been driven to eat off site, but I am afraid it may come to that soon!

    I did a review of our last trip (just DH and I for our anniversary) and compared what we spent OOP to what we would have spent on the various dining plans. And we ate what we wanted when we wanted. No scrimping because we were paying OOP.

    Maggie
     
  6. SteveandAli511

    SteveandAli511 Earning My Ears

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    As many others have stated it really varies on a family to family basis. For some it would be way too much money while for others it's a financially viable thing to do.

    To me it also depends on when you are going, specifically if you can take advantage of the Free Dining Promotion. My wife and I will be there in three weeks and we're doing a split stay (4 nights at CBR, 2 at WL.) We upgraded to the DxDDP for our CBR portion since we can use it for 5 nights as opposed to 4 and leaving early the next day. We did out the difference between paying rack rate for CBR and booking with the current discount rate (which was 20% for our stay) and added that to the price of upgrading from DP to DxDDP which came up to $413.20.

    That's $413 spread over 5 days plus 8 snack credits for each of us. We normally wouldn't go to signature restaurants as we'd be keeping track of the $'s adding up over the vacation which as many know can add a another layer of stress. We both enjoy sit-down meals to take a break and recharge our batteries, plus it's an added perk when we get to try restaurants that we normally wouldn't. One of our ADRs is for Narcoosees and we both have our eye on the surf and turf (being native New Englanders it's hard to turn down lobster!) and if we were to both gets apps and desserts it would account for about 50% of that amount, just on one meal!

    So for us on this particular trip when you factor in we'll be doing character breakfasts as well as other 2 TS restaurants (Flying Fish and Artist Point) it's an absolute steal for us. (I do plan on doing a cost analysis report when I come back so keep you're eyes out for that!) Maybe on another trip with a 30% discount we'd decide we wouldn't pay OOP for the dining plan and rather eat smarter and take advantage of CS options in Epcot and DTD.

    There's no "right" answer in regards to the dining plan. Whether it's purchasing it outright, getting FD, getting a TiW card or just paying OOP you have to use the method that's best for you and your family! :thumbsup2
     
  7. mom to minnie&mickey

    mom to minnie&mickey DIS Veteran

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    Excellent post:thumbsup2

    We are a family of four disney adults and have always gone oop doing cs. Next summer 2013 for our 11 night stay I am seriously considering the QSDP. My family cannot be bothered with ADR's plus the added cost of tips. I know all the arguments against it and am not happy about the price increase in 2013. It will cost $150 per night so $1650 in total.
    When I talk to my kids about it and how they will have their own dessert and drink at every meal plus snack I see their face light up. They keep asking me if they will be able to order anything they want at any time. YES! They are already thinking of the different cupcakes.

    Now knowing myself even if I budget $150 per day oop a lot of times the answer to them would be "it's too expensive, you just ate" or something to that effect. Parting with $10 for 2 cupcakes would cause me to go :crazy2: lol
    In doing the calculations for oop and ordering mostly the cheapest meal without dessert or drink (2 meals plus a snack per person per day) the cost is still around $100-$110 per day.

    So really for an extra $40-50 per day our vacation will be so much more enhanced and enjoyable being able to order the more expensive entrees at places like Cosmic Rays, Wolfgang Puck express etc. without worry. For us the value of that is worth the extra money just like for some people paying thousands more $$$ to stay a deluxe is worth it for them but something we would never do as we stick with values and are very satisfied with them.
     
  8. TDC Nala

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

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    I think a lot of guests blame DDP for the downgrading of the WDW restaurant experience, and that is why they are resentful. However, even if WDW got rid of the dining plan tomorrow, the restaurant experience would not go back to what it was before the current management took over.
     
  9. bdklein

    bdklein DIS Veteran

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    Did you not pay for the Dining Plan? That costs over $200.
     
  10. goofyintoronto

    goofyintoronto I really wanted to like it, but I didnt.

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    :thumbsup2:thumbsup2:thumbsup2:thumbsup2:thumbsup2:thumbsup2
     
  11. Amy&Dan

    Amy&Dan DIS Veteran

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    I believe what she is saying that one meal alone, cost close to what an entire day on the DDP cost. Meaning her cs meals, snacks and refill mugs which were part of the plan, cost her far less than had she paid OOP. If her DDP was part of free dining, even with the cost of rack rate on the room, she came out even more ahead.

    This scenario this poster wrote about saved her money even with the cost of the DDP given the places they went to. Someone else who ate their table service at the Plaza, Sci Fi or one of the other cheaper places, wouldn't come out as well.

    If any of her kids are under 10 her savings would be even greater since their part of the DDP is far less.
     
  12. bluejasmine

    bluejasmine DIS Veteran

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    Exactly!!! I have gotten FD about half the time and paid for it the other half!

    Once we took a 1 day trip and I had booked Chef Mickeys in June 2011. When I did the math on just that cost of the meal in peak season the DDP actually was less! Not counting the fact I also got QS lunch and a snack that day on the DDP!

    We got FD for our stay in Dec this yr. I'm a Disney TA so I run all the discounts and for our party of 5 staying at POR it can't be beat! Your talking 3 character meals plus Yak&Yeti and SciFi for 5 ppl plus lunches, snacks and refillable mug and all their refills of coffee, soda, tea!

    Light eaters would do good with QSDP but ppl who want 2-3 hearty meals and time off their feet in the AC like our family DDP for now is good!
     
  13. disneyfan2kids

    disneyfan2kids DIS Veteran

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    I've done DDP, no DDP, TIW, QS, etc. There was a time when DDP was worth it to us - for various reasons: Tax/tip was included, apps were included, our kids were young enough that we did mostly character meals, neither kid was yet "adult" in WDW terms.

    We've since found that TIW makes way more sense. Mainly b/c my oldest is now considered "adult" and wouldn't nearly eat the DDP cost in a day (I don't even eat the DDP cost in a day). Also, character meals are SO overpriced that DDP makes sense. I also LOVE my apps and often sub for my meal. We've also found that the TIW benefit of including beer/wine in discount can add up :rolleyes1 as well.

    So IMO the DDP is built "well" for:
    1.) infrequent visitors (ie: 'we want to try SO many restaurants')
    2.) that have kids young enough that they like many character meals
    3.) that feel the need to have that many meals/breaks/snacks during their day.
    4.) Aren't versed well enough to "really" understand that FREE dining isn't really FREE - it simply means your regular discount is now simply being use do pay for your meals instead of in your pocket to use AS YOU SEE FIT for meals.

    None of the above is us... so we don't do DDP. BUT it was once us...so I understand WHY some people like it.:cool2:
     
  14. goofyintoronto

    goofyintoronto I really wanted to like it, but I didnt.

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    One can easily argue that a room % discount isnt really a discount because you have to pay for your food.

    Im versed well enough to understand that free dining is just that, its free. And its a great deal for us. It works for some, but not everyone. We dont stay at delux resorts, so a room % discount at a value wouldnt save us much. Free dining is the way to go for us. I've paid OOP on many trips and spent A FORTUNE on food. We save money with the DP.
     
  15. disneyfan2kids

    disneyfan2kids DIS Veteran

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    I disagree. You don't "have" to pay Disney for your food. There are other options - in room dining (kitchenette), offsite, etc.)

    It's not free IMO. I'd rather spend $120 per night on the room...and spend my $80 discount the way I want (souvenirs/QS/Drinks/etc.) Then spend $200 and tell myself I got "free dining." It's not free if you paid for it.

    That was my point...it works for some, but not for others. Doesn't work for us... but DID work for us at one point with our travel habits at THAT point. :)
     
  16. MikeinBoston

    MikeinBoston Stockholder

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    I've never used a dining plan. I usually make 2 reservations, then the rest of the time eat at a quick service or "wing-it". Find with two people without huge appetites, the dining plan is over kill. Of course if I got one for free, I wouldn't complain.
     
  17. goofyintoronto

    goofyintoronto I really wanted to like it, but I didnt.

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    yes true. but you do have to eat and pay for food regardless. so no matter, what you're spending money on food. for us, we are only interested in Disney restaurants. i don't like to cook/prepare meals on vacation. lol.

    that's your preference. just because you prefer it that way it doesn't mean its not free.

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S2 using DISBoards App
     
  18. Amy&Dan

    Amy&Dan DIS Veteran

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    For many of us Free Dining means the food is free and the room is full priced. If that room is a value or moderate and we have a family, that free food that we get with a rack rate room is our best discount.

    We stay moderate. Originally I had a room only discount and it saved me around $600 for our ten nights. When free dining was offered I jumped on it. Because even though my room went up by $600 there is NO way, we could eat, the four of us (kids are 16 and 17) for $600 for ten days. It would take more than a TIW card to equal my savings on Free Dining. And I know because I had the TIW (back when it was the DDE and when it was TIW) for quite a few years.

    In about four years dh and I will be empty nesters and I predict we'll go back to having AP's and a TIW card. For now, its Free Dining all the way and praise heaven its been offered for three of our last four trips!

    I cannot speak for every man, woman and child that gets free dining, but this woman knows quite well how Disney discounts work and fd is the end all be all for us. It saves us more even than the four/three deal back in 2009.

    Back to the original question of "is the DDP killing DIsney" is that for many of us, we feel its not. There are many things into play as to why dining at Disney isn't the same way it used to be. The DDP might be one of them but as far as "killing" anything, I again beg to differ.

    Disney as a whole (cruise, World, Land, Channel, Store, motion pictures etc) hasn't survived this long and done this well because somebody in charge would "kill" anything with one plan or feature.
     
  19. goofyintoronto

    goofyintoronto I really wanted to like it, but I didnt.

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    this is exactly what i was trying to say.

    also, if paying out of pocket for food and getting the room discount works for you then that's great. but don't tell me that free dining isn't free etc etc. i did the math. i know this is the best deal for us particularly since we stay at values most of the time. and also i don't like making my own meals on vacation.

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S2 using DISBoards App
     
  20. arissavolk

    arissavolk Earning My Ears

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    I always felt like the deluxe plan was worth it for us because we like planning sit-down meals and the resort hotel restaurants and the signature dining places have more options for people like me with food allergies. We don't eat at fancy establishments as much at home as we do at Disney. In fact, the last time we ate at a nice restaurant at home, the bill was nearly $200 before tip. Often our bill pre-dining plan at the signature restaurants is $120-150 before tip at Disney, even with a third person joining us, so it's a plus in our book.
     
  21. Mad Hattered

    Mad Hattered I had a stick of CareFree gum, but it didn't work.

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    Killing Disney? No. Becoming the equivalent of a chain restaurant? Yes.
     

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