Dining Plan not worth it?

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by traceyw, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. Terpgirl79

    Terpgirl79 Mouseketeer

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    I used to enjoy the DDP when the tip was included. I find it's way too much food to get our money's worth and I'm so sick of fighting for ADR's. it's taken a lot of fun out of Disney dining for me. We just do great QS anymore.
     
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  3. Howgreat

    Howgreat Mouseketeer

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    We have free dining for our trip in September, so we're definitely coming out ahead :thumbsup2, but we would have paid for it anyway (and have), for several reasons.

    I did the spreadsheet and it said I would save a couple of hundred bucks. However, I went around myself and priced out every single item we would eat and it appears we would have come out ahead doing the DDP. Could we eat cheaper OOP? Yes, if we shared meals, ordered just appetizers as our meal, or we adults ate kids' meals. However, that's not something we ever do anywhere else, so I'm not going to do it at Disney. And yes, the convenience of having pre paid food is very nice, too.

    Oh, and we get another set of refillable mugs, so--once again, totally worth it. :rotfl:
     
  4. disneybliss2

    disneybliss2 DIS Veteran

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    :thumbsup2 You couldn't have said it any better. :goodvibes

    You sound just like me! My oldest daughter will be 11 on our next trip which means another adult charge for the dining plan. I crunched the numbers because I just knew we would be money ahead if paying OOP since she might not always order the adult entree. I had to find out which way would be cheaper. When calculating it, I also took into account sharing, me ordering a kid's meal occasionally, us not getting a dessert after lunch every day, sharing desserts for dinner or skipping, etc.--things we might really do. I didn't go crazy and say I would only eat an appetizer for dinner or I would order a kid's meal every day. I looked at the menu and truly put down what I thought we would do, not all what we would get with the dining plan. I was shocked to find that even with all the cutbacks we wouldn't save by paying OOP. Rather, we would SAVE $80 and get MORE (dessert after every dinner, snacks every day, nobody has to share if they want something different, etc.) by doing the dining plan. I was very surprised!

    You perfectly summed up how I feel regarding vacation too. I too am very frugal, and we don't eat out often. I loved how you said you wanted a break from that mindset. That's exactly how I feel. I also tried to cut some TS restaurants from the line up to lower costs further but that's part of the vacation we really look forward to.


    We do like the convenience. We also could make even more cuts like you suggested and only order appetizers, but I don't want to restrict myself to the point I'm not enjoying it anymore. We were surprised by the amount the refillable mug saved us too.
     
  5. honeybunches

    honeybunches That sounds like a cat poster, but it's true

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    Isn't it fun to take that break and just enjoy? We LOVE the mugs too.
     
  6. luvmy3

    luvmy3 <font color=green>When I drink I find its easier t

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    I don't think its worth it for us but not in a monetary way. We didn't like the constraints of the DDP on our last trip.
     
  7. dcolleenkelly

    dcolleenkelly Mouseketeer

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    I used that spreadsheet, also. I wish I could remember where I found it...

    We've never been to Disney but will be going in August. When I compared the cost of the Dining Plan to our Out of Pocket estimations, we saved almost $300 (with 2 adults, one "Disney" adult who is 11, which I think is ridiculous by the way, and one child who is 9). We were hoping for Free Dining because it would have been the only way we could have afforded a table service meal every day. But the last week in August got squeezed out of any discounts this year. So, we ended up booking off-site and resigned ourselves to cooking our own breakfast and lunch or dinner, depending on what park we're at that day. This saved us another $200 or $300 in dining costs (as well as an additional $500 of savings on our accommodations). We only have two Advanced Dining Reservations - one for Chef Mickey's and one for Sanaa. That's all we can afford.

    This vacation is giving me grey hairs. I hope it's worth all of the money and stress it has taken to plan it. We've never been to Disney and I'm not sure if we will ever go again. What a capitalistic organization - raising prices left and right. I can't believe people can afford to visit multiple times.
     
  8. Whyowhy116

    Whyowhy116 Earning My Ears

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    "dad's" guide to Disney has the spreadsheets your referring to - they are very helpful! :)
     
  9. BuzzBelleMom

    BuzzBelleMom DIS Veteran

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    Did the spreadsheet, came out in favor of DDP, plus we like the convenience.

    And since DS tends to always order the most expensive items, no heart attack from DH when the bill comes!:cool1:
     
  10. luvmy3

    luvmy3 <font color=green>When I drink I find its easier t

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    For those of you who do the spread sheets, do you decide exactly what you are going to order beforehand? Do you ever not eat what you expected to order?
    I cant even decide what I want to eat 2 days from now, I couldn't imagine deciding what I'm going to eat 6 months from now. I understand if you say to yourself I purchased the DDP so I will only get the most expensive meal, but don't you ever just want an app and salad for dinner instead?
     
  11. MellaWDWnut

    MellaWDWnut DIS Veteran

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    We never know exactly what we will be eating. And even after making some ADRs, we still change from day to day. It's vacation :) we go to have fun and not plan every second. I know there are people that do, but it doesn't work for my family. We have our favorite places to eat each trip. The ddp gives us the chance to try different things without looking at price tags. Otherwise I would not get an appetizer or dessert.
    Hope this helps!

    Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards
     
  12. PA Disneymania

    PA Disneymania Mouseketeer

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    DH and I never do the DDP. BIL and SIL and children (12 and 16) were talked into it by their TA and they took her advice over mine. Because they had to eat the most expensive items on the menu in order to get their $$ worth, the cost of tips was more than if they had eaten QS meals like the kids wanted. I think the DDP works if you do character meals and buffets and you have children using the kids menus. DH and I and our kids enjoyed several TS meals, but we were not locked into "getting our $$ worth" of the meal plan that was pre-paid.
     
  13. B-Ride

    B-Ride Getting My Disney Fix

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    Dining Plan Pros:
    1. If you take advantage of everything it offers it will save you money.
    2. You can eat what you like and not worry about the cost.
    3. When it is free it is a good price.

    Dining Plan Cons:
    1. You may find yourself eating more than you want to get your money's worth.
    2. The price has jumped astronomically in the last few years.
    3. You need to eat TS every night to make it worthwhile.
     
  14. amyy

    amyy <font color=royalblue> I do pat them out on a flou

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    Now that we have stopped doing the plan my favorite part is sometimes ordering 2 appetizers as my meal. Something I never would have done before.
     
  15. honeybunches

    honeybunches That sounds like a cat poster, but it's true

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    I can guess what my family is going to eat based on the menu and what they normally choose. If we have been there before then it is even easier. Of course I don't hold them to it! When in doubt I go with the higher priced item. It is just an estimate, after all.
     
  16. KrazeeK120

    KrazeeK120 DIS Veteran

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    DH and I do not like the DDP. We find it too restricting. We like to do a couple of TS meals per trip, and we would be losing a lot of money if we only did a couple of TS meals. Plus, I don't want a dessert with every meal. It's easier for us to just pay OOP.
     

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