Dining plan question

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by Ahenderson070911, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. Ahenderson070911

    Ahenderson070911 Earning My Ears

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    We are a family of 6 me, my husband, and four kids (ages 6, 4, 2 and 2) we currently just have the Disney dining plan (1 ts, 1 cs and 1 snack) I have been thinking about upgrading it to the deluxe dining plan but wondering if it is worth the extra $800 for the 9 days we will be there. My kids can eat so I know it won't be to much food. How exactly do the deluxe plan work?
     
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  3. juliebug1997

    juliebug1997 DIS Veteran

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    The deluxe gives you three table service meals a day and two snacks. We love it! We are just two adults and we like to have the sit down lunch in the a/c since we go in the summer. We love breakfast and characters too, so we usually hit most of the character breakfasts.

    There are many who think that it's too much food, but if it really only goes up $800 for the time of your trip for a family of six, well, that sounds like a bargain to me.
     
  4. gilby

    gilby DIS Veteran

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    We have always done the 1 qs, snack and one table service and it is actually too much food. We usually have quite a few snacks left at the end of our stay.
     
  5. jmcghee2024

    jmcghee2024 DIS Veteran

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    It really depends on what kind of restaurants you are going to eat at. If you are doing a lot of signatures then it's worth it. But if you are planning on doing 3 one credits a day, then it really is too much food.
     
  6. Ahenderson070911

    Ahenderson070911 Earning My Ears

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    Can you not use the credits at the counter service meals too? I thought you could mix the credits up? Or did I read it wrong.
     
  7. mickeynut1

    mickeynut1 DIS Veteran

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    You will get varying opinions on this, but we love the DlxDDP. We've had both the regular DDP (1 TS, 1 CS, 1 snack) as well as the deluxe plan and we like them both. On the deluxe plan, however, we tend to do more signature restaurants, while sticking with the 1 TS restaurants when on the regular DDP. As the pp mentioned, some people think the deluxe plan is too much food, but we thought it was great for our family of 4 with 2 older teen boys.
     
  8. scdak

    scdak DIS Veteran

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    You did not read it wrong, its 3 meal credits per person per day, how you choose to use them is up to you. I have read on the Dis that deluxe is a value only if 2/3 of your meals are table service credits.

    It is a lot of food, it is a lot of table service meals if your goal is to maximize the benefits of the deluxe plan which equates into a lot of travel time to the meals and the actual time for meals (think 1 hour min for buffets, 1 1/2 hours min for other table service meals) but that could be fine with you, esp if it allows your kids to rest a little/recharge etc but if they don't do well at long meals now, or all they care about is time in the parks, they might not be happy with so many TS meals.

    I did the deluxe plan last fall (2 pooh sized folks) because I was able to have free dining, so upgrading to Deluxe for 10 days for around $600 was a no brainer for me. We were able to enjoy alot of TS locations that we have never been to esp many of the resort locations, but I will say that we were overwhelmed with too much food, and had a huge number of snack credits left at the end, and so many snacks we wanted to try but when we thought about putting another morsel of food in our mouths we literally felt sick! We planned meals to have time between meals (7-7:30 am breakfast, 1-2pm lunches, 7-8pm dinners) so we could think about snacks but there was simply no way we could eat any more than we did.

    So after we evaluated our eating habits for the trip, we came to the conclusion that the regular plan and/or paying OOP would work better for us next time so we can enjoy all the great snacks that Dis'ers rave about here.

    Keep in mind that the deluxe plan includes appetizers with every meal plus entree and dessert, things I would consider in your case is do you eat that way at home? Will you be upset if you choose not to get an app or dessert with every meal thinking you are "wasting your money spent". Now that being said, the kids apps and desserts seem to be very basic and small portions (yes, I resort to some kid apps at times if there isnt something I like but don't want to sit there not eating when my friend is enjoying her adult appetizer).

    Are you planning on many character meals? That is not a great value as far as the dining plan based on posts I have read but for me they were great fun and we did many of them on our trip!

    I am sure you will be given answers to your question referring you to read the menus on Allears.net and add up the costs to see if your dining plans will be better suited to the deluxe vs regular dining plan, and I will say that was a huge help to me, plus it made me excited to see what I would want to eat at a meal 6 months away, and I rarely changed my mind :cool1:
     
  9. Jonathan Swift

    Jonathan Swift I'm being sarcastic...or am I?

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    I've got better advice. Don't get ANY dining plan. You're probably going to spend more, especially with the deluxe one.

    Don't take my word for it. Just download the dining plan calculator. Plug in where you're planning to eat and it will calculate everything for you. You can compare the (lack of) savings in each plan.
     
  10. jpessa

    jpessa Addicted to Disney

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    Don't forget that neither of your 2 year olds qualify for the dining plan. Therefore having too much food might be good for you so they can eat for free. (when I went with my 2 year old in November we were on the dining plan and had to buy her most of her food separately except for buffets)The dining plan calculator the PP posted will tell you exactly what is the best value for your family.
     
  11. lovedworld

    lovedworld Mouseketeer

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    I don't think paying for the dining plan is worth it. It you were getting it free that would be a different story, but paying for it out right just doesn't make sense to me. I have never had the deluxe plan, but think it would be way to much food and way to much time eating, especially with small children. You have to calculate it out and decide if it is right for you.
     
  12. Peachkins

    Peachkins DIS Veteran

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    You can use the three meal credits for TS or CS, but you're really not going to get your money's worth if you don't use it for TS most of the time. My husband and I are planning on using the deluxe plan. I actually did use a dining calculator, and found that with the places we were planning to eat at, we would save money using the plan. About half of the ADRs we are planning on will be at Signatures, and we're probably going to be doing two TS meals a day as opposed to 3 on most days. Neither of us are big on breakfast, and we'll probably just use snack credits or pay OOP for that at the resort before we go to the parks.
     
  13. MinnieLovesMickey12

    MinnieLovesMickey12 DIS Veteran

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    I think in your case the Deluxe dining plan might work better for your family because everybody gets an app, entree and dessert. SO with all that added food you will have plenty to share with your 2 toddlers.
     
  14. disney-akj

    disney-akj DIS Veteran

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    With the ages of your kiddos, I would not do the deluxe plan. That is a lot of time in restaurants with small children. I know mine at that age were anxious to be back in the parks. I think the regular plan would be fine. You can always pay OOP cheaper for a kids meal here or there if you feel your two years need more food? That would be cheaper still than upgrading.
     
  15. ReneeA

    ReneeA DIS Veteran

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    Have you taken your kids to WDW before? It doesn't make sense to pay for the deluxe plan and then eat at the counter service restaurants... you won't even come close to the cost of the plan based on what items cost at the CS. Now, my kids have been to Disney almost every year since 2005 and would revolt if I had more than one sit down meal a day. You have to consider travel time to these restaurants, waiting to be seated, taking orders, sitting through 3 courses, waiting for the bill, paying the tip (on our last trip, we averaged a $25-30 tip at each sit down meal), then travel time back to your park. With 2 year olds in your party, you have to consider whether they will sit through that many meals, will they need naps? When will you ever see the parks?
     
  16. rainynight

    rainynight Mouseketeer

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    I would do some math on that. I figured up the price for a 6 and a half of the meals we want to do and for 10 sit down meals (all family style or buffets, mostly dinnets) and 3 counter service and its only slightly over $150 more than the regular dining plan and we get more sit down meals and its figuring in snacks, tax, and tips. I don't see how anyone can save money on the dining plan. I would pay oop instead of chancing a ton of uneaten food. We got the free dining plan last year and had unused credits. I can't imagine deluxe.
     
  17. juliebug1997

    juliebug1997 DIS Veteran

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    You can always use your snacks for bottles of water. It makes it easy to stay hydrated if you use them that way.
     
  18. aaarcher86

    aaarcher86 DIS Veteran

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    Do the math to confirm whether it is a savings for you. My kids are young, but the DXDP always works out for us and saves us money. We don't do signatures (aside from CRT), but we do lots of character meals. We'll eat a TS breakfast, QS lunch, and TS dinner. It's a lot of food for one sitting, but we don't feel the need to lick our plates clean or anything... aside from that we eat 3x a day anyway so it's fine. I've never really understood the 'too much food' thing personally. We use about half our snacks and then cash them all in for treats to take home.

    We did have the SPD special earlier this year. Receipt to cost comparison (not even including the 45 snacks we used!) came out to about $700 in savings. We cancelled a TS due to illness which would have made it a greater savings. Comparing to the full price DXDP it was about $100 less to go OOP but after I throw in all the snacks it still would have saved us a bit of money. Combined with the convenience, it's a no brainer for us.

    It's definitely not for everyone, but it CAN absolutely save you money or be the convenience you're looking for. As long as you know what's what going into it and you've done the math, I'd say go for it.

    That dining plan calculator came out crazy inaccurate for me. I prefer to use the old fashion pen and paper method.
     
  19. martinezmom3

    martinezmom3 Mouseketeer

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    If your kids don't mind sitting for meals and you want to do character meals I'd say go for it. We're doing the DxDP for 9 days in August and the meal planning was very exciting for my husband and I. We planned and early breakfast and a late dinner each day,(all three girls are night owls) plenty of character meals, a handful of signature meals, so everyone will get what they're looking for. Three DD's 10, 7, and 5 are great restaurant diners, and although we have to pay adult prices for our ten year old, she's a 5 foot tall 90lb swimmer who can eat! She'd never survive off a kids menu anyway. I say it's vacation, it's a time to splurge, have fun with it! And as others have said, I think the extra food will be great to share with the little ones. They don't quite have to appetite for huge meals, but they do love to try mom and dad's food, so that works for us. We've done DDP for short trips and were able to make it work, but this time we felt like we would need more food for a nine day stretch. Have fun!! :)
     
  20. ShannonMB

    ShannonMB DIS Veteran

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    I have enjoyed the regular dining plan multiple times and it always has worked out well for us, at least in my mind! (admitting I've never done the actual math). We are actually thinking of going deluxe on our next trip, but here are the factors...

    1) We have been to WDW many times now and are out of that phase where we feel like we need to be pounding the pavement from attraction to attraction as we did when we were relative newbies. Our first several trips especially (and especially when DD was younger and less patient at restaurants), I would not have wanted to be in a sit-down restaurant for a meal more than once a day.

    2) We have dined at numerous one-table-service-credit restaurants and have enjoyed most! There are some we like to go to over and over. But we haven't tried many signature restaurants and I am ready to change that! My thinking is that most days we will have a lovely sit-down breakfast/character buffet in the morning and then dine signature in the evening.

    When we were newbies with a young child, the regular Disney Dining Plan fit our needs perfectly.
     
  21. Jonathan Swift

    Jonathan Swift I'm being sarcastic...or am I?

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    Mistake #1.

    Mistake #2.

    It's hard to predict without running estimates. Did you make reservations yet? Do you know where you want to go?

    The signature restaurants usually count two TS points on the regular plan. I understand why you are thinking about the deluxe plan, but please, run the numbers first. The deluxe is almost always WORSE than the regular dining plan, which is almost always WORSE than OOP.

    How would you know? You never attempted to see if it was true.
     

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