Disney Dining Plan Calculator Planning Tool

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by goherdibg, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. goherdibg

    goherdibg Earning My Ears

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    I have been a member of the DISBoards forums for nearly 2 years. Over the years, I have made multiple trips to Disney World and have always struggled with the question "Should I use the Disney Dining Plan?" From reading this forum (and others), it is obvious I am not the only one who asks this question before every trip.

    In the past, to help me with the decision I built documents and spreadsheets of overly complex calculations based on the people who were traveling with me. I also posted on forums asking for advice and pretty much ended up with a similar answer each time - "It depends". While there are many factors that go into the decision to use the dining plan or not, it appears most members are concerned with one main factor - cost. Cost was always my main factor when deciding whether or not I should use the dining plan.

    To help me with the decision for future trips and to help others with the same decision I have worked with a friend to put together a web site called the "Disney Dining Plan Calculator" that uses estimated meal costs along with some trip information to determine if a Disney Dining Plan is financially beneficial.

    The site is easy to use, free to access, does not require you to create an account, and does not require any personal information.

    The address for the web site is http://www.distripplanner.com

    Feel free to visit the site and let us know what you think. This is the initial release of the Dining Plan Calculator. In the future, we plan on also providing a list of restaurants with full menus to allow you to choose what you think you would eat to provide a more exact price comparison in addition to the current estimation method.

    If you have any questions about the site or have any exciting recommendations for future enhancements please provide us with feedback on the site.

    I was going to post this under the Dining Plan sub-forum but thought it was better discussed at this level since it deals with the planning process of trips to Disney.

    Thank you,
    GoHerdIBG
     
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  3. sephorachick

    sephorachick DIS Veteran

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    OMG I wish I knew about this last week. I spent 2 hours figuring out if DDP was worth it to us & it wasn't this wouldve saved me my time LOL
     
  4. sjs314

    sjs314 "Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and

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    Sounds Great Heading to the site now! Thank You! :worship:

    Update After inputting all my info, it seems pretty spot on with my low figure for paying OOP and a lot easier than when I calculated it by hand.

    We are spending 3 days at F&W Festival and plan on eating around the world for 2 days lunches and possibly 1 days dinner.

    My Calculations for OOP this trip (incl. tax & tips, but not F&W) $$380.12-$456.09 pp for a total of $760.24-$912.18 (high/low)

    Using the new DP costs for 2 Adults/5 nights costs of dining plans would be

    QS $396.40
    DDP $586.60
    DxDP $1040

    + tips + F&W $ in addition to snack credits



    DP Calculator

    Dining Plan Costs
    Out of Pocket (No Plan)
    $797.81


    Quick Service Dining Plan
    Additional Out of Pocket Cost: $238.94
    Quick Service Entitlements Remaining: 12.166666666666668


    Dining Plan
    Additional Out of Pocket Cost: $67.11
    Quick Service Entitlements Remaining: 2.083333333333334
    Table Service Entitlements Remaining: 0.08333333333333393


    Deluxe Dining Plan
    Additional Out of Pocket Cost: $299.60
    Entitlements Remaining: 2.25

    Our Plan has been to pay OOP this trip and I still think for us it will be our best option due to F&W Festival
     
  5. ilovepooh

    ilovepooh <font color=red>I keep rubbing my head hoping an a

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    This is awesome!! Thank you for sharing!!!!:thumbsup2
     
  6. ilovepooh

    ilovepooh <font color=red>I keep rubbing my head hoping an a

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    Are the out of pocket expenses based on a total or per person. I'm thinking it is an extra amount total not per person. My numbers are close that's why it's hard to tell.
     
  7. maplevale

    maplevale Mouseketeer

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    I just tried this - you have CRT as 'Out of Pocket'... is that correct? I thought it was on the DDP but was 2 TS meals?
     
  8. sjs314

    sjs314 "Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and

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    I could be wrong but I believe since CRT is 2 credits it is better value to pay OOP rather than use 2 DP Credits
     
  9. goherdibg

    goherdibg Earning My Ears

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    They are based on the whole of the trip - not per person. When the savings or OOP costs are close it becomes a personal decision not based on costs.

    One example is having a Disney VISA and putting the package cost on the card and paying it off over 6 months - making the plan more attractive as you can get 6 months free financing for the cost of the dining plan.

    Others feel as long the costs are similar (plan vs OOP) that not having to worry about paying for each meal adds merit to the cost of the dining plan (I tend to agree also).
     
  10. btk2333

    btk2333 BCV DVC owner

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    I would add that if the costs are similar AND it fits the way you like to eat AND you're not eligible for TiW, then it can be worth it. Our main complaint is that we prefer appetizers to desserts and that it would be very rare that everyone with us wants a dessert. We also like to have a beer or a glass of wine (or two) with dinner, which is discounted on TiW but not DDP. You still have to tip after each meal on DDP so it's not like you've paid for everything in advance (and those tips add up!!!).

    It's important for everyone to know what the plan includes and does not include- because if it's not how you would normally eat, then it's not really saving money.
     
  11. goherdibg

    goherdibg Earning My Ears

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    CRT is 2 TS credits. What we recommend you put on the dining plan and what we recommend you pay for OOP all depends on your choices for meals.

    As we mention in the assumptions dropdown under the intro text, meals that use 2 Table Service (TS) entitlements are broken down into a "cost per entitlement" value for the purpose of determining the best value against 1 TS entitlement meals. Let me know via the feedback on web site if the dropdown is difficult to see and we can make it more apparent it is a dropdown.

    So, in maplevale's case, the cost of "each entitlement" for CRT may be less than the cost of a single entitlement for the other meals making it more cost effective to pay for OOP.

    An example would be if you have 2 adults and 2 children and chose Hollywood and Vine for dinner and CRT for dinner, the cost of H&V would be $148.70 for 1 entitlement/person and the cost per entitlement/person for CRT would be $107.91 ($215.82 divided by 2 entitlements) making it the better choice for an OOP payment. The rule is to always put the higher cost meals on the meal plan and pay for the cheapest ones OOP.

    I hope that helps.
     
  12. sjs314

    sjs314 "Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and

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    There are just so many variables whether to use the DP or not can be confusing.

    This calculator is a good tool, :thumbsup2

    Our last 2 trips we used the DxDP mainly for the connivence in March we just about broke even but I did not even bother to add up the Totals for our Fall trip as I am 99% sure we lost money.

    We usually do 2 TS a day, Breakfast& Dinner and. CS lunch. This year we are throwing 3 days at F&W into the mix so until the menus for F&W come out it is hard to plan. I do have 2 dinners planned on Epcot days but we may decide to cancel so the use of the DP this trip just does not seem like it will work this trip.

    We have always ended up with extra credits and used them up on Room Service not a good value @ 2 credits either. Also We like Apps instead of desserts :)

    Every family is different just as every trip is different due to various events in WDW throughout the year so this calculator will be a big help with planning

    :thumbsup2

    goherdibg The restaurant prices You calculated are close to what I had previously came up with when I was estimating our meal costs if paying OOP :)
     
  13. Jules54

    Jules54 Earning My Ears

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    Love this!
     
  14. PrincessArlena'sDad

    PrincessArlena'sDad DIS Veteran

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    This is amazing!!! I've spent hours recreating something like this for each trip. Thanks so much!!!

    May I make 1 suggestion? For the OOP costs, include a pre-tip total, as well? Because, that is what we would use to compare to the dining plans.

    Also, maybe include tips as a line item under the dining plans?
     
  15. SueInBoston

    SueInBoston DIS Veteran

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    Thank you:thumbsup2

    I just made all my Dec ADR this morning, this really help me budget our dining costs
     
  16. TXPyroMom

    TXPyroMom Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for posting.

    Like others, I spent hours with a spreadsheet trying to figure out if the Dining plan was a good deal for us. This makes things a little easier.
     
  17. PrincessArlena'sDad

    PrincessArlena'sDad DIS Veteran

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    Could you explain how you calculate the "savings" or "additional out of pocket costs?"

    I'm not sure why the "savings" changes on the dining plan by changing the number of appetizers for the table, as that would just be an OOP cost, and separate from the dining plan.

    Maybe for each dining plan you could put in two separate lines, one representing the added cost or savings from using the dining plan, and a second line showing the OOP costs you'd need to pay even if you use the dining plan. For example, you could come out a few hundred dolloars ahead by using the dining plan, but still have OOP costs, including tips and meals or snacks not covered under the plan.

    Also, if the plan costs more than OOP would, it would be useful to know how much more the plan is than what you'd pay OOP for what the plan covers, as a separate line item from what you'd pay OOP in addition to the plan (such as tips). Say, for instance, the plan would cost $100 more than paying OOP, itwould be usueful to have that number and the additional OOP costs if you were to get the plan anyway.

    Edited to add:
    I found that, by changing the number of appetizers, whether Le Cellier should be paid for OOP or by the dining plan changes, as it would cost more with the appetizers. However, as the dining plan doesn't cover appetizers, this would be an OOP cost either way, and the value of the TS doesn't change.
     
  18. sjs314

    sjs314 "Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and

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    You can figure out the cost of the DP based on your family size and type of DP yourself as I did for comparison.

    New DP prices as of 6/19/2013

    QS A- $39.64 c- $15.75

    DDP A- $58.66 c- $18.88

    DxDP A- $104.00 c- $29.51
     
  19. honeybunches

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

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    Wow, love this! I really appreciate you posting the link.
     
  20. goherdibg

    goherdibg Earning My Ears

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    Currently, the application serves primarily as a comparison tool with some of the benefits of being a budgeting tool also. While some things do not factor into the comparison of OOP vs the Dining Plan, they do allow you to see the overall estimated costs of your meals. We are evolving the tool to be a full blown budgeting tool with future releases that will allow you to pick what you will eat at each meal.

    We are also looking into how to better present the numbers so they are more easily understood and give the user a better idea of what the true breakdown is.
     
  21. jenjersnap

    jenjersnap yadda yadda yadda

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    Curious where you are getting your buffet/fixed priced numbers. I use Rusty scupper's prices posted here (he is a CM) and there are a few significant differences. I don't see that taxes are added under the assumptions, just gratuity - are they?

    Specifically, in October, Akershus breakfast seem over-estimated for my family of 3 adults, 2 kids and Chef Mickey's breakfast and Crystal Palace for dinner seem under-estimated.

    All in all, nicely done!
     

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