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Generally Negative Opinion of DDP?

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Plan' started by Fivesacharm, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. Fivesacharm

    Fivesacharm Mouseketeer

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    Maybe it's just me, but it seems that a majority of people on the boards seem to think that the DDP is just not worth the money. This interests me because (though we've been the the World many times) my family did the dinning plan for the first time on our last trip and we definitely felt like we saved money! We loved paying for everything in advance and having the freedom of eating what we wanted wherever we wanted without worrying about a budgeted amount per person.

    We will always do the DDP in the future!

    Just interested I other people always think they save money and those who don't like it, why?
     
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  3. SGMCO

    SGMCO Vintage Style is Sweet--Rumbleseat Fashions

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    I love the DP but have gotten it for free the last 3 trips. I'm looking to get FD again this coming trip. I love doing TS meals and trying new restaurants. I think if I had to pay oop for these meals, it would cost more than what the DP cost, I've seen the totals before. If you're just comparing DP to oop, I don't like to have to be careful about what I can order to save money, I like the freedom to choose anything on the menu. We've Paid oop on our 1st Disney trip and it was expensive, mostly CS (get tired of those quick) and 1 TS for the whole trip.
     
  4. sharonabe

    sharonabe DIS Veteran

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    I started a thread over on the restaurant board using this example:

    AK $55.39
    Late Tusker House Character breakfast, jalapeno pretzel, soup and sand at Earl of Sandwich, make-my-own chocolate waffle bowl two-scoop sundae at Ghiradelli

    MK $56.50
    Nutella waffle sandwich, Crystal Palace Character lunch, soup and chilli at Columbia Harbour, corn dog nuggets snack at Casey's

    HS $56.20
    Early Cape May Character breakfast, antipasta salad and cupcake at Pizza Planet, pretzel dog/chips at Min & Bill's, frozen lemonade and popcorn at Fantasmic!

    EP $60.48
    Croissant Berry Pudding at Sunshine Seasons, Biergarten Buffet lunch, pizza and zeppole at Via Napoli


    Except for the AK day, I have 3 meals a day, extra snacks, snacks and sides that aren't covered by the DDP AND an extra TS meal for less than the DDP would cost.

    For ADULTS, you have to want soda and dessert at EVERY meal and order the more expensive entrees and do buffet dinners to make the plan work. If you have children, the plan begins to make much better financial sense.
     
  5. Fivesacharm

    Fivesacharm Mouseketeer

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    Children may definitely be the key here.
     
  6. mrsclark

    mrsclark Mouseketeer

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    I would probably agree - DH and I don't have kids and we don't eat enough to justify the cost of the DP. For us it is also a hassle to try to get the best deal out of it - for example, figuring out when we should pay OOP for something versus using a snack credit. If you use all your credits up at the beginning of your trip then you may end up paying OOP later for a lot but if you try to hoard your credits in order to try to spend them getting the maximum possible value out of them you may end up not needing them and then using them just so you don't feel like you wasted your money.

    I once overheard at family at the BC Marketplace in a very heated four-way argument about paying OOP versus using a snack credit for one item and paying OOP for a second or just using a QS credit. For me, I don't want to spend my vacation trying to extract as much value as possible from the DP instead I would rather just pay OOP as I go and not have to make a calculation every time I want to eat or drink something.
     
  7. 3Gsandme

    3Gsandme DIS Veteran

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    I priced the plan a million ways to Sunday, but the only way it makes financial sense is for us to get it as a discount. We got it for 5 of us during the s/p/d promo for $800 for our trip (7 days). At that point, yes. It saves us money but otherwise it doesn't. At 22.86/person a day, we really make out, but otherwise, we don't. Even taking into account our two that are under 10 AND taking into account character meals an buffets. It doesn't even out overall.

    And, that's from someone who feels our family will eat the way the dining plan is set up (a good breakfast, snack and big dinner)
     
  8. 3Gsandme

    3Gsandme DIS Veteran

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    Another thing I've been doing is trying to one up with a snack plan go best optimize things. Where are the bulkier snacks that will allow us to buy three snacks and two drinks to feed the five of us? I want things planned in advance because I don't want to be that family arguing.
     
  9. sharonabe

    sharonabe DIS Veteran

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  10. Meetmeinmontauk

    Meetmeinmontauk DIS Veteran

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    DBF & I have done the DDP twice and absolutely love it. It would have cost more to pay out of pocket for what we ate. Would we have bought dessert with every meal if we weren't on the DDP... yes! We eat, eat, eat when we go on vacation :)
     
  11. 3Gsandme

    3Gsandme DIS Veteran

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    Well, we'd still eat as the plan is laid out. There isn't a way, that I priced, that dining plan works for us if we don't get a discount. TBH, we don't really eat dessert as a general rule and only order it out on occasion. Maybe a few times a year. Adding in the dessert doesn't increase it's value, for our family, because it's including something we'd not normally buy. It artificially increases it's value. If I don't order dessert (I don't) getting dessert isn't a plus.

    For me, even if I pretend I order dessert, the savings isn't worth the lack of flexibility.
     
  12. davedmaine

    davedmaine DIS Veteran

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    The plan is bad news and Disney preys upon the uneducated with it (particularly free dining). Nobody will come out ahead with it. The cost models always factor in nonsense that wouldn't apply to 99% of the people - desserts at CS places for example. And gratuities never factor in; you're going to pay a lot more in tips while on the plan because to maximize the value of it the majority of folks will purchase the most expensive menu items.
    If you want to do it for the convenience, dump that money on a gift card before you leave for vaca and use that for your food.
     
  13. ericstac

    ericstac DIS Veteran

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    We have free dining so we upgraded to the deluxe because we love food... Like really love food and I eat correctly all year long and really enjoy myself during vacations..

    So we paid to upgrade to deluxe, then set all of our ressies and after we were done we still had a ton of credits left over. Did the math on us eating the most expensive items and I still saved a thousand by canceling the upgrade and just paying out of pocket for any meal over standard the standard dining plan..

    And like others have said, we have four adults (ds13, ds10, ds5) one child and there is no way we would eat 4 appetizers, 4 meals, 4 desserts 3x a day.lol..plus snacks.

    We would eat most likely two apps max, our meals and dessert is usually snacks and treats around the park that we love that if we were forced to eat desserts we would miss.

    So DDP is gone now, we will still eat however we feel like eating but we are not forced to eat stuff and we can enjoy whatever we want.
     
  14. Nancyg56

    Nancyg56 DIS Veteran

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    We have always used the DDP, and until the last trip always felt that it was a value for us. WE did get it for free on the last trip, and because my DGD is a Disney adult, the savings were substantial enough to use it as our "savings" but honestly, if I had paid for it, I would be suffering serious buyers remorse. I will say that our choices would have covered the cost of the plan, but in order to ensure that, I would have to work at it. If I have to work to cover the cost of something, it just is not worth it to me.
     
  15. Melanie B

    Melanie B DIS Veteran

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    This trip will be our 3rd time using the deluxe plan. It allows us to eat whatever we want. We do enjoy signatures so overall it's a good value for us. We don't eat like that every day at home but since we're on vacation we like to splurge a little. We always found that what we ordered always cost more at the end of the day then what we paid for the DXDP.
     
  16. Alesia

    Alesia DIS Veteran

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    We were there for 9 days in 2009. We ate what we wanted when we wanted and spent $600 less than we would have on the DDP. That's just a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned.
     
  17. DCDisney

    DCDisney On my way...

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    I think the phrase "we felt like we saved money" is key to the OP's perception. When you see those big TS bills you feel like you saved money but for us when I took the time after our trip to add everything up we really saved very little especially considering some of the things we took even though we didn't want them like some of the desserts and lots of the drinks. Saving less than $100 on our trips isn't really much once you go through and think out desserts that were tossed after one bite and every trip there was a meal we ate when we weren't hungry at all just because of the ddp. If someone were to get sick and not really eat for a day that would totally make it worthless. We tend to eat expensive entrees so I could justify it somewhat until we made a trip without the plan. We ate at a bunch of places that weren't a good value on the DDP and LOVED them. We also ate at a number of signature places. Really they aren't a good value on the ddp because they tend to cost about 1.5 times as much as a 1 credit meal and you are paying 2 credits for them. We much prefer sharing an app and a dessert or 2 rather than being stuck with 4 desserts every meal. My kids did worry that I wouldn't let them really have the snack per day without the ddp so I bought them Disney giftcards to cover it and they loved having more flexibility with their snacks too. Our next trip we are traveling with family and little kids and getting the ddp heavily discounted so we'll do the ddp for ease of use but not really for the savings but having little kids and character meals does make it make more sense.
     
  18. APiratesLifeForMe2

    APiratesLifeForMe2 DIS Veteran

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    I have only paid for the DDP once and all other times it was free. If we had to pay oop we would not eat as many sit down meals, would probably just get water, and would almost always pass on dessert. Luckily we have been able to get a free dining deal the past several times but if I did not have that offer I would definitely pass and stick with CS, waters and no desserts. It really makes no difference to me but if I can get it for free, I'll enjoy what I get.
     
  19. kaybird

    kaybird DIS Veteran

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    There is never going to be an agreement on this, don't know why people on these boards think there has to be a "right or wrong" answer. We love the DDP, use it almost every trip. Could we bring in food, eat cheaper and pay less? Possibly. Do we enjoy a trip where the boys can order steak every meal, we can do sit downs and have beverages and desserts? Absolutely!

    I kept up with receipts this trip with free DDP, short of a 59% room discount, there is no way we could have come out ahead paying OOP, and that was with 2 of us. When it is 4-6 of us, it is a no brainer.

    If it is the dead heat of summer, and we can get an outrageous room only discount, sometimes we do that and eat light OOP.

    In short, we love going to WDW. How and what people eat is up to them. If it works and people are happy, why the big debate?:grouphug:
     
  20. sharonabe

    sharonabe DIS Veteran

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    I think the debate comes in because some of us see this board as a way to help "friends" with their trip. Those that LOVE the DDP want their "friends" to experience Disney with all the culinary delights that they love. Those that see the DDP as a losing proposition don't want to see their "friends" waste money. So when people come here seeking advice, they get both sides and the debate ensues.
     
  21. distherapy

    distherapy DIS Veteran

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    I agree - every family should do the math and get their own results. For us, the Deluxe Dining Plan works well and has for 5 trips. I will say, I do the math very carefully and it gets closer every year. But of course, as the plan cost increases, so have meal prices.

    I think what you need to be careful of is doing the math based on how you want to eat, not what gets the most "value". If I felt like I had to always order dessert or the most expensive entree, I would be miserable.

    When I plan it out, I use the allears menu for the restaurants where I plan to make ADRs (this all works out well because with planning OCD, I enjoy doing this exercise and can appreciate that others may not). I add up what the kids would likely get, what DH would likely get and what I would likely get. I never include desserts for lunch for the adults or at dinner for DH. I don't include beverages because I usually just have water and wine at dinner. I don't include snacks and I don't include the refillable mug because we don't drink much soda. We usually have lunch and a signature dinner, but do have some breakfast buffets. We come out $200-300 ahead on the dining plan, so I figure adding in tax, snacks, etc. it makes it an even better deal for us.

    I will say that once the kids are "Disney adults", the math will change dramatically and I don't see us getting it.

    In the meantime, I'll enjoy it and use it to order the food I would order anyway.


    ETA: If we had an AP, the TIW would likely be a better deal for us - so maybe we'll have to consider that when the kids are older!
     

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