Generally Negative Opinion of DDP?

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

  1. ericstac

    ericstac DIS Veteran

    Sep 15, 2013
    I keep reading on here that people got the DDP for free. DDP to me means the Deluxe Dining Plan.. 3 TS, 2 Snacks daily..

    can you really get this for free? We stay at the deluxe resorts and have only ever seen the Plus Dining included which was 1-TS, 1-CS, 1-snack
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  3. tony67

    tony67 <font color=red>I always get odd looks when I put

    May 22, 2003
    One of the issues is I think there are many of us that feel that the DDP ruined Disney dinning.

    Once they released the DDP it took them a while to figure out how to maximize profit with it - and they sure did.
    They started to standardize food across restaurants and removed much of the creativity that existed for a few years just before the DDP and even the first year of the DDP.

    Just one very small example of this is something as simple as the Pretzels in Germany - they used to make them in the restaurant - now they are the same pretzel you get throughout the parks - made in a central kitchen and taste like cardboard compared to the fresh buttery pretzels they used to have.

    They also removed many items because people would order them just because they were the most expensive thing on the menu. Then they would send it back because they did not like it and that was a loss for the restaurant - so just easier to take it off the menu.
    Heck - look back at all the complaining about unique items on the BOG dinner menu a few month ago.

    I don't see myself ever getting the DDP again - especially if it was not "free" - but I know it is a great deal for many people. And even though this board is split 50/50 on this - I'm sure in the general population that goes to Disney it is split more like 90/10 in favor so I have no hope of seeing it go back to what it was.
  4. Alesia

    Alesia DIS Veteran

    Feb 8, 2007
    DDP = Disney Dining Plan
    DXDP = Deluxe Dining Plan
  5. LilyWDW

    LilyWDW Going to My Happy Place

    May 7, 2006
    I refuse to buy the dining plan. It does not work for the way I eat (I prefer many appetizers over dessert) and leads to over eating (in my opinion) since you may order a dessert even if you are not hungry to get the most out of the plan. So very much not for me.

    Now, if I got it free and had no other discount options I would grab it. Either way I would be paying rack rate so it would save me money. The odds of that is slim though since I prefer to stay at POFQ.
  6. babydoll65

    babydoll65 please stand clear of the doors, por favor manteng

    Aug 31, 2011
    A lot depends on the size of your family,there ages and how you like to spend your time eating. This trip will be the second time getting the dining plan for free. The first time we were staying at pop so it was the qs plan and did three ts dining which we paid oop. Though it was convenient I do not eat that way with desserts at every meal. I don't eat that way on vacation either but it was nice to have. Now during that trip, if I had not gotten the dp for free I would never have purchased it. It would not have been worth it since I would have been paying for just myself. This trip is different, my son is 16 and eats well. My mother,who will be turning 70 this trip has never experienced many ts resteraunts so the dining plan works this time. I guess each trip you need to run the numbers and see what works.
  7. cheesemouse

    cheesemouse DIS Veteran

    Nov 27, 2007
    It really is a very personal decision based on who is in your family and how you like to eat. In order to make an informed decision you really have to spend some time doing the math. As a previous poster said, each trip we take, I spend a significant amount of time looking at the menus on and adding up the items we are likely to each for each meal (yes, my family is THAT predictable). Then I add up the totals for each meal, add in any applicable gratuities, an estimated snack amount per day and compare it to the cost of the dining plan (which has to include tips, and other food not covered with the plan). So far, every trip has come out in favor of NOT doing the dining plan. However, this upcoming trip we are doing a split stay on either side of the cruise and the math indicates that the deluxe dining plan would be our best option for the 2nd half of the stay. I was very surprised to see it and double and triple checked my math. But it is what it is so I think we'll go ahead and give it a try. I know that the reasons that it's coming out in favor of the DxDP this time is that due to the cruise and flight schedules we will essentially be there for 3 days but only paying for 2 nights of DxDP. And we have little kids and are doing some character and other pricier TS options the 2nd half of the stay. So, I suggest you take the time to sit down and figure out what it will cost you out of pocket compared to the total cost of the dining plan. Then pick the lowest one. :)
  8. ericstac

    ericstac DIS Veteran

    Sep 15, 2013
    I'm going back tonight and looking at menus to decide if free dining is better than 30% room discount. When i originally looked it was a better discount but that was based in the two totals and not what we would actually order. We might save by just paying OOP for all our food.
  9. livinintexas

    livinintexas Mouseketeer

    Dec 9, 2007
    After our Christmas trip we will have had the DDP on 3 trips. The first time was in 2006 when both of our kids were under 10. At that time tips and appetizers were included. I think we paid $100 per day for our family of 4. It was an amazing deal.

    The second time was a few years ago. Both kids were over 10. We had loved the plan so much in '06 and "free" dining was available so we took it. It was solid savings for our family but I can't remember if tips were included or not.

    Our 3rd time with the plan will be 12/20-12/30 and again we have "free" dining. Since our AP discount (or any other discount) would only be applied for 3 nights of our stay, free dining is a huge savings for us since it provides a discount for our length of stay. We are staying at a moderate to maximize the value as well.

    The plan used to be easy to save some money, but now, you really have to be informed to know how to save with the plan.

    Our family enjoys the DDP and the "no limits" of it adds to our vacation enjoyment. Our kids love having snack credits, will enjoy the refillable mugs, and who doesn't love having a dessert sampler with every TS dinner. The QS desserts are a big waste and we will try to substitute fruit or water instead.

    We also tend to eat 1 QS, 1 TS, and 1 snack even without the plan although we may share something at times (although as it turns out teenage girls can eat as much as boys and sharing has been less likely in our family)
  10. swcolleen

    swcolleen Earning My Ears

    Sep 1, 2003
    The original poster asked about why people did or didn't like the dining plans, and here is my thoughts.

    We did the "Gold" plan back on our honeymoon 10 years ago. We are going back in April/May for our 10th anniversary and this time doing the dining plan again b/c we really enjoyed the ability to have our trip (and meals) paid for and not worry when we are there. I am with some others who may not normally order dessert but on vacation, since its included I will-and I will enjoy it:)

    For us, we actually get the premium plan b/c of the other extra includes and the fact that I don't have to use 2 meals for some of the signature restaurants that we plan to eat at. Its just the two of us and we plan to use all our meals for table service if possible as well as enjoy some of the extras.

    I agree its pricey and I go back and forth on the worth the money argument but for us there is a price to pay for convenience of not worrying about if we have spent too much money to eat where we really want while on our trip. We are going for 11 days and haven't been back since our honeymoon 10 years ago so it was a decision to "splurge" but I definitely understand how for many, especially if you visit often, the cost just might not be worth it.
  11. ericstac

    ericstac DIS Veteran

    Sep 15, 2013
    We will be there during the same time.. And we're from TEXAS!! :)

    I crunched the numbers tonight and for my family it is better to get the free dining then to get the 30% off room rate so we are sticking to it.. I'm very Happy about that as that's all we know and ever experienced and it's the first year two of our three boys will be treated to adult meals and they are stoked about that :)
  12. Tormania

    Tormania Mouseketeer

    Aug 16, 2012
    The "value" of the DDP differs for every family, however I believe the most vocal folks that say it's not worth it are thinking back to the days when you got $50 worth of food for probably $25-30 in cost of the DDP. Now the "average" amount of savings is more like spending $45-48 and getting $50 worth of food. There is still some small savings to be achieved, but compared to what folks got via the DDP 5+ years ago, it's night and day. Obviously this varies on your party and food choices.

    We will be doing the DDP for the first time this Dec and it's me, my wife, and our 3½ yr old son. I ran the numbers for all of our meals, best guesses on what we would order (rather than maximum savings) and I think we come out about $50-75 ahead with the DDP, which will cost us about $900. Would we eat as much paying OOP compared to the DDP? Maybe not, but we are also on vacation and to be honest we won't be able to try a fraction of all the places and items we'd like to try so we will use the full value of the DDP. Our son is a bit young to fully enjoy all of his food, but his plan is the most cost effective of them all so that's ok.

    All you can do is either do extensive cost analysis and see if one is better than the other for YOUR dining plans, or just pick OOP or DDP and enjoy that option and don't fret over whether the other option would have saved you money. In the grand scheme of things and taking into account the total cost of WDW vacation, the DDP delimma is becoming a non-issue anymore as the actual savings to be had is so small as to almost be irrelavant.
  13. Cafeen

    Cafeen DIS Veteran

    Jul 24, 2009
    Many of the detractors (especially the more vocal ones) think that since it doesn't work for them, it doesn't work for anyone.

    Many of the supporters (especially the more vocal ones) think that since it works for them, it works for everyone.

    The truth, as mentioned, lies in between.

    For starters, you absolutely can eat cheaper at Disney than what the plans provide. There is no question about that. You can even eat Disney food for less. The question, and the key thing is how you want to dine (and plan) for your own family's trip. The plans are absolutely not one-size-fits-all, nor are they one-size-fits-none.

    There are a few advantages of the plans (ignoring savings vs cost):
    1) Prepayment can be a psychological balm to some who would typically order less than they want due to price.

    2) It makes budgeting and dealing with the check much easier for mixed parties (e.g. 2 friends who go rather than a single family unit).

    3) It provides a structure to set up for meals

    Of course, some of these advantages are also disadvantages when seen by a different person:
    1) The prepayment structure makes you feel that you have to order more than you'd want just to make the cost

    2) Since credits are based across the room and not per person, your friend may burn through more credits than they should

    3) There is too much structure in the meals

    Until the raw cost of the plans go above and beyond what anyone could buy piecemeal or if they somehow drop to be cheaper than buying anything piecemeal, they'll continue to be a good value for some and a not-so-good value for others.
  14. coco392

    coco392 Mouseketeer

    Aug 6, 2012
    worked great for us- but we got it for free. if I had to pay for it I'm not sure how worth it it would be. mainly because we wouldn't get deserts at lunch and dinner or appetizers at dinner normally.
  15. cluvsdisney

    cluvsdisney DIS Veteran

    Jul 6, 2010
    I know it's a viable option for people who like to eat the way the food plan provides for some savings but it's not for us. We don't always want dessert. We don't want to keep track of credits. We don't want to make ADRs to ensure we use all of our credits. We don't really care for the counter service meals. And I most definitely don't want to prepay Disney for my food.

    I did cost comparison of our OOP expense to the cost of the dining plan from a 4 night trip we made last year. In total we spent $390 on food, drinks (soft drinks & alcohol), tax and tips for 3CS & 5TS meals. The meal plan at the time would have cost $412 + $45 for tips for a total of $457. We would have had to swap one of our TS meals for a less expensive CS meal plus the bar bill and appetizers/salads. We saved over $200 in just 4 nights/5 days. The best part was that we ate what, where, & when we wanted.
  16. wendybeth75

    wendybeth75 DIS Veteran

    May 25, 2013
    I agree!! For me it is the piece of mind and carefree feeling it gives me. We added up our reciepts at the end of our last trip and saved over $120. It does'nt hurt that we have done it a few times and know where to get the best bang for our buck. The best value last time were the $6+ starbuck drinks DS got with a snack credit! I couldnt believe you could get any size with a snack credit. I am sure they will change that soon! LOL
  17. sleepydog25

    sleepydog25 Been here awhile

    Aug 27, 2004
  18. Mom2six

    Mom2six DIS Veteran

    Feb 17, 2011
    We've used the dining plan every time but have decided against it for next time. We just don't eat that many desserts. It seems crazy to say it, but I guess because all of the food is so high calorie there compared to regular life that my teenage son can't even eat two desserts and a snack everyday along with the meals.

    The one plus to the dining plan as compared to OOP is the tax. Don't forget to add tax to the food cost when figuring out ahead of time whether OOP is better for you than the dining plan.

    Free dining for us is not so free. This last time as a party of 12 plus infant, we spent about $1,000 in tips during our vacation (and most of our TS was buffets). Though we will still have tips if we do out of pocket, we will likely do less buffets and probably a few less TS meals.

    It has become a nuisance to always be tied down by an ADR, especially with having to cancel a ADR the day before or be charged $10 a person (or $130 for us). It poured for about 4 days of our trip and there were times that we did not want to hang around in the pouring rain waiting for our ADR, and a couple of days the kids were sick. My son had a 104 fever for two days and my daughter was under the weather a bit. Everyone else had to go to dinner and I ended up spending a lot of time alone in the room with the kids.

    Sometimes I would prefer to just get an appetizer or share a meal and that works better OOP than on the plan.
  19. abinormal

    abinormal Mouseketeer

    Jan 23, 2013
    I'd rather not get it, but I'm crunching numbers and if it were free the dining plan would save us a decent amount of money.
  20. 6disneykids

    6disneykids Mouseketeer

    Jun 29, 2012
    Every family must evaluate what works for them. DDP works well for my family, we tried once without it and I kept trying to get my family (including my wonderful husband) to stop and eat because the 2 little ones needed to eat. DH kept looking at prices and didn't want to eat at all and only wanted to to feed the 6 kids and us from only 3 QS meals when I finally could get him to stop. Fast forward and the past 2 trips have been with the DDP and once I say we have an ADR somewhere, they will all stop and eat and since it has already been paid for DH doesn't care what the kids order. He is better paying once upon the addition of the DDP than he is paying for every meal.
  21. holula

    holula DIS Veteran

    Jun 28, 2012
    Recently DF and I stayed at WDW for 6 nights. With a QS Dining plan, it would have cost us $450.96 for food for the two of us which seemed a bit ridiculous, even if it is Disney. We spent $410 including eating at The Wave, Kona Cafe and Sci-Fi Theatre,ESPN Zone, a TON of food at F&W and one night at Applebee's. So we saved $40.96 by NOT going with the dining plan and we ate four TS meals and one off property. We also spent way more on F$W than we would have at a normal QS. So the dining plan does not save us money AT ALL. It does seem to depend on kids, but we don't have any so it doesn't work for us.

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