How do you determine if DDP is worth it?

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Plan' started by twinklebug, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. twinklebug

    twinklebug 1200+ miles away from home.

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    How do you determine if DDP is worth it? Unless you plan on some very pricy meals, all in all it seems one would do better just buying as you go. :confused3

    I'll admit I don't understand the concept of an appetizer, entree & desert all in one meal. :confused3 Isn't that an awful lot of food in one sitting? Boy oh boy, NO ToT, Rock'n Rollercoaster or StarTours after that meal!
     
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  3. OKWMom

    OKWMom DIS Veteran

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    Before we purchased it, I looked at the menus/prices of the places we were planning on eating and did spreadsheet with an estimate of what we would spend if we were not on the plan, adding in tax and tip. I then compared that to the cost of the plan itself. (I know, overkill, but I’m an accountant, I can’t help it).

    It worked out for us to be a savings so we did it. We wouldn’t have bought it if it didn’t make sense for us financially, but we really enjoyed it. It was nice having the meals budgeted into the vacation cost on the front end instead of receiving that print out on the last day and getting sticker shock. It was nice to be able to try things we normally wouldn’t have. And the kids loved being able to have dessert at every meal. Having appetizers and desserts was actually once of the things they told their teachers about when we returned.
     
  4. Laz

    Laz DIS Veteran

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    I think it all depends on how much you plan to spend on food. For example, I save all my Disney Visa points and use those points for food on our trips. I have seen others who bring their own breakfast foods and use the toasters and Microwaves at the All Stars. Also, My family and I do not eat as much as offered with the dining plan. Pluse we enjoy the flexibility of NOT eating if we do not want to, In most cases we split desserts because we are too full, or we lose our appetite when we get hot. Some will save money, some will not.
     
  5. DVC Grammy

    DVC Grammy <font color=blue>DVC AKV Concierge = </font><img s

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    What do you usually eat on an average WDW day? Do you like TS restaurants an a daily basis, and for which meals? And are you able to make your ADR's far enough in advance to get most of your choices?
    This is one of those decisions that is completely subjective; for people who enjoy large meals, in nice restaurants, it can be very worthwhile. For those who eat less per meal, or prefer CS places, or would rather be "spur of the moment" planners, it could be a problem. As other people have said, analyze what works for you and your family. :)
    We have found that the DDE works better for us (me and DH), based on our needs. When our family might join us (big eaters :rotfl: ), we'll probably do the DDP, since there won't ever be "leftovers"! :goodvibes
     
  6. twinklebug

    twinklebug 1200+ miles away from home.

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    I hear a theme - plan plan plan :) maybe that's why it's called the Disney Dining PLAN? :teeth:

    I am often criticized for over-analyzing (it's the engineer in me) :surfweb: and it does take the spontanious fun out of a vacation when I'm always watching our spending.

    I gave rough estimates to the ADRs we have that we'll pay out of pocket(HDDR, WCC, CM, CP, Si-Fi, Tony's) as well as a few snacks & CSs and it looks pretty much like we'd break even just ordering the basic entree and a drink. It's a ton of money to spend on food, but I guess it's worth it just to be able to relax and not tell the kids "No, No, No" all the time because of prices.

    Thank you all for your help! :wave2:
     
  7. Jlampley

    Jlampley Mouseketeer

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    I have to agree that it may not save tones of money if you choose to go with counter meals throughout your stay and maybe choose one or two table-service meals. However, if you plan a sit-down meal each evening to a table service meal and or a number of character meals, I think the plan is worth it. I have two young children and we've planned 4 character meals and 3 high-end, more adult meals. Last year our receipts (which you will receive at the end of each meal to show your savings) never were under $100.00 for the non-character meals and around $80 for character meals. That one meal covered the costs for our entire day. I also bring begals and ceral and we eat breakfast in the room.

    If your party is past the character meal stage (if that's possible) and is more interested in using your time on rides and events - skip the plan. It definately takes more time to have a table-service meal every night.

    One other item to note: to get the most out of your plan you should make ADRs in advance - sometimes months in advance - of your visit. I'm going in Oct and today wanted to see if I could get into Ohana - I could only get a table at 9:15 - too late for us and here we are two months out.

    Good luck and have fun.
    Julie
     
  8. Sammie

    Sammie DIS Veteran

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    How long are you staying and what are the ages of your group?
     
  9. toocooltobeMom

    toocooltobeMom Mouseketeer

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    I agreed with Twinklebug. You must be willing to plan ahead. As for us, We found that w/o the DDP, we usually eat about $35 -$40 pp each day. That $$ was just for drinks and CS meals most of the days. Maybe just one sit-down the 1st night at DTD :blush: It runs anywhere from $6 to $8 + per entree(burgers and fries; nothing fancy!!) and drinks. At Epcot, we tend to spend a little extra (to sample different food from different countries ;) )
    This is the first time we have DDP for "free". :woohoo: We couldn't be more happier. :thumbsup2
     
  10. Ashley80

    Ashley80 Mouseketeer

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    We like the DDP because we eat at places we normally would have turned away from just because of the prices. It allows us to have a little freedom in that sense to go/eat whereever/whatever we want. There's no way we would pay $100+++ cash for lunch and dinners every day like we get to do on the DDP. Also, its just FUN to be able to get so much great food and how often do you get to go whereever you want and eat whatever you want and not worry about money?
     
  11. n2mm

    n2mm aka WALTSGIRL

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    You have to remember that the DDP includes taxes and tips, so if you do the math you'll find you save even when not getting everything required. I figured the 37.99 is about what a sit down meal costs, by the time you add the entree ($20), beverage ($3), and desert ($6), taxes (7%) and tip (18%)(notice I did not add an appetizer and did not choose a expensive entree). So the CS meal and snack are basically free for us. So with the plan we don't have to count pennies and can choose a more expensive entree if we WANT, we can add an appetizer and we can even get the most expensive desert and take it to go. You need to make sure you check out the menus so you can do the math.
     
  12. dementia412

    dementia412 DIS Veteran

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    something that could tip it against the ddp is the cost of a package. If you can get the room and tickets separetly cheaper than the package, you will have to factor in that cost as well
     
  13. BlindTyldak

    BlindTyldak WoW-geek

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    Our first intro to dining plans was Magical Wishes, which we'd gotten as part of a Magical Gathering package. It turned out to be the only part of the package that was worth it! :lmao: When our first night we ended up "spending" about as much at CR as we did on the entire points package, we knew it was well worth it and since we prefer our TS meals at night, it always ends up being a bargain. But if people ate mostly light lunches at TS restaurants, or didn't want to take the time for a TS every day, I could see it being a waste of money.
     
  14. bbangel

    bbangel <font color=green>My friends call me the font of u

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    We decided to go with the dining plan because it gives us permission to eat at places we would normally not consider due to the price. We are doing our first character meal for instance!
    My mom also likes the fact that we can prepay so don't have to worry about money while we are there. And since you are basically only doing two meals a day the larger amount that you eat at the TS meals isn't as much as at seems. (At least that is what I'm telling myself :) )
     
  15. LizinSTL

    LizinSTL DIS Veteran

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    I think that's exactly the benefit of the ddp. You get to relax and enjoy your vacation. Order as much or as little as you want. Some people think they aren't getting enough out of it if you do character meals and fixed price buffets, etc. I think that those meals are pretty costly and you aren't "losing" money on them using the dining plan. What I loved most about it was being able to NOT look at the prices (except to say Thank goodness we're on the DDP!) LOL We passed the extra CS desserts on to other guests who were always very thankful for the surprise treat. We took home some mickey goldfish and mickey pretzels for souveniers.
     
  16. tabrizia

    tabrizia Mouseketeer

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    This is exactly what I did before deciding on the plan. I looked over where we would eat without the plan, and figured out how much it would cost, we would have been doing only 4 sit down meals for our 8 days and the rest CS. Even with that it was cheaper for me and hubby to go on the dining plan. We do tend to get one appitizer fairly often though and 1 desert between the two of us, so it helped push the prices higher.

    We also found it would be just about the same price paying out of pocket or with the Dining plan so that is what we went with.

    Of we then ended up with free dining (which cost us $100 more, because we added two days and had to get a room upgrade) and adding about 3 OOP TS meals, but who's counting?
     
  17. antmaril

    antmaril DIS Veteran

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    This is what I'm struggling with a little. Don't you have to factor in the difference between the rack rate of the room and getting a discount on the room (whether it's AAA or a code, etc.) For example, we are staying at BWI in January. The room only rate at the moment is $315. This will be the rate if I add the dining package, right? However, if I can apply the AAA discount (hopefully next week), that room rate will be reduced by approximately $47 a day. I have to factor that amount into the cost of the dining plan.

    Someone please straighten me out if I'm wrong on this. Is it possible to get the AAA discount on the room when adding the dining package. I realize we have to buy at least one day tickets into the parks to add the dining package.
     
  18. tabrizia

    tabrizia Mouseketeer

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    yes but you have to book through AAA.
     
  19. antmaril

    antmaril DIS Veteran

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    Okay - thanks.
     
  20. BeccaG

    BeccaG DIS Veteran

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    Figuring out the DDP for us. When my DH and I went for our honeymoon three years ago, we made some TS reservations and some days we had nothing planned. We are going on a shorter trip next December (five nights instead of nine) with family and friends, and are trying to figure out the best way to handle the food! Seems like the DDP locks you in a little. Anyone feel trapped?
     
  21. dl1955

    dl1955 Earning My Ears

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    Not to take this terribly off topic, but how important are the reservations? With the acception of V&A's, I don't think I've ever waited more than 15-30 mins as a walkup at any restaurant. Am I missing something here? Are there other places where ADRs are definitly recommended?

    I've viewed some of the menus on wdwinfo and keep seeing a note (Disney Dining Experience 20% discount). I'm assuming that the DDE is different from the DDP? I'm also curious to know if any of you include an extra tip (even though tax and tip is included). Thanks!

    UPDATE - DDE answered through the FAQ
     

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