The Dining Plan, why I'll never/always do it.

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Plan' started by notsogoofy, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. mslhb

    mslhb Mouseketeer

    May 19, 2011
    We leave Monday and will be on the regular dining plan paid for OOP. I debated back and forth about it and finally added it a month ago. I am a bit over analytical so I spent the time to sit down and figure out what we would pay OOP vs. the dining plan. It looks like the dining plan will save us some money. Not a ton but I figured it would be nice to have the bulk of our meals paid for beforehand. I know everyone is different but I don't see how people think the regular dining plan is too much food. It is only 2 meals and a snack a day... and even less if you choose a 2 credit meal. I haven't been to DW in a looonngg time and was ecstatic to see how much the dining choices have improved. I don't anticipate us being complete park commandos and am looking forward to some nice sit down meals. Of course we will see how I feel about it next week after our trip. But for now that is my rationale for why we ended up choosing it!
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  3. Ldynred812

    Ldynred812 Mouseketeer

    Jul 14, 2009
    We did the DDP in Nov 09. Ate a lot of character was Thanksgiving week and prices were raised for that. We are going in Jan 2013 and are doing the QSDP. We now have 3 kids, one who is under 2 and one who is now a Disney adult. The Disney adult kid will NOT eat an entire adult QS meal herself, but when split with the 22 mo old, PERFECT. I've been researching menus a lot and am determined to find a lot of non burger meals. And for us, knowing it is all paid for and not having to mess with cash and credit cards every time we want to eat...wonderful. :)

  4. CraftyMommy

    CraftyMommy Mouseketeer

    Aug 28, 2012
    I have been on the DDP several times. Every time we have used it was when Free Dining was offered. So free food is definitely a great value to us. We love character meals and buffets, so we get to eat at Chef Mickeys, Crystal Palace, and several other places for free.
  5. Tara D

    Tara D Mouseketeer

    Jun 11, 2008
    We almost always do the dining plan. Last time we went it was Free Dining. My problem is, I could totally do without the DP and just pay OOP for a few character meals... but DH loves to eat. I always joke that they must have had food shortage issues when he was a kid because he is ALWAYS concerned whether there will be enough food. He is the type to order an appetizer, entree and dessert when we go out to eat just to make sure he gets full. (He's also about 6 ft tall and weights 165 but he sure can eat a lot!)

    I talked to him a few days ago about not doing dining plan this trip and he didn't like that idea. He would rather feel like he can order whatever he wants since it's prepaid, even if it's not really a discount. I have to admit I probably enjoy my food more too when it's prepaid... that way I'm not trying to decide between being cheap and getting a salad or a chicken sandwich, or ordering the lobster ravioli that I really want. (just an example but you know what I mean).
  6. ItsNotMuchofaTail

    ItsNotMuchofaTail but I'm sort of attached to it

    May 30, 2012
    I like the DDP a lot. I just returned from a trip and there is NO WAY I didn't save $. My (DD 9 and me) bill at Akershus alone was $90 - which is more than the plan cost me for a whole day - for 1 meal.

    I understand that crunching the numbers for some people may make the DP not worth it, but it is to me.

    *I am a cheapakate, and will make myself order a cheap thing even if I want something more expensive. On the DP, I can get the expensive fish or whatever, because I don't have to pay the bill. This greatly enhances my vacation.
    *My DD needs a TS just about ever ypark day, for a break.
    *So far, she has always been a child, making her plan much more reasonable.
    *We like buffets/character meals, which are pricy OOP.
    *I like the convenience of it, although if it didn't work $-wise, I could prepay meals on GC, which would even out anyway.

    I will probably always have the DP, this recent trip I paid for it, but got a 30% room only PIN. My TA did the numbers and said that saved me more than free dining, which was available on my dates (after I booked it came out).

    I get that it doesn't work for some people, what I don't get is the hatred of the DP. If you don't like it, don't get it. :confused3

    My XH wanted the DxDP the last trip we took together, that was a waste for us, we didn't do enough high priced meals, we used several credits for CS. But that's water under the bridge now.
  7. jeepwreck

    jeepwreck DIS Veteran

    Oct 12, 2011
    Just got back on Monday and we got the dinning plan again this trip. We always get the deluxe plan so we have a lot of options of the type of restaurants that we can eat at. For this trip I think we use it very wisely and it defiantly paid for its self, I kept track of all the amount that we would have paid it believe me it adds up very quickly essentially for the snacks, two ice-cream bars were 7.15$ and 2 smoothies were 9.97$ this adds up fast. For breakfast every morning at out resort was around 20.00$ for some waffles and chocolate milk. And when it comes to lunch/ dinner I can be for adventurous and try stuff that I may have not get before because of the price but, since all I will be paying out of my own pocket at that time of dinner is a tip I tend to go for the most expensive things on the menu (only if they look good lol)

    We were there for 6 nights 5 days in the parks and our total for all food items that we got was over 1500$ for two of us. So for this trip I know the dinning plan was a good option.
  8. MinnieLovesMickey12

    MinnieLovesMickey12 DIS Veteran

    Dec 16, 2012
    Both times we have used the dining plan we had gotten free dining. Next trip we go on will be an adult's only trip and we will stay in a mod and hope for free dining. If we get free dining we may (I haven't decided yet) upgrade to the deluxe dining plan.

    It's a very good value if you get free DDP and just pay to upgrade to DlxDp.

    But I would never pay full price for any of the dining plans. If we are not on the dining plan none of us would ever order dessert and can eat OOP much cheaper than what you pay for the dining plans, QSDP or DDP.

    But if it is free I will definitely take it.
  9. GeorgiaHoo

    GeorgiaHoo DIS Veteran

    Nov 7, 2005
    So the dining plan in 2013 is around $56 a person. It would be hard to save money on the dining plan plus we'd be tied to reservations every night. If we ate at someplace like 'Ohana it would cost $35 per person, another $15 for lunch (and that's a pricey lunch) and $5 for a snack and we only break even. We can simply pay out of pocket, book reservations at the restaurants we want to eat at (Be Our Guest, 'Ohana and Cape May) and then eat wherever the other days we are there.
  10. Lifted07Duramax

    Lifted07Duramax Earning My Ears

    Dec 14, 2012
    Who knows if it's been said but I won't do the dining plan because its cheaper to have a taxi if you dont have a vehicle to a grocery store and buy all the foods you want.
    And then go out to a couple nice places for the week or so that you are there. Saves a ton of money and you get to have all that food in the room with you. :cool1:
  11. cluvsdisney

    cluvsdisney DIS Veteran

    Jul 6, 2010
    We wouldn't get the dining plan because we don't want that many CS meals and the plan would cost more than paying OOP.
  12. My2Cents

    My2Cents Earning My Ears

    Dec 25, 2012
    We have never done the DDP. We don't need the snacks, beverages, and desserts. We also don't want to be tied to ADRs. It's cheaper for us to go OOP.
  13. Lifted07Duramax

    Lifted07Duramax Earning My Ears

    Dec 14, 2012
    What does OOP mean?
  14. Wood Nymph

    Wood Nymph DIS Veteran

    Sep 19, 2012
    Out of pocket
  15. GM24

    GM24 Mouseketeer

    Dec 28, 2012
    My husband and I recently returned from a 6 night (12/17 - 12/23) stay at POFQ. We had "free" dining that actually cost us about $120 (that's what we gave up in room only discount). We didn't maximize the use of credits (used some QS credits for breakfast at the hotel which included one pastry, one fruit and one drink and used some snack credits for water), but we definitely would have spent much more than $120 on food for the both of us for the week. We ate two TS breakfasts (Tusker House and Kona), three TS lunches (Via Napoli, split lunches at Plaza and Sci-Fi), and one TS dinner (Yachtsman). We would not pay for the DDP as, for us, it is more food than we need.
  16. Wood Nymph

    Wood Nymph DIS Veteran

    Sep 19, 2012
    This is what we decided to do, too. :thumbsup2

    I had been debating about purchasing the DDP for months, but decided this morning to just pay OOP - no DDP. I had made ADR's months ago at several restaurants with the intention of using the dining plan. So I have 'Ohana dinner, Tusker's breakfast, Cape May dinner, Cafe 1900 dinner and Coral Reef dinner reserved. Even with the prices for those restaurants, I still think I will come out ahead or break even. We never (almost never) order dessert. We also don't eat lots of sugary snacks. So now that we are paying OOP for our food, I can order all the salads I want. ;)
  17. sea nymph

    sea nymph Mouseketeer

    Dec 27, 2012
    Currently we are struggling with the Dining Plan decision!
    Right now we are set-up with the Deluxe dining, 2 adults, 3 kids (6-9 years old) which will cost $1,963.22. Since this is our 1st trip we will be doing alot of character meals. We will be staying 7 nights and have 9 TS meals booked (7 of them dinner). I conservatively calculated those meals costing $1,232.00 with using 65 meal credits. With that, we will have 40 TS credits left and $731.22 to meet our break-even point. I anticipate we will eat 8 more meals through-out the stay which will probably be counter service (maybe 1 or 2 TS). If we factor in our snacks (alotted 70 total) at $5.00 per snack x 70 = $350.00, we should meet our break-even easily! That's our thinking, whether it's right or wrong, we'll find out!
  18. C30ny

    C30ny Earning My Ears

    Jan 30, 2012
    We are visiting in May. I have been to Disney many times and have never had the dining plan. This time I am going to spring for it, and the reason is because we decided to not rent a car and just stay on disney properties and utilize their transportation. That alone is saving me about $400-$500 in rental and gas money (not to mention the time headache of dropping it off, picking it up, etc...). We also will be staying in the resort a lot, so the "Free" soda is a good bonus, and wife wife can put down the diets!

    So in essence, the $780 I am spending for the meal plan is being offset by $400 (conservatively) in car rental since I will now feel at ease to eat onsite and not head out. That knocks the price down to $380, which is a bargain. Guess I traded the rental (which usually just sits there) for the food.

    Sure I could just bring the cash, but this way its one less thing I have to worry about. Plus the whole "should we do dessert" is eliminated...the answer is YES!! :)
  19. MomofCKJ

    MomofCKJ <font color=teal>I just lost steam at about 5 minu

    Mar 13, 2006
    I like the DDP for having the food already pre-paid. I like the budgeting aspect of it. I also have 3 kids who are actually Disney adults (15,13,10) and 2 of the 3 are foodies (like Mom) and will always choose the steak/Filet when we are at Disney and splurging so we do get our money's worth when we use it.

    For this upcoming trip I originally booked the QSDP thinking we'd do things different this time. We still had a few TS we would want to do and pricing them out (breakfast at CP is a tradition for us but paying OOP is $100+, for breakfast, couldn't stomach that) it made more sense for me to move to the regular DDP.

    We always like to do a TS meal once a day so it is easy for us to use those credits. We usually use the CS for lunch and breakfast, unless we have that CP ADR, is usually just a granola bar or something small in the room or on the go.

  20. disneymagicgirl

    disneymagicgirl Been there, Done that, Going back!

    Dec 13, 2005
    We are skipping it this time after having it for many years. We usually prefer an app over dessert and would share those. I like to have an app and salad as my meal sometimes. We want a few TS meals but mostly CS. It just doesn't fit us anymore.
  21. chttyangel

    chttyangel Mouseketeer

    Mar 24, 2010
    This is our first trip to WDW; we are DL veterans so DDP was never something we had to factor in/consider. I just can not decide what to do!! :confused3 In DL we usually hit a charcter dinner once and maybe 1 TS. The rest is usually CS or snacks. We usually only stop once a day to eat and than grab something on the way back to the room at the end of the night (corn dog/pizza). BUT WDW has so many places to try. We already booked; Ohana, Be Our Guest, Via Napoli, TREx, and Coral Reef.

    On the positive side;

    - I LOVE the thought of everything being paid for in advance. No sticker shock.
    - Trying new places we would normally not budget for sounds fun. A chance to enjoy some real family dinners.
    - Try new dishes; no hestiation to order a big steak or have dessert.
    - We have 7 nights so lots of extra time to slow things down; AKA more time for TS.

    On the negative side;
    - Normally my daughter and I would share things , not order dessert and be perfectly satisifed. Do we really need all that extra food? Will we come back 10lbs heavier? :rotfl:
    - Will I spend more??

    My trip is May 31st and payment in full date in mid April; so I guess my question is when do I have to decide by??:scratchin

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