Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by bishop1989, Jan 5, 2013.
Does it really pay for itself to purchase the dining plan?
It's different for everyone. Depends on the people, their ages, the level, how you eat, where you eat, etc.
DXDP works out to save me money - for most people it doesn't. It's all just a numbers game.
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I guarantee you it will save you money if you utilize it to the fullest. That is, you like having desserts with both lunch and dinner and you want all of the snacks. In addition, you need to want to eat TS for every dinner.
IMHO, if you are happy to eat CS for a few dinners, want to eat offsite once or twice or want to skip a few desserts then it doesn't pay.
What B-Ride said. You have to look at menus and decide if you will eat that much food.
I've never been a fan. I tried the deluxe twice and the regular once and couldn't make it work so I've done OOP since.
I went for 10 nights over Christmas and because my friend is a CM and got a great rate on our dining plan I decided to try it again. I was determined to adapt my style to the plan.
I used all 10 TS credits but I only used 2 CS credits and 1 snack credit. I was so full that I didn't even care to try to use those snack credits before leaving. I didn't eat dessert for 5 of my TS credits.
I think the price on the plan is reasonable if you eat that way. I found it too hard to adjust my habits to accommodate the plan.
It depends on how many people are in your party; how old kids are (if you are traveling with any) what restaurants you chose; what resort level you chose, and how much you eat, and what you like to eat. Some people it works for; most go with paying out of pocket; and look for resort discounts so not paying rack rates for room.
For us it does - we added up our receipts last time and it was more than we would have spent on the cost of the dining plan (we had free dining last time). This time we're doing mostly buffets and when we added up a rough cost we're coming out ahead again.
It all depends on what/how much you eat. We eat 3 meals a day at home, so don't think the dining plan is too much food at all.
The times we used it we always had CS and snack credits left over. The deluxe plan is almost $60 per person per day now. Plus that doesn't include the tips. I am a numbers person and did the math and every time we went and paid OOP it was cheaper. Sometimes we like to have our bigger meal during the day so you end up saving even more money. The way we eat with our kids it does not work out for us but it might for others.
The reg. DP works....At least for us it always had..
I know not always do I want a dessert after every lunch CS but they will not let you switch to an appetizer or anything. Also My kids who are now both 9 grew up eating everything we did...They were never just a chicken nugget kid or PB&J kid or CB...So what we did at most of our TS ADRs was just politely ask if they could have just a kids sized portion of an adult meal which they pretty much obliged.. Some restaurants already have a decent kids menu so this wasn't necessary..
Also what helps getting your moneys worth is, if you aren't picky always ordering the most expensive thing on the menu...
Also snack credits, although mostly used on mickey ears ice cream or pastries or frozen treats or something can definetely save you some moneyduring F&W..
You can use them when sampling the foods at the countries in WS (EPCOT).
The best savings is the Lobster Roll I think...vs. an ice cream bar.
Lobster Roll I believe was $7.50 and Ice Cream was like $3.50 Significant savings...Also the Fishermans pie in Ireland was a good sized savings.
Just an FYI ...When we went in 2008, 10 & 11, we went during FD so it helped even more for us...Cheper than the room discount.
Now what we do being that we're AP holder & DVC members is use the TIW card which works way better for us...Alcoholic beverages & appetizers & all food is instantly a 20% savings.... Eat what I wan,t drink what I want , as little or as much as I want & SAVE SAVE SAVE.. HtH Have fun deciding..
When we had 2 kids 3-9, it was definitely a good deal for us. Over the course of a week, we would do 3-4 character meals and the dinner cost of the child's character meal was more than we paid for the DDP for that day. Now that our oldest has become a "Disney adult" I'm not sure if we'll pay for the DDP again, I'll have to run the numbers more carefully. I usually go to allearsnet.com and look at the menus for the restaurants and figure out our cost based on my best guesses for what we all like and how eat; we are not likely to share meals, we typically eat breakfast in our room, QS lunch and TS dinner every day and typically use most of our snacks. We order the desserts and will enjoy eating at least a few bites. The QS lunch snacks we save for snacks or get an extra water if we can. We also like the feeling of having our meals "prepaid" and that we can choose the more expensive menu options and not have sticker shock.
We've gotten the QSDP a couple of times for short trips and that generally works out to be a break-even deal for us. We are mainly paying for convenience there.
To purchase the plan, no. I'd say you're much better off paying OOP. If it's 'free' dining vs a room discount, it's generally better to take a room discount.
If you have two children (9 or under) and plan on doing buffets, then you have a good chance at a savings.
If not, it's probably cheaper to pay oop. We share many meals and drinks, especially counter service. We also don't eat desserts with every lunch and dinner. (When you total receipts, those desserts add up and make the dining plan look awesome!)
Each year the ddp prices go up, and the savings go down.
That's not necessarily true. It depends on the number of people in the room and where you stay. A 20% discount at a value is like $25-30/day....that's more than ONE person will spend OOP to eat in a day and most people have at least two in a room, so free dining is better than the room discount. You have to run the numbers EVERY time.
Agree with this ^^^. It can vary SO much.
I always like the getting the DXDP because I always save a couple hundred on my family's dining. I really think it depends on how much you like to eat, and where you want to eat. For me the restaurants at WDW are part of the experience.
What we are doing this trip is a split stay (4 night at the Poly, and 3 nights at AKL) and are under the dining plan for the first 4 nights but not the last three.
That way we can eat at the higher 1 credit dining restaurants early in our trip and dine at some of our favorite restaurants which may not be a great value on the DP at the end of our trip.
We are doing 'Ohana, Tutto Italia, The Wave (the have a $34 beef tenderloin), and Kouzzina on the dinning plan.
And Sanaa, Jiko, and the Brown Derby off the dining plan. Two of those three restaurants would have cost 2 dining credits a piece and just not worth it, as they are marginally more expensive than some of the higher end 1 credit restaurants.
I would be hard press to want to do all 7 days on the DP as it ends up being too much food. But 4 days is great, since it is kind of fun being able to order the most expensive thing on the menu, and not worry about the cost. But that gets old after a few days, as you kind of get tired of steak all the time
we always use CS for breakfast then skip lunch (still full) and go out to dinner for the TS, and if we need something during the day we use our Snack for Ice cream ect to hold us over.
Agreed. unless you like a LOT of sodas with each meal,same for those desserts....we wouldn't bother buying them anyway...and one large soda is more than enough for 4 of us at a lunch....
We had free dining,and I compared the receipts,etc (fun!) but if I did it oop, I wouldn't have spent as much as the dining stuff,and we overate daily to keep up.
For us, the DxDP makes sense. We will be doing a character breakfast before opening every day, paying OOP for some lunches, and then doing 2 credit meals for dinner. We won't be using the sodas, and maybe not all of the snacks, but just for the breakfasts and dinners we will save a lot of money.
To say whether it saves you money or not is simply subjective. If we didn't have the dining plan, we wouldn't eat a table service meal each day, and we definitely wouldn't be buying the most expensive thing on the menu or having dessert. With a child who's considered an adult, we also would never consider a buffet or all-you-can eat restaurant. Instead, we'd probably eat counter service dinners every other day, and be more frugal when it came to table service restaurants and what we chose to order. If this is the way we wanted to do the parks, and the way we wanted to vacation, we would definitely choose not to add on the dining plan.
With the dining plan, we love the convenience of having it paid for ahead of time, and the fact that we can splurge and order steak or salmon and have a few bites of dessert and not feel bad that we didn't eat it all. For us, this is vacation--feeling indulged and not worrying about every little penny. Since we don't really buy many souvenirs and keep spending in the parks to a minimum, we find that we can comfortably get away with bringing about $500 in tips and spending money for a week's vacation to Disney.
My point is: If you add up what $$ amount we "spent" on the dining plan in meals compared to what we paid Disney, we came out ahead. But had we not had the dining plan, we would have spent far less of our own money eating in Disney.
Granted, during our last vacation, after a week of being on the dining plan, we were sick of food, felt fat and bloated, etc. So for our upcoming trip, we decided to try CL for the last two days of the trip so that we don't have to pay out of pocket for each meal and aren't resorting to penny-pinching and feeling less indulged. We have a dinner reservation booked for our one night off of the dining plan, but we may find that the CL offerings coupled with a counter service meal may be enough and that the last night's reservation may be unnecessary.
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