Dining vs. Deluxe and other DP questions

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Plan' started by texasadam, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. texasadam

    texasadam Earning My Ears

    Nov 20, 2010
    We are headed to WDW this week, staying at POFQ with DD4 and DS2. We are on the "Free Dining" and I'm considering upgrading to the Deluxe plan but having trouble justifying the cost.

    Our current reservations are listed a bit below. But, overall, I am trying to decide if I should:

    1. Upgrade to the DxDP and try for more reservations. Cost is ~$400 and does not include the additional $ for the 18% tax from the add'l reservations.
    2. Keep CRT and Hoop Dee Doo, plus 4 more Character Breakfasts. Will pay for Hoop OOP as well as possibly 1 more TS ('Ohana breakfast) and QS the rest of the meals.
    3. Cancel Hoop Dee Doo and get down to 6 TS points.

    If I keep Hoop and CRT, I'll still probably have to pay for one QS meal OOP (or leverage snack points) to make up for the 2 points we'll lose. I'm also not sure if it will eat up a lot of time, so we might roll at least 1 QS per day (and possibly 2 on one). Currently, I'm estimating my OOP (pre-tip, without the DxDP) to be around $300, but this could be fuzzy math as I'm not sure what our costs will run at the QS locations (I estimated $30/QS meal to feed the entire family). Also, we don't usually order appetizers so it's not a huge bonus, but we do usually use have lots of stops for snacks which would be doubled on the deluxe plan.

    I'm torn as to whether the kids will enjoy Hoop Dee Doo (being only 4 and 2) and whether it's worth the investment. If I choose the cancel Hoop the math is really in favor of paying OOP and going QS outside of our 6 TS points.

    I'm also wondering if the character breakfasts are worth the investment vs. using the TS points for lunch/dinner. I'm thinking the kids will really enjoy the characters, but it seems like the best "bang for the buck" is using the TS points for dinner.

    Liberty Tree Tavern
    6:30 pm

    Hollywood & Vine
    9:20 am

    Cinderella's Royal Table
    10:20 am

    8:25 am

    (splitting for lunch)
    Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
    12:20 pm
    San Angel Inn
    12:40 pm

    Chef Mickey's
    8:35 am

    Hoop Dee Doo (Category 2)
    Pioneer Hall
    5:00 pm

    The Crystal Palace - #403071543401
    10:05 am

    Any advice is appreciated.
  2. Colleen27

    Colleen27 DIS Veteran

    Mar 31, 2007
    Have you looked at all to see if additional TS options are available on such short notice? If not, that's where I'd start, because there's no point even debating an upgrade if there's nothing available you'd want for additional sit down meals.

    Personally, I'd lean towards upgrading if you can find reservations that interest you. With an under-3 who doesn't get his own credits the extra food at TS meals and the extra snacks are likely to come in handy, and with that line-up of character meals I'd be looking to add some more relaxing/laid-back dining experiences in the evenings. But a big part of that is my personal preference for avoiding in-park quick service with young kids. I just hate the whole ordeal of keeping the kids busy in line, ordering the food, keeping track of the kids while carrying trays and collecting flatware/condiments, searching for a table, etc. It is just such a hassle, especially at "normal" meal times when the QS places are very busy. I'd much rather sit in a climate-controlled space, let someone bring me a drink while we look over the menu, and have the kids color or nibble on the bread while waiting for the food to arrive.
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  4. princesspeach

    princesspeach Mouseketeer

    Sep 10, 2010
    We love dxdp because we eat at signatures almost everynight. My kids are older than yours and love to eat out. With kids that young I don't think I would wan't to spend a lot of time in restaurants. Your 4 year old will most likely love the hoop dee doo. Your 2 year old its hard to say. There 2 and unpredictable at best. Good luck.
  5. CoolPool

    CoolPool DIS Veteran

    Mar 4, 2007
    I would base the Hoop Dee Doo decision on whether or not YOU want to see it not whether a 4 or 2 year old wants to go. They are both still very young. If its something you want to do then I suggest you do it and your excitement will be passed to your children.

    Well, maybe not to the 2 year old; they just do what they do and gawd help us.

    I agree with a PP, look at the reservations that are still available at this late date; in fact go ahead and book the ones you like. Then decide if that vacation looks better than the vacation without them.
  6. texasadam

    texasadam Earning My Ears

    Nov 20, 2010
    This is definitely a tough one. I'm sure I'm over thinking it.

    On one hand, every TS meal I add gets me closer to the "breakeven" of around $415 for the upgrade, not to mention the additional snacks. It also seems like it might be a nice way to take a break during the day to give the kids some time to recoup without making the long trip back to the resort. And, again, a lot of the cost to upgrade is offset by the cost of Hoop Dee Doo ($150), and I know that even using QS the rest of the meals (plus once for an extra point we lost at CRT which means) runs us around $150-$225.

    On the other hand, if we don't eat at least 2 TS meals/day it simply won't pay for itself, and even with the deluxe plan we will have to pay for 2 QS meals OOP (or somehow replace a few meals with snacks). Plus the tips which could add up quickly (easily $100, it looks like). And it sure might suck having to rush around the parks to get to our ADRs.

    I guess one added bonus would be not having to worry about price, since you've already chipped in the dough. But it would be nice to "win" and get our money's worth. I feel torn between trying to get the "most for my money"/"spending the very least" and just making a decision. After all, "It is Disney." (I'm positive that quote is why Disney makes billions of dollars per year)
  7. Colleen27

    Colleen27 DIS Veteran

    Mar 31, 2007
    I wouldn't worry so much about the "win" and just look at which plan is the cheaper way to feed your family in the way you prefer on vacation. I think 2 TS per day is ideal; 3 is too many ADRs and too much time in restaurants in our opinion. The breakeven point on the deluxe plan (based on its full price, not the free dining upgrade cost) is right around 2/3 of credits used for TS meals, including 2 credit TS in that calculation. When you're only paying the upgrade, coming out ahead is practically a given.

    It is very easy to make up a few meals with snacks, particularly breakfasts. Disney has excellent "continental breakfast" type foods that are available as snack credits - muffins, turnovers, danishes, yogurt, fruit, and drinks - and the deluxe plan includes plenty of snacks to cover it.
  8. Nadjalu

    Nadjalu DIS Veteran

    Jul 8, 2009
    To be honest I dont' think the cost will be the big issue right now.

    With Free Dining in affect are you really willing to pay that much money to upgrade with so much already booked?

    First thing I would do is get the ressies for everything you want to upgrade to before considering it.

    Then go thru and see if the cost justifys it.

    You could seriously pay $$ and only get a couple extra TS you want and be out that much more money.

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