How much Saving with Dining Plan

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by lazarru, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. lazarru

    lazarru DIS Veteran

    Jun 19, 2002
    Has anyone tracked how much saving they had with the Dining Plan. Everything seems to show that you do save, but how much for a family of 4 (5 & 7) can save per day?

  2. budbeerlady

    budbeerlady <font color=blue>I call DH The STREAK!!<br><font c

    Apr 27, 2005
    When we did the dining plan last December... it was Dh and I and DD (5). We looked at it as getting the cs and snack free after buying the app, entree and dessert at dinner. You would come out ahead more money if you dont do the buffet. Since 1900 Park Fare is $28.99 for an adult, where as dinner at Le Cellier with the app and all will run around $38 for me.
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  4. comicguy

    comicguy DIS Veteran

    Mar 27, 2006
    For us in August Me, DW, and DS(13) Receipts totals just over 1800.00 for 10 days. The dining plan would have been about 1200.00 for the 10 days for the 3 of us(but of course we had free dining so we really saved!! :cool1: ) If we had bought the plan we would have saved 600.00 dollars.
  5. Plantlady

    Plantlady <font color=darkorchid>I eat a lot of pringles whi

    Mar 6, 2006
    If you normal eat at Ts resturants, you will save money, as a PP stated, the CS and Snack are basically free.

    I know our bill for Coral Reef was $175 for one dinner, (five people) and we paid a little over $100 per day for the dining plan.

    I started by saving our receipts, just to see how much our savings was, but we were having too good of a time for me to remember to do that.
  6. sweetp267

    sweetp267 Mouseketeer

    Jul 24, 2002

    I posted my first experience with the DDP back in Sept and I would recommend it to anyone! Here, read my original posting below.

    DDP review 8/29-9/5

    I am not going to go into detail about every TS or CS meal. I do want to say that we are DVC members and did not get the plan for free. There were three of us, 2 adults one child.

    Let me start with the TS meals we had.

    Ohana (breakfast)
    Le Cellier
    Concourse Steakhouse
    Flying Fish (2 credits)
    Liberty Tree (dinner)
    Chefs de France

    We arrived 15 to 20 minutes early for every meal. With the exception of Ohana, which was for 9:30 am, our ADRs were around 6 to 6:30 pm every night. Upon arrival we were seated immediately or within 10 minutes. Every meal was excellent and I cannot find one complaint worth mentioning about the service. Yes we were full by dessert or so we thought since the desserts we were entitled to were so good we managed to find room for them.

    The CS meals (if I can remember them all) are as follows

    Pecos Bills (MK twice)
    Beach Club Marketplace
    American Adventure (EPCOT twice)
    Hurricane Hannah (Beach Club pool)
    Lotus Blossom (EPCOT)
    Artist Palette (Saratoga Springs)
    Tusker House(AK)

    All of the CS meals were well worth it since the average cost was about $33 for two adult meals and one child's. You just have to make sure that you don't get a hot dog that comes with chips, drink and dessert or a breakfast meal of some sort which doesn't come with dessert or some kind of side order. Something like that I would pay OOP since it costs much less. For example we went to The Land to get fastpasses for Soarin and went to Seasons for something for breakfast. They had a few things to eat and I got a breakfast platter and a drink since that was all that was covered under the DDP. I couldn't add a side of fruit or anything else so I opted to pay OOP and save the credit for lunch. The cost was less that $10 and to me was not worth wasting a CS credit.

    We did not have an excess of snack credits at the end of our stay. I was hot enough that we got at least one or two drinks a day which we shared between the three of us. We also got a dole whip float one day and a specialty coffee at MGM another time. We tried to get as many snacks as close to $4 to maximize the value. If we weren't sure we just asked if it was covered. Our last day we had 3 credits left. We bought one rice krispie treat, one bag of Mickey pretzels and one bag of Fritos. Both bags were huge for the credit price. The are still in the kitchen unopened. Probably not for long though.

    The cost for the plan for 7 nights for 2 adults and one child was $608.79. We saved all our receipts and the total cost that would have been OOP would have been right around $1000. So that is almost a $400 savings. Pretty good if you ask me.

    Now dont get me wrong, without the plan, we probably wouldn't have eaten a TS every night and we would have not eaten at Flying Fish at all but since we had the option and knowing that we were saving money it was just so nice not to buy stuff to bring along everyday made buying the plan much easier to swallow and we will definitely do it again.

    One last note. I made our room reservations back in February to make sure I could get the Beach Club Villas since they are so popular and we were there during free dining. I made all of our ADRs for the above places sometime in June. If I didn't, I probably wouldn't have gotten Le Cellier or Liberty Tree since people were being turned away the whole day. The other ones were probably not completely full but your choices would be seriously limited.

    If you have any specific questions about a specific restaurant or anything else about my report feel free to ask away.
  7. Brooknwdw

    Brooknwdw DIS Veteran

    Mar 23, 2005
    We could not look at it that way because we would not nornally eat like we do on the plan (we've done it free and paid for). We each order app, entree, dessert, on the plan, EACH. For example, at Le'Cellier our bill for 4 people was $192! But if we'd been paying we would have split entrees, etc, and spent half that at least. PLus eaten more CS. :sunny:
  8. Hedy

    Hedy <font color=blue>I'm <s>22</s> 27 and I still kind

    Mar 14, 2006
    My two cents: I was planning to do DDP, but the best room rate I could get was through AAA room only. It was cheaper for me to get room only at the AAA rate and pay OOP for meals as opposed to MYW+DDP.
  9. nicknamy1996

    nicknamy1996 Disney Junkie...

    Sep 17, 2001
    Well I picked the right post to click on. I'm a numbers guy AND we just went with... get this... 5 and 7 years old.

    We had the free dining plan for 8 nights last month. We ended up with $1090 worth of "free" food. We could have spent/"saved" a lot more but we did all 3 dinner show and that took 24 of our 32 TS credits. Without that we would have had WAY too much food/credits. I think the plan for 8 nights would have been around $800. (37.99 and 10.99??? Tax included???) So technically we would have saved nearly $300... BUT we ate more than we normally would have and more than we needed. We normally would not do 2 appetizers and 2 desserts (4 desserts at CS meals!) especially not 7 days in a row! We normally drink water too vs. soda 1) we don't need it, 2) my boys definitely don't need the sugar and 3) it adds up quick! (4 sodas 2 times a day for 4 people for 7 days = 56 sodas well over $100.)

    If we started deducting soda, appetizers a couple of meals, a lot of desserts, all the snack credits we burned 'just to use them up', etc... it wouldn't be the hard to get it down under the $800, but the question is how much. If you do all that and get it down to $700... then you need to figure out if its worth it? For $100 you can add a lot of food to your trip. or you can save $100 and not eat like crazy for a week. Got to run... for now... and I had much more to say....
  10. LizinSTL

    LizinSTL DIS Veteran

    Feb 28, 2006

    My girls were 5 and 9 when we went to Disney in June. We LOVED the dining plan and won't return without it. Our cost was under $700 for 7 nights. Our TS meals were : 50s PT (lunch), H&V (fantasmic dinner), Boma (dinner), PSB Norway (lunch), Le Cellier (dinner), Chef Mickey (Breakfast), and Biergarten (dinner). As you can see we didn't "maximize" our dining credits with those TS meals. That said, our OOP cost, including tax and tip, for those 7 meals was pretty close to the total cost of the DDP. We'd have done 4/7 of those meals for sure w/o the plan and those OOP would have been over $400.

    We were able to enjoy B, L and D using our credits over the course of the week. We shared a bunch of meals. Our OOP for all of our meals for the week was approximately $1200. We almost had better values w/ our CS credits! Each child CS credit at lunch or dinner was worth more than the daily cost (adult beverage and adult dessert plus cost of kids meal) for the kiddos.
  11. LoriNSC

    LoriNSC DIS Veteran

    Jun 11, 2006
    When we went in July, we paid $624 for DDP for me, DH, DS15 & DS4 (DD1 was free). We added just our TS meals & they were $790. We estimated that all our meals (cs,TS & snacks) was about $1200. So, we saved about $400. I'm sure if we had paid OOP we wouldn't have ate at such nice places. It was plenty of food & well worth it to us. We will continue to use DDP when we go. Can't wait for this year! :cool1:
  12. 3dog2kidmom

    3dog2kidmom DIS Veteran

    Dec 2, 2005
    I just sat down and figured this out from the menus on allears. For DD and myself, I made a spreadsheet for our 4-night trip... one TS meal, 1 CS, and one snack a day (only one being a character meal - 1900 Park Fair), and sharing some meals, desserts, etc... paring it down as much as I could I came up with a reasonable budget of $250 including tax & tips. The meal plan for 4 days costs $196 so I figure the plan will save us ~$50 and we won't have to worry about sharing or skimping. Needless to say we booked a package with dining!

    We did this with our family of 4 over Christmas and felt it was very worthwhile. We are not getting it in January because it's not available with land/sea, so we'll be able to compare better then.
  13. newchic99

    newchic99 Mouseketeer

    Jun 28, 2003
    DH and I saved about $350 on our 6 night stay. However, we ordered way more food than we normally would have paying as you go.
    While I enjoyed the fact that everything was paid for, I just don't think we will do the dining plan again.
  14. nicknamy1996

    nicknamy1996 Disney Junkie...

    Sep 17, 2001
    So if you saved $350 why not do it again? I'm guessing because of what I said earlier... take off all of the extra food that you normally don't need (like the desserts for everyone (and in my case the soda) and you didn't really save any money. But did you "break even" if so why not do it again... and just eat less? Unless you come in way under then its an easy choice. But if its close....

    That's the funny thing about the DP for average diners, it seems like it gets you close enough to that break even point.

    We ended up with 11 snack credits at the end of our trip so I used them on the wrapped mickey ear rice krispy treats and brought them home for friends and family. But we "wasted" a few desserts by just picking at them, I even turned them down a couple of times (usually ordering 2 and saying "no thanks" for the other two) I think at one meal we skipped them all together. If we were ever to do it again I would get those whenever possible and we were not in the mood for dessert.

    GOOFY4DONALD DH finished his plate at 50's Prime Time. They wer

    Aug 22, 2006
    I have a question for all of you DP gurus. Not one person in my family likes dessert right after the meal but we love late night treats. If you have no room for the dessert are there to go options for it or do you just lose it?
  16. kaybracon

    kaybracon Mouseketeer

    Sep 11, 2006
  17. kellyg403

    kellyg403 <font color=green>She changes friends like she cha

    Aug 20, 2005
    Our family consists of 8, all considered adults on the dining plan. We do love the dining plan for our family. But, then again, we would eat about $40.00 a day per person anyway. To me, the dining plan just gave us the opportunity to:

    1. Have the whole vacation planned and paid for before we left. No worrying about did we have enough money saved to take with us etc.

    2. Gave us the opportunity to try places that we normally probably would not have. I can only eat so many burgers, though my teens would disagree.

    3. And because we were on vacation, I didn't have to worry that someone was picking something off the menu they would eat all of, didn't like etc. I didn't have to worry about desert or convincing them to get a much cheaper treat like an ice cream in the park.

    Overall, one TS meal covered the cost of the daily dining plan. Like others have posted, it meant the CS and snack were free. I don't think at this point I would consider NOT using the dining plan unless it were just dh and I going. And even then, I probably would take alot of convincing since I like everything paid for before we get there.

    As for the dessert....We had them box it up several times to take back to the room for a late night/early morning snack. My teens ate cake alot for breakfast on vacation. Towards the end of the week though we did pass on a dessert a few times. The thing about the dining plan is that the amount of food sneaks up on you!

  18. nbodyhome

    nbodyhome DIS Veteran

    Nov 15, 2005
    IMHO, it isn't worth always getting a package - I'd rather do room only with an AP rate, and use my DDE card then get a dining package.

    If it's free, that is the only way I'd do it.

    I am not the person you were talking to - but I also don't like wasting food (or eating too much because it's on a plan). That said, it can be a good deal for many.
  19. Plantlady

    Plantlady <font color=darkorchid>I eat a lot of pringles whi

    Mar 6, 2006
    You can get your dessert to-go. My husband did it once. It was a pain to carry around the park for the rest of the night, but he did enjoy it in the room later that night.
  20. disneyvacalover

    disneyvacalover Mouseketeer

    Mar 20, 2003
    The dining plan really could cost you more than just the cost of the dining plan. We are annual passholders. We have made ressies for 2/14/07 for 7 nights at POR. We have 3 children, ages 6, 9, and 12. The dining plan will cost us roughly $140.00/day. The room portion of our package will cost around $135.00/day with the current package discount. We could get a room for $99.00/day with the AP rate. A difference of $36.00/day. SOOOOOOOOOOOOO, the dining plan will REALLY cost us $176.00/day. YES, we will get free hopping and water parks but to be honest in Feb water parks are iffy. And we have old water park days left on old passes. Yes, we would get hopping so there is some savings there, however we would normally get tickets through a ticket broker so again we are paying more for tickets also.
    We did decide to do the dining plan because it is so convenient and you really add to the Disney experience, but who knows we could very well be better off purchasing a DDE card and going with the annual pass room rate.
  21. nicknamy1996

    nicknamy1996 Disney Junkie...

    Sep 17, 2001
    Great point! [Dining isn't even an option for us this Feb. (did the AP thing) Just booked All Stars last night for $59/night! I love that! 7 nights on property for 4 people with tax... $464! (and of course the tickets are "free" for this trip) APs are good through Oct of next year. I'm going to have a hard time not justifying a trip (especially if they have AP rates again) just before our APs expire]

    So yes if you have to pay for the dining and lose a discount you'll want to factor that in.

    I need to start working on my budget to see if I'm going to buy the DDE card. We are doing Chef Mickeys so that will be a chunk of it right there. Am I correct that the DDE card is only good for TS meals?

    Another side note that I had posted when we got back was that the snack credits were a lot of fun. I was like SuperDad with that thing. At Fantasmic I bought nachos, cotton candy, a soda, while mom was riding ToT we had Mickey ear ice cream bars, etc... every time they asked (and often when then didn't) we were getting treats... and me being the budgeteer of the family (ok I'm a cheapskate) I would normally cringe at the thought of paying for all of those. SO for the next trip (without dining) I've already planned to have my own mini dining/snack plan. I'm going to load up a debit card with $50 (thinking about it I'll think I'll leave that much on my Disney Visa Reward Card) either way I'll label it our "snack card" and write it off before we head to WDW for the week. When I got back I figured (minus the 11 rice krispy treats we brought home) we spent less than $50 using up our snack credits.

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