Justification for Spending $1,000 + dollars

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Plan' started by Rangerusa1111, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. Rangerusa1111

    Rangerusa1111 RangerUSA1111

    Jul 14, 2008
    Anyone else come to this conclusion: 3 Adults and 1 Young Child

    After consdiering the DDP's, I just can't justify spending over a thousand dollars for seven TS Dinners and Seven QS lunches. I am not cheap and have no problems spending money. We have no interest in having a dessert at every meal. Maybe one every other day.
  2. Nadjalu

    Nadjalu DIS Veteran

    Jul 8, 2009
    You have to really do the math on the meals before you will truly know if it is too much money or not.

    If you are staying onsite, not leaving the property and relying solely on eating at the resorts and parks...it isn't cheap.

    Basically you have to go thru the restaurants you are wanting to eat at, pick out something (or look at prices and do an average) for everyone. Do this for every meal, for every day of your vacation. Total it (add tax) and see if you come out ahead paying OOP.

    When DH and I go we eat as we normally would (with maybe 1 extra snack a day each) and total it up at the end of every day.
    We easily hit $160 for the 2 of us. But we have gone with the DDP both times and came out ahead. ~$20-40 ahead per day!! That is a good savings, so for us the DDP is worth it.
    But as I said, you really have to work the numbers for your party in order to know if it is worth it or not.
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  4. Mrs D

    Mrs D I realize most people don't hear editing.

    Mar 8, 2008
    While some people don't eat in a way to get value from the dining plan I do find value in it. Using your 3 adults and 1 child a day at Epcot would look like this for my family:

    Lunch at Sunshine Seasons - $46 (I also love Tangierine Cafe which would come to $56) included 2 meals @ 9.99, a kids meal and drinks. No desserts

    Dinner at Chef de France - $144. Three entrees, drinks and desserts - kids meal & dessert (dinner at Akershus would be $177).

    Your daily cost for the regular dining plan is $157 even for peak times. Dinner and a single CS meal and you've broken even. I haven't factored in desserts for lunch or the snack credits.

    If you like a nice dinner out each night, don't want to split meals, take a bit of time to plan the TS meals that's when DDP becomes a good value. And to many there is also value in having those restaurant meals paid for and not counting pennies while on vacation (because we all know what the sticker shock could be like).

    Is it a value for every person, every time? No. Can it a value? YES! :thumbsup2
  5. vicki_c

    vicki_c DIS Veteran

    Dec 22, 2007
    On one of our trips in the past year or so, I took all my reservations that were already made, priced them out with my best guesses at what we would order, etc., and compared that to the price OOP w/our 20% Tables in Wonderland discount.

    The DDP would have saved us about $100 - we decided not to do it anyway, but same as you, 3A (one who was 10) and 1 C - my OOP estimate w/a discount was around $1100.

    And that wasn't for 7 TS meals and 7 QS lunches - we weren't even there 7 nights that trip. I think it was 5 nights but I did include $$ for eating breakfast as well as lunch and dinner.

    So all that is just to say - you might spend $1000 anyway.
  6. catne

    catne DIS Veteran

    Mar 1, 2008
    Why would you need to justify spending your own money? Justify to whom? Are you getting an allowance and someone is checking up on your budget and making judgements about how you choose to spend their money?

    I always figure my money, spend it the way I want and I don't have to justify any of it to anyone.

    We've learned to enjoy the fruits of our labor:)
  7. Firefly09

    Firefly09 going through Disney withdrawals

    Jun 9, 2010
    I think OP is simply justifying the expense to themselves. Laying out $1000 before the trip just for meals seems like a lot of money, but I'm sure after OP sits down and calculates just how much it would cost to eat onsite for 7 days it won't seem as outrageous.
  8. CathieArms

    CathieArms DIS Veteran

    Apr 25, 2008
    I'm sure your question is rhetorical, but I'm sure the OP meant "justify" to herself. If I can't justify something to myself, then I just can't do it in good conscience.
  9. jmhazlett

    jmhazlett Mouseketeer

    Apr 1, 2004
    Once you look up the prices on the menu's and do the math you will see it works out. We had four adults and two kids over seven days and I figure we easily saved over $300. Its also nice knowing your meals are already paid for.
  10. stayhomemom77

    stayhomemom77 Dieting my way to Disney!!

    Dec 4, 2009
    Our first time doing the DDP was this past April. We had a split stay so we did 2 nights on the DxDDP and six nights on the regular DDP. We paid for it and thought it was a good value, but we had LOTS of leftovers in the fridge back in the room the entire 8 nights. We ended up throwing a fair amount of food away. I'm glad I tried the plans and DH was on :cloud9:

    We leave January 1st for our next trip and we're getting the dining plan for free on our trip. Actually, we got the QSDP free and decided to pay to upgrade to the regular DDP. Upgrading wasn't a lot of money, only $22 a day and since DH is a foodie, we decided to go for it. I wanted to try out the QSDP to see if we liked it any better (heck, we've done the other two plans) but DH's insistence that this was a better value won me over.

    I'll never pay for the regular DDP again. While a TS meal every day on vacation sounds nice...the reality is that I get burned out on all that food pretty fast. The portions are at least double what I normally eat so most of the time I brought food back to the hotel in a take out container.

    I've decided that all future trips will have us paying OOP, eating out for dinner every other day, getting apps instead of dessert (I can't do that much dessert :scared1:) and saving the leftovers for a meal the following day. My DD7 and I can easily share a CS meal (in fact, I prefer it that way...less waste on my part) so I know we WILL save money this way but more importantly I'll be happy with the freedom of choice that OOP brings.

    I think you are perfectly right to both question and decide against going with the dining plan if it doesn't work for you. :thumbsup2
  11. elainesj

    elainesj Mouseketeer

    Sep 17, 2010
    like the others said, you'll have to decide based on what you would normally spend OOP.

    we can manage eating cheap, sharing meals, etc but even then for our family of 4 with 2 adults, 2 kids....it costs us about $50 a day to eat on a fairly tight budget. For a more relaxed (budget-wise) trip, I was looking at about $100 a day. DDP worked for us (well...free dining helped out a whole lot!)

  12. MSLRAC

    MSLRAC DIS Veteran

    Dec 9, 2008
    You really have to do the math and see if it works out for your family. We spent $1300 on the DxDP but it saved us well over that when I did the math. We knew going in that we wanted to do 3 TS meals per day, numerous 2 credit dinners and that we would eat the majority of the food at each meal (appetizers, entrees and desserts). So the DxDP is really a no brainer for our family but the same can not be said of the DDP. That one ends up costing is money in the long run.
  13. nrpofp

    nrpofp DIS Veteran

    Nov 29, 2010
    I completely understand what the op means by justify. I just got off the phone booking 12 day trip with dxdp. 2400 dollars upfront for food seems like a lot, but we have traveled enough and been to enough theme parks to know that we would probalbly spend that much anyway. Were not huge eaters. We just don't like fast food and well most likely eat at the signatures. Its just hard wrapping your mind around spending that much up front. Once I'm on vacation I don't care what anything cost, but I do stress out about in the planning stages.
  14. 3Minnies1Mickey

    3Minnies1Mickey <font color=magenta>Just wanted to add, this is no

    Apr 8, 2009
    With 2 Adults and 3 kids our average TS bill will be about $100 with tax (less for some like the Plaza, more for others and this doesn't include desserts), for CS $45 (also didn't include desserts). Considering 2-3 kids meals is almost equal to 1 adult meal, I think $1000 for a week for 3 adults and 1 child is quite reasonable for a theme park. Now if you aren't doing a TS everyday, or steering clear of buffets then maybe you'll come out less. But that just means the DDP doesn't fit your eating style.
  15. GovieMom

    GovieMom DIS Veteran

    Sep 29, 2007
    The DDP was more justifiable when it included appetizers and gratuity. Now, not so much.
  16. chocovrdmicears

    chocovrdmicears DIS Veteran

    Mar 1, 2007
    I totally agree with this. :thumbsup2
    It sounds like a crazy amount upfront..but if you sit down and add up what it will cost you to eat paying OOP..you will probably be shocked to find out it really isn't that far off. Now can you eat for a lot less than that? Absolutely! It really comes down to your eating habits. But if you are all going to eat 1 QS meal, 1TS and have 1 snack a day...you are probably closer than you think.
  17. sophie832

    sophie832 Former Premier AP-holder

    Jul 22, 2010
    We did the DDP a few weeks ago, which was about $800 for 10 days. Now we're going deluxe in January, totaling about $1100 for 7 days. We absolutely loved using DDP on our last trip because our dining was paid for (except gratuities), and we just ate what we wanted. Would we normally eat desserts with every meal? No, but we're on vacation! We're treating ourselves.

    This time around, we'll be eating appetizers and desserts with every meal. Plus, we're dining at 7 signature restaurants. Pricing out all of what the DxDP gives you vs. OOP, we will come out ahead. Would we normally eat all of that? Again, no. To us, the justification is the experience of eating a lot of great food and snacks on our trip. We are foodies, so dining is a big part of any vacation we take.

    If we didn't care much about food, I would probably forgo DDP all together or just do the QS plan. You have to decide what your priorities are. In the end, DDP probably isn't financially a better choice than TIW or just OOP, but for us it made our trip a lot more relaxing and delicious!
  18. Sandisw

    Sandisw Moderator Moderator

    Nov 15, 2008
    As many have said, what you will spend on food vs. the cost of the DDP really depends on what you want to eat and how much time you want to spend trying to maximize the value.

    We have done the plans several times and for the most part, I like them for the convenience more than I do for the "savings". It is just so nice to know what we have credited to us and not have to worry about how much it is costing. While we did pay before we went, it was just different than plunking down that CC every time.

    Having said all that, we decided last summer that it really is too much food for me and I can get away with eating 1 CS meal a day with a few snacks like fruit and muffins.

    This summer, we are going to just put the money that the DDP would have cost on a Disney Gift card and take that with us. When we get to the world, we will then eat the way we want. If someone wants to get dessert with every meal, like on the DDP, they can--but, if they want to save it for later, they can do that too since there were some things we always got that were not part of the plan and had to pay OOP for them anyway.

    Worst case it costs a bit more than the DDP but at least we will eat the way want and not the way the plan forced us to the past few trips.
  19. apulk

    apulk Mouseketeer

    Jul 24, 2003
    I'm on the exact same fence...only with more $$$ at stake. We are a family of 6 with all being adults for Dining plan (youngest is 12). That's a ton of money to pay up-front...which is why I haven't done it yet. We leave Jan 1st so I really only have another day or so to think about it.

    We have all of our ADRs made and we do like to have a sit down meal every night so we would probably do that anyway if paying OOP. Really still on the fence though....paying nearly $2000 more for food is a sobering thought.

    I'm not really sure it will save us money...just thinking that we won't spend any less OOP so just sucking it up and prepaying may lead to more stress when I give them my debit card at booking vs. pulling it out every meal.
  20. nrpofp

    nrpofp DIS Veteran

    Nov 29, 2010
    I'm spending $2400 for 12 days on deluxe dining for 4 people. I have never prepaid for food on a vacation so its kind of strange. I decided to live it up since I don't know if we will be back more than maybe once again. We live 2 hours from disneyland so its hard to justify flying all the way to florida on a regular basis, but will see. I am finding it less stressful knowing that all my food is paid for. I have been to disneyland and other southern california theme parks enough to know how ridiculous the prices are. We just returned from universal studios in Hollywood and the prices at the counter service places were beyond belief, but thats california everything is overpriced. Goodluck with your descision.
  21. ConniegB

    ConniegB Mouseketeer

    Sep 2, 2009
    :banana: I think you'll be pleased, knowing that all the hard decisions have been made already, and you won't have the hassle of where and what to eat, and standing in the long lines for counter service, you'll be able to enjoy sitdown meals. :dance3:

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