should i get the DDP?

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Plan' started by reducereuserecycle, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. reducereuserecycle

    reducereuserecycle Mouseketeer

    Aug 19, 2009
    if it is not free in 2010, i don't know whether or not to get it. i was planning to get the regular plan but the only TS we really want to eat at are:

    Chef Mickey
    Garden Grill

    the other credits i was just going to combine for room service

    we like the freedom of not having tons of ADRs so we can be more spontaneous

    i know it is very hard to judge if you don't know exactly what we like so here is more info

    we don't need to have drinks and desserts at every meal...seems like too much to me.

    in 2005, dh and i split alot of CS meals.

    i am a big eater but dh isn't so if we were going to pay for a counter service we would probably either split an entree and maybe buy 2 drinks or each get an entree and a drink...but probably not desserts. we'd have sweet snacks during the day maybe.

    i could bring bottled water or other drinks with us as to avoid buying drinks at CS

    ok, i am rambling...i just am starting to think the DP is not worth it for us

    any opinions? this is partly about the cost and partly about the fact that i don't want a bunch of ADRs.
  2. bangzoom6877

    bangzoom6877 DIS Veteran

    Nov 25, 2007
    It sounds like you don't want to be tied to too many ADRs and you are not really dessert people for every meal, so maybe the DDP is not for you. I would say go for the QSDP but that seems like it would be too much for you too. You could bring water into the parks to drink, you could share a large beverage at CS meals, and there are many CS meals that are large enough to share.

    However, if it is free and you do not get a different type of discount instead (like a really good pin code for a room), then go for it. If you would have been paying rack rate for a room anyway and buying your park tickets directly through Disney, then the free dining plan would be worth it if it is offered at the time you go.
  3. Faldred

    Faldred DIS Veteran

    Dec 18, 2008
    Here's my general advice on the subject, take it for what it's worth and ignore any parts that don't apply to you:

    Is the DDP (or QSDP or DxDP) right for me? This is a very subjective question, and as such requires a very subjective answer, though backed up with a bit of fact and analysis. Everyone is different, with different objectives and priorities, and as such, it is doubtful that any given two groups of people, even if going to the same places at the same times, will agree on the relative benefits (or lack thereof) of any particular dining plan.

    That said, there are some basic rules of thumb to consider. Table service meals (except room service and pizza delivery) pretty much require making reservations; it is very difficult to secure table service seating "on the fly". As such, some people may not wish to be tied to a schedule -- these people will likely not enjoy the DDP or DxDP, though the QSDP may be an option for them. In a similar vein, people who do not want to feel "committed" to using a set number of credits within a certain time window may find that any of the plans are too burdensome for them.

    As a personal opinion, if you qualify for the purchase of a Tables In Wonderland (TIW) card, it's probably a better option. The savings will probably be as good (within some margin of error) as any of the dining plans and there is more flexibility and less commitment involved, although you will need to use the TIW card enough to justify its cost. There are also some dining plan locations that don't take TIW (and vice-versa).

    Otherwise, the general advice I try to give is: if one of the plans matches (at least closely) the way you want to eat while on vacation, then it's probably a good idea. If you're changing your dining habits to match the plan, then it very well might not be a good "deal", regardless of any apparent (or real) savings. If you tend to want to order off the "low end" of the menu and would rarely want desserts, you might not see any savings on the dining plans at all!

    The "intangibles" of having a dining plan is knowing that everything (within reason, and generally excepting tips) is already covered -- it makes for a more "all inclusive" experience and allows you to be a bit more ambitious in ordering items that you might not take a risk on if you're paying for each item out of pocket. The flip side is that it could also lead to some stress in trying to ensure that you "get everything you're entitled to" and attempting to "maximize" the plan, rather than simply dining the way you want to at that moment.

    So, back to the first principle: everyone is different, and will accordingly see a subjective value (or lack thereof) in the dining plans differently.​
  4. Missytara

    Missytara I'm all ears!

    Apr 3, 2009
    I have to say I have never done it before; I go at a time when it is less than crowded and I am by myself, so I sit at the bar and never have a problem gettting a seat w/o an ADR. However, I tend to get stuck in one place, just like home and forget how many wonderful places there are to eat. And I have never done a character meal. Can you believe it?

    This year I am taking two wonderful women who work at a local watering hole where I frequent. It is my way of thanking them for making my dinnertimes always special.

    They wanted to go knowing they had paid ahead, so we opted for the dining plan and they let me make all the ressies. All they asked was for two character meals, Prime Time, Raglan Road and something unique.

    Well, I did it! And I am so ecstatic over it - we are even eating at the GF, which I had never even thought of - the system suggested it when CP at MK was full.

    I think even if I go alone, I will be doing it again!
  5. reducereuserecycle

    reducereuserecycle Mouseketeer

    Aug 19, 2009
    good point....

    i am still undecided because of course i want to wait and see what deals are available in Jan...but i like all the input so that i can try and make the best decision

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