Thinking of going from DDP to DDPx...I'd love some feedback

Little E

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 3, 2016
Hi Dis Friends!

I'm in the early stages of planning a 2020 spring break trip. My family hasn't been to WDW since 2017, so we are anxious to get back to our happy place!

This will be a special trip as this might be the last WDW family trip for a little bit. My oldest DS will be a senior in high school, and we think there is a good likelihood that the two DS's spring breaks might not align after 2020 with one in high school and one in college. Additionally, one or two sets of grandparents might join us. Exciting stuff!:love:

For all of our previous WDW trips, we have purchased the regular DDP because we like the "all inclusive" feel that it provides. I'm the planner and the budget manager, and I like that I have already paid for two meals each day before we get to WDW. I've actually never calculated to determine whether we break even, come out ahead, or come out behind on the DDP. I think I'm buying peace of mind more than anything, and I stress less when I can just use my magic band to pay for the meal, and cover TS tips with a Disney gift card.

I have DH and two teenage DSs, so I have four Disney adults that EAT. My boys don't care for character meal experiences, and they like yummy food. They are big meat eaters (think steaks, burgers, pork tenderloin, etc), and would laugh if I suggested sharing a meal with them. :teeth: They chow down on the snacks, and we have often blown through all of the snacks on the regular DDP halfway through our past WDW vacations. DH and I enjoy an adult beverage with our TS meals at night too. We are from the midwest and we fly to MCO. I typically always bring breakfast-y things (small boxes of cereal, oatmeal packets, Pop Tarts, etc) shoved in our suitcases, and I buy milk when we arrive at our resorts. Packing that way is sort of a pain, but we scarf some breakfast in the room before we head out each morning and then typically eat a QS lunch and a TS dinner on the DDP.

So, I'm actually wondering if the DDPx is more advantageous for us? I'm not exactly sure how to calculate things to determine if the dining plan that would give us three meals a day and two snacks a day would be a better bang for our buck?

If anyone has any advice for how to crunch these numbers, I'd be grateful. Additionally, if anyone has any anecdotal experiences of upgrading from the DDP to the DDPx, that would be awesome too. I'd rather not pay the extra $ for the upgraded dining plan, but I'm wondering if it might make more sense for us?

I always appreciate feedback from folks here. Thank you so much!
 

sharonabe

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 22, 2009
The majority of people here on the DIS who use the DxDDP, usually do a character breakfast or early lunch then a signature dinner at night. This keeps the amount of food down to a manageable size and also doesn't take up as much time eating as three meals per day would.

So, first, does that sound like it will work for your family? If so, I'd go look at some of the signature meals to see if they have something you want to eat. Remember, you get app, entree, dessert and drink at a la carte places.

If that doesn't sound like what you're thinking, then you need to decide what you're going to do with your three meals? Are you going to eat a TS breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Will you want some QS thrown in there? Do you like having that quick bite at the resort in the morning, so you can get to the parks?

Just brainstorming a bit with you to get things started.
 

kaytieeldr

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
Joined
Jun 11, 2005
If you are likely to stick with your in-room breakfast+QS lunch+TS dinner pattern, the Deluxe Plan won't be a good value. If you think your family can adapt to two of three meals "out" every day, yes, you should consider upgrading.

While your sons aren't into characters, buffets will should satisfy their hunger.
 
  • Shellbells

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 27, 2011
    My husband and I were there in May. My husband is a big eater and loves to get appetizers.
    We planned on at least 2 RD a day.
    We ended up eating one TS and one QS a day. We would share an app and never had room for dessert.
    It was just to much food. We're going back in December with our boys and got the regular food plan. And unless the 17 yr old uses them, I think we might end up with to many snack credits.
     

    Darklord77

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2014
    I think it's safe to say that Disney makes money hand over fist on the Deluxe Plan. With me it's more about time. You would have to do 3 TS each day to justify the cost. That's a lot of time out of the day just to eat.
     

    kaytieeldr

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2005
    Mmm..you could, but with restaurants open from 8 AM or earlier, and until 10 PM, it's not inconceivable to spread the meals out to pre-park, lunch, and after-closing.

    Or the more typical "one standard/one signature" meal daily.
     

    Little E

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2016
    Hhhhmmm...thank you all so much. You've given me a lot to think about.

    I would love to not have to pack breakfast-y food in our suitcases and I would love to not have to scarf an unsatisfying and not very filling breakfast in the room. I could see us eating one or two nice TS breakfasts during the week we are there. DH loved the Crystal Palace for breakfast the one time we did this. If we did the DDPx we'd probably do mostly QS breakfasts just to save time. My boys are all about the rides, and giving up that precious time in the am isn't part of our family's plan. We like to do TS meals for dinner, as we RD and go until after lunch, come back to the hotel to rest and swim, get showered up for dinner, and then go back to the parks until closing. I could see us doing maybe a late lunch TS meal once or twice with the DDPx. We definitely like TS meals at dinnertime, and we would do TS for every dinner while there.

    We always blow through snacks and have to pay OOP for snacks halfway through our trip each time. DH and I do an adult bevvy at dinner. We don't normally do apps or desserts, only because it's not part of the regular DDP. I don't like having to pay OOP for these things. We always sort of wistfully look at the apps and desserts on the menu, and I could definitely see us trying new things and being adventurous if they were part of our dining package.

    With the DDPx, to summarize we'd do:

    Mostly QS breakfasts with 1-2 TS breakfasts.
    Mostly QS lunches with perhaps 1-2 TS lunches.
    Max two TX meals per day.
    All TS dinners.
    All the snacks and probably then some. I wind up paying OOP for lots of snacks during our trips, normally.
    We'd probably enjoy apps and desserts, because we always pass on these with the regular DDP.

    So, I'm wondering if it's really cost effective to not do three TS meals per day on the DDPx? I know we wouldn't ever do three TS in one day...my family would freak out with all that time absorbed by TS dining! At max, we'd do two TS meals in a day, and probably only a few days of two TS meals per day during our week, with most days doing two QS and one TS. I really wish WDW offered a dining plan that had two QS meals and one TS meal with two snacks per person per day. That would be the perfect dining plan for us.

    Again, I'm grateful for any input from the Dis. :disrocks:
     
  • Malyficent

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 1, 2017
    For breakfast, have you considered ordering food from a grocery service or Amazon instead of packing it? We fly in too and I placed an Amazon order (well, I ended up placing another one for additional beer and wine mid-stay :drinking:). Worked out well for us to have breakfast while getting ready/waiting for transportation. Got some snacks items too to have in the room / carry in to the parks (great for a quick bite while waiting in lines).

    Dis trip planner dot com (run that together) has a good DDP calculator.
     

    sharonabe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 22, 2009
    Mostly QS breakfasts with 1-2 TS breakfasts.
    Mostly QS lunches with perhaps 1-2 TS lunches.
    Max two TX meals per day.
    All TS dinners.
    All the snacks and probably then some. I wind up paying OOP for lots of snacks during our trips, normally.
    We'd probably enjoy apps and desserts, because we always pass on these with the regular DDP.
    Where and when are you planning on eating the QS breakfast? If at your hotel, you're going to have to be up and ready to go early enough to get breakfast and still get to the parks. Resort QS can sometimes be VERY busy in the a.m.

    As for the apps and desserts, you DO get dessert with the regular DDP at TS, but not the apps. I surely hope that you haven't passed on dessert in the past and no CM told you otherwise.

    It sounds like you need to go ahead and plan where you want to eat. Don't think about ANY dining plan, just choose your TS restaurants and the meals you want to have there. Then you're going to have to do the math to see if this is really worth it.
    With the DxDDP, each meal has a rough value of about $35. If you can spend more than that at the few TS meals you want to do, then it MIGHT offset the QS meals. HOWEVER, QS breakfast is the WORST value for any dining plan. Even with a DxDDP, you only get the entree and drink at breakfast. It's very difficult to "spend" more than $15 at breakfast, so you'd be "losing" $20 every time one of you uses a DxDDP credit for QS breakfast.
     

    Spudsie

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 1, 2019
    Mr. Spuds and I did the Deluxe Dining plan on our last trip. It was awesome for us because we didn't mind spending 2 hours at lunch and 2 hours at dinner.

    But it sounds like your family might not enjoy that much time in a restaurant. Keep in mind.....for every table service meal you are entitled to three courses of food....appetizer, entree, and dessert. Somehow adding in that third course really seems to make the meal take twice as long. (I'm exaggerating slightly.)

    So just keep in mind, with the deluxe plan you will be spending longer at each TS meal.

    Also, if you want to feel that the Deluxe plan is worth it financially.....doing so many QS meals might mess that up a little. I believe the general rule of thumb is that one TS credit "costs" roughly $41. So if you have a QS meal that would have cost only $25 OOP, you may feel like you are losing money. But you probably already realized that and I'm just rambling on for no reason. :rolleyes1 Sorry about that. LOL

    You have LOTS of time to make this decision. I keep making, remaking, changing, making again, and remaking the decision about adding a dining plan for my upcoming trip. Mr. Spuds is getting tired of hearing all of my "I've finally decided!" conversations. Poor guy!
     
  • mom to minnie&mickey

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 12, 2010
    It sounds like you would be losing money on the DxDDP if used according to your plan and I would not want to pay Disney more money than I have to. In your situation, since you are willing to pay for the DxDDP anyways I would purchase the regular DDP and put the price difference on a disney gift card (or bring the cash). Just purchase breakfast since it is cheaper than lunch, apps and any extra snacks you may want. Consider it already paid for but the money is still in your pocket not Disney's.
     

    WIll C

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 19, 2018
    We did the Dx plan on our first trip. It was WAY too much food for just 2 adults. It was hard to do so many TS meals and plan the day around them. We ended up cancelling a lot, moving down to a CS and basically wasted money with it. Our last trip we did the normal DDP and it was much more our style and even with that ended up converting a bunch for snack credits. Granted, my wife can't eat a lot but it the DDP was still worthwhile for us to have the costs already paid for. We just never really did a lot of breakfast other than a couple times at Cape May. Too hard to get out early in the morning.

    I would not do the Dx plan unless you know you can commit to a lot of sit down eating time. While you can select a few signature dining to take up 2 credits, you need to make sure they'd be worth it, cost-wise.
     

    Little E

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2016
    This is why I love the Disboards so much! Thanks so much for your feedback; it really helps. I know my family would never tolerate a ton of TS meals, due to the time they take away from the attractions. I'll just work to set aside enough $ on Disney gift cards to cover our breakfasts and snacks, and get the regular DDP.

    You folks are the best! Thank you so much for giving me the straight scoop!
     

    WIll C

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 19, 2018
    Don't forget to find a deal on the GCs as well. Target Red card 5% off if you have one. We used that for each trip.
     

    Little E

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2016
    @WIll C thanks for the reminder! I always purchase Disney gift cards at either Sam's Club or at Target for a discount. We charge snacks and tips on our magic bands back to the room, and then I pay down the balance each night at the front desk with our Disney gift cards. However, I've never attempted to pay for an entire trip using gift cards. Have you done this? My worry is if we have to cancel our trip for some reason, it goes back on the gift cards, and my $$ is tied up in Disney gift cards. Am I way off base here?
     

    chinarider

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 1, 2006
    Also if you have the have the Chase Disney Rewards card... there is a discount at certain restaurants ( when you use the card to pay)-
    This was the list that I just pulled up ( in case any of these are on your radar)
    10% Off Select Dining Locations
    Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge & Villas
    Boma – Flavors of Africa
    Jiko – The Cooking Place (see restrictions)
    Sanaa

    Disney’s BoardWalk Inn & Villas
    ESPN Sports Club
    Flying Fish (see restrictions)

    Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
    Sebastian’s Bistro

    Disney’s Contemporary Resort
    The Wave…of American Flavors

    Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
    Trail’s End Restaurant

    Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
    Cítricos (see restrictions)
    Grand Floridian Cafe
    Narcoossee’s

    Disney’s Old Key West Resort
    Olivia’s Cafe

    Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
    Kona Cafe

    Disney’s Port Orleans Resort
    Boatwrights Dining Hall

    Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
    The Turf Club Bar and Grill

    Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
    Whispering Canyon Cafe

    Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
    Ale & Compass Restaurant
    Cape May Cafe

    Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park
    Tiffins

    Disney’s Hollywood Studios®
    The Hollywood Brown Derby (see restrictions)
    Hollywood & Vine (see restrictions)

    Epcot®
    Biergarten Restaurant (see restrictions)
    Coral Reef Restaurant (lunch only)
    Le Cellier Steakhouse (lunch only)
    Rose & Crown Dining Room (lunch only)

    Magic Kingdom® Park
    Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen

    ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
    ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill
     

    chinarider

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 1, 2006
    Here's some additional info that was listed ( it does include some black out dates but only listed thru 2019)
    Dining Savings at Disney Parks & Resorts
    Offer and offer elements including, but not limited to, participating locations and eligible food and beverages, are subject to availability and additional restrictions and exclusions, and may change or be canceled without notice. Offer excludes alcoholic beverages, select new food and beverage offerings, merchandise, tobacco, room service, holiday buffets, tax and gratuity. Must use your valid Disney Visa Card and/or Disney Rewards Redemption Card at time of purchase. Discount valid at the following restaurant locations: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge & Villas: Boma – Flavors of Africa, Jiko – The Cooking Place (see restrictions), and Sanaa; Disney’s BoardWalk Inn & Villas: ESPN Sports Club and Flying Fish (see restrictions); Disney’s Contemporary Resort: The Wave…of American Flavors; Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground: Trail’s End Restaurant; Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa: Citricos (see restrictions), Grand Floridian Cafe, and Narcoossee’s; Disney’s Old Key West Resort: Olivia’s Cafe; Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort: Kona Cafe; Disney’s Port Orleans Resort: Boatwrights Dining Hall; Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa: The Turf Club Bar and Grill; Disney’s Wilderness Lodge: Artist Point (see restrictions) and Whispering Canyon Cafe; Disney’s Yacht Club Resort: Ale & Compass Restaurant and Cape May Cafe; Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park: Tiffins; Disney’s Hollywood Studios®: The Hollywood Brown Derby (see restrictions) and Hollywood & Vine (see restrictions); Epcot®: Biergarten Restaurant (see restrictions), Coral Reef Restaurant (lunch only), Le Cellier Steakhouse (lunch only), and Rose & Crown Dining Room (lunch only); Magic Kingdom® Park: Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen; and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex: ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill. For locations where it is noted to see restrictions, the discount does not apply to the following dates: 11/22/18, 12/24/18, 12/25/18, 12/31/18, 1/1/19, 2/14/19, 4/21/19, 5/12/19, and 7/4/19. Subject to restaurant operating hours and closures. Not valid in combination with other offers, discounts or promotions. Separate admission may be required. Discount is for personal use only and may not be transferred or resold.
     

    Nancyg56

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2005
    I love the DxDDP and on occasion book it for my family. In your case I doubt that it would make sense to do so. We like it when we knwo we are going to treat ourselves to a lot of TS restaurants, and have booked them before I choose any plan. In your case, adding in a few more meals is not going to change that you used all your snacks midway through the trip unless the reason is that your family is just hungry and should have had a mire substancial meal at breakfast.

    Personally, we like a few PPO meals in the parks and with the addition of breakfast at the Plaza, our choices are expanded. If your family wanted an early TS breakfast in the MK and in Epcot, you could add to teh value of yoru plan, but if you are just eating in the room mostly, or even CS breakfast, your DxDDP value crashes.

    If you booked an early TS lunch in the parks, and then a later signature dinner you may find the plan works for you. The addition of appetizers fills you up and eases that whole snack problem, however if youi need to change how your family prefers to dine and tour, this plan has zero value.

    I know this is the worst answer, but I think you need to do some math. I always book my restaurants becuase I knwo where we want to eat. I also knwo my family preferences, and can guess what they will order. You know this as well, so plan where your family will want to eat, and add it all in. If you go through 4 snacks a day include that amount in the sheet, If they want appetizers include them, if not, do not. Add in desserts if you normally buy them, along with alcoho and specialty beverages. Then add it up, with and without tax. DDP inclusions are already taxed.

    This is your baseline and you can make a fair determination which plan, if any, id the best one for your family. Do NOT book the DxDDP if you will not use it, or if it will force your family to. Dedicate more time to dining than you want to commit to.

    WE love that plan, and if my DH joins us I consider it. He will stage a mutiny if he is hungry at breakfast, and almost always wants an appetizer, but even with him, we find that it is often less expensive to mirror how we dine out at home and just order two appetizers if any at all, for the table, and share them, and to pay OOP for a few extra meals.
     


    Connect

    Disney News and Updates

    Get Daily Email Updates

    Disney World Restaurant Menus Disney World Rehabs and Closings

    MINI DINING REVIEWS


    THEME PARK MAPS


    DIS PODCASTS

    Top