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Old 02-22-2013, 06:42 PM   #1
fairy8i8
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Are my eyes just bigger than my stomach?

So I went through menus tonight and picked things that I thought my husband and I would like to eat, as well as adding a kids meal here and there for our son, but sometimes just expecting him to eat off of our plates (DS is 3, will be 4 on the trip), and the total came within just a few dollars of the Deluxe Dining Plan. I didn't include snacks, and even included 5 counter service restaurants with us splitting one of the counter service meals.

I'm thinking the Deluxe Dining Plan might be worth it for us, but to all you veterans, are my eyes just bigger than my stomach?

I went back and figured out dining, still including the buffets, but then only figuring a single entree for just my husband and me and not including any children's meals beyond the buffets, and the total came out to $1067.65 without tax (except at buffets where it is included).

The Deluxe Dining Plan is $1587.46, which is around what I figured including more children's meals, and a bunch of appetizers and desserts without snacks.

Give your opinion- should I just stick to paying OOP, or do you think springing for the Deluxe Dining Plan is a good value?

To give you an idea, here is the list of places I was thinking of eating:

B- Landscapes Cafe
L- Landscapes Cafe
D- Jiko

B- Chef Mickey's
L- Biergarten
D- Teppan Edo

B- CRT
L- Kona Cafe
D- BOG

B- Crystal Palace
L- BOG
D- Citricos

B- Landscapes Cafe
L- Brown Derby
D- Kouzzina

B- Tusker House
L- Flame Tree (split 1 meal)
D- Boma

Last edited by fairy8i8; 02-22-2013 at 06:44 PM. Reason: wrong number
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:50 PM   #2
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I think it looks like you will be spending a lot of time traveling to resturants and eating. While i think it looks like an amazing trip, you may find your actual park time will be limited by your dining reservations. Also, three ts meals in one day is a lot of food.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:34 PM   #3
sharonabe
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Agree with PP...that's a lot of food. Two buffets in one day would be more than I could handle. However, if you're just going for the experience and not planning on stuffing yourselves at both meals, then it might be worth it.

It also looks like you have one meal too many for a 7-night stay. I count 22 credits.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:59 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by sharonabe View Post
It also looks like you have one meal too many for a 7-night stay. I count 22 credits.
Yep, I do have too many credits, but realistically, if I got the Deluxe Dining Plan, I would change my dining plans around so that I ate at all sit down places instead of counter service and maybe add another character meal. I might change up the restaurants, too.

I was just surprised that our typical dining style costs about as much as the Deluxe Dining Plan. DH and I LOVE food and often plan our vacations around the places we will eat. I guess the question is do I really want all those appetizers and desserts. I also didn't include drinks. We usually get water but will get smoothies if they are available. When we went on a cruise, we got appetizers (multiple per person), entrees, and then dessert every night as well as full buffet breakfasts and lunches. Vacations are splurges, and my husband can loose all 10 pounds of vacation weight in 2 weeks after we get home. It takes me a couple of months...

As for buffets- I don't stuff myself. OK, maybe with bacon, but I am mostly going for the character interaction/viewing without a long line. It will be DS's first trip to Disney, and I don't know how he will respond. He loves Santa but wouldn't go near him on his own, and when placed on his lap, he would only talk and look at us. I think he would love to see the characters and have us interact with them, but just observe, so I don't want to stand in long lines for characters, though I might have to for Buzz and Woody. Also note, CRT is for my fulfillment because I have never been there... not for the boys!
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:11 PM   #5
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I think it's way too much food. We did 3 meals per day on our last trip and we constantly felt full. It was just too much. We used the DDP and supplemented OOP b/c there were a bunch of restaurants I wanted to try. Next time around, we're planning to do all TS on the DxDP - mainly character buffets for breakfasts and some 2-credit dinners with snacks in between if we get hungry and maybe a late night snack. I ran the numbers and found that the DxDP was still a value for us even though we won't actually use every single credit. If we wind up driving, we'll grab a couple of sandwiches for the ride home and put some Mickey waffles in the cooler to take home and freeze to use up the remaining credits, but even without that, it will seem to work for us. BUT I should clarify that we go in low season so I am banking on either another S/P/D deal or free dining and just paying for the upgrade. Otherwise, we definitely wouldn't do any DP.
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Old 02-23-2013, 06:55 AM   #6
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Personally I also think its way too much food! You also have to realise the time you will be spending eating and getting to and from restaurants!

We really enjoy good food and go out to eat a lot at home,
When we are at Disney my favourite part of the planning and then the trip is trying all the different places to eat, we always do 2 or 3 wks " usually 3" and so I don't have to try and stuff as many restaurants into a 7 day trip lol

We did a few trips when the boys was younger where we did 1 TS meal a day and 1qs but this last trip our boys was 7,7,10 and so we tried to fit in a buffet and a TS meal plus a QS I can tell you it just was not possible to eat that much!

We had to cancel a few ADRs due to us not being hungry!!
The boys was sick of spending so much time in restaurants and yet like I said we are used to eating out a lot! And they really enjoy eating out but it was too much, so you might want to consider that with a 4 yr old.

The normal DDP is the only one we will get in future as we just don't need all that food, so we will alternate between doing a buffet one day and a nice TS the next not forgetting my beloved signatures too ( we up grade our twins to the adult plan they then share at most meals and we get spare credits to use at signatures ) win win
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:24 AM   #7
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This is a tough question b/c it's a very subjective matter.

You've got people who'd never dream of this much dining b/c it would take away too much park time in their opinions. You've got other people who would do 3 TS meals a day b/c they feel this is just going to enhance their trip and that dining is just as interesting and exciting as attractions. You've got people who say it's too much food, often because they're looking at it from a practical place (i.e. how much are you really going to eat?), and then you've got others who look at the food as an attraction and know even if they don't finish it- they want to try this-that- the other thing there- and there- and so on.

Personally, I prefer doing a 1 credit pre-park opening breakfast and then a 2-credit signature meal to use my 3 credits per day...there have been days where we have done 3 TS meals. In fact, it's often our Epcot days where this happens. Still, the plethora of snack credits makes it pretty easy to to make your way through the day w/o needing a true lunch.

I've also utilized the DxDP only on trips where I have a TON of must do TS dining. If you use every one of those credits towards TS meals, you will definitely come out ahead. However, unless we were in a bind, I couldn't see using any of those credits on a counter/quick service meal. If you look at the cost per credit when working out the cost of the plan, it really only seems like you get any value from doing the deluxe plan. In fact, while we had a lot TS on our last trip- more than regular DDP- the CS we had planned made it pointless to spend the extra $ upgrading to DxDP...i.e. paying OOP for those extra meals made more monetary sense.
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:44 AM   #8
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If you really don't care as much for the parks as eating I would change to deluxe. If you want to spend any time in the parks without feeling like you are going from meal to meal with a few attractions in between I would forego the DxDDP.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:14 PM   #9
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If this is how you normally eat then I would do it. I am seriously considering it. The basic DDP does not cover all meals for my family. We are a three meal a day family. And that includes on vacation. We eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I do not believe in eating everything on my plate and I only order dessert if I have room in my belly and like what is on the menu. We have never come in under what we paid for the plan.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:56 PM   #10
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You know what's best for your family and the type vacation you are looking to create. I'm doing the deluxe dining plan this time because it's a special trip for my oldest DGD who graduated HS this year and turned 18. We're taking her boyfriend along too who is an aspiring chef. We're all about the restaurants this time. Last trip, it was just myself and my then 8yo DGD and it was more about the parks so we did regular DP and actually could've done the QSDP....well, I thought it was all about the parks but for her it was all about the POOL AT AKL!!!!! lmao

We're doing a TS lunch most days when we'd normally be taking a break anyway, and a breakfast buffet one day when we're sleeping in a bit from the MNSSHP. We're having 9 1 credit TS meals and three signatures. Also we are easily stretching the 5 days on dining plan to cover 6 days since it's good until midnight on check out day. I've crunched the numbers 3 or 4 times thinking I might be able to save, but no. The snack credits alone will be great for the F&W and for snacks and things for the long drive home.
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fairy8i8 View Post
Yep, I do have too many credits, but realistically, if I got the Deluxe Dining Plan, I would change my dining plans around so that I ate at all sit down places instead of counter service and maybe add another character meal. I might change up the restaurants, too.

I was just surprised that our typical dining style costs about as much as the Deluxe Dining Plan. DH and I LOVE food and often plan our vacations around the places we will eat. I guess the question is do I really want all those appetizers and desserts. I also didn't include drinks. We usually get water but will get smoothies if they are available. When we went on a cruise, we got appetizers (multiple per person), entrees, and then dessert every night as well as full buffet breakfasts and lunches. Vacations are splurges, and my husband can loose all 10 pounds of vacation weight in 2 weeks after we get home. It takes me a couple of months...

As for buffets- I don't stuff myself. OK, maybe with bacon, but I am mostly going for the character interaction/viewing without a long line. It will be DS's first trip to Disney, and I don't know how he will respond. He loves Santa but wouldn't go near him on his own, and when placed on his lap, he would only talk and look at us. I think he would love to see the characters and have us interact with them, but just observe, so I don't want to stand in long lines for characters, though I might have to for Buzz and Woody. Also note, CRT is for my fulfillment because I have never been there... not for the boys!
If this is your normal eating style, 3 meals a day, then go deluxe.
We love the DxDP!
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:44 PM   #12
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I may have read the original post wrong...but didn't you say paying out of pocket would be around $1,000 but going Deluxe would cost around $1,500. That's not almost the same amount of money that is $500 more dollars going deluxe. Unless I misunderstood you.

I thought about doing deluxe for our next (adults only) trip but when I price out the way we would eat it always come out way cheaper by just paying OOP. And that is with a TS breakfast a CS lunch and a TS dinner. But we would never order dessert unless it was on the DDP and free.

We have only ever used the dining plans when we got free dining. If you get free dining and just pay to upgrade to the deluxe you can get your money's worth because you are only paying around $50 a day per person. But to pay $100 a day per person for the DlxDp is not a money saver in most cases unless you use all 3 meals for TS meals. And even then you may still come out way ahead by paying oop.

For us paying OOP for our meals will cost us about $100 a day total for BOTH of us, as opposed to $100 per day PER PERSON for the deluxe dining plan. That is too much of a difference. We are definitely going OOP.

But we are three meal a day ppl at home and on vacation. My husband does not skip meals. Period. I could skip lunch and just have a snack but he eats all 3 meals regardless of what's going on.

I also think if we had DlxDp a lot of food would get wasted because we usually never order appetizers at dinner. Maybe once a year we may order one appetizer for the both of us but not usually. So we would either be getting it and not really wanting it or not even getting it at all and then you really lose value from the plan by skipping some of the elements of it.

There has never been a time in my entire life that I would be able to eat an appetizer, entree and dessert. Maybe a few bites of each but not all 3.

Even when we had just the DDP we all got dessert because it was included but none of us ever ate very much of it. More wasted food. And those servers really push for you to use up all your entitlements because that pads the bill for a bigger tip.
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:14 PM   #13
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We did deluxe for 3 days of our last trip and oh my gosh. I was sick! I mostly did 3 credit meals for dinner because I knew going in 3 meals a day would waste too much time. You are going to spend 1- 2 hours per meal with travel, waiting to be seated and eating.
I am glad I tried it, but by the last day I was just sick of food.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:37 PM   #14
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We did the deluxe dining plan on our last trip and really enjoyed it! Many people have very strong opinions regarding the deluxe plan (too expensive, too much food, too much time, etc.) but I think it just added another element to our vacation. We were very go-go-go during our park time, so we looked forward to the restaurants as a chance to sit back and relax for an hour. We had plenty of time to ride and do everything we wanted (multiple times).

It is a lot of food, but we thought it was really fun to be able to try anything. We're two fairly tiny people and ate three meals a day nearly every day - but I got used to the food and was really hungry by the next meal! Just don't force yourself to eat food if you're full, and we didn't find it to be a problem. Also, if most of your meals are from table service restaurants, you can certainly forgo a course or two and not panic about "losing savings" on the dining plan.

If it interests you, I say go for it! Have fun! (And try and get a few pre-park opening breakfast ADR's - those were some of our favorites!)
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