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Old 12-07-2012, 03:36 PM   #1
FoxwithEars
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Is the price for the Disney Dining Plan really worth it??

Hey all just wanted your opinion if our family should really purchase the Disney Dining Plan at $56 per person per night. Prices have gone up so much over the years and now I have to ask is it really worth it?!?
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:40 PM   #2
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For us, it's basically a break-even.

If you REALLY work to maximize your credits (by choosing your meals wisely), you can come out ahead, but otherwise it probably won't save you much $$.

We still do it (DxDDP actually) just for the convenience and guilt-free factor, plus I can include it in the 6-months-no-interest deal on the DRVC since it's park of the package. But I don't think it saves us (or most people) any significant amount of money.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:45 PM   #3
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For us it is a pretty much break even deal, but we do it for the convience of pre-paying and then not feeling like I always need to order the cheapest thing on the menu to save a few bucks.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:49 PM   #4
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For our family of three, it isn't worth it. That is even more true when compared to the possibility of a room discount.
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:07 PM   #5
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My two cents is to consider what you prefer to eat. Last times on the BP, no one was wowed by dessert even half the time. Little by little, we started ordering an appetizer and everyone having an entree and dessert. Dessert wasn't being eaten, so then I would get it to go and carry it with me every evening and put it in our resort's little fridge each night. It just never gotten eaten.

It finally was extremely apparent that we are more appetizer/entree people. Sometimes we order more apps, sometimes we order more entrees. It really depends on the restaurant and timing. I haven't done the dining plan since. I really prefer the room discount.
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:27 PM   #6
MADnNOLA
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It really depends on how you like to eat and where. I usually like to do one TS restaurant a day. My last trip in October, I paid OOP for meals. I added what I had spent after my return, and including snacks, QS and TS meals I averaged $63 a day! I did not include my day at Epcot for Food & Wine!

So this coming trip, I purchased the dining plan. I tend to like to eat at the more expensive TS restaurants (Brown Derby, etc). Even at less expensive ones, I will get one of the most expensive entrees (hey its vacation!).

So I can justifying paying for the plan.

So look at what you and your family tends to eat. Will you go for the more expensive places? Will you order more expensive entree? It takes a bit of advance planning, but it may be worth it. For many it is not. Many just like the convenience.
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:41 PM   #7
AshleeH
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We came out ahead because we did all character meals for TS credits, but in general - no, I wouldn't say it's worth it. It is a lot of food, so that's a plus, but in the future, we'll do one or two character meals and wing it the rest of the time. We're not the type of family who needs three meals a day - we're usually so busy that we have two full meals and then snack.
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:54 PM   #8
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I have to agree with the other posters. It really depends on how and what you think you'll eat. Back when I did it in 2008, and it was $38 pp and included appetizer, entree, dessert and gratuity, it couldn't be beat. Now-a-days, with appetizers and gratuity not included, you really need to do the math. Check some online menus and see what you think you would order. Add up the prices.

For me, it isn't worth it. I like to do things that are off the plan occasionally, like have appetizers in a lounge for a meal, and no lounges are included the last time I checked.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:11 PM   #9
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We did it for the first time in 2012 and I think we came out ahead. ONLY because we ate at places that made that possible. Boma dinner, Ohana dinner, Akershus dinner, etc. When ordering off a menu, we felt compelled to order the most expensive entree (and to encourage our oldest DD to do so) even though it might have not been what we wanted most. Many times desserts at TS and CS went uneaten and we had a fridge full of CS desserts by the end of the trip.

For our 2013 trip, we want to eat as we please and try some "lower priced" places too, so we are skipping the DDP. We planned to get Tables in Wonderland until the price went up last week. Now I need to crunch the numbers on that some more. It might make sense for our nine night trip.

But I feel like the dining plan tends to make you eat in a way you otherwise wouldn't. It's great for prepayment, but that could come at a premium depending on how your family eats.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vdub322 View Post
We did it for the first time in 2012 and I think we came out ahead. ONLY because we ate at places that made that possible. Boma dinner, Ohana dinner, Akershus dinner, etc. When ordering off a menu, we felt compelled to order the most expensive entree (and to encourage our oldest DD to do so) even though it might have not been what we wanted most. Many times desserts at TS and CS went uneaten and we had a fridge full of CS desserts by the end of the trip.

For our 2013 trip, we want to eat as we please and try some "lower priced" places too, so we are skipping the DDP. We planned to get Tables in Wonderland until the price went up last week. Now I need to crunch the numbers on that some more. It might make sense for our nine night trip.

But I feel like the dining plan tends to make you eat in a way you otherwise wouldn't. It's great for prepayment, but that could come at a premium depending on how your family eats.
Totally agree with everything you said.

In the mid-90's Disney was offering the "Food & Fun Card." It was sit down breakfast and dinner, as well as unlimited rentals of boats, bikes, etc. We kept our receipts and in the end we broke even on the food. But it occurred to me that if we weren't on the plan we never would have ordered all that food! We wouldn't have done sit down breakfasts and dinners every day, and wouldn't have ordered appetizers, entrees and desserts. So you have good advice - think about how you want to eat, and if the plan fits how you want to eat.

As for the DDP - when I did it in 2008 I was stressed over having extra counter service and snack credits I didn't think I would be able to use up. About half way through the trip I found I all of a sudden had to start worrying about if I was going to be able to use all my credits. Thank goodness for Figaro Fries! So sad to see they are gone.

To me, food should not be a source of stress on my vacation.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:39 PM   #11
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I agree that it could be cheaper to pay oop and order less expensive items. And yes all of those left over desserts! But I love the planning, making ressies, ordering all of the desserts just to sample and having no worry about what its going to cost.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:53 PM   #12
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Sometimes!

It depends on the type of trip we are doing. When it's "free" it's a no-brainer for us that it's worth it. We have even paid out of pocket for the plan and found it to be worth it especially if we know we are going to eat at pricier restaurants or ordering the most expensive item on the menu or going to signatures. But we have also done some budget trips where we spent considerably less per person per day.

You need to look at the online menus of the place you'd plan to eat and then do a little math to figure out if it's worth it to you.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxwithEars View Post
Hey all just wanted your opinion if our family should really purchase the Disney Dining Plan at $56 per person per night. Prices have gone up so much over the years and now I have to ask is it really worth it?!?
Never, for us. It's dh & I. We just got back tonight from 10 days at Disney and I was just checking our print - out (we room charge all meals, snacks, etc.) We spent $680.00 total for the two of us, eating everything we wanted and were stuffed. The DDP would have cost us $1,120.00.

We could never eat a TS, plus CS plus snacks every day. Plus, we weren't trying to order the most expensive thing on the menu to get our *money's worth*. Also, remember that you tip on the total, so ordering the more expensive items just to *get more value* makes you pay more because of the tip total.

We ordered only what we wanted, and never desserts at meal time. We prefer to order ours in between times. Even at that, there were so many desserts/snacks we really would have liked to try, but didn't have room for - LOL We ate when we were hungry and could enjoy it, not just when the clock said it was meal time.

I can see that for families with 3-4 children under 10, there might be more value. It all depends on how you, as a family, dine.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:34 PM   #14
Donna in NJ
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For my husband and I it is a savings. We do the deluxe dining plan. Each day we eat 2 meals but one is a signature restaurant. When we are at home I cook almost every night to save money. At Disney we get the fancy dinners we see on the food network. We don't look for the most expensive item on the menu but order what we think we will enjoy most. It is nice to order what ever we want and not have to get chicken or pasta because it is cheaper. I especially enjoy getting a fancy desert.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:15 PM   #15
akaler2010
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We love to eat so for us, this lets us order things we wouldn't normally be able to order. Normally, we would only get entrees to save money, but with the plan we got whatever we wanted. It was nice to be worry-free about that.

We did need to remember that alcohol and gratuity aren't included, and when you get more food, gratuity goes up!

For us, it's a must, but we only go during free dining.
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