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Old 03-26-2013, 08:59 PM   #16
sharonabe
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Originally Posted by chs27 View Post
Understand that Disney is on 43 square miles. There is no cheap food, across the street or anywhere. It's my experience that if you pay beforehand, it doesn't hurt as bad. Unless you want to put food in a backpack, get the dining plan.
I, too, highly disagree with you. My family of 4 can eat THREE meals a day, including at least one TS, buffets, tax, AND tip for $50 per person per day. That's more than $5 less than the DDP AND my tips are already covered AND I get more food than the DDP allows. You have to do the math for YOUR family.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:45 AM   #17
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Count me in as somebody else who disagrees. We average 1 TS, 1 CS and a snack or two per day (not night like the DDP works, day) with some days doing 2 TS. We eat exactly what we want including things like steaks and sushi and getting things like milkshakes and desserts when we wanted them (but only when we actually wanted them so order exactly what we wanted). The first time we went without the DDP and did this I added up exactly what we spend and figured out that we were spending on average $140 per night (this one was done by night so it was apples to apples with the DDP) for our family of 4 Disney Adults. At the time the DDP cost around $48 pp I think so that's $192 per night. We ate more TS than the DDP would have allowed, less CS and more snacks.

So, we ate cheaper, ate what we wanted when we wanted and actually ate more TS and snacks than the plan would have allowed us to eat so we would have had to pay more OOP on top of the cost of the DDP and we would have wasted CS credits.
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:59 AM   #18
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I think I'll take the suggestion of going through menus and figuring out how much we are likely to spend to compare. I also think there is some value in just knowing its all paid for ahead of time, but not sure if that's enough to make it worthwhile.
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Originally Posted by chs27 View Post
Understand that Disney is on 43 square miles. There is no cheap food, across the street or anywhere. It's my experience that if you pay beforehand, it doesn't hurt as bad. Unless you want to put food in a backpack, get the dining plan.
As an AP holder, I go to WDW several times a year and used to always get either the DDP or DxDDP. I used to be a big proponent of both those plans, until I went one trip without it. I like to save money as much as anyone else, but when I'm on vacation I don't want to look at prices, so don't. I order exactly what I'm in the mood for at that time. The reason I decided I didn't like the DDP, is that subconsciously I found myself trying to get the most out of it. I noticed this one night, when we were dining at Via Napoli. I really wanted the pizza, but that did not seem like a good deal with the DDP, so I ordered the seafood pasta. While my pasta was very good, every time one of those pizzas got carried by, I wished I had ordered it. It made me realize that I was subconsiously ordering the most expensive items, just to get the most out of the DDP. Since that trip, I have paid OOP (except one trip when I took my GS down there and wanted to do alot of character meals and we did the DxDDP again). I've found that I spend less money than the DDP costs and I get to order exactly what I want, whether that be a cheaper entree like that Via Napoli pizza or the more expensive steak and seafood entrees. I can order two appetizers if that's what I'm in the mood for, or an appetizer and entree, then skip dessert, or sometimes we'll order all three courses. It just depends on what I'm in the mood for. One of my favorite meals are the tomato/mozzarella salad, mussels, and cheese plate at Flying Fish. If I was on the DDP, I wouldn't be order to order all three of those at the same time and would be forced to order an entree I wouldn't even want. I have the same problem at California Grill and Jikos. I actually prefer their appetizers over their entrees. I don't care for desserts at most CS restaurants, so would rather order what I want, then go to the French or Norwegian bakery or the German candy store and order the dessert I'd rather have. I may get one of the waffle sandwiches at Sleepy Hollow, but then want to go get a Dole Whip for dessert. Paying OOP, I can order my favorites and consistently the amount I spend for the week is less than the DDP would have cost me, yet I still eat all my favorites, including steak, seafood, appetizers, and desserts when I really want them. Again I refuse to scrimp on vacation and order exactly what I really want, but still spend less than what the DDP costs.

As far as having it prepaid, once they took the tips and appetizers away from the DDP, we bought Disney gift cards anyway for those, so everything would be 'completely prepaid'. Now I just look at the menus on AllEars before each trip, figure what we'll probably eat, add 6.5% tax, and 20% gratuity, and then add a little extra for anything else we might want to buy and buy the Disney gift cards ahead of time. That way everything is totally prepaid, I never look at the prices, so order exactly what I want, and I always have some left over on that gift card to use for the next trip. I love having everything 'completely prepaid' and coming home with a zero balance on my credit card, plus extra money for the next trip.

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Old 03-28-2013, 05:06 AM   #19
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:01 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chs27 View Post
Understand that Disney is on 43 square miles. There is no cheap food, across the street or anywhere. It's my experience that if you pay beforehand, it doesn't hurt as bad. Unless you want to put food in a backpack, get the dining plan.
Sorry, but I do not see this as true. The dining plan costs more and gives us less of what we want. You can easily feed a person at Disney for less than the Dining plan.

If you want less expensive food, both Hess stations serve food for significantly less than the resorts, although I have never done this.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:55 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by chs27 View Post
Understand that Disney is on 43 square miles. There is no cheap food, across the street or anywhere. It's my experience that if you pay beforehand, it doesn't hurt as bad. Unless you want to put food in a backpack, get the dining plan.
Also disagree entirely. Every trip I run the numbers and the dining plan would never save us money. We do not eat the way the plan dictates you need to eat. We do TS meals nearly every night and that includes signatures. We also usually have at least one CS a day (except during Food and Wine) and multiple snacks. However, sometimes we want to share apps, or order an app as our entree, or split a dessert, or not get dessert at all (like at Raglan Road because we prefer to get a treat at Goofy's before heading back to the resort... mmmm carmel apples).

And we never pack any food in our backpacks...
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:19 AM   #22
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You have to really look at where you want to eat. If you the majority of your meals will be at TS locations that have menus (as opposed to a buffet or and AYCE, not including CRT) then the DDP does not make much sense.

On our trip 3 weeks ago we did the DDP because we had 4 of our 7 meals were character meals and the child DDP price was about what the cost of the child meal at those places. (Our family is DS15, DS13, DD9, DS7, DS4, and DD2) so their snacks and CS meals were almost free. However, had we done mostly TS locations that had menus, I don't think that there is the same value.

Another benefit for us to have DDP, since we have 2 teenage boys, is with the DDP we allowed them to have some time away from us and they were able to get snacks/CS meal that we were able to track.

We also had breakfast at CRT which we paid OOP for.

If you are eligible for a TIW card (AP holder, DVC member, FL resident) that is a great discount. We had that in addition to our DDP and used it for apps, and drinks not included in the DDP.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:55 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chs27 View Post
Understand that Disney is on 43 square miles. There is no cheap food, across the street or anywhere. It's my experience that if you pay beforehand, it doesn't hurt as bad. Unless you want to put food in a backpack, get the dining plan.
This is how some look at the dining plan. I look at it as having Disney lock me into where I will eat (wanna kick back and have lunch at Tutto Gusto? Can't, it's not on the plan) and what courses I will order. I don't like it, unless they're going to give me a darn big discount to do it. And for a long time the possible discount hasn't been worth it.

But everyone's going to see the plan differently and you really have to run it for your group to see if it's going to do what you want it to do.
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:34 PM   #24
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After looking over the menus and being realistic about what we would WANT to eat (i.e., we do not want to have dessert every lunch/dinner), I decided the dining plan didn't make sense. We are doing two character meals, but even including the cost of those, it doesn't make sense.
Also, when I was thinking we would have the dining plan, I was scouring the restaurants to determine which had the highest prices so we could get the most out of it. Which isn't really the best way to make dining decisions!!

Anyway, thank you all for the input!
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:57 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by JVig View Post
After looking over the menus and being realistic about what we would WANT to eat (i.e., we do not want to have dessert every lunch/dinner), I decided the dining plan didn't make sense. We are doing two character meals, but even including the cost of those, it doesn't make sense.
Also, when I was thinking we would have the dining plan, I was scouring the restaurants to determine which had the highest prices so we could get the most out of it. Which isn't really the best way to make dining decisions!!

Anyway, thank you all for the input!
I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. Lol. Have a great trip.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:47 AM   #26
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I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. Lol. Have a great trip.
Ha.
Next time, I'll just listen instead of spending hours scrutinizing menus and doing math. Thank you!
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