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  1. #21
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    The dining plan isn't meant to save people money. Disney is always going to come out on top when it comes to plans like that, because they have better bean counters than the rest of us.
    The biggest benefit of the dining plan is getting to pay for your meals up front and not having to worry about paying OOP.

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  3. #22
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    May 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by epceddie View Post
    The dining plan isn't meant to save people money. Disney is always going to come out on top when it comes to plans like that, because they have better bean counters than the rest of us.
    The biggest benefit of the dining plan is getting to pay for your meals up front and not having to worry about paying OOP.
    Let me see if I understand: using the DP, you get to pay in advance (no refunds) for food you may not eat, AND you don't have to think about how much more you'll be spending on food with the DP (since you've alreqady spent the money). That doesn't sound like much of a benefit to me. Seems more like a rip-off and Disney's laughing all the way to the bank selling these plans for the "convenience" of it.
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  4. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quadstriker View Post
    Once you go Tables in Wonderland, you never go back.
    I wish they would offer this to everyone. We used it when we had Annual Passes, but we just can't afford to go to WDW every year, so no Annual Passes for us. :-(

    We actually did save money when they offered the free dining plan. We calculated that since our two children are considered adults, and my son loves to eat, that the free dining more than outweighed the 30% off our delux room rate that was offered at the same time. (We eat a lot of TS).
    Last edited by Dream'nDisney; 06-24-2013 at 02:48 PM. Reason: mistake
    "Dream'nDisney"
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  5. #24
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    I agree with all of you. I thought that the Free Food was a great offer. Too much food. I thought that the DDP "saved you money" when you paid for it. I saved my receipts and added it up just like most of you. Spent more with the plan.
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  6. #25
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    We have the same results paying OOP for QS meals rather than doing the QSDP. We had free QSDP on our last trip which was nice -- and since we were a party of 5 on that trip it saved us about $1,000 which is way more than any room discount would have saved us at a value resort (where we usually stay).

    On our trip a few weeks ago, we were a party of 6...5 Disney adults (real world: 3 adults, 2 teens), 1 Disney "kid" (8 yo). We decided to skip the dining plan and pay OOP. QSDP would have cost us ~$1400. At the end of the 7-day trip, our food, snack, and drink total OOP was $1200. And that included buying at least 2 bottles of water/powerade per day per person. And usually an additional snack per person per day. So to compare apples to apples, we would have had to add another ~$5/person/day to the dining plan total to account for the extra drinks (since the plan only includes 1 snack per day). So our total cost for QSDP + extra drinks/snacks would have been more like $1600 compared to $1100 that we actually paid. We didn't skimp on meals or seek out the cheapest restaurants and everybody ordered whatever they wanted. When we were on the free dining plan, we threw away sooooo much food. This time we ordered only what we were hungry for. Many times I'd only order the sandwich/entree with no sides and then I would pick at the kids french fries (that they never finished anyway). Sometimes I'd order a kids meal for me (which is usually more than enough food). We certainly weren't walking around hungry and we weren't throwing away large amounts of food because we were forced to order desserts and sides with every meal. We'll never pay for the QSDP. And since we typically don't do more than 1 or 2 table service meals per trip (we didn't do any this last trip and no one missed them), we'll probably never even consider the other dining plans.

  7. #26
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    Would love to skip DP but going with DD and she wants DDP. So after careful consideration will be doing several signature restaurants for dinner and many ts for lunch only way to make it pay for its self. To much food for me though
    Three years in Connecticut and loving it
    Next trip in Jan 2017 I hope!

  8. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by allgiggles View Post
    We have the same results paying OOP for QS meals rather than doing the QSDP....
    Thanks for the info. I decided a few weeks ago that we would also try OOP for QS instead of the DP. I think the elimination of the second snack is what made my decision. I crunched the numbers, and we should spend less than we would on the DP this trip, and I've also included $10 extra for each person per day, in the budget for snacks or desserts.
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  9. #28
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    I would defend it, but I haven't paid for it in *years*. We have always planned our vacations around the free dining offering. We love the free DDP.

    This trip, we don't qualify for the free DDP (but we do get a discount on the room), and we bought the TIW card for a short trip we took (without kids) in April. We'll be using that for the few ADRs that we have. It will be interesting to see how much we spend.
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  10. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHD View Post
    Thanks for the info. I decided a few weeks ago that we would also try OOP for QS instead of the DP. I think the elimination of the second snack is what made my decision. I crunched the numbers, and we should spend less than we would on the DP this trip, and I've also included $10 extra for each person per day, in the budget for snacks or desserts.
    That was the straw that broke the camel's back for us as well. We might have considered the QSDP for this trip but with the elimination of the second snack, we knew we'd save money paying OOP. The QSDP would have been convenient on this trip as we often split up and the older kids went off on their own for a few hours but I anticipated that ahead of time and made sure I had several $25 gift cards and just gave them one or two of those when they weren't with us. That way they could get whatever meals or snacks they needed (since I don't trust the teens with charging privileges )

  11. #30
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    I like the dining plan (regular one) cause I would never go to a TS every day without it. I'd do maybe 1 or 2 and just CS the rest. So if comparing it that way, I'm not saving money. BUT, I like getting a break every day and having a TS dinner is nice. Plus I like not having to carry cash or whip out plastic for a $12 meal or a $5 snack. Having the dining plan entices me to get more than just burger & fries; I'm more apt to get something nicer/fancier. Same with snacks: I'll get a sundae or smoothie instead of a Mickey bar.

    I don't need the dessert with the CS meal, and wish TS dinner/lunch gave you the option of dessert OR appetizer, but I still like it and will continue to get it.
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  12. #31
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    Since the DDPs inception, we have always gotten it (most often with free dining). That is until our last trip in April. We were at WDW for 2 whole weeks during no free dining. The plan would have cost us a fortune- especially since we took our 13 year old Godson who eats nothing but pizza and burgers, but has to pay full adult prices. I have to admit- I was leery. I like having everything paid for before we leave. So, the compromise was putting $1500 on the Visa before we left. We were pleasantly surprised when that $1500 covered all of our food, our gas and hotels for the trip down (we are a 22 hour drive away)! And we didn't scrimp- we had dessert when we wanted it and had table service meals 12/14 nights, Olive Garden one night and the NASCAR Cafe at Universal one night. We had Counter service everyday for lunch but ate cereal in the room for breakfast. It worked out great! And we weren't eating counter service desserts that we really didn't want. I wouldn't hesitate to do that again!
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  13. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by joonyer View Post
    Let me see if I understand: using the DP, you get to pay in advance (no refunds) for food you may not eat, AND you don't have to think about how much more you'll be spending on food with the DP (since you've alreqady spent the money). That doesn't sound like much of a benefit to me. Seems more like a rip-off and Disney's laughing all the way to the bank selling these plans for the "convenience" of it.
    Disney treats guests like they are rubes... 9 times out of 10, Disney is right... Most guests are rubes... the DDP is a waste... It does NOT save you money... It gives the illusion because you already paid... Once people use their common sense, they will realize they are not saving a dime... Yes, they sell the "convenience" and pretend it is a benefit to the guest... it isn't... Just like this NextGen nonsense is not a benefit to the guest...
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  14. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butters View Post
    We are ditching the DP for TIW for the first time this weekend for a quick 3 night trip, if it works out like I think it will we will be doing the same for our 10 day trip in Sept.
    That is what we do now. TIW works better for us than the DP.

  15. #34
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    We have skipped the dining plan the last few years with same results - spent less and ate whatever we wanted. I mainly dislike the dining for it's lack of flexibility - would prefer salad or soup to dessert!
    Jill

    14 visits (WDW)
    Offsite: Caribe Royale,Best Western
    On: POFQ, CBR, BC, WL, Dolphin

  16. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jillirose View Post
    We have skipped the dining plan the last few years with same results - spent less and ate whatever we wanted. I mainly dislike the dining for it's lack of flexibility - would prefer salad or soup to dessert!
    We have come to the same conclusion.

    We would rather have a appetizer/salad. We're not really dessert eaters mostly because we prefer savory to sweet any day. On the rare occasions where we do get dessert, we tend to split it, so one per person would just be wasteful to us. Two appetizers, however, would probably be demolished.

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