Dining Plan Convenience???? Where's the Convenience?

Christine

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 31, 1999
Ah yeah that's def. where experiences will vary. Holy cow I could just not imagine spending $50 PP like that;certaintly not meal after meal after meal!

I would kinda think a $9.00 difference isn't quite close to $50 personal opinion I guess. That if you times that by two people would be $18 which could almost be another person's entree. I know you were just guestimating though just using your numbers. And of course pesky tax adds up in there.

We were roughly that for TWO people excluding tip :)

50s Prime Time: $49.00 add in tax $52.19; tip excluded
1 person-$3.50 drink, $21.00 entree
1 person-$3.50 drink, $21.00 entree

Mama Melrose: $53.00 add in tax $56.45; tip excluded
1 person-$8.00 beer, $15.00 entree
1 person-$8.00 beer, $22.00 entree

Skipper Canteen: $52.00 add in tax $55.38; tip excluded
1 person-water, $23.00 entree
1 person-water, $21.00 entree
Dessert shared-$8.00

Now these were 2017 prices but the increase in menu prices it would still take a lot to get that number up there to get to $100 for 2 people (excluding tax).

The items you are quoting that was my question--this assume you are ordering dessert and alcohol at the meal--both of which you are entitled to with the Dining Plan so then are we back to question is the spending $50 PP when you are considering more of what the Dining Plan entitles you? And of course I'm not saying you can't get to that amount simply by ordering 1 entree and a drink (be it alcohol or pop)--that just different than saying "it would cost you this" as a matter of fact if you paid OOP. It can but it isn't a certainty--you would be more likely for sure if you were ordering just like the Dining Plan allowed for which brings back to the question I had.
Agree. That's why I had to go check the menu to see if a person would actually easily spend $50 per person at lunch there if they were paying OOP. Certainly a "vigorous" eater would and, in that sense, the DDP makes sense. Even in my scenario where I didn't pick the lower priced, entree, dessert, or drink, I didn't reach $50. I could have if I really picked the highest of everything. So let's say that you just come close each meal by anywhere from $5-$10. Multiply that by the number in your party and day after day, and you come out behind. But, hey, there are extremely budget conscious people here who actually don't care about that, even though the say the DDP is all about budget. That is probably the one aspect of this discussion that leaves me scratching my head.

Otherwise I do understand many of the convenience reasons. I'm probably going to have that myself on this trip. Traveling with 16 people and I'm treating at least 4 of them besides myself. I get the ease for that when we become separated or they don't want to think about any restrictions.
 
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
Agree. That's why I had to go check the menu to see if a person would actually easily spend $50 per person at lunch there if they were paying OOP. Certainly a "vigorous" eater would and, in that sense, the DDP makes sense. Even in my scenario where I didn't pick the lower priced, entree, dessert, or drink, I didn't reach $50. I could have if I really picked the highest of everything. So let's say that you just come close each meal by anywhere from $5-$10. Multiply that by the number in your party and day after day, and you come out behind. But, hey, there are extremely budget conscious people here who actually don't care about that, even though the say the DDP is all about budget. That is probably the one aspect of this discussion that leaves me scratching my head.

Otherwise I do understand many of the convenience reasons. I'm probably going to have that myself on this trip. Traveling with 16 people and I'm treating at least 4 of them besides myself. I get the ease for that when we become separated or they don't want to think about any restrictions.
Totally agree with what you're saying :)

And bless you and your patience for 16 people! :faint:
 

Goofy'slady

When Life Gives You Lemons - SHOP!
Joined
Jul 31, 2006
My girls and I like the DDP, get it and will probably always do so. My girls really enjoy the idea of picking whatever they want off the menu and not having to hear their otherwise frugal mother whine about prices. And this coming week I'm taking my oldest daughter who recently turned 21 and so she'll have the added benefit of the adult beverages that now come on the DDP that will make her Disney experience even better. I also loved it when I took my 14yr old last month and while I was off shopping for an surprise Christmas stocking and ornament for her at the Christmas Shoppe in Disney Springs she was right across the way at Goofy's Candy Kitchen getting her a custom rice crispy treat and I didn't have to worry about her coming into the shop catching me in the act whilst asking for cash or my bank card to make the purchase. All she had to do was use her one of her snack credits and her magic band and she was none the wiser as to what I was doing... I call that CONVENIENT!
 
  • cbrown1007

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 21, 2013
    This is our last year where are daughter will be considered a “child” on the DDP. I doubt we’ll be able to justify using it after this.
    This. My daughter is now 10, so it would be an adult price for her dining plan. There is NO way she'd eat $75 worth of food per day. So it won't make sense for us in the future. It's too bad they make 10 year olds do adult prices. She eats less then my 6 year old, so it just doesn't make sense.

    Although I LOVE the dining plan. I love not looking at meal/snack prices. I love allowing my kids to have 2 snacks a day, because I'm not worried about the $7 sundae prices. I feel like our next trip, without the dining plan will be a different experience. But I just can't fathom paying adult price for her dining plan.
     

    tguz

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2018
    This. My daughter is now 10, so it would be an adult price for her dining plan. There is NO way she'd eat $75 worth of food per day. So it won't make sense for us in the future. It's too bad they make 10 year olds do adult prices. She eats less then my 6 year old, so it just doesn't make sense.

    Although I LOVE the dining plan. I love not looking at meal/snack prices. I love allowing my kids to have 2 snacks a day, because I'm not worried about the $7 sundae prices. I feel like our next trip, without the dining plan will be a different experience. But I just can't fathom paying adult price for her dining plan.
    Maybe you can catch a free dining offer on your next trip. If there are 3 of you or more and you are staying moderate or value.....it will be a better deal than the room discount but I bet you already know that.
     

    Summer2018

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2017
    This. My daughter is now 10, so it would be an adult price for her dining plan. There is NO way she'd eat $75 worth of food per day. So it won't make sense for us in the future. It's too bad they make 10 year olds do adult prices. She eats less then my 6 year old, so it just doesn't make sense.

    Although I LOVE the dining plan. I love not looking at meal/snack prices. I love allowing my kids to have 2 snacks a day, because I'm not worried about the $7 sundae prices. I feel like our next trip, without the dining plan will be a different experience. But I just can't fathom paying adult price for her dining plan.
    I remember when DD was considered a child everywhere else in the world, but was an “adult” for the DDP. I just couldn’t wrap my brain around it. She wasn’t a big eater. We did the DDP anyway because DH made up for her and always finished off whatever she didn’t eat. (DH’s appetite alone makes getting the DDP worth it!) Now she’s an actual adult, and we really get our money’s worth now.
     

    zinguy

    Zinguy
    Joined
    Jan 24, 2011
    Just returned from WDW and we took advantage of the Dining Plan Quick Service program. There was a free dining plan offer if you paid full price for your room rather than a discounted % price for your room. I did the math and we paid about $180.00 for a 7 day QS and Snack plan. When we went to WDW 2 years ago for the same time period we didn't get the dining plan and we spent about $550.00 on food (a mixture of table service restaurants and quick service restaurants) so $180.00 sounded like a good deal for us. Just for fun we kept track of how much was wrung up by the cashier for each QS and Snack and the total was just over $800.00. We feel this was because we picked more expensive items on the menus. So...paying $180.00 for $800.00 worth of food and snacks worked out for us (as well as paying $370.00 less than what we did on our last trip). The only downside is that we don't normally eat snacks during the day so at the end of our trip we had 18 snack credits left. We went to the gift shop the last night and bought 18 snacks to take home for us and our granddaughters. We would probably use the dining plan on our next trip if it is offered for free.
     
  • sharonabe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 22, 2009
    All she had to do was use her one of her snack credits and her magic band and she was none the wiser as to what I was doing... I call that CONVENIENT!
    Since we're talking convenience here, I just want to point out that if you were paying OOP for your meals, she could still use her magic band to charge back to the room and wouldn't have to search you out to ask for cash.
     

    waydownunder

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 27, 2008
    Welive in New Zealand and have only been to WDW once but several times to DL. We did not purchase the dining plan and it was the biggest mistake I ever made. Instead I loaded up my credit card for all our meals. The problem was they double charged every TS Meal 1 without the tip and then again once the tip went on. They ended up maxing out my credit card and I was mortified when it declined at BOG as I only have a small limit on it as I always load it up before we go so it is never in the red. We ended up having to cancel the rest of our TS for the rest of the trip and use our souvinir money for CS for the rest of our holiday I was gutted. definately put a dampener on our whole trip. 2 months later some of the refunds still hadn't been credited back to my card. We are bringing my Grand daughter for her first ever Disney trip in 2023 and I will absolutely be buying DDP and using cash for tips. So to me it is definately convienence over cost.
     

    Summer2018

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2017
    Welive in New Zealand and have only been to WDW once but several times to DL. We did not purchase the dining plan and it was the biggest mistake I ever made. Instead I loaded up my credit card for all our meals. The problem was they double charged every TS Meal 1 without the tip and then again once the tip went on. They ended up maxing out my credit card and I was mortified when it declined at BOG as I only have a small limit on it as I always load it up before we go so it is never in the red. We ended up having to cancel the rest of our TS for the rest of the trip and use our souvinir money for CS for the rest of our holiday I was gutted. definately put a dampener on our whole trip. 2 months later some of the refunds still hadn't been credited back to my card. We are bringing my Grand daughter for her first ever Disney trip in 2023 and I will absolutely be buying DDP and using cash for tips. So to me it is definately convienence over cost.
    That sounds like a nightmare.
     

    eeyoreandtink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 24, 2014
    My take:

    We like the DDP.
    1. I am a chronic worrier, to the point that i don't enjoy myself worrying about how much we are spending. I will get the cheapest thing rather than what i want because in my mind I am taking one for the team. The DDP gives me piece of mind and the ability to order freely.

    2. We typically eat the way the dining plan is laid out anyway. When we are on vacation, we like to order what we want without worrying about price. We like to have dessert, something we typically don't do at home. I am ordering a cocktail with dinner anyway. We will eat at least 2 snacks in a full 12 hour plus park day.

    3. Even if we don't 100% "maximize" the DDP, I feel its worth it for my piece of mind. I have done the calculations on several trips and we are typically within $100 of what we spent on DDP when I total all the receipts. Some trips we save a little, some we might have spent a little less OOP, but its worth it for me not to have to spend the week worrying about it.

    For people who aren't worriers and don't eat the way we do, DDP often doesn't make sense.
     
  • eeyoreandtink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 24, 2014
    This. My daughter is now 10, so it would be an adult price for her dining plan. There is NO way she'd eat $75 worth of food per day. So it won't make sense for us in the future. It's too bad they make 10 year olds do adult prices. She eats less then my 6 year old, so it just doesn't make sense.

    Although I LOVE the dining plan. I love not looking at meal/snack prices. I love allowing my kids to have 2 snacks a day, because I'm not worried about the $7 sundae prices. I feel like our next trip, without the dining plan will be a different experience. But I just can't fathom paying adult price for her dining plan.
    One thing to think about:
    At most places, you will have the option to buy her a kids meal out of pocket , and save her credits. There are a few non Disney owned places that don't allow this, but most do. Anyone in your party can use them later. You could book signature meals using those credits as the extra credits for the adults.
     

    Twoboysnmygirl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 31, 2008
    I agree with many of the reasons why people use the ddp and also can add that many people arent comfortable with having their credit card authorized repeatedly (which is what they do now when you use your MB to pay) and some of us cannot even afford all the holds. I save up for my trips and my credit cards are for emergency only and dont have big huge credit limits on my cards.

    My dh and I recently took a trip and used gift cards instead of the ddp because he likes to splurge and get appetizers, extras, etc but we spent more than if we had just used ddp and I was constantly calculating trying to make sure we would have enough left on the cards for during trip.

    I prefer knowing my credits and "splurging" on the meals themselves (within the plan limits) because then I dont have to stress about every penny or hope I have padded the budget enough, etc. And i will say, I never pad it enough when we are OOP. I know it seems silly but when I have cash/gift cards I spend more than if I have prepaid and my meals are all set. Everyone is different and vacations differently. For me, less stress and worry is convience!

    Of course most of my ddp stays have been free dining or SPD and then it is absolutely worth it and the biggest discount I can usually find. I booked free dining bounceback for next September with my daughter and it will save me over 400$ which no room % off would save (we are staying at Pop)
     

    ofcabbagesandkings

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 16, 2014
    I would like to add that the DDP can be convenient if you are doing a lot of set-price meals, like character buffets or fixed menus, so that there is no need to sit there with a spreadsheet and really debate what you might order in advance. Whether I actually eat the "value" out of a certain buffet is a different, but ultimately moot point because Disney charges what they charge, if my kids wanna dine with Winnie the Pooh I've got to pony up. I can be quite certain then, in advance, that I will get the dollar value out of the DDP whether paid or Free Dining, unless we end up having to cancel a meal altogether. And it may seem counter-intuitive but I think the DDP helps me save money (not to mention calories) because I would be tempted to book even more TS meals if I didn't have QS credits to spend. QS portion sizes are usually a touch more modest and don't include dessert automatically anymore.
     

    Someone28624

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 14, 2019
    If I didn’t get the dining plan I would be thinking about money and how much I spent the whole week. I’d also probably be thinking about calories and how much I was eating more. No dining plan? Drink? That’s an unnecessary luxury- just water please. Dining plan? What’s your tastiest cocktail? Dessert? No dining plan? No thanks too many calories and too much money. Dining plan? It’s included so what’s on the menu? And there’s definitely no way I would be getting snacks in the park without the dining plan. That would be against how I was raised. With the dining plan I try and taste different snacks each time I visit.

    The long and short of it is that is makes me feel more on vacation.
     

    Welsh_Dragon

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 23, 2019
    I understand people’s desire to have a pre planned budget, but the budgeting convenience is lost in a way because of gratuities, particularly with the deluxe plan. For 3 adults over 7 nights we added on USD 1250.82 in gratuities. Don’t underestimate that cost.
     

    Nancyg56

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2005
    I understand people’s desire to have a pre planned budget, but the budgeting convenience is lost in a way because of gratuities, particularly with the deluxe plan. For 3 adults over 7 nights we added on USD 1250.82 in gratuities. Don’t underestimate that cost.
    If I am dining out I tip. I would do that with or without the dining plan. The issue with purchasing a plan first before choosing your restaurants is that you then book your meals to the plan and not the other way around, and then you are blindsided by the gratuity because you have not budgeted that into your costs. The deluxe plan can add up indeed, especially if you normally do not dine in the manner it is set up for.
     

    gypsy_at_heart

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 3, 2016
    I do the DDP only when I’m taking my parent or my brother and his fiancé as a gift. Mostly because it’s paid for ahead of time and I don’t want them to worry about the cost of what they are eating and would rather them just order what they want. It’s much easier to say ‘oh, it’s all included in the package’

    When I’m on my own I never do DDP - much easier and more affordable to pay OOP because I’m more of a lots of snacks or appetizers style grazer when left on my own.
     

    Nancyg56

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2005
    I do the DDP only when I’m taking my parent or my brother and his fiancé as a gift. Mostly because it’s paid for ahead of time and I don’t want them to worry about the cost of what they are eating and would rather them just order what they want. It’s much easier to say ‘oh, it’s all included in the package’

    When I’m on my own I never do DDP - much easier and more affordable to pay OOP because I’m more of a lots of snacks or appetizers style grazer when left on my own.
    I agree, when you have someone as a guest the DDP can be awesome. My nieces came with us o their honeymoon, and were our guests. We bought the DDP and told them it was all set. Order what you want for dinner, add a cocktail. Get the dessert you want. Snacks? There are plenty. Hungry for a "brunch? Pick your place and we will eat. They never would have ordered knowing we were paying for them.
     

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