News Disney Dining Plan Returns in 2024

nickys

Premium Member
So you got the prepaid psychology down…

Now can you explain why locking in a known overpayment up front that requires an intentional GLUTTONOUS mission of many days to get “value” out of it makes sense?

I think The Hague actually has banned that as a form of torture…intetpol calls it “Helsinki syndrome” 🇫🇮

It’s an overpayment.

Back to your old ways I see.

Refusing to accept that for some people it was worthwhile.

If you had a number of TS reservations over a short period (like a split stay) it was possible for the DDP to save money. Especially if drinking alcohol &/or doing character dining.

If you were unable to buy gift cards to pre-pay. Or disliked E-cards where you couldn’t get refunds if you had money left over.

Or by adding it to an interest free cc and paying off the cost in the months before a trip.

I could go on. The point is that for some people it was worthwhile. That doesn’t mean it is for everyone. But just because it didn’t work for you doesn’t mean that is true for everyone.
 

nickys

Premium Member
Respectfully - it was never free, there was an opportunity cost associated with it.
Respectfully the DDP was genuinely free to international guests who booked packages.

I understand how the US pricing structure meant that ‘free dining” usually came with increased room rates.

For some reason most US posters fail to accept that the UK pricing is different. There was no separate price for a package without free dining. Just as our tickets include park hoppers, water parks and memory maker. We cannot buy “basic” tickets from the UK website.
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
Back to your old ways I see.

Refusing to accept that for some people it was worthwhile.

If you had a number of TS reservations over a short period (like a split stay) it was possible for the DDP to save money. Especially if drinking alcohol &/or doing character dining.

If you were unable to buy gift cards to pre-pay. Or disliked E-cards where you couldn’t get refunds if you had money left over.

Or by adding it to an interest free cc and paying off the cost in the months before a trip.

I could go on. The point is that for some people it was worthwhile. That doesn’t mean it is for everyone. But just because it didn’t work for you doesn’t mean that is true for everyone.
let’s see the math first? Then we can crunch.

And we have already covered UK travel company packages…not the standard NOR The majority of travelers by far.

Let’s see where the chips fall…and then we can look at the numbers (it’s been done for 15 years…but just for arguments sake anyway) and then we’ll talk practicality…which no one wants to hear.

It’s all opinions, I said mine…moved on. Others say theirs…we don’t have to agree.
…about opinions. Not tangible things that can be demonstrated.
 

Chi84

Premium Member
OMG, a voice of reason. At last! 😘
Many people, with good reason, dislike the dining plan because of its deleterious effect on the food offerings and pricing at WDW. I'm one of them. It's one thing to dislike something and quite another to negate the experiences/decisions of others.

We need to be respectful of the fact that people will take advantage of the programs and offerings that work for them, even if we strongly believe their choices act to our (or even their own) detriment. Unless and until Disney decides to discontinue a program, some will decide to partake. It's not anyone else's choice to make and it's frustrating to be consistently told those choices are unreasonable or unintelligent.
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
If you had a number of TS reservations over a short period (like a split stay) it was possible for the DDP to save money. Especially if drinking alcohol &/or doing character dining.

If you were unable to buy gift cards to pre-pay. Or disliked E-cards where you couldn’t get refunds if you had money left over.

Or by adding it to an interest free cc and paying off the cost in the months before a trip.

I could go on. The point is that for some people it was worthwhile. That doesn’t mean it is for everyone. But just because it didn’t work for you doesn’t mean that is true for everyone.
This is true. Even I - a dyed-in-the-wool DDP antagonist - used to save about 15% on dining during our early WDW trips by buying the DDP (and very carefully researching the best ways to use it), when one or both of our children were aged 3-9, and very interested in character meals! One time we visited during "free dining," and saved a few hundred dollars on dining even after having to upgrade our room and tickets to be eligible.

Since about 2016, however -- the same year both kids became adults for Disney dining purposes -- the math has flipped, and there were no more savings to be had on the DDP, even if we went back to the same restaurants we'd formerly chosen on the DDP because they were ostensibly the best "deal" using DDP credits. With each subsequent visit, the benefit of paying out-of-pocket has increased for us, to the point where the dining plan would have cost us hundreds more than we were already paying, and would have limited our ability to really order what we wanted, and eat where we wanted.

Once the details for the 2024 iteration of the DDP come out, I hope guests on a budget will take a few minutes to look over the menus of their chosen restaurants, do a little rough figuring, and see if the plan is still worthwhile for them, even if it has been in the past.
 

King Racoon 77

Thank you sir. You were an inspiration.
Premium Member
Many people, with good reason, dislike the dining plan because of its deleterious effect on the food offerings and pricing at WDW. I'm one of them. It's one thing to dislike something and quite another to negate the experiences/decisions of others.

We need to be respectful of the fact that people will take advantage of the programs and offerings that work for them, even if we strongly believe their choices act to our (or even their own) detriment. Unless and until Disney decides to discontinue a program, some will decide to partake. It's not anyone else's choice to make and it's frustrating to be consistently told those choices are unreasonable or unintelligent.
Exactly sir. There is no winning or losing.
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
This is true. Even I - a dyed-in-the-wool DDP antagonist - used to save about 15% on dining during our early WDW trips by buying the DDP (and very carefully researching the best ways to use it), when one or both of our children were aged 3-9, and very interested in character meals! One time we visited during "free dining," and saved a few hundred dollars on dining even after having to upgrade our room and tickets to be eligible.

Since about 2016, however -- the same year both kids became adults for Disney dining purposes -- the math has flipped, and there were no more savings to be had on the DDP, even if we went back to the same restaurants we'd chosen on the DDP because they were the best deal using DDP credits.

Once the details for the 2024 iteration of the DDP come out, I hope guests on a budget will take a few minutes to look over the menus of their chosen restaurants, do a little rough figuring, and see if the plan is still worthwhile for them, even if it has been in the past.
The price increased each year…and then they increased the prices on the menus commensurate…a game of leapfrog…

Which is a nice double whammy because what are the gratuities based on?

It’s just a math thing…and what plays out.
 

Chi84

Premium Member
This is true. Even I - a dyed-in-the-wool DDP antagonist - used to save about 15% on dining during our early WDW trips by buying the DDP (and very carefully researching the best ways to use it), when one or both of our children were aged 3-9, and very interested in character meals! One time we visited during "free dining," and saved a few hundred dollars on dining even after having to upgrade our room and tickets to be eligible.

Since about 2016, however -- the same year both kids became adults for Disney dining purposes -- the math has flipped, and there were no more savings to be had on the DDP, even if we went back to the same restaurants we'd formerly chosen on the DDP because they were ostensibly the best "deal" using DDP credits.

Once the details for the 2024 iteration of the DDP come out, I hope guests on a budget will take a few minutes to look over the menus of their chosen restaurants, do a little rough figuring, and see if the plan is still worthwhile for them, even if it has been in the past.
You make an excellent point! We abandoned the dining plan years ago, but now we have 4 grandchildren, only 1 of whom is over the age of 3, so we'll be in that 3-9 zone soon. We never did character dining with our kids because it was just too expensive for us at the time, but on our last few trips we went to Hollywood & Vine, Storybook Dining and Topolino's breakfast and the kids had a great time with the characters. The food at Storybook Dining was so good my husband wants to go back even without the grandkids lol.
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
Many people, with good reason, dislike the dining plan because of its deleterious effect on the food offerings and pricing at WDW. I'm one of them. It's one thing to dislike something and quite another to negate the experiences/decisions of others.

We need to be respectful of the fact that people will take advantage of the programs and offerings that work for them, even if we strongly believe their choices act to our (or even their own) detriment. Unless and until Disney decides to discontinue a program, some will decide to partake. It's not anyone else's choice to make and it's frustrating to be consistently told those choices are unreasonable or unintelligent.
We probably…in truth…aren’t all that diametrically opposed. I’ve noticed this over the years.

But here’s where we are:
You’ve stated that no one can ever be told what they believe is incorrect…their opinion.

Well then we can’t give advice. At all. Because it’s not valid under that repeated…and I mean REPEATED lecture.

Well I’m a clown. But I’ve never given bad wdw Travel advice - intentionally - on a discussion forum. You can just believe me…or check it.

So is it possible…just maybe…that someone isn’t looking at the DDP correctly and should get to consider it from multiple angles?

That doesn’t mean don’t buy it and don’t do the math. I’m a big fan of math…but also human tendencies…which lead to some mistakes.

That’s my “experience”
 

MickeyLuv'r

Well-Known Member
There is no "rest of us" everyone is paying for a meal. It's just a matter of when they are paying for it and how much. The us vs. them is not a healthy way of looking at it.



I'd be careful when you start assuming how most people eat when vacationing.
I have no doubt that a % of visitors shift how they eat at WDW based on the DDP.
Having followed Disney forums for some time, many people happily buy groceries when they visit WDW, but they will shift to using dining credits instead if the DDP is offered.

I get what you are saying, and I also didn't like the 'rest of us' phrasing, but the DDP does have an impact on how/what/where people eat.
 

JD80

Well-Known Member
I have no doubt that a % of visitors shift how they eat at WDW based on the DDP.
Having followed Disney forums for some time, many people happily buy groceries when they visit WDW, but they will shift to using dining credits instead if the DDP is offered.

I get what you are saying, and I also didn't like the 'rest of us' phrasing, but the DDP does have an impact on how/what/where people eat.

Totally agree - which is why Disney offers it. It's a way to capture additional revenue and keep restaurants full and grocery delivery down.
 

TheMaxRebo

Well-Known Member
You make an excellent point! We abandoned the dining plan years ago, but now we have 4 grandchildren, only 1 of whom is over the age of 3, so we'll be in that 3-9 zone soon. We never did character dining with our kids because it was just too expensive for us at the time, but on our last few trips we went to Hollywood & Vine, Storybook Dining and Topolino's breakfast and the kids had a great time with the characters. The food at Storybook Dining was so good my husband wants to go back even without the grandkids lol.

Having several kids (that are still not Disney adults) can allow for great use of the DDP to do those character meals

And even if you wouldn't have done that many of them without the plan so you aren't really "saving" as much, the fact that it promotes doing more character meals that the kids love and you create strong memories provides added value

I think people just have to go into getting the plan with open eyes and know why you are buying it (or not)
 

SamusAranX

Well-Known Member
It’s not an opinion to state that in recent years a majority of guests saved little to no money on the DDP. It’s also not an opinion that the DDP also has caused changes to Disney food pricing and menus that are deleterious to many guests overall. Math is not an opinion.

Now if you wanna argue about whether the convenience is worthwhile, sure go for it. Or if you save money with kids (it’s possible)

But the facts are the DDP as was; and as probably will be once prices are announced, is not a value in terms of math and fiscal considerations in the large majority of situations
 

Chi84

Premium Member
It’s not an opinion to state that in recent years a majority of guests saved little to no money on the DDP. It’s also not an opinion that the DDP also has caused changes to Disney food pricing and menus that are deleterious to many guests overall. Math is not an opinion.

Now if you wanna argue about whether the convenience is worthwhile, sure go for it. Or if you save money with kids (it’s possible)

But the facts are the DDP as was; and as probably will be once prices are announced, is not a value in terms of math and fiscal considerations in the large majority of situations
That is true. We used the DDP when it was first introduced but then abandoned it because it just didn’t make sense with how we ate at WDW. TIW was great for us!

There was one time we bought the plan for purely psychological reasons. It was the first trip with our kids’ significant others (now spouses) and we were afraid they wouldn’t eat anything when they saw the prices. We just told them everything was prepaid so they could choose whatever they wanted.

That was before all the different types of plans, add-ons etc. The only reason I can see buying it in the future is if it makes sense with the grandkids and character dining.
 

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