• Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.

So after calculations, the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan is cheaper

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
Did you use all your QS credits and snack credits as well?

I would be curious to what you guys eat and where?

Hey Dave,
I'm sorry my post must have been confusing we didn't use the DVC last May and came out way cheaper.

For example We arrived on Monday 5/21.
Had a sitdown lunch at Via Napoli.
1 family salad ~22.00
1 Large pizza 1/2 pepperoni 1/2 plain 32.00
3 drinks 10.00

total before dvc discount. 64.00
10% discount -6.00
58.00 +12.00 tips total for lunch. 70.00

Dinner at Grand Floridian Cafe.
chicken wing appetizer 11.00
french onion soup. 10.00
terriyaki chicken breast 24.00
shrimp and grits 22.00
chilled jumbo shrimp cocktail 16.00
3 soft drinks 10.00
total before discount 93.00
after discount 83.7 + 18.00 tip =101.00

total for the day 171.00 and this was 2 full table service meals
cost of ddp for 1 day for 3 adults 207.00 not including the tips.
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
Tuesday was our magic kingdom day.
We had breakfast in the room, for lunch we went to Peco's bill (a tradition. lol)
2 south west burgers 28.00
1 taco burger 16.00
2 drinks 7.00
1 strawberry slushie 6.00

Total 57.00

Dinner was at the Boathouse down at Disney springs
12.00 lobster bisque
16.00 clams
36.50 lobster and pasta entree
31.00 steak and fries entree
21.00 fried gulf fish
13.00 asparagus (shared)
11.00 soda
total 137.00 before ap discount
124.00 after discount + 26.00 tip
total 150.00

total for the day 207.00 once again 2 full meals.
but once again my total includes all tips.
 

Dave B

Well-Known Member
So I am sorry as well, I would NEVER purchase the plan, but I would ALWAYS take the free dining promo and that is where I really see my savings, I never understood the rack rate comparison, sorry for my confusion, we never purchase the plan, for example we are going this May for my wife bday and we are not getting the plan, just eating as we go
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
So I am sorry as well, I would NEVER purchase the plan, but I would ALWAYS take the free dining promo and that is where I really see my savings, I never understood the rack rate comparison, sorry for my confusion, we never purchase the plan, for example we are going this May for my wife bday and we are not getting the plan, just eating as we go


I think you will enjoy it. One thing that I found after I stopped using the Dining plan was the emphasis for eating changed. Now it might be because I'm a natural cheapskate. lol but when I was on the plan my mind went to maximizing my points instead of just eating naturally. for example, we are not big "snackers", even my kids are not big chip and candy kids. we do love ice cream. anyhoo, we always found ourselves running around gift shops trying to use up snack credits because we didn't want to waste them.
Also since we tend to go when it's "surface of the sun" hot, my late husband and I would tend to go for lighter meals naturally. some times we'll get a few appetizers and that would be good but when we would do the ddp, it almost forced us to eat heavy meat and potatoe meals mainly because our greedy brains wouldn't let us "waste" the credits.

Last year was the first time I keep track and pretty much the only day where we spent more oop than on the plan was the day we did a character breakfast (crystal palace) and then a signature dinner. whew, that was a hit to the ole wallet.
 

DarthVader

Sith Lord
Last year was the first time I keep track and pretty much the only day where we spent more oop than on the plan was the day we did a character breakfast (crystal palace) and then a signature dinner. whew, that was a hit to the ole wallet.

Another benefit is a better use of your time, especially when it comes to the deluxe plan. Instead of trying to get your money's worth and spending more time at sit down restaurants, charachter meals, and what not. You can spend more time at the parks. With my family, I think we're more effecient and only grab a meal when they're hungry. There are certainly pleaces my family wants hit, such as the Hoop Dee Doo, or Libtery Tree Tavern, but I've worked them into my schedule as a place to enjoy the moment, instead of squeezing so much eating in just to make it economical - if that makes sense.
 

Disorbust

Well-Known Member
Every trip I try to justify the DDP and no mater how I crunch the numbers we barely break even. Plus the times we have done the DDP, back when it was a reseasonable value, we always need up burning unused credits at the end. One trip with 8 of us on the DDP, we had a reservation at Jiko, so 16 TS credits and we all were sick with norovirus. I spent the last three days of our trip rearranging everthing so we could use those credits.
 

Dave B

Well-Known Member
We are a family of four, two teenagers, we eat at character buffet at least 3 times per trip,( usually 8 -10 day trips) kids still enjoy and there is always good food. My wife and I on our last trip used all the other TS credits for ourselves(after the character dining) and ate at nice restaurants and ordered things we would not usually pay for and it was awesome and it saved us a ton of money and we tried things we never would pay for out of pocket, you add the experience on top of the food there is NO DOUBTING the value. Again we do not pay for the dining plan but will always book free dining when it is offered and it has always saves OUR FAMILY money
 

Starlight67

Well-Known Member
Minus "inconvenience of not feeling like dinner at California Grill because we're still full from Boma lunch but we have to go and spend our credits anyways even though we're going to over-stuff ourselves and/or waste a ton of food" = $500.

And I think this is a HUGE minus of the Deluxe dining plan, though it depends what you value in a Disney vacation. I don't like the feeling of reservation times hanging over my head...I don't value time spent at a table service restaurant. I don't want to be hassling about how many credits are left for this and that, and I don't want or need a bunch of heavy meals on a theme park vacation. Also, I have never had a car with me on a Disney vacation and without one, it takes some time to get to dining locations. Yes, you can do your best to plan within your set schedule--but I have never had a vacation that goes planning to schedule. All kinds of variables come into play that can screw up even the best laid plans.

For other people though table service dining is a priority on a Disney vacation. But it seems like it still make sense to do the 'real life/real food I would likey eat' math and not just assume DDP is the way to go.

Last time I was there a Disney worker at POFQ told me it's fine for adults to order kids quick service meals- that's what I did for the rest of the vacation. Plenty of food (entree and choice of two sides) for $7-9 dollars. Eating for under $30.00 a day. Brought my own snacks and drink boxes from home, but bought a Disney snack now and then. For me it makes sense just to pay cash.
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
We are a family of four, two teenagers, we eat at character buffet at least 3 times per trip,( usually 8 -10 day trips) kids still enjoy and there is always good food. My wife and I on our last trip used all the other TS credits for ourselves(after the character dining) and ate at nice restaurants and ordered things we would not usually pay for and it was awesome and it saved us a ton of money and we tried things we never would pay for out of pocket, you add the experience on top of the food there is NO DOUBTING the value. Again we do not pay for the dining plan but will always book free dining when it is offered and it has always saves OUR FAMILY money


that's always a big caveat, if you do a lot of character meals. We may do one mainly for he picture opportunity.

Do you find it a good deal even when you have to pay rack rate?? I always wondered because we stay deluxe and rack rate at the poly or Beach club can run 400-500/night easy
 

FrostyNaples

Well-Known Member
You're not an idiot! Navigating the DDP rules is complicated for anybody. Heck, every aspect of Disney vacation planning is complicated. It's just that there are apparently a few thousand of us who are gluttons for that kind of intellectual punishment... ;)

For this exact reason is why DDP is actually popular. It's a thoughtless pre-paid meal plan. You just pick when to use it.

Value can be extrapolated just based on convenience, and not necessarily being cheaper or more expensive VS out of pocket.

Disney gets this, they ALWAYS come out on top with DDP - but the guest can also think they are too! Win/Win?

The DW and I no longer use the DDP, as we like to split meals & snacks, allows us to try more things and save spending.

I'm not for or against DDP, i'm for letting each person decide what works for them :)
 

Po'Rich

Well-Known Member
there is NO DOUBTING the value. Again we do not pay for the dining plan but will always book free dining when it is offered and it has always saves OUR FAMILY money
Of course it saves you money if you get free dining. Yet, the question on the table is whether or not the Disney Dining Plan is a good value versus paying out of pocket when you are paying. I have tracked my meal expenses for my last three visits. We eat at one sit-down meal per day, but we also fix breakfast in our room. For us, the DDP would have always cost us much more than OOP. I think the real benefit of DDP (except when there is a promotion to get it for free) is the convenience. I have a neighbor who always gets the DDP when he goes. He doesn't care that he might ultimately being paying more because the convenience of having meals pre-paid is worth the extra $ to him.
 

joejccva71

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Yea I'm a big statistics guy. I'm not a penny-pincher guy though unless it makes sense.

I have done the numbers. Over and over (mainly cause i like doing it). I have sat down with my friend and we've gone through every menu for the places we're going to eat at and they're mostly signature restaurants.

These are our restaurants:

Flying Fish
Cape May Cafe
Hollywood Brown Derby
Via Napoli
Yachtsman Steakhouse
Be Our Guest
Shula's
Tiffins
Jiko
Beaches & Cream
Le Cellier Steakhouse
Narcoosee's
Paddlefish

Could not get a good time for California Grill honestly. We tried and it's either 5pm or 9:15-9:30pm. Tough place to get an ADR. We also wanted to do Morimoto Asia but found it hard to get that in. We aren't spending a ton of time at Disney Springs so it was tough.

I worked out the numbers. We both pretended like we were ordering from all of the different menu's and paying OOP was cheaper over the Deluxe Dining Plan every single time we did it. Granted it's not much cheaper. About $300-350 cheaper though.

We also aren't huge dessert eaters but we did realistically say we would eat desserts at a few places. Like obviously "The Grey Stuff" at Be Our Guest, because you know...you have to. Then dessert at Shula's and Flying Fish, etc. Some places you kinda have to.

But all in all, paying out of pocket was cheaper. And we ordered appetizers and entrees like we normally would. I'm a HUGE Mussels fan. We also love Calamari and Lobster Bisque so we took those into consideration as well.

We also ordered 1 glass of wine each with our meals cause that's realistically what we would do. We played it fair game. Still came out cheaper OOP.
 

Dave B

Well-Known Member
So a question for you on your $300+ savings, it does not look like you included and QS meals or snacks, can I assume the $300+ savings did not include those, which would then put you way over? Just curious? I did not see any listed?
 

joejccva71

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
So a question for you on your $300+ savings, it does not look like you included and QS meals or snacks, can I assume the $300+ savings did not include those, which would then put you way over? Just curious? I did not see any listed?

This includes 3 counter service meals on our trip that I did not include in my list of restaurants, sorry.

Pecos Bill
Columbia Harbor House
Flame Tree BBQ

I also factored in snacks on the days that we don't use counter service. I'm going to run the numbers one more time to be sure.
 
Last edited:

Dave B

Well-Known Member
So I am a little confused, maybe I am missing something? It does not seem like you would be using all your dining credits, listing the restaurants you did, also you have Shula's which I do not believe you can use dining plan for, you said it has 48 dining credits. Then 32 snack credits as well between the two of you? I don't see the math unless I am missing something?
 

joejccva71

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
So I am a little confused, maybe I am missing something? It does not seem like you would be using all your dining credits, listing the restaurants you did, also you have Shula's which I do not believe you can use dining plan for, you said it has 48 dining credits. Then 32 snack credits as well between the two of you? I don't see the math unless I am missing something?

I'll re-check when I can and will post my exact dining schedule with prices. Probably tomorrow.
 

joejccva71

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Ok so I re-checked everything and I did miss a few places, minor ones but they add up. Not going to bore you guys with all the menu items, just the totals. I checked the menu's again, what we would have ordered and verified everything. This is on an 9 day trip, 5-13 thru 5-22 (flying back on 22nd).

Disney Dining Plan for 9 nights: 54 total dining credits

OOP = Out of Pocket
DDP = Deluxe Dining Plan

Note: The total you see here for the DDP is what it WOULD have costed if we had to pay for it so to speak. Some places we would order dessert, some not. Some wine with dinner, some just soft drinks.

All total prices INCLUDE a 20% tip. This is for two people.

5/13 (arrival day): Flying Fish: OOP $132 , DDP $158
5/14: Mama Melrose (Fantasmic Dining Package): OOP $108, DDP $108
5/14: Hollywood Brown Derby: OOP $127, DDP $181
5/15: Via Napoli: OOP $42, DDP $65
5/15: Yachtsman Steakhouse: OOP $216, DDP $231
5/16: Be Our Guest: OOP $58, DDP $58
5/16: Cosmic Starlight Cafe: OOP $38, DDP $38
5/16: Be Our Guest: OOP $129, DDP $129
5/17: Ale & Compass: OOP $45, DDP $45
5/17: ESPN Club: OOP $68, DDP $68
5/17: Shula's: OOP $253
5/18: Tusker House: OOP $72, DDP $72
5/18: Tiffin's: OOP $138, DDP $138
5/19: Jiko: OOP $186, DDP $210
5/20: Pecos Inn: OOP $32, DDP $32
5/20: Narcoossee's: OOP $200, DDP $225
5/21: Paddlefish: OOP $171, DDP $207
5/22: Flying back home in the morning

OOP total: $2015 <- includes tips
Cost of the Deluxe Dining Plan for 9 nights: $2092 <- since DDP doesn't pay for tips, total tip addition is $365 for all table meals
Total Dining Credits used: 54 (for 2 people)

Summary
OOP total cost: $2015
DDP total cost: $2457 ($2092 for the plan + $365 tipping)

DDP + eating at Shula's: $2710

This did NOT include the snacks nor the refillable mug.

The DDP is almost $700 more than paying OOP for everything. In my case it is. The kicker here is that you pay for the Deluxe Dining Plan and you still have to shell out for tips, and with all the food it jacks up the totals. Then, Shula's hikes up the cost more.

Either way, check my math if you like. Lots of food. It's kind of sickening when you say "I'm paying over $2000 just for food???"

Although I will admit that the fact that I am eating at Shula's one night and also probably not eating much on 5/21 hurts the DDP numbers somewhat. Kind of an unfair hit on the plan. I mean I technically could do some adjusting, but I think it's clear the in my case, OOP wins.
 
Last edited:

Starlight67

Well-Known Member
The DDP is almost $700 more than paying OOP for everything. In my case it is. The kicker here is that you pay for the Deluxe Dining Plan and you still have to shell out for tips, and with all the food it jacks up the totals. Then, Shula's hikes up the cost more.

Wow...this really breaks it down! I think sometimes we are so conditioned to believe the word 'package' must mean cheaper. Clearly that is not always the case. Has me thinking about the usual way we book Disney vacations in general, (package through AAA or Delta with flight, park hoppers and accommodations at a Disney resort.)

One day I will have to price out buying everything individually.

Also i am wondering about the usefulness of the Parkhopper pass for us. Honestly with the FP+ system of basically pigeonholing guests into one park for the day, we didn't do ANY park hopping our last visit. After the three passes were gone we didn't book any additional FP's. I may be way off, but I'm wondering if buying day passes might be a better way to go.
 

Register on WDWMAGIC. This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.

Top Bottom