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TIW or DDP?

Club Cooloholic

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Group of 6 (4 adults, 2 kids) going in June for 4 nights, followed by 3 more nights for 2 adults and kids.
Running the numbers and it is really close, which would you recommend. Tables in Wonderland or Disney Dining Plan?
Anyone care to give their experiences with both?
 

Monty

A legend.
Premium Member
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If the numbers are close, it comes down to how you eat and whether the adults drink alcohol. I always found the DDP doesn’t match the way I prefer to eat. TiW gives 20% off everything, including alcohol, including at bars around property.

I prefer TiW for my style of eating/drinking.
 

CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
Will the adults use every single alcoholic beverage?
Will the kids need their own meals and clear their plates every time?
Will the adults need their own meals and clear their plates every time?
Are the kids actual kids by Disney standards?

If the answer to any one of those questions is "no," skip the DDP.
 

Club Cooloholic

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Will the adults use every single alcoholic beverage?
Will the kids need their own meals and clear their plates every time?
Will the adults need their own meals and clear their plates every time?
Are the kids actual kids by Disney standards?

If the answer to any one of those questions is "no," skip the DDP.
I think the big thing is we want to do places like 50s Prime Time and Askerhous. So it's a mix of high ticket and lower that makes it hard. Other than the kids we would never get dessert, and would prefer a few apps mixed in. Thus why I lean towards TIW
 

CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
I think the big thing is we want to do places like 50s Prime Time and Askerhous. So it's a mix of high ticket and lower that makes it hard. Other than the kids we would never get dessert, and would prefer a few apps mixed in. Thus why I lean towards TIW
I'd skip the DDP then. I've done it twice on two longer trips (10 nights and 9 nights) and I found myself ordering food I didn't really want and eating in a way I normally wouldn't just to try and "beat" the plan. Some nights you sit down planning to get the $42 steak and the $17 club sandwich is what calls to you instead. The DDP makes you feel guilty if you go with the sandwich.
 

Club Cooloholic

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I'd skip the DDP then. I've done it twice on two longer trips (10 nights and 9 nights) and I found myself ordering food I didn't really want and eating in a way I normally wouldn't just to try and "beat" the plan. Some nights you sit down planning to get the $42 steak and the $17 club sandwich is what calls to you instead. The DDP makes you feel guilty if you go with the sandwich.
Exactly. I was tempted because for the kids it can be a real deal but still.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
We usually go with the DDP and it works for us when we utilize it fully but friends we visit with are happy with their TIW and it works better for them and how they dine. Check out the details on both plans and see what gives you the best value.
 

dmw

Well-Known Member
Don't forgot to consider other dining discounts that might be available. Disney Visa cardholders get 10% off at some locations, and AP holders get 10% at a few more locations. Neither offer discounts on alcohol and neither have as many options as TIW, but those could be good alternatives to paying the $150 up front for TIW.
 

Greg H

Active Member
We have done really well over the years with the DDP but our girls were both 'kids' during those times and we spent a lot of time at the Disney character meals. On our last trip (15 nights) it was not uncommon for the table service meal bill to approach, and in some cases, even exceed the daily cost of the DDP. This was a character meal price for four (2 disney kids and 2 disney adults), including an alcohol based drink for the adults. We also tended to book the meals that included tickets to shows, etc., which adds a few bucks to the overall price. This also did not include any discounts from AP's or DVC. I think the daily DDP cost was right around $200. This year we are skipping the DDP as one of our girls is now 10 and we are planning to significantly cut back on character meals. Frankly, we are thinking we are going to even try and cut back on the table service meals overall. The prices have become silly in most cases. As someone else mentioned, there are discounts outside of the TIW card. Our plan this year is to use an AP/DVC discount and maybe even order a few groceries...
 

TinyTGO

New Member
TiW - comes with free valet (if you're driving), lasts one year, covers up to 10 people at the same table/bar, and covers alcohol... far superior, imo, than DDP. That said, if you have an AP, Disney Visa, or DVC card you probably already get 10% discount (not on alcohol).

$750 ($150/.20) needs to be spent to breakeven over the course of the year. If you are already getting 10% off elsewhere and don't drink alcohol, then it's $1500($150/(.20-.10)).

I would say with the trips you have planned that you'll have one TS meal per day =ing 22 adult meals, which approx = $34 per meal... not including alcohol or the kids, and you'll have 12 months to use the card in case you time the following year's vaca right.

Seems like a do to me.
 

slappy magoo

Well-Known Member
We did the Deluxe Dining plan for quite a while when both kids were under 10. We always had at least 2 sit down meals a day, a lot of character meals, some Signature meals like Cali Grill, Hoop De Doo, etc. Because there's been such a precipitous drop in price between adult and kid, it wound up being to our advantage, even if we had credits left over, and we'd bring home tons of packaged snacks or the nice big bags of Trail Mix.

Past trip, we switched to TiW. One the one hand, there was serious sticker shock when we got the AmEx bill as opposed to paying in advance. On the flip-flop, we just ate what we wanted. There wasn't a mental push to fit a dessert in there. We'd share an appetizer, we'd share a dessert. I don't drink so I didn't have to ask if my wife could have my alcohol and maybe we pay out of pocket for my soda. Servers would, without being asked, just offer to let my older daughter, now 10, order off the kid's menu (including Be Our Guest, they only charged her the kid menu price).

And barring awful service, we'd just put the 20% back on as the tip.

There's a convenience to paying one price and being done with it. But there's also a convenience to knowing you can eat what you want - "I was going to order the filet, but I think now I want the chicken, but then the value of the dining plan goes down oh noes!"

So unless you're in the boat we used to be in - your kids are under 10, you intend to have 2 sit down meals a day and maybe a sitdown on your checkout, you're doing the Signature meals where 2 credits can really work out (like Cali Grill or Jiko or Poly Luau or Hoop-de-Do, as opposed to BoG), you do a lot of buffets/character meals that are prix fixe...AND you plan on the Deluxe Dining Plan...I'd say TIW is your better bet.
 

Club Cooloholic

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We did the Deluxe Dining plan for quite a while when both kids were under 10. We always had at least 2 sit down meals a day, a lot of character meals, some Signature meals like Cali Grill, Hoop De Doo, etc. Because there's been such a precipitous drop in price between adult and kid, it wound up being to our advantage, even if we had credits left over, and we'd bring home tons of packaged snacks or the nice big bags of Trail Mix.

Past trip, we switched to TiW. One the one hand, there was serious sticker shock when we got the AmEx bill as opposed to paying in advance. On the flip-flop, we just ate what we wanted. There wasn't a mental push to fit a dessert in there. We'd share an appetizer, we'd share a dessert. I don't drink so I didn't have to ask if my wife could have my alcohol and maybe we pay out of pocket for my soda. Servers would, without being asked, just offer to let my older daughter, now 10, order off the kid's menu (including Be Our Guest, they only charged her the kid menu price).

And barring awful service, we'd just put the 20% back on as the tip.

There's a convenience to paying one price and being done with it. But there's also a convenience to knowing you can eat what you want - "I was going to order the filet, but I think now I want the chicken, but then the value of the dining plan goes down oh noes!"

So unless you're in the boat we used to be in - your kids are under 10, you intend to have 2 sit down meals a day and maybe a sitdown on your checkout, you're doing the Signature meals where 2 credits can really work out (like Cali Grill or Jiko or Poly Luau or Hoop-de-Do, as opposed to BoG), you do a lot of buffets/character meals that are prix fixe...AND you plan on the Deluxe Dining Plan...I'd say TIW is your better bet.
It is our last chance at DDP kids price for my daughter, is it sad I am tempted to do this out of wanting to use it one last time lol?
 

slappy magoo

Well-Known Member
It is our last chance at DDP kids price for my daughter, is it sad I am tempted to do this out of wanting to use it one last time lol?
Not at all, I get it, especially because the "savings" are so significant compared to when she crosses the threshold to Disney-adult (I think I should change my signature to "only in Disney can a 10 year old be considered an adult and no one calls the police.")
 

Greg H

Active Member
It is our last chance at DDP kids price for my daughter, is it sad I am tempted to do this out of wanting to use it one last time lol?
This was us last time... We did it (the DDP). We also told ourselves a number of times during some of those table service character meals that it might be our last time eating at some of those places... Quality of food is just not there when you are paying out of pocket for 3-4 disney adults... If the trip can really focus on food and you enjoy doing that I really think you can do very well on the DDP (with having Disney kids)... There were days on our last trip where we had BOG breakfast, lunch using snack credits at Epcot Food and Wine, and a character dinner buffet where we would have spent around $400 out of pocket... That was with the DDP costing us around $200 per day. My vote is go for it :) lol
 

Phonedave

Well-Known Member
Two other things to consider.

Is everybody going to eat together all of the time? With TiW the person holding the card needs to be in the party. So no going off on your own.

Is the person who is holding the TiW card going back within a year? If so, then you can keep using that card.

For me, I never think the DDP is worth it. So, it my opinion it comes down to is TiW worth it or not. For me it used to be. I had a TiW card for 5 or 6 years straight (maybe more - starting when it was the DDE). I have since stopped because with the jacked up prices and our disappointment in WDW TS dining in general we do a lot less of it now. It no longer makes sense.

-dave
 
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