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  • Disney Dining Plan

    I know you are problay asked stuff this all the time,but we are coming Oct.13-21 and I have a couple questions.Right now I am planning on getting the DDP,but after reading some reviews last night on allears I'm now a little unsure.There will be 2 adults and our 8 year old daughter.My husband and I are a bit of foodies,so food does matter to us.IS the plan worth it for us?Also any suggestions on where we could try to maximize our value?
    Last edited by nicolem; 01-30-2008, 04:54 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Disney Dining Plan

    Last year, the DDP was a very good value (especially during the free dine time period!) Still way too much food for me, and I don't like having to worry about dining reservations every day.

    This year, I'd personally not recommend it to the average guest. That doesn't mean that you cannot make it worth it for you, but it'd be pretty easy to figure that out. I'd suggest going to AllEars and looking at menus. Decide what restaurants you'd be interested in, and the cost of those meals. Remember that appetizer and gratuity is not included this year (unless the appetizer is included with the buffet, or tip/appetizer with the dinner show). If you are mostly going to character breakfasts, it won't be a value. If you are going to restaurants like Le Cellier, Coral Reef and Tutto Italia, then you'll likely end up ahead.

    You are also coming during the Food and Wine Festival. So as foodies, you might decide to do more food booths and F&W events as opposed to the normal sit-down restaurants.
    Denise

    www.mousesteps.com




    Favorite TDL Typo:

    Originally posted by TDLFAN
    I think it will give more pipping pervs the reason needed to go parasailing
    on Bay Lake.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Disney Dining Plan

      The DDP was barely, kind of, only sort of worth it last year. If you liked character meals or tons of food.

      The DDP this year isn't worth it at all, price wise. Buy a la carte, break about even on the DDP price, and reap the benefit of actual flexibility in your vacation.

      If you are foodies, I recommend you spend extra for Jiko, CA Grill, and especially Victoria & Albert's.
      Kevin Yee
      MiceAge Columnist

      I am the author of several Disney books:
      Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
      Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
      Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
      Mouse Trap
      Tokyo Disney Made Easy
      101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
      Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

      “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Disney Dining Plan

        Originally posted by KevinYee View Post
        The DDP was barely, kind of, only sort of worth it last year. If you liked character meals or tons of food.
        Character meals (especially breakfasts) weren't - and aren't - valuable on the dining plan. But some of the 1 credit places were, and still can be (though I really wouldn't overall recommend the plan now).

        In addition, a lot of guests leave credits on the table when they leave. I have spent time with friends who bought the dining plan, and had to race around at the end to use up meal credits. When I did the free dine, I did the same thing (but I live close by, and just brought a bunch of food home).

        I also found that I didn't like booking reservations 6 months in advance for every night of my stay. I had no idea where I was going to be on those days, and made it to maybe 1/3 of my reservations. 3 nights I ended up at the newly opened Tutto Italia, and 2 nights at Trails End. I like being more flexible, and not having to do table service every day.

        One of the biggest problems I have with it now is that the dining plan is not all-inclusive. That was one of the selling points before. I would have rather seen them raise the price, include the tip for the servers - and guests could have known their final package price.

        All in all, I don't think it's worth buying into. But there are some people who will save money.
        Last edited by nbodyhome; 01-30-2008, 08:07 PM.
        Denise

        www.mousesteps.com




        Favorite TDL Typo:

        Originally posted by TDLFAN
        I think it will give more pipping pervs the reason needed to go parasailing
        on Bay Lake.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Disney Dining Plan

          Just an FYI, on 1 January they changed the rules of using the snack plan at Merchandise locations. Previously, any food item price $4 dollars and under was a snack. Now it has to be $4 and under and 1 serving. The problem is they have not been very logical about defining one serving. In the confectionery, we can no longer sell fudge as a snack. Among the chocolates, most are still snacks but the nut clusters (nuts on the bottom, then caramel, then a pat of milk chocolate, then a dark chocolate medallion) are no longer a snack, whereas the pecan and caramel patties (same price and essentially the same snack but with the caramel and nuts on the inside instead of the bottom) is still a snack. We've pretty much had to memorize on an item-per-item basis which is still a snack and which is not. One of the weirdest things is the fudge; they gave us a list of everything that was removed from the plan because it wasn't a single serving, and each had a category. The category listed for fudge was SINGLE SERV. I wonder what "SINGLE SERV" can stand for since apparently it must not mean "single serving".

          For anyone still using the snack plan, here are some items which are still snacks:

          Drinks except Full Throttle (Full Throttle is over $4 so it never was a snack).
          Cotton Candy
          Cookies, including German Chocolate Cake Cookies and the big thick Minnie's Bake Shop cookies.
          Chocolates except for Jumbo Rocky Road and Nut Clusters. (Jumbo Rocky Road was never a snack)
          Chocolate dipped strawberries
          Chocolate dipped marshmallows
          Candy, caramel, and caramel /w nuts apples (Chocolate apples were never on the plan)
          Individual lollipops.
          Square rice crispies made in the confectionery and factory-made Mickey rice crispies (the small and large Mickey rice crispies made in the confectionery were never on the plan)

          Items previously on the plan but not now:
          FUDGE
          Small Taffy Bags
          6" and 12" sour powder sticks
          Lollipop bundles (including the tiny bundles that are smaller than the large individual lollipops that are still snacks)
          Most Goofy's Candy Company merchandise

          This list is not complete and only covers the Main Street Confectionery in the Magic Kingdom.

          -Harry
          Last edited by HarryFromMarydelDE; 01-30-2008, 08:41 PM. Reason: forgot rice crispies

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Disney Dining Plan

            When I bought my Deluxe Dining Plan for March it said it includes Appetizers??? So how does it all work? Not that I'm really worried about the appetizers, don't really get them when we eat out anyhow. When I lived in FL and was an AP holder I usually brought my own food into the park or went back to wherever I was staying to eat...
            He felt like his life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.
            follow us on Twitter! @MickeyMutineers
            DisregardListen to our podcast on iTunes!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Disney Dining Plan

              Originally posted by Coastierox View Post
              When I bought my Deluxe Dining Plan for March it said it includes Appetizers??? So how does it all work? Not that I'm really worried about the appetizers, don't really get them when we eat out anyhow. When I lived in FL and was an AP holder I usually brought my own food into the park or went back to wherever I was staying to eat...
              This isn't a plan that I am as familiar with, and wouldn't have tried to recommend (due to hefty price and how much food is included). But I just looked it up, and it does include the appetizers. So you are okay on that. The regular dining plan doesn't include them. Neither includes gratuity.
              Denise

              www.mousesteps.com




              Favorite TDL Typo:

              Originally posted by TDLFAN
              I think it will give more pipping pervs the reason needed to go parasailing
              on Bay Lake.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Disney Dining Plan

                Originally posted by HarryFromMarydelDE View Post
                Just an FYI, on 1 January they changed the rules of using the snack plan at Merchandise locations. Previously, any food item price $4 dollars and under was a snack. Now it has to be $4 and under and 1 serving. The problem is they have not been very logical about defining one serving. In the confectionery, we can no longer sell fudge as a snack. Among the chocolates, most are still snacks but the nut clusters (nuts on the bottom, then caramel, then a pat of milk chocolate, then a dark chocolate medallion) are no longer a snack, whereas the pecan and caramel patties (same price and essentially the same snack but with the caramel and nuts on the inside instead of the bottom) is still a snack. We've pretty much had to memorize on an item-per-item basis which is still a snack and which is not. One of the weirdest things is the fudge; they gave us a list of everything that was removed from the plan because it wasn't a single serving, and each had a category. The category listed for fudge was SINGLE SERV. I wonder what "SINGLE SERV" can stand for since apparently it must not mean "single serving".

                For anyone still using the snack plan, here are some items which are still snacks:

                Drinks except Full Throttle (Full Throttle is over $4 so it never was a snack).
                Cotton Candy
                Cookies, including German Chocolate Cake Cookies and the big thick Minnie's Bake Shop cookies.
                Chocolates except for Jumbo Rocky Road and Nut Clusters. (Jumbo Rocky Road was never a snack)
                Chocolate dipped strawberries
                Chocolate dipped marshmallows
                Candy, caramel, and caramel /w nuts apples (Chocolate apples were never on the plan)
                Individual lollipops.
                Square rice crispies made in the confectionery and factory-made Mickey rice crispies (the small and large Mickey rice crispies made in the confectionery were never on the plan)

                Items previously on the plan but not now:
                FUDGE
                Small Taffy Bags
                6" and 12" sour powder sticks
                Lollipop bundles (including the tiny bundles that are smaller than the large individual lollipops that are still snacks)
                Most Goofy's Candy Company merchandise

                This list is not complete and only covers the Main Street Confectionery in the Magic Kingdom.

                -Harry
                Thanks for this wonderful list! Although right now all you've made me is hungry. :lol:

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Disney Dining Plan

                  Originally posted by SummerInFL View Post
                  Thanks for this wonderful list! Although right now all you've made me is hungry. :lol:
                  I love chocolate, but SO much on one list kind of cancels out all the "yummy's" for me.

                  But mention a double-double In and Out burger (like someone else did in my Disneyland thread) and I definitely get hungry. I can't wait to go back to In and Out!

                  Thanks to Harry, though, for such a comprehensive list. It seems easier just to allow all items under $4.00, as opposed to having a long list of what is and isn't allowed.
                  Denise

                  www.mousesteps.com




                  Favorite TDL Typo:

                  Originally posted by TDLFAN
                  I think it will give more pipping pervs the reason needed to go parasailing
                  on Bay Lake.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Disney Dining Plan

                    Yeah but those Mickey Rice Crispie treats get me every time. LOL

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Disney Dining Plan

                      Originally posted by SummerInFL View Post
                      Yeah but those Mickey Rice Crispie treats get me every time. LOL
                      LOL! I never get those. Rice Krispie treats are too easy to make at home (though I never do, I prefer chocolate!)

                      I do have a tremendous weakness for the cupcakes at the Pop Century. Chocolate cupcake, white icing. MMMMM
                      Denise

                      www.mousesteps.com




                      Favorite TDL Typo:

                      Originally posted by TDLFAN
                      I think it will give more pipping pervs the reason needed to go parasailing
                      on Bay Lake.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Disney Dining Plan

                        Originally posted by nbodyhome View Post
                        This isn't a plan that I am as familiar with, and wouldn't have tried to recommend (due to hefty price and how much food is included). But I just looked it up, and it does include the appetizers. So you are okay on that. The regular dining plan doesn't include them. Neither includes gratuity.

                        Yeah I wake up at 3 in the AM and I realized on my way to work what you guys are talking about.... Kinda slow in the mornings. at least worse than normal...
                        He felt like his life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.
                        follow us on Twitter! @MickeyMutineers
                        DisregardListen to our podcast on iTunes!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Disney Dining Plan

                          If you're getting appetizers then get the cheese plate at California Grill! YUMMY
                          Good morning, son
                          In twenty years from now
                          Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
                          And I can tell you 'bout today
                          And how I picked you up and everything changed
                          It was pain
                          Sunny days and rain
                          I knew you'd feel the same things...


                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Disney Dining Plan

                            Nicolem... I took my DW and two girls (4 and 12) to WDW last June (2007). We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge Resort and got the dining plan on our vacation package. I don't know about anyone else, but our clan found that the DDP was well worth the money we spent on it. If I recall correctly, I think we ended up saving several hundred dollars given the places we ate, the menu prices of the items we ordered, the fact that the gratuity was included (which may no longer be the case), and the cost per person for the plan. Interestingly, we didn't end up using all our meal / snack credits by the time came for the drive home, so we were able to gather up several food and fruit items from the restaurant in the resort (which we loved) to pack for the trip home.

                            I read an earlier comment that someone posted about not liking to make dining reservations, and that's fine. My experience tells me that using the DDP favors those that don't mind making dining reservations ahead of time. I work in accounting & finance and am, by definition and association, a bit on the anal-retentive side, so I like planning everything out. For me, having that provides a plan of attack, even if we end up chaging our minds about things (which we did a couple of times). I'll be happy to share the plan template I used to make our dining reservations and estimate how we would use our DDP credits if you'll provide your email address (I'd attach it here, but I don't see how to put a spreadsheet on this). I went so far as to show each park's hours, which ones had extra magic hours on which days, etc. It really became our vacation information source on the trip, and it worked well for us.

                            I'd say for some folks (like us), it's great... for others, maybe not so much. You have to think about how much you'll really use it. My group, we really used it and planned several dining trips while we were there. Out of six days on the property, we planned table-service meals for either breakfast or dinner five of those days (all character events which the girls really enjoyed, except one for the adults). For folks that are just there to hit the parks and ride the rides, it might not have as much value.
                            -Tony :roll:

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Disney Dining Plan

                              I personally would take Kevin Yee's and Denise's advice on this topic!
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