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Thread: Help - is the Dining Plan good value?

  1. #1
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    Without getting too excited, we may be about to book two weeks in the Port Orleans Riverside from the 14th January (I am staying calm, I am staying calm.... )

    Anyway, it being ages since we have been, and never when the Dining Plan is on offer, we are trying to fathom out whether it is worth it, and instead of continuing to suffer brainfreeze I thought I would ask you as that's what we're all here for! I think it has to be booked at the same time as booking the whole package...I guess I have picked that up right?

    DDP price is currently 27 (about $44 ) for 1 counter service, 1 Table service and 1 snack. Having read Johnie's excellent stickie on here I know what they mean by it, but is it worth it to us? I am struggling to find a comprehensive list of eating places - I thought DTD was included but can't seem to find them? We will be going out to Universal and shopping (yay!!!) for around 4 - 5 days I guess, but we were thinking those days we could use one of our credits for breakfast before we go out (instead of for lunch). We also may well get a taxi a night or two and eat dinner out of Disney property, but if we are using double credits on a few nights then we won't be using anything there. If we can get ADRs we hope to eat at at least a couple of the 2-credit places, more if we can get them booked so if we fancy a evening of just a light counter service meal we can pay for that on top and it will be relatively cheap. Anyway, if all of that make sense to you...would you say it is worth the money? That's if we do decide to go..... Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated








  2. #2
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    I've yet to do the dining plan because when I sat down & figured what I think we would normally spend by checking menus online vs. what the dining plan costs I'm not convinced it's such a great deal. But I think most everyone I've ever talked to swears it is. I do know in the beginning they offered a bit more on the dining plan & if I understand correctly it was a better deal then than it is now.
    You may just go through on this site or whatever one offers up menus & just sort of add up the cost of what it would be at where you think you will eat each day (yes a pain in the tush I know but it's the only way I can think of) & then see what the two amounts equal to see what's best for your family specifically.
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  3. #3
    Moderator Dawn's Avatar
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    I think that personally I would find it very binding - you'd be planning your whole days around "we have to be at this restaurant by this time".

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    Thanks Big Thunder. I just kinda did that a bit, cross referencing some of the restaurants we were likely to eat in...there are just the two of us so maore grown-up places are int there. It seemed to vary as to whether it was good value or not (I know only we would know!)...amd I couldn't work out whether things like Casey's in MK was included.

    Also, I had read that not all things on the menu were included, and I can't seem to find any info on that. I think for easiness we are veering towards not getting it.








  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawn, post: 173249
    I think that personally I would find it very binding - you'd be planning your whole days around "we have to be at this restaurant by this time".
    I absolutely feel this way as well. Trust me, I love eating & I particularly love eating at WDW but I also felt that our days would have to be planned around where & what time we were eating. I feel there is more freedom to eat when & where we want without it. But let me also add, since the dining plan came about, I find some places are harder just to walk up & still get in without reservations because everyone with the DP are now booking up the restaurants. This hasn't happened a tremendous amount of times but it has happened to us.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawn, post: 173249
    I think that personally I would find it very binding - you'd be planning your whole days around "we have to be at this restaurant by this time".
    Dawn, that is my main concern, and the thing that has kept us away from Disney for so long. I hate the lack of spontaneity. I think I was wondering whether being "captive" on site would mean I'd have to book eating places anyway for the table service meals, whether on DDP or not) as everywhere seems to be prebooked for ADRs in advance and we would have to book if we wanted to be sure of eating anything?








  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigThunder, post: 173253
    I absolutely feel this way as well. Trust me, I love eating & I particularly love eating at WDW but I also felt that our days would have to be planned around where & what time we were eating. I feel there is more freedom to eat when & where we want without it. But let me also add, since the dining plan came about, I find some places are harder just to walk up & still get in without reservations because everyone with the DP are now booking up the restaurants. This hasn't happened a tremendous amount of times but it has happened to us.
    Snap! Exactly what I was wondering and worrying about








  8. #8
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    Deb & Dawn, I think I have found some kindred spirits, lol! I also like the spontaneity of taking things as I come, eating when we are hungry, etc. That really bugs me about the DP. We don't even always plan out what park we are going to on what day, we just take it day by day & do what we like. When you have to make advanced reservations for every stinking meal it ruins that! But I do think due to the dining plan you almost have to do that anyway to insure you get into the more popular places which stinks
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigThunder, post: 173258
    Deb & Dawn, I think I have found some kindred spirits, lol! I also like the spontaneity of taking things as I come, eating when we are hungry, etc. That really bugs me about the DP. We don't even always plan out what park we are going to on what day, we just take it day by day & do what we like. When you have to make advanced reservations for every stinking meal it ruins that! But I do think due to the dining plan you almost have to do that anyway to insure you get into the more popular places which stinks
    Yep And that's why I was wondering whether, if we had to book and do that anyway we would be better value on the DP...but on the other hand we are partly thinking we may be happier just having a couple of counter services a day of we can't get our preferred by just walking up or booking on the day. I have never planned which park I'm going to, and especially in January when the weather will be unpredictable.








  10. #10
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    Well, I hate to make you think everywhere will be booked up, especially in January as it's not usually crowded. But my suggestion would be if there are certain places you REALLY want to eat, then go ahead & make reservations for those.

    My family is basically happy with counter service food with the few character meals/sit-down meals thrown in. As much as I love eating, taking too much time to do it only takes away from what I'm really there for which is the rides!! lol
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