My many thoughts on why we decided to book the DxDP!

Discussion in 'Walt Disney World Restaurants, Dining, Dining Plan' started by Deb, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. Deb

    Deb Active Member

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    I just wanted to jot a few thoughts down on our decision making process to use the Deluxe DP during our stay this year, either for discussion or information. I know that for many people the first thoughts are along the lines of “that is far too much to eat!â€, along with really not wanting to plan that far ahead, and I just wanted to share our thoughts on it all and how and why we reached that decision.

    We have booked to stay at the YC with free DP. This is our first time at a Deluxe DW hotel, and as it has been our dream to stay at the YBC, as well as our first holiday for 3 years, it is safe to say we are rather thrilled. Now, wherever we go eating together is a key part of our holiday enjoyment, and after a bit of deliberation we decided to upgrade to Deluxe DP. There are a few things we factored into our decision, including of course reviewing our previous experiences and how we felt about them. We have been to the World 3 times together as a couple – all of the times before that I have been I have stayed offsite and mostly eaten offsite. On our trips together we have had different types of experience; last time we stayed offsite near DTD so had no dining plan (and quite a bit of eating at DTD and the Crossroads at LBV), the time before that at OKW with DxDP, and before that POR with no DP at all.

    Another thing we took into consideration was that we have opted not to have a car for the first time. That would limit our opportunity to eat offsite without needing to use a cab, and so if we were going to do the DxDP again at all then this might be a good time to eat onsite only.

    So, the upgrade to DxDP from the free DP cost £900 between us for the 2 weeks, and after initially thinking we wouldn’t do it we decided to look at it in more detail. We pushed away the thoughts of “far too much food and we will possibly burst if we go for this†and logically did our calculations. The key thing it all came down to was that both of us are breakfast and appetiser people. On holiday we like to eat a full breakfast every day. There are maybe only 2 mornings in DW that we don’t, and that is usually when we are going to HS for early magic hours as we are not fond of their TS breakfast options. At lunchtime we tend to like to have a light one of maybe a large snack, salad or sandwich, and then have a full TS dinner maybe 80% of the time. Now, an appetiser is a key part of a TS dinner for us both, though Mr Deb rarely has a dessert (and I am often too full up for one, though I tend to valiantly try to eat one). An appetiser is not included in TS on the normal DP, but it is the DxDP, and you cannot swap an appetiser for a dessert on the DP. Appetisers would have to be paid for OOP if we stayed on the normal DP.

    So, we calculated how many extra breakfasts we would realistically have to pay for OOP if we stayed with the normal DP, and how much we would pay for appetisers at the meals we would be definitely going for. As quite a few of these were Signature restaurants and took 2 DP credits, then we looked at how we would eat on the other nights, and realised we would probably eat at the very least a couple more TS dinners. All of that added up to quite a lot more than the £900 cost to upgrade the DP.

    One of the things we did like with our previous experience on the DxDP is the 2 daily snack credits to grab coffees and cold drinks, for example, if we fancied one. The single daily snack credit on the DP usually covered that. When we did the DxDP previously we had heaps of credits left over and used them to bring sweets back for my niece and nephew (so saving on money for gifts :wink: ). This time we are going at Flower and Garden Festival time, and this will be the first time we have been since they have also turned it into a mini F&W Festival. We are looking forward to using the extra snack credits during a couple of evenings we have scheduled to snack around the world, and hope to try most things that way.

    So, a last few thoughts. We know we won’t eat a full 3 meals a day of appetiser, main, and dessert, but of course that is impossible anyway as breakfasts don't work that way in Disney :) We will most definitely get value for money for us from the upgrade price, and we will definitely eat something 3 times a day (we would on any holiday anywhere). One of the tricks we learned last time was to lose those thoughts in your head of “I need to order the steak with lobster rather than the vegetarian pasta to get my money’s worth from this plan†or "I must do TS for lunch as it isn't good value to have CS". Simply order what you want to – and with knowing we are getting value anyway that is easier. Most of our lunches will be CS as that is part of the eating fun. But conversely, it also makes it easier for you to order that more expensive dish if you really want to, knowing it is paid for.

    What about the point many raise, that Disney restaurants aren’t what they used to be, that some meals can be mediochre, that eating only onsite is boring? Well, when we go on holiday anywhere, not every restaurant we eat out is perfect. There are some better than others, and it would have to be an incredible place to provide us with that experience and consistency. And eating in Disney has so many different types and style of food, and so variety and surroundings will count for a lot on the experience. We do agree that it means we aren't eating in the wider Orlando area and experiencing some of the fab restaurants there, but we have done that before, and maybe next time we will do half Disney and half offsite. If we really decided we wanted to eat somewhere offsite, we still would once or twice.

    Preplanning? Well, we plan quite a bit anyway, taking account of EMH first, and planning our park visits around that first and foremost, and so we have a rough guideline of what we want to do or expect to have. We don’t actually mind the planning too much, it's part of the excitement of looking forward to the trip, and we always change our plans as we go along if we want to. The worst that can happen is a small restaurant cancellation charge if you decide not to go on the day, but it is easy to change restaurants the day before if you want to, and we have to say when we have done that before we have always found somewhere else we are happy to eat. We might not be able to get short notice tables at BOG or CRT maybe, but even with the signature restaurants we have managed to get tables via a concierge or Disney Dining phone line. But obviously, if you are the sort of person who prefers to see how you feel on the day then this whole thing wouldn’t work for you. We can be quite indecisive when it comes to the “where are we going to eat†question on the actual day, and can dither for ages, so this takes that angst out of the way for us! We can just know it’s an Artist Point day and look forward to it!

    Would we do the DxDP if we didn’t already have “free†DP tagged onto our reservation, and therefore only had to pay for the upgrade? We would have to consider that at the time I think. But I wouldn't rule it out. Oh, and the extra tipping... well we would have to tip wherever we ate, so that rules itself out. One thing we did learn from doing previous DxDP is that if you are too full for your dessert, think twice before being persuaded by your server to "take your dessert away with you as you have paid for it already". We ended up with a fridge full of desserts before realising we were paying extra tips on them!

    Blimey. I have written an essay, so if you have got this far please have a medal ;) I’ll post a list of our ADRs later too. This is our last week to tweak them before booking fast passes on Saturday, so locking our plans down a little more tightly.
     
  2. keith

    keith Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Deb that's a brilliant post which should help other people thinking about the plan in future :yes: Going to be interesting to see your ADR list!!
     
  3. Tink

    Tink Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Absolutely wonderful thought process, Debs and thank you so much for sharing it here! It makes great sense the way you explain it, and that will help so many others. I can see folks reading it and saying, things like, 'oh yes! Didn't think of that!' and so on.

    Will definitely be looking forward to your ADR plans. :yes: I so hope you love the YC! :yes:
     
  4. Clarkkent

    Clarkkent Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Deb - we've always upgraded from a QS plan to the DDP - and then just paid for starters/appetisers when we decided we wanted to add them to the meal. If the meal was likely to be huge, sometimes we didn't bother. Last year we stayed at AKL so we had the DDP for free, with no need to pay the upgrade price.

    Every time we use DDP we make a note of how much everything would have cost us had we paid in cash, rather than using the DPP. Last year we 'saved' an equivalent of over £400 (bearing in mind exchange rates), mainly because we were able to use the snack options at the Food and Wine Festival, and also maximise our meal options (I generally always head for the most expensive thing on the menu, because I'm greedy like that).

    We did look at the DxDP a few times, but given that we are able to stuff ourselves silly already (we try to hit as many buffets as we possibly can), we couldn't justify the additional expense. Though, if you go at the time of the F&WF.... think of how much you could eat!!!! I'm salivating at the thought already :)
     
  5. Tink

    Tink Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Absolutely wonderful thought process, Debs and thank you so much for sharing it here! It makes great sense the way you explain it, and that will help so many others. I can see folks reading it and saying, things like, 'oh yes! Didn't think of that!' and so on.

    Will definitely be looking forward to your ADR plans. :yes: I so hope you love the YC! :yes:
     
  6. Tink

    Tink Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Wow. There are really intricacies to using these plans! This is such a valuable thread for our members who may be planning, and trying to decide what to do about meals. :yes:
     
  7. Clarkkent

    Clarkkent Well-Known Member

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    You gotta be careful! Don't go wasting your snack options on a small bowl of grapes when you can get a steamed duck roll from the Japanese hut or some filet mignon from Canada. Think people, think! :)

    Also, be creative with how you plan. Sometimes instead of using a TS for breakfast, we'd opt to pay in cash for a smaller breakfast, and then double up for a Signature restaurant on the same day. It took us a couple of trips to work out how to get the most from the DDP, but once you've got the hang of it, abuse the system haha! (and if you make your ADR's over the phone, tell them at the beginning to add your special event to every booking - last year we had dessert for free a few times, and a glass of wine each at BOG because we'd told them it was our anniversary).
     

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