Post Your Best Tips And Advice for the Disney Dining Plan!

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Post Your Best Tips And Advice for the Disney Dining Plan!

I'm using the Deluxe Dining Plan when I head to Florida in May, what are your best tips and tricks for using the DDP? Do you have any advice I (or someone else reading) may not have thought of yet? Are there any secret tricks you've figured out? Share them here!

jhugo's picture
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Joined: 01/11/2014
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We always book the deluxe dining plan. In the last 3 years we have been able to get the free dining offer than upgrade to deluxe. That saved us a lot of money! This year with going in October we probably won't get the free dining deal but decided to go with deluxe just the same. The biggest draw for us is all our meals and snacks are paid for before we even get to Disney. All we worry about is tips and adult beverages. I have priced it out and deluxe does save you money if you don't use it for too many quick service meals. The one down side is that by the end of our trip I am in a food coma. The amount of food you get can be a bit overwhelming.

JMed's picture
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Joined: 02/16/2014
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I am thinking of adding on the DP for the first portion of our October trip. It will be just Joe and I and we are going to use the ability to split TS credits into snack credits for Food and Wine. We've not done this before and I have heard it can be hit or miss but I am hoping they have it all figured out this year LOL.

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BarbaraB's picture
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I like the Deluxe Dining Plan for the same reasons as jhugo...everything's already paid for (mostly). Signature dining is a big part of our trips. However, they cost 2 TS credits so we either use snack credits to grab something quick for breakfast, pay out of pocket, or skip breakfast all together to save the TS credits for dinner. I've never actually crunched the numbers to see if it saves us money. I just like not having to worry about paying for dinner. Those Signature dining restaurants can be quite pricey, and breakfast is (relatively) cheap so I don't mind paying cash for that.

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alicemouse's picture
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I've never tried the deluxe because I can tell you without looking that it's way too much food for me--especially when it's hot. I feel really sick if I eat heavy meals and then walk around the parks in the heat. Regular dining isn't enough food--rephrase--it's enough food, but it's too concentrated. I'd like it to be spread out more. The quick service plan is a rip off and honestly, the regular dining plan can be too depending on how you eat. It's a little bit more flexible than it used to be, but I'd be willing to bet that most people barely break even or lose money on purchasing the two lower levels of dining plan. I know from adding up my receipts when I get home that I would absolutely lose money on either of those plans.

That being said, if I was using the dining plan, I would look for places with a Prix Fixe menu. We did free dining one time and we got the most value from Chefs de France, Akershus, and Le Cellier (lunch). Four counter service, I would go for Columbia Harbor House, La Cantina de San Angel, and Flame Tree BBQ for the chicken & ribs combo as they are some of the more expensive counter service meals that I can think of.

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BarbaraB wrote:
I've never actually crunched the numbers to see if it saves us money. I just like not having to worry about paying for dinner. Those Signature dining restaurants can be quite pricey, and breakfast is (relatively) cheap so I don't mind paying cash for that.

We did this for our last trip because we wanted to see if we could make it work.

End result:
Pros - We spent about $30 less than we would have paid for the DDP.
Cons - We debated over every meal looking at the prices, we didn't buy snacks we wanted because we wanted to try and stay under the budget, we didn't get meals we really wanted because of the cost, we didn't get desserts we wanted because of the cost, we only spent about $30 less and didn't get half the food we would have. Conclusion: Unless we have children someday who are picky eaters we will always be getting the regular dining plan, ordering what we want and turning down food we don't want. It really sucked a lot of the fun out of dining for us by not having it.

I do think the Deluxe plan would be WAY too much food for us as the regular dining plan is even a little too much. We might consider it if we made a trip of all 2 credit restaurants but we enjoy a number of the 1 credit places.

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