Dining plan math


#1

Ok, so I finally got around to updating the 2013 prices on my dining plan sticky this morning–better late than never.

I haven’t paid attention to the dining plan in a couple of years so I had no idea how expensive it’s gotten. The Quick Service plan is $37.58 per night! :eek: That’s about what the regular dining plan cost when first came out–what six or seven years ago? That included tip and an appetizer for every meal. But that’s not really my point, I know prices have gone up in every part of our lives.

Now for the math on the quick service plan for a typical day for us in Magic Kingdom:

Pecos Bills for lunch-
1/3 lb cheeseburger $8.69 + a large drink $2.89=[B]$11.58 [/B]
(I didn’t include the crummy little cake thing since there’s NO WAY I would ever actually order and pay for it.)

Columbia Harbour House for dinner-
Chicken nugget and fish basket $9.29 + a large drink $2.89=[B]$12.18[/B]
(Again no dessert, I wouldn’t pay for it)

Snack-
Minute Maid Frozen Lemonade [B]$3.69[/B]

[B]That adds up to $27.45 [/B]

Quick Service Dining Plan $37.58 - 27.45 = [B]$10.13–loss[/B]

That’s a huge loss for us, especially when I multiply that by the three of us. I know there are restaurants like Wolfgang Puck Express where meals are closer to $13.00 but we wouldn’t go there more than once. Most of our meals would be in the parks.

I didn’t include the mug that we may or may not buy, that would add about $2 per day to the total if I divided it by 7 days for a typical week long trip. We usually only get one mug because we really don’t use it a lot since we’re in the parks most days.

What am I missing? There has to be something more that I’m not seeing. As much as I would like the ease of paying for it before our trip so I didn’t have to worry about that part of our trip, it’s just as easy to swipe a room charge card to pay for what we order. It’s not worth the $30 difference between what we would actually pay and the cost of the plan EACH day.


#2

Stephanie -

The math does not work in your favor then. For me and my daughter, the counter service saves me or I break even. We usually eat most of our meals at our resort’s food court. We save our desserts for either a snack later on in the day or a fast breakfast. We use our mugs constantly, so that’s a still a good value for us. It’s getting closer to a break even over a savings, but I still like having that paid for in advance. I would never buy the table service plan as it’s would be a waste on us.


#3

[QUOTE=Dana;1119518]Stephanie -

The math does not work in your favor then. For me and my daughter, the counter service saves me or I break even. We usually eat most of our meals at our resort’s food court. We save our desserts for either a snack later on in the day or a fast breakfast. We use our mugs constantly, so that’s a still a good value for us. It’s getting closer to a break even over a savings, but I still like having that paid for in advance. I would never buy the table service plan as it’s would be a waste on us.[/QUOTE]

Looking over the menus I’m just wondering how anyone could make it work. I think we could break even on one day if we went to WPE but that’s about it. I noticed last summer when Nate and I spent a few days at Pop the prices we the same as in the parks, about $8 per meal. Are the moderate food courts more expensive? I haven’t looked at those menus today.


#4

We just went to WDW! And for the first time we did not get the plan. Before, even if we did get dessert every meal, we would have saved money with the plan. At first, we kept thinking that there was no way Disney could make money using the plan. This was before mugs. Now, it is $50 a day. We added up what we ate this trip, and we were pretty liberal, except we did not do dessert twice per day like you would get with the plan. We did however get Mickey bars, go to France for pastry, etc. and we drank a ton because it was hot… Still we figured out that we saved about $ 300-400 for our family. Originally we would have gotten the regular plan, and we have four “adults” in our party…plus a baby this trip. No more dining plan for us…


#5

You know I used to be able to make it work, but everything is becoming really unbalanced, cost wise.
Yes, if you order the most expensive item, you will come closer to breaking even or even being a little ahead. But how often will you want the chicken and rib combo from Cosmic Ray’s during the week?

From what I recall, the food courts at all three levels are pretty much priced the same.

By the way, I haven’t done a dining plan since 2009 and have exclusively been using TiW for the 20% discount. The downside is you have to be an AP holder or a Florida resident.


#6

There are, or were 2 things i’ve always thought i’ve missed by not staying at a Disney resort every trip. 1) the pools, but only at Deluxe level and 2) DDP. QS ddp is NOT a deal for the reasons you have mentioned, and since we don’t eat/commit to a TS every day that’s not worth it either. Exception would be if all TS meals were Character, and we’re past “most” of that.
So, now we’re back to #1, and with Deluxe costing $$$$ am I really missing that much?


#7

We’re back to how does your personal math work out Cyndi.
I’m guessing that your family might not make the best use of the deluxe plan, and if you don’t or can’t, then it just isn’t worth it.
The regular plan has never been a great thing for me. One and one plus a snack leaves me paying for a better meal out of pocket or a third meal or extra snacks out of pocket.
I have never felt that character buffet breakfasts have been the best use of your daily TS credit when you have only one, though the dinners are a bit better of a use simply because dinner is $10 more than lunch.

Are you really missing that much by not doing the deluxe?
Well, you could do a character breakfast every day and a signature for dinner, or perhaps one of the two credit dinner shows. You do get the appetizer as well as the entree and dessert on the deluxe, plus two snacks each day and a new mug.
That’s what you’re missing. If these things aren’t important, or not worth the extra outlay for your family, don’t bother with it and don’t give it another thought.

Meanwhile, it’s time for you to do some number crunching and menu reading, isn’t it?

On rereading your post, I wonder if you’re thinking that only deluxe resort guests can buy the deluxe dining plan, and that’s just not the case. You can stay at Pop and buy the deluxe dining plan.


#8

The food pretty much costs the same at all the food courts regardless of which resorts. It’s the options that are different etc. Again, it’s not saving me a ton of money, but I am saving a few dollars a day or breaking even on most days. I will track it when I am there next week. Maybe it’s not any more and I am just to lazy to do it by day:laugh: Let’s see what we see. I’ll update this thread with my findings.


#9

[QUOTE=Soundgod;1119533]We’re back to how does your personal math work out Cyndi.
I’m guessing that your family might not make the best use of the deluxe plan, and if you don’t or can’t, then it just isn’t worth it.
The regular plan has never been a great thing for me. One and one plus a snack leaves me paying for a better meal out of pocket or a third meal or extra snacks out of pocket.
I have never felt that character buffet breakfasts have been the best use of your daily TS credit when you have only one, though the dinners are a bit better of a use simply because dinner is $10 more than lunch.

Are you really missing that much by not doing the deluxe?
Well, you could do a character breakfast every day and a signature for dinner, or perhaps one of the two credit dinner shows. You do get the appetizer as well as the entree and dessert on the deluxe, plus two snacks each day and a new mug.
That’s what you’re missing. If these things aren’t important, or not worth the extra outlay for your family, don’t bother with it and don’t give it another thought.

Meanwhile, it’s time for you to do some number crunching and menu reading, isn’t it?

On rereading your post, I wonder if you’re thinking that only deluxe resort guests can buy the deluxe dining plan, and that’s just not the case. You can stay at Pop and buy the deluxe dining plan.[/QUOTE]

Ooo my tummy hurts. I feel like I gained 10lbs just reading it. :laugh:

Yes i’m aware anyone can purchase dddp. I should explain my comment more since it was really more about is it worth it for us to stay on Disney property just to be able to purchase ddp. A LOT of people do just for that. A little off topic, but not really :happy:
As of now the only 2 things important enough to make me feel i’m missing out are the pools (only at deluxe resorts) and ddp. The other perks I can take or leave, or else i’m already getting it.
As for ddp, with DT’s analysis on QS I now feel i’m not missing anything there and on the regular, well unless it’s for “regular non-show non-character meals” I feel I do just as well paying OOP for as often as I would go or what I would order and eat. I Just Don’t Like To Commit To A Lot Of Mealtimes On Vacate, and w/o adr’s if we can’t get in I feel like i’ve paid for something I didn’t use well.
If I were able to go to WDW more often I would definitely get an AP and TIW, and none of this would even be a second thought.


#10

I haven’t used a plan for several yrs, but the QS may be a better use IF you use it at the resort a lot like Dana. Having a meal at a resort, I’d use my mug and get juice or milk to save for breakfast the next day. I think the desserts at the resorts are much better than the “cake in a cup” thing you get from the parks. So it could work in your favor.

I don’t understand where disney brags the dining plan "can save you up to 20%. That just says to me, the TIW card is even more valuable.


#11

This year, DVC can buy TIW too. It cost a hundred dollars. I think that’s the same price as Florida resident.


#12

I guess that’s really my question–can someone show me the math with the quick service plan? We bring breakfast bars and pop tarts for breakfast in the room so we only eat two meals out a day. Can someone show me where they eat to spend $40 a day at two quick service restaurants while touring the parks?


#13

I don’t think you do. I think if you use the plan like I do, then it’s still worth it. If you eat like your family does, it makes no sense what-so-ever.


#14

What do you do differently than we do to make it work? Can you give me an example of two or three days when you get your meals to add up to $37.50?


#15

Each trip we bounce back and forth if the QSP or reg DDP would be worth it. But since we wing it and make very few ADR’s I cannot make either work. Even excluding the TiW savings. And I would have thought that we could make out hitting so many sit down locations for dinners.

Unless I’m doing it wrong, and if so, can someone educte this lost soul.


#16

----I just don’t want to be bothered with it—If I have any kind of DP I know I will be thinking I have to use it…that means more planning and we don’t plan much…I may be losing out on some savings, but… I can see the DPs working for many different family units…just not us.:mickey:


#17

I will be happy to report back after my trip and see if it’s still a good value. I mentioned a few posts up that it has been a long time since I have done that. I do eat most of my meals at the resort, use my mug and save my drink and dessert for either breakfast or later on that night as a snack. If I ate my meals in the parks, this wouldn’t work.


#18

I had to go on Allears and check because now you have me thinking. Am I delusional or what? I paid $34.99 for my Quick Service plan for this upcoming trip. If I factor in the cost of the mug per day and max my plan out using only the resort, I am $1.61 ahead…with next year’s pricing, it no longer makes sense for me either. Guess this will be the last year I use it.


#19

This thread highlights what I have been complaining about for a long time. And yes, I have called WDW to suggest some options that include appetizers instead of desserts, but to no avail.

There is no dining plan for us. We do not eat CS foods (dietary limitations). We do not eat desserts (dietary limitations and I don’t care for dessert anyway). We also do not eat three meals a day. We usually have coffee and something flimsy in the room before we leave, then a nice early dinner, which for me is usually two appetizers.

We also have many cocktails or wine at night.

So… we do Tables In Wonderland! It is 20 percent off your entire check at almost anywhere you care to eat. And the discount applies to alcohol too. I have no idea why more people don’t take advantage of this option. We usually make up the charge for the card (is it $75 per year now for AP holders?) well before 3 days have passed.

I would imagine that for WDW, there is significantly less profit to be made on a TIW membership than on a dining plan. The reason why is the same as the reason why they offer dessert instead of appetizers on the dining plan… appetizers cost more to make!


#20

Did you include the tax in your figures Dana? That is what put me over the OOP line when I was figuring for the regular plan last Oct.