If you have a kitchen, is the dining plan worth it?


#1

We’re flying in late on our first night. We won’t arrive at Disney until after 8 pm. Do I have to count this night on the dining plan? Seems like a huge waste. Plus, I’m wondering if we’re wasting money with the dining plan when we have a full kitchen.


#2

Yes, it does count as a day on the DDP, but your last day does not so it will equal out. Having a full kitchen is nice, but you have to ask yourself if you are willing to cook many meals in there? I had a two bedroom with a full kitchen and it was nice for snacks, breakfasts and an occassional dinner. I was not willing to be at my resort for each meal and was not willing to cook every meal either, so having the DDP worked out for me. It most definatelty isnt’ a waste of money…you get every penny worth and it’s paid for in advance making budgeting the rest of the trip much easier. To each their own however.


#3

That’s funny because I also didn’t like the idea of cooking and cleaning up after meals on vacation. Ha Ha

Do you recommend the Quick Service plan (2 quick service meals, 2 snacks) or Basic Dining plan (1 table service, 1 quick service, 1 snack) for my group of nine? We have 4 adults and 5 children.


#4

Ryser, how much will you use the kitchen?

Here’s the deal, as we see it. We always get a kitchen, and we always eat breakfast there. Mostly because the kids do not want to waste the morning waiting for food. So even if we didn’t have a kitchen, we’d grab a bagel and a coffee and eat on the way to the parks.

Second, the DDP sets you up for a LOT of food. We don’t eat that much normally, and we’d never be interested in devoting that much park time to sitting in restaurants anyway.

Most aggravating for me is that the DDP includes dessert. But we never eat dessert. Nobody in the family likes dessert! We are appetizers people, but that’s not an option with the DDP.

An alternative is the Tables In Wonderland program, which is something you can participate in if you have an Annual Pass (check and see the prices for tickets, and you’ll find that depending on how long your are staying at WDW, the AP is not much more than a regular park hopper ticket!).

The Tables In Wonderland program gives you a straight 20% off ALL food and drinks, including liquor, for the entire party. You decide what to eat, where to eat it, and when to eat it. The card costs $75, I believe, which is easily recouped with a few meals.

You get total flexibility about dining reservations and can even decide to use counter-service places, so you are no longer a slave to such an intense food schedule.

Here is a link with more information, so you can consider this as an option:

Tables in Wonderland (formerly Disney Dining Experience)


#5

Wow. Thanks sooooooo much for taking the time to talk me through this. I’ll look into to your suggestion now.


#6

LOL – Welcome to MB! If you ask, we will answer. :laugh:


#7

Ryser5, I would suggest looking at the menus at allears.net or the restaurant descriptions in any of the guide books; try to figure out where you would like to eat on your trip and how much you would likely spend. That should give you some ideas about any cost savings you might see with any of the DDP packages.

I recently went through this process with 2 different friends who are taking trips; after 45-75 minutes of going through things, the conclusions were that one group would be better on the counter service DDP plan… and the other group would be better off paying out of pocket. In my own case, since we like having wine or cocktails at dinner, prefer appetizers over dessert (like MissDisney), and we picked some restaurants that weren’t good “bang for the buck” places on the DDP… we chose Tables in Wonderland (unfortunately now $75 with an annual pass).

Your mileage will definitely vary.

Bruce


#8

Welcome to MB! We have had the full kitchen a couple of times when we were in the World, but you couldn’t pay me to cook/clean-up/shop/plan. This is MY vacation too!
Like Bruce, I enjoy a drink or two with lunch or dinner so we went the TiW route last year. Our trip in October, 2009, will be our third trip on the card. My husband doesn’t drink so he is my designated walker!


#9

[QUOTE=M5ward;943446]Welcome to MB! We have had the full kitchen a couple of times when we were in the World, but you couldn’t pay me to cook/clean-up/shop/plan. This is MY vacation too!
Like Bruce, I enjoy a drink or two with lunch or dinner so we went the TiW route last year. Our trip in October, 2009, will be our third trip on the card. My husband doesn’t drink so he is my designated walker![/QUOTE]

:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:


#10

[QUOTE=Ryser5;943394]That’s funny because I also didn’t like the idea of cooking and cleaning up after meals on vacation. Ha Ha

Do you recommend the Quick Service plan (2 quick service meals, 2 snacks) or Basic Dining plan (1 table service, 1 quick service, 1 snack) for my group of nine? We have 4 adults and 5 children.[/QUOTE]

I highly recommend that plan. I loved it…used it last month when I was down there. It worked out perfectly for me and my daughter.


#11

I think either Quick Service or Basic DDP would still be worth it with a full kitchen. You can eat breakfast in the room, then eat lunch and dinner at a restaurant. (or one of the other two ways)

Which plan you choose really depends on your needs and wants.

Is this your first time visiting the World? Do you want to get as much done as possible? If so, Quick Service is probably the better option. It’s a lot more flexible - you won’t have to be at a certain place at a certain time. You can eat when you want to eat (you will, however, have to wait in a line - but it will still be less time than waiting for your ADR, then waiting for your food, the characters, etc.). If you do decide you want to make an ADR or two, you can pay for those out of your pocket, and you’ll still be saving money on your quick service (assuming you use all credits).

If this isn’t your first trip to WDW, or you’d prefer to tour leisurely and take your time dining, or if you’d like to maximize your “Disney experience,” or if you are like OCD about your plans, then the Basic DDP might be the better option. You can plan all of your meals out in advance (book 90+10 days in advance). This can be somewhat difficult, booking around EMHs and other events, but your meal will be a step above pizza and turkey legs (not to mention, you won’t have to fight for a table)!

For more details about dining experiences, I suggest browsing MB, visiting AllEarsNet, or purchasing the Unofficial Guide to WDW (they have the most descriptive restaurant details in a guidebook that I’ve seen).

Have fun at WDW!


#12

I am a BIG fan of the Dining Plan! We have only done the Basic, never the Counter Service Plan or the Deluxe Plan. That said, I don’t think I’d stay onsite without one of the Dining Plans!!! For us, they are a GREAT value!

As for cooking in the room…if you will be spending a lot of your time in the parks, it will be VERY inconvenient for you to get back to your villa for lunch AND dinner. You will be spending money to eat out anyway, and get drinks and snacks, too. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the convenience of having a kitchen! But unless you were spending all of your days at the resort, I don’t think you will be able to cook every meal there.

We usually keep breakfast items and snacks in our kitchen and it has worked out perfectly.

Good luck with your decision!


#13

I won’t cook either. I don’t care how big or nice the kitchen is I’m not using it for more than cereal and soda.


#14

We do the same thing…late arrival. Dining plan is number of nights and it’s all nights or nothing. We get the basic and that just gives us an extra table service meal which is no big deal. We never leave and TS or CS meals and if there are any snack left we hit the resort store and stock up on snacks for the plane ride home.

Yeah, who REALLY wants to cook alot on vacation. Generally we just use the kitchen to keep the beer & wine. Oh, and some breakfast and snacks. :laugh:


#15

We stayed at Fort Wilderness cabins in January so we had a kitchen, but we did not have the dining plan. We discussed it on the way home and if (when) we have to do it over we would get the CS dining plan. We used the kitchen each morning for breakfast, and then the CS plan would have covered lunch and dinner for us along with 2 snacks. Perfect! I’d highly recommend the plan even with the kitchen.

Oh, and I’m not sure it works this way in the villas and whatnot, but Mousekeeping took care of the dishes - which made DW very happy! :blush: We typically put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher and ran it and Mousekeeping put the dishes away. On the mornings we were rushed and left some dishes in the sink, Mousekeeping loaded and ran the dishwasher. DW called them the dishes fairy and has been asking for one for her own house ever since we got back! :whistling:


#16

I love love love the dinning plan. I like eating at different resturants each year and going back to our favs. If you have a full kitchen you might want to reconsider it though. Or you can use the two table service credits and see the Hoop review, Aloha or Mickeys BYBBQ and cook something lite on the other evenings. I personally WILL NOT COOK on vacation-its my vacation too, I cook all week at home.

Have fun in Disney and I am sure what you decide will work out.


#17

There are a few times I’ve thought about getting a room with a kitchen (in fact we had a one bedroom at Old Key West once, but that was only for one day and it was all that was available on NYEve) but I keep coming back to “I’m on vacation and I don’t want to be bothered with cooking”.
Also, keep in mind that the DVC studio rooms only come with a kitchenette and not a full sized kitchen.
Sure, I could stop at Publix on my way out of town or even go to Goodings before I get into WDW, but I still come back to the need to bring all manner of spices and extra kitchen utensils from home in order to cook the way I want to. And that brings me back to “I’m on vacation and I don’t really want to be bothered cooking”.
Part of spending time in WDW, a big part, is the variety of dining.
That’s just me, your mileage will vary.


#18

Personally, I couldn’t be without a kitchen anymore. But that’s just me. We like eating out - but day after day of restaurant food isn’t appealing to us - and there are those times when we’ve been in the parks all day and don’t feel like trudging out again for dinner. Publix is always our first stop. After all these years, I pretty well know what I’m going to buy. I certainly don’t cook gourmet meals while we’re there, but we do eat almost every breakfast in the suite and at least a couple of dinners. Nothing fancy, but sometimes spaghetti tastes really good after days of three course dinners.


#19

welcome to MB first and foremost. I hope you enjoy being part of this ‘family’.
I would say the DDP is still really worth doing as although you have a kitchen facility at your disposal as remember it is your vacation and I know I wouldn’t want to waste my valuable Disney time cooking meals each day. I think it’s great that you have the kitchen for those times when you are having ‘lazy days’ etc but I would take the DDP still so that you can have a break too.