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Ask The Disney Experts Discuss Are the 2008 dining plans worth it? in the Ask The Experts forums; we were going to consider the 2008 dining plan but now that tip and appetizers are included, is it worth it?...
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    ready4 fun is offline B-Ticket Holder
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    Are the 2008 dining plans worth it?

    we were going to consider the 2008 dining plan but now that tip and appetizers are included, is it worth it?

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    SnwhtNdwrfs's Avatar
    SnwhtNdwrfs is offline Dancing with the dwarfs!
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    I think it depends on how many table services you intend to use otherwise. For our family, it would be worth it to pay the price because of the savings. Even with no appetizer, it is plenty of food. I'm not thrilled about them taking the tip off but it should be a way to make sure you have better service. I am going with my son in December and for the price, I cannot afford to feed him that many times a day and keep him full. With the meal plan, at least, he is full for a while!


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    I don't really think it's "worth it" anymore. And my reasoning doesn't have anything to do with money. The best part of the earlier DDP was that you didn't have to carry any "large" amounts of cash with you into the park, you didn't need to figure out a tip. All you really had to do was sign and leave. I always received excellent service on the pre-2008 DDP and often left a bit more in the porfolio before leaving.

    It was just extremely convenient.
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    wdwforever's Avatar
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    I had a question about the DDP. Do you have to book it as a package deal with your room and ticket or can you just purchase it?

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    You have to purchase it as part of a Magic Your Way package, which includes room and at least a single day ticket (booked together), or if you are a DVC member staying on points you can purchase it. Magic Your Way Dining Plan - 2008 Walt Disney World Vacation Packages
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    wdwforever's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I called to inquire about it and when we broke everything down, it seems that they were making up for the saving with from the DDP with what they were charging for the room. I think it came to around $160 a night at a value resort. I think we decided to do everything separately.

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    IT has to be part of a package deal with room
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    disneydame2004's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wdwforever View Post
    Thanks for the info. I called to inquire about it and when we broke everything down, it seems that they were making up for the saving with from the DDP with what they were charging for the room. I think it came to around $160 a night at a value resort. I think we decided to do everything separately.
    With the Magic Your Way packages, most of the time the room rate portion isn't discounted. If you have AAA, you can save a little on the package rates through them sometimes. It really depends on how you like/plan to eat. If you like a sit-down meal every day, and want to try some of the pricier places at WDW, the Dining Plan is still a great deal. If you eat mainly counter-service or fixed-price buffet meals, then it isn't as good a value. Some of the info is out of date now (from 2006, when there was no distinction between child & adult credits - a loophole now closed), but I wrote an article here analyzing the out-of-pocket costs of my meals vs. dining plan cost. It might give you some ideas on how to make the plan work for you - or that it won't work at all.
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    wdwforever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by disneydame2004 View Post
    With the Magic Your Way packages, most of the time the room rate portion isn't discounted. If you have AAA, you can save a little on the package rates through them sometimes. It really depends on how you like/plan to eat. If you like a sit-down meal every day, and want to try some of the pricier places at WDW, the Dining Plan is still a great deal. If you eat mainly counter-service or fixed-price buffet meals, then it isn't as good a value. Some of the info is out of date now (from 2006, when there was no distinction between child & adult credits - a loophole now closed), but I wrote an article here analyzing the out-of-pocket costs of my meals vs. dining plan cost. It might give you some ideas on how to make the plan work for you - or that it won't work at all.

    Thank you. Your info is really helpful.


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    It also help if you read the menus for each restaurant (i went on allears to read them) so you can decide if you want to eat there or not. It worked well for me and my DD, but when DH goes with us, we skip the DDP. My DD is very, very picky so a lot of the really nice ones did not work for us but, like Le Cellier, it worked great. Also, I like the new plan of paying your own tip, I like to reward great service and not reward poor service, so I like that control and I always tipped on the DDP anyway so this will make it better.

  11. #11
    ghasty's Avatar
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    We used the plan a couple of times last year and loved it and thought it was a steal. Going in a couple of weeks for a long weekend and we're going to try out the 2008 version but on paper we're not real sure about it. We typically always have atleast 1 table service per day no matter what (ahhh, Le Cellier) so we're thinking it's about a break even for us in 2008. Long trip in the fall of this year we're already planning on not doing the plan.

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    My husband and I are DVC members so we have used the plan since they added it as an option for us. We used it this past weekend and broke it down on our way home to evaluatie whether it was still worth it or not. We decided it was still saving us some money for being able to sit and eat at some nice places. We agreed regarding the frustration of the appetizer being dropped off. Actually we thought it would be nice to have the option - appetizer or dessert. Either way - we paid for an appetizer at 2 places (Le Cellier - Cheese Soup & Teppan Edo - Sushi) as we look forward to those two things when we go. There is another alternative for us and that is to buy the Disney Dining Plan card where you get 20% off of everything you purchase if you are a Florida resident or Annual Passholder. We would say it was still worth it.
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