We are a family of 4 2a 2c, I have the standard plan built into our reservation. Fingers crossed free dining comes out next year for our dates. With will give our account a "credit" of about $944 making the standard plan only about $350. We are staying at pop so if free dining does come out we are entitled to free quick service plan. Fingers crossed. We are big breakfasts and dinner family. I have a list of TS places we want to go back to or try new. Thinking deluxe plan which will "only cost" about $1280 but we get the "non specific" credits. I have a lot of TS planned.. Just plans since it's not till 9/2015. Thoughts 8 night trip planned so far
Have you tried the SeeYaReelSoon dining plan calculator? It takes a very particular type of eating habitats for the dining plan to save you money, and thats even more true for the deluxe. I'd check it out and do the math.
I seriously looked into the DxDP; apps, entrée, and dessert EVERY meal. Skip any of these, and the "value" goes down. Any QS that you eat and the "value" goes down. I looked at 7 days, TS lunch and signature dinner every day, and I couldn't make it come out cheaper than OOP for the food that we really want. Really consider how much time you want to spend eating (vice touring) - especially with kids, and how much you REALLY want to eat.
We will be traveling with my MIL AND HER SIS, not sure if they will be getting dining plan or paying oop. But we can always share our apps and deserts with them with no problems right?
Here's a link to the calculator, in case you don't have it. http://seeyareelsoon.wix.com/seeyareelsoon#!dining-plan-calculator/cxc0
For us, we do not expect free dining for our dates, but maybe stay-play-dine or room-only discount. We still use this to compare DDP and DxDP vs. out-of-pocket.
For us, OOP is still cheaper than the dining plans, and I think the calculator somewhat overestimates what we'll spend on kid meals. In our experience, DS is highly unlikely to eat an individual meal 3 times a day. We also don't like to feed him "kid food," and he's used to eating what we eat. We are far more likely to order 2 adult entrees and an appetizer or 2 appetizers and one adult entree, than 2 adult entrees and a kid entree. We're just far more likely to share things or give him an app in lieu of meal. He's also far more likely to eat a snack from our room (granola bar and yogurt, e.g.) or to share off my plate than to eat an entree at a sit-down breakfast or even a CS breakfast.
So the calculator always shows the dining plans costing me more than paying OOP, and I may actually pay even less OOP because of assumptions built into the calculator. The dining plans are also less flexible, in several "dimensions":
1 - the need to have TS reservations to "get value" locks you into plans months in advance
2 - the need to feed a child off a "kid's menu"
3 - the inability to get appetizers and to get them in lieu of entrees for adults and/or kid
4 - concerns about sharing - if it's my money, we'll share whatever we want (subject to the "buffet rules"), but I'd be more concerned/anxious about what is okay to share with the plan, as you notice
Maybe someone can help me figure out what I'm doing wrong or maybe something needs to be uodates.. I can't open the calculator
Did you download the file? It looks like you're trying to open it in the browser...? Which browser?
Our family make-up is the same as yours and we've done the dining plan twice ... The standard plan on one trip and the QS plan on the other. On neither trip did the plan actually save us money. We would have been better off paying OOP. It is just sooooo much food! There were tons of times where the kids could have shared a meal or DH and I could have shared. It just did not work for us at all. We will be paying OOP for dining on our next trip.
I download it and that's what happens when I go to open it
I can open it on my work computer so that's good. Lol
We usually find the standard dining plan to be more than enough food. We usually have credits that we are rushing to use on our last day. This year we are doing a split stay and have free dining for the first half and a room only discount for the last half. Free dining is usually a good discount if you are staying at a value. I don't think we would ever buy the dining plan. My son is now a Disney adult and it would cost almost $200/night for the standard dining plan. I just can't see us ever spending that much on food.
My whole thinking is this... We have 8 nights. Last time we went we did at least one sit down a day..sometimes two. We not so much signature ( I know it's the best value) but a lot of character meals. We paid out of pocket last year and I never kept track. I have a bunch of meals that I want to do that I just can't cut down the list. Lol I know I can't see everything in one visit. And the thought of everything being paid for in advance is so nice since that is the mail reason I booked so early, so I can make payments. I crunch and crunch numbers I finally got the SeeyaReelSoon calculator to open at work and maybe I'm reading it wrong but getting the deluxe dinjng plan seem like a good value with what I put in.. I screen shot it later it's 8 nights with 11 sit downs.. I have over a year so lots of time to plan
If you share your screen shot here we may be able to help. Its certainly possible that it works for you, just in my experience its highly unlikely... especially if you arent doing multiple sit down meals every day. Character meals are usually a good use of the standard DP, so that may be helping the math work there.
Deluxe dining is often too much food and hard to get the value out of. if you don't care about that and don't mind to pay for convenience then go for it. but since you are crunching numbers it does not seem that is the case. DxDP can also be very hard with kids, several sit down meals a day in the midst of all the action and fun of WDW and be hard to do even for well behaved kids that are used to dining out at home.
Id go with plus.
for some reason I cant post the screen shot of my plan from my phone so here it goes my dates are Monday 9/21- Tues 9/29
M-L- at POP Food court, D-1900 Park Fare
T-B-Tusker House D- CS at MK hopefully a MNSSHP night
W-B-Hollywood and Vine D- Coral Reef
TH- B-Ohana D-Luau at Polu
F-B/L?-Grand Floridian Cafe (hoping to get kids on the pirate cruise) D-Biergarden
Sa-B-?at hotel, Lunch Earl of Sandwich D-BOG
Su-B-CRT L-BOG D-50's Prime Time( these will be nicely spaced out as it will be a late night)
M-B-Crystal Palace D HDDR @615 most likely
T-B-Chef Mickey -Depart
snacks inbetween meals.. Plan says ill have 2 credits left.. so if i need a meal on the fly its ok.
i feel like this is what we basically did last time we went TS for breakfast and Dinner. we were back at out villa ( outside disney for lunch time and i dont think the kids were hungry much)
Come on guys.. Give it to me lol
Is this for the DDP or the deluxe? With so many CSs I bet the Dx would be a very tough sell for value.
@999HappyHaunts.. This is how I rationalize it..
IF FREE DINING comes out for our dates (keeping fingers crossed) our PAYMENT for the deluxe dining plan will cost only cost us the cost of the dining plus plan. With the freedom of using the "any type" of credit.. Does this make any sense? Lol the plus dining 8ts, 8qs costs $1220ish the deluxe cost is $2150.. And the QS plan is $880.. Maybe I'm making up my own math in my head to justify it. So $2150 minus the $880 =$1270
Anyone with a math degree feel free to chime in lol
If this is the deluxe I think you are throwing some money away. Even if you do regular and pay with credits, Earl of Sandwhich is a terrible value. Especially when Wolfgang Puck Express is so close and a great use of credits. You're using credits for CS breakfast and not snack credits? You will have a lot of snack credits!