Is the dining plan available to those who are staying off site? Thanx in advance.
Sorry to say that it is only available to those staying on property.
Don't feel bad - I have very rarely found that the dining plan is worth it.
I think a lot of people don't run the numbers and say they like the Plan because they didn't have to worry about paying for meals each time. But they also wind up not eating everything the plan includes, so they're throwing money away. And often times they are eating more BECAUSE the plan will cover it. But if they were just paying as they go, they wouldn't never eat that much, therefore saving money (and not eating as many calories).
Agreed. My family is small eater and my wife normally prefers the kid's menu. The ONLY time I found it to be beneficial is when the kids were younger and we did a lot of character meals. I do remember when it first came it - it was a deal no matter how you sliced it. But now - it can be a strategic advantage - but only if you run the numbers
I've determined that most people can order off the kids menu and be satisfied (and save money). You can certainly do that at Counter Service restaurants, not sure you can get away with it at Table Service.
most of the time it is no problem. Sometimes my wife / son swap
If you want to "prepay" for your meals, then you can always buy Disney Gift Cards. If you have a membership to BJ's you can buy a $100 for $95. (that's our plan) Look at the menus and get a general idea of what you'll be eating and buy the cards accordingly.
We had a lot of snack credits leftover last time, We worked the numbers and the CG from BJs are a better deal for us.
If you have a Target RedCard, you'll get 5% off the purchase of ANY amount of Disney Gift Cards.
I used them to pay for my hotel & park tickets! Saved like $200 that way! Enough for a couple nice dinners while we were there!
Another option, which I use is at my local grocery store, they have fuel points. so normally its if you spend $100, you get 10 cents off a gallon, but with the gift card, its 2xs the fuel points. This is pretty good. However, a number of times during the year, you can get 4xs the fuel points. The past 2 times and right now thru the 10th, they have 4xs fuel points if you have downloaded the digital coupon on the store app on your phone. So if you buy $250 worth of cards, you get $1 off, the points are good til the end of the next month. To give you an idea of how much you can save, you can buy upto 35 gallons of fuel at $1 off a gallon (when lived in PA, went to one that you could get 30 gallons but it could be for the cost of as so you could fill up for free)
Labor day weekend, we ended up with 4100 points to be used by end of October, then we had just over 3700 fuel ponts to use by the end of November, and For December we have over 5000 points. We still have to buy some more disney gift cards (to be used for spending money for our upcoming trip 12/17 - 27) and will end up buying about $1500 in gift cars at 4xs the points so we will have 6000 points to use in January.
Since we know we won't use that much gas, we give some disney magic way out here in the middle of Kansas and give some to random people, $1 off a gallon of gas whey they are filling up but make sure they know its because of buying Disney Gift cards for a trip. Love seeing the look of this guy is crazy to a big smile and them saying I never thought of doing that.
Although "on property", SoG does not qualify for the DDP.
I've never used the DDP. IF you expect to eat 1 QS and 1 TS each day, and have an entree and dessert with each meal, then it may work in your favor. I prefer 2 TS meals each day, and the only way to get that is with the DxDP - which actually gives you three TS meals a day, with app, entree, and dessert at each one. DW and I virtually never have dessert at lunch and typically share one at dinner. We rarely have an app at lunch and share one at dinner. This means, that for the 2 of us for 7 days, we'd be paying for 21 desserts and 21 apps that we wouldn't "normally" order.
But a lot can be said for the convenience of the DP, so I know that's the main reason some people do it. But remember, you're still paying for tips and alcohol out of pocket...
You're also paying for the meals out of pocket as well. You're just paying for them before you go. I'll have to sit down and really do the math for our next trip. For us, it'll probably come down to the prices of character meals and BOG breakfast, BUT, we might try to time a free dining trip, so all bets will be off. And we'll probably wind up gaining 10 lbs.