Has anyone found a credit maximization chart for 2018 or will it be too complicated with the alcohol variable? I know WDW Prep School had a 2017 one out but I haven’t seen any articles comparing value when adding in alcohol. I have to begun to break each meal down for cost effectiveness but it seems like a bigger endeavor than I had anticipated. Any thoughts/advice?
It is a big undertaking for sure! After we picked our meals, I searched the menu items on Touring Plans where they had the prices listed and had my family pick what they thought they would eat. We then totaled up everything and decided that spending the extra money for the dining plan was worth it for the flexibility and all inclusive feel it provided. With that said, I can attest that having the dining plan stresses me out. I feel obligated to make full use of it and I end up doing something crazy like running into Magic Kingdom at the end of the night so I can burn 10 snack credits before we depart the next day. We have had the dining plan twice now and will most likely skip it the next time we go.
In the past I and my wife have always used the Disney Dinning Plan. In order to get your monies worth you have to take everything your entitled too at each meal and use all the snacks. If you don’t do this you won’t come out even or ahead. I realize Disney Dinning now allows for a alcoholic beverage as your drink option. So here is how we always do it in trying to figure out if it saves us any money. We write down the cost of each meal or snack as we eat them. Sounds simple enough to compare what it cost for the plan versus what we would have spent. That said, you have to consider what you really would like to eat or drink versus what the plan made you eat or drink to get your monies worth that you spent for the plan. Many out here claim that the Dinning Plan is a waste of money and I think they are probably right. It all depends on what type of discount you get on the plan such as a reduce price or no price at all. That’s about the only way you would save and even that is debatable. I know we waste a lot of desserts by taking them but not eating them all. Also when Disney says your getting a free meal plan you really are not as they work that loss into say your room which you would purchase at rack rate. There are charts out here that will show you if you are ahead of the game on the meal plan or not. As stated, it all depends on how much you want to eat or drink. Of coarse the drink thing is for one drink during a meal not partying down at night. I and my wife don’t drink so I can only imagine what Disney charges for liquor. This may have noting to do with what your asking as I am unsure what a credit maximum chart is. For us now we will make our first trip in August that we will not use the meal plan. We will eat what we want to eat rather than what we feel we have to take in order to beat the Disney meal plan expense. We will then find out the difference in cost and may never use the Disney Meal Plan again. We liked the convenauce of scanning the magic band and them deducting a meal credit, but when you think about it you can do the same with the cost just going to your credit card on file.
I have never used the DDP. The regular plan doesn’t give me enough TS meals (and more deserts than I would ever order), and the DxDP is just too much food - even for me. There is no way I could save money using a plan, and I just don’t see the “convenience” factor as being a selling point.
If I ever did use a plan, my strategy would be to skip nothing, and order the most expensive thing at every meal.
I don’t see us getting one again.
On our first stay, it was included in the UK package we got, but I found myself always trying to work out which meals to use it for and which to buy OOP, so as to save the credits for things like character breakfasts at Cape May, which we loved (we were staying there). Too much hassle.
Now that we’e DVC members, we cook breakfasts in our room and a few other meals too, never going to get value out of it …
Except - Last year we got it for 3 nights over Christmas itself. We knew we wouldn’t get to Publix in time, it was the first part of a split stay and we booked Chef Mickey, Crystal Palace for dinners and Ohana breakfast, and a BOG breakfast. Definitely got our money’s worth in terms of what we ate, even without worrying about where to use the remaining QS credits. The mugs lasted us all 2 weeks too, added value there.
Unless you know you’re doing a character meal every day, or sharing between 2 rooms, the chances of you coming out ahead with the dining plan are small. Some people can make it work though. Good for you for trying to maximise value. Can’t help with the spreadsheets though.
We have several character meals planned but more importantly we are bringing my parents along and they are weird with money. If they knew how much a meal were to cost, they might try to pay for it themselves or not eat til they are full. If we were on a dining plan, it wouldn’t matter because we would just be using these credits and cost would be unknown to them.
Quick warning, if your parents see the bill at the end, then they will know how much the food costs. Also, keep in mind that they put a suggested 18% and 20% tip on the receipt so they will see that as well if you let them look at the bill. Our tip for Chef Mickey’s for a party of 5 was over $40. My husband about died.