Free DDP or Room Discount

I need help with figuring out if we should use the room only discount or try for free dining. Ive read the more people in your room the better the free dining is over a room discount, so for us it might be better, BUT we don’t need the park hoppers.

We are a family o 4 going to stay in Wilderness Lodge for the first time!, we are going sept 7-15, two adults two kids, 8 &4.

We don’t need the park hoppers or water park tickets. I guess im looking for validation maybe that the free dining is better for us than the room only. We do eat the way the dining plan is designed, plus we will be purchasing extra character breakfasts at least 2 times. I have plans for a table service every night, except when we hope to go to MNSSHP.

Any help is appreciated!!

Gotta do the math, plain and simple. I’m in the same boat, trying to pre-plan for which resorts might offer FD.
It’s probably better if you have more ppl in one room, like you said. I’ll have 3 (2 adults, one 8 yr old.) I’m trying to decide if staying at POR or CBR with free dp OR a value with an upgrade to the reg ddp will cost us less than staying at Swan, and paying oop for food. I can make the DDP work in our favor, but all in all, it’s not so easy to choose those resorts considering the amenities we’d give up by not staying at Swan.

i’m fixing to start working on the math, i just LOVE the all inclusive feeling of the ddp, we’ve went once with it and once without and i just love not feeling like im turning over money. I feel like even if I did a gift card pre paid with the price of the dining plan, and then we didn’t use it all, we could use the rest for souvenirs, BUT it still feels like im paying. Which is ridiculous because I did pay, but something about not having to give over money is nice. I am tempted this time to do that though, take the price of the DDP and put it on a gift card. Then pay with magic band and reconcile each night. Because i think we might save a little bit of money by having the kids share, and then just eating like we normally do. and we don’t need the park hoppers, I have planned for one park per day, since we really don’t need them because the kids are younger, and we are doing two days at universal, so I was going to use the leftover credits from the Universal days, towards the character Breakfasts.

I’ve heard plenty of ppl say they like the “all inclusive” feeling as well. To me, however, it’s all about the $. Doesn’t matter to me if I pay 1500 before I go, or 1500 after, it’s still 1500 no matter how I look at it. With the ddp, we’d definitely have to maximize the value as best we could, and go for a few meals we probably would not without it, but it’s not like we’d really MISS not going to those places. Free dining with full price resort makes the ddp a little more attractive, but there’s still math involved to see if it’s worth it. Plan out all the credits with a realistic plan of using them - remember, if you are throwing away food, that is food you’ve paid for. If you don’t use your credits, you lose them - and that’s stuff you’ve paid for. I’ve read that the ddp used to be a decent deal, now, you just gotta figure out if it’s worth it, or a waste.

After adding every thing up even with having to add the park hoppers I still think the free DDP is best for us. If we only had three people in our room it definitely wouldn’t but because we have four it works in our favor. with the free dining we would save almost $1000, and with the room only discount it would be $700. So for us the free dining makes sense since we want to stay in a deluxe resort. Unless they have a package with ticket discounts in addition to room discounts then I’ll have to recalculate again!


We (2 adults) were there 12/17 - 12/27 and stayed at Pop Century with free QS dining. We upgraded to the Deluxe, which rann us $1377. I kept all the reciepts and after we had finished, we had saved well over $1300, if you take out the cost of the quick service that was free, we still saved well over 400. This was with just 2 adults, so yes the more people you have in the room, the larger savings you can get on the Free Dining because the room discount is only on the room and the free dining is per person. I can tell you, this is probably the biggest thing that divides, Dining plan vs no dining plan, free dining vs room discount. What I can say from our point of view, it isn't just about the food but the total experience. We did a trip report if you are interested in where we ate. We are not foodies and if you do look at it, we didn't always get the most value for what we used them for. If we had set to maximize the $ value, well, trust me, we could have saved much more, probably in the 1800 - 2000 range. It all depends on what you really want.
I hope this helps.

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Thanks! I think that we have decided on the DDP because I see that the value for us is in free dining. We love to eat to so the plan actually works for us because I want the sit down meal every day and I like the QS lunch and using snack credits for breakfast will probably be how we use ours.

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Though, if it matters, you may want to wait to see what the cost of the DDP will be after the ticket hike tomorrow. That will make a difference to the bottom line if you are running the numbers. With the cost of the tickets going up, the DDP may go up as well. Just a thought. My DD (16) and I had DDP added into our package originally, but then I realized that she’ll likely eat kids’ portions at her meals, and I likely will for QS. Because of her age, I had to pay for adult meals. For she and I, it’s not worth it to pay for it, so I took it off and will just bring a GC with us to pay for food and any leftovers will go to souvenirs. Either way, have a fantastic trip!