For our trip in May im considering getting the DDP instead of the QS plan. My only hesitation is ive seen a few things of things about there being a separate menu for DDP at some signatures... Also I want to make sure we aren't treated like "red headed step kids" just because we are on the DDP and not paying out of pocket............ anyone other there have experiences they could share?
you are treated as any other guest. I've never been treated any differently.
You have simply prepaid for your meals. They will ask you upfront if you are paying using the dining plan or other discounted plans (like Tables in Wonderland). This is so that they know how to run the checks later.
There's no separate menu for dining plan participants.
There are some signatures that might have menu items that are not included as part of the "entree credit" on the plan, like appetizers and alcoholic drinks.
For example on the Standard dining plan, you'll get an entree, dessert and beverage. If you want an appetizer, you'll have to pay out of pocket for that. If you'd like an alcoholic drink, you'll pay for that too.
Just be sure that you remember that gratuity is not included on the dining plan. You should leave what is customary and appropriate.
I have used the DDP several time and never once have I been treated badly or had a different menu.
I've never had a problem with being treated differently because I was in the DDP. It went exactly like @DarthDopey described every single time. In fact, at a heinously crazy-busy Mamma Melrose's, our waitress was relieved! She said it made the whole process so much easier when they are swamped! (Free glass of sangria, too!)
We get the dining plan every time we go. We have never been treated poorly, in any way at any restaurant. The separate menu at signature restaurants, I'm not sure about though... Could be a set menu in that case. I'm sure that restaurant won't be short on what they offer though.
I think enough of Disney's guest use it that it's almost expected.
I've never heard of, or observed, anyone being treated badly for using the dining plan. On one occasion, however, I did have one cast member, upon my responding that I was not using the plan, respond "thank God, I hate the dining plan." Though not directed at me, I found this kind of rude.
I think this impression of different treatment dates back to when the dining plan included all gratuities. It is possible - at least from a perception standpoint - that servers, knowing their 18% was guaranteed regardless of service level, would pay less attention to DDP tables and more to cash tables.
Also, some people get confused over the (relatively few) exclusions, thinking that DDP guests have to order from a special, more limited menu as a general rule.