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Old 09-16-2019, 04:49 PM   #1
gopherit
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Default DDP vs TIW for large herd, 8 nts

The situation: Nine "adults" for 8 nights @ WDW pre-xmas; mostly 20-somethings (DS24, DS23, & DD19 are each bringing a guest), plus me, DH and our 10 yr old gopher-pup-turned-Disney-Adult son.

Our dining habits: breakfast in villa, a QS and/or "snack" along the way, and 1 "sit down meal" (aka TS). About half of the party would enjoy / be legal for a libation with that meal. We do on occasion get dessert; we also might get appetizer(s) to split amongst group. We've done Dining Plan in the past and - at times - especially in heat of summer - we find ourselves either awash in guilt or waddling in pain because we either didn't "optimize our opportunities" on our dining plan or, to our gastric dismay, we did.

So I was thinking no dining plan this time, use TIW for the TS discounts, which we've done before. I basically only need about 2-3 TS meals with this sized herd to break even; after that, it's money back to me. But now I'm also considering just getting the dining plan for the first leg of the trip (trip is split across 3 resorts into 2 nts / 5 nts / 1 nt). It would get refillable mugs for the group, cover a meal at Boma and CPalace, 2 QS meals, and net them all 4 snacks (which could be cashed in across 3 days, from check-in to check out.) So 2 questions:

1) Disney still allows you to purchase the plan for just ONE leg of a consecutive-stay trip, right? Even if the stays are "linked" in MDE?

2) Naughty question but... aren't the mugs good for 2 weeks?

On the one hand - I love the idea of telling this group - you're on the plan. Here's your limits. Let Disney manage the mayhem. On the other hand, I like saving a buck, especially with a group this big. And with Magic Bands allowing them to charge food, I could always say, get your QS and snack(s) as needed, just use the band. They are pretty good gophers, as are their chosen guests. I debated on "incentivizing" (you each get $75, per cost of the Plan; whatever you don't spend each day, you get back). But they carry some of their father's DNA and might opt to starve themselves (and their guests) the entire week. Can't have that, I've gotta return these guests to their families in time for xmas, preferably not looking/feeling like they spent a week with Scrooge McDuck!

Thoughts on best means to manage (and any tips on herd management) appreciated.
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Old 09-16-2019, 04:57 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gopherit View Post
The situation: Nine "adults" for 8 nights @ WDW pre-xmas; mostly 20-somethings (DS24, DS23, & DD19 are each bringing a guest), plus me, DH and our 10 yr old gopher-pup-turned-Disney-Adult son.

Our dining habits: breakfast in villa, a QS and/or "snack" along the way, and 1 "sit down meal" (aka TS). About half of the party would enjoy / be legal for a libation with that meal. We do on occasion get dessert; we also might get appetizer(s) to split amongst group. We've done Dining Plan in the past and - at times - especially in heat of summer - we find ourselves either awash in guilt or waddling in pain because we either didn't "optimize our opportunities" on our dining plan or, to our gastric dismay, we did.

So I was thinking no dining plan this time, use TIW for the TS discounts, which we've done before. I basically only need about 2-3 TS meals with this sized herd to break even; after that, it's money back to me. But now I'm also considering just getting the dining plan for the first leg of the trip (trip is split across 3 resorts into 2 nts / 5 nts / 1 nt). It would get refillable mugs for the group, cover a meal at Boma and CPalace, 2 QS meals, and net them all 4 snacks (which could be cashed in across 3 days, from check-in to check out.) So 2 questions:

1) Disney still allows you to purchase the plan for just ONE leg of a consecutive-stay trip, right? Even if the stays are "linked" in MDE?

2) Naughty question but... aren't the mugs good for 2 weeks?

On the one hand - I love the idea of telling this group - you're on the plan. Here's your limits. Let Disney manage the mayhem. On the other hand, I like saving a buck, especially with a group this big. And with Magic Bands allowing them to charge food, I could always say, get your QS and snack(s) as needed, just use the band. They are pretty good gophers, as are their chosen guests. I debated on "incentivizing" (you each get $75, per cost of the Plan; whatever you don't spend each day, you get back). But they carry some of their father's DNA and might opt to starve themselves (and their guests) the entire week. Can't have that, I've gotta return these guests to their families in time for xmas, preferably not looking/feeling like they spent a week with Scrooge McDuck!

Thoughts on best means to manage (and any tips on herd management) appreciated.
Yes, you can get the DDP for just one reservation, and yes the mugs last. I'm not sure if it's 2 weeks or 1, but I think you are correct that it is 2 weeks. We did the same thing you are talking about on our last trip - had a 1 night reservation with dining plan, and the rest of the week at 2 other resorts, no dining plan, and used TiW. We saved hundreds of dollars, with a slightly smaller group (5 adults, one teenager). We used the mugs the whole time we were there (8 full days).

We actually opted for the deluxe plan for that one night, and only had 3 people in the room that night. This gave us 9 TS credits, which paid for 1 full meal for all 6 people, plus another meal the next day for just the 3 of us (and used TiW for the other 3).
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Old 09-16-2019, 05:00 PM   #3
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If you think you'll get a TS meal each day, then I think it probably will serve you best to get the plan. It will be easier and that's what they get for the day, if they want more they pay for it themselves. If you don't think you'll do a TS each day, then I would definitely do the DP for the first trip, get the mug and have a few meals prepaid.
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Old 09-16-2019, 08:35 PM   #4
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Are you all in 1 villa? If not, you can buy the deluxe dining plan for 1 villa and then share the credits amongst everyone. That is what we do. It gives you lots of table service credits - 3 per person per day for right at $100 per person per night.

Disney changed the rules a couple years back to allow sharing of entitlements. When we do this, we eat breakfast in the villa, counter service for lunch out of pocket, and then share the table service credits at dinner. And with the deluxe dining plan, you still get the appetizer with each meal
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Old 09-16-2019, 08:37 PM   #5
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Can't imagine the Dining Plan every being worth it with adults unless one overeats pretty substantially.

With that large a group and that long a trip TIW is a very good option.

Cheers.
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Old 09-16-2019, 08:46 PM   #6
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I say TIW. That's a lot of food for that length of time. I know my 20-30 yr olds just want Casey's or something like that once in a while - not table service every day.
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:01 PM   #7
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Another vote for Tables in Wonderland.
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:53 PM   #8
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I would normally advise people to opt for TIW but that would mean your large group would have to stay together or at the very least meet for the ADRs you would have to plan daily. It might be like herding cats.

I think with your group you might want to get the QS plan to get the mugs and they can eat where they want. If you already have TIW it would be helpful for an occasional TS meal and alcohol.

But when in doubt TIW all the way. Have a great trip!
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Old 09-17-2019, 07:04 AM   #9
Deb & Bill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gopherit View Post
...
1) Disney still allows you to purchase the plan for just ONE leg of a consecutive-stay trip, right? Even if the stays are "linked" in MDE?
...
Only if you don't mind moving. If you have two reservations at the same resort, same room category, they will join them automatically. Then you have one reservation. Technically, you have to have a second reservation (different resort, or different room category) to have the dining plan for only one part of your stay.

With TIW, you either need multiple cards ($50 for an extra spouse card) or the card holder must be there to pay each time you plan on using it.
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Old 09-17-2019, 08:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brp View Post
Can't imagine the Dining Plan every being worth it with adults unless one overeats pretty substantially.

With that large a group and that long a trip TIW is a very good option.

Cheers.
I agree, especially if you want to meal share or if you create dinners from various appetizers. If you donít want desert, itís a waste and if you like to have a bottle of wine or more than a cocktail, itís not included. Sometimes, you just want a good beer or two and to share an appetizer. The lack of flexibility is the biggest reason weíve gone TIW for years vs. DP and our calculations now that all the kids are adults overwhelmingly favors TIW.
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