Upgrading to DDP from QSDP?

button409

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 11, 2007
Hi, so we are travelling in January, staying at POFQ for 14 nights, and are 2 ad, 3 kids, ages 5,3 and 20 months. We have the free QSDP included and were going to book a character breakfast at Tusker House, and possibly one other character dining experience. Looking at prices this is going to cost around $120 per meal (correct me if I'm wrong). We were originally happy with QSDP, as there is so much choice and means we wont be tied to reservations times etc. Also, with the ages of the kids they probably aren't going to want to be sat down for a meal everyday (and neither are we!). However, my sister travelled last year with her then 3 and 1 y/o and said that sitting down for a nice meal each day was a much needed break, so wondering now whether we should upgrade? It would cost us £560.
Any advice much appreciated. Thanks!
 

GirlDreamer

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
I don't have kids, so I can't comment on that part, but if it's only 2 table service meals that you're interested in, I would give it a miss. Me and DH upgraded to DDP last year, and even though we loved the experiences, we don't really like being tied down to reservation times. You can always have a nice sit down with the quick service meals anyway. And you can break up your day by going to shows or saving a spot for parades etc anyway.

If you do decide to upgrade to DDP you can always make sure to book a few places that takes two points off each person, so you won't have to have a reservation every day. And even though I know a lot of people avoid breakfast for DDP as they cost less out of pocket, we did quite a few breakfasts so we had the rest of the day free to do what we wanted. I also know some people will take advantage of early breakfast reservations so they can enter parks like MK before they officially open to get some nice crowd free photos etc.
 

button409

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 11, 2007
I don't have kids, so I can't comment on that part, but if it's only 2 table service meals that you're interested in, I would give it a miss. Me and DH upgraded to DDP last year, and even though we loved the experiences, we don't really like being tied down to reservation times. You can always have a nice sit down with the quick service meals anyway. And you can break up your day by going to shows or saving a spot for parades etc anyway.

If you do decide to upgrade to DDP you can always make sure to book a few places that takes two points off each person, so you won't have to have a reservation every day. And even though I know a lot of people avoid breakfast for DDP as they cost less out of pocket, we did quite a few breakfasts so we had the rest of the day free to do what we wanted. I also know some people will take advantage of early breakfast reservations so they can enter parks like MK before they officially open to get some nice crowd free photos etc.
Thanks! This is what we were thinking. My sister used most of her DDP for character meals and she said it was great as they didn't have to wait in line for many character meet and greet in the park, and some of the lines were really long. However, she was there over Halloween and we are there the middle of January, so hoping crowds will be lower anyway. I think maybe a lot of folks think the QSDP means you are going to be living off burger and fries for 2 weeks, but I know there are a lot more choices available. Think we will stick with the QSDP
 
  • catherine

    <font color=red>Hey not fair, you guys already hav
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2000
    Another thing to consider is the cost of the additional tips! When you factor in a 20% tip at each TS restaurant then it will cost significantly more than the initial £560 to upgrade. I think if you're not all that bothered about doing TS then I would stick with the QSDP! Whatever you decide I hope that you all have a magical time!
     

    alanandline

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2019
    I’m in the other camp and think having the DDP has more positives than negatives. Having some time to sit down in a air conditioned room is a good break. Character meals are fab and give you something to keep the kids entertained.

    I do though agree that quick service doesn’t mean only burger and fries.
     

    MichelinMan

    I Am Speed - Ka-Chow!!!!
    Joined
    Apr 16, 2009
    I found the DDP great for when we wanted to do lots of character meals. But my son is past that stage now.

    However, I also found the DDP extremely limiting. To get the reservations we wanted we had to book miles in advance of our holiday. This rather limited our flexibility somewhat, and at some stages it was a case of 'we've booked the bloody thing, we have to do it now' when we might have wanted to do something else. I also found that we never ventured off-site at all to eat, which is one of the big things we love about the States. We love breakfast at Dennys for example, and missed that on our last trip.

    Whilst we might get free QSDDP with the trip I am currently planning, I suspect we will only be using 2/3 of our credits, as we will definitely be doing more off-site dining this time, plus the odd table service meal (love Ohanas). Bit of a pity you can't use QS credits for part-payment of table service meals. I suspect we may end up using some QS credits for more snacks (we do like our snacks!).
     

    Jkarrows

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2012
    Having done the DDP many times, we have nearly eaten at every restaurant in all the parks and making our way through almost all the resort ones and we only have a few of those left so each time we go now we aim to visit the new ones been built, around 10 to 15 left and we have done them all, one thing you have to do if you want to eat at the popular ones is plan ahead if you want to eat at the best restaurants at the ideal time of the evening.

    But have you thought of doing the reverse of what people normally do, it may suit you and your family.

    Instead of having the table service meal in the evening, have it at mid day, you may find availability is better and there is more choice.

    Then have your quick service in the evening when it suits you.

    Also if you children are young and possibly would fall asleep in the evening at least you know they had a full meal at lunch time.

    We as a family love the DDP and would always use it but we appreciate it does not suit everyone and you do need some planning but if you can plan ahead you get to eat at some of the great restaurants Disney has to offer.
     
  • wifey

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 7, 2005
    Both dining plans have their advantages. You need to work out where you and the kids can want to dine ( particularly you have a picky eater). Remember too that at the quick service places you can often get the kids to share a meal if they don’t eat that much. Even at the sit down places you can ask if the kids can share meals .. they are your dining credits to use however your family chooses. If your youngest child is under 2 at the time of your vacation they can just eat from your plate too, you don’t need to add a dining plan for them. All these things can help you budget better and remember the dining plans have changed since last year too so get a good look at the official Disney Dining Plan info so you can factor in snacks etc. Snacks can help everyone in your family to keep going whilst touring the parks, maybe schedule a snack break when the kids usually get tired at home and take some time in an air conditioned ride or attractions to help keep them cooled down. Ask the kids if they want to meet any of the characters and see if you can add a meal somewhere to make that happen, things like the afternoon teas can be good for little girls to meet favourites. Have fun planning it makes a huge difference to the vacation.
     

    wifey

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 7, 2005
    Forgot to say you can book a table at a (sit down) table service restaurant by paying for it out of pocket, it might be more cost effective if there’s only one or two table service places you want to book. They will ask for a credit card/ debit card number to book the reservation.
     

    Cornish Lad

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2017
    Don't forget that you can also get the more expensive "meal and show preferred seating" for just 1 TS credit such as Tusker House (character meal) + Rivers of Light as well as well as VIP seating at Fantasmic in conjunction with a meal at either Mama Melrose's or Hollywood and Vine. On our last trip we did both of these as well as character meals at Crystal Palace, Cape May's (twice), Garden Grill (twice) and splashed out 2TS credits for Cinderella's Royal Table and the Be Our Guest dinner (1TS credit if used for the breakfast or lunch option). We upgraded our free QSDP so the extra cost was peanuts in comparison to what we got in the way of value - I worked out that the meals that we had in the first 4 - 5 days actually covered the cost of the upgrade so after that everything was "free" and we were there for 21 nights.

    Look at your own deal - upgrade £560 - just one character meal £100 approx. depending on exchange rate so just 4 more similar meals and you have covered the cost so everything after that is free. Just for example the Hollywood & Vine character lunch with Fantasmic VIP seating is currently around £160 for 2 adults and 2 children but still only 1TS credit per person.

    Hope this helps.
     

    MichelinMan

    I Am Speed - Ka-Chow!!!!
    Joined
    Apr 16, 2009
    Don't forget that you can also get the more expensive "meal and show preferred seating" for just 1 TS credit such as Tusker House (character meal) + Rivers of Light as well as well as VIP seating at Fantasmic in conjunction with a meal at either Mama Melrose's or Hollywood and Vine. On our last trip we did both of these as well as character meals at Crystal Palace, Cape May's (twice), Garden Grill (twice) and splashed out 2TS credits for Cinderella's Royal Table and the Be Our Guest dinner (1TS credit if used for the breakfast or lunch option). We upgraded our free QSDP so the extra cost was peanuts in comparison to what we got in the way of value - I worked out that the meals that we had in the first 4 - 5 days actually covered the cost of the upgrade so after that everything was "free" and we were there for 21 nights.

    Look at your own deal - upgrade £560 - just one character meal £100 approx. depending on exchange rate so just 4 more similar meals and you have covered the cost so everything after that is free. Just for example the Hollywood & Vine character lunch with Fantasmic VIP seating is currently around £160 for 2 adults and 2 children but still only 1TS credit per person.

    Hope this helps.
    Be Our Guest is only a QS credit for breakfast and lunch.
     
  • daveymc

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2011
    We always upgrade from QSDP TO DDP ..It gives us the option to eat great food at places like Narcoosees and Yachtsmans , character breakfasts at Cape May and Garden Grill ,1900 park fair 9love the strawberry soup) with only the tips to factor in.

    Just being the two of us it works out better for us having paid up front without thinking we need to allocate loads of extra spending money for food
     

    Tony Toon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 30, 2004
    We always upgrade from QSDP TO DDP ..It gives us the option to eat great food at places like Narcoosees and Yachtsmans , character breakfasts at Cape May and Garden Grill ,1900 park fair 9love the strawberry soup) with only the tips to factor in.

    Just being the two of us it works out better for us having paid up front without thinking we need to allocate loads of extra spending money for food
    Absolutely love the strawberry soup in 1900 Park Fayre.
     

    starrysky

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 31, 2009
    We always upgrade from QSDP TO DDP ..It gives us the option to eat great food at places like Narcoosees and Yachtsmans , character breakfasts at Cape May and Garden Grill ,1900 park fair 9love the strawberry soup) with only the tips to factor in.

    Just being the two of us it works out better for us having paid up front without thinking we need to allocate loads of extra spending money for food
    DH and I are the same, we like to enjoy a nice meal and as has been said those add up quickly.
    Best advice is look at the menu for each restaurant you might want to try. Roughly calculate what each meal would cost and then work out if the upgrade cost is worth it.
    I agree with the PPs about the tips but it’s still worth it for us.
    With kiddos though I’ve seen a few families with them having melt downs at the evening meals because the kids have had enough. Not fun for them or anyone else
     

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