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cubeinhabitant
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I am a big Disney fan. One resource that I have found is a post on the Touring Plans site called Disney Dining Plan: http://touringplans.com/walt-disney-world/disney-dining-plan. The post provides a very detailed break down of different scenarios to calculate the savings/loss on the DDP. In general, it seems that in an apples-to-apples comparison, the DDP can save you money. In my opinion, I would suggest the DDP for a first time visiter. But as Ghenghy points out, you do give up a bit of choice. As frequent travelers to Disney World (we have been visiting once every year for the past 8 years), I tend to not use the DDP. One of the requirements of the DDP is that you have to buy a package (unless you are an annual pass or DVC member): which is hotel, tickets, and dining plan. I typically go more a la carte. I do stay on property, but I usually don't pay rack rate. I do use a AAA discount for the rooms. For tickets, I buy 10 day Park Hopper Water Park Fun & More No Expiration tickets from a ticket broker. (A ticket broker is an authorized Disney ticket reseller and I have used Undercover Tourist.) The reason that I get this type of ticket is that the more days you buy, the cheaper the per day price. The adult 10 day hopper water park fun & more no expiration is $579.95 ($57.995 a day) and about $40 off of gate price while a 5 day version is $441.95 ($88.39 a day) and about $26 off of gate price. I am very careful with the tickets though and store them in our fire box between visits so that I don't loose them. I also keep good notes about how many days are left on a ticket because the only way to tell is to ask at guest services at a park. Because of the no expiration feature I am still using the rest of my 2008 ticket on my upcoming 2011 trip for 5 days in the Disney World parks. (Where those days from the 2008 ticket are at the 2008 price: Disney park tickets have typically gone up every year.) Another site that provides money saving advice at Disney World is the appropriately named MouseSavers.com. They have tips on a variety of ways to save money on a Disney World trip.
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Jan 25, 2011