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Old 26 Sep 20, 07:04 PM  
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Dream bigger
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Choosing sit down restaurants when not on the DDP

We have only ever been to WDW on the free DDP.

For those of you who have been not on any DDP, do you have a particular way of planning your meals?

For example, do you choose 1 x ‘Must Do’ sit down restaurant per park for your whole holiday for example? And then the rest of the time quick service?

I’m only asking as assuming there may not be a DDP for the next few years, I’m trying to gauge how people dine without it.

When on the DDP, we do a lot of character meals, CRT and also Mickey’s Backyard BBQ or something similiar. It would cost a fortune if we ate at those places and paid OOP.

We are 1A and 3C. 11, 9 and 7.
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Old 26 Sep 20, 07:36 PM  
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mandevillepete
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We always pay OOP for The Boathouse and Trails End.
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Old 26 Sep 20, 07:40 PM  
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Bozza
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We eat the same way, on DDP or not - there are places we like that we'd not miss on any given visit.
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Old 26 Sep 20, 07:49 PM  
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Donaldfan
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I do it the same way as when I eat out at home. I look at the menus and choose the ones I like the look of.
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Old 26 Sep 20, 08:43 PM  
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sheluk
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Our must dos are certainly different when not on the DDP. Given the quality & cost of offsite options.

We do a character meal, a landrys (using their card), then one or two other favourites.

I think that approx is actually more flexible as (in times gone by) there’s no need to book etc.
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Old 27 Sep 20, 06:32 PM  
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Lau-nicole
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We’ve yet to do the DP - we normally set a budget and plan the restaurants around what we’re doing that day. We usually stick to one sit down meal and then slot in snacks or quick service around that if we’re hungry. I guess it depends how much you eat and what your budget is.

Trail’s End (breakfast or dinner), Skipper Canteen, Sanaa and Boma are our favourites. Trail’s End in particular is really good value for a Disney buffet
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Old 27 Sep 20, 06:38 PM  
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disney332
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We choose the meals according to the ambience of the restaurant. Cali Grill for instance for the view of MK or BOG for the theming.

Always remember that at an a la carte restaurant you can just have a starter and desert, or just a main. This saves a few $

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Old 2 Oct 20, 07:45 PM  
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TBH...without DDP, & we've only had it twice in the last 12 years, we eat offsite for TS. Next year we may go to Chef Art's & that's about it- Trail's End was good but they've just increased the price in line with the other buffets (I believe) so that's off the list.
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Old 2 Oct 20, 09:37 PM  
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The advantage of not being on the DDP is that you are not tied to Disney restaurants. Like others we review menus (and prices ) for all the places we fancy both on and offsite and take it from there.

In general we end up with 1 character buffet, a few places at Disney springs and then all other table service off-site. We just find the quality of the food and pace it is served is so much better off-site. Then taking in the cost element it is an easy choice for us.
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Old 3 Oct 20, 09:21 AM  
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Claudette
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I was dining plan free last year and did a trip report here.. The first page has an index listing the places we chose to eat at.

I liked the flexibility of not being on a plan, particularly as I don’t really like QS in parks so I always found it hard to use up those credits.

We didn’t do any character meals on that trip because it was hard to justify the cost, normally we would do a couple of character meals. We did one buffet, Boma, which is one of the cheaper buffets, it was one of our favourites but still expensive for what it is.

Other than that we ate wherever we liked including a few places that were not on the dining plan that we otherwise probably would have not gone to.
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