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Ask The Disney Experts Discuss Disney Dining Plan in the Ask The Experts forums; I would like to know if the dining plan is worth getting????? I don't have a trip planned yet but should be going in the next year. thanks for any ...
  1. #1
    jgates is offline A-Ticket holder
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    Disney Dining Plan

    I would like to know if the dining plan is worth getting????? I don't have a trip planned yet but should be going in the next year. thanks for any input.

  2. #2
    ohiodisneydad's Avatar
    ohiodisneydad is offline Hi, my name is David and I like Beverly.
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    Re: Disney Dining Plan

    It's worth it if you plan on eating a lot of character meals and you don't mind scheduling your meals. If you want to eat at certain places, reservations are required and you have to be flexible. You may not get breakfast at Cinderella's Royal Table.

    When we go to WDW and use the dining plan, we basically plan our park days around which meal we want.
    "Life is an occassion. Rise to it."- Mr. Magorium
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  3. #3
    4Shoemakers is offline A-Ticket holder
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    Re: Disney Dining Plan

    I agree with Ohiodisneydad. You can "break even" but you'd have to reserve all of your table services ASAP. Also, you'll find out that you're getting more food than you'd normally purchase. Not just at one meal, but EVERY meal. It can feel limiting (on location and choices) and could easily cost you more. The main positive we found was it was like a "food insurance". We didnt have to budget for those meals as they were already paid for.

    Our next trip is in May and after weighing all the pros and cons we decided this. Tips! They're not included. We're not against a suggested 18%-20% tip (IF they earned it) but think of this. For a family of 2 adults and 2 children you'll be paying a tip based on 4 entrees and 4 desserts when you might have only had 2 appetizers, 2 entrees, and no desserts or whatever the combination. However, that issue is mute if you go with the quick service option.

    Basically, if your biggest concern with the Dining Plan is cost than it's not for you. Maybe splurge for it once just to experience it because it is nice to dine and not have to worry about the cash or card in your wallet.
    1st - Paul The Detective; 2nd - Sarah The Princess; 3rd - David The miracle; 4th - Matthew The dreamer

  4. #4
    ohiodisneydad's Avatar
    ohiodisneydad is offline Hi, my name is David and I like Beverly.
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    Re: Disney Dining Plan

    Some good points! The Quick Service Dining Plan may be a better option for you, depending on what your plans for meals are. I know the times we have gone with the standard DDP we do a character almost daily. So for us, the out of pocket cost of one character meal per person surpasses the daily cost of the DDP. The snack options are often used at the resorts for things to eat in the room.

    My best suggestion for you is this. Email an agent from Mouse Fan Travel, I recommend Coleen. She's our go to agent and she's great. Tell her what you are looking for, when you are traveling and with how many. She will do all the leg work. Once you decide on what you want as far as dates you can tell her where you want to eat. She'll make your reservations for you.

    And if you do use Coleen to book your trip, tell her David from Ohio called. I'm trying to get a referral gift!
    "Life is an occassion. Rise to it."- Mr. Magorium
    "Welcome Home"- Best words you'll ever hear when you check in at a Disney Resort





  5. #5
    HauntedGabe's Avatar
    HauntedGabe is offline Where'd she go???
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    Re: Disney Dining Plan

    I think you really have to have a strategy when you have the DDP unless it is during the free dining times of course. Like David said the character meals are going to make you come out ahead. We also try and dine at the 1 credit table services, Tappen Edo, Kona for dinner etc. where we have nice steak and shrimp dinners, making the value great. The down side is if you are drinking a mixed drink and not taking the beverage you're loosing some of the value of DDP. There were a few times we didn't order dessert at TS even though it was included because we could not eat it and would just pick at it. The tax and tip on dessert alone escalates because TS desserts are expensive.
    Never is it worth trading 2 TS credits for Signature Dining. You are always better off paying out of pocket for signature dining.

    AllEars.net has some real good articles about the dining plans and their value to also help you decide.
    Some people are like Slinkies.

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    but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.

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  6. #6
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    doconeill is offline They call me MISTER Fastpass
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    Re: Disney Dining Plan

    We've never done the dining plans...they just don't work for us. I've crunched the numbers.

    We don't eat at a table service every day on average. We often have a quick breakfast or snack before we leave in the room (especially when we have a villa). We prefer appetizers over desserts. And we like drinks with our meals on occasion (DDP does not cover alcohol). And the QSDP seems to be overpriced.

    For us, the Tables In Wonderland card often works better, as it gives us 20% off most all table service meals including drinks, and a few counter services as well, and it's good for a little over a year so it can cover multiple trips. It's only available to FL Residents, AP holders and DVC members, however, and you pay for it ($100 for AP/DVC, $125 for FL) so you need to use it enough to make it worthwhile. We get it when we can use it on multiple trips.

    I agree with all the points made above in utilizing it though. If your dining habits are right, it CAN work for you, as long as you plan accordingly and avoid the "two credit" locations.
    Doc

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