WDW Prep 4 – Should you do the Disney dining plan?

There is a lot of discussion as to whether the dining plan is worth it for some people. With the release of the free dining plan offer, it can be quite tense in knowing whether to take up that opportunity or will there simple be too much food to eat and you’ll be better of paying for food as you go?

The dining plan gives of an all inclusive vibe which people like. You don’t have to worry about carrying a lot of money with you since it’s already paid for and it gives you an idea of where to eat and what to eat. Some people like this idea and therefore will always do the dining plan.

Before booking my WDW trip, I invested a lot of time into the dining plans to see whether it would be the best package for me to take. For me, it resulted in taking the free breakfast option instead of a more complex dining plan. I’m a picky eater so it only seemed best to pay for food when I’m there.

For example, I don’t eat steak or huge burgers or ribs, I’m very much a chicken girl which tends to mean that chicken dishes are much cheaper than other meats. If you’re a family or an individual who knows that they’ll always want one of the most expensive meals on the menu then the dining plan is probably the best bet for you!

There are different types of dining plans:

Quick-Service dining plan: This plan is a more simple, easy plan. You can use this plan at 50 different food locations at WDW. With this plan you get

  • 2 Self-Service meals – includes one main course and one drink
  • 1 non alcoholic/alcoholic drink per meal
  • 2 selected snacks
  • Refillable mug

There will be only selected items from the menu that you will be entitled to, therefore do check with a cast member before purchasing!

Disney dining plan: This plan can be used across 100 different locations at WDW. This plan includes:

  • 1 Self-Service meal
  • 1 Waiter Service meal – a sit down meal that includes a main, desert and drink.
  • 1 non alcoholic/alcoholic drink per meal
  • 2 selected snacks
  • Refillable mug

For the plan, you can use 2 of your waiter service credits per person to experience a special Disney dining experience. This includes, signature dining restaurants (a waiter service option with a wide selection of cuisines), Disney shows (live entertainment at a themed dinner show) all Disney shows require an advanced reservation. At selected Disney hotels, you can also have private in-room dining or pizza delivery.

Disney deluxe dining plan: This plan is for people who know they will eat plenty of great food on their trip. The deluxe plan is for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It includes:

  • 3 waiter or self-service meals
  • 1 non alcoholic/alcoholic drink per meal
  • 2 selected snacks
  • Refillable mug

The prices per day for the dining plans are:

  • Quick-Service – $55
  • Disney dining plan – $78
  • Deluxe dining plan – $119

Therefore, take into account how much you may spend per day on your meals. To do this, you can search the restaurants you may visit and calculate the price of your meals for a day and see whether it is more than the dining plan price per day. Yes this may seem like a long winded process but it will be worth it if you save money! I did this for myself to see how much I could potentially spend and it ended up that the dining plan would cost me more…it’s a good idea to just check the prices instead of the excitement of the dining plan getting to you and booking it without researching!

For these plans, you can make your dining reservations up to 180 days before your trip.

You can make dining reservations through:

  • Visiting DisneyWorld.com/Dine
  • Logging on to My Disney Experience
  • Calling our Disney Experts freephone on 0800 169 0748

When you’re at the parks, to redeem your dining plan credits, present your valid Disney Resort ID (either a MagicBand or card) to the server or cashier. You can keep track of your dining plan credits through the My Disney Experience app or the credits will be printed at the bottom of your receipts.

Really there isn’t a correct answer as to whether it’s worth it or not because it does depend on every different visitor to the parks and how much you will eat and whether you want to eat at the expensive restaurants every day.

I do think the dining plan is a great offer for the right families and does help out people a lot with making their holiday ‘easier’ and potentially more relaxing.

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