Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Is It Worth It? Disney Dining Plan

Disney is big on packaging your vacation. Go to their website and you can get the cost of you plane ticket, hotel, park tickets, and food all in one package. Last week we asked the question if the price of tickets still worth the trip to Disney, this week we ask if the Dinning plan is worth it. 

First I will start by stating that you can only get the Disney Dining Plan if you are staying in one of the Disney World Hotels. 

The Disney Dining plans have 3 basic levels (Quick Service, Regular, and Deluxe) and 2 luxury, if you will (Premium and Platinum). 

The quick service plan consist of 2 quick service meals, 1 snack, and a refillable resort mug at a cost of $39.64 per person per day. The regular dining plan is 1 quick service and 1 table service, 1 snack and 1 refillable resort mug at a cost of $58.66 per person per day. The deluxe has 3 table service, 2 snacks, and 1 refillable mug for a cost of $104.94 per person per day. The premium and platinum have the same food options as the deluxe and add on select tours, Victoria and Alberts, and spa treatments, depending on the one you choose. They cost $194 per person per day for the premium and $254 per person per day for the platinum.  During the slower fall times, Disney has released a free dining promotion. You would get a free quick service plan for each member in a value resort, and a standard plan for the moderate and deluxe resorts. 

Now that the basics are out of the way, let's talk worth. If you read another blog or listen to any WDW podcast, you will get different views in the dining plan. I for one love it! We have used it the majority of the times we have been to the world, but to make it fair I have gone with out a few times. 

The times I have gone with the dining plan I have used the regular and the deluxe. In both cases we have come out with more than enough food, usually culminating with a massive snack buy on our check out day (which you have until 11:59 pm to use). 

Like I stated before, I enjoy the dining plan, but when you are spending so much money on something you want to get your money worth. So to get the most for your money, you will want to make sure you are booking the best places to eat. The character dining and buffet meals. Also remember that some places, like Cinderella's Royal Table, take 2 dining credits (if you are taking a Universal Day that would be a good use for the spare credit). Victoria and Albert's doesn't take the Dinning package until you get to premium and platinum, and you still have a little to pay cash. If you aren't wanting to eat all table service or only a few table services, they are able to be down graded to a quick service meal if you need it want to. 

With the quick service credit you are allowed a meal, drink, and dessert. Always go for a dessert, even if you don't think you are going to eat it then. When I eat at Casey's I usually get cotton candy because I know I can snack on it through out the day when I don't have enough room for dessert. 

Snack credits are a little different than the other meals. When at any food cart, quick service resturant or merchandise store, you will see a little dining plan logo telling you what is considered a snack. They can range from fries to candy to drinks but because Disney lets you bring drinks in the park, don't use the snack credit on a drink. Mickey Bars is where it's at, my personal favorite.  Little hint, if you are at the end of your vacation and have a few quick service meals left, you cans bump those down to snacks for your way home. 

So is the Dining Plan worth it? I personally believe it is. There is less stress on money when you get down to Disney World and you will have more than enough food. But if you believe that the dinning plan is not for you or your family, buy gift cards for the members of your family that is dedicated to food. 

What's your opinion of the Disney Dining Plan?

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