Anyone done a Disney Dining Plan?

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leese1218 Posts : 8 Registered: 2/10/07
Anyone done a Disney Dining Plan?
Posted: Oct 11, 2008 2:37 PM

We are going to WDW on our honeymoon Oct. 2009. We'll be there a week and we're wondering if the dining plan is worth it or not and if it really limits you on where you can eat? Is it more worth it to just take cash and eat wherever we want or does the dining plan offer a ton of options? I just don't want to feel like I'm wasting my money with it and that we could be better off eating other places...


I will become Mrs. Martinez October 17, 2009!

"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same." -Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights


BostonBride1982 Posts : 5 Registered: 7/17/08
Re: Anyone done a Disney Dining Plan?
Posted: Oct 16, 2008 9:46 AM Go to message in response to: leese1218

I did a disney dining plan last year in August. It significantly increases the cost of your trip as we purchased online from The plan included 2 meals a day and a snack(per person)-1 meal of which you could eat in a nice restaurant where you were served (table meal). We had to make reservations way in advance for it though. You can eat at various resorts or at any of the disney owned properties. I would say it depends on what Disney property you would be staying at. Where we stayed All Star Resort had a food court type area and that's where we ate mainly (quick meal). The food at disney is not really expensive. An average meal (quick meal) is like 7-10 with everything (drink/tax). So for the time there with two people for three days we did not eat the value of the $200-300 dollars they charged us. I would say its beneficial if you plan to eat in the really nice sit down, waiter type restaurants each night of your stay--(meals there can start on average of $35 per person). Otherwise, we didn't have time for that because we were actively doing activities and going on rides. It also depends on how long you're staying and what you plan on doing. As two adults, on a honeymoon, it might be worth it. 
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JackieB0129 Posts : 497 Registered: 4/24/07
Re: Anyone done a Disney Dining Plan?
Posted: Oct 16, 2008 10:04 AM Go to message in response to: BostonBride1982

I agree with PP.  If you're planning on going out to some of the nicer restaurants i'd think about doing it.  We've never really had an issue with not having one when we've gone.

I would also think about how much you plan to do and what is going on in the parks when you go.  Last time we went we ended up going during the EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival.  We pretty much skipped lunch for both days that we were there because we were snacking in each country.

Jackie B!



leese1218 Posts : 8 Registered: 2/10/07
Re: Anyone done a Disney Dining Plan?
Posted: Oct 16, 2008 4:57 PM Go to message in response to: JackieB0129

Yeah I think I agree with you both. We're actually staying at the Grand Floridian but we will also be there during the Food and Wine festival. We have season passes to Disneyland and live right near it so we pretty much know the average prices of Disney food but we also know that we usually don't tend to eat formal meals. We usually just grab something in between rides/activities. I think we'll probably skip the dining plan. I would rather be able to go wherever I want, whenever I want and not have to worry about getting my money's worth of the dining plan.


I will become Mrs. Martinez October 17, 2009!

"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same." -Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights


auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Anyone done a Disney Dining Plan?
Posted: Oct 17, 2008 3:23 PM Go to message in response to: leese1218

Dear Leese,

I don't know about the Disney Dining Plan, since I never go to WDW nor Disneyland.

I will comment, in general, about what we do when we are traveling.

We usually have a pretty good breakfast, a late afternoon lunch, then only a very light snack at bedtime. (We call that afternoon meal "dinch".) An advantage to "dinch" is the restaurants are uncrowded around 3 in the afternoon, and we get quick service.

Think about it: A restaurant meal takes, at minimum, an hour. You have to get yourself to the restaurant, wait be be seated, look at the menu, order, wait for the meal prep, eat, then pay and leave. Even for a "quick" meal, you've got figure on a hour start to finish. For a multi-course meal, such as dinner, then figure on two hours start to finish.

That means if you eat three times a day, you're spending three-four or more hours on meals. You've got to sleep 8 hours, plus you need about two hours to shower and get dressed in the morning, then an hour in the evening.

As honeymooners, add another factor for marital activities.

That means you have 24 minus 11 or 13 hours for things other than sleeping and getting dressed/undressed. Take four hours out for meals, and that leaves you with 9 hours for your activities.

Get where I'm going?

That's why we, essentially, eliminate one meal from the day. Neither of us can go without breakfast. We are horrible crabs without it. So what works for us is a good breakfast, late lunch and a light snack before going to bed. That light snack might just be a couple of granola bars and fruit juice, or a bag of nuts.

What to do about your food budget? A Dining Plan is good because you can "fix" your food budget. Pay one price, then you get all you can eat.

My suggestion is to do the same thing, essentially, but just within your own budget.

Figure as follows: Per person per day $10 for breakfast, $15 for lunch and $30 for dinner. For two people, that's $110/day.

Let's say you'll be there five days. Now your food budget is $550. Set that aside.

Go on your honeymoon, and try the two meal a day plan I outlined above. You'll probably come out money ahead, or be able to blow a wad on a really elegant dinner a couple of times.

You'll also be able to go off-campus, and have dinner at some other local restaurant that catches your fancy.

At any rate, that is what I would do if I were faced with that choice. I do it that way all the time when I go to Europe, and it works for me.


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Re: Anyone done a Disney Dining Plan?
Posted: Sep 12, 2012 9:05 AM Go to message in response to: leese1218

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Re: Anyone done a Disney Dining Plan?
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