Dining Plan worth it?


#1

Me and My Soon to be Wife, are kind of debating our next trip on this dining plan thing, me and her spent 60 bucks a day for both of us on food and that stuffed us or filled us happily with usually some left over for snacks. We did what i’m OCD about, rationing out our money for each day and only spending that money on food, if there was some left over it rolled over to the other day. so our 5 day trip was 300 bucks on food, so would it really be worth it for us to get the Dining Plan? am I missing out on anything if we dont? what about the nice fancy sit down places does it cover that or do I have to pay for that as well?


#2

From what I read in your post, I think it would be worth it for you to do the dining plan. That way you can pay for it in advance and not have to worry about rationing your daily allowance. It does cover 1 sit down, 1 counter service and I think one snack a day. I have never used it, but I probably will on one of my future trips just to compare. Some sit downs require 2 TS credits, but most only require 1. There is a sticky on one of the threads that goes into detail about the DDP. Most people on here are pros at the DDP- I am only good at eating!!


#3

well see that was sit down we spent about 30 bucks a meal, (we dont get up till around 10 so lunch is breakfast lol) but we like to sit down and eat our meals and we like fancy restaurants but i dont want to spend like an extra 500 bucks when we only really used about 349 of it (random number lol) and if you use two Dining Credits at on place what happens when you run out?


#4

When you run out of credits, you can pay out of pocket.


#5

I think you should go for the dining plan. You will get your moneys worth if you do. I think it’s nice to have most of your food paid for before you go…and it’s really nice not to have to look at prices once you are there…you can get the most expensive thing on the menu, and it will still only take 1 credit.

It worth a little research on your part…
Go to Deb’s Unofficial Walt Disney World Vacation Information Guide - WDW Planning Guide - Walt Disney World and take a look at the dining plan and the menus and prices.

Look forward to hearing your decision!!!


#6

We are doing it for the first time this trip- mainly because of the free promotion- I can’t see how even if we were paying for the plan we couldn’t save on what we would normally spend per day on food. I think I shall try and keep a rough tally of what the food would cost should we be paying and work it against the cost of a dining plan day cost per adult.


#7

We’ve done the dining plan twice during the free promotion. We are planning our next trip when the promo isn’t available, but are still getting the dining plan. As with anything, it is completely a personal choice; what works for us won’t necessarily work for everyone.

Having said that, the dining plan is well worth the money if you like to do sit down meals. I like to plan my budget ahead of time as well and it was SO NICE not having to worry about money while we were there!!! We loved being able to sit down, order whatever we wanted and not stress about anything. Since it is a vacation, stress is not something anyone wants!!!

When on the plan, they still bring you a ticket like normal, then you pay with your room key. That allowed us to see how much the bill would have been, and therefore be thankful we didn’t have to pay that!

Since we used it last year, they have changed the dining plan, eliminating gratuity and appetizers. I still think it’s worth it.

One other thought- we don’t usually eat large meals every day, and instead eat lots of small meals. But in disney, we find (due to the heat and exhaustion) we found we really needed a large meal to recharge. So keep in mind that your eating habits might vary after walking 10 miles!

Hope that helps!


#8

One other thing-
with the plan we found ourselves eating at nice places we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. We end up spending most of our budget on accommodations/ travel and therefore save our money when it comes to food. So with the plan, you can eat at a nice place and STILL fit in your budget!


#9

If you enjoy a nice meal at a sit down restaurant, I think the DDP is worth it. We have used it multiple times, both free and out of pocket, and have always found a HUGE savings. Even if we didn’t have the dining plan, we would probably do at least one sit down restaurant per day, so we would be paying for that out of pocket. If you are content with burgers and sandwiches, and not interested in sit down dining options, maybe it isn’t for you. We have always enjoyed it, and have found it to be a fantastic value for our family of 5. Especially when it is free!!


#10

We have only done the DDP. The Dining Plus plan was more than enough for myself, DW and DS6 (now 7). It was 1 sit down, 1 counter service and 1 snack per person per night last year. We definitely got more than our money’s worth out of it.

1 thing to note that is new this year. This year you have to pay the tip, last year it was included. I think $60 a day is fine if you want to pay as go, but it will mostly be counter services to stay within your budget.

Good luck!!


#11

My brother actually sat down and figured out if the DDP was worth it and he found that it is a better value than paying for meals as you go.

Remember too that you may use your meal credits however you want since it’s based on your length of stay. For example, you can enjoy 2 sit-down meals one day and have 3 snacks the next.

The other thing we discovered was that it made more financial sense to pay for the 2-credit meals ourselves than use the 2-credits on the plan.

I would definitely purchase the DDP again.


#12

Simple math:
Sit down meal includes entree: $20.00, dessert: $6.00, beverage: $3.00, sales tax@6.5%= $30.85
Counter service meal includes platter: $8-10, dessert: $3-4, beverage: $2.50, sales tax@6.5%= around $16.50
Snack $2-4
Total = at least $48 ( you’re responsible for the tip for dinner)
Savings= minimum of $8

Dining plan is worth it. Especially if your dinner entree is more than $20.


#13

Before I did the dining plan, I would say “no, it’s not worth it. I can eat for less if I watch what we buy and share our food”

Then… we got the dining plan last year, and boy did I miss out on some great places to eat the first trip! Yes, you get some great restaurants and meals for the regular 1 TS. Special ones for the 2 TS. It is worth the experience to eat at some of the restaurants alone, let alone save you money. Your dinner meal will be the price of the meal plan alone, so lunch and snack are just about free.


#14

I’m not a burger and fry all the time guy I just like variety and I got it, Japan…sushi…OMG is all i have to say(and its a good omg). but that 60 bucks a day was including tip. oddly enough and we still didn’t spend it all. Elizabeth ended up buying me a Eeyore Plush with the food money left over from the entire trip. but I see where you guys are coming from on that. and whats this free promotion?


#15

From what I have been told by CMs, you can’t pay in advance for the DP. You pay for it at checkin…That being said, I am a DVC’r and I don’t get a package deal so maybe that’s different.


#16

errrr…mine is paid for and I don’t even leave until January :blink:


#17

I don’t think it’s worth it. For it to be cost effective, you basically need to have a sit down dinner at a nice restaurant every day and order one the more expensive dishes on the menu. If you use the DDP sit down on a breakfast or lunch, you are losing money. As a result, you need ADR’s for everynight and you must keep them. You lose you flexibility because you already paid for the sit down meal and if you miss the ADR it’s like throwing money out the window.

That being said, I’ve had the free DDP the last two years and loved it.


#18

[QUOTE=tecaslad;869186]I don’t think it’s worth it. For it to be cost effective, you basically need to have a sit down dinner at a nice restaurant every day and order one the more expensive dishes on the menu. If you use the DDP sit down on a breakfast or lunch, you are losing money. As a result, you need ADR’s for everynight and you must keep them. You lose you flexibility because you already paid for the sit down meal and if you miss the ADR it’s like throwing money out the window.

That being said, I’ve had the free DDP the last two years and loved it.[/QUOTE]
exactly, some of the visitors enjoy sitting in a nice restaurant. It is a big part of their vacation :wink:


#19

Disney has been offering the dining plan for free when you buy a vacation package for certain times of the year. The last few years it has been late August thru September. (That is a slow time of the year for them and the dining plan promo has increased attendance). If you are going during that time, ask for the free dining.

This is the first year we aren’t going in Sept so we can’t take advantage of it. You have to book during a certain window- I’m not sure when that is. I’m pretty sure it’s ended for this year. Just keep your eyes peeled for these types of promos- they are worth it!


#20

If you are staying on DVC points you don’t pay for the DDP until you check in. We are staying in November at SSR and we can’t pay until we check in.