Disney Dining Plan cost analysis


I know over the years, especially observing conversations here on MB, many people out there have discussed whether the DDP was “worth the money” for their family or not. This was never a question for us because the basic DDP is exactly how we’d eat anyway; a counter service lunch per day, a table service dinner, & we always buy SOME sort of extra everyday (water, ice pop, a little snack for breakfast, Powerade, etc…)

Anyway, we stayed at Kidani Village from June 24th-July 2nd with the basic DDP and for the first time I aquired a “complete guest folio” that incldued a print out of EVERY SINGLE THING we used our Dining Plan for & the charge for each. I’ve never seen this before, usually if I ask for a print out it just lists how many credits you’ve used, have left, etc.

I added everything up & the total charges would have been $889.48, whereas our bill upon check in for the DDP was only $640. for two adults.

I’ve never bothered to look at a ‘cost analysis’ before because honestly, it’s a vacation & I really don’t care. :laugh: Although, it made me feel good to see on paper that everything, which we would have eaten anyway, saved us $250. with the DDP! Yes, we did leave tips obviously & I didn’t keep track of that, but still, awesome savings.


That’s a nice savings. We’ve used the dining plan a couple of times and it did save us money. However, our son is now an ‘adult’ so it’s not quite the savings it once was. I wish he could eat $40 worth of food but he just doesn’t.


$250! Wow. Not a bad savings at all. I’m just not sure that our family would eat on property enough to make it worth it.


Thank you for the break down. Something else to think of. Beyond 2-3 special ADR’s we usually just go w/ the flow and book when we get to WDW or even into the park. The joy of traveling w/o kids.

As far as the tips, they would be there even if you did not have the DDP. So $250 is $250. Not bad. An extra $30+ a day helps w/ the extras we all do.


I do this every time…but as most people know I am a penny pinching, change counting nerd. I love a good bargain :laugh:
We’ve saved money every time we’ve done it and at first it was more of “if we didn’t do the DDP would we really eat this much?” At the time the answer was no. Of course this was when our trips were shorter and we’d only pick a few places to make ADR’s and not eat a sit down meal everyday. As we got more comfortable with Disney and have been there 7 times in the past six years we can slow down a little bit and now eating is one of our favorite things to do! In fact I know one of the things Dave most wants to try is the deluxe plan. :laugh:


Wow, now THAT is one thing I know we couldn’t handle. I think the basic plan is perfect for us, but sheesh, the deluxe plan is just TOOOO much! :pinch:


:wub: We love the dining plan for the exact same reason! The first time we had the dining plan they delivered a printout like you said to our hotel room the day we were checking out. I believed the total bill for our party was a little over $1000. We had saved well over $375. We also do the same, lunch is a counter service, dinner is a sit down and breakfast we pay for oop because we’re just not big breakfast people. We as a whole aren’t big eaters and we don’t see the plan as how much we can eat to make it worth while but what we would like to try!! That being said, I understand Disney Teachers comments. For a long time I’ve thought their should be a junior plan for ages 9 -12. Larger portions of the childrens menu or scale down the adult entrees for simple items such as pasta or a smaller portion of chicken ect. Like Friendly’s here in the Northeast. Most kids in that age bracket can’t eat as an adult. If they cAN, YOU CAN ALWAYS ORDER THE ADULT MENU!!! :laugh:


That is a good savings. I think for the three of us we saved about the same amount. It may have been more. We kept track of all of our meals and most of the snacks. I am going to have to double check when i get home to see what the total savings was.


When i think of the Deluxe Dining plan, i get a little queazy… :blow:

(and i LOVE to eat).


we went with the grandparents in June., and we ate 2 TS meals per day. I was not hungry for a week when we got back. As far as kids go. It is a definite savings: when a meal is $9 for lunch, and the whole day you spend $ 12? (can’t think of kids pricing), then it is a bargain… For adults- you are spending $39 per day, and then one buffet costs $27 (again- not good on pricing), then you have saved money.

I cannot see why Disney continues it- it seems like they are giving away their food profit margin. Maybe they are working on the premise that more people will do the DDP, and eat at a sit down restaurant, then there is more volume, and more profit. I know that they are not losing money on the deal, but I cannot figure out their end of the bargain.


Thanks for posting this! I’ve always wondered whether doing the dining plan would really save you anything… now I know! :blink: It saves quite a bit!! I’ll be keeping this in mind for future trips. Thanks again! :heart:


I sent Disney a letter off a link from their main site requesting this same thing as well as bringing their 70+ admission back down to a childs. Most Jr’s don’t have the appetite or acquired tastes as adults yet, esp on vacate, but maybe a little bit more than a childs. Most 70+ are on an extreme fixed income and their activity levels are way down thus spening more time in the rooms.
When staying in WDW property we’ve rode the fence on DDP. Money saved is great (btw thanks for the analysis) but outside of a few must do ressies we don’t like to plan every hour of our vacate (I have to do that enough on my scouts trips and it’s :wacko:) so if we go with the flow on DDP there maybe many TS credits not used due to no room for walkins.


Good info! I had no idea one could save that much money. I’ve been to WDW 10 times in the last 10 years, and I’ve never done the DDP. For some reason I thought it would be too confining. Now that I’m learning more about it, it really sounds like a great way to save a few bucks…more bucks to go towards the next WDW trip!


We too love the DDP. The basic plan is exactly how we would eat anyway, so it saves us a huge amount of money. We have 7 people in our party, and we can usually use up the cost of an entire day’s worth of DDP at just one TS (sometimes even more, depending where we eat). To us, it means that we are practically eating free for the rest of the day.


We just returned from a June trip and used the regular DDP. Had we paid for it, it would of cost us $1300(we were there for 13 nights and had free dining!!). I have tallied our receipts and the total is a little over $2100!! There are a few receipts that are missing, mainly snack receipts. We also realize that we probably woulod not ahve eaten all the places that we did. But, we are on vacation and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!! We will always do the DDP.


We did the DDP on our last trip and we found it to be great for us and plan to do it again on our next trip next year


No, it isn’t :blush: Not if you eat at signature restaurants each night and have a sit down breakfast in the morning. The snacks are what we had left over no biggy:closedeye


Or you can get things with your left over snack credits that are packable and take them home with you. We’ve let our kids use left over snack credits in the candy store in DTD for little extras to take home.:happy:



Are you able to compute what would your savings would have been if you did TiW?


Yeah, I could never eat a sit down breakfast like that. Even when we did Cape May this trip I literally had one little plate with a piece of asparagus, an egg, & that was basically it. For some reason if I eat a big breakfast I feel like a tranquilized bear all day. :laugh: We usually just have a banana, yogurt, or something small early in the morning at the room.