To buy the dining plan or not- Please help me decide!


I am having a horrible time deciding whether I should buy the dining plan for my upcoming trip to WDW Nov. 19-21. It will be just a short trip, just me and my hubby. I have never used the dining plan since #1 I usally use the Tables in Wonderland discount and #2 we usually camp at Fort Wilderness and cook most of our meals. My TiW card is expired and I will need to purchase a new one if necessary. With that said, here are my ADR’s:

Wednesday Nov. 19th: California Grill 750pm (Never been here!)
Thursday Nov. 20th: Victoria & Albert’s Chef’s Table 600pm (Does not accept DDP)
Friday Nov. 21st: Breakfast at Boma (Never been here!)

As my ADR’s are right now, I would need 6 TS credits or just pay for breakfast OOP. I am not sure if California Grill is really worth spending 2 TS credits or not. We will probably have CS for all the other eating we will be doing.

Also, if I do buy both the dining plan and the Tables in Wonderland card (I hate that name, but it will clear up the confusion!!), can I use both? Like use the TiW card for my drinks and anything else not covered by the dining plan at CG? I hope I didn’t confuse anybody!!

Any help would be great! Thanks!


For such a short trip, I’m not sure if the DDP would be worth it or not. While being unhelpful on that question, I can tell you that CA Grill is absolutely worth the 2 TS credits. Just ask for the Wine Room. It’s much cozier and not as loud. We ate in there for the first time in August, and it was wonderful. The steak was the best I’ve ever had, hands-down!


To be honest I never go to WDW without the DDP. In my experience its worth it! Depends if you are going to use it to the fullest or not. Its only $70 a day so I would go for it.


Just yesterday, I did the math for my December trip to figure out the same thing.

I looked at the menus for all of my ADRs and wrote down how much it would cost OOP (if you use TiW, remember the gratuity is about equal to the discount). The TS meals came to about $620 for our six nights.

The DDP plan for our family costs 123.96 per day (three adults and one child) x 6 = $743.
Then, we figured that the 24 snacks and 24 CS meals were worth about $300 (~ $3 each snack and ~$10 each CS).

SO, I added the DDP today since for this trip, it is worth it. We don’t buy it every time, though.


I think that it is worth it even if it does use 2 TS. This way you do not even need to worry about any meal prices. We’ve been back from our trip about a week now and this was the first time using DDP and it was the best thing that I have ever done. On of the best times we used it was at the Mexican Resturant in Mexico of Epcot. We got the most expensive items on the menu and the bill at the end cost more than what we paid for the entire day for the both of us. I’m not sure what the tables in wonderland card is but I think that you show most certainly get the DDP. You kick yourself if you don’t.


We also loved having the DDP on our trip last week. But I am not sure if I would have done it on such a short trip - especially if you are doing V&A and a breakfast. I ould look at the menus and do some number crunching :wink:


Where’s the trip report, missy?

I like having the DDP and not thinking about anything but where I want to eat.
However, I think it’s not a “must-do” for such a short get-a-way. No time to waste on ADRs, especially since V&A is not on the DDP anyway.
I’d fly by the seat of my pants :wink:


I don’t think I would do it for such a short trip either.


I have never gone without the DDP and plan on purchasing it again for our next trip in June, which will only be 2 days. Since you have the ADR’s I think it would be worth it to get the DDP, if you weren’t planning any TS meals or were just planning on “seeing what you felt like” when you got there, I might not get it… actually, yea, I probably still would! I like not having to worry about the check at the end of the meal; it’s paid ahead as part of the trip… one less thing to worry about.


I dont think I would use it for that trip with those ADR’s. California grill is def. worth two, but you will still be paying oop for V&A and with those big meals you probably wont use your CS and snacks up.


We did it for a two day trip once and while I LOVE the dining plan more than life itself I felt like we were CONSTANTLY eating. But the best thing to do is do the math. Will you spend as much at California Grill, Boma and whatever CS meals you would eat to either break even or save some money? To me that’s the only way to really tell if it’s worth it.


I also like the DDP because I like to feel that it is paid for already. Its one less thing I need to worry about on my trip


I agree I think you have to tot up approximately how much food is going to cost and weigh this up against the cost of the DP.
We did it for the first time this year and thought it was excellent value, but ours was a longer trip-


I agree…our trip in september was our first time with the DDP…loved it!! loved only having to worry about tip…and yes we did feel like we were constantly eating, it was nice to bring home some Disney snacks. kinda like a ‘treat’ after the trip!!

I vote yes.


[QUOTE=Dopey;897488]Where’s the trip report, missy?


lol! I am so bad at writing I was hoping no one would ask :blush:


Do you have a Disney Visa? they have a promotion now where the plan is FREE if you have the visa. My travel agent called and changed our package to this one and saved 158.00 for my DH and I.


Yes, but I am not doing a package. We are AP holders and I am renting points this trip to stay at AKL. A package wouldn’t work for me- I wish though!!


you’ve been asked ! :closedeye


If you buy the regular dining plan for 3 days, you’ll get 3 table credits, which you’ll use for Cali Grill (2) and Boma (1). Victoria and Albert’s isn’t part of the dining plan, other than the Platinum Vacation Package.
The DDE membership can be used for anything that isn’t included in your dining plan meal, i.e. appetizers, side dishes, and all drinks and coffees beyond the one non alcoholic drink included with the meal.
You’ll still have three counter service credits plus three snacks each.
However, if you’re only registered in the hotel for two days, you’ll only have 2, 2, and 2, not three credits and that means you’re using your table credits for Cali Grill and paying breakfast OOP.
Now, on the other hand, if you’re only staying 2 days, the deluxe dining plan will give you 6 sit down credits per person or 12 total. I’d use them this way: Cali Grill (4 credits)
Breakfast Thursday (2 credits),
Boma (2 credits), Lunch Friday (2 credits).
This leaves you with 2 credits, which I’d try to burn at Wolfgang Puck’s Express or possibly WP Cafe or Raglan Road and get it to go. Either that or try to arrive around 1 PM on Wednesday and have lunch somewhere on the plan. Of course, make sure to grab your refillable mug and take your left over snacks home as well. Even bottles of water are worth $2.

(This post might be edited later.)


Ok, help me out. What’s the TiW??? :cool: