Why shouldn't I get the Dining Plan?


DW and I are going to WDW for 2 nights at the end of April without our children. We are DVC members and will be staying at SSR, so we can finally use the Dining Plan. We have the DDE card so I can get 20% off of most sit down restaurants anyway. Looking at the Dining Plan I am trying to decide what we should do? Is it too good to be true or am I missing something?

Get the Dining Plan or just use the DDE card?


The dining plan can be too good to be true, but it depends entirely on where you’re planning to eat.

I’d go to allearsnet.com, look at the menus, and do the math if I were you, considering what you’d be likely to order. Keep in mind that the dining plan includes tip & drinks, which is pretty much equivalent to the 20% you’d be saving with the DDE card.


Does your DDE card cover you alchololic beverages? You may be able to get the best of both worlds.


We have never used the DDE, we just purchased our DVC membership. But we love the dining plan. I would look at the allears and try to figure it out to see what is best for you. :mickey:


Yes, the DDE does cover all charges so it would include alcohal.


Yeah, I figured it out and I will still make my DDE money back just on alcohol, PI admission, and the two dinners & 1 breakfast that won’t be covered under the dining plan (I have a split reservation, so not all days are on the dining plan)…

So, I say, use BOTH!


I wouldn’t do DP just because it seems like a lot of food. I don’t eat very much during the day, so I’d hate to waste it.


I am looking at the brochure right now:
Counter Service includes 1 entree, 1 desert, and 1 non-alcoholic beverage.
Table Service includes 1 appetizer, 1 entree, 1 dessert and 1 non-alcoholic beverage. The dining plan also includes tax and tip.


I have used both the dining plan and the DDE…
my advice may be a little suprising to you, BUT since you already have the DDE card and you are only going for two nights…i’d say use that…We used to Dining Plan for a short trip and while it WAS great fun…i felt like all we did was eat and eat and eat…and we were rushing from one ADR to another just to break even.


Actually, that is one of my concerns. I am leaning that way right now.


Our trip this month DID make us feel like we were the only people at WDW who were NOT on the DP. However, for us, breakfast is a bagel or cereal in the room, a very light lunch (a salad or a couple of tacos or a small sandwich) and then one big meal at dinnertime. Even with drinks and all the trimmings, we really are only investing in a single meal. I think we likely saved money overall by not buying the plan.


We did love the amount of food on the dining plan, and we got to eat at some places we never would have if we had not had the dining plan, but it is true that you spend a LOT of time eating, just to make sure you get all of the meals in.
I would say for a short trip I would yse the DDE as well.


We always end up doing 1 sit down and 1 counter service at one of the Disney restaurants each day anyway, so it works for us financially, but also fits our vacation style. If you aren’t planning on that, then it probably isn’t for you.


We prefer to have a sitdown lunch of soup or salad so the plan would limit our table service options. This is why we’ve decided not to do it. I’d rather spend $7 on french onion soup than $7 for a hamburger. But it’s entirely up to the eating habits of your family. I wish they had a plan for just the table service places.


We like to sit down for almost all our meals after a llifetime of counter service at work and play. The old gold, platinum, and Grand vacation packages featured the choice of ANY WDW eatery, excepting Victoria and Alberts, and even usually not them either. So, in order to maximize dollar value, we’d eat heavy three times a day. Last year, instead we went ala carte and bought annual passes and the DDE card. We also stayed at the Poly’s concierge, so breakfast was pretty much provided every day. We’d either eat a late breakfast at Crystal Palace or Chef Mickey and then hold out till after Illuminations for dinner. As we weren’t on the plan, we didn’t feel obligated to pig out on 5 course dinners (counting coffee). It probably cost us less doing it this way, rather than the current dining plan that burns two meals for “signature” restaurants, keeping in mind most of the places you’ll want to go to are in that category. It’s all up to you of course. My suggestion is go to All Ears Net.com and read the menus and do your math. you could be surprised.


Speaking of Crystal Palace, if you get your PS for 10:30, your meal will actually be a brunch. They are changing over from breakfast to lunch during this time, so as one side closes out breakfast, the other side is starting to bring out fresh lunch food! All this and Pooh too!


We loved the dining plan, and it definately paid for itself. One plus is not having to look at the menu prices at all. For us, that was a big deal and allowed us to eat at places we could have never afforded previously.


The meal plan is a great deal if you eat a sit-down mean every day and also like to eat a bigger lunch. There are three of us (two parents and a child) and we really went back and forth on whether to get the dining plan for our recent 6 night/7-day stay. Finally, we decided not to get it but to keep track of what we spent just to see if we would have been better off with the plan. We tend to eat one “big” meal a day. So, for us, breakfast was usually coffee/juice and a muffin… or even cereal in the room. Our lunch plans really depended on what our dinner plans were that day. On days that we had a huge sit-down dinner planned, we made our dinner PS’s a little earlier than some might prefer (e.g. 4:30-5:00 pm) and opted for a lighter lunch that day - sometimes a salad but often just fruit or popcorn. On days when we didn’t have sit-down dinner plans, we got a bigger lunch, such as a counter meal, and for dinner we just shared a pizza or something not as filling. At the end of the trip, we figured that we had spent about $500 for food (for the three of us). If we had purchased the dining plan, it would have cost us almost $700 and we would have felt the pressure to eat a lot more than we wanted. Again, this is strictly a preference because I do think that the plan is a good deal for those who eat more and want that sit-down meal experience every day. It’s the sit-down meals that make the plan cost effective.


What is DDE??? Please explain.


“Disney Dining Experience”… It is a card that can be purchased (I think only by Annual Passholders and Florida Residents) that gives a discount of 20% (for up to 10 people) at many of the restaurants & clubs at Disney. It includes alcoholic beverages and also provides some pleasure island/downtown disney discounts too …