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.