Disney Dining Plan

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sag746
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Disney Dining Plan

Post by sag746 » May Tue 19, 2015 2:46 pm

My wife and I have been going to WDW for over 25 years, and we stay at a Disney Resort. However, we have never used the available
Dining plans. We usually eat a light breakfeast and a light lunch. We usually dine for dinner at an EPCOT restaurant (Canada, Germany, Living Seas, Italy).
We used to purchase refill cups at the hotel, but now the daily cost is way too high just for a coffee and maybe a few soft drinks. Is there a meal plan
which could benefit us? When I do the numbers it doesn't seem to be financially beneficial.
Hope you have a great day

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Re: Disney Dining Plan

Post by cy1229 » May Tue 19, 2015 2:49 pm

Len90 has done the math, and the regular dining plan as priced is NOT a good deal unless you eat a LOT, would eat that much without it, and get the most expensive thing on the menu. Not to mention the number of times you'd have to fill your resort mug up every day. You're better off just paying out-of-pocket for your food. You're less likely to overeat to "get your money's worth" and if you don't want an entree, but would rather have a couple of appetizers, you're free to do so. And, if you use a credit card with some kind of rewards points or cash back, even better.

Unless it's free dining. Then all bets are off. But I assume it's not.
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Re: Disney Dining Plan

Post by Amy » May Tue 19, 2015 6:16 pm

cy1229 wrote:Len90 has done the math, and the regular dining plan as priced is NOT a good deal unless you eat a LOT, would eat that much without it, and get the most expensive thing on the menu. Not to mention the number of times you'd have to fill your resort mug up every day. You're better off just paying out-of-pocket for your food. You're less likely to overeat to "get your money's worth" and if you don't want an entree, but would rather have a couple of appetizers, you're free to do so. And, if you use a credit card with some kind of rewards points or cash back, even better.

Unless it's free dining. Then all bets are off. But I assume it's not.
Well said ~ I think the only meal plan that would work for you in your case sag746, is the free dining offers that come around. Otherwise you are better off ordering and eating what you like and paying as you go. You might check into the Tables in Wonderland card ~ not sure if that would be beneficial for you or not, but it might be on the evening meals. And I don't know if the annual pass has any kind of discount for meals in some restaurants or not, but that might be another option.

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Re: Disney Dining Plan

Post by Marty Moose » May Wed 20, 2015 9:00 am

For me, it has always seemed that the room discount is worth more to us than the dining plan.

But I agree that free dining might be worth it. I've never looked at that because we've never had the opportunity to make a trip then.
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Re: Disney Dining Plan

Post by Amy » May Wed 20, 2015 1:19 pm

Marty Moose wrote:For me, it has always seemed that the room discount is worth more to us than the dining plan.

But I agree that free dining might be worth it. I've never looked at that because we've never had the opportunity to make a trip then.
I think, from having seen others' figuring out free dining vs. room discounts, the room discount generally is the better of the two deals.

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Re: Disney Dining Plan

Post by Wizzard419 » May Wed 20, 2015 9:26 pm

It should universally be a better deal, with free dining the only cost would be for the actual food. The staff would likely be a sunk cost for the time of year.

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Re: Disney Dining Plan

Post by cousininmiami » May Thu 21, 2015 9:38 am

Dining plans do not work for us either. Too much food, your options are always better going a la carte for whatever you want at the time! We will occasionally splurge on an expensive Epcot dinner, but usually opt for snacking in many countries.
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Re: Disney Dining Plan

Post by Amy » May Thu 21, 2015 12:31 pm

cousininmiami wrote:Dining plans do not work for us either. Too much food, your options are always better going a la carte for whatever you want at the time! We will occasionally splurge on an expensive Epcot dinner, but usually opt for snacking in many countries.
Oh my goodness, you are definitely correct on the too much food part ~ Figment and I generally share a sandwich or whatever we get and neither of us go hungry. Figment's main reason she likes the dining plan (we've only ever had the free version) is that she simply can order and not worry about having money. Plus it is a psychological benefit thinking it is already paid for and you aren't shelling out $14 for a hot dog and fries ;) :lol:

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Re: Disney Dining Plan

Post by cy1229 » May Fri 22, 2015 7:23 am

Amy wrote:
cousininmiami wrote:Dining plans do not work for us either. Too much food, your options are always better going a la carte for whatever you want at the time! We will occasionally splurge on an expensive Epcot dinner, but usually opt for snacking in many countries.
Oh my goodness, you are definitely correct on the too much food part ~ Figment and I generally share a sandwich or whatever we get and neither of us go hungry. Figment's main reason she likes the dining plan (we've only ever had the free version) is that she simply can order and not worry about having money. Plus it is a psychological benefit thinking it is already paid for and you aren't shelling out $14 for a hot dog and fries ;) :lol:
When the girls were little, I did the dining plan twice for that very reason. I'm horrible with budgeting and this was a way to make sure we were good on meals. I'm better now with budgets so we probably won't do it again. But it was nice to just show up and know everything we needed to have for the week was paid for. With little kids, it's easier on the worry brain.

Someone who's better with that sort of thing though would probably not want to go that route. And in 2008 we had the deluxe plan. STUPID. In spite of all the walking I gained 7 pounds. Ridiculous.
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Re: Disney Dining Plan

Post by octoberbarry » May Mon 25, 2015 5:17 am

The problem with the dining plan is that once you've paid for it and have all the meal credits you feel as if you've been cheated somehow if you don't use them all. So you end up over-eating just to feel like you've gotten all the value you can out of it. If you're on the free dining plan, that can somewhat be diminished, but I still find myself trying to squeeze out every last calorie from my plan. So I agree that in almost all cases the room discount is a better way to go. Not to mention that in many of the restaurants I find that my waiters give me remarkably better attention when I'm not on the meal plan...

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Re: Disney Dining Plan

Post by I am Sulley » May Mon 25, 2015 11:14 am

When visiting from the UK we found the dining plan ok
We used some of the table service credits to book some Character Breakfasts that otherwise would have been a bit expensive (plus I like my Breakfast :lol: )
As it is harder to get accomodation discounts from over here the dining plan worked well for us and I wasn't bothered we had a couple of credits left as we all ate well and made it part of our holiday.
That said I can see for the more frequent visitor it could be better to pay your way. It also depends on the the make up of your party, kids, fussy eaters etc.

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Re: Disney Dining Plan

Post by ImagineerWannabe » Jun Fri 05, 2015 5:47 pm

Does anyone know anything about the changes that happened to the dining plan at the end of May? It seems they're related to using snack options. The website is showing places like Gaston's Tavern and Aloha Isle as no longer accepting the dining plan.

For the first time I'm planning a trip during free dining (a friend is getting married in Nov, so I'm organizing a short trip with another one of my friends before we go on to the wedding), and was really looking forward to using snack credits for a cinnamon roll and Dole Whip.
Last edited by ImagineerWannabe on Sep Mon 07, 2015 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Disney Dining Plan

Post by Amy » Jun Fri 05, 2015 6:42 pm

ImagineerWannabe wrote:Does anyone know anything about the changes that happened to the dining plan at the end of May? It seems they're related to using snack options. The website is showing places like Gaston's Tavern and Aloha Isle as no longer accepting the dining plan.

For the first time I'm planning a trip during free dining (a friend is getting married in Nov, so I'm organizing a short trip with another one of the my friends before we go on to the wedding), and was really looking forward to using snack credits for a cinnamon roll and Dole Whip.
Here is a handy link explaining the plan and also showing where you can use your credits. I'm guessing this might be the one you had already seen since Gaston's and Aloha Isle are not included in the list. You can always ask at the locations when you get there, they might still say yes.
http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/media/ ... Dining.pdf

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Re: Disney Dining Plan

Post by ImagineerWannabe » Jun Fri 05, 2015 9:41 pm

I have seen that brochure before, but I don't remember if when I last looked at it Gaston's and Aloha Isle were listed. The locations seem to be more full quick service meal spots (although the Main St. Bakery is there, so maybe not). A full listing for just snack credit locations probably isn't feasible with all the various carts and things. The dates seem to indicate the brochure has been that way since the start of the year.

I figure that by November they will have all the changes figured out and, if needed, menu boards changed, so the chances of getting someone at the restaurant to say "oh sure we can still do that" will be gone. But fingers crossed. Nothing's a done deal on going yet, and I think I'd still splurge for a cinnamon roll even if it wasn't on the plan :)

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Re: Disney Dining Plan

Post by Amy » Jun Sat 06, 2015 6:36 am

Just took a peek at the deluxe dining plan and it looks like it has the same list of restaurants as the quick service plan had on it. I would still ask if you get somewhere and they don't have the little snack symbol next to whatever you would like on the menu. They might surprise you by saying ~ Yes, we can do that for you! :D
Those cinnamon rolls do look pretty tasty ~ and I'm not even a big fan of them in general. If you simply save your odd change between now and November, you should have enough for both a cinnamon roll AND a Dole Whip ;) :lol:

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