View Full Version : Is the dining plan worth if you are not making ADR's?

03-12-2006, 10:09 AM
Going down in April with my children and parents. We've pretty much eaten at most of the restraunts that we have wanted to throughout WDW.
My question is:

Is the dining plan worth it if your not going to be planning your meals?

If we do all table service will it be worth it? I really don't feel like doing a lot of planning this trip since everything will be so crowded and waits will be long even with ADR's. I can easily see us popping into counter service places at less crowded times.

I may get a couple of ADR's just in case but I have no idea which park we will be in everyday and I really don't plan my trips around eating. My kids really don't get excited about eating but they do like the atmosphere like at Sci- Fi and Prime Time. We're really are not big eaters at all.

So do you think the dining plan would be a good idea?

03-12-2006, 10:20 AM
fyi we are going 4-15 thry 4/23- lots ofplaces are booked- i tried last night to change to crystal pallace for dinner- 8:45 pm was all they had-

03-12-2006, 10:21 AM
Ive never used the dining plan (I am for the first time in October!) but My hubans friend has and he said that he ate at some restaurant and got a lobster dinner that wound up costing over $100.. BUt he had the dining plan, so it was 'free'. And he didn't do ADRs. So it's gotta be worth it, you can eat whatever you want.. almost everywhere!

03-12-2006, 10:22 AM
...Ohh.... and the dining plan includes tips!

03-12-2006, 10:45 AM
We're really are not big eaters at all.

So do you think the dining plan would be a good idea?

Probably not. If you do not eat an appetizer and dessert with every meal, and do not use all your options, it is likely that it will not be cost effective.


03-12-2006, 11:02 AM
Probably not. If you do not eat an appetizer and dessert with every meal, and do not use all your options, it is likely that it will not be cost effective.


Is that Major Tom as in ground control?

03-12-2006, 11:17 AM
I would say probably not. Since it is a very crowded time and you don't have ADRs, you may very well end up with leftover TS credits. That is where the value really is in the plan. I would say skip it this time and try it another if you are really curious about it.

03-12-2006, 11:22 AM
If you're not big eaters and not ADR makers, I would probably say not. If you plan and like to eat TS meals, then it is definitely a great deal. Using it mostly for CS, I would say no. Have fun!

03-13-2006, 10:34 PM
We have used the Dining Plan before.

I would not use it if I were not making ADRs. I don't think it would be cost effective at all. You've got to eat at a TS restaurant each day to be worth it. In April, it's going to be pretty hard to get into a TS restaurant w/o an ADR...at least the "good" restaurants.

03-13-2006, 10:38 PM
Please make some ADR's. Your going Easter week! :bitelip: and it will be a nice break from the hectic pace going on in the parks.

BTW I love the Major Tom comment. Everytime I here it though I think of Adam Sandler in Mr. Deeds :rotfl2:

03-14-2006, 11:32 AM
Please make some ADR's even if you don't get the DDP! It is a very busy time. When I went in October I saw dozens of people turned away from the TS restaurants. They were so disappointed! If you think you will only want a couple of scheduled meals go to signature restaurants once or twice they take two credits. Unless you think you and the members in your party will eat less then the $37 per day which is inclusive of tax AND tip you can't go wrong getting the plan. :wizard:

03-14-2006, 11:53 AM
If you aren't planning on making ADRs and you aren't huge eaters, and you can see yourself doing counterservice a lot, I would have to go with no, the dining plan isn't a good deal for you.

If you plan to do a lot of table service meals even without the appitizer and dessert it might be, but since you don't seem to be I would just pay out of pocket.

03-14-2006, 12:16 PM
We did the free dining plan last September, and though it was wonderful to try out so many new restaurants, it was waaay too much food, and too restrictive for us to have so many ADR's.

So, for our trip this Sept, I did some quick math by calculating the few TS meals we would like, and found it will be in our best interests NOT to get dining plan. We will do mostly counter service, and will split meals when possible (SO much food!!), and the dining plan would cost us a couple hundred more than we will probably spend. (me, DH, DS 8 and DS 2).

Just my 2 cents...


03-14-2006, 02:58 PM
The biggest reason to pay for the dining plan is the ability to eat at a TS restaurant almost every day of your vacation, for about the same or less than you'd pay at the same restaurant without the dining plan, and you get a counter service meal and a snack thrown in on top of that.

So, if you really want to take advantage of the best feature of the dining plan (the relatively inexpensive TS meals), ADR's are the best way to ensure that you get your chance. It's really not that big a hassle to make 1 ADR per day, or even less than that if you decide to hoard 2 days' worth of TS credits for 1 "signature dining" meal.

03-15-2006, 05:00 PM
We have used the dining plan, and there is no question that it is worth it--in a weeks stay last year, our restaurant checks were almost double the cost of the plan. You can take off the appetizers and the desserts, and still come out way ahead.

However, if you do not make ADRs, I don't believe you will get in to any table service restaurants, especially if you are there anywhere around Easter week. The drawback of the dining plan is that it is making all the Disney restaurants much, much busier. Before the dining plan, we used to go to offsite restaurants at least half of the time, if not more. Now, its all Disney restaurants, and I think that is probably typical of many WDW regulars.

Without reservations, dining plan or not, you can count on either all counter service meals or dining offsite. If you do get into a Disney table service establishment, it will be with very long waits or at very off hours.

03-15-2006, 05:11 PM
If you don't have an ADR and the restaurant you want to dine at isn't accepting walkups what are you going to do?

Eat in a CS? Then skip the dining plan.

Ask the CM at the podium to find a restaurant that has an opening? Then you might as well book the plan.

Sounds like you're going to go the CS route so I'd skip the plan.

03-15-2006, 05:55 PM
I went ahead and made ADR's for 7 table service restraunts. Now I will have to rethink all of this.

Thanks for all the advice and for encouraging me to make ADR's!! :goodvibes

03-15-2006, 06:33 PM
Whew! I'm glad you made them. Give it some thought and if you change your mind you can cancel all or some! :goodvibes