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View Full Version : How much did you spend as a family of 5 not on the dining plan?


allboyzz
06-01-2009, 06:31 AM
I mentioned the dining plan to my mil (they decided to join us at the last minute on the upcoming trip). Anyway, I told her how much it cost for the 5 of us ($130ish per day). She thought that was a lot. Then I started thinking about how much we would probably spend out of our pockets. We have an 11 year old (in the middle of a growth spurt) and a 15 year old boy that can REALLY eat. I don't think they would want to share meals. They would still be hungry. lol My husband and I might be able to share some of the larger meals. I'm dieting so I would not mind. However, sometimes he has a really big appetite too. I guess I'm just trying to get an idea about how much families of 5 typically spend per day on meals at Disney. I know I'm probably not saving anything by being on the dining plan. However, I don't want to feel like I'm actually losing money by being on it. I would be happy to at least break even. The convenience of having it paid for would be worth it to me (to break even). TIA!

nicoleakr
06-01-2009, 06:49 AM
I would do the dinning plan. I only took 1700 for 8 days the last time we went and we were very tight on money. I also took breakfast with us and we only did 4 sit down meals.The rest were QS and the kids shared the drinks. It didn't leave much money for souveniors at all. We are doing the dinning plan this time and I am so happy. I won't have to worry now. If you are paying for mil defenitly do the dinning plan.

cammie810
06-01-2009, 06:56 AM
We have done it both ways. I went a few years ago with just my two sons and we brought $1000.00 for food and it was enough but we bought breakfast stuff for our room and had cold cuts from Walmart for dinner one night. Usually we ate out once a day. We have also done the dining plan which I loved because i knew my costs up front. Plus, my 12 year old was in the middle of a growth spurt at the time and he inhaled his whole meal and then finished everyone elses. I did end up splitting alot of meals with my husband or mom but we still used the leftover credits because my kids wanted to eat breakfast most mornings.

allboyzz
06-01-2009, 07:03 AM
We have done it both ways. I went a few years ago with just my two sons and we brought $1000.00 for food and it was enough but we bought breakfast stuff for our room and had cold cuts from Walmart for dinner one night. Usually we ate out once a day. We have also done the dining plan which I loved because i knew my costs up front. Plus, my 12 year old was in the middle of a growth spurt at the time and he inhaled his whole meal and then finished everyone elses. I did end up splitting alot of meals with my husband or mom but we still used the leftover credits because my kids wanted to eat breakfast most mornings.

Sounds a lot like my 11 year old! :rotfl2:

Thanks to both of you for the replies! I think we will stick to the dining plan.

Hopefully
06-01-2009, 09:14 AM
We have found that we saved a bit, not a lot, on the dining plan. I debated adding it this trip since it no longer includes appetizers and we usually want a salad or such.
But I read in the Unofficial Guide that their research shows that the average family still saves about $7 per person/per day. So we are going to do it.
Have a Great Trip

allboyzz
06-01-2009, 09:34 AM
We have found that we saved a bit, not a lot, on the dining plan. I debated adding it this trip since it no longer includes appetizers and we usually want a salad or such.
But I read in the Unofficial Guide that their research shows that the average family still saves about $7 per person/per day. So we are going to do it.
Have a Great Trip

You too! I guess I should have been a little more specific. We are doing the quick service dining plan.
Thanks for the reply! :goodvibes

DAZY3BYZ
06-01-2009, 09:47 AM
We figured for our family of five with 3 boys,16,14,10, we spend around 1200 on food easily. We've never done the dining plan because we figured we wouldn't save all that much and would rather not have to book a package. It would be a better savings to get some kind of a room discount. However, we are doing free dining this August because since the food is "free" it was a better savings for us then taking a room discount. Hope this helps. Feeding a family of five at Disney certainly isn't cheap.:scared:

hart6066
06-01-2009, 10:00 AM
I've heard more people split on their feelings of the quick service. We have only done the more traditional one, and that is what we will stick with. I'd just figure out how much you're saving a day by doing quick service (I think it's about $10/adult per day but check) and then figure out if you'd do ANY sit down meals. I think if you do two sit downs, as many people do with character buffets, you may be just at the line. There are some good reviews by people who did quick service, where they ate, etc and I'd just check that out before you decide. Have fun--my DS is 7 now and I shudder to think what he will consume when he's a teen--WHERE do they put it all???

Happy99
06-01-2009, 10:04 AM
To the OP - I would really take a look at the regular dining plan for your family. If you say your children are big eaters the counter service places may not be enough food for you. For $10 more per night, per person, you can have the regular dining plan and can do things like buffets and all you can eat type places.

If you think that something like a burger, fries, drink, dessert will not be enough for them and they will be looking to eat something else not long after their meal look into the regular dining plan.

The only downside to the regular dining plan is that you would have to pay tips at the table service meals which may end up costing you more in the end.

I would also suggest looking at the menus and figuring out a few meals costs based on what you would order. This will help you judge your costs.

flyerwife
06-01-2009, 10:39 AM
We have 3 teenagers and I would say that the food usually runs us about $300 a day. Now that is including at least one full character meal a day (the Cinderella breakfast alone ran $150). Also, we usually grab hot dogs or fast burgers for lunch but with 5 people, especially 3 teens, even just the drinks are close to $20. Then, if you are walking around and everyone wants to grab a bottle of water and a Mickey Premium, that will be a fast $35. And then there's dinner, which even at counter service is north of $50 for 5 people.

When the kids were little we could get away with splitting a meal at a counter service but of course that doesn't happen anymore.

Also, I noticed that Disney used to have lots of water fountains but most of them have disappeared. While I do think their bottled water prices are pretty reasonable (drinks too), if you are a party of 5 and each of you buys 2-3 drinks while walking through that parks each day, that adds up to big numbers fast.

Some of us have favorites, so my husband always has to get a turkey leg in Frontierland and my daughter has to get her quesadilla in Mexico, and of course the champagne or Kir Royale back in France, so that adds up as well.

We have done the free dining several times and found that it definitely is a good deal.

I've never bought the dining plan on it's own because there are days when we choose to eat offsite and that would negate the savings.

Hope this helps somewhat.

:wizard:

serene56
06-01-2009, 11:55 AM
Have you checked out allearsnet.com and looked at the places you will be visiting to see who much it would cost you to eat and each place?

I agree with the poster with the boys the quick service might not be enough for them and to upgrade to the Regular dining plan.

caroline1851
06-01-2009, 11:58 AM
A typical CS for family of 5 will run you between $50-75. (heck, sometimes our breakfast was over $50) $50 is on the low end. A TS meal per day will run you around $100-150. a snack per day will be about $15-20. PLUS TAX. You don't pay taxes on the meal plan.

We were a family of 3 (dd was only 2) and the meal plan cost us $604. I added up everything we ate and it came to $800 (and we did not order dessert, for example, if we didn't want it just because it was included.)

I think the ddp is a great plan.

Disneycrazy!!
06-01-2009, 12:36 PM
I think the dining plan is the best way to go. I would stick to buffets with big eaters, so everyone will get plenty to eat.
Just with 3 people, last September, our TS bill would run us at least $110 to $140.

I was just looking at a receipt for counter service for 3 and it was $28.00, just for sandwiches and drinks.

Princess Disney Mom
06-01-2009, 01:54 PM
If you plan to eat Disney the DDP may be the way to go. If you want to save money that is a different story. You can save a lot of money by getting the Garden Grocer to deliver. You can get cereal/fruits for breakfast luch meats/ bread for sandwiches. Bottled waters/drinks.

VAYankee
06-01-2009, 02:23 PM
this is the first time we are using the DDP this year; there is just the three of us going - DH, DS(15) and myself. Although DS can eat his weight at mealtime, I went with the QS dining plan because he is not a big sit down dinner eater - even when we go to a buffet, he will only eat pizza, fried chicken, burgers, and any chocolate cake he can find (what's a green veggie?). My DH is the king of the deli sandwich, so I figured table service would be wasted on them. We are driving down and have a fridge so we will be going to the store and picking up breakfast stuff and snacks to keep in the room. What I like the most about having the dining plan thought is not worrying about having enough money; the meals are paid for and you don't have to worry about them.

francie57
06-01-2009, 02:57 PM
The dining plan is definitely the way to go. We traveled with a group of 5 last year on the dining plan and saved lots of money. You can figure at least $50 for a CS (usually more) and for TS meals you can figure $150 or more plus a tip and count in the snack each day. The dining plan is basically $40 a day per person. We keep track of the amount that our cs lunches cost and the TS dinners and we are usually a few hundred ahead of what the dining plan costs, even having to pay the tip on the TS. We wouldn't go without the dining plan.

tami82
06-01-2009, 04:37 PM
I dont know if this will make you feel better but last summer we booked 4 nights at contemporary, we are a family of 5. Months later i saw a princess themed condo which i fell in love with and also booked. I didnt cancel disney just in case and was waiting to see the price of everything with free dining if and when it finally came out. The day it started i call and price went down around $600+. After we figured out the condo cost verses the Disney plan we were stunned to find out that we actually werent going to be saving much of anything by staying in the condo . We figured condo cost, disney tickets, etc.... and didnt even add in the cost of food yet and it was equalling around $2000+ without the food. Well you better believe that i cancelled the condo (i did lose the deposit but in the end well worth it for the convenience of the monorail, meals, etc......) and went with the Dining plan.

cmca23
06-02-2009, 12:54 AM
In October we were at Disney Sunday through Friday, family of 5 - 2 adults and 3 kids off the kids menu - and spent $874.06. (I saved all the reciepts and put them in a spreadsheet when we got home) This was one table service meal a day and usually 2 counter service, and all snacks, drinks, and candy.

ckdsnynt
06-02-2009, 01:10 AM
You can count on spending about $10 per person per cs meal (meal + drink). We have kept our reciepts and actually done the math and the ddp saves money. I am a light eater and ususally give half my food to DH but even then, I like to snack and buy drinks so the $ adds up quickly.