We did not go with a dining plan this time (yet). We did it last year (QSDP) and I tried to order expensive every meal to come out ahead of the plan. I'm not even sure we did ultimately. So we are a family of 5. Me, DH, DS11, DS8, DS3 (turns 3 day of arrival-can't change arrival date earlier either). We will eat breakfast in our room that we brought. DS3 will both share, eat food we bring, and prob eat one meal paid for at the park. DS8 will most likely eat a child's meal each time or possibly share with me at times. The rest of is will eat adult meals (3). We are only eating one table service meal. The rest will be QS. Older Kids will prob eat 2 snacks a day. My DH and I, one snack. The baby will prob eat one snack per day (if even that) We are there for 6 night 7 days. How much per day do you think? The QSDP would be 920. Maybe it does make sense to just add it. What do you all think?
If you're looking to watch your costs more closely, I'd say do it OOP on all things.
You did mention the DDP, so I'm going with the assumption that you are staying on property. Which means you can set up an account with your MBs/KTTW for charging, and then pay it off at the end. This is one way you could keep a nice track of what you've spent on food; another would be to get Disney GCs or use a CC for it and log down all your expenses. Personal opinion only, but we found having to log everything down manually was a pain and we'd always end up missing something. When we charged things to our MBs/KTTW while on property, and then reviewed the charges each night and paid off the balance, it kept us on target and allowed us to see just where we were buying things and how much we were buying in total.
What I do not follow is, are you doing one TS meal your entire 6 night/7 day stay, or one every night? Depending on where you go, and if you use that TS for lunch/dinner, the prices can vary enough to make a difference. You'll want to list down a few places you plan on possibly eating at for TS locations (and make sure you have ADRs for them if they're coveted spots!) and roughly estimate what you're going to spend, including tax and tip.
QS locations are a little easier to figure, but you'll still want to check out menus and get a rough figure of what you're going to be spending. When the SO and I go down to WDW, at QS spots (let's say Casey's for sake of the mention), we spend typically $25, or as little as $15. If we're sharing a hotdog and soda, it's more like $15; if we're each getting our own hotdogs and drinks, it's more like $25.
Snacks are probably the easiest to figure. Go off of what your kids typically snack on, make a list of any snacks that are must-dos (if you're a returning WDW vacationer!) or make a list of snacks you think you might enjoy for the first time. Most estimate prices around $4 per snack, to stay on the high side and not go over budget. I like to actually make a list of the snacks I'm probably going to splurge on and know a little bit closer to my actual budget.
Sorry only one table service the entire trip...
If your TS meal is a character meal, the pricing can be higher if you are going in a high season.
You should factor in at least $100-125 per day when it's CS meals w/sharing + the snacks. You don't have to order the combo that's shown on the menu screens. Getting a hamburger without fries will save you money and you can share fries with whoever ordered the combo.
You should decide on the TS meal and set aside the amount for that meal.
allears.net has menus with the current prices.
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