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Old 01-17-2013, 01:30 PM   #16
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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I really liked the dining plan at first. It seemed to save some money and it was nice that it was prepaid. The cost keeps increasing while the benfits of the dining plan are decreasing. I don't think it is really a good value anymore.

We also buy the Disney Giftcards at Target (we get a 5% or 10% discount on them - 5%with our Target Redcard - 10% if we have pharmacy rewards). We pick where we are going to eat and estimate the cost - get the gift cards. It works out nicely for us. We don't feel like we have to eat dessert all the time. We can get an app instead of a entire meal, etc.

On our last trip, we figured out where we wanted to eat and then tried to predict what we might get. We totaled that against the price of the dining plan. It was like $300 less even figuring snacks and cs meals. Of course, we never get dessert at cs places. Even at TS places, we usually split one dessert so...that is probably less food than the DP.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:45 PM   #17
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i understand disney have doen the free dining plan i think ill wait it out for a few more months before booking hotels to see whats on offer. Thanks for your answers A LOT of information there!
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:00 PM   #18
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You have unknowingly swatted a hornets nest with a stick by bringing this up. People tend to get emotional about this topic for some reason.

Everyone has their own opinion, and it works differently for everyone. We have used it on some trips and didn't on others. The folks saying it all depends on your circumstances and desires are absolutely right.

If you are going to do character meals, and table service then it is probably worth it. If you plan to eat primarily counter service then probably not.

Convenience and peace of mind that you can order whatever you want are also factors, but only you can decide if they have value for you. For us, they really do. Walking into Kouzzina and ordering the whole fish is allot easier if you are on the plan than not.

For us, the key is whether or not we are staying in our RV at Fort Wilderness or a hotel. If at FW we will eat some meals at the RV, so the dining plan doesn't make sense. If we are at a hotel, then we get the basic dining plan and it works out pretty well.

So, break out a spreadsheet, go to Allears.net as someone suggested, and see what makes the most sense for you and your family.

Good Luck!!!
Mike C
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:26 PM   #19
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There are a lot of table service meals you can eat and still lose money on the dining plan. For example, you can easily spend less than $20 per person at Plaza Restaurant. Depending on where you want to eat, you'll need to make reservations well in advance of your trip and then you'll need to get to the restaurant.
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