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Old 01-22-2013, 09:19 AM   #1
dvdcrow
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Disney Dining Plan

I'm hearing lots of negatives about the Disney Dining Plan (it's confusing, advance reservations required for popular restaurants, limited choices for kids, servers don't always understand it, etc) Anyone have any experience and/or recommendations?
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:26 AM   #2
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:40 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvdcrow View Post
I'm hearing lots of negatives about the Disney Dining Plan (it's confusing, advance reservations required for popular restaurants, limited choices for kids, servers don't always understand it, etc) Anyone have any experience and/or recommendations?
You can find all the information and advice you need over on the board for the Disney Dining Plan.

Some people here absolutely love the plan, find it easy to use and convenient, and won't do a trip to WDW without it -- whether it actually saves them money or not. Others find it doesn't work for the way their family eats and in the end costs them more money than it would to just pay out of pocket (OOP).

The child's choices are limited if you're using the kid's menus at WDW - that can be true. It is true that advanced reservations (ADRs) are recommended for most restaurants, especially the popular ones.

Best thing for you to do is check out the menus of the restaurants and figure out what you would be eating. Add up the total cost for everything. Then add up what the dining plan would cost you and see what saves you the most money or makes the most sense for your family. That's the best advice I have to give you.

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Old 01-22-2013, 06:20 PM   #4
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I like the DDP, some people don't. It is alot of food. I would suggest reservations for any table service restaurant that you are for sure wanting to eat at, no matter if you are on the DDP or paying OOP.

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Old 01-22-2013, 07:21 PM   #5
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We love the DDP. When we went last August, we skipped it (in favor of YES tickets) and I regretted it. (Not the YES class, just the absence of the DDP.) I found myself ordering something that cost less than what I really wanted, simply because I was so very conscious of how much we were spending to feed a family of 5 at WDW. I would MUCH, MUCH rather pay up front.

There are so many wonderful restaurants at WDW. Yes, it's kind of a pain that we call in those ADRs 180 days out.... but we get the restaurants we want.

I think what I love most about the DDP is that it really fosters family time for us. We do one table service meal a day. So that's at least one hour when we're not rushing off to get a Fastpass or onto a line-- we stop and talk about our day. I reallly love that time together as a family.

Do as others have suggested, and see whether the numbers make sense for your family. For mine, they make a LOT of sense. The only way I'll ever go without the DDP is if we end up at the Dolphin ( using their teacher's discount.)
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvdcrow View Post
I'm hearing lots of negatives about the Disney Dining Plan (it's confusing, advance reservations required for popular restaurants, limited choices for kids, servers don't always understand it, etc) Anyone have any experience and/or recommendations?
We also LOVE the DDP! We actually do the DxDDP- my husband loves the convenience of having all meals prepaid before our trip and the ability to choose anything from the menu without "concern for the cost" We are a 3 meals a day type of family, though.
With that said, I highly recommend the DDP! It is very easy to use. We have never encountered a server that was unfamiliar with the process.
Yes- advanced reservations are highly recommended if not required for most all restaurants, regardless of dining plan.
Hope this helps!
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:14 AM   #7
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We have managed to acquire the Disney Dining Plan for free on all our trips so far by going Sept/Oct. time period. It is definately worth it when it free. :

We hope to get free dining for our next trip as well but if we can't are planning to pay out of pocket for that. It is just so very convienient and for my family who like to do a sit down dinner at the nicer restaurants every night including many character meals it is well worth it.

We found it super easy to use (just hand them your room key) and all the wait staff knew how to use it.

The only inconvenient part was paying out of pocket for the tip.

All restaurants at Disney need to be booked 180 days before your trip. Otherwise you may find yourself eating counter service every night.
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