Convince me that the dining plan is right or wrong for us.

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Plan' started by Neo Fender, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. Neo Fender

    Neo Fender Earning My Ears

    Sep 8, 2005
    So far, I’m leaning toward going without it due to our situation and preferences. Here’s the deal:

    - Two adults and two children staying eight nights beginning 30 September. The DP would cost $97.96 a day x 8 = $783.68

    - I planned this trip less than 90 days in advance and IIRC, we will be there at the tail end when the “free diners” may still be in attendance so TS restaurants may be a bit hectic (anyone have any first-hand experience on this?). Also, we’re not yet sure on which park we’ll be in or which day. Finally, our son is autistic and sometimes doesn’t do well sitting at a table in a noisy restaurant. For all of these reasons, I’ve avoided ADRs or TS restaurants, which (if I understand correctly) would dilute the value of having the dining plan.

    Also, we won’t arrive until 3:00 PM on the first day, so we may lose a meal opportunity there. Breakfast each day will most likely consist of a light snack in the room before we hit the parks

    I guess if we eat (responsibly) mostly at counter service restaurants, with maybe a few TS opportunities (certainly not one per day) we’ll be better off going without the plan.

    Your thoughts are appreciated.
  2. gigi1313

    gigi1313 DIS Veteran

    Aug 28, 2001
    whether or not the dining plan is a good value depends on your family's preferences...

    based on what you described, it sounds as though you're more likely to eat counter service meals w/the occasional TS thrown in... therefore you may not get good value from the dining plan... if i were you, i'd skip it...

    that being said, you mentioned that you'd like a few TS meals... may i suggest that you make your ADRs now? i've read reports here on the boards that TS ADRs are VERY hard to come by for late sept/early oct...

    may i also suggest a character meal that your family might enjoy? the garden grill at epcot is excellent... esp for a family w/a child that has sensory issues (given that i've the mother of one!) because compared to most (or all) other character meal restaurants, it's quiet... it's not distracting... you are in a high-backed booth and the characters come to you... and they serve lunch which is usually easier to get an ADR for...

    whatever you decide, ENJOY!! :flower:
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  4. Lewisc

    Lewisc <a href="

    May 23, 2000
    The ADR issue is a red herring. You'll still be able to get reservations, just not at the more popular restaurants. Sounds like you want to mainly do counter service meals. The plan doesn't make much sense for your family.
  5. JimMIA

    JimMIA There's more to life than mice...

    Feb 16, 2005
    Certainly the value of the DDP is in the TS meals.

    I agree with Gigi1313's suggestion of quieter character meals. I haven't done Garden Grill, but I've walked past it and it does look quiet.

    Coral Reef would be a nice, quiet (and good) non-character dinner, especially a little later at night. We usually go around 7:45 - 8:00 PM and it's nice then.

    But I'd say if you can't find one TS a day that works for your family, I definitely would not buy the dining plan.
  6. jjatwdw

    jjatwdw DIS Veteran

    Mar 7, 2006
    I agree that the Garden Grill is a great character meal. It's very quiet and each table is rather secluded, so this might be a great choice for your son. Also, the food is wonderful! Have a great trip.
  7. The Sweetness

    The Sweetness Queen of her castle

    Jan 31, 2003
    keep in mind that some of the quieter rest may be the ones that cost 2 TS credits per person. 4 of those for your fam would actually make the DDP worth it :thumbsup2
  8. Kaycee

    Kaycee <font color=FF66CC>Magic is everywhere if you know

    Mar 3, 2001
    My older DS has Asperger's syndrome, which is on the autism spectrum. He often becomes overstimulated in the parks and has to take frequent breaks. We have to stay flexible and make adjustments to our touring plans to accomodate his needs. This is one reason that we tend to have mostly CS meals with just a few TS meals each trip. We've decided that the dining plan is not for us.

    I agree that Garden Grill is a good choice for a character meal. My DS did not have any problems there, and we all enjoyed a quiet, relaxing meal.
  9. Laurajean1014

    Laurajean1014 <font color=blue>WISH Biggest Loser/Blue Team<br><

    Jun 28, 2001
    I think $800 or so $$$ is high for what you may want to eat. You also have more control over CS than TS with the current crowds and that can help your family.

    Some of WDW's CS is quite good Peco Bills, Cosmic Rays, ToT CS, Tusker House and Flame Tree.

    I would forego the DDP and see how it works out for you. Good luck and have a terrific time.

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