Do you guys do a meal plan, when you camp?

Discussion in 'Camping at Disney World' started by ABDonovan, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. ABDonovan

    ABDonovan Mouseketeer

    Sep 7, 2011
    I was wondering how many of you get a meal plan. Since we are camping, it's almost normal for us to just pack what food we will need. However, I do want to get the 'Disney experience', but I'm a Biology Student. So, my idea of Disney Experience might be different from most.

    What do you guys think?
  2. double r

    double r Mouseketeer

    Apr 1, 2012
    We got the meal plan the last time when we camped, although we did enjoy it alot I felt that we reallt ate more then we would normally. It really depends on your taste because now as adults eating at the different resturants at Disney is part of the experience, that when we went with the kids was not as much fun.
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  4. margev6

    margev6 Earning My Ears

    Oct 24, 2012
    I have found that if you want to have a sit down meal every day then the full service dining plan is a good deal. But like the other poster said it is a lot of food!! we have done both the full service and the quick service but we are camping for the first time next summer. You can definitely eat cheaper than the quick service which is about $40 per person per day. We have a family of six and I plan on eating breakfast at our camper and then doing two counter services per day and spending about $150 on the two meals as opposed to the $240 per day for the quick service:cool1:
    The quick service would give us three snacks per person per day(two with meals and then an additional) but we don't really need all those snacks, especially since now we will have the camper and can bring food.
  5. photogal06

    photogal06 Mouseketeer

    Jan 19, 2010
    We've never gotten the meal plan. When we camp, we usually do park days about half the time and Fort days the other half (or wander around to Downtown Disney or to other resorts.) We like to keep things flexible, so we don't want to be worrying about making a bunch of reservations or using up meal credits.

    We do eat at a few of our favorite places in the parks/resorts each time, but we pay out of pocket for those. While camping, we typically eat out for one meal a day and maybe one snack a day, and the rest of the time we eat our own food. I always think that I want to eat out every meal, every day, but after about 3 days of that I'm craving my own food, lol! So even when we stay in a hotel, we bring a lot of our own food for breakfasts and snacks.
  6. TheRustyScupper

    TheRustyScupper Seeing isn't Believing, Believing is Seeing.

    Aug 8, 2000
    1) We find it distracts from the "campground" experience.
    2) It is more fun to bbq at The Fort than eat at all the restaurants.
    3) Sure, we do a few eateries.
    4) But, I enjoy making my special charcoal dishes while at FW.
    . . . burned water
    . . . my famous pb&j
    5) Besides, the wife likes to see me struggle with charcoal. *

    * I cook A LOT in the kitchen. But, when it comes to the grill,
    she does it. At home, I do the gourmet, she does the grilling.
  7. bama_ed

    bama_ed It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney

    Sep 23, 2004
    Most people camping at the Fort don't seem to get the Dining Plan if they are in a trailer or tent or RV. Cabin folks sometimes do and the cabins are eligible for "free dining" when offered so that helps push it along.

    We campers are used to bringing our food, fridges, stoves, ice chests, etc. any way when camping so it's natural for us to do it at the Fort. Truth be told, the Fort has limited Dining Plan options so you are nearly always going off the resort to Wilderness Lodge or Contemporary.

    The main weakness with the Dining Plan as I see it is that it is required for every day of your stay. You probably want to eat out sometimes but probably not ALL the time. So treat yourself to a meal if you want it at a sit-down restaurant if you want. The counter meals have gotten better (and more expensive) and I like eating at Columbia Harbor House or Cosmic Ray's in the MK as examples.

    Finally, people get anxious about their Dining reservations for table service and stress over where to be what day to fit their ressie. I like being a little unstructured and not tied down EVERY day to a SPECIFC place and time.

    You won't miss much/any of the "Disney Experience" if you skip the Dining Plan. So go forth, have fun, relax, and enjoy the Fort. :banana:

    Bama ED
  8. FortForever

    FortForever Disney since Day 1

    Aug 16, 2011
    Nope. I would never buy the meal plan. We have only had it when it was free for FL residents. I am not crazy about Disney's food to begin with, so I would most definitely bring my own if camping and/or had to pay for it.

    In my opinion, being able to grill out and have meals at the camp site is part of the attraction of the Fort over the resorts. Of course I could write a whole list of why the Fort is better, but food is up there on the list. :)

    Disclaimer - It's been many years since I have eaten in any table service restaurants at Disney so the food at those may be better.

    Edited to add:
    When I clicked on this thread I thought it was about meal planning. :laughing: Now that is something I can get into. Nothing I like better than planning things. Probably comes from having five kids and needing to be prepared. They are all grown, but my planning compulsion is still alive and well.
  9. Tented1

    Tented1 Mouseketeer

    Jul 29, 2012
    I agree with other posters, it seems like to much food, too much money, and too much structure.

    Plus at the time of our trip, Christmas, I don't want to fight the crowds for counter service. We will be bringing a backpack cooler to the parks with lunch and snack items and having campsite home cooking via crockpot and grill. 2 ADR's for Christmas Eve at 2:30 at Biergarten for the 5:00 Candlelight Processional and Christmas Day 1900 Park Fare.

    If it were free as part of our package i might, but otherwise it's a no for us.

    Breakfast is instant grits or oatmeal and off to the parks. (I did this even in our resort room in 2007.)

    But, I do plan on having school bread in Epcot, salted caramel, other delicacies and a cupcake from Starring Rolls at DS. :)
  10. ABDonovan

    ABDonovan Mouseketeer

    Sep 7, 2011
    The only two places I know for sure that we want to eat in the parks for meals is Ohana and the 50's diner. So, that's why I was asking if it was a waste.

    I feel as if it would be a waste for us, because we're avid campers. There have been times where we've camped in the middle of a clearing in the woods, with nothing but fire and a pocket mess-kit to cook with. There's not much we haven't tried to fix with it though!

    So, how about meal planning?! We can do that...totally!
  11. North of Mouse

    North of Mouse DIS Veteran

    Mar 31, 2011
    We love camping, and have camped for many years, BUT I'm not, and never have been into *roughing* it ;)

    When we go to the Smoky Mtns. we enjoy most of our meals by the stream and cooking, etc. It totally goes with the atmosphere we enjoy there.

    At Disney, we never cook. We spend most of our time in the parks and enjoy eating at some of our special places. We have never (and don't plan to) get the DDP as it is much more expensive than our OOP meals.

    We camp because we love that way of life, not necessarily to just save money. Disney camping is not cheap, but we love it at FW and have been going there since they opened.

    Have a wonderful camping experience no matter what you plan to do. pixiedust:
  12. gillenkl

    gillenkl DIS Veteran

    Feb 22, 2006
    We have done both - meal plan and without. We generally go to the Fort in summer in a popup - so I usually only make breakfast. We have learned that with my family and our style of eating it actually works out better for us to pay out-of-pocket for meals. We also don't eat out very much unless we're on vacation so it's a special treat for us - especially me...the cook.

    I would see how much the meal plan is per day - then figure out how much you'd pay OOP. Keep in mind that the Fort doesn't have a food court for grabbing a quick counter service meal.

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