How to make the most of Disney's Dining Plan??

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Plan' started by SumWhrOvrThRanBo, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. SumWhrOvrThRanBo

    SumWhrOvrThRanBo Mouseketeer

    Apr 24, 2010
    Can someone suggest to me what restaurants (both TS & CS) will give me the most bang for my buck!?? The DDP is expensive and I want to get my money's worth... So where to eat & what to order?? So many decisions!!
  2. Disneylover99

    Disneylover99 DIS Veteran

    Jul 17, 2012
    Any of the character buffets at dinner are good bets to get good value.
    Wolfgang Puck Express at DTD for quick service.
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  4. sharonabe

    sharonabe DIS Veteran

    May 22, 2009
    QS suggestions:
    MK--Cosmic Rays, Be Our Guest
    AK--Flame Tree BBQ
    Epcot--Sunshine Seasons, Tangeriene Cage
    HS--Fairfax Fare

    Do dinners and order the steak
  5. purple figment

    purple figment DIS Veteran

    Aug 17, 2009
    Buffets and all you care to eat family style restaurants are good use of TS credits since you get unlimited food. Also Akershus if your family wants to meet princesses and it is only one credit.

    You can go to allears and look at the menus to get an idea of the prices at various restaurants. Don't forget that signature restaurants, CRT and the dinner shows are 2 credits per person. Here's the link:
  6. G719

    G719 DIS Veteran

    Mar 7, 2012
    I sat down with the menus from the Internet and selected restaurants that we wanted to eat at. Then I calculated the cost of all the meals we would eat using credits, picking food that my family would typically eat. I used $3 as an average price for eat snack credit and added in the cost of 4 resort drink mugs. I was trying to see if it made sense to do the plan or just pay as we went. I even left dessert out at a few restaurants. I would save about $300 on the plan. I think if you have kids under age 9 you save more than if your kids are on the adult plan. My kids also want to do character meals which we have 3 picked out for our next trip. Those are expensive. Don't use counter service credits for breakfast though.

    Some people love the plan, others not so much. See if it works for your family but I wouldn't pick dining choices just to get the most out of the plan. I have read on the boards that is one reason some people are opposed to it. Happy dining!
  7. patsal

    patsal <font color=FF3399>I've discovered I don't need to

    Jul 10, 2001
    Buffets at dinner, WP at DTD for CS

    If you go planning on maxing out the DDP, understand that the travel between places can eat up a lot of your time and you may not be eating what you want to eat but rather what is the most expensive.

    Many people think about what and where they want to eat to determine if the DDP is right for them. It is becoming more and more difficult to "max" out a DDP with the increasethey have had in pricing.
  8. MinnieLovesMickey12

    MinnieLovesMickey12 DIS Veteran

    Dec 16, 2012
    I think if you need to ask other ppl what you should order at a restaurant to get the most bang for your buck then the dining plan may not be the best option for you.

    Why don't you just go to the places you want to eat and order exactly what you want to eat?

    If you don't think you will come out ahead by just eating what you want (check the menus and prices on allears) then just don't even get the dining plan and pay OOP.

    People trying to get the most "bang for your buck" seems like it has turned eating into some kind of game show.

    If you are all set to go ahead and pay for the dining plan and try to make sure you get your money's worth just go to these places, look at the menu, find the most expensive thing, and order that. Every time.

    Most TS places have steak and that is usually the highest priced menu item. If you like steak just plan on eating it every night and you should break even on your dining plan.

    To be honest, if you want the best value and most bang for your buck you should just pay out of pocket. Skip desserts. Drink water. And you will definitely save money over what you would have paid for the dining plan.
  9. TDC Nala

    TDC Nala 1937, what a year that was

    Jun 22, 2001
    Assuming this is regarding the regular dining plan:

    Either do as many one-credit buffets/family style meals as possible, or make sure you intend to select the more expensive items on any a la carte menu.

    Find the places that will let you have an appetizer if you order from a prix-fixe menu. (Remember this means you will likely be limited to the restaurant's less expensive entrees on the prix-fixe)

    Don't do two-credit meals.

    Choose the most expensive CS restaurants. The most expensive, relatively, is Wolfgang Puck Express at Downtown Disney.

    Use all your TS credits on dinner. Don't choose breakfast or lunch. If you can help it, don't use any of your credits on breakfast (except buffets, but be advised that lunch/dinner buffets cost more). If you get CS or a la carte breakfast, you lose the dessert allotment.

    Do not skip dessert. Make sure you use your snack credits on items costing $4 to $5, not on bottles of water.
  10. danicaca

    danicaca Mouseketeer

    Jul 16, 2012
  11. hotcarib

    hotcarib DIS Veteran

    Mar 7, 2003
  12. linetbo

    linetbo DIS Veteran

    Dec 6, 2012
  13. linetbo

    linetbo DIS Veteran

    Dec 6, 2012
    Hi, so you said that we should pay for my breakfast and have the csc for lunch and the table credit for dinner? This is the first time using dining plan and want to learn more, how can I do some research about where and when and what to eat, have time to do it because going for NYE. Thanks
  14. G719

    G719 DIS Veteran

    Mar 7, 2012
    If you are eating breakfast in your resorts food court then yes pay out of pocket. You don't get a lot of value from the plan by using a credit for a quick serve breakfast. You can even find some breakfast foods like a pastry can be bought with a snack credit. We did do a couple character breakfast buffets which were a table credit. Then we would usually just get a small lunch and then a quick serve dinner. Plus remember you have a certain number of credits based on the number of nights you have but you don't have to do a table service, a quick service, and a snack each day. Some days If we did character breakfast, we had a table service dinner. Then another day we would have a quick service lunch and a quick service dinner. You have a little flexibility that way. Have fun planning! is a great resource for all the menus and prices.
  15. vacation_junkie

    vacation_junkie Have Suitcase...will Travel :)

    Sep 13, 2009
    We "Maximize" the Dining plan
    next trip
    -Rainforest Cafe DTD
    -Rainforest Cafe -AK
    -Cape May
    -Captains Grille
    -Mama Melrose
    -and still 1 left to decide. Hesitating Chef Mickey's..we had horrible service there last time.

    Look on all ears dot net and browse through the menu's..depending on what you like to eat you can see which are the best places to eat.

    -Don't use your QS for breakfast. Waste of a credit. You can get a bagel , muffin..etc for a snack credit if you wish.

    -If you go down to the QS place in your resort you can order a large pizza with 2 desserts & 2 drinks for 2 TS credits. It feeds more then 2 people. Do not have it delivered to your room...that is 2 TABLE service credits..

    We will not "purchase" the dining plan now that our 12 yr old has to pay the Adult prices. The average meal at the most expensive places were about $130 for the 3 of us. Even though we strategically maximize the dining plan we just about break even if we paid for it out of pocket.
    Dining plan cost $56 x 3 people = $168 -$130 for dinner =$38 for counter service and snacks. QS average platter $9 x3 =$27..which leaves approx 11 for snacks... breaking even!! If we were paying out of pocket we wouldn't eat dessert normally or chose such expensive selections.. so in perspective it would be cheaper without DDP

    If its Free dining time then we will take advantage of it...but if not we'll pay out of pocket. We always have a rental car and there is a tonne of places to eat within a short drive for a fraction of the money!
  16. serene56

    serene56 DIS Veteran

    Dec 4, 2004
    my family picked'their choices'for our visit.

    the dining plan is costing 770 per couple.

    i did the math on each meal adding in a snack each day.

    dining plan is 770 and paying out of pocket will cost 672.00 losing 100 per couple buying their dining plan

    but my family is looking at this as a prepaying and not worrying about what to order and making sure they have money at the end of the week to purchase food.

    for 100 savings- i am thinking of paying out of pocket

    to make rhe plan work for me i figure i need a counter that will cost about 20 bucks, the snack to cost about 4 and sit down to cost about 30 just to break even
  17. linetbo

    linetbo DIS Veteran

    Dec 6, 2012
    I will plan ALL my meals and try to eat all the expensive food that I can afford on a regular basis. This will be my first time using the plan, so lets see what happen. Maybe will be the last time also.

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