Is it worth the money...

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reservations' started by PrincessSylvia, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. PrincessSylvia

    PrincessSylvia Earning My Ears

    Sep 22, 2011
    to include a dining plan? This is my first trip to Disney. We will be staying at POR and wanting to know if we should do a dining plan or just pay as we go?
  2. bellamama

    bellamama Mouseketeer

    Jul 12, 2011
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  4. jsinsel

    jsinsel Mouseketeer

    Jul 7, 2010
    IMO, it depends on where you plan to eat and which meals you'll have. If you're really into breakfast, you won't get your money's worth. If you use every TS credit for dinner, you'll likely save money.

    We tend to come out about even (since we probably wouldn't order dessert without being on the DDP), but we like the plan because we don't have to carry cash and/or credit cards around the parks. It also keeps us from feeling like we can't order the steak (or whatever) because it's the most expensive thing on the menu!
  5. figment_jii

    figment_jii DIS Veteran

    Apr 22, 2006
    You might have better luck with this question over on the Disney Dining Plan board (

    Overall, the question is one that has a lot of answers because it depends on each person.
    1. Do you plan to eat a lot of sit down (TS) meals?
    2. Do you usually eat an entree and dessert?
    3. What type of foods do you normally eat?

    The regular dining plan allots you one TS, one QS, and one snack credit per day. To really make the plan financially worthwhile, you need to use the credits wisely (especially the sit down credits).

    The best idea is to look at the menus for the TS and QS places that you'd eat at, figure out approximately how much you'd spend, and see if it's better to get the DDP or pay out of pocket.
  6. daraddg

    daraddg DIS Veteran

    Sep 12, 2010
    It really all depends on how you plan to eat, you'd need to look up menus on and work the numbers. I have seen alot of posts on here from people that think it isnt worth it.For our family we like the TS resturants, character meals and shows so when I crunched our numbers we saved money by doing the DXDDP but since we are booked during Free Dining the savings are even bigger! If you dont plan to do many sit downs it may not be worth it.
  7. PrincessSylvia

    PrincessSylvia Earning My Ears

    Sep 22, 2011
    Oh lawd...anytime I see that, it means something in a not so good Im a first timer to easy on me...Im lurking and reading but Im still confused....:rotfl2:
  8. PrincessSylvia

    PrincessSylvia Earning My Ears

    Sep 22, 2011
    ok..maybe thats cause Im in the wrong area of this board...Can this be moved...PLEASE?
  9. MagicalMawMaw

    MagicalMawMaw DIS Veteran

    Sep 30, 2009
    I love the dining plan.

    I also love the deluxe dining is not my first trip to Disney either. Usually when I go now it is my DH & I. We enjoy a TS luch & a TS supper at a restaurant. This is a big part of the trip for us so we get deluxe dining. We like having the meals & snacks prepaid & getting dessert & appitizer with the meal.

    The reg dining plan is great too. You get a TS each day as well as a CS. Lots of the CS meals are really good. You get a dessert & entree w/ this plan...not an appitizer though.

    You need to reserve your restaurants way ahead so you get what you want to dine at too. Otherwise you'll be without much choice on where to dine.

    Our advantage to the plan is it is prepaid so the only $ extra we need is for tips. OOP we would be picking the cheapest places & eating the cheapest meals on the menu or all CS because it is cheaper than TS.
  10. Cafeen

    Cafeen DIS Veteran

    Jul 24, 2009
    The question of "Is it worth it?" is hugely subjective. For some it is, for others, not so much. The key is identifying if the structure of the plan fits your dining style, and this is not so easy for a first trip.

    To determine if it should work out for you, answer the following:
    1. Do you wish to dine in the manner the plan suggests? For DDP this means 1 TS and 1 CS per night, with Entree, Dessert, and Drink at each meal.
    2. Will kids be ordering kids' meals and adults be ordering adult meals?
    3. Will everyone be ordering their own entrees (e.g. not sharing) and desserts?
    4. Are you desiring to put most of the TS meals in the dinner time slot and CS meals for lunch?
    5. Are you desiring to limit yourself to single credit meals (at least the overwhelming majority of meals) and to places that accept the DDP?
    6. Are you OK with having to plan out your restaurant plan around 6 months in advance?
    7. Are you willing to gear the TS meals to the higher end of the price spectrum, and the entrees ordered from the top half of the menu (in relation to price)?
    8. Are you OK with taking around 90 minutes per day out of touring in order to travel to, and then eat at a TS for dinner?
    If you answered yes to all of the above, it should work fine for you. Once you sit down and figure out your restaurant list, you can run a second analysis on what you think you'd each order, and get a more definitive answer.

    If you answered no to a few of the above, then chances are it won't be the best deal and that OOP would be better for your trip. I'd still recommend running the numbers on each place you plan, just so you can see a much more accurate analysis, but that's just me and I like numbers.

    Depending on your length of stay, I'd never recommend DxDDP to any first timers staying less than a week. It's just too much time taken out for dining to make it worth it. Once you have a trip or twelve under your belt and know how to best navigate and know what to skip, then it's doable, but for a first trip it's too much time eating to be worthwhile.

    One of these days, I'm going to write a flowchart or a quiz type thing that helps to answer this...

    And the popcorn is because this topic can get heated with people attacking and defending the plans. In reality, they work for some, but not others and identifying that is key to determining if it's worth it for you or not. Most of us here are pretty objective about it for others though, even if we really love the plans or really hate them for ourselves.
  11. PrincessSylvia

    PrincessSylvia Earning My Ears

    Sep 22, 2011
    We will only be spending 2 "full" days at WDW. Will arrive on a Thursday, spend Fri and Sat at park(s), rest on Sunday and then leave that Monday.
  12. TDluvsDaisy

    TDluvsDaisy DVC Member BCV

    Dec 29, 2010
    For that small amount of time I would not do the regular dining plan. QS dining only if anything. I would skip all table service meals and concentrate on park touring.
  13. vacation_junkie

    vacation_junkie Have Suitcase...will Travel :)

    Sep 13, 2009
    It all depends on how you plan your meals and where you eat! If you eat at the more expensive places you maximize the value! We usually keep track of what it would have cost...if we paid and we have always made out better on the meal plan. Sit down dinners are more of a value then using a table service for breakfast!

    You can kinda plan it out ahead of time and see if it would be worth it for can go on websites like all ears and look at the menu's and see what your meals would cost out of pocket if you were to pay...vs.. on the dining plan.

    example for our party of 3.
    Son pays adults prices now cause he's 11 but he eats like a kid still so the dining plan isn't really worth it for us now. Since we are going in January we have free upgrading to the dining plus from the free quick service was a good deal and worth it..but if we would have went at a time when free dining wasn't available it wouldn't be worth it for us now!

    use snack entitlement for a bagel or drink... we are not big breakfast eaters $4 x 3 = $12
    3 counter service at approx $8.99 each = $27

    Dinner at Big River Grille
    New York strip Entree $25.99
    Signature Rib Eye $25.99
    Shrimp and Scallop Penne $22.99

    Drinks $4 x 3 = $12.00
    Dessert $6.50 x 3 = $19.50

    approx $106.47 before taxes approx for the 3 of us!

    todays meals would have cost approx $147 plus taxes...
    we would have broke even kinda today with the cost of the meal plan.

    Dining plan cost $54 x 3 people = $162 per day.

    If you will have a vehicle there are plenty of cheap places to eat in Orlando.

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