Monday, June 6, 2011

364...Disney Dining Plan

To do, or not to do the Disney Dining Plan: that is the question.  I've heard it said that dining at WDW is like an attraction in and of itself.  From the Mickey Mouse ice cream bars to the steaks at Le Cellier, food is to be experienced there.  BUT does the dining plan offer the best ROI (Return on Investment) for my family?  I've never done the Dining Plan but for this next trip I am weighing the pros and cons.

There are so many restaurants I would like to try but I just don't know if I can justify the money.  The cost of the Basic Dining Plan during the summer would be $47.99 for adult and $12.99 per child.  For my family that would be $134.95 per day.  At that price you get a snack, one quick-service dining option and one table-service dining option per person.  The meals include entree, dessert and beverage.  That is a lot of food.

If you would like to see the official information from Disney click HERE.

Here are the articles I have been looking at about the Disney Dining Plan...

I'm 364 days away from our trip to the World.  I'm 184 days away from making any of our ADRs (Advance Dining Reservations) and as I sit here and think about it, there is just no way that the dining plan makes sense for my family.  I have three kids ages 8, 6 and 3.  Dining out is typically not something to be enjoyed but to be endured.  I love the idea of sitting down to eat at the Yachtsman Steakhouse or 1900 Park Fare and I think my kids could handle it for a couple of nights but by day five, I think they would be running wild.  

I could also see stress being added to the meals trying to make sure we got our money's worth.  If we didn't spend the full $135, would I consider the day a financial failure?  I also think that it is just too much food.  We never order desserts out and yet on this plan we will have them two times a day.  I've lost 30 pounds in the last year, pretty sure I could put it all back on in one week on Disney "Diet" Plan!  

I have friends that love the plan and I think there are some circumstances where it makes sense.  I like the idea of having everything paid for in advance but I just don't know if that one advantage is enough.  I am going to continue to look at all the places we want to eat, figure out approximately what we would spend each day and see if the deal makes sense.   I will let you know more as I know more.  


Debs @Focused on the Magic said...

Great post! We've done the DDP on some trips and others not. Deciding is a struggle and each trip I weigh the pros and cons. Somehow reaching a decision..usually right before we leave:P
Have a magical trip!!

P.T. said...

I did the Dining Plan in 2006 for my honeymoon and we loved it! It allowed us to go a bunch of restaurants that we wouldn't normally pay full price for. The prices of course have been raised since 2006 so I'll be doing my extensive research soon for my 2013 trip. Semms like that's so far in the future, doesn't it? :-)