Don’t buy the Disney Dining Plan. It’s not worth the money. I’ll say it again. Don’t buy any of the Disney Dining Plans they won’t save you any money.
So, I’m sure your thinking, Hey, Dad, what’s prompting your little tirade today? Yes, I can read minds.
I got a question from a very well meaning Dad today who was putting together an incredible first visit to Disney World vacation. The family was going to be at Disney World for 4 nights and 5 days, so it was going to be a short trip. This great Dad asked this great Dad my opinion of what would make his trip better. He mentioned that he was going to book the Polynesian Resort and the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan.
Wow. That’s some dough and it’s totally overkill. Disney loves these kinds of Dad’s. They encourage you to spend all your money. I don’t know this great Dad, and he may be able to afford to flush away hundreds of dollars, but the Deluxe Dining Plan is a terrible way to do it. Just go to your nearest Disney Store, get $500.00 worth of Disney Dollars and burn them. At least you’d get some heat out of it.
The Disney Dining Plans only work if you eat all your meals at the most expensive times at the most expensive restaurants at WDW. Let’s look at the main plan, the Disney Dining plan. One adult costs $45.99 per person per day. For that you get one meal at a table service restaurant and a quick service meal and a snack. So, let’s price a typical day for Dad.
Breakfast at the food court at the Pop Century. I normally get an omelet, no drink because I refill my refillable mug, but for argument’s sake we’ll throw in a non-alcoholic beverage. Breakfast would cost around $9.00. Now for a snack. Snack selection is pretty limited, but let’s say Dad picks up a Mickey Bar for $4.00. Now it’s dinner time and Dad’s going to Tony’s Town Square for some Chicken Parmesan (one of Dad’s favorites). With drink and dessert the total is $25.67. So for this day Dad spent a grand total of less than $39.00. Yes, you can pick some restaurants which will cost more than you’ll spend, but if you’re like Dad, you would be spending days trying to choose restaurants that will give you the most bang for the buck.
The Disney (basic) Dining Plan is the best of the bunch. The Quick Service Plan makes no sense. It costs $34.99 for 2 meals and 2 snacks. Let’s see breakfast came in at less $12.00, $6.00 for snacks, that leaves $16.00 for lunch or dinner. Sounds more like table service than quick service.
Dad’s Bottom Line
You can make the Disney Dining Plan work, but it takes planning. I still say the only time to get the dining plan is if you get it for free.
PS – Tips are not included, and for parties of over 6, an 18% tip is automatically added to your bill.