Mom And Son On Run
  • On Jan 4, 2010
    Dena from MI Asked

    Family of 5 to DW in March for 8 days. I'm considering the dining plan,but not 100% sure yet. I'm planning 2-3 character meals. Is it worth getting the plan with character meals and can I add it on after making dining reservations if I decide to buy it?

    Dena:

    There's lots to consider with the dining plan, from how many children you have to whether your family is picky vs. good eaters or planners vs. spontaneous ones who like to skip a table meal for a quick counter bite for more time in the parks.

    The plan is best when you have children under 9 because it will pay for itself with one meal. For example: the dining plan costs $11.99 a day for a child for one table service meal, one counter service meal and a snack. The child's Character Dinner at 1900 Park Fare alone costs $17.99, so you've more than paid for the plan and THEN some! 

    But when your party is made up of all adults, you may not come out as well eating at buffets and need to opt for restaurants where you order off the menu.  A steak with dessert and a drink at the non-buffet Coral Reef will run you about $43 or so, again, more than the cost of the plan for the day.  Whereas, the adult buffet meal at 1900 Park Fare costs $35.99. If you eat well and choose a counter service restaurant like Cosmic Ray's where your lunch can run $11.99 for a combo meal, you'll get your money's worth and have a snack credit to boot.

    The dining plan is a good choice if you want to eat well at Disney or if you have children and will experience multiple Character Meals. The plan will help you budget for your vacation and help you avoid surprises. (Just remember that gratuity isn't included and will be added to your bill.) If you tend to skip meals, eat lightly, or go-go-go as a family, you may do better on your own. 

    Still haven't made up your mind? Look at the restaurants and prices at www.allears.net under Dining and cost out a few meals to see if it fits for your family.

    Wishing y'all a magical vacation!
    Whitney
thumbnail image for Whitney

Meet the Panelist: Whitney, Mississippi

My family of 6 appreciates Disney's value! Although Ft. Wilderness is our second home, we've enjoyed the resorts for business, reunions and romantic getaways. For me, Disney also means dining: last count, I'd eaten at 55 restaurants around the World! Learn More About Whitney

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