Mom And Son On Run
  • On May 29, 2008
    Jill from IN Asked

    Planning 1st trip in Oct. really stressing over meal plan, can't decide if we should get basic or plus dining. It's a huge price diff. with the basic plan, how do people balance eating 3 meals/day and eat a few character/ signature meals, will we run out?

    Jill,

    The deluxe dining plan is wonderful, but I don't recommend it for your first trip.

    In order to get your money's worth, you need to be eating at all table service meals; eating at quick service locations will kill the value of the plan.  This means that you will need to make ADR's for 3 meals a day.  That's a lot of planning!  Even the most experienced Disney guests will have a difficult time mapping out all those days and al those meals - it's completely overwhelming for someone who has never visited.

    Also, since you haven't been yet you don't know your family's touring style.  Maybe you want to have a break mid-day to swim and nap at the resort.  Maybe you want to be in the parks all day and have an early night.  Will you get to the park early or sleep late?  It's impossible to answer those questions and plan accordingly until you've done it.

    I recommend using the basic dining plan, and saving the deluxe for a future visit.  (You will be back right?)  :) 

    With the basic plan you'll get a snack, quick service, and table service meal for each night of your stay.  We usually take easy foods like pop tarts, granola, fruit, pastries, etc and have breakfast in the room.  (You can pick these up at your resort gift shop)  We then eat out for the other two meals, and that's enough for us.  You could also use your snack credit for something like an oversized muffin and enjoy that for breakfast.

    Timing your meals can help stretch your budget too - have a nice brunch around 10:30 and then dinner at 4 or 5.  you may find you don't need any more than that!  Disney portions are quite large, and many restaurants (especially character dining) are all you can eat.

    Hope that helps you plan.  Have a great vacation!
thumbnail image for Heather

Meet the Panelist: Heather, Kentucky

I'm a member of the original 2008 Moms Panel and am happy to be back again to help you plan! We are DVC members who visit 2-3 times per year with our 3 young daughters, and I am only one visit away from being able to say I've stayed in every Disney resort! Learn More About Heather

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