Mom With Kids After Run
  • On Mar 11, 2013
    Tara Asked

    Hello, I am trying to decide between the plus dining plan or the deluxe dining plan. Those that use the plus dining package how much do you spend to fill in the meals not covered and those who use the deluxe plan how much do you spend on gratuity? Thanks!

    Hi, Tara!

    Going from the Dining Plan to the Deluxe Dining Plan is a huge jump in the amount of food.  With the Dining Plan, you get 1 Quick Service credit, 1 Table Service credit, and 1 Snack credit.   When you go to the Deluxe Dining Plan, you are now at 3 meals per day (wherever you want to use them) plus 2 snacks.  That is a LOT of food when you consider you will have buffets and all-you-care-to eat locations.  (Whew! I think I just gained a few pounds thinking of all those yummy desserts!)

    My family always opts for the base Dining Plan.  We usually use our snack credit for a bagel for breakfast, the Quick Service for lunch, and the Table Service for dinner.  If we are having a leisurely morning at our resort, we will sometimes pay out of pocket for Quick Service breakfast (breakfast for 4 usually under $40).

    Another thing you have to consider is how much time it takes to sit down for 3 full meals each day.  I have a very active family, so one Table Service meal per day is plenty.  We want to eat and get back to the action!  If you figure on about 75 - 90 minutes for a sit down meal, doing 2 or 3 of those a day can really eat into your park time.

    A figure for gratuities would be a very ballpark number.  For a family of 4, with an average dinner costing about $130, that would be about a $23 tip per sit down meal.  This would obviously be higher if you go to a Signature Restaurant where prices are higher or have a larger travel party.

    If your main focus on your trip is eating (hey, nothing wrong with that!) then go for the Deluxe plan. If you want to have a happy balance, go for the (base) Disney Dining Plan and just pay out of pocket for the one or two extra meals.    Once you decide on a plan, let me know if you need dining suggestions for your magical vacation! Good luck deciding.
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Meet the Panelist: Cathy, Ohio

I am a fundraiser/event planner turned stay at home mom. When I am not running to cheerleading practice or a soccer game with my kids, I enjoy scrapbooking, reading, and of course, planning our next Disney adventure!

Learn More About Cathy

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