Mom And Son Safari
  • On Jul 15, 2014
    Angela from NY Asked

    I have two questions. 1st, is the dinning plan really worth what it costs? I have a family of four and will be staying for 5 days and it comes out to almost $900. 2nd, if I have quick service plan, can I reserve and pay out of pocket for character dinning?

    Hi Angela,

    The "is it worth it question" is always a problem because the answer is often "it depends." Many families do find that the Disney Dining Plan is a good value, but not everyone does. The people who are most likely to find that that DDP does not meet their needs are folks who are vegetarians, who don't eat dessert once (or twice) a day, or who are light eaters in general.

    It's easy to see whether the Dining Plan can be cost effective for you. Many independent websites (notably publish the full menus of the Disney World restaurants along with item pricing. Take a few minutes to map out what your family might realistically eat in a day (remember that portion sizes are often large, so if you're paying out of pocket then two kids might easily share an adult meal). Then compare this to the rate you'd pay with the Dining Plan.

    Honestly, my family does not usually get the Dining Plan because we like having the ability to order from all parts of the menu. I'll often get an appetizer as my main course at table service restaurants, but this is difficult or impossible with the Dining Plan. We also don't like to have dessert with lunch, but this comes automatically on the DDP.

    To answer your second question, if you have the Quick Service Dining Plan, you're more than welcome to buy any additional food you'd like. You can certainly reserve and pay for table service meals out of pockets. You could also buy supplemental food at any restaurant. Just let your server know what you need.

    Good luck with your planning. Please let us know what else we can do to help.
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Meet the Panelist: Erin, New York

I have three teenage daughters. We're DVC members obsessed with Disney travel. We've been to Walt Disney World countless times and have visited Disneyland & Disneyland Paris. We've taken several Adventures by Disney and Disney Cruise trips. Learn More About Erin

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