• On Jan 26, 2020
    Candace from MI Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    we will be at 2 Disney parks with three kids - 2, 4 & 6 who are all very picky eaters and 4 adults. I have a sensitive stomach and can only eat certain foods. Is it economical to not get a dining plan and bring our own snacks and buy some food?

    Hi Candace,

    Welcome to the Disney Parks Moms Panel! I'm so glad you stopped by because your question is one that many guests wrestle with, especially those who are visiting Walt Disney World for the first time.

    Whether a Disney Dining Plan makes sense for you really depends on your family's eating habits.

    Many of my friends wouldn't dream of booking a Walt Disney World vacation without a dining plan. Some do it because they like paying in advance so that they don't have to keep track of their budget on vacation, whether or not the plan saves them money. Others, especially those with hungry teenagers who never seem to get full, feel like they get a great value for their money. 

    My family has never believed the dining plan made sense for us. We tend to eat only one big meal a day and often share an entree or two appetizers between two of us then. We graze the rest of the time. We seldom drink soda, and we don't like limiting our choices in any dining venue. Mainly, though, we just don't want to think about how many dining credits we have left and whether we will come up short or have too many left over. 

    Since you have young children who are picky and you have dietary restrictions, a dining plan may not be a fit for your family. As you make your decision, I would suggest that you browse through some of the Walt Disney World menus to get an idea of what kinds of meals you might order and how much they would cost. Would your children share meals? Would you order only an appetizer or a side dish instead of an entree? How many snacks or sodas would each family member want per day?

    Another factor to consider: Yes, you can bring snacks, non-alcoholic drinks, sandwiches or other food into the parks with you. Lots of people do that to save money or to meet their specific needs. Only glass containers (except baby food jars) and outside alcoholic beverages are prohibited. 

    I hope that helps, Candace. I wish it was easy to say, "Yes, do a dining plan!" or "No, don't!" but it really is an individual choice that involves a little math, a little research and a lot of knowledge about your family's needs and habits. Please feel free to check back if you need more information or recommendations on where to eat with your family, dining plan or not. Enjoy!

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Meet the Panelist: Wilma, Florida

We live 90 miles from Walt Disney World and have visited frequently for 20 years. Disney is the place our family can relax together, try new things (especially interesting food) and have conversations, no matter what park we visit or where we stay.
Learn More About Wilma

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