• On Feb 21, 2018
    Macy from SC 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.

    First time to Disney going in October. Trying to go on a budget and wanting to know the better option for dining, should we, four adults and two children, add a dining plan to our vacation package or pay for each meal, snacks, and drinks out of pocket?

    Welcome to the Disney Parks Moms Panel, Macy!

    I'm so glad you stopped by to bring us your question! As a budget-conscious mama, I totally understand wanting to crunch numbers to make sure you choose the best vacation options to fit your needs and wants. This is one of the many reasons I love vacationing at the Walt Disney World Resort with my family. Disney offers options for all budgets and needs.

    Macy, when I've had this same question, I ended up creating a wish list of restaurants and adding up the cost, then I compared the total to the cost of the Dining Plan. There are some handy Dining Plan calculators online you can find with a quick web search that might help you get those numbers too.

    I love the convenience of the Disney Dining Plans, knowing most of my meals are pre-paid so I can just enjoy dining during my vacation and not worry so much about my budget. There's also some freedom and flexibility of visiting without it and paying out of pocket for your meals. My family has done it both ways and we've enjoyed them both. Personally, during our shorter visits, I loved having the Dining Plan. It gave us an excuse to go to those favorite restaurants. And on our longer stays, packing some lunches and being more selective about our dining choices made it more economical and a little more special knowing we had a limited amount of special meals for that trip.

    I hope this helps you as you continue dreaming and planning your magical visit to the Walt Disney World Resort. If you need any additional planning tips, maybe some restaurant recommendations, don't hesitate to bring us your questions.

    See ya real soon,

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Meet the Panelist: Emille, Florida

Hi! My name is Emille. I’m a mom of two and wife to a wonderful fellow Disney nerd! As a current Florida resident and Annual Passholder, I love being able to visit the Walt Disney World Resort frequently. When I’m not at the Parks, you can find me leading worship at my local church or traveling with a prison ministry I sing and speak for. I look forward to answering your questions and sharing some of my favorite tips to help you plan your next magical Walt Disney World vacation! Learn More About Emille

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