Mom And Son On Run
  • On Mar 25, 2010
    Carrie from MN 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.

    My friend Angela knows you and sent me your way. I was wondering if it is worth buying the dinning plan. we have four kids 7,6,4,and 1. By staying at the resort we are already getting a $500.00 gift card and we also have another $100.00 gift card. Carrie

    Hi, Carrie!  Whether or not the dining plan is a good value for your family really depends upon your family's eating habits.  Are your kids big eaters?  Would they rather have adult food than kid food?  Are the kids content with kid friendly foods for the length of your vacation? 

    I like to tell people to go price out some meals, using the menus at  If you click on the dining tab at the top, it will take you to all of the restaurant options at Walt Disney World, so you can get an idea of what a meal for your family might cost.  A character dinner at the Crystal Palace, for example, would run your family around $115, before you add a tip.  If you plan on doing several sit down meals such as this one (which is actually a buffet), you will quickly go through your gift cards.  If table service meals are what your family prefers, you might do better to purchase the dining plan, then use your gift cards towards meals for the baby (who is not eligible for the dining plan), souvenirs, or even special experiences like the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage. 

    If you do mostly counter service, depending how many nights you are staying, you might be fine with the $600 in gift cards to cover your meals during your stay.  Again, check out the menus at to see if counter service is the way to go.

    An option you may want to consider is to purchase the quick service dining plan.  This gives you two counter service meals and a snack each day.  Then you could use your gift cards towards special table service meals, like character dining experiences.

    I hope you have an absolutely magical vacation!
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Meet the Panelist: Anna, New Jersey

My name is Anna and I am a retired teacher with a J.D., a proud Navy wife with 30+ years of experience, mom to three daughters and a son-in-law, and grandmom to three tiny Disney fans. I have planned vacations for all sorts of special occasions and celebrations, but I really enjoy DVC vacations, helping military families, and assisting those with special dietary needs.    Learn More About Anna

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