• On Oct 8, 2014
    Jennifer from NY 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.

    I can get my hotel free using credit card points BUT then I cannot purchase the dining plan separately. Am I better off paying for my hotel and hoping for a week with FREE DINING? In other words i'd like to get either my hotel or my food for free.....

    Hi Jennifer!

    The only way to figure out your best option is to sit down and do the math. Take a look at menus online (unofficial sites like do their best to keep the menu prices updated) and price out what you'd typically eat in a day at the parks. It's hard to guesstimate food costs for other families because every family eats differently. For example, my family eats one large meal each day and lighter meals and snacks for the rest of the day. We don't do a lot of character dining or sit-down meals. Your family may prefer the exact opposite. 

    In order to qualify for "free" Disney Dining Plans, you must book a room at full price. You'll have to compare the price of the room and paying out of pocket for meals (which you figured using the information above) vs how much you'd save on the "free" Disney Dining Plan when paying full price for the room. My gut says you will save more money by choosing to cash in those rewards points, especially if you can use them for a Moderate or Deluxe resort.

    I hope this helps, Jennifer. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

    Have a Disney day,
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Meet the Panelist: Ashley, New York

I'm a military wife and mom to two little ones who is either on a Walt Disney World vacation or planning our next one!  Learn More About Ashley

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