Infant and toddler meeting with Chef Mickey; mother
  • On Jan 30, 2024
    Hernan from caba Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Hello. I'm evaluating the cost-effectiveness of the Dining Plan at Walt Disney World. Could you provide insights into whether it's a financially prudent choice for saving money during a visit?

    Hi Hernan!

    Evaluating the cost-effectiveness of the Disney Dining Plans at Walt Disney World depends on your eating habits and preferences. The Disney Dining Plans can offer convenience and potentially save money if you plan to dine at sit-down restaurants regularly. However, if you're more of a grab-and-go eater, it might not be as cost-effective, unless the adults plan to enjoy an adult beverage with some of their meals. 

    When I am considering either of the Disney Dining Plans, for my family it provides a pre-paid package for meals which in turn offers a sense of predictability in your vacation budget. I don’t look at these plans in terms of cost savings because I don’t want to be stressed out, trying to find the most expensive thing on the menu to get the best bang for my buck. I enjoy the ease of budgeting since I like to have most of my vacation paid off before my arrival. 

    Now, let's dig in (see what I did there) and look at some of the specifics. When considering the Quick-Service Dining Plan, everyone in the party ages 3 and over receives 2 Quick-Service Meals per night of stay, 1 snack/nonalcoholic drink per night of stay, and 1 Resort-Refillable Drink Mug. It is important to note (and here is where the cost savings may come into play) that beverages are included with each meal. Specifically, Guests 21 and older (with valid ID of course) may substitute their beverage for beer, wine, and cocktails. Now, if you are accustomed to eating three full meals per day, remember that you will still have to pay out of pocket for that additional meal. I am content with 2 Quick-Service meals and a snack per day, but my kids always seem to always be hungry, so we do pay for additional meals during our stay. 

    If you plan on enjoying sit-down meals at Disney's table-service restaurants, the Disney Dining Plan can offer significant savings. For those who enjoy character dining experiences or upscale dining, the Dining Plan can be particularly advantageous. My kids enjoy dining at Chef Mickey’s; however, I think the out-of-pocket cost is high. However, when I am using the Disney Dining Plan, I don’t mind dining here. When considering the Disney Dining Plan, everyone in the party ages 3 and over receives 1 Quick-Service Meal per night of stay, 1 Table-Service Meal per night of stay, 1 snack/nonalcoholic drink per night of stay, and 1 Resort-Refillable Drink Mug. With your Quick-Service meal, you still can substitute your beverage for beer, wine, and cocktails as well and additionally, you can substitute your beverage for beer, wine, and cocktails when using your Table-Service credits.

    So, with all of that being said, I recommend that you consider your dining style and compare menu prices to the plan cost to see if it aligns with your budget and eating preferences.


thumbnail image for Heather

Meet the Panelist: Heather, New York

Hi there! I'm Heather from Buffalo NY, a planDisney Alumni and proud mom of three. By day, I'm an oncology nurse, but my heart belongs to Walt Disney World. Having navigated the parks with babies, toddlers, tweens, teens, and multigenerational groups, I live to turn dreams into magical vacations. When I'm not exploring the wonders of Walt Disney World, you'll find me sailing the high seas on Disney Cruise Line. Adventure awaits - let's make your Disney dreams come true!  Learn More About Heather

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