Mom and daughter on Expedition Everest; Animal Kingdom
  • On Feb 3, 2014
    Terrilynn from NC 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'm looking to book a group trip in July. There are single parents and large families that are interested in attending (2+ children). My thought is that a dining plan would be the most economical rather than eating at the park? Thoughts?

    Hi Terrilynn!

    Congratulations on your upcoming Grand Gathering and kudos to you for organizing it! 

    I do think that for most families, purchasing the Disney Dining Plan is more economical than paying out of pocket "as you go" to dine at the Walt Disney Resort.  Typically you will save about 30% on your dining costs by using the dining plan.  I find that with children I save even more.  Taking my children to one character meal per day for the table service credit usually pays for that entire day's meal plan for them. 

    Another good reason to opt for the dining plan is the convenience.  Besides gratuities and maybe a little extra money for a few items not on the dining plan (I always have a Turkey leg budget for my little carnivores), you already know how much your dining will cost for your entire trip.  The convenience factor of being able to plan for my family's food cost is usually worth it for me.

    One way to decide which option is right for you is to take a look at the menus from a site like and do a one day plan for where you would like to eat and what you would order in a typical day then compare that to the cost of the dining plan and see how it fares.  If it is close then I find the dining plan is the way to go because of all the added perks inherent to the dining plan.  I love being able to select from any entrée on the menu without regard to price, having dessert included at every lunch and dinner, and having a resort refillable mug per person.  I also love the snacks!  For my family of six, I love having so many snack credits to share.

    I hope this helps you in your decision-making.  If you have any other questions please come back and visit us at the Disney Parks Moms Panel.  We love to help!

    Brenda ºOº
thumbnail image for Brenda

Meet the Panelist: Brenda, Missouri

I fell in love with Walt Disney World on my very first visit, which took place during my honeymoon. Since then we have added 4 "mouseketeers" to our family and have come to appreciate what a great value a Walt Disney World vacation can be on a budget. As a Physical Therapist and a mom of a large family, I would love to help you plan your next magical trip! Learn More About Brenda

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