• On Sep 26, 2018
    Amanda from LA Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    I'm planning a trip & I'm stumped. On or off property accommodations? Dining plan: is it worth it, really? I've been reading everything I can find, but I can't decide! Is there a realistic breakdown of the meal plans? How to budget?

    Hi Amanda,

    Welcome to the Disney Parks Moms Panel!

    Although I have stayed off property in years past, I now always stay at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel because of the benefits of staying at Disney resort hotels. For my family, the most important of these benefits is the ability to made advanced dining reservations 180 days in advance for up to 10 days of our stay and the ability to make Fast Pass+ selections for attractions 60 days in advance. These two benefits allow us to make dining reservations at popular restaurants like Be Our Guest and Cinderella's Royal Table. Being able to make Fast Pass+ selections 60 days in advance allows us to reserve ride times for the most popular attractions like Avatar Flight of Passage, Slinky Dog Dash and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

    Amanda, our family has always found the Disney Dining Plan and the Disney Deluxe Dining Plans to be a good value. Aside from the meal entitlements, you will receive two snack entitlements per night and resort refillable mugs. We refill these mugs at least three times a day at the resort hotel. I calculate refills at about three to four dollars per refill. I calculate snacks at five dollars per snack. These two dining plan include drinks with all meals and desserts with lunch and dinner, so I factor that into the value. The Disney Deluxe Dining Plan also includes an appetizer with lunch and dinner. I suggest that you review menus of restaurants you plan to visit and do a price comparison. The Coral Reef Restaurant Lunch Menu is an example. Menus can be located on the restaurant's web page or, for buffet meals, I call 407-939-1947 to get pricing for the dates of my visit. Some of our favorite character meals were $50/adult on our last visit!

    Magic, memories and Minnie Mouse hugs,
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Meet the Panelist: Donyell, North Carolina

Hello from North Carolina! I am a mom of twin girls, wife, and university professor who has been inspired by the creativity of Disney for a lifetime. Since my first Disney visit when I was 12-years-old, I have been drawn to the adventures crafted by Disney Imagineers. Planning Disney vacations helps connect me to families who will find in Disney the kind of joy my family has experienced over the years. Allow me to help you map your own Disney journey so that you, too can create the memories of a lifetime! Learn More About Donyell

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