• On Jul 10, 2018
    Kristi from TX 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.

    We're looking at our first trip to Disney World in January with our 9yr daughter and have heard/read pros and cons of dining plans are they worth getting? Best value/moderate resort if going to Magic/Animal Kingdoms & Hollywood Studios?

    Hi Kristi,

    Welcome to the Disney Parks Moms Panel! Hooray for your first trip to the Walt Disney World Resort 

    Let's talk about the Dining Plan options first. Whether or not the dining plans are a good value really depends on your family's dining preferences. My family prefers three meals per day along with snacks. When I have compared the cost of a dining plan to our estimated food costs for prior trips, a dining plan has always come out to be a better value.

    To get the best cost comparison, you need to identify the restaurants you plan to enjoy, check the menus and price each meal. I always call 407-939-1947 to get the price of character meals for the dates of our visit. Remember that you generally pay separately for drinks and snacks if not on a dining plan. And, when we have used the resort refillable mugs on a dining plan, we have usually refilled them at least three times per day. I calculate those costs as well. Once you review a few menus like the one at Coral Reef Restaurant, you will get a good idea of dining costs at the Walt Disney World Resort. 

    My family has used the Disney Dining Plan and the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan. We prefer the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan because it provides three meal entitlements per night of stay and those could be table-service or quick-service entitlements. The flexibility is fantastic.

    Kristi, my favorite value resort hotel is Disney's Art of Animation Resort and my favorite moderate resort hotel is Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside. The Little Mermaid Rooms at Disney's Art of Animation Resort are super cute and I love the family suites. The Royal Guest Rooms at Disney's Port Orleans Resort -Riverside might also be perfect for your princess!

    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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