Mother, Son, Giraffe, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Animal Kingdom, Savannah
  • On Jan 4, 2014
    Alycia 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 are traveling with 3 adults 3 children(14,7,3) in November 2014. We want to do 2 character dining experiences. Is the DDP worth the extra cost for that and the AFDR's? Thank you for your response.

    Hi Alycia,

    Dining at Walt Disney World is one of my favorite "activities," so I'm so glad you asked this question.  My family of 5 has vacationed both on and off the Disney dining plan, so I can give you my thoughts.  When we're not on the dining plan, we're more conservative in our dining choices and spending habits.  We choose more counter service options, share more meals, and skip extra snacks and desserts.  We might do 1 character meal, but no more than that.  Although this might save us a little bit of money, it also changes our overall vacation experience.

    When we're on the dining plan, we like to do 1 table service dinner each day, with a couple of those being character meals.  In fact, the whole family loves to help look through menus to choose new restaurants for our vacation.  We've been able to sample some delicious and unique restaurants this way that we never would have tried if we weren't on the dining plan.  We can usually stretch our snack credits and counter service meals so that we don't have to pay for a lot out-of-pocket, other than gratuities.  I'm also a big coffee drinker, so the refillable mug is one of my favorite things.  One of the things I like most about using the dining plan is that it's carefree since we already know how much we're spending on meals and most of our dining decisions have already been made.

    From a cost perspective, we've done the math and there isn't much difference for our family between the two approaches.  There are some restaurants that give you more bang for your buck, like character meals, so if you're doing two character meals it might be worth it on that basis alone.

    I hope this has been helpful, but please let us know if you have any other questions.

    Have a Disney day!

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Meet the Panelist: Beth, Missouri

My love of Walt Disney World Resort may have started when I was a child, but I've grown to love it even more as a parent vacationing with my own kids. If you have questions about traveling with toddlers, tweens or teens, "Disney Dining" or in-park special events, ask away! Learn More About Beth

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