• On Dec 1, 2016
    Donna from VT 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 am traveling to WDW again this February with two granddaughters. In past years I have paid for meals each time, but this year I am contemplating purchasing the dining plans. I've received different opinions on this. Are dining plans a smart option?

    Welcome to Disney Parks Moms Panel, Donna!

    Your question about Disney Dining Plans is a great one, and the varied opinions you have received thus far actually make a lot of sense!

    I always advise friends, family and Moms Panel guests to consider their dining habits and what their upcoming visit to Walt Disney World will look like when deciding whether or not to add a Dining Plan to their vacation. If your party includes a few light eaters, or if you don't plan on sitting down to a Table Service meal each day, then a Dining Plan may not be right for that particular visit.

    However, if your plans include grabbing a delicious Quick-Service meal each day as well as one Table Service meal each day, then check out the menus of the locations where you'll dine (menus are linked in restaurant pages on the WDW site above). Add up the price of the particular items you'd order as well as the items you'd likely order from a Quick-Service location. Don't forget to include the value of your Rapid Refill mugs and 2 snacks per person each day (2017 Dining Plan). You'll know if a Disney Dining Plan was a smart choice if the cost per night of that plan is less than what you would have spent out of pocket.

    Another benefit of a Disney Dining Plan is the peace of mind it affords guests: the bulk of your dining expense is included in that price. When the check arrives, pay gratuity as well as anything you may have ordered that was not included in your Dining Plan (an appetizer, an added side or a glass of wine). It's a great way to enjoy delicious dining without worrying over the cost of each item ordered.

    Happy planning, Donna! Be sure to send us more questions as you think of them; we love to help!

    Andrea H
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Meet the Panelist: Andrea, Pennsylvania

I am a teacher, wife and mom who has been a member of the Disney Vacation Club since 2003. I love discovering a new favorite DVC resort, fantastic restaurant or hidden gem onboard a Disney ship! I'm a micro-planner who can help you capture your own magic! Learn More About Andrea

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