Mom and Daughter at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Room
  • On Feb 2, 2014
    Karen 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.

    Going for a week (2 adults, 2 5 yo girls), stay on property in Jan/Feb 2015. Considering dinning plan. That time of year, will we need reservations for lunch & dinners? First visit, hard to know where we will be. Want some flexibility. Help?


    I'm a fan of the Disney Dining Plan if you want to know your costs upfront and are willing to NOT be flexible. Why is it difficult to be flexible on the dining plan?

    • One of the reasons some families choose the dining plan is for cost-savings. However, if you are not careful about which restaurant you choose, you may find that you would have been better to pay out-of-pocket. In order to get some of these better-bang-for-your-dining-plan-buck restaurants like Tutto Italia and Akershus, you need to make a reservation, even in January.
    • Savvy Disney veterans make their reservations up to 180 days in advance, so last-minute planning can leave you without the option of more popular restaurants like Chef Mickey's.
    • Without a reservation, some dining plan guests will simply get frustrated and use their dining plan table credits on a counter service location, further reducing any savings benefit. 
    • You must register a credit card now when making a dining reservation. The fee per person not to show up in order to be flexible isn't worth it to most.

    In a nutshell, if you're not willing to make dining reservations, the dining plan may not be for you. Although I don't recommend you going to Disney for the first time without a plan--even for dining--If you want true flexibility, paying out-of-pocket and waiting for a table may be your best option.

    Wishing y'all a magical vacation!

thumbnail image for Whitney

Meet the Panelist: Whitney, Mississippi

My family of 6 appreciates Disney's value! Although Ft. Wilderness is our second home, we've enjoyed the resorts for business, reunions and romantic getaways. For me, Disney also means dining: last count, I'd eaten at 55 restaurants around the World! Learn More About Whitney

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