Mom And Son Running through park; RunDisney; incredibles shirt
  • On Feb 21, 2009
    Lauren from OH 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.

    HI! I was just wondering what the average price of a meal was at WDW, and if it is worth it to get the dining plan for my larger family of 7!


    Thanks for coming to the Mom's Panel!

    I don't know that I could actually give you an average price of a meal at WDW, but I can tell you, that from my experience, the claim that Disney makes that you can save at least 30% on your meals with the dining plan is TRUE.

    Take for example a meal at Crystal Palace.  For one child's buffet lunch there, you can pay for an ENTIRE day of a child's dining on the Dining Plan! 

    So, when faced with the question of whether to choose the dining plan, consider:

    • If you and your family would like to experience some Character Meals.  If so, the plan will more than pay for itself.  (I do find that there is more savings if you have kids....If there are no children on your plan, take a look at the menus at and see where you'd like to go and see if the plan pays for itself.)
    • Are you big eaters, eat-what's-on-your-plate diners, or birds?  If you're the latter, don't get the meal plan.  Our family actually has been so full on the dining plan before that we've since began to double up a table-service meal for a Dinner Show--and we've never missed the meal!  But if you skip meals regularly, you might want to skip the dining plan, too.
    • Do you want to know your upfront costs--and will you stick to the meal plan?  If so, my vote is for the Basic Dining Plan--best bargain of the bunch.
    Wishing you a magical vacation!

    p.s. Something folks don't talk about: the opportunity the meal plan gives your family to take a respite from the parks and enjoy a pleasant meal together, and doing what fewer and fewer families are doing nowadays--talking around the dinner table!
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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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