There are several ‘additions’ you can make to your Walt Disney World Vacation. You could add Park Hopper tickets, Memory Maker, Special Event tickets and a Dining Plan to name a few. I get the most questions about Park Hopper and Dining Plans. Are they worth it? For this post, I’m going to give you 2 reasons I think the Disney Dining Plan is worth it.
First: What is a Dining Plan (2017)
There are basically 3 Dining Plans to choose from: Quick Service, Disney Dining (Plus Dining) & Deluxe Dining. Everyone in your party ages 3 and over will get the following credits each night of their vacation package plus a refillable resort mug.
Quick Service: 2 quick service meals & 2 snacks
Disney Dining (Plus Dining): 1 quick service meal, 1 table service meal, 2 snacks
Deluxe Dining: 3 meals (any combination of quick service or table service), 2 snacks
2 Reasons to choose the Disney Dining Plan (Plus Dining)
It might not be the most scientific reason but having most of your family’s food paid for before you even set foot in a Disney Park is pretty persuading. At least, it was for me. We have four kids. Our kids eat a lot. Any time we go on any vacation, big or small, our food bill is high. For our first trip to Disney World, I didn’t do any math to see if the Disney Dining Plan would save money. I just really liked the idea of paying for a meal plan when I paid for everything else. Bonus: I didn’t have a huge credit card bill at the week full of meal and snack charges. Correction: I DID have a huge bill but it WASN’T because of meal and snack charges. 😉
2. Character Meals
This one is going to be a little more scientific for you number crunchers.
If you added on the 2017 Disney Dining Plan (Plus Dining) you would pay: (Note: prices may increase slightly during peak seasons)
$70.00 per night ages 10 and up
$26.00 per night age 3 to 9
Here are a few examples of our favorite Character meals and the price you would pay without the Dining Plan:
(Note: Prices may increase during peak seasons which also means by getting the Dining Plan you’re going to lock in the specific price. Even if Disney decides to make a cheeseburger at Backlot Express $22.50, you’re still getting it for the price of the meal plan.)
Chef Mickey’s @ Contemporary Resort
Breakfast & Brunch $41 Adult, $25 Child
Dinner $50 Adult, $30 Child
‘Ohana @ The Polynesian Resort
Breakfast with Lilo & Stitch $31 Adult, $20 Child
Dinner $43 Adult, $24 Child
Tusker House @ Animal Kingdom Park
Breakfast $30 Adult, $18 Child
Lunch $38 Adult, $23 Child
Dinner $42 Adult, $25 Child
1900 Park Fare @ The Grand Floridian Resort
Breakfast $32 Adult, $20 Child
Dinner $45 Adult, $27 Child
If you have the Disney Dining Plan, go for the more expensive meal to get the most out of your plan. So, let’s say you eat at 1900 Park Fare for dinner with Cinderella. You could pay $45/Adult and $27/Child. OR. You could pay $70/Adult and $26/Child for the Disney Dining Plan. Don’t forget, with the cost of your Disney Dining Plan, you’re also getting 2 snacks and a quick service meal per person per night. You clearly are hitting the savings jackpot with the child prices!
Quick Service Example:
Columbia Harbour House @ Magic Kingdom
Lobster Roll w/chips $13.29 & fountain drink $3.29 (both included in Dining Plan)
Character Meals are a great and convenient way to meet some of your favorite Characters. You can meet Mickey and Friends, Lilo & Stitch, Winnie the Pooh and Friends, Chip & Dale, Cinderella and other Princesses, Handy Manny and many, many more at a Character Meal. Who wants to stand in line all day meeting these characters when you could sit down at a meal and have them come to you??
Bonus Tip: Character Meals at a Resort are a great option on arrival or departure day if you don’t want to pay for a park ticket. On our first trip, we arrived late in the afternoon on a Saturday so instead of going to a park, we had dinner with Cinderella, the Prince, Cinderella’s Step-Mother and Step-Sisters at 1900 Park Fare. Your Dining Plan is connected to your Resort Stay so as soon as you check in, our Dining Plan kicked in.
Cinderella’s Royal Table
Cape May Cafe
1900 Park Fare
Hollywood & Vine
Mickey’s Backyard BBQ
(For a more detailed list of Character Meals and who is offered, email me at Amber@HiHoVacations.com)
I hope that helped make sense of the Dining Plans. If you have more questions or need help planning your very own magical Disney Vacation, email me!
(Prices of meals found on TouringPlans.com)