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  • disney dining plan

    My family is going to WDW in August for the first time. We are staying for a week and I'm curious as to whether or not it's cheaper to get the Disney Dining plan or to rent a car and go outside the parks for food. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

  • #2
    Re: disney dining plan

    truth... dining plan might be the best option... even though i hate it (being a local their is no use for it!!!)

    you have a set price for everything which includes getting a meal, and a snack, the only problem with the plan is usually you 'must' plan your table meals out now or else you might not have a place to eat that night.

    If your going august you might be able to get the dining plan free... i forget the deal. but I thought it was Aug through sept.

    You just have to get your Hotel and Tickets through the disney travel company then you should be able to get the dining plan free or heavily discounted. (was the deal last year, but forgot when it was offered)

    you might want to look into it.

    edit: found it!

    http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/wdw...reeDineNavPage

    of course, thats only in the end of aug.. woops.
    Last edited by figment1986; 04-20-2007, 08:21 AM.

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    • #3
      Re: disney dining plan

      We are going at the beginning of August but thanks for the info!

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      • #4
        Re: disney dining plan

        I am not a local but I have one suggestion, definitely do the dining plan! If you're going to be in the parks all day, it's a magnificent bargain. Example: The dining plan costs about $38 a person and includes 1 counter service(fast food meal), 1 table service(sit down dinner), and 1 snack(drink, chips, ice cream) a day. When you use your table service credit it also includes gratuity. That's basically lunch, dinner, and a snack daily for $38. If not using the dining plan, lunch typically costs about $14, dinner is an average of $60, and a snack is about $2.50. Make the comparison- $38 for the dining plan or $76.50 if you pay separately. If you're staying a week that totals about $300 in savings if using the dining plan.

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        • #5
          Re: disney dining plan

          Originally posted by Duane View Post
          I am not a local but I have one suggestion, definitely do the dining plan! If you're going to be in the parks all day, it's a magnificent bargain. Example: The dining plan costs about $38 a person and includes 1 counter service(fast food meal), 1 table service(sit down dinner), and 1 snack(drink, chips, ice cream) a day. When you use your table service credit it also includes gratuity. That's basically lunch, dinner, and a snack daily for $38. If not using the dining plan, lunch typically costs about $14, dinner is an average of $60, and a snack is about $2.50. Make the comparison- $38 for the dining plan or $76.50 if you pay separately. If you're staying a week that totals about $300 in savings if using the dining plan.
          see, you don't need to rent a car if you wont want to... besides... $300 in disney savings is what, $150 or $200 in the outside world?

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          • #6
            Re: disney dining plan

            $60 for dinner is pretty extreme.

            My usual:

            $5 snack
            $12 lunch
            $30 dinner

            for a total of $47. But that assumes a table service dinner every night, which I definitely did not do when I was a tourist.
            Kevin Yee
            MiceAge Columnist

            I am the author of several Disney books:
            Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
            Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
            Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
            Mouse Trap
            Tokyo Disney Made Easy
            101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
            Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

            “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

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            • #7
              Re: disney dining plan

              I do a table service resturant every night when I go to WDW. Last time it really saved me money compared to what I would have spent. If you don't plan on that many table service resturants then it's not worth the money.

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              • #8
                Re: disney dining plan

                Don't forget the pain in the butt factor.

                Going out of the park to eat lunch, come back to the park, leave for dinner, come back is a hassle. The money I would spend eating at the parks (on the plan or not) is worth it for how much easier it makes the day.

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                • #9
                  Re: disney dining plan

                  Originally posted by erick13 View Post
                  I do a table service resturant every night when I go to WDW. Last time it really saved me money compared to what I would have spent. If you don't plan on that many table service resturants then it's not worth the money.
                  What other options are there if you don't do a table service restaurants?

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                  • #10
                    Re: disney dining plan

                    Originally posted by kellersbride View Post
                    What other options are there if you don't do a table service restaurants?
                    Counter service aka fast food.

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                    • #11
                      Re: disney dining plan

                      Originally posted by erick13 View Post
                      Counter service aka fast food.

                      yes but fast food makes it sound sooo bad for you -- WDW has actually come up with some good "fast food" options. they have great grilled chicken sandwiches at tusker house in animal kingdom -- places offer salads, chicken fingers -- in epcot's world showcase you can get just about anything - mexican, chinese, japanese, etc. all the parks have smoked turkey legs also--my favorite

                      go to allears.net and check out the menu section

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                      • #12
                        Re: disney dining plan

                        Counter service is fine, but there's nothing like a nice meal -- it makes the vacation that much more special. I, for one, am really excited about trying the DDP for the first time this June.
                        "We are the change we've been waiting for! Yes we can!"

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                        • #13
                          Re: disney dining plan

                          I am also doing the DDP (getting the free deal in September).

                          For me part of the fun is the ability to experiment. I can go to a retaurant that I might not try otherwise and try something different. Under normal circumstances I'd worry about the cost if I didnt like it.

                          Now I can give it a shot and worst case stop at a counter place later to grab a burger if I didnt like the meal.
                          “Any sequel three or higher..... around number five they get a new cast, that’s when the magic really happens": Modern Family

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                          • #14
                            Re: disney dining plan

                            I'm split on the Dining Plan... I went last week and didn't buy it. I figured out I only would have saved any $$$ on 3 of the 8 days (and then it was about $10-20 max for our group of 4 Adults). Basically it was almost a wash. There's a TON of food on the plan, and I think next time I'll eat less in the world. (There's some decent places, but most is overpriced... even with the plan). It seems that's it's a fairly good deal only if there's a bunch of kids involved, but otherwise, unless you plan on eating 100% Disney, and eat every-single meal, it's not always that great of a deal.

                            You can find fairly good food within minutes of the world. And even if staying in the world, if you plan on eating at a resort (where IMHO some of the best food is... ie: BOMA). Remember you cannot use the bus to go from your resort to the other resort, you must transfer at a park... basically plan 40-60 mins to go from one resort to another. Then to transfer back... another 40-60 mins... That's *2* Hours on the bus...2 Hours you could be doing something fun, times a few days, and that's almost the same time as a whole day spent at a park, HAVING FUN!.

                            Check Costco.com, and check Alamo's rates, we got a Toyota Highlander for $160 (Tax and Fees Included) for the week and a day. CHEAP... we used the car on 6 of the 8 days, and was able to drive to the Supermarket (Winn-Dixie, about 1 mile outside the world) to get Snacks, OTC Drugs (one of us broght a cold along for the trip). We Also got Pizza at Giordano's, far better than Disney Pizza. Crossroad's shopping center outside of Downtown Disney has all of the standard Chain Food stores, with more up the street, all at regular menu prices.

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                            • #15
                              Re: disney dining plan

                              If you do end up taking the dining plan..heed the warnings mentioned and plan your reservations NOW!!!...we were at WDW last week. I had told my wife about needing reservations early and she was amazed that you needed to do so. She had made reservations at 50's Prime time for our night at MGM and all went fine. Next night we decided to go to Epcot, but we had not planned on having a table service meal. We attempted to find table meal service...not gonna happen...everything was booked....we tried several different places and nobody had any space available and this was a Thursday night.

                              The funny anecdote to this story was were we walking out of the Mexican restaurant after being told they were booked up (as I expected), and apparently another family, discovering that without reservations you don't eat at a table, was making a complaint to what appeared to be a higher level CM by the dress clothes he was wearing, and the CM told them "Gee I don't know why everything is so booked up...it's normally not like that...there must be something special going on I'm not aware of". I about fell over laughing at that obviously well prepared line....

                              To sum up...plan on where you are going to be for dinner and make those reservations!!!!
                              If you ever plan to motor West, travel my way, take the highway that's the best....Get your kicks on Route 66!!!

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