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  • Dining plan -- is it worth it?

    Sorry if there's a place for this already -- please point me in any helpful direction -- we're starting to make plans for a huge blow-out trip on our first time to WDW (been to DL 100's of times) -- all the stops pulled out, we will be staying at deluxe resorts, club level -- and we're thinking about adding the dining plan -- does this literally mean you have prepaid for all your meals (except the odd soda/fruit or something), and can just waltz around to any restaurant for which you have a reservation? I understand this probably does not include liquor. But for those who have done it, was it worth prepaying? Did you use all of your options, or was it a waste of money at the end of the trip? Any candid anecdotes or tips would be greatly appreciated.

    NRBF

  • #2
    Re: Dining plan -- is it worth it?

    Yes, yes and yes! I loved the plan. It is definetly worth it! All meals are prepaid. For us the machines weren't working correctly and they never charged us for half of our meals! I mean we had nearly 10 counter services and 15 table services left on the last day.
    You still need reservations for most restaurants(Priority Seating) it helps a lot! Make sure you go to Cinderella's Castle restaurant(reservations) they had the best food the entire trip!

    If you have any leftover snack options go ahead and use them up and take them on the plane ride home. have fun!!!!!




    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Dining plan -- is it worth it?

      Originally posted by kronos View Post
      Yes, yes and yes! I loved the plan. It is definetly worth it! All meals are prepaid. For us the machines weren't working correctly and they never charged us for half of our meals! I mean we had nearly 10 counter services and 15 table services left on the last day.
      You still need reservations for most restaurants(Priority Seating) it helps a lot! Make sure you go to Cinderella's Castle restaurant(reservations) they had the best food the entire trip!

      If you have any leftover snack options go ahead and use them up and take them on the plane ride home. have fun!!!!!

      FIGHT ON!!!!! My partner's an alumnus -- can't wait for the game! Are you out here (SoCal)?

      Thanks -- I actually found another thread too, but all the information is very helpful.

      NRBF

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Dining plan -- is it worth it?

        Originally posted by NapaRoseBarfly View Post
        Sorry if there's a place for this already -- please point me in any helpful direction -- we're starting to make plans for a huge blow-out trip on our first time to WDW (been to DL 100's of times) -- all the stops pulled out, we will be staying at deluxe resorts, club level -- and we're thinking about adding the dining plan -- does this literally mean you have prepaid for all your meals (except the odd soda/fruit or something), and can just waltz around to any restaurant for which you have a reservation? I understand this probably does not include liquor. But for those who have done it, was it worth prepaying? Did you use all of your options, or was it a waste of money at the end of the trip? Any candid anecdotes or tips would be greatly appreciated.

        NRBF
        We just got back from WDW. We used the dining plan, and it worked out very well for us.

        There are up's and downs to the plan though.

        For example it really pays if you plan to have one nice table service meal per day (or use two days worth for a nicer restaurant).

        You also get one Counter serve meal per day. and one snack per day. The counter serve meals are pretty*complete, and the snack is either a 20 oz soft drink a 20 oz bottle of water or a box of popcorn or the like, we even had the sweet pretzels at the Norway bakery as a "snack". What we always did when we wanted a snack or counter serve meal was to ask what were our choices.

        It is not a one size fits all, but for us it was a good value. We ate at 3 EPCOT pavalion restasurants (France, Morocco, and Canada) and we also ate at the CA Grill at the Contemporary (uses two coupons per person).

        We used all but one counter serve meal and felt pretty good about the results.

        Overall, we paid 387.50, we bought one meal for about $60 and I checked the value of the other meals and it came out to a little better than $500. So doing a little simple math, we spent about 447.50 had meals for about 560 (the $500 on the plan + the $60 spent) so we saved about $112.50.

        For us it was a good deal this time, but when planning a future trip we are looking at wheither or not we will be eating as many table serve meals. Oh yeah, also included in the table service meals are all taxes and an 18% gratuity to the servers.

        Can be a good value, for us, it was very convenient!

        IHTH

        CU@DL

        Andy
        -
        What is, is... What is not, is not.

        Boom!

        I don't ask for much... Just a few little things!

        Extra effort yields extraordinary results!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Dining plan -- is it worth it?

          My only advice, based on what others have told me, is make your reservations as soon as you are able/eligible. Otherwise you'll end up eating dinner at 10 pm.
          A signature should go here.

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          • #6
            Re: Dining plan -- is it worth it?

            Originally posted by SusieP. View Post
            My only advice, based on what others have told me, is make your reservations as soon as you are able/eligible. Otherwise you'll end up eating dinner at 10 pm.

            Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention this. I second this, make your priority seatings ASAP. I didn't like this as it forced me to plan too far in advance, but this is one of the disadvantages of the popularity of the Dining Plan.

            CU@DL

            Andy
            -
            What is, is... What is not, is not.

            Boom!

            I don't ask for much... Just a few little things!

            Extra effort yields extraordinary results!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Dining plan -- is it worth it?

              Originally posted by NapaRoseBarfly View Post
              Sorry if there's a place for this already -- please point me in any helpful direction -- we're starting to make plans for a huge blow-out trip on our first time to WDW (been to DL 100's of times) -- all the stops pulled out, we will be staying at deluxe resorts, club level -- and we're thinking about adding the dining plan -- does this literally mean you have prepaid for all your meals (except the odd soda/fruit or something), and can just waltz around to any restaurant for which you have a reservation? I understand this probably does not include liquor. But for those who have done it, was it worth prepaying? Did you use all of your options, or was it a waste of money at the end of the trip? Any candid anecdotes or tips would be greatly appreciated.

              NRBF

              How long are you going for? The reason is, if you are going for an extended amount of time (in the 8-9 day range) it may pay to look at an annual pass, at least for one member in your party. The AP may get you a discount on your room rate and, here comes the food part, as an AP holder you can get a Disney Dining Experence card for $60.

              This card gets you, AND YOUR PARTY. 20% off just about any table service restaruant - including alcohol - and it works in the resort food courts as well. Yes, its not 20% off for you, its for your entire party, up to 10 guests. The only kicker is the card is non-transferreable. So if you have it in your name, you have the be at the table to get the discount.

              I did this last year (my AP and DDE expire in Feb) and it more than paid for itself - The $60 I saved at Victoria & Alberts paid for the card in one meal.

              I like it because

              a) I am not a snacker. If I am going to eat the calories, I would rather sit down and eat food and a refreshing adult beverage than suck down a soda and a box of popcorn (Dole Whip not withstanding of course)

              b) I don't like rigidity. I know the plan is flexible, but the whole "you have this many meals and this many snacks" thing just irks me. I like the - "Here I paid $60 for this card, now give me 20% off" thing better.


              Here is a list of where you can get a discount. I also used it at Wolfgang Puck's Express in October and it worked just fine.

              Oh, looking at the list more - I think I also used it at the Ghiradelli ice cream shop in October. I am not sure about that one. I cant remember if it worked or not. (I do know I ate there though )

              All-Star Music Resort
              Intermission Food Court

              All-Star Sports Resort
              End Zone Food Court

              All-Star Movies Resort
              World Premiere Food Court


              Animal Kingdom Lodge
              Boma-Flavors of Africa
              Jiko-The Cooking Place
              Victoria Falls

              Beach Club Resort
              Beaches & Cream Soda Shop
              (excludes take-out shop)
              Cape May Cafe
              Martha's Vineyard Lounge
              Rip Tide Lounge

              BoardWalk
              Bellevue Lounge
              ESPN Club
              Flying Fish Cafe
              Spoodles

              Eagle Pines and Osprey Ridge Golf Club
              Sand Trap Bar & Grill

              Caribbean Beach Resort
              Shutters at Old Port Royale

              Contemporary Resort
              California Grill
              California Grill Lounge
              Chef Mickey's Restaurant
              Concourse Steakhouse
              Outer Rim Lounge

              Coronado Springs Resort
              Maya Grill

              Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
              Crockett's Tavern
              Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue (9:30 p.m. show only, offered seasonally)
              Trail's End Restaurant

              Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
              Old Key West Resort
              Olivia's Cafe

              Polynesian Resort
              'Ohana
              Kona Cafe
              Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show (8 p.m. show only)
              Tambu Lounge

              Pop Century Resort
              Everything Pop Shopping and Dining
              Classic Concoctions

              Port Orleans Resort
              Riverside:
              Boatwright's Dining Hall
              River Roost
              French Quarter:
              Scat Cat's Club
              Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory

              Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
              Artist's Palette
              The Turf Club Bar and Grill

              Wilderness Lodge
              Artist Point
              Territory Lounge
              Whispering Canyon Cafe

              Yacht Club Resort
              Ale and Compass Lounge
              Crew's Cup Lounge
              Yacht Club Galley
              Yachtsman Steakhouse

              DOWNTOWN DISNEY Marketplace
              Cap'n Jack's Restaurant
              Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe - As of 4/1/06, will no longer accept Disney Dining Experience

              DOWNTOWN DISNEY West Side
              Planet Hollywood

              Epcot
              Biergarten Restaurant
              Bistro de Paris Restaurant
              Chefs de France Restaurant
              Coral Reef Restaurant
              L'Originale Alfredo di Roma Ristorante
              Le Cellier Steakhouse
              Nine Dragons Restaurant
              Restaurant Akershus
              Restaurant Marrakesh
              Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room
              San Angel Inn Restaurante
              The Garden Grill Restaurant

              Disney-MGM Studios
              50's Prime Time Cafe
              Hollywood & Vine
              Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano
              Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant
              The Hollywood Brown Derby
              Tune-In Lounge

              Magic Kingdom
              Cinderella's Royal Table
              Liberty Tree Tavern
              The Crystal Palace
              The Plaza Restaurant
              Tony's Town Square Restaurant

              Animal Kingdom
              Tusker House Restaurant
              Pizzafari
              Flame Tree Barbecue
              Restaurantosaurus


              Official All-Star Cafe

              Disney's Vero Beach Resort
              The Green Cabin Room
              Shutters Restaurant
              Sonya's Fine Steaks & Chops (Sunday Brunch not included)

              Entertainment & Dancing:
              DOWNTOWN DISNEY Pleasure Island:
              Half price admission to Pleasure Island Clubs for members and guest;
              except for specially priced events



              Admission is free for members and guest
              "I'm gonna build my own amusement park. But with gambling and hookers!" - Bender
              "You should never underestimate the predictability of stupidity." - Bullet Tooth Tony

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Dining plan -- is it worth it?

                I just want to echo what everyone else posted. Our family participated in the plan a couple years ago when it was being tested, and loved it, so now we use it every year. MAKE RESERVATIONS FOR DINNER, ETC, NOW!! Otherwise you either wait for late night dining or don't get in your restuarant of choice at all. And if you can't get reservations for a particular spot (e.i. -- Cinderella's Castle in MK), then keep calling every day because someone might cancel and you can get that time. It worked for our family! Enjoy and have fun! You won't go hungry, that's for sure!!!

                sigpic
                May you be surrounded by your pals this holiday season!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Dining plan -- is it worth it?

                  Saved roughly $100 using The Dining Plan in Feb. this year and will definitely do it again on our next trip there. Like others have said, book your reservations NOW!

                  Have great trip!:thumbup:

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Dining plan -- is it worth it?

                    I'm glad someone else posted on this. I'm hoping for an 07 or 08 WDW trip and was debating the Dining plan. From what I've seen it looks like it is well worth it.

                    $ 35 a day for 2 meals and a snack at a Disney park ?

                    Amazing deal
                    ďAny sequel three or higher..... around number five they get a new cast, thatís when the magic really happens": Modern Family

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Dining plan -- is it worth it?

                      Is it worth it for CMs? Because I get 20% off food anyway...

                      Though granted, we leave tomorrow, so it might be a little late for such decisions.

                      Cinderella IV: The Bloodening

                      "It's okay, Beaker, we're scientists. We get paid to fail."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Dining plan -- is it worth it?

                        i just got back today and the dining plan was so worth it. we spent more than 1,000 dollars on food and we saved so much with the plan. we also got to have appetizers, entrees, and desserts!! we never had that before

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Dining plan -- is it worth it?

                          I'm glad to see there's positive testimony here--I've heard nothing but horror stories about the Dining Plan.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Dining plan -- is it worth it?

                            Originally posted by SomethingWicked451 View Post
                            I'm glad to see there's positive testimony here--I've heard nothing but horror stories about the Dining Plan.
                            Hmmm... Horror stories. That's news to me, all I've heard is positive and some difficulties because of having to plan so far in advance, and I've also heard that because of the Dining Plan that the last minute reservations and wlak-in has been severly limited. To me, the last minute stuff is a problem, but I guess I'll just have toplan better, further out.

                            What "horror stories" have you heard?

                            Thanks,

                            CU@DL

                            Andy
                            -
                            What is, is... What is not, is not.

                            Boom!

                            I don't ask for much... Just a few little things!

                            Extra effort yields extraordinary results!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Dining plan -- is it worth it?

                              We only had positive experiences with it as well, but then I am a planner and I enjoyed planning out which meals we would eat and when we would eat them. We thought the dining plan was a great value and are only sad that DL's dining plan is nothing like WDW's. Of course, DL also doesn't have the amount and variety of dining options that WDW has either.

                              Comment

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