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I have a Disney Dining Question


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  • I have a Disney Dining Question

    If you don't mind .

    We will be traveling with our 2 children, ages 8 and 11 and are planning on the Disney Dining plan. Does my 11 year old fall under the 'adult' category for the dining plan or is she still considered a child?

    I ask because I am thinking, from things I may have read, that she would have to pay the adult rate. She pretty much only eats from the kids menu.

    Anyone know? Well, that's a silly question...I'm sure someone knows.

  • #2
    Re: I have a Disney Dining Question

    From Mousesavers:

    The additional cost for the 2007 Dining Plan (on top of the vacation package) is $38.99 per night per adult or junior (ages 10-17), $10.99 per night for children (ages 3-9). You get one table service meal, one counter service meal and one snack per day. You must purchase the plan for your entire stay and for each person staying in your hotel room.
    So your daughter would be considered a Jr, which is the same price as the adult.

    I know for me our kids didn't eat $39 of food per day, heck, most days I don't think we did either and we had at least 1 sit down meal each day.

    My suggestion, if you have a car go to the store and get some breakfast stuff you can put in your in-room fridge. Have your BIG meal at lunch (prices are cheaper) and then have a counter-service dinner or at your resort hotel.

    For 9 days at WDW for 4 people we spent about $700 on food. This comes out to about $78 per day. With the Dining Plan it would have cost us about $130 per day. Which would be the same for you.

    And like I said, we ate GOOD!!! 'Ohana one night, 50's Prime Time, Rose and Crown, Crystal Palace, etc. We also ordered Pizza our first night in our hotel, and we were eating it 4 and 5 days later. Nothing like cold pizza!!!

    You really have to weigh your options.


    • #3
      Re: I have a Disney Dining Question

      Agreed! We always try to have lunch (or breakfast!) be the big meal of the day. It is cheaper and you have the rest of the day to walk it off.

      I try to be conservative with money, even at Disney. A lot of the counter service places have pretty good food. And you can get quite a bit for about $20 (for our family of three).


      • #4
        Re: I have a Disney Dining Question

        Ok I probably sound like a broken record on this but the secret to getting your money's worth out of the Disney dining plan is planning... if you don't plan and know the tricks of Disney dining then yes you probably are wasting money.

        A few pointers:
        • Plan your visit at least 4-6 months in advance, plan what you want to see and do in the parks than plan which restaurants you want to eat at.
        • I usually pack or buy breakfast at the grocery store on the trip from the airport to the parks. (Most car services offer a 1 hr grocery stop, or if you drive yourself ask for a local store on the way, its way cheaper than once you enter Disney property)
        • Remember you get dessert in your counter service meals, those brownies and all can make for a free breakfast the next day if you are too full to eat them...
        • Plan table service meals as soon as possible, even if you are eating at your resort don't expect to always be able to get a seat if you walk in. Whispering Canons, Ohana's, and the contemporary restaurants tend to fill up fast. Sometimes months in advance during peak seasons*. Make this your big meal of the day as you get appetizers, dessert, a main meal, and drinks in there... or the buffets are all you can eat. Not healthy but you can time it mid day so you can snack or do a light meal in the hotel later.
        * This is my main complaint about the plan... the structure of it 1 table, 1 counter, 1 snack is not as good as the old version some 9-10 years ago where you got 3 meals a day wherever you wanted. The budget resorts do not have table service in the resort, so they flood the Deluxe and moderate resorts table service restaurants or eat in the parks. Simply put there is not enough seats for all the people in the plan during peak season times. This has been complicated by some of the Downtown Disney restaurants no longer honoring the plan.

        Ok the savings, IF you like good food, and IF you eat all the options you will save money on the table service restaurants if you pick wisely. For two adults and a small child at the coral reef restaurant I remember we had a bill of over 75$ which basically paid for the whole plan for the day. If you choose a cheaper restaurant or don't eat all the courses offered you don't get as much benefit. However tips are included in the meal plan as well, so that saves you a few dollars and I have found your servers will try to tempt you with that dessert since its included in the plan... On the counter service if you buy the desserts and the more expensive/healthier options it will save you some money there. For the snack, choose wisely use it for that $3.50 bottle of powerade rather than the cheaper options.

        Bottom line: Plan and make wise choices on how you use it you can save money. If you just want a burger and fries every day and not go to the sit down restaurants, well the pan probably isn't for you.
        Hi I'm Jerren and I'm a Disneyholic...


        • #5
          Re: I have a Disney Dining Question

          We've gotten a lot more food for our money with the DDP. However, your 11 year old won't. Probably best to not do the DDP, in your case. We've found that while the DDP can be a great value, we tend to be tied down by our reservations. That being said, we're probably going to do the DDP for our October trip, but use a couple of 2-credit meals to get some flexibility on the other days.


          • #6
            Re: I have a Disney Dining Question

            If you have an AP (or are planning on getting one) you can get the dining discount card for $65 that gives you 20% off each meal (including alcohol).


            • #7
              Re: I have a Disney Dining Question

              Originally posted by sir clinksalot View Post
              If you have an AP (or are planning on getting one) you can get the dining discount card for $65 that gives you 20% off each meal (including alcohol).

              Preach on!

              Just to clarify - thats $65 for ONE DDE card that is good for THE ENTIRE party of up to 10 people. Unlimited usage, and valid at a boatload of places - including the value resort food courts.

              "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


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