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Disney Dining Plan: Whether or Not You Should Buy It

One of the burning questions of guests who are planning a Disney World vacation is, “should I purchase the Disney Dining Plan?” People usually ask this as it pertains to saving money. If you are traveling to Disney World on a budget, food is something you will look to save money on. But the Disney Dining Plan may, or may not be worth it to you. Here’s how to know if the Disney Dining Plan is right for you.

Why Do You Want a Meal Plan?

Do you want the Disney Dining Plan to save money, or for some other reason? Some people like the plan because it is convenient. They like paying in advance, and they like that no matter what they order, the price will not be affected. But let’s not assume that the price is a value. If you want to save money, there are many other things you can do besides purchasing a Disney Dining Plan. You can bring your own snacks and beverages into the parks. You can eat mostly quick service; And you can pick low-cost menu items and even share larger counter service entrees. Disney Dining Plans tend to appeal to people who don’t want the price to be affected by what they order, but if you order a lower-priced item, you are overpaying.

What Does the Disney Dining Plan Do?

What Disney Dining Plans do is convert your prepaid dollars into meal credits. Quick service credits are good for one entree and one beverage. Table Service credits are good for one entree, one drink, and one dessert. Alcohol comes included with a table service meal credit. The type of meal credit you get depends on your resort tier. Value resorts get only quick service. Deluxe gets all-table service, which can double as Quick Service. The regular dining plan affords one of each. In addition, each plan includes two snack credits per night and a free refillable cup for your entire stay.

Is the Disney Dining Plan a Good Value?

You get two meal credits per night of your stay, and some restaurants cost two credits. Right away, there is a disparity. On a given day, you have one to two whole meals that don’t get covered under the plan. Plus, the program represents the nights you stay rather than the days, so one day will not include any meal credits. This means that you will be paying for meals out of pocket. Not to mention if you want appetizers at a table service restaurant it will not be included in the credit, although many restaurants include three courses together.

The Snack credits can offset the lack of meals, but you have to get the most expensive snacks, and very often guests don’t use their snack credits until the last minute. If you have table service credits that you decide to use at a quick-service restaurant, you are losing money. If you plan always to get the most expensive thing on the menu, then you can save some money, but usually, you will not.

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