Food budgeting is one of the key elements of saving money at Walt Disney World. Your hotel fees are going to be the biggest expense; but dining expenses can really creep up, especially if you’re not watching. The Disney Dining Plan is a way many guests try to save on meals at Disney. However, this may or may not be the right option for your Disney dining budget. Here is a look at the value of a Disney Dining Plan.
Disney Dining Budget: Is the Dining Plan Worth the Cost?
What Is theDisney Dining Plan?
One of the opportunities you have when booking your vacation package is to prepay for a significant portion of your dining experiences at Walt Disney World. Prepaid dining packages come at three levels. The Quick Service Dining Plan allows meal credits for quick service restaurants only, as well as snack credits and a refillable mug to be used at your resort. The regular Disney Dining Plan offers a mix of counter service and table service credits. Deluxe dining plans allow all types of dining experiences. These tears coincide with the value, moderate, and deluxe resort tears and their offerings.
How Does Disney Dining Work?
The Dining Plan is based on the number of nights you stay at a Walt Disney World resort. You are entitled to 2 meal credits and 2 snack credits per night. However, you are given all of your credits at once and can use them whenever you want.
A quick service meal credit can be redeemed for an entree and a drink. A table service meal credit can be redeemed for an entree, a drink and dessert. Alcoholic beverages are eligible.
Some table service restaurants are signature or fine dining experiences. They are on the pricier side and cost an additional meal credit. You have to be careful not to run out of credits, or strategize when and where to use them. For example, if you use two credits on one meal, use extra snack credits on that day instead of using additional meal credits. Guests often save snack credits and end their vacation with a surplus. Don’t leave money on the table or stock up on last minute bags of candy. Make sure you use snack credits to your greatest advantage.
Is Disney Dining Worth the cost?
The cost of the Disney Dining plans are reasonable, but calling them a value is a bit of a stretch. If you compare the maximum value of the plan to the amount most people are likely to spend credits on, the package price comes pretty much right down the middle. The plan offers a fair amount of freedom and encourages extras like desserts and snacks you normally might not buy. That said, in most cases, you will wind up spending more money on the plan than you would be budgeting food on your own.
Budgeting your Meals
Although the Disney Dining Plan doesn’t cover all of the meals you will likely have on your vacation, It can serve as a good form of measurement. If you don’t already have a food budget, you can use the cost of the dining plan as a starting point. If you are on a tight food budget during your trip, stick to quick-service restaurants as much as possible and try places with shareable entrees to cut down on the cost. You can also bring your own snacks and beverages into the parks with you which amounts to huge savings after only a couple of days.
The dining plan can be the cheaper way t go or more expensive. The truth really depends on your family’s way of eating. For my family t is cost-efficient because I have a son and husband who eat mountains of food. However, when my mom and I do girls weekend it’s more cost-efficient to just buy food we get hungry as we ten to share meals.
A great way to figure out whether or not dining is right for you is to talk with your travel agent. They can guide you with pricing, food option, and help you work your budget. Plus their services are free. As a travel agent, I am here to help if you have any questions.
Do you have tips on how to save money on food at Disney?
As a Qualified Independent Travel Agent Affiliated With Academy Travel And Mickey Vacations. I Specialize In Planning Disney Vacations. Contact Me HERE For Your FREE No-obligation Quote. Plus as a mobility expert who has visited Disney multiple times, I can help you with most questions.