Disney Dining Plan- Is It Worth It?

by Jen on April 14, 2011

Written by Christine Hardenberger of Magical Mouse Plans.

I am often asked if the Disney Dining Plan is really money-saver when traveling to Disney.  I can only answer that with a resounding YES!  If you search online, you will find opinions that differ from my own, but I have done the math and I can honestly say that the numbers make sense.  Here are my thoughts:

The basic Disney Dining Plan costs $47.99 per night for adults and $12.99 per night for children.  For that price, you get one snack, one quick service meal and one table service meal.  Basically, you eat all day.  Most guests find that a snack (which can be a pastry, bowl of oatmeal, yogurt) is sufficient for breakfast.  The quick service meal which includes an full entree, dessert and non-alcoholic drink is perfect for lunch or dinner.  Table service meals also include a full entree, dessert and non-alcoholic meal at some of the best restaurants in the state of Florida AND most character meals are included.  But, we have to consider the numbers.

An average character dinner costs between $35.00 and $45.00 per adult and $17.00 and $26.00 for children.  Non-character, table-service meals are similarly priced if you purchase what is included in your Disney Dining Plan meal.  So, for roughly the cost of one table-service meal, you eat all day!  What a steal!

Now, some people have pointed out that if you purchase less food (no dessert, say), eat cereal bars in your room for breakfast and do just one or two table-service meals during your entire vacation you may not spend as much on food.  That is absolutely true!  However, I have found that most guests go to Disney with the best of intentions and things change once they arrive.   It’s vacation and they want to enjoy themselves.  They end up spending far more on food than they expected.  The Disney Dining Plan would have saved them at least 30%.

The other nice thing about the Disney Dining Plan is that it makes your vacation all-inclusive.  You know, in advance, how much your vacation will cost.  There is no worry about money while you are enjoying the Disney magic and there is no sticker shock when you get home and realize you spent twice as much as you had planned!  Other than Mickey Ears and tips, you are covered!

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