Visiting Walt Disney World May 2013Walt Disney World: Do you think it's worth it?
From Danielle WalkerHi eveyone, my husband and I as well as my sister and her boyfriend are going to Walt Disney in May 2013. We will be staying at the Bay Lake Tower for seven nights. We will also be going to all 4 parks with in between relaxation. Do you think it will be worth getting the Dining Plan? or not?
Posted December 11, 2012 at 4:00 PM
Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.
From James RaoUnless you plan on eating the most expensive thing at every restaurant you visit, the dining plan is never worth it. Better to just save money and put it on a prepaid credit card or Disney gift card. That way you have your spending set and a convenient way to manage your food bill.
Posted December 11, 2012 at 5:24 PM
You do need to be getting your reservations in order asap, though... so get busy!!!
From Russell MeyerI've found that the DDP is only worth it when it's free as part of a hotel booking promotion. You will typically spend less on food paying out of pocket. Also, when you get the dining plan, everyone in your room has to get it, which can make it a pretty bad deal if you have children who are not heavy eaters. Also, there are different levels of the dining plan that each have advantages and disadvantages. It might be worth examining the restaurants you would typically eat at, looking at the menus and selecting the items that you would normally eat if you were paying out of pocket, and see if those costs are more or less than the cost of the dining plan. Everyone's a little different, but I do find the dining plan a bit burdonsome, because you feel obligated to try to get your money's worth instead of just eating when your hungry and get what you normally would off of a menu instead of the most expensive items.
Posted December 12, 2012 at 7:28 AM
If you're staying at Bay Lake Tower, are you DVC? If so, you might qualify for a Tables in Wonderland card, which offers discounts on dining throughout the resort (15% I believe). That would probably be a far better deal than getting the dining plan.
From Don NealI second James and Russel. We've used it before but only when it was free. I have done a ton of analysis and breakdown on how my family would benefit and the meal plan is great if you plan to spend big anyway but if you are thrifty and don't intend on ordering the most expensive thing on the menu or having dessert at every meal then it is cheaper to pay as you go on your own.
Posted December 12, 2012 at 9:00 AM
From Danielle WalkerI kind of figured that it probably woulld not bet the best thing for us. When I go to disney we do plan and save months ahead of time so that we could enjoy ourselves without having to be on a budget. And I do love my freedom when It comes to eating.
Posted December 13, 2012 at 2:08 PM
I'm looking into making reservations now for some resturants that I would love to eat at. I lucked out on the Theme park view at Bay Lake because I waited to long to book and found out that the Lake View was almost booked up..
And yes, I am going on 2 years as a DVC member and have not gotten a chance to check out all of the perks. So I will look into the Tables in Wonderland Card for discounts and many more.
Thank you for helping me make the right decision.
This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.
Stories from a Theme Park Insider
What's it like to work in a theme park? Stories from a Theme Park Insider takes you inside the famous tunnels and backstage at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom for a look at how theme parks really work, sharing the funny moments and embarrassments that can happen when your job is someone else's vacation.
Order now: Kindle | iBooks | Paperback | Kindle (UK)
Theme Park Insider Guidebooks
Top U.S. Theme Parks
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Other Top International Parks
Readers' Top Themed Rides
Top Roller Coasters
Top Theme Park Shows
Features, News and Advice
2014 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr.
2013 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2012 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2011 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2010 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2009 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2008 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2007 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2006 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2005 Blog PostsDec.
2004-2005Staff column archive