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Friday, July 31, 2009

Disney Dining Plan


On our 2009 trip (our very first trip) we got the Dining Plan. It was $90 a day for 2 adults and 1 child. It covered 1 counter service meal (drink, entree and dessert) and 1 Table service meal (drink, entree and dessert) and 1 snack a day. It was really great for us on our first trip because it took the pressure off. We got to chose anything we wanted off the menu (as long as it was on the dining plan) and we didn't have to worry about the price of the bill.

We had 7 table service meals. We chose to do character meals at each meal because we figured our kids would enjoy it. Here's where we ate and my opinion.

1. Chef Mickey's - We had breakfast here. We met Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy and Donald. The food was great, service was great. We will definitely return here!

2. 1900 Park Faire - We had dinner here. We met Cinderella, Prince Charming, 2 Step sisters and Lady Tremaine. The food was not worth the $120 bill.

3. Donald's Safari Breakfast at The Tusker House - We had breakfast here. We met Donald, Mickey, Daisy and Minnie. The food was good. Though it was stressful atmosphere.

4. O'hana - We had breakfast here. We met Lilo and Stitch. Mickey and Pluto. The food was good. I liked that they brought it to your table.

5. Garden Grill - We had dinner here. It was great! We loved the restaurant and food and we met Mickey, Chip and Dale and Pluto.

6. Norway’s Akershus - We had lunch here. It was the most stressful meal of our trip. We won't return. We met Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Belle and Ariel. The food was not that good.

7. Crystal Palace - We had lunch here. We met Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger. It was great!

So, all in all, we felt like the $560 for the Dining plan on our first trip was worth it. Meeting all those characters without having to wait in line was great.

However, we are seriously considering not doing the dining plan this year. Here's our reasons:

1. Our son will be 3 and we have to pay for admission for him now. That would make the dining plan $100 a day. That's an extra $700 to $1,000 on the price of our trip depending on how long we stay.

2. We didn't like having to make time in our day, every day, for a sit down meal. Each meal took about 1.5 hours and that's a lot of time!

3. The food was not outstanding and not really worth the money. The experiences we had is what made the meals worth it.

4. 4 of the 7 meals we had included Mickey. While we love Mickey, it would be great to have more variations.

5. The tips. We had to pay the tips out of pocket and 15 - 18% of a $100 bill is a lot of extra money.

6. Too much food. We don't need dessert with every meal. It became excessive.

So giving those reasons, we are leaning towards not doing the dining plan on our May 2010 trip. We would still like to do a couple table service meals and just pay out of pocket. We think we would save a lot more money by doing this and enjoy ourselves a lot more.

So for now, I'm taking it out of the Disney budget unless we change our minds.


SeekRapunzel24 said...

They have a counter service meal you can do now. It is about $40 a day per person. (adult) Not to mention..they have FREE dining I believe until the end of December. Im not 100% on that tho. We are going Sep 27-Oct 3. We got the plan (for free) and I had a hard time setting the reservations for the sit down dinners. What I did was this... I made a res latish (around 5pm) for Tonys Town Square on Monday, and then we are having lunch at Hollywood Brown Derby on Tuesday. Wed, we have a character breakfast at 830am, but I believe we are doing Epcot and that is the Magic Hours we really wont lose much time in the park. For dinner we are doing a 4pm at Rose and Crown pub. the rest of the time is counter service.

For you...I would def consider just doing the counter service meal. Plus..I think you get a refillable mug as well! Good if you plan to stay in the hotel alot! =)

The Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan lets you choose Quick-Service meals and snacks at over 50 select Walt Disney World Resort restaurants. The plan includes 2 Quick-Service meals and 2 snacks per person per night of your package stay for everyone in the party over 3 years of age, plus one Resort Refillable Drink Mug per person (refillable only at your Disney Resort hotel).

Amy said...

I think it is a good choice to not get the dining plan. I have been to Disney a lot and we never do the dining plan. We just pick a couple of TS/character meals and pay out of pocket. We also eat outside of the park some. Much cheaper!

With that said we are going in Sept and we got free dining. That is the only way I will do the dining plan is if I can get it free :-) We have said this Disney trip will be about the food lol I am not sure when you are wanting to go back to Disney but they are offering free dining through Dec I think.

Cindy B said...

The free dining saved us a ton of money. I think for 8 of us we paid about $300 out of pocket for all of our tips for 7 days(we had 5 adults and 3 kids and always tipped 20%) We did a 4 character meals and 3 non. Yak and Yeti by far was teh best place we ate there! I think as the boys get older that we will still get the plan even if we had to pay for it. My boys can put away the food!! I liked how it showed you what you would've been paying if you didn't have the dining plan.

Sam W. said...

We have done the dining plan twice and in January we are doing it again...We absolutely love it. I would suggest trying other restaurants...My picks are the Steak house in Canada, the Coral Reef in EPCOT and Cinderella's Royal Table. Also Liberty Tree Tavern iin MK is yummy. If you plan to do a couple of character meals alone you are going to spend that amount in 2 days of dining plans anyhow. Just my opinion though. : )

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