One of the first things you will likely consider when planning your Walt Disney World vacation is whether or not you should get the Disney Dining Plan. There are many articles on the internet outlining the pros and cons of the Disney Dining Plan, but we can give you our current opinion on why we think it’s a great idea to be on the Disney Dining Plan. Both Gwen and I have only been on the plan, and we’ve costed out that it can definitely be of value. But there are other reasons we think it’s a good idea to get the dining plan as part of your vacation package.
So if you are finding yourself asking ‘should I get the Disney Dining Plan?’ here are some reasons why we think the answer should be ‘yes’.
It Will Save You Money on Your Entire Package
Many of the Walt Disney World vacation packages offer a deeper discount for those who book the entire magical vacation plan that includes your resort stay, park tickets and dining plan. By taking advantage of these savings, you’ll be able to dine stress free at a better rate overall.
In fact, during some promotions, you can end up booking a FREE dining plan if you have park tickets and are staying at the resort. Compare the package offerings to make sure it’s the best savings and deal though.
It Can Be Less Stress
While there are some tips and tricks to fully maximize your dining plan (our family took the first 3 and a half days on our first Walt Disney World trip to really figure this out!), overall, being able to just scan your wrist ban and basically get the food and snacks you want is nice.
You don’t have to do the math in your head about your food budget (you’ve already calculated it into your trip payments) and you’re able to book a few more adventurous meals than maybe you would without being on the plan (character meals are a great use of table credits!).
There are Many Options
If your kids aren’t at an age where you can really enjoy table service at Walt Disney World, you don’t have to worry about it. You can pick the dining plan that is all quick service and snacks. Being able to find the best dining plan for your family is one reason we love it (but note: We always end up with the quick service/table plan option)
If You’re a Food Lover, the Disney Dining Plan is an Easy Way to Try New Places
It’s nice being able to book a table service or try a quick service meal that you may not otherwise have tried if you didn’t have the stress-free meal plan. I likely wouldn’t have thought to try Tusker House for breakfast as a character meal where I enjoyed curry and corn bread, but it turned out to be one of the best places to eat breakfast at Walt Disney World!
The Meal Plan Includes So Much Food
If we look at the typical Dining Plan that our family usually gets, there is so much food included. Not only do we get one table service, and one quick service meal per person, per day, but we also get our reusable Mickey mugs (for juice, pop, and coffee!), 2 snacks per day and now the new meal plans include an alcoholic beverage or milk shake where available during meals. There’s a lot of food.
One of the questions I asked Gwen when my family was planning our first trip (and she had already been) was whether or not the meal plan would give us enough food. She insisted it would – and she was definitely right!
If It’s Your First Time, the Meal Plan is the Way to Go
Ultimately, I say this to everyone who asks me about the meal plan – if you have never been to Walt Disney World as a family, get the entire package deal (resort room, park tickets and meal plan) and enjoy the completely all-inclusive nature of the trip. It’s just one less thing to worry about and not having to piece everything together makes the planning more enjoyable.
We have been on the meal plan enough times now that we are confident we could go off the plan and truly maximize our dining and snacking experience (and we plan to test this out one day). However, we are so happy that all of our trips have been on the meal plan up until now. We were more relaxed when it came to meal time and snacking, we didn’t stress about how much we were spending in the moment, and we were able to try new places we may not have otherwise. It’s worth trying the plan at least once!
What do you think? Do you opt into the meal plan?