We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

"Free" Disney Dining

Mendenhall...
Level Contributor
83 posts
44 reviews
Save Topic
"Free" Disney Dining

I'm doing some math and I'm not sure the Disney Dining is overall worth it. With our family of 5 - even if I plan on allotting $1000 for food over our 7 days in the park, it comes out to considerably less if I just do everything ala carte. We are all water drinkers and pretty healthy eaters. Don't necessarily do apps and dessert every meal. With either choice, gratituties are separate. I purchased the whole package, but I am considering completely changing my reservation. Has anyone else done a comparison? With the fine dining experience does anyone have a ballpark for the average per person price? Would love to hear pros vs cons. My kids are all young adults/older teen.

World of Disney
Disney Parks & Activities, Gift & Speciality Shops
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Nature & Wildlife Areas, Theme Parks, Disney Parks & Activities
Epcot
Theme Parks, Disney Parks & Activities
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
Disney Parks & Activities, Gift & Speciality Shops
pa
Level Contributor
54,735 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: "Free" Disney Dining

Your estimate of $1,000 seems quite low to me. That is only about $28 per person per day. Are you only planning to eat counter service meals ?

Mendenhall...
Level Contributor
83 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: "Free" Disney Dining

I'm terrible at math... oh my. Thank you for pointing that out. I think I need to go to bed!

Wisconsin
Level Contributor
1,671 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: "Free" Disney Dining

Which dining plan did you get? And did you get it for free?

Southampton, United...
Level Contributor
3,636 posts
50 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: "Free" Disney Dining

How come you've put 'free' in your title but your talking about the cost of it? If you got it free then yes its great, if not I wouldn't get it. We're not big eaters and I sat down and calculated every meal, drink and snack we'd be likely to have eating at all the same restaurants and it came to about £450 each which is less than the DP.

cambridge. uk
Level Contributor
189 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: "Free" Disney Dining

It's a very good idea to do the maths! I looked and looked at the different permutations for our family of 6 doing a short break over Christmas but for us, being from the uk and going for 3 weeks in total, we would have had to spend £1600 on food over 6 days. ... and even our big family wouldn't do that!

Anyway, check your maths and then decide whether its worth it for you or not. Good luck x

PA
Level Contributor
848 posts
117 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: "Free" Disney Dining

I can't comment on Dining Plan as I haven't used it before. My husband and I spent 500.00 on meals (out of pocket) for two over the course of six days (including extra treats like Mickey ice creams). We ate most breakfasts in the rooms, carried water and snacks with us into the parks, light lunch (fruit, turkey leg for two, etc) and dinners out. We ate at Tusker House (breakfast), Sci-Fi Drive In, Crystal Palace, and Via Napoli for our reserved meals and didn't skimp. We don't eat desserts at every meal and don't order sodas as a norm.

Mentioned in this post
Tusker House Restaurant
Tusker House Restaurant
3,250 Reviews
Orlando, FL
The Crystal Palace
The Crystal Palace
4,529 Reviews
Orlando, FL
Wyoming
Level Contributor
1,472 posts
117 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: "Free" Disney Dining

We love the regular dining plan which includes. 1 snack, 1 quick service and 1 sit down meal. It allows us to eat places we would not think of paying for out of pocket. It may be bit more expensive, but when it is paid for beforehand, it is easier and nice not to have to worry about the high prices at the time of purchase. We really enjoy it!

Valley Stream, NY
Level Contributor
19,564 posts
61 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: "Free" Disney Dining

http://www.distripplanner.com/

here's kind of general calculator to help you.

I have done the comparison every time I go and we always spend less out of pocket than the plan would have cost. We have a sit down dinner every night (we eat where we want and order what we want) and usually one character meal. We bring breakfast from home and eat in the room getting ready, one to save money yes, but more importantly it save a ton of time (especially when we travel with friends/kids, we found going to the food court wasted too much time). Most of my group drinks water or alcohol with dinner (not included). We prefer out desserts later on, not at the restaurant we've eaten at, that right there wastes money on the dining plan. Some people put the amount they want to spend on a gift card and you then have your own little dining plan :)

(one other thing, I really don't believe in pre paying for food we don't know if we'll even eat, 3 of us were ill for two days on our last trip and couldn't eat at all)

pa
Level Contributor
54,735 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: "Free" Disney Dining

Do you already have your Reservation Booked ?

Did you Book the Free Dining Offer ?

Are you going at Christmas Time ?

If yes to all three, you should keep what you have, IMHO of course because it was ( I am saying was because the deal had to be booked by yesterday ) a very good deal. Even if the Room discount were available, which it isn't for your whole stay, if I remember correctly the dates you have booked, you save a lot more more with the Free Dining Plan Offer, especially for 5 people.

Destination Expert
for Orlando, Walt Disney World
Level Contributor
22,868 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: "Free" Disney Dining

I'm with Princess. We always spend less out of pocket than we would with the Dining Plan;when its "free",we lose our room discount which is worth far more. Run the numbers but Disney is not giving anything away for free.We don't drink soda,we have either a cocktail or water with out meals. WE don't eat snacks. We don't eat dessert twice a day-we too just have dessert as a separate meal( ice cream sundaes for lunch). If you are doing a lot of character meals,the numbers can work for you;we just do one(Chef Mickey's) so no way does the Plan work. Some people like the pre paid aspect;we are excellent at budgeting so we don't need this benefit

Mentioned in this post
Chef Mickey's
Chef Mickey's
4,800 Reviews
Orlando, FL