Is the Disney Dining Plan worth it?
Is the Disney Dining plan worth it? We'll be there for nine days. It costs $1150 for two adults 1 child.
You can get this on the Dining Plan
Photo by meshmar2
Dad's Not a Fan Answer
I've said this for years, I'm not a fan of the Disney Dining Plan (DDP). Now I know that a lot of people love the DDP, but not me. I think it's one of the biggest scams that Disney has ever created. (Dad calls the Disney Dining plan a swindle
Just to show you what I mean look at a receipt from a meal after using the Dining Plan. What does it say? Nothing. No prices at all. Disney doesn't want you to know how much you "saved". I know if I was saving money on a product, I'd put it right on the receipt just to show the exact amount you saved, but not Disney. Disney hides it so you'll never know how much you "saved".
That's because (and this is just my opinion) over half the people that buy the DDP don't save any money at all. They either pick the wrong restaurants or they don't use all their credits. Missing just one credit can be the difference between you saving money and Disney winning.
The Disney Dining Plan has had another side effect. Restaurants have changed menus (and not for the better) to reduce costs. They've also added cheap desserts that aren't very good just to make sure they had desserts for the Dining Plan meals.
We ordered the plan last year for part of our trip. We actually "saved" $53.95 (and we picked some of the most expensive restaurants on the plan). That included the refillable mugs we never used. Those mugs would have cost $31. Take that $31 off and we only saved $23.95. But then we normally wouldn't have planned a big meal every day and we would have shared a meal at Pizzafari and we would have skipped dessert at Pizzafari and Casey's (which were both awful). If we wouldn't have had the plan we probably would have actually spent around $375 or less for our meals during that time.
A lot of people talk about the convenience. I didn't find it convenient. Tipping is a mess. You pretty much have to tip with cash and good luck trying to figure out how much to tip when the bill says your meal cost $0.00.
Nope, Dad's not a fan of the Disney Dining Plan.
The good thing is you don't have to decide right away. You can even make your reservation (with my friends over at Pixie and Pirate Destinations
I hope) and later you can add the dining plan if you want.
Dad's Bottom Line
Chris, you have to do your homework when using the Disney Dining Plan. Figure out whether you will save money or not. Map out your meals and figure out what each will cost then compare that to the DDP.