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Is the Disney Dining Plan worth it?

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Is the dining package actually worth it? Also, is there a way to see the selections of food before purchasing?

The Hollywood Brown Derby

Is using the Disney Dining Plan at the Hollywood Brown Derby a good idea? – Photo by Cliff Wang

Okay, Disney Dining Plan. Is it worth it? Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. What a great question.

I am not now, I would say nor have I ever been, but at one time I did like the Disney Dining Plan. But for years, I have not been a fan of the Disney Dining Plan.

Dad’s Disney Dining Plan page

The reason I’m not a fan of the Disney Dining Plan, is for at least 70 probably closer to 80% of people, Disney is the only one that makes out good on the Disney Dining Plan. Most people don’t make money off of the Disney Dining Plan, in fact, I’ve done the math and it’s really hard to do.

I know people say, “Oh, I saved hundreds of dollars using the Disney Dining Plan.” Not possible, can’t be done. You would have to prove to me that you could save hundreds using the Disney Dining Plan, I don’t believe it.

I think that probably most people lose money. In fact, Stephanie my assistant, did a little study and there are only two credit restaurants where you actually are saving money by using the Disney Dining Plan, only two. Cinderella’s Royal Table and Lunch at California Grille. The rest of the two credit restaurants, you would be better off just to pay money for it.

I hear all the time about all these people that are converting, credits into snack credits and buying a bunch of candy. That’s just silly. That’s just not a good use of the Disney Dining Plan.

11 Reasons

A couple years ago I wrote an article about the 11 reasons I hate the Disney Dining Plan, and yeah, hate’s a strong word. But I really am not a fan of the Disney Dining Plan, I know it goes against what everybody thinks.

Dad’s 11 Reasons I Hate the Disney Dining Plan page

I know everybody loves the Disney Dining Plan, I’m just not one of those people. I’ve seen such a degradation, the food quality at Walt Disney World, the food offerings at Walt Disney World have really declined through the years because everybody is trying to shoe horn their food into the Disney Dining Plan.

It used to be you could go into Casey’s Corner, you could buy a hotdog, you could buy french fries and you could buy a drink and leave with just those items. Now, it’s all packaged together because of the Disney Dining Plan. I don’t need, Mrs. Mom and I, we go to Casey’s, we don’t need two hotdogs, two french fries and two desserts. We typically would get hotdogs, one for each of us, one order of fries and one dessert and we’d share it. So there are things that I just think are not good about the Disney Dining Plan.

The Calculator

Oh, and by the way, we do have a calculator. We did create a calculator where you can go and you can see if the dining plan makes sense for you. You can go choose the restaurants you want, you put in the amount that you would spend at the restaurant and it’ll tell you whether it makes sense for you to eat at that restaurant or you to get the Disney Dining Plan. Nice little calculator.

Dad’s Disney Dining Plan Calculator page

See What’s on the Menu

So to your other question, is there a place you can go to see what’s available before you purchase? Absolutely.

You go to the Disney website, you go and find their dining, it’s under Things to Do. Scroll down and put all dining. And you can see all of the restaurants at Walt Disney World and you can click on the restaurants and it will say, “Meal Plan accepted” for that restaurant if the dining plan is accepted.

It also will have some pictures of the food that’s available at the restaurant. Most of the restaurants do participate in the Disney Dining Plan, so if you want to see what’s there, go to the Disney website, they’ve got all that information for you.

Destinations to Travel

Dad’s Bottom Line

The bottom line is, I’m not a fan of the Disney Dining Plan, haven’t been for years. I’ve done it, Mrs. Mom and I have tested it, we did save $18 on the Disney Dining Plan over six days, but we had to think about what we were gonna order, where we were gonna eat. That $18 we saved over 6 days and that was the cost of the refillable mugs, which we would’ve bought anyway.

I’m not a fan of the Disney Dining Plan. You need to do the math and see if it works for you.


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