Tables in Wonderland vs. the Disney Dining Plan
"Is it better to buy Tables in Wonderland or Dining Plan?"
Not a clear winner
Oooh, I love the shakes at Sci Fi Dine In - Photo by Mike Billick
Howdy. Did you know The Man-Child was born in Longview Texas? We used to live there a long time ago.
But that's not important right now.
The answer to your question about Tables in Wonderland versus the Disney Dining Plan is one without a clear answer. That's because it depends on the details of your trip.
Tables in Wonderland is a discount on dining program that's available to Florida Residents, Annual Pass Holders and DVC Members. It's not free. It costs $175 for Florida Residents and $150 for AP Holders and DVC Members.
Tables in Wonderland gives a 20% discount on meals at over 100 locations around Walt Disney World which include most of the hotel restaurants, select table service restaurants in the parks and just a couple of restaurants in Disney Springs.
The Disney Dining Plan on the other hand is available to all guests staying in Disney Resorts. It allows you to "prepay" for meals during your trip and includes some discounts on dining depending on the restaurant you choose.
So which one is better? It depends on your trip.
How long are you going to be at Walt Disney World? Where do you plan to eat? Will you need an Annual Pass? Are you DVC Members? (I know you don't live in Florida.)
Do the math
You need to do the math. Make a list of where you plan to eat during your trip. Map out how you would use the Disney Dining Plan. See cost the of the Dining Plan versus what it would cost to pay for the meals out of pocket. (We have a handy dandy calculator for that
Then do the same thing for Tables in Wonderland. Map out where you are going to eat. Find out the costs. Figure the discount. Add the cost of Tables in Wonderland subscription and the extra cost of the Annual Pass if it's more than your normal ticket would cost.
Compare the results. Be sure to look at what it would cost if you just paid cash. You might find out it's cheaper not to use either program.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE ON A DINING PLAN TO EAT AT WALT DISNEY WORLD.
Dad's Bottom Line
Debbie, my East Texas friend, the bottom line is you have to do the math and figure out which one (if any) is best. You might be better off just paying for your meals and not using either one.
Tables in Wonderland only works if you are going to eat lots of meals at Disney World or have a big group (up to 10 plus the member can get the discount). You can save money with the Disney Dining Plan but you have to use all of your credits well.