Is the Disney Dining Plan Worth It?

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Let me start this post off by saying that I’ve done Disney both with and without the Dining plan, and there are pros and cons to both sides. 

I read a post about why the Disney dining plan isn’t worth it, and it bashed the entire dining plan. While I could see some of the points of the post, I also felt that it was entirely one-sided and that it should have also told about the GOOD behind the dining plan, as well.

So, here goes. 

We’ll start with the cons: 

  1. If you are staying off property, you are not able to get the dining plan. The Disney Dining Plan is something that is specifically made for people staying on Disney property. 
  2. It isn’t cheap. Disney occasionally runs a deal where you can get the dining plan for free, but this is usually in the slower months – and there isn’t a rhyme or reason to when they’re going to run the deal. So, if you have to pay out of pocket for it, it can get kind-of expensive. (About 60 per day, per person.)
  3. Gratuity is NOT included, so even though you pay up front for the Dining Plan (or get it for free), you’ll still have to leave a tip for table-service meals. 

And now we’ll move onto the pros.

  1. You get 1 snack, 1 quick service meal, and 1 table-service meal with the dining plan! With the quick service and table service meals, you get a drink, entree and dessert!
  2. My dad is a cheapskate. There’s no going around it, he saves money wherever we turn. Which means we order water in restaurants and often try to find the cheapest entrees on the menu.(I love him, but he’s cheap!) So, when we buy the Disney Dining Plan, our family doesn’t have to worry about how much the drink, entree and dessert are! We can order whatever we want because it’s already paid for up front!
  3. Like I said above, they often run a special where the dining plan is free with your resort package! Which means that you get all the food, essentially for free! How awesome is that?!
  4. You get a TON of food! Like, to the point of leaving stuff on the plate! You can use the Disney Dining Plan with buffets, character meals, or order-of-the-menu places. (There is a list of all the restaurants that the Dining Plan can be used at here.)
  5. You get a free refillable mug that you can fill with fountain drinks at ANY of the RESORTS. You cannot use these in the parks, but they are still a great deal! After a long day at the parks, or even if you take a day to hang at the resorts, you want a drink of soda, you can go fill up your mug and drink soda (or iced tea, or hot chocolate) to your heart’s content! 
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Have you ever used the Disney Dining Plan? If so, what are your pros and cons?! 

*for more information on the dining plan, you can go here, and check it out!

  • Great post, Ashley! You know me – I love the DDP!

  • One Blessed Mamma

    I’ve never done the DDP, because we always lived so close that we didn’t have to stay anywhere (and a budget so tight we didn’t GET to stay anywhere, LOL), but I will say that when I worked at Disney, I got to use meal vouchers while facilitating programs in the park. They gave us the same amount of food you get on a DDP plan, and it was TONS of food…and yummy, too!