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deluxe dining plan

Is the Disney World Deluxe Dining Plan Worth It?

At Walt Disney World, there are three dining plans that are available for purchase for guests staying in a Walt Disney World resort. Last month, we took a close look at the Quick-Service Dining plan, the least expensive option: Is the Disney World Quick-Service Dining Plan Worth It? Today, we are going to look at the Disney Deluxe Dining plan, the most expensive options available of the three dining plans. Now, there are more expensive plans, the Premium and Platinum Plans, but those are much more than dining plans, so we don’t include them when talking about dining plans.

The Disney Deluxe Dining Plan includes three (3) meals and two (2) snacks per person, per night of your stay, plus a resort refillable mug for each person. The three meals can either be quick-service or counter service meals, that is completely up to you. Any signature restaurant will cost 2 meals per person. Technically you could do three table service meals each day if you like, but that is a lot of time sitting in the restaurants each day.

Currently, the cost for the Disney Deluxe dining plan is $115.08 for adults and $35.49 for children (3 – 9 years old) per night of your stay. You must purchase a plan for your entire stay, and everyone in your party must purchase the same dining plan, or no plan at all.

Let’s look at an average day for one adult and one child. That would cost $150.57, and include three meals for each person plus 2 snacks. We will leave the refillable mug out of the equation, as that only amounts to a dollar or two per night, depending on how long you stay.

We will look at two different options, since this plan is so flexible. In example one, our family is going to get a quick-service breakfast at their resort and then lunch and dinner at a table service in the parks, plus a few afternoon snacks. Let’s say they are staying at the Contemporary and then are in Epcot and pick these meals:

  • Breakfast at Contempo Cafe – Contemporary – Adult breakfast of Mickey Waffles ($9.49) and Orange Juice ($3.99). Child breakfast of Mickey Waffles ($5.99). With tax you get a breakfast total of about $19.47.
  • Lunch at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall – Epcot – Lunch buffet is $45 for adults and $27 for children. With tax and tip you get a total of about $90.00.
  • Afternoon Snack – Two Mickey Ice Cream Bars ($4.25 each). With tax, a total price of about $9.00.
  • Second Afternoon Snack – A bottle of diet coke ($4.00) and popcorn ($4.00), a total price of about $8.50.
  • Dinner at Tutto Italia – Epcot – Adult dinner of Bistecca del Macellaio ($34.00) plus Mocha Tiramisu for dessert ($12.00) and a fountain drink ($3.00). Child dinner of Spaghetti ($10.00) and a Gelato Sundae for dessert ($5.00). With tax and tip you get a total price of about $79.61.

So, for the three meals and two snacks, I get a rough total price of about $206.58

Our second option will include three table service meals each day, plus the snacks of course.

  • Breakfast at Chef Mickey’s – Contemporary – Breakfast buffer for adults is $38 for adults and $20 for children. With tax and tip you get a total of about $71.00
  • Lunch at Chip ‘N’ Dale Harvest Feast at Garden Grill – Epcot – Lunch buffet is about $40 for adults and $22 for children. Prices at Garden Grill vary throughout the year. With tax and tip you get a total of about $76.00
  • Afternoon Snack – Two Mickey Ice Cream Bars ($4.25 each). With tax, a total price of about $9.00.
  • Second Afternoon Snack – A bottle of diet coke ($4.00) and popcorn ($4.00), a total price of about $8.50.
  • Dinner at Chefs de France – Epcot – Adult dinner of Filet de boeuf grillé ($35.99), Crème Brulee for dessert ($8.99) and a soft drink ($2.99). Child dinner of Ground beef steak on a brioche bun ($9.50) and a dessert of sorbet ($4.00). With tax and tip you get a total price of about $75.50.

So, for the three meals and two snacks, I get a rough total price of about $240.00.

You can see from both of the options, there is quite a savings by purchasing the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan. Of course, if you opted for 3 quick-service meals each day, the math would never work.

Disney Deluxe Dining Plan PROS

  • With the examples shown above, you do save money
  • Since you have so many meal credits, you can easily eat at signature restaurants and not “eat up” all of your credits for your entire trip in a few meals. Many people on this plan do a character breakfast or lunch and then a signature restaurant for dinner, using up their three meals for the day.
  • The biggest benefit I try to explain to my clients is that with all the dining plans, everything is prepaid and budgeted, so you just show up and eat, no need to worry about the cost of meals, how much money to bring or trying to order the cheapest thing on the menu just to save money. Just enjoy, that is the idea of going to Disney World, isn’t it?

Disney Deluxe Dining Plan CONS

  • The cost! The deluxe plan is expensive. For a family of four, assuming the kids are between 3 – 9, you are looking at an additional $2,108 for a 7 night trip, just for food!
  • The Disney Deluxe Dining Plan gives you A LOT of food. In order to make the math work for you, you have to do at least two table service meals each day, plus your quick-service meal and 2 more snacks. It feels like you eating more than you are riding rides.

So, is the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan worth it? Normally, my suggestion to my clients is NO, it isn’t worth it. In most cases, it is just too much food, you are better off going with the Disney Dining plan and just paying out of pocket for any other meals you decide to eat. I have only ever had one client come back and tell me he should have done the Disney Deluxe Plan instead, but after doing the math, he would have only saved a few dollars.

However, if you only have adults going, and you want to do nicer, signature restaurants, then YES, it is totally worth it. Take a look at the menus and do the math first, but in most situations, if you plan on doing a table service for breakfast or lunch, and then a signature restaurant for dinner, the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan will save you money.

 

 

One thought to “Is the Disney World Deluxe Dining Plan Worth It?”

  1. I love the deluxe plan. We have got it twice now. We enjoy the time to sit down and relax and enjoy our family. We stay for a period of 10 to 12 days so we have plenty of time in the parks to ride. I like knowing I can plan everything out and know I don’t have to think about the prices on the menus. We don’t do counter service just table and signature dinners. I would choose this anytime.

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