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Disney dining plan plus

Is the Disney World Disney Dining Plan Plus Worth it?

Earlier this year, Walt Disney World introduced a brand new dining plan for Disney resort guests, the Disney Dining Plan Plus. This new plan is a combination of the original Disney Dining Plan and the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan.

What is the Disney Dining Plan Plus?

The new Disney Dining Plan plus includes the following:

  • 2 meals per night
  • 2 snacks or non-alcoholic drinks per night
  • 1 resort refillable mug

The meals can be used for either quick-service or table service meals. You can also combine 2 credits and dine at a signature restaurant if you wish. Of course, if you plan on using the meals for quick-service restaurants, you should stick with the Disney Dining Plan, which is cheaper and would fit your plans better.

Currently (Spring, 2020), the cost for the Disney Dining Plan Plus is $94.60 for adults and $35.00for 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 $129.60 and include two 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 three different options since this plan is so flexible. In the first example, our family is going to a character breakfast at their resort and then 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 Chef Mickey’s – Contemporary – Total cost for this breakfast buffet (complete with Mickey and friends) is $83.00.
  • Afternoon Snack – Two Mickey Ice Cream Bars ($5.69 each). With tax, a total price of about $12.15.
  • Second Afternoon Snack – A bottle of diet coke ($4.50) and popcorn ($5.25), a total price of about $10.40.
  • Dinner at Tutto Italia – Epcot – Adult dinner of Bistecca del Macellaio ($36.00) plus Mocha Tiramisu for dessert ($12.00) and a fountain drink ($4.25). Child dinner of Spaghetti ($10.00) and a Gelato Sundae for dessert ($5.00). With tax, you get a total price of about $72.00.

So, for the two meals and two snacks, I get a rough total price of about $177.90

Our second option will include one deluxe table service dinner, plus the snacks of course.

  • Breakfast at Contempo Cafe – Contemporary – Mickey Shaped waffles ($10.29) plus orange juice ($4.99) for the adult and mini-Mickey Waffles ($6.99) and chocolate milk ($4.19) for the child. With tax, you get a total of about $28.31
  • Afternoon Snack – Two Mickey Ice Cream Bars ($5.69 each). With tax, a total price of about $12.15.
  • Second Afternoon Snack – A bottle of diet coke ($4.50) and popcorn ($5.25), a total price of about $10.40.
  • Dinner at Akershus (Norway) – Epcot – This restaurant features your favorite princesses and great food. With tax, you get a total price of about $104.00.

So, for the three meals and two snacks, I get a rough total price of about $154.86.

Option number three, one signature restaurant for dinner, plus the snacks:

  • Afternoon Snack – Two Mickey Ice Cream Bars ($5.69 each). With tax, a total price of about $12.15.
  • Second Afternoon Snack – A bottle of diet coke ($4.50) and popcorn ($5.25), a total price of about $10.40.
  • Dinner at California Grill – Contemporary – Adult dinner of Oak-Fired Fillet of Beef ($59.00) and Strawberry Creme Brulee ($16.00) and a fountain drink ($5.00). Child dinner of Wild Seared Salmon ($17.00) and ice cream ($11.00). Total price with tax is about $115.56

For the super nice dinner and two snacks, I get a rough total price of about $138.11.

For all of these options, I did not include alcoholic beverage (they are typically quite a bit more than soda), so the prices could be quite a bit higher.

You can see from the first two options, there is quite a savings by purchasing the Disney Dining Plan Plus. Even in the second example where you only did a quick-service breakfast, it still saved you money. Using your two credits for one deluxe dinner probably isn’t the best idea, but you do save some money.

Disney Dining Plan Plus PROS

  • With the examples shown above, you do save money. The more character meals you do and the fewer quick-service meals you do, the more money you save.
  • The plan is very flexible, allowing you to use your dining credits at just about any restaurant.
  • For most people, this plan is better than the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan since it is cheaper and you don’t have to be eating constantly to make it work for you.
  • 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 dining plan plus is expensive. For a family of four, assuming the kids are between 3 – 9, you are looking at an additional $1,814 for a 7-night trip, just for the food!
  • While technically not a con, you must plan out in advance what your dining plans are going to be during your trip. If you are planning a lot of character meals and table service meals, this plan is a big winner. If you are just going to wing it and eat anywhere, most likely you will be much better off with another plan.

So, is the Disney Dining Plan Plus worth it? Absolutely (mostly). As long as you plan on using your dining credits for table service meals (either character or non-character meals), you should come out quite a bit ahead. Plan in advance and hit a lot of nice table service restaurants for breakfast and lunch, and you will have a fantastic Disney vacation for a lot less than if you had paid for your food out of pocket.

Have you ever used the Disney Dining Plan Plus?


2017 Disney Dining Plan Changes

2017 Disney Dining Plan Changes

Tomorrow, June 21, 2016, Walt Disney World will be releasing rates and package info for 2017. If you have been waiting to book your 2017 Disney vacation, tomorrow is the first date you can book. Each year, Disney makes small changes to their dining plans and packages, so you really can’t assume next year will be the same as this year. If you look at the dining plans when they were first released years ago, a ton has changed (we now get less for more money). Of course, 2017 is going to be no different. While not yet officially released, we have obtained copies of the 2017 Disney Dining Plan brochures (linked below for you), and there are some changes coming for 2017. Please note, pricing will not be released until tomorrow.

Changes coming to the 2017 Disney Dining Plans

  1. Quick-Service meals no longer include a dessert. All quick-service meals at Walt Disney World will now include only a non-alcoholic drink and an entree. This holds true whether you are using the quick-service, Disney Dining Plan or the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan.
  2. In place of the missing dessert, the Quick-Service and Disney Dining Plans will now include one additional snack. Most quick-service restaurants offer their desserts as a snack option, so you can still opt to get dessert by using one of your snack credits. This change is a positive though, as many quick-service restaurants offer sub-par desserts, and this will allow guests greater flexibility when dining. Plus, I would much rather choose from an entire park’s options for my snack than be forced to order a dessert I know I will not eat (I am looking at you Restaurantosaurus cheesecake in a cup). For the Quick-Service Dining Plan, this ends up being a slight negative, as you are trading two desserts for one additional snack, but hopefully this will keep the price increase down.
  3. The Premium and Platinum plans, which are rarely sold will be discontinued for 2017.
  4. Despite many rumors to the contrary, most Walt Disney World character meals ARE NOT changing to 2 table service credits per person. The only character meal currently listed as 2 credits per person is Fairytale Dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table.
  5. It appears as no additional restaurants have been reclassified as signature restaurants, so no changes in that regard from this year.

Please Note: While looking at the current 2017 Disney Dining Plan brochures, please understand that the restaurant list is incomplete. Every year, Disney must negotiate with Disney restaurants to be included on the Disney Dining Plans, and that negotiation is usually not completely until much later in the year. So, many Epcot and Disney Springs restaurants are not going to be listed on the current version of the brochures, but that DOES NOT mean they are not included, but that they will be included in the plan at some point before the end of this year. When planning, assume the list of restaurants for 2017 will look very much like the list for 2016, and you will be in good shape.

2017 Disney Dining Plan Brochures

What do you think of the changes to the Quick-Service restaurant?