Disney Dining Plan – A Glutton’s Punishment?

You already know I’m a big fat ass.  I have photographic proof that food has always been my best friend.

Anna in July 2006
Anna in July 2006

I was criticized the other day by someone because I said something unflattering about the Disney Dining Plan.  First they told me that it’s because I lost weight that I feel obligated to condemn fat people.  My answer to that – absolute nonsense.  Then they told me they couldn’t believe I would say anything bad about my beloved Disney.  Not being in love with the Disney dining plan doesn’t mean I don’t love Disney.  I love my husband, but I’m not crazy about the way he uses the same cup that he just drank milk out of to then drink orange juice out of.  Ewwww. 

Here’s the very basic rundown of the Disney Dining plan – Food.  Lots of Food. 

There are options where the Disney Dining Plan is concerned.  You could opt for the Quick Service Dining Plan.  For about $30 per person, you will get two quick service meals (these are the counter service meals), two snacks, and a refillable mug to use at your resort.  Honestly, this isn’t too bad, and counter service at Walt Disney World really runs the gamut.  The food court at your resort is a quick service location, and you can actually get some really good meals here – not the burgers and fries you are thinking of when I say counter service.  But even the theme park counter service locations offer such options as rotisserie chicken, salads, soups, and more.  Then you get the two snacks on top of your meals, and you really could skip breakfast completely and not feel hungry.  Is it worth $30?  It depends.  You could make it worth it by making sure you order the most expensive options, but I think it would still come out pretty close to a break even.  It does, however, allow you to budget food costs for your trip.

The Basic Dining Plan gives you one quick service meal, one table service meal, and two snacks per person per day for around $38.  You begin to get into a lot of food here, if you ask me. I always find the food portions to be quite generous at Walt Disney World, and we would easily have to skip a meal here to make use of all the other food.  Again, I’d be tempted to use my snack credits to grab something breakfast worthy, and then be obligated to book a dinner ADR every night.  The one thing that would save me from having to be rolled out of WDW would be the signature dining locations that require 2 credits to eat there.  It would save me from over eating the next day.

If you still think you’re going to come home from vacation hungry, there is also a Deluxe Dining Plan.  On this plan you get three meals per day – any meals you want, quick service or table service, plus your two snacks, plus a refillable mug.  Oh. My. Gosh.  Are you THAT hungry?  And it’s not just that – do you want to have to book yourself into that many meals?  I certainly could find that many WDW restaurants I’d want to eat in over the course of my vacation, but honestly, I wouldn’t be able to walk after a couple of days of this marathon eating regimen.  My arse is still pretty fat, but this is just Way. Too. Much. Food. 

If you have a family of big eaters, and you really think you can do this, it will set you back about $70 per adult (anyone over 9 is an adult when it comes to the dining plan).  You can very easily get your money’s worth on this plan, but would you want to?  I’m thinking we’d have the world hunger issue under control in a month if we just used the left over snack credits people don’t know what to do with on the last day of their trip.  Do you really need a suitcase full of Rice Krispie treats?

The biggest advantage to the Disney Dining Plan is that it allows you to budget your food money – it really does.  With the Deluxe Dining Plan, there isn’t another dime you would need anywhere for food, and even with the other two, you could make it so that your meals were covered each day and not need any extra money for food during your vacation.  That’s a great thing for some people.  But for my family, it’s just way too much.  Even if we tried to eat healthy and conservatively, some of these plans would still have us waddling away from the World.  Not a pretty picture.

2 Replies to “Disney Dining Plan – A Glutton’s Punishment?”

  1. You’re not alone Anna in the belief that the Disney Dining Plan is waaayyy tooo much food. It’s one reason why the DDP was scaled back to no longer include appetizers. But, a misconception about the DDP is in the way credits are used. Most people will use a quick-service credit for lunch and a table-service credit for dinner. That’s 2 big meals back-to-back. Many of the Disney resorts have nice quick-service counters where you can use quick-service credits for breakfast. You can use snack credits for a light lunch, and then use your table-service credits for dinner. This spreads out your meals so that you don’t have that stuffed to the eyeballs feeling every day.

  2. It is a much better plan to use your credits for lunch and dinner as opposed to back to back meals – although I still think I’d be ending my vacation with a ton of snack credits! I think people are also of the mindset that they are getting more bang for their buck if they use the credits for lunch – the presumptive impression being that lunch would be more expensive.

    I can’t argue that it is a phenomenal way to budget, though. I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me how much money they should bring for food, and it’s such a personal thing, you never know what to answer!

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