I sincerely love the ease of the Disney Dining Plan. I love that everything is prepaid and I don't have to worry or think. I love when my vacations are worry-free and thought-free! I love all the options and yumminess. I love splurging while on vacation! Some days while planning our upcoming trips, all I can do is think about the food I will get to try! And the DESSERTS!!!!
But it's not a great option for everyone. If you identify with any of the reasons below, it might be in your best interest to skip a DDP (Disney Dining Plan).
- You're a light eater. Many families eat very lightly. Many are satisfied with small portions and prefer to just do little snacks most of the day. The one thing Disney does not do is small portions. So two meals a day with giant portions for a family of light eaters is just too much. And you end up wasting food and money. Many light eaters will share meals with their family members, cutting down on costs and food waste.
- You want a loose vacation schedule. There's no getting around it, if you book a Disney Dining plan that includes sit down meals, you need to make reservations. If not, it's very hard to get a seat anywhere, especially at restaurants inside the parks. If you prefer a carefree vacation without having to watch the clock, skip the Dining Plan or opt for the Quick Service plan.
- You hate buffets. And family-style meals, too. Some of the most expensive meals on Disney property are the buffets and family-style meals. Many are character meals. Many people just hate the thought of eating off of a buffet. And aren't too thrilled about family-style either. If you have no desire to do character meals or buffets, then you're not really maximizing the cost of the plan, so it might be best to skip it.
- You don't have a sweet tooth. All table service meals on the Disney Dining Plan include a dessert. You can exchange a dessert for an appetizer at some sit down locations, but it's very limited. If you have no desire to eat dessert at every meal, then the plan might not be a good fit for you.
- There aren't any kids 9 or under in your party. The Disney Dining plan for kids is SOOOOOO cheap!! You save a bundle on them. The cost of the plan alone (per day) is sometimes less than what a character meal costs! So the rest of their food that day is free!
- But if your kids are 10, 11, 12....and don't eat anywhere near as much as an adult, the plan might not be a good fit. Unfortunately, as soon as kids hit 10, they are an adult in Disney's eyes, when it comes to dining and park tickets. Park tickets aren't that much more for an adult...but the dining plan...yikes. It's more than triple the cost of the kid's price.
If any of these reasons resonate with you, your best bet might be to pay for your meals out of pocket. Or take advantage of the Free Dining promotion when/if it's offered.
One the fence? Contact me and I can help you decide!!