Now that we have broken down what is included with the dining plan in our previous post, the question becomes is the Disney dining plan worth it for you? This is something that I hope I can help with answering. Overall, this is something that comes down to your budget and preference. I prefer to pay for things ahead of time, that way I don’t have to worry about it later on. But this is only if it doesn’t cost me more money of course. There are a lot of variables that come into play when choosing the dining plan. These include how many sit down meals do you need, number of people and even matters if you drink (alcohol).
Moreover, I will exclude the refillable mug because this varies with how many days you’re at the resort to decide its value, as well as how many times your refill during the day.
Quick Service Restaurants chosen
Columbia Harbour House (Magic Kingdom), La Cantina De San Angel (Epcot), Woody’s Lunchbox (Hollywood studios), Flame Tree Barbecue (Animal Kingdom), Pop Century (Resort), Be Our Guest (Magic Kingdom), Yak and Yeti (Animal Kingdom)
Quick Service Breakdown
We will start with the quick service plan, which is $21.74 per child ages 3-9 and $52.50 per adult. For a child, it is worth getting the dining plan but for an adult it may not be. For the sake of this article, I will provide a breakdown for 1 adult and breakdown for 1 child. The breakdown will only include the meals for 1 quick service per day. This provides a rough estimate that can be doubled to get the daily amount. Hopefully this doesn’t get too repetitive.
For a child, the cheaper meals are around $6 each and go up from there. So figure $12 for meals per day for 2 meals on the low-end. Plus the 2 snacks which can be $5 each. Bringing the total for the day around $21-$25 per day. So essentially it cancels each other out. With adults, it’s a little bit more complicated when deciding to use the Disney Dining Plan or not.
For the adults, I have also provided a breakdown above that gives a rough estimate of what quick service costs per meal. As stated above, adult cost $52.50 per day on the Dining plan. This estimate shows the meals totaling $158.92 for one quick-service meal per day for 7 days. For 2 quick service meals, the total for the meals per day being around $317.84. I arrived at this number by selecting the most expensive things on the menu. This is not including the two snacks per day, which we will average for $5 each for a total of $70.
Disney Quick Service dining plan comes to a total of $387.84 total for 7 days per adult. The total cost for the Disney Quick Service for one adult is $367.50. Meaning this is a worthwhile value has it saves you about $20 over the course of your trip per adult.
For a family of 3 (2 adults and 1 child) – it saves you a bit more. For a family of 3, the total for the Disney Dining plan is $889. If you were to pay out-of-pocket for the same meals, the total for the family would be $945.34.
Standard Restaurants chosen
For Table service – Coral Reef (Epcot), 1900 Park Fare (Grand Floridian resort), 50s Prime Time (Hollywood studios), Crystal Palace (Magic Kingdom), Rainforest Cafe (Animal Kingdom), Chef Mickey (Contemporary resort), Garden Grill (Epcot)
Standard Dining Plan
The Standard plan costs $25.75 per child and $75.49 per adult per day. So for the standard plan, it comes out to a total of $176.73 (not including tax) per day. For the trip the total would be $176.73 x 6 days for a total of $1060.38 (Keep this number in mind at the end).
The total for child Table service plan is $112.98 per day, plus the $49.83 quick service meal above. Figure $70 for snacks along with this for the week. The grand total for a child is $232.81 for the week. The cost for the Standard Dining plan is 180.25 for a savings of around $50.
For an adult,the table service meals for 7 days it comes out to a total of $293.73. Plus we will add in the total for the quick-service meals as shown above at a total of $158.92, Along with $70 for snacks. This brings the total cost to $522.65. This one is less of a deal as the Dining Plan total comes out to $528.43.
For the Family of 3, The total for the 7 days would be 1237.11 for Standard Dining plan. The out-of-pocket cost for the family for 1 table service, 1 quick service and 2 snacks for 7 days would be $1278.11. So still saving money but not as much as possible.
With the standard Dining Plan is a little trickier due to the buffets. Now I’m a fan of incorporating buffets a few times during our days, nevertheless they are not cost efficient for the Disney Dining Plan. On the flip side, you do get more food with a buffet but it usually cost less than selecting a meal, dessert and a drink. I have four of them selected (This is based on our next trip). I feel as though if you were to take out one or even two of the buffets that you would easily surpass the meal totals relative to the Dining Plan cost.
Deluxe Dining Plan
And finally we come to the Deluxe Dining Plan. Deluxe dining plan costs $39.99 per child and $116.25 per adult during regular season. This is a little more straightforward. The number for the table service meals and triple the total. For a child It would be $112.98 x 3 meals per day for a total of 338.94. The dining plan for a child for the week costs $279.93. For the adults, the total is 293.73 x 3 meals is 881.19 per adult. The cost for dining plan for adults is 813.75. This is the biggest savings of the dining plans.
No matter where you choose to eat who your sit down meals, you still come out ahead when you do the Dining Plan. The only exception to this one is whether you switch out a table service for a quick-service meal. But overall I feel like this one is worth it. Keep in mind that this is a lot of food!
Disney Dining Plan worth it? My Final Impression
Although many of these seem like they’re not quite as good of a deal as they were in the past, I do think you end up breaking even depending on what and where you eat. Again, there are a lot of variables based on where you’re eating, what you’re eating and what you’re drinking. One thing that seems to push the dining plan towards the positive is the inclusion of alcoholic beverages. If you do decide to get a beer with your meals, it makes it more likely that you are getting the most value out of the dining plan. There is no judgement and looking solely at a fiscal standpoint.
The Deluxe Dining Plan seems to be the best deal by far depending on which restaurants you go to but a couple of things to consider are how much food you’ll be eating and how much time do you want to stay out of the park. The quick service is the second best value and standard plan is third. The standard plan is based mostly on which restaurants you are planning on going to. After looking at the numbers myself for the restaurant that we are likely going to book, I am opting to get the Standard Disney Dining Plan.
The past couple trips we have chosen not to get the Dining Plan but I think it is worth getting at this point. One thing to consider is that you won’t have to worry about added expenses four meals after booking your trip. This breakdown does not incorporate taxes either. Disney Dining Plan worth it? I would say yes, but it is a lot to take into consideration.
On a side note, I do think 1 bonus of getting the Disney Dining Plan is that you’re more likely to get meals that you wouldn’t normally get because they were too expensive otherwise. You are able to expand your options without having to think of cost. Plus, If you go during a special time of the year when they provide free dining plans, you’ll be able to get a better deal. Just remember if this is the case, you can upgrade which Dining Plan you get.
Hopefully you have found this helpful and informative. I tried to be concise as they can be very boring to get bogged down in the details. No matter which way you choose, you will still have a great vacation.
You can check out Disney’s Dining plan page HERE.