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Dining plans? worth it?

Level Contributor
335 posts
1 review
Dining plans? worth it?

Helll all firstly thank you for all your help and answers:) I’ll be staying 15 nights with my mom and 2 kids at one of the resorts (the cheap ones unfortunately), do you recommend buying the dining plan?? It won’t be cheap as we will be there for so many nights and also after researching I’ve foung out that for some of the restaurants (like Cinderella royal castle for instance ) you need to use 2 x table services!! Thanks :)

18 replies to this topic
Valley Stream, NY
Level Contributor
20,527 posts
66 reviews
1. Re: Dining plans? worth it?

No it's not worth paying for a dining plan. We never do and always spend less out of pocket. I personally don't like to prepay for food I don't know if we'll even eat. Will you be going off site to Universal/shop/etc.? If yes you'd off site those days anyway (wouldn't want to miss the off site and citiwalk/universal restaurants).

Level Contributor
1,568 posts
143 reviews
2. Re: Dining plans? worth it?

We like the dining plan and it is worth it for us, but for that long, you may want to book a few sit downs and pay out of pocket. There are a lot of great QS options that you. An choose from, as well.

Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
5,636 posts
14 reviews
3. Re: Dining plans? worth it?

If your goal is to save money then no the dining plan isn’t worth it. Disney isn’t selling anything to save the customer money. Most that purchase it spend more than they would have had they just paid out of pocket.

Edited: 21 July 2018, 11:42
Level Contributor
497 posts
12 reviews
4. Re: Dining plans? worth it?

No one can really answer this for you because we don't know which plan you're thinking about getting and how much food you like to eat. Most of the time, the plan is not worth it. You can spend less if you pay as you go.

Why? Because when you eat "normally" (like you do when you're at home), you won't spend as much. On the plan you'll find yourself trying to eat more to get your money's worth. And at the end of your trip probably end up in the gift shop with all the other DP guests trying to use up your credits on bags of candy that you would not buy if you were paying out of pocket.

Here's a link to all the restaurants. You can look at the menus and their prices to give you an idea of what everything cost.


Disney has the dining plan for two reasons. To make it convenient for you and to make money for them.

Corpus Christi...
Destination Expert
for Corpus Christi
Level Contributor
7,191 posts
76 reviews
5. Re: Dining plans? worth it?

We never purchase the dining plan as it restricts how you must eat to maximize value. We always spend less out of pocket eating as we like, not how Disney wants us to. One example, appetizers are not included.

Touring plans website has a calculator to help you estimate if it makes any sense for you (you may have to purchase a subscription) but it will definitely not save you money. It is best to view the DDP as a convenience, not a money saver in my opinion.

Fort Worth
Level Contributor
11,835 posts
6 reviews
6. Re: Dining plans? worth it?

Every family is different. We purchase the dining plan on every visit and always save money. It depends on the type of meal you prefer and where you dine. After reviewing the 100+ dining plan venues, select the restaurants where you would like to dine, and key them into the following "dining plan calculator". It is a good guide for determining if the dining plan is a good value for your family.


One note, if you are considering either the "regular" or "deluxe" dining plans, be sure to book your ADRs at exactly 180 days out. There is no point in having the plan, if you cannot secure a reservation.

Whatever you decide, enjoy!

Destination Expert
for Orlando, Walt Disney World
Level Contributor
24,751 posts
20 reviews
7. Re: Dining plans? worth it?

No, it is not worth it if you pay for it and often, not even if its "free". We have tried it in the past and found it does not save money. Run the numbers, using the most expensive item on the menus (allears.net has all of them) and compare it to the cost of the plan and you will see, it may save a dollar or so but other than that,no. The counter service plan, you can just about break even on. Disney portions are huge so two counter service meals feeds my family of 4. Eat what you want when you want and pay out of pocket. We find it easier to keep breakfast items in the room;fruit,cereal,yogurt,milk and muffins and eat while we are getting ready.

Level Contributor
634 posts
8. Re: Dining plans? worth it?

We did save money with the dining plan, about $100. Even if we broke even it would have been worth it for the convenience. To say that it is never worth it EVER is just not so. It might not be worth it for many, but it was for our family. You need to research it, as others have suggested. Plus the definition of “worth it” varies.

Ventnor City, New...
Destination Expert
for Walt Disney World, Orlando
Level Contributor
4,514 posts
126 reviews
9. Re: Dining plans? worth it?

Everyone who advises you to do the math for your own situation is 100% correct. It's definitely not a "one size fits all" situation.

Among the reasons a dining plan does NOT work well for MY family: we tend to drink tap water (just like at home) rather than soft drinks or bottled water ... my wife and I don't even drink coffee or tea; we don't tend to like dessert with our meals, and if we like it at all we like it an hour or two later. These two factors alone take away all of the money-saving value of the dining plans FOR US.

Lancaster, United...
Level Contributor
15,081 posts
132 reviews
10. Re: Dining plans? worth it?

The only times it was worth it for our family, was before the children became “Disney Adults”..

After that, not so..

What we have done since is get the TiW card (DVC/Passholder discounted) & found that saved us money😁

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