Is the Disney Dining Plan Worth it For Your Trip? Part 1



The Disney Dining Plan (DDP) is one of the most debated topics among DVC owners and certainly a popular question frequently seen being asked.

Definitions

  • Snack:
    • 1 single serving snack or drink (i.e. popsicle, piece of whole fruit, 20oz drink)
  • Quick-service meal:
    • 1 entree + 1 drink (non-alcoholic or alcoholic)
  • Table-service BREAKFAST meal:
    • 1 entree + 1 drink (non-alcoholic or alcoholic) OR 1 Buffet or Family-style meal
  • Table-service LUNCH/DINNER meal:
    • 1 entree + 1 dessert + 1 drink (non-alcoholic or alcoholic) OR 1 Buffet or Family-style meal
  • DELUXE Table-service meal:
    • 1 appetizer + 1 entree + 1 drink (non-alcoholic or alcoholic) + 1 dessert OR Buffet or Family-style meal

The Basics

The DDP has 3 different levels, Quick Service ($52.49/$23.78), Standard ($75.48/$27.98) and Deluxe ($116.24/$43.49). Pricing is per person (10+up/3-9) per day for 2019. All include the Resort Refillable Mug and 2 Snacks or Non-Alcoholic Beverages. The QS Plan includes 2 QS Meals (1 entree and 1 beverage (Non-Alcoholic or Alcoholic if over 21)). The DDP includes 1 QS Meal, 1 TS Meal (1 entree and 1 beverage (dessert for Lunch and Dinner) or 1 Buffet). The Deluxe DDP includes 3 meals (TS (1 appetizer at Lunch and Dinner) or QS). All meals are loaded to your magic band upon check-in and you have that many credits for the whole trip. Meaning-you can use 2 TS in one day and use 2 QS on a different day.

My husband and I have visited twice on the standard DDP. We did no prior research and after the first trip we quickly learned the right and the wrong way to capitalize.

First Trip

Worried we might go hungry as the week progressed, we only grabbed a QS or snack when we were hungry or had time in between walking our 20k+ steps every day. It was not until we went to Disney Springs and went to Starbucks on our second to last day that the barista explained we could use a QS and that the coffee and sandwich my husband was ordering was included. (Side note: my husband is a Starbucks junkie and his standard order was 20 shots of espresso and a venti dark roast). It was at this point we realized how we screwed up. On our last park day we bought snacks to take home and tried to use up our QS meals. I think we left with 1 or 2 unused. (We were unaware that there is a QS to Snack Credit Conversion) We used all of our TS meals no problem.

Second trip

We used our knowledge from the last trip and capitalized on the value of the DDP.

We started each day at Starbucks for coffee and a sandwich. We brought our camelbak water bottles and transferred our coffees into those so that we could go into attractions without needing to chug our drinks. In line for Olaf, we were complimented by a Cast Member for our ingenuity. We ended up with 2 bottles of espresso that came home. This used our daily QS meal. Then used our TS meal and a snack each day. I will add-that we had NO issues with this until our last day at Hollywood Studios where he was told he could not order that many shots of espresso. We have not been back since to be able to see if we made a new park rule or not!

Guest Author

Jen Carey

DVC Disney Vacation Club Members facebook group member

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