Posted by: wildflowerz | January 31, 2013

Another Disney Post: Dining

I know you’re all waiting on the edge of your seat to know what I figured out about dining, yes?  😛

For 2 adults and 1 “Under 10” for 7 days, we paid $826.70 for the Disney Dining plan.  That includes 1 counter service (think fast food), 1 table service (sit down meal), and 1 snack a day.  Counter service for adults includes a non-alcoholic drink (either fountain drink or in a bottle), a dessert (usually 2 choices and most of them are the same), and your regular food which consists of a main item (like a burger, pizza, rotisserie chicken) and a side (fries, apples, rice and beans, etc).  Counter service for kids is a package deal that includes a drink (milk, juice, etc), main food (burger, pizza, chicken tenders, etc), and 2 sides (apples, fries, cookie, etc).  Table service includes the same for adults (but there’s more of a variety, including as the dessert).  Kid’s table service is usually a package deal too, that includes a separate dessert (usually ice cream sundae or something else).  If you do breakfast instead as either meal, it doesn’t include a dessert.  Snacks can be ice cream bars, fruit bars, fruit, drinks, etc.  Usually it’s an item under $3 or so.

When I went back and added up what we’d chosen for all these meals (there were a few snacks I couldn’t remember, so I just used the price of a bottled water, $2.50), I came up with a total we WOULD have spent of $896.87.  That’s $70.17 more than we actually paid for the dining plan.  To be able to pay it all ahead of time and just put it on our room key/park pass, it sounds like a pretty good deal.  However.  That’s a dessert with every counter service and every table service.  Who eats like that?  So, if you take out all the counter service desserts (which we wouldn’t have gotten any of) and the resort mug that we definitely wouldn’t have gotten (at $13.99 each) we would have paid $817.70.  That’s $9.00 less than the dining plan.  If you go a step further and also take out all the dinner desserts (which isn’t reasonable FOR VACATION for us), you get $760.76.  That difference is $65.94.  Keep in mind for dinner desserts, desserts we had for two places (Ohana and Biergarten), they’re included in the total amount you pay, so they wouldn’t be taken out.  Had we chosen different types of restaurants, that number would be lower.  And we wouldn’t chose either of those when we go again.

So, how about a more reasonable picture?  I went through and decided what we WOULD have done had we not been on the DDP.  That would mean we wouldn’t do ANY of the desserts at lunch.  Why bother?  Some are yum, but they’re nothing special.  I also wouldn’t pay $2.50 each for a bottled water.  So I took all those out.  I also would have brought more snacks into the park (including fruit), so I took all the fruit I bought out.  And I took out the snacks we got on the last day to finish out our snack credits, of course.  Oh, and those reusable mugs that we didn’t get until the last day and then only because they were free?  I took those out too.  After that, I looked at our table service meals.  We might have done different places were we looking at money, but that adds in too many factors, so I left those the same.  But I thought back on when we would actually have gotten dessert and when we wouldn’t and I took out any where we wouldn’t.  What I came up with was $755.02.  That’s $51.68 less than we paid for the DDP.  I don’t know about you, but money-wise and factoring in the convenience of the DDP, I’d say sticking with it’s probably the best for us.  But not having to get desserts every time?  Not having to resist the temptation?  That’s worth something too and is something to think about.

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