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How to Get the MOST VALUE from WDW Dining Plan( found it online) SHARE IF YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE

Posted by on Jun. 26, 2010 at 6:32 PM
  • 10 Replies

How to Get the Most Value from the Disney Dining Plan (Walt Disney World)

nbodyhomeMember
By Denise Preskitt, eHow Member
Article Rating: (2 Ratings)
Appetizer Samosas and a Mango Lassi, Sanaa at the Kidani Village, Animal Kingdom Lodge
Appetizer Samosas and a Mango Lassi, Sanaa at the Kidani Village, Animal Kingdom Lodge
Denise Preskitt, Mousesteps.com

Disney is a passion of mine, but I also like to maximize my travel dollar. I've never paid full price to stay at a Walt Disney World Resort (nor do I elsewhere), and until recently I was a 6-year Disney specialized travel planner who helped guests save money on their vacations. 

Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Instructions

Things You'll Need:

  • Online Walt Disney World menus (from unofficial sites, to get an idea of where you'd like to eat).
  • Pen and Paper
  1. Step 1

    I'd already written an article, "How to Decide if the Disney Dining Plan (at Walt Disney World) is for You". So now that you've decided, it is time to think about ways to benefit from this plan. If you are going to Walt Disney World on a free dining package, it is VERY easy to benefit! If you aren't, then there are a few things to consider before booking your dining reservations. I'm calculating here with adult prices, the $10.99 per day charged for children (ages 3 - 9) is, in my opinion, a bargain. A great tool for figuring out meal prices is a website like Allearsnet.com, which carries pretty up-to-date menus. Menus and prices do change, so keep that in mind.

  2. Step 2

    Use your table service credits for dinner instead of breakfast. One of my favorite breakfasts (and dinners) on property is Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. The normal price on the breakfast is about $19.00 and the dinner is closer to $31.00, plus tax (tax is included in the plan, the gratuity no longer is). It is much harder to break even on your plan price when eating breakfast than eating dinner. And at the very least, you want to break even on your meals/plan cost.

  3. Step 3

    Using the Disney Dining Plan on a dinner show is iffy - the nice thing is that the tax and tip are both included. On the flip side, the dinner show will use two table service credits. That calculates currently to $25.00 per table service credit. You'll need to make up $15.00 for a counter service meal and snack to add up to the $39.99 meal plan cost (and that is for 2 days).

  4. Step 4

    Utilize all of your credits. Even if you have to use a table service for a counter service, don't leave anything behind. Snack credits and counter service credits can be used for food for your plane trip on the last day if needed.

  5. Step 5

    Plan ahead. It is not unusual for guests to show up to Walt Disney World with no dining plans, not realizing that they've greatly limited their choices. I actually am not someone who prefers to plan ahead - but if you want to eat at a restaurant like Le Cellier, Cinderellas Table or Ohana, you need to call 90 days ahead. (for Cinderellas Royal Table, it's 90 days at 7am eastern time!) Many restaurants can be booked with little lead time, even hours - but don't expect to just be able to walk into a table service restaurant with no reservations unless you are willing to be flexible if there is no availability. The highest value restaurants on the dining plan also are some of the most popular.

  6. Step 6

    If you are staying at the Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, you are in luck - the Pepper Market (food court) has some of the best value on the Disney Dining Plan. One of my favorite counter service restaurants also has GREAT food and is another wonderful value, Wolfgang Pucks Express at the Downtown Disney Marketplace.

  7. Step 7

    A little planning can go a long way on the Disney Dining Plan!



Read more: How to Get the Most Value from the Disney Dining Plan (Walt Disney World) | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_5027684_value-plan-walt-disney-world.html#ixzz0s07ZvmUY

by on Jun. 26, 2010 at 6:32 PM
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Replies (1-10):
antoinettecd
by Silver Member on Jun. 26, 2010 at 6:39 PM
Yay! For the most part I followed a lot of her advice
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
littlefoots
by Gold Member on Jun. 26, 2010 at 7:32 PM

 Step 5.. its now 180 days.. and call as soon as you can to get those "top choice" locations  as they go fast

Step 6- just beware that if you eat inside.. you may possibly be charged for service to eat in the dining area.. 

krazeerosie
by Jamie on Jun. 26, 2010 at 7:43 PM

That's good to know about #6, and I didn't even catch the 90 day MISTAKE. Thanks

Quoting littlefoots:

 Step 5.. its now 180 days.. and call as soon as you can to get those "top choice" locations  as they go fast

Step 6- just beware that if you eat inside.. you may possibly be charged for service to eat in the dining area.. 


tooshear77
by Member on Jun. 27, 2010 at 2:00 AM

 We use our table service for the day on all the character dinings.  We did one a day.  Usually lunch if we could.  Saved time standing in lines for character photos and signatures.  Made the character dining in moneys worth since each of those meals are about $30 each.

CorbinsMomma
by on Jun. 27, 2010 at 10:02 AM

I agree about not using it on breakfast unless you are doing the Lilo and stitch one.  They catch you there...its the only time you can dine w/ them.

CorbinsMomma
by on Jun. 27, 2010 at 10:03 AM

I agree about not using it on breakfast unless you are doing the Lilo and stitch one.  They catch you there...its the only time you can dine w/ them.

Dawne98
by Gold Member on Jun. 27, 2010 at 11:00 AM

I think TS for dinner is the best way to get your $$$ but I like a big breakfast not a big dinner..lol

I also think you have to think about the age of your kids. For me I know my DD who is 2 years old is going to be much happier in the morning during a character breakfast then at the end of a long day.

krazeerosie
by Jamie on Jun. 27, 2010 at 1:06 PM

The mother that is leaving today that was asking for last minute advice, I think she was considering her family with their 3 sit down meals. Because she had 2 kids under the age of 3 so as many places with a buffet would mean they wouldn't have to pay for 2 meals. Plus with the heat I could understand getting into a nice air conditioned restaurant would help a lot.

My sons would be fine at the end of day with characters but like you I also have a daughter where most of our activities are planned around her. I have over 100 gray hairs due to that one,lol.

Quoting Dawne98:

I think TS for dinner is the best way to get your $$$ but I like a big breakfast not a big dinner..lol

I also think you have to think about the age of your kids. For me I know my DD who is 2 years old is going to be much happier in the morning during a character breakfast then at the end of a long day.


mom_of_3_angels
by Silver Member on Jun. 27, 2010 at 2:52 PM

I agree with most of what was said here. I'm not a huge planner but meals are the one exception because they guide where we will be for the day if we don't get the park hopper. We have found that it is relatively easy to get reservations the day of if you aren't picky about what time you want to eat. We are really flexible with meal times so a 4pm dinner or 8pm dinner is no big deal to us.

Delicateflower
by Member on Jun. 27, 2010 at 3:25 PM

We went to Disney with the Dining Plan 2 years ago.  We pre-booked our reservations and had a great time.  We have a vacation coming up in Sept and got free dining.  We've booked our reservations again and I'm really excited.  We're going to Boma and the Biergarten again because they were so awesome.  We've also booked Le Cellier, which I've heard great things about.  I can't wait!!

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