I’m sure everybody that has been to WDW or has planned a trip there, has used or at least heard of the Dining Plan. If you haven’t, I’m wondering if it is because you don’t understand how it works or if it works. If you are checking to see if the Dining Plan will save you a lot of money, then you might be disappointed. There are possible ways to save a little, but the Dining Plan was basically designed for convenience. Paying for your meals up front before you even leave home makes for a more pleasant vacation. You know what meals you are budgeted for and let’s face it, parents will love the family swiping your Magic Band at checkout instead of whipping out the cash or credit card several times a day.
So, besides understanding the Dining Plans, the big question is do I need it or not. As I was hinting at above, it all depends on your budget and how your family habits are concerning meals. The Dining Plan has 3 options that attempt to cover any family’s needs and is only available for Disney Resort guests, including Disney Vacation Club members. The number of meals you get are tied to the number of nights you stay. For example, if I purchased 5 nights and the Quick Service Dining Plan, I would get 10 Quick Service meals and 10 snacks for each member included in your reservations. The reason I added it all together instead of saying 2 QS meals and 2 snacks per day, is because this is how they will be loaded onto your Magic Band. They can be used however and whenever you like. You are not limited to just 2 a day of either meals or snacks. If you want to eat them all in the first couple of days you can.
Certainly makes dining more flexible, you just need to keep up with what you use. That’s made easy by getting a “total remaining” count every time you get a receipt. Doing a little research and deciding what your budget allows, when you start planning your vacation, will help you determine if you want to pay before you go with a dining plan or not. To make things even easier, you only have to put down a $200 deposit on a Disney vacation package when you make your reservations and then you have until 30 days before you arrive to pay the balance. This works for me since I can make payments along the way as my budget allows.
Today’s blog was about determining if the Dining Plan is for you or not. I’m thinking this subject has so much to cover that it will be more interesting and educational if I make a series of blogs on the subject. So stay tuned for Part Two of Dining Plan 101.