Friday, May 11, 2007

So Your Going to WDW: The Disney Dining Plan, Is it for you?

The Disney Dining Plan (DDP) option that Walt Disney World offers with their Magic Your Way package is a great value. It's a shame that it is left up to you to learn how to use the plan to the best value. It took us about a full day to get a handle on how to use the plan. But, before I go any further, yes the plan is worth it. Worth it big time. The cost of an adult is $39 day and it is $11 per kid per day. What this gets you is a Table Service(Sit Down) Meal, a Quick(Counter)Service, and a snack a day. Trust me this is a ton of food. And to give you an example of out of pocket expense for a day in the world, here you go. Lunch in the Magic Kingdom at one of my favorites, Cosmic Ray's. With a QS meal you get a main, a dessert and a non-alcoholic beverage. $13.99 for the Rib Chicken Combo Meal(comes with mashed potato and veggie), $2.49 for the brownie and $2.39 for the drink. That's $18.87 plus tax. For dinner we made it over to Epcot for our Le Cellier meal. For a TS meal you get an Appy, an Entree, Dessert and a non-Alcoholic drink. $9.99 for the Wasabi Shrimp Cocktail, $26.99 for the Scopa Special(NY Strip), $5.99 for the Creme Brulee and one drink for $2.99. Total of $45.96 + $9.00 tip = $54.96. Tip is included with plan. Total for the day is $73.83 and I did not use my snack yet. Yes, well worth it indeed.

Even though I show above how well you make out with the DDP, there are some draw backs. First, as I mention above you get a ton of food. So much in fact that we changed our ordering habits a couple days into our trip. We are two adults and two kids. If we ordered four TS meals we had so much food that we were not going to finish it. Small issue but something to think about. Another issue we had was that kids nine and younger have to order off of the Kids Menu and in some restaurants it is very limited. Pecos Bill's has only Sloppy Joe or Cold, I mean Chilled Chicken. Columbia House has either Macaroni and Cheese or Grilled Chicken. Most are pretty good. One other kinda drawback was time spent in TS meals. Of our 6 TS meals, 2 went to the Hoop-Dee-Do, One for Ohana Dinner, One for Ohana Bkfst, one for Le Cellier and one for 50's Prime Time Diner. Most were good but Le Cellier and 50's Prime Time made us feel like Time Hostages. (WARNING: Severe Analosity Ahead) Our ADR for Le Cellier was at 4:45. We stopped what we were doing at Test Track at 4:10 to begin the walk to Canada. Arrived at 4:40 and checked in. Waited 15-20 minutes to be seated. We sat and Dinner took about another hour and a half. So total dinner time was 4:10 to 6:45. A big investment in time. Same thing happened at the 50's Prime Time.

The Disney Dining Plan is a great option. Keep in mind what kind of trip you are taking though. If you want a spur of the moment Commando trip than the DDP might not be for you. If you have some time and you don't mind planning around your dinning, than I highly recommend the plan. For more information, try this link:
Disney Dining Plan.

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