If you are planning a trip to Disney World chances are good you have debated about whether the dining plan is worth the money or not. You have probably noticed the debates online that you can spend less money on food by paying out of pocket for what you want instead of purchasing a dining plan, and while that can be true, I love using the Disney Dining Plan and here are 5 reasons why:
I can eat what sounds good instead of what is cheap – I am a budgeter when it comes to vacations and I don’t like to spend a lot of money. However, when I am on vacation the food I eat plays a part in my trip. I enjoy eating out while on vacation, but the price of the menu items typically weigh heavily into my entrée decisions. I might feel like ordering the steak, but the chicken is cheaper so that is what I order. The Disney dining plans help me to budget and pay for my meals before I even leave my house and then order the food on the menu I want to eat instead of comparing prices. This is a win-win for our family.
The Rapid Fill Refillable Mugs – Included with the Disney Dining Plans, everyone over the age of three in your party receives a refillable souvenir mug. My kitchen cupboards are now filled with these mugs and they make me happy every time I use them! You can use these mugs at your Disney resort for coffee, tea, hot chocolate and pop (or if you live in a different region: soda or cola). These mugs are great take home items to remind you of your Disney trip.
Enjoy some Disney Snacks – Not only do the dining plans come with meals, but they include snacks as well. I’m sure you have seen pictures of people with Mickey Mouse shaped ice cream sandwiches or the famous Disney Dole Whips. If I didn’t have a dining plan I would most likely skip trying all of these snacks and not allow my children to spend the extra money on them as well, but with the dining plan we can all try a fun Disney snack everyday. My daughters love the popcorn, lollipops, cotton candy and Mickey shaped soft pretzels. I love getting funnel cakes and can’t wait to try the Nutella fruit waffles!
Character Meals – This will not apply if you are using the Quick Service Dining plan, but for all the other options this is one of my favorite advantages to the dining plan. You can use your dining credits to eat at restaurants where Disney characters come right to your table to meet you and take photos during your meal! These meals are more expensive than many of the other restaurants because they include character meet-n-greets and they are a great way to use your dining plan. You can skip waiting in long lines to meet some of the Disney characters by meeting them during your meal. ** It is important to remember that select character meals, like Cinderella’s Royal Table, will use 2 of your dining credits.
There are so MANY options– I take a chance and say that anyone can find meals they want to eat at the Disney restaurants. My husband loves fish, I enjoy a good salad or burger and my daughters like your basic kid food: chicken nuggets, mac-n-cheese, pizza, etc… you will find it all at Disney. Take a trip to Epcot and you can dine around the world with food choices from every country. And, in a world where so many people are suffering from food allergies, Disney has you covered. They can accommodate any allergies that you have. At one of our visits to Chef Mickey’s I watched as the Chef came to a table near ours to explain to a family with food allergies exactly what he could make for them and what items on the buffet would be safe for them to eat. Incredible service!
Last November we visited Disney for the 6th time and we have used a Disney Dining Plan on every trip. While I know we can save money by skipping the plan and eating less food and enjoying less snacks, I have enjoyed the stress-free feeling of paying for my meals before I leave on vacation. We have never regretted the money we spent on the dining plans. The best part of dining is that historically during certain times of the year Disney offers FREE dining with package promotions. You can take advantage of all the benefits that a dining plan offers without spending an extra penny. You just can’t beat FREE dining!
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