Now about Dining at Disney!!
This trip we went ahead and booked for the dates during the promotion that worked best for us and began trying to decide how we wanted to work out our eating plan.
Last time we were there only for a short time and bought the dining plan so we could concentrate on getting to know the parks and not worry about food. We quickly found that the plan offered way too much food for us, even with us sharing with our little guy (he was too young to be on the plan), and having purchased the plan we felt we had to get our money's worth so we kept eating! Ugh!
For those of you that haven't been to Disney recently, or have never been, if you stay in their resorts and buy tickets through Disney for your stay, you have the option of adding on one of several dining plan options to your trip.
Quick Dining plan gives you 2 counter service meals and 2 snacks a day per person for every night you stay, as well as a refillable drink mug for use at the resort. Cost $29.99 adult, $8.99 child per night.
Reg. Dining plan gives you 1 counter service meal, 1 table service meal, and 1 snack per person per day, as well as a refillable drink mug. Cost $39.99 adult, $10.99 child per night.
Deluxe Dining gives you 3 table service meals per day, 2 snacks, and a refillable mug. Cost $71.99 adult,$20.99 child
What are counter service, table service, and snacks?Counter service is a walk up and order meal that includes a main entree or combo, a side, a drink, and a dessert.
Table service is a meal usually at a sit down restaurant that includes your entree, a side, a drink and, and a dessert. Gratuity is not included in the plan!
Snacks are usually drinks, pretzels, ice cream, fruit, baked goods, etc. Usually $5 or less.
What we decided to do this trip...After some consideration and some looking at menus, we think on this trip with our little guy not yet being a big eater, we can probably save money by not purchasing the dining plan. We will be giving up getting a really nice table service meal every day, but trading that for not being so full that we don't enjoy ourselves will be worth it. Not to mention... who can handle all that dessert anyway!
A great place to look at menus and pricing for food is AllEars.net They update their information periodically & you can look at menus by park so if you don't have the park hopper passes, you know where you can eat in the park you chose for the day.
There are lots of options, I'm finding out, for ways to save while eating at Disney ranging from carrying food in (yes, they do allow that to a minimum now), to splitting meals, ordering kids meals at counter service for anyone not so hungry, and eating buffets to get a good fill on occasion.
If you have a car, they say there are a few good restaurants just a few miles away that you can fill up at for less if you need more food than you're able to spring for at the parks. Sometimes it's just nice to get away for a short time too... I did actually say it's good to get away from Disney! We may get out once or twice for something different than Disney...
I will post our experiences eating off plan when we return. I have a feeling we will eat just as well, or better for less than the plan would have cost us and be more satisfied... although it was fun to see how high we could get our lunch bill while we were on the plan!