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The Differences in Disney Dining Plans

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Okay, so I just booked a Walt Disney World vacation with the

promo code OWR which includes a $750.00 gift certifcate, but

I had some questions that weren't really cleared up in regards

to it. What are the restaurant differences between the Plus

and Deluxe packages.


All I could really see the difference being was 2 snacks as

compared to 1, and a "free" refillable (at the Resorts only)

mug. Am I missing something between these two packages?


# 2010 Magic Your Way Package Plus Dining

# 2010 Magic Your Way Package Plus Deluxe Dining


For an extra $370.00 or roughly 60.00 a day for two people,

it was impossible to justify.. unless I am missing something?

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I've never really found a use for the deluxe meal plan. I never even use all the snacks and stuff with the regular meal plan. Unless you know for a fact you will be eating two ice cream bars or two orders of churros every day you're there I really don't recommend it.

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The two plans are actually *massively* different.


The Deluxe Plan gives you three full meal credits per day, which means you could, in theory, do three table service meals per day. You can also use these credits for counter service meals, but this is kind of a waste.


The standard Dining Plan gives you one table service meal and one counter service meal per day.


Practically speaking, most people will not want to do three table service meals in a day. This would take up too much time and would likely be too much food for most people. However, what you can do with extra meal credits with the Deluxe Dining Plan is use them at the nicer WDW restaurants, which all require two meal credits anyway.


So, with the Deluxe Dining Plan, you could do breakfast at Chef Mickey's and dinner at California Grill and only use one day's worth of credits. That would use three days worth of your sit down meal credits under the standard plan.


Edit: The dining plan credits are actually allocated by number of package nights, not days. So, for Deluxe it's three table service meals + 2 snack credits per night you book your package for. This is still an insane amount of food.

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Thanks for the reply ginzo. Thing is though, after a LONG day at the park.. I don't know if I could handle a four-course meal. (Alcohol, is, of course.. a course in itself.)


So the appetizer, second, snack, and mug are all "meh" to me. I really believe I'll be okay with meal credits because I have the gift card to cover me, plus my girlfriend is only staying four days, while I'll be there the 4th of February until the 10th. So if we have a nice meal at say, California Grill and do the Aloha dinner show, I still have enough dinner "credits" to last me the rest of the week since she is only staying four days.. I was told I can use the remainder when she leaves.


That was helpful though, so thank you. Any idea of what restaurants are *excluded* on the plan I chose? Their website is more confusing than it is helpful!

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^That's correct. They just give you all the credits at once for everybody.


They're not really "dinner" credits either. You can use them for sit down meals any time of the day.


As for which restaurants are included, I haven't checked the list in a while. Almost all of the restaurants at WDW participate in the plan. You should just check the current list. When we went, the Paris restaurant at EPCOT was one of the few that was not on the plan.

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From experience with the plan, it is a LOT of food! I'm pretty sure we had two counter service credits and two snacks per day. The regular "meal" at Pop Century includes an Entree, which is about a pound and a half of pasta, chicken, pizza, etc., a dessert, practically a quarter of a whole cheesecake, and a drink. So, basically, eating that large of a breakfast, spending the day at the parks with two snacks each, and a full dinner just made everyone feel pretty gross.

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I just got back Saturday from Disney and we had the regular dining plan. It was so much food.


Usually on a trip at a counter service I would get a burger and split a soda with my dad (we get a large diet coke and ask for an extra cup), and usually 1 dessert and all 4 of us split it. With the dining plan, we all had a drink, entree and dessert.


We were so full from that we basically didn't use any snack credits and the same issue was with the table service. We never get soda/juice/milkshakes at table service normally and sometimes don't order dessert at all so everyone getting a drink, entree and dessert was too much there as well.


We ended up using the leftover snack credits to get boxes of cookies to take home.


We did save money, because a counter service meal for 4 of us was $60 total with the dining plan, and all table service meals were over $100 with the plan but as I said, we would never have ordered like that without the plan. Our last trip, most counter service meals were around $30 total without the dining plan.

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The only way to really enjoy the deluxe dining plan is as follows...


Eat a full sit down breakfast at your resort and you can do the Charachter dining if thats your thing.


Then use the follow two table service credits each night to eat a a Signature restaurant (California Grill, Yachtsman Steakhouse, Boma, Artist Point).


This allows you to eat at Disneys finest restaurants each night for dinner as well as having a really nice breakfast every morning.


Using the deluxe plan in any other manner, you will end up with a heart attack or wasting your money.


We enjoy fine dining at Disney, but still have never gone for this plan, mainly because it becomes a huge time waster.


If you are interested in the Signature restaurants at night and Charachter breakfasts during the morning this is the only way that program will save you money.

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I've never done the dining plans. We generally only have 1 meal in the parks per day, generally a "Sit-Down" lunch unless it's something like 'Ohana, CA Grill, etc.


We generally will go to the store on the first day in town and get breakfast/snack stuff. Were not big "Breakfast" people anyway, so we will get muffins, donuts, juice, milk stuff and eat either in the room or on the way to the park. (we always rent a car). The only thing we will get everyday from the food court is coffee (which is a benefit of the mugs).


Last time we were there we were waiting around for EMH at DAK and some family who was leaving the next day had like 7 or 8 counter-service meals left and "bought" us dinner at Flame-Tree. I even tried to give the guy like $20 and he wouldn't even take it.


That would be my fear that I would have so much left over credits.

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Cliff notes:



If you aren't a gourmad the deluxe plan isn't for you..


If you aren't a person that enjoys sit down meals everynight the regular plan isn't for you.


If you aren't a person that cares about eating, other than for susitence and energy the quick service plan isn't for you..



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I would skip the dining plan altogether.


On my last 10-day trip to WDW we ate breakfast in our hotel room most days (bagels, cream cheese, and lox that we brought with us), had 7 "Table Service" meals, 16 Fast-Food meals, and about 6 snacks. We never purchased sodas (water is free and caffeine leads to dehydration in the Florida heat), although we did buy alcoholic drinks on 3 occasions. Including the price of the breakfast food and granola bars we purchased in advance, we spent about $30/person each day including tips.


The Regular Dining Plan would be $42-$47+tips/person each day (probably around $50+/person each day total). The "Quick-Service" (fast-food only) dining plan would've been the same $30/person each day but we would've had to skip the Table Service meals or pay for them out of pocket.


For us, the dining plans were not a good deal.


Here are my tips for eating cheap at WDW. The first two are really the most important -- so many people don't know that they can save money by leaving off the sides and end up just throwing them out anyway, and sodas are a huge waste of money.


* Skip the sides. Many of the sandwiches and entrees from the Counter Service places are enough for a meal if you don't want to share. If you ask them to leave off the apples, carrots, grapes, or fries it will usually knock $2 or so off the price. All Counter Service places in Disney World will do this even though it isn't on the menu.

* Skip the sodas -- they add up quickly and every food service location will give you water for free. You can also order a case of bottled water from Costco for $7 shipped ( http://bit.ly/4xYny8 ) even if you aren't a member and have it sent directly to your hotel. Caffeine can also lead to dehydration and isn't the best idea in the parks, but if you really need it to get you through the day bring Excedrin.

* Skip the snacks and desserts. Portions are large enough at meals to get you through the day, and if you'll really need a boost you can bring granola bars with you from home.

* Bring your own breakfast, and don't skip it. Eating a good breakfast will make you less hungry for expensive park meals. If your room will have a fridge you can bring cereal and milk, yogurt, cream cheese, and other breakfast foods (freeze it before leaving home and pack it with ice in a soft cooler in your luggage). Otherwise, you can buy bagels or english muffins, peanut butter, jelly, granola bars, etc from a grocery store at home and bring it with you. This also has the advantage of giving you more time in the parks in the morning when crowds are still low.

* Scout out the menues in advance at http://allears.net/menu/menus.htm so that you don't have to settle for something expensive because it's all that you can find. Think outside the box -- Downtown Disney and resort hotel food service can be cheaper than those in the parks.

* Don't be ashamed to order a kid's meal if nothing on the adult menu appeals to you. Unless you're a heavy eater most kids meals have enough food for an adult. I wouldn't make a habit out of it (I only did it once on my recent trip), but it can help occasionally.

* If you want to eat a sit-down meal, do so at lunch. Reservations are easier to get and the food can be 2/3 the price it is at dinner.

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Without kids and only on a 4 day trip, I'd not get the Deluxe. I'm guessing you have to have one of them to get the $750, so I would stick with the basic. If you don't want to do the character dining, stick with the 2 credit dinners. Someone already mentioned most, but they forgot the big one of Cinderella's Castle. Even though it's a character dinner, the atmosphere and decorations are great. You'll have to get lucky to get a reservation though. This plan will get you 3 dinner reservations, 12 counter meals, and 12 snacks. The snacks can be very useful, especially if you are going during the heat. You don't have to just get sodas. You can get Dole Whips and Smoothies in Magic Kingdom. The smoothie shop between Space Mountain and Indy by the Venus trade shop has orange/pineapple, pineapple/banana, or coffee smoothies and everyone knows where the Dole Whips are. Each park has a few good spots like these. The counter service meals will get you a breakfast with eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, a biscuit, and a drink to fill you up and get energy before going to the parks. Every resort has this breakfast along with many other choices.

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