We are back with some of our very best kept Disney Dining Secrets, courtesy of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining. And we want to share them with you! And today’s topic is so big that we’re not just writing about it…we’re sharing a DFB Video about it too!
The Disney Dining Plan and Other Discounts: Do the Math
It’s a question that we get over and over again: Does the Disney Dining Plan really save me money?
The answer depends heavily on the person asking it, and the people using the benefits. Let’s break it down.
The Disney Dining Plan. Will the Disney Dining Plan save me money? Well, the answer is…maybe. It all depends on how you get it, and how savvy you are as you use it.
Disney Restaurants, for the most part, operate within very specific ranges of cost per meal. So when you use those Disney Dining Credits, they’ve already pretty much figured out how much, on average, your meal would cost without them.
But the key, of course, is on average. If you consistently go for the highest priced menu items, and weigh that against the cost of the plan per day, then you’re likely to see some savings. For an idea of what we mean, check out our post listing our top picks for Disney signature restaurants, based upon price.
But that being said, you still have to tip on the cost of the meal, so will you be paying more in tip based upon a higher meal cost than you would if you weren’t trying to “get your money’s worth”? It’s something to consider.
One thing is for sure: you will lose money on the Disney Dining Plan if you don’t use all of your credits! So be sure to research ahead and book those advance dining reservations. There is nothing worse than having to “eat” those leftover credits.
But What About Free Dining? In recent years, Disney has offered Free Dining Plan promotions in an effort to lure guests during historically low occupancy times. And it’s worked like a charm! Many Disney fans breathlessly await offers of free dining to book their next adventure.
But are you saving? Again, it depends. Because here’s the sticky part: Free Dining Deals normally require you to pay full price for your Disney Resort Room, and they also usually require a minimum theme park ticket purchase. If you can find a great deal on a room, or you’re already an Annual Passholder, these deals are unlikely to net you much in the way of savings.
In our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, we spend an entire chapter crunching numbers — with and without resort discounts, with and without Free Dining, etc. — to show you exactly how you can save money on the Plan.
Still, some guests think that the real savings of the DDP isn’t in terms of money. Instead, they see it as a time saver, and a way to pre-pay more of the trip’s expenses, thereby freeing up spending money for other things.
Take a look at the video, and at our DFB Guide to WDW Dining e-Book, for more great details!
Ready for All of Our Best Tips? Check out the DFB Guide!
So now, please weigh in below. Is the Disney Dining Plan worth it to you and yours? Leave a comment and tell us what you think!