'; Why My Family Loves the Dining Plan - WDW Hints
Wednesday 19 June 2024
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Why My Family Loves the Dining Plan

My family loves using the Disney Dining Plan on our trips! With the cost of, well, everything increasing, the dining plan is no longer a big cost saver for my family. However, we STILL love the dining plan, and it is something both my husband and I agree we like to use. We continue to try and maximize our dining plan by the places we choose to dine, but we find value in the dining plan in unexpected ways.

My favorite thing about the dining plan is being able to pay for the bulk of our meals ahead of time. I know when I pay for the regular dining plan that I have paid for a sit down meal, a counter service meal, and a snack for each night that we stay at our Disney resort. This leaves possibly one meal a day that I need to budget for rather than having to budget a week’s worth of meals. Instead of trying to estimate how much each meal will cost, I just use my dining plan credits and continue enjoying my vacation! By purchasing the dining plan, I only need to estimate gratuities and budget some wiggle room in case we decide to purchase any extra food. That is much easier than having to estimate a week’s worth of meals!

The Dining Plan adds value to our family vacations by allowing us time to slow down. As you probably know, Disney World can be a busy vacation. There is so much to see and do that we forget to slow down and enjoy our family time. The dining plan makes our family take a break and enjoy a sit down meal, and honestly, with an active toddler, I welcome the time to relax over a meal. What better way to slow down at Disney World than to do it over a delicious meal?! When attending restaurants, we get to stop, enjoy a wonderful meal, and talk to one another.

As I mentioned in the beginning, the dining plan does not save us a whole lot of money like it did years ago. We have thrown around the idea of not getting the dining plan but still doing reservations for a restaurant each day. We know how much we enjoy that sit down meal each day, so we want to have that on our vacation. However, I am a very frugal person. Without the dining plan, I know I would sit down at the table, look at the menu, and get the cheapest thing on there. With the dining plan, instead of getting a hamburger, I may order the most expensive thing on the menu! The dining plan takes my mind off the sticker shock and allows me to enjoy trying new things. Rather than thinking about if the $30+ character buffet is worth it, I just enjoy seeing my son’s face light up.

All in all, the dining plan allows me to relax and enjoy our vacation that we worked hard for. I know I have already paid for everything, so I can just relax and enjoy our magical destination.

Natalie Floyd is a Disney Vacation Planner with Mickey Adventures and specializes in all Disney vacations. You can follow her on FacebookTwitter, or you contact her via email.

Terri is owner, creator and an author for WDW Hints. She enjoys taking less-traveled paths of WDW and sharing her lesser-known discoveries with you!