We have a lot of debate about whether the Disney Dining Plan is worth it. Some people won’t vacation without it, some people would rather cut off their own leg than consider it- and we always say the same thing: Do the math and see if it works for you. Here is how we Beat The Disney Dining Plan!
Well baby, I did the math and it definitely worked for us! Not only did it work for us, but we ended up with a ton of snack credits and several leftover Quick Service meals that we traded in for snacks.
We had two adults and 1 child in our party, meaning we paid $894.80 for 1 TS, 1 QS and 2 snacks a day, per person. Going into the Dining Plan, I had one rule: If you want it, you get it. I wasn’t going to tell my daughter she couldn’t have a certain snack because it wasn’t “valuable” enough. I wasn’t going to force everyone to get the most expensive thing on the menu every time. That’s not fun- and that’s what this trip was about. Eating and a ton of fun!
We went during peak time, so all of our buffets were the highest price. I also shared meals with my daughter as we normally would at Quick Service locations- after all, I’m not going to get food just to throw it away, simply because we’re on the dining plan. None of us went hungry, I can promise you that! There were days we only ate one meal, because we either snacked later, or we had a special event, like MVMCP that had complimentary yummies! Basically- we ate as we normally would, with the exception of booking way more table service places. We finally got to try some places we’ve always wanted to try!
We received 3 resort mugs which we used several times over the course of our trip- I thought my daughter was going to turn into hot chocolate! I am not counting what we would have paid for the mugs as far as the value goes, because I didn’t count how many times we used them. I know we got at least 12 drinks among the three of us, but we drove down. We could have just as easily brought some soft drinks with us.
Before you look at my breakdown, know this- no, we normally don’t eat so many character meals on one trip. We did that because we were on the dining plan and because it was Christmas. No, we normally don’t order alcoholic drinks- that was solely because we were on the dining plan. No, we wouldn’t have brought home so many snacks- that was just to use up leftover credits.
Could we have done this trip cheaper without the dining plan? Absolutely. Was the dining plan a TON of fun? You bet your Disney Fund it was! This wasn’t about doing this trip as cheaply as possible, it was about having an amazing time and breaking even on what we paid for the plan. My thought was basically- we don’t know how crowded the parks are going to be, so let’s make sure we at least have fun at our meals.
So here we go!
Be Our Guest (lunch): $79.59
RestaurantoSaurus: Burgers & Sundaes: $64.94
Storybook Dining: $197.03
The Smoking Mirror
A Brew Of Peaches
Blue Glowtini (with Glow Cube souvenir!)
Lava Smoothie (Miss Bongo)
Hollywood & Vine, Fantasmic Package: $201.29
Magical Star (with Glow Cube souvenir!)
Diamond Horseshoe: $121.15
– Frozen Lemonade
Food Court Personal Pizza & Dessert (in lieu of drink): $18.72
Polite Pig: $73.49
Le Fou’s Brew: $5.79
Cinnamon Roll: $5.99
Mickey Bar: $5.75
Caramel Popcorn: $3.99?
(2) Caramel Gingerbread Cookie Sandwich– $5.99 each
Traditional Poutine: $7.50
Cookies N’ Cream Funnel Cake with Ice Cream: $8.49
Candy Apple $5.99
Mickey Cookie: $5.49
Salted Caramel Cupcake: $5.59
Caramel Peanut Apple: $6.99
Make Your Own Rice Krispies Treat:
Star Wars Diet Coke: $6
- Chirashi Sushi Tree (Japan) – $6
- Cheese Fondue in a Bread Bowl with Fresh Steamed Baby Vegetables and Marble Potatoes (Germany)- $8.25
- Yule Log (France)
Take Home Treats:
Mickey Pez Dispenser (I snuck this one, it’s going in her Easter basket!)
Minnie Pez Dispenser
2 Bags of Cotton Candy- $4.69
4 Candy Bars- $4.99 each
1 18″ candy straw- $5.99
8 Bags of Goofy/Stitch Candy- $6.29 each
6 Bags of Chip N Dale Snack Mixes- $5.99 (?) each
1 tin of mints- $4.99
1 Rice Krispy Treat
Total Spent: $207.80
Grand Total: $1307.98
Total Spent on the Dining Plan: $894.80
Difference: $413.18 to the positive * And remember- several of my snacks I couldn’t recall the price of, meaning this total is actually higher. We also did not count the value of resort mugs or their refills!