To buy the Disney Dining Plan or to not buy the Disney Dining Plan

Okay, I’m going to come right out and say it…

I  do not like the Disney Dining Plan options and when it comes to saving money, I don’t think it’s a solid option.

But first let’s look at the plans so you can decide for yourself.

With the “quick service plan,” you get:

mickey-ice-cream-bar-snack

This tasty ice cream snack, featuring your favorite mouse, counts as a meal plan snack but might be cheaper to just purchase at face value.

  • Two quick service meals a day at places like a food court or counter service restaurant
  • Two snacks, which can vary depending on the location but can include things like a piece of fruit, a soda or ice cream
  • One free refill on your reusable mug (which comes with the plan)

This is the cheapest option with it costing $48.19 per adult (10 and up) per night and $20.88 per child (3 to 9) per night.

For a full list of the quick service restaurants covered under the plan, check out WDWInfo’s comprehensive list here.

There are more expensive plan options that range anywhere from $69.35 to $106.68 per adult per night and from $24.95 to $38.75 per child per night and for more information on them, you can visit the Disney website but since this is about saving money, I’m going to avoid showing you something that costs just under $4,900 per adult per week.

Now, like WDW Prep School, I’m more fond of buying groceries online before a trip and having them delivered to the room and, like WDW Prep School, I use Garden Grocer to do it.

The service costs the price of your food plus the $14 delivery charge but ordering ahead of time can get you a discount (60 days out will score you a 10% discount, 30 days will get a 7% discount and 15 days out will get a 5% discount).

It’s also important to remember that the service requires a $40 minimum.

screen-shot-2017-03-01-at-10-32-46-pm

Now, check out my cart. It has a $78.40 total. What you can’t see from the screen shot is that it’s filled with:

  • Six bagels
  • A tub of cream cheese
  • Two eight-count packs of breakfast cereal
  • A container of peanut butter
  • A loaf of bread
  • Two containers of turkey
  • Two containers of salami
  • A large bag of pretzels
  • Ten packages of peanut butter crackers

So, for $92.40 you can get breakfast and lunch for a week, probably for a family of four with two children.

You’ll notice that doesn’t include dinner. That’s because doing one quick service meal a night (which costs $15 and under person) isn’t a bad thing – you still get the Disney experience at a cheap price.

For a family of four with two children, the absolute worst case scenario for a quick service meal is $60 a bill (chances are, the younger your kids are, the less you’ll spend per meal), leaving you with a total of $420 by the end of the week. Couple that with with the grocery bill and that’s $512.40 for food a week.

What’s that, you say? I didn’t include drinks? That’s because you can go up to any quick service restaurant in any Disney park and get a cup of ice water for free.

It’s important to keep yourself hydrated in the heat anyway, right?

 

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