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  • Author
    • lw

      Registered: February 2007
      Posts: 14
      Review Date: Sun March 16, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 6 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Prepaid meals
      Cons: A lot of food; pay for tip over 6 people

      Prepaying for meals are an excellent option when dining at Disney.

      However, after 5 days so much dessert and so many less than stellar snack and quick serve choices you become so full!
      Perhaps, a Baggie of carrots or a garden salad instead of dessert or a bottle of water.

      We were very surprised with the additional gratuity added to each meal.
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      Registered: March 2011
      Posts: 67
      Review Date: Sat January 25, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 7 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Prepaid Meals
      Cons: Almost to much food, no appitizers, tip not included

      My recent trip I was given a free quick service dining plan so I paid a small up-charge to get the standard dining plan.

      The standard plan allows you 1 Table Service meal, 1 Counter Service meal, and 1 snack per night of your stay as well as a refillable mug you can use at any resort during your stay.

      After 5 sit down meals, 5 counter service meal, and 5 snacks I never felt so full in my life.

      All the food (with one notable exception. See my Chef Mickey's review for that) was very good but it got to be to much. I had to force myself to use all my counter service meals and snacks to keep them from going to waste and ended up bringing a lot of food home with me.

      The refillable mug is nice if you spend a lot of time at the resort, but I don't and you can't fill it at the parks. Also when you come home what are you gonna do with it? I have 4 of them just sitting around now.

      Also keep in mind appetizers and tips are NOT included and reservations are required for the table service meals so plan ahead.

      The dining plan is not for everyone, but something nice if you eat a lot.
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      Registered: October 2010
      Posts: 22
      Review Date: Tue January 14, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Allows us to have great family time
      Cons: none

      We love the dining plan. It saves us a decent amount of money (we figured it up and saved about 20%)...plus we wouldn't normally splurge for some of the meals we get to choose and certainly not dessert! It's the best time of day when we sit down for a meal and have a chance to talk about the day! Even quick service meals are wonderful. It just really takes a lot off our minds - not constantly price watching...it's prepaid!
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      Registered: November 2012
      Location: NJ
      Posts: 17
      Review Date: Fri January 10, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Meals already paid for
      Cons: Tip not included & no appetizers

      I love that meals are already paid for. But have to make sure have money for tips; which I have been told should be 18% even for buffet meals. Also, I would rather have appetizers than dessert or even have the choice of either dessert or appetizer.
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      Registered: January 2014
      Posts: 1
      Review Date: Sat January 4, 2014 Would you recommend the product? No | | Rating: 4 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): ease if in a hotel room
      Cons: cost, cost, planning ahead, cost

      I think the DDP could work well for people staying in hotel rooms where they have to buy all their meals in the restaurants, however, if you will be eating breakfasts in your room and some meals off grounds, or you brought some meal items with you then the Plan would not work out for you financially.

      We were at Disney checking in after dinner on a Friday and out on Mon. Cost would be $351 for 3 nights for 2 adults. We ate on property, brought cereal, bought milk on property and spent about $125 on the food we wanted to get.

      We didn't gain any weight this trip because we didn't overeat, which can be a concern when you've already paid for two desserts a day, and buy the most expensive items because you want to get your money's worth out of the Plan.

      I have tried to make the numbers work for us but just can't. Making ADRs can be a pain but need to be done and then you are tied to them.

      I would recommend, if price is a concern, to check menus and see if it works for you. The convenience may be worth whatever the price.
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      Registered: February 2009
      Posts: 53
      Review Date: Sat December 28, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): already pd for or free
      Cons: too many desserts

      We really like using the dining plan. We tend to use the snacks for pastries for breakfast, CS for lunch, and TS for dinner. I like that paying in advance gives us the ability to have what we would like without worrying about prices at the moment. We tend to pick higher priced menu items so it does pay for itself and then some. If we picked less expensive items I'm not sure it would balance out so it is important to look at menus for the restaurants you are interested in ahead of time. My child this trip was 9 but turning 10. The children's menu just didn't do it for him for variety this time. Sometimes he was also still hungry. I swapped meals with him most days so I knew he had something he wanted and had a full belly. I liked that the DP could be used with Fantasmic. It was still 1 TS but it gives you the opportunity for seating at Fantasmic without such a long line. It also gives you an appetizer which isn't usually included in the plan. We also used the DP for the candlelight processional. We ate in France and had to use 2 TS credits but again it guaranteed seating and not standing in line for so long. For us it was worth it due to health issues. Our meal was wonderful and again we could get an appetizer. I am not a dessert person so a dessert at every meal is too much. I would love if an appetizer was possible. There is more than enough food on the plan. I found some good deals for snack credits with soup at our resort and fried rice at Yak and Yeti CS in Animal Kingdom. Keep an eye out for free dining for your trip. We actually had free dining and saved over $1500 for the 3 of us based on our receipts. My parent's also had free dining and clearly saved several hundred as well. I'm not sure if next trip we will do the DP because DS will be an adult and I'm not sure if he would spend that much on food. It's a math game that I need to look at. Of course if free a no brainer.
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      Registered: December 2013
      Posts: 21
      Review Date: Wed December 11, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Paying up front

      I love the dining plan. Its such a great way to pay for dinner, but not have to worry if you'll have enough money to spend the rest of your trip. The snack choices are more then just fruit and ice cream. We would decide in the morning if we wanted to use out counter service for breakfast or lunch then pay for whatever we didn't choose. Although the dining plan doesn't include appetizers, we didn't mind paying for them at the restaurant. I will always use the dining plan with every trip I take.
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      Registered: September 2012
      Posts: 13
      Review Date: Sun November 10, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 6 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Convenience of paying upfront for dining
      Cons: Average Food Quality

      We received the free dining plan with our most recent trip. I like the convenience of having all of the meals for vacation paid for up front. You have to keep in mind that the meals are awarded per night, not day. So if you're staying in the parks on a travel day, your meals may not be included in the plan.
      I don't think I would ever purchase the plan. I don't like that you can't get an appetizer with a table service meal unless you pay out of pocket. I wish Disney would allow an appetizer OR dessert option.
      We liked the ability to get such a variety of snack options throughout the parks, including items from the Food and Wine Festival.
      I also think the overall quality of the meals at the resorts are not as good as they used to be. The menu selections are limited. The food really tastes like mass-produced and not as good as it was in years past.
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      Registered: August 2010
      Location: Salisbury, NC
      Posts: 17
      Review Date: Fri November 1, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Get to eat at places otherwise wouldn't due to $$.
      Cons: Tip isn't included. No appetizers included. Only 2 meals per day.

      The Disney Dining plan, for the most part, is great.....especially when you book a vacation package that throws it in without cost to you. What really works the best with the DDP is that it affords you the opportunity to eat at some places on WDW property that perhaps one might not normally get to due to the expense.

      Generally, you get a drink, main meal, and dessert. Sometimes that's more than enough to satisfy you, but in other times you might want an appetizer, and those are NOT included in the DDP. Also NOT included in the DDP are tips for the wait staff, and based on the overall cost of your meal, the tips can be up there quite a bit (regardless of whether they deserve that tip or not).

      What also could be improved upon is them adding a third meal, as it only offers two per person per day. Then, there are some restaurants that take two credits instead of one.....and usually the meals in those places aren't good enough to justify that.
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      Registered: November 2012
      Location: NJ
      Posts: 17
      Review Date: Wed October 9, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 5 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Food is paid for in advance
      Cons: Not the tip. Which I am told should be 18-20%-which was too expensive for me.

      It is a great plan. But wish appetizers were included. I do not like a lot of the desserts on certain menus. I loved when both were included. But Disney keeps taking away. Again wish the tip was included.
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      Registered: September 2013
      Posts: 7
      Review Date: Tue October 8, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Worked out for us
      Cons: Would like to have option of appetizer

      We got free dining for our stay in September so I might be biased. I'm pretty sure I'd do it again, but I will do the math before I go seeing as Disney is dead set on jacking the price up every year. We used snack credits/leftovers/refillable mug for breakfast, counter service for lunch and table service for dinner. Dinner for two adults and two children with no appetizers or alcohol seemed to run a steady $100-$120 and lunch was about $50. It worked out well for us, the meals are very big and filling and after lunch and dinner when we went back to our room to regroup we would bring the extra grapes, applesauce and desserts back and put them in the fridge and use them for breakfast or snacks. Using your snack credit for breakfast worked out well too, the sticky buns were huge!!! The refillable mugs were ok, good for breakfast and at night but I spent a lot of time dumping them out and washing them because no one was finishing their drinks.
      My husband and I found the plan very easy to use, most of the cashiers understand it very well and are happy to help. It can snagged up a little when you have to get a second bill(for alcohol or an appetizer)because some servers know how to get it all the same bill and others can't and give you two bills so they run your card for tip twice. It took a few back and forths a couple times. Our servers were all wonderful and although the tip suggestions are printed on the bottom of the receipt ALL the servers(we had) had a classy way of saying that we weren't obligated to tip, but if we chose to it would be appreciated.
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      Registered: September 2013
      Posts: 2
      Review Date: Sat September 28, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): The food was outstanding everywhere!
      Cons: N/a

      This was the first year we have decided to do the dining plan... we are HOOKED!!!!!! We ate at so many wonderful places got to do 2 dinner shows and we had a blast! Not a single complaint about any of the food!!!! We opted for the 1 quick service meal a day and 1 table service meal a day with one snack each and resort refillable mug!!!!! We were never hungry after any meal!!! We actually saved the majority of our snacks ( except for the yummy dole whip we had to get !) and cashed them all in at the end and took home treats with us! Loved that we could walk into Tokyo dining in Japan and have the 36 dollar filet mignon which was superb! Hoopdee doo musical review was wonderful as well! Best fried chicken ever!!!! My husband is still raving about the food and he has said that we will never go without the dining plan again!!!!!
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      Registered: September 2013
      Posts: 6
      Review Date: Thu September 26, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Convenience & Choices
      Cons: Gratuities, Inflated Food Prices

      The dining plan is the way to go. I read where some people complain about only (1) snack. I believe that they used it incorrectly. We would use our snack as just that a snack. We brought quick breakfast items to eat at the hotel, and then used our snack on an item to hold us over until a later lunch. We usually set up our table services for lunch. This way it would hold us over until we were ready for dinner at a quick service restaurant. Yes it takes time out of the park but having a little one, it was great to get out of the heat and cool off while refueling with all that food. The other most important deciding factor for me was this: a table service character buffet for (3) was about $75-$100 before gratuity. I don't care about how good the food was, it wasn't worth that. Also quick service meals for (3) ranged from $35-50 per meal.
      When you add that up, it's expensive to pay on your own dime to eat there. So if the dining plan is offered, you will save money going that direction for sure.

      Negatives: the gratuities were not added in. This became relevant when you look at your dining bills. The food prices are inflated dramatically. So when you see a $100 bill, your first thought is...a $20 tip??? For refilling my drink??? Because that is all they do at the character buffets. So you should consider what the real value is of the meal before tipping and not based on what Walt Disney World suggests.
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      Registered: September 2012
      Location: England
      Posts: 8
      Review Date: Sun September 8, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): choice

      We always get DDP when we come to WDW. We find it so much easier than paying out of our pockets for meals, we try new restaurants and if we don't like the food then we don't feel like we have wasted our money, if we had to pay for the food at the time and never enjoyed it then we would feel like we wasted our money. I do feel like the past 2 years we don't seem to use our mugs as much as we did, not all resorts have hot chocolate, they all seem to have pop and coffee and the last 3 or 4 places we have stopped at we have to pay for the hot chocolate but in other hotels it's free?? We were so far away the last 2 years from the place where you can get refills we just didn't bother going.
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      Registered: May 2013
      Posts: 10
      Review Date: Sat August 17, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Convience

      Our family of 3 have used the DDP on our visits in 2011 and 2013, and while it works for our family, I can definitely see where it won't for other families- it all depends on your appetite, your food and restaurant preferences, and if don't mind taking time away from the parks,especially at dinner time. To optimize the value, we order the most expensive entrees available that we like, along with the desserts, at dinner and we make our reservations at places we probably wouldn't eat at if we weren't on the dining plan [we always put Hollywood & Vine and the Crystal Palace on our to-do list because we love these buffets!]. We do the same at lunch time for our Q/S meals, but instead of having desserts most of the time we get extra bottles of water to take with us in the parks. We are coming back in 2014 and if we can't fit our trip around a free dining plan offer, we won't hesitate to use the plan again. A quick note on tipping from my perspective - I don't have an issue with a 18-20% tip for good service, and with 1 exception,we have had very good servers, and they have made our WDW trips even more enjoyable.
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