Is Disney Dining Plan worth the Money?

I have read a lot of blogs about DDP (Disney Dining Plan). Should you get it? Is it worth the money? I believe it truly is an individual decision to make; but it’s always nice to see what others are saying about the subject. After all it’s a lot of money and if you are like us, vacations is one time a year, and you save all year for it. When you do leave for your trip you really don’t want stress. That’s one of the things I love about the all inclusiveness of Disney. Once you leave for your trip it’s paid for so you just enjoy.

The first time we went to Disney I did very little research. We did however get the QS (quick serve) DDP. The remaining trips we have always purchased the TS (table service) DDP. That is just something we learned from our first trip. We wanted the kids to be able to see the characters and the best way to ensure we got the dining experiences with the characters we wanted to see was to get the TS DDP.

Let’s dive into pricing

I’m sure you have heard the big news that starting in 2018 Disney will be offering specially drinks and alcoholic beverages with the DDP. This includes QS and TS. You are entitled to order 1 drink per person, per meal.

The price in 2017 for QS DDP is $48.19 per day for adults (age 10 and up) and $20.88 per day for children (age 3-9). Children under 3 are free at Disney. Pricing for TS DDP in 2017 is $69.35 each day for adults (age 10 and up) and $24.95 per day for children (age 3-9).

DDP 2017 QS TS DDP 2018 QS TS
Adult

Age 10 and up

$48.19 $69.35 Adult

Age 10 and up

$52.49 $75.49
Child

Age 3-9

$20.88 $24.95 Child

Age 3-9

$21.75 $25.80
2 and under Free Free 2 and under Free Free

The price in 2018 for QS DDP is $52.49 per day for adults (age 10 and up) and $21.75 per day for children (age 3-9). Pricing for TS DDP in 2018 is $75.49 each day for adults (age 10 and up) and $25.80 per day for children (age 3-9).

As you can see prices did go up. The increase is less than $5 for adults on QS and just over $5 on TS. The increase for children is less than $2 on both QS and TS. You can’t purchase a shake in my town for less than $2; so to me this is not that big of a jump. I don’t get out much, but last time my husband and I went out I know we could not have purchased a drink with our meal for less than $5; so again for what you are getting this is not a huge leap in my opinion.

What do you get for the extra money?

As I mentioned you get 1 alcoholic beverage or 1 specialty drink. You ask, what does my kiddo get though? Well a specialty drink could be a shake; which if your kids are like mine they are going to be over the moon to be able to get a shake and dessert!

What will I pay out of pocket if I decide against the DDP?

That depends on your families eating habits. Example below we will say we are going to Hollywood Studios on this day. You are staying at a value resort in this scenario and this is figured on one adult person. If you had purchased the DDP TS you would have already paid $75.49 for the day.

Meal Location With DDP Out of Pocket
Breakfast At resort muffin (snack option) $0 $4.95
Lunch TS – Hollywood and vine (Disney Jr Characters) with specialty drink $0 $50
Dinner QS – Fairfax Fare (Spareribs, bud light, and chocolate mousse) $0 $25.25
Snack Double scoop of ice cream with waffle cone $0 $7.95
Total DDP TS – already paid before travel $75.49 $88.15

This is comparing dollar for dollar. You may not want specialty drink or alcoholic drink which means you would pay about $8-12 less on your meal. You also may not want your desert which will save you about $5. If your family does not eat as much food as the DDP offers you may opt to not purchase it. If I were not going to purchase the DDP I personally would try to have about $75 a person a day set aside to buy food and snacks while there. I very well maycome home with money left over. At least you would have planned ahead for your vacation and not be there stressing with a kid who is crying because they really had to meet and eat with Sophia.

 Conclusion

This is why I say you need to look at what your family want to get out their trip to Walt Disney World. Do you want character dining? Do you want the all-inclusive feel? Can you save money before leaving to spend on meals while you’re there? Maybe money is no real issue for you; when you’re on vacation you just want to enjoy yourself and worry about the cost later. Though you probably wouldn’t be reading this if that were the case.

Follow my group on Facebook “All about Disney Love”. This is a fun group and I throw in some information too. If you want to keep up on the Disney deals follow me on Facebook here. My service is completely free to you; so even if you just want some information or to see what a quote would be feel free to email me, teresa@destinationsinflorida.com

Thanks and have a Magical Day!

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4 Replies to “Is Disney Dining Plan worth the Money?”

  1. This is such great info! I’m not a math girl so I love that you’ve done that for me. I have 3 teenage boys and we go every year at Christmas. The plan definitely works for us!

    1. Thanks for your feedback Emily!

  2. This is really helpful information for anyone going to Disneyland. It has been far too long since I was there, adding it to my vacation list for next year and I would definitely opt in for the meal plan!

    1. Glad you found it helpful Lisa!

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