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Monday, July 16, 2012

Part TWO- Disney Dining Plan Prices-Is the Disney Dining Plan Worth It?

My last post analyzed the Quick Service Dining Plan from the Disney Dining Plan.

This post is dedicated to Disney Plus Dining-I call it the Base Disney Dining Plan, just because it's sandwiched in-between the other two options. (Yes, I intentionally used the word sandwiched... this post is all about food!)

This Disney Dining Plan provides you 1 table service, 1 counter service, and 1 snack per day.

Clink the link to find out if this is the Disney Dining Plan for you!

First, a little more about the Base Disney Dining Plan.

The advantage of this plan is that it allows you to eat one table service credit meal. There are a number of restaurants throughout Disney that fit this bill-from Chef Mickeys, Ohana, Sci-Fi Dine-In, to the T-Rex Restaurant in Downtown Disney.

You are able to sit down at a table, order off a menu, and have your meal served to you by a waiter. You will be sitting inside an air conditioned restaurant. Of course, these meals also require (ok, no one requires it but you should definitely reward good service) a tip that you don't have to pay at counter service, and is not included in the dining plan.

The counter service is what I discussed in my previous post- similar to a fast food restaurant in service and food, like a Taco Bell.

Now, the prices.


2012 Adult Base Disney Dining Plan cost: $51.54

2013 Adult Base Disney Dining Plan cost: $55.59 (about an 8% increase)

(please note, there is a small increase in these costs for peak seasons)


Again, just a reminder- kids are adults in Disney, because they count 10 year olds as adults when it comes to the Disney Dining Plan. However, I think this may actually be a bargain for me for the next couple of years; my two and one year old eat like they are the Nathans Hotdog Eating Champion when it comes time to eat... well, as long as chocolate and macaroni are involved (separately!). Sometimes I wonder if Jamie Oliver would create a food revolution show about me if he visited my pantry. 

Also of note- children 2 and under are not included in the Dining Plan. You'll have to pay extra for them off a menu, but they get plates at a buffet.

2012 Children's Base Disney Dining Plan cost: $15.02

2013 Children's Base Disney Dining Plan cost: $ 17.16 (a 14% increase!)

You'll notice the rising prices. The primary focus of these posts are to answer the question- Is the Disney Dining Plan for me?

Sample Meal Price for an Adult on the Disney Plus Dining Plan

Let's try this again, with real prices for real meals. 

Option 1: 
Let's eat at Mara, since we are staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge- I love this hotel. You'll wake up to giraffes, gazelle, and other animals right outside your window.

You're eating a late breakfast, since you are not eating again until dinner. Let's go with the Bounty Platter, which has scrambled eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage,  MICKEY WAFFLE! and a biscuit. Really, who eats this much food normally for breakfast? This is a mouthful. Your cost- $8.29 with a $2.50 chocolate milk, giving you a grand total of 10.79, with a little tax on top of that.

Now your stomach is growling, and you are ready to eat. You have one table service, and you are with your kids. What's one place you have to go? Chef Mickeys! You'll find all of the head honchos-Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto. There is an important piece I will get to in a second, but first the price. This is a buffet- we had this for dinner on our last trip, and loved it-and it costs $45.79. 

The best part about this meal is that it saves you valuable time in the parks. Skip those hour long waits to get a picture and autograph in the Disney Parks, because they will come right up to your table. That's why they can (and do) charge a high price for these meals. 

Total price for two meals? $56.58. 

On first glance, you might roll your eyes at the 99 cents the Base Disney Dining Plan saved you. But, young grasshopper, there is more than what meets the eye. 

You're also getting a refillable mug-which normally costs about $15. 

You're also getting a snack.. which brings me back to my favorite snack, the caramel and chocolate covered mammoth rice krispie treat. These can cost anywhere from $2-$5, depending on the snack you choose.

Additionally, you're also getting the convenience of using your room key to pay for all of these meals. One card, one swipe, pays for it all. You'll want to carry some cash for tips, but it's just easier to pull out that Key to World card (your room key) than it is a debit/credit card. 


In all dollars and cents, it pays to use the Base Disney Dining Plan. You saved only $1 on the meal, but you're also getting a snack with the refillable mug. No, you're not going all extreme couponing on Disney World and getting everything at bargain barrel prices, but you are stretching your dollar, even if only a little bit.

One other advantage- the food at the table service restaurants will provide for more food variety. And these are some of the best restaurants you'll ever find. Even better- you get an entree and a dessert at restaurants with a menu, assuming you are not eating at a buffet, at which point you get whatever in the world you want. Tired of Chicken Fingers? Try the famous steak at Le Cellier in Epcot, or my favorite fried chicken at Trails End in the Disney Fort Wilderness area.

There are some places that are not on the Disney Plus Dining Plan- Mickeys Backyard BBQ, Hoop Dee Doo, and a couple of places cost two (2) table service credits. I'll get to those in my next blog post about the Disney Dining Plan. However, if you pick this Dining Plan, you will absolutely be satisfied.

Again- contact me with any questions you have about the Disney Plus Dining Plan or any Disney Dining Plan package. I can help you choose the plan that is right for you- from which plan, where to eat, and what to expect.

I don't call myself the Disney Trip Expert for nothing- let me do the heavy lifting and make your trip to Disney World or Disney Land a breeze!

1 comment:

  1. hi so I was wondering if you only get a park pass for 4 days(four parks,1 day a park) and you booked a hotel(pop century) for 7 will you be able to use the dining plan at the hotel for the other 3 days?