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Disney Dining Plan – Is it Worth the Money?

This is the million-dollar question. Well not literally, but it can save you a bunch of money if you know whether the dining plan is worth it for your family or not. Every Disney World vacation is different, because every family is different, so there are going to be elements that work for some families, but not others. Here we’ll tell you how the Disney Dining Plan can work for you and why it may not be the best choice.

When it’s worth the money

5. If you get free dining

Obviously, the dining plan is worth the money when it doesn’t cost you a penny. Disney sometimes offers codes or specials that allow us to get the free dining plan if we stay a certain amount of nights or buy a certain amount of park tickets during a certain time of year. But realistically, we may not be able to get the dining plan for free for various reasons, so that’s why we came up with the rest of this list.

4. If you want to try different restaurants

Personally, I think it’s easier to decide to go for it and book the dining plan when you know that you are going to be trying a lot of different restaurants. Because only certain restaurants are accepted on the dining plan, you might end up trying a new restaurant you’ve never tried before.

3. If you like to order expensive meals

One of the greatest things about the dining plan is it covers everything, that meaning one un-alcoholic drink, one entrée, and one dessert on all meals. Except breakfast, there’s no dessert there. So with the exclusion of signature restaurants (like California Grill and Cinderella’s Royal Table), you can order anything on the menu. So that $35 steak? No big deal! It’s covered!

2. If your family is big eaters

If your family likes to eat constantly and eat big meals, then you would definitely be getting your money’s worth. If you have your “snack” credit for break fast, a quick service meal for lunch, and a buffet for dinner, you’ll be getting a lot of food for one day!

1. If you want an all-inclusive feeling

One of the main reasons I book the dining plan is because when I arrive at Disney World, I like the feeling of having everything covered. I don’t have to save any extra money for food. If you book a package with resort reservations, tickets, and a dining plan, once you arrive, you don’t need anything but yourself and a smile!

When it’s not worth the money

3. If you want to save money

If you want to do “Disney on a budget”, then choosing the dining plan probably isn’t your best bet. Although, you can get your money’s worth from the dining plan, it certainly doesn’t come cheap.

2. If you like to eat in your resort room

If you are planning on saving some money, then you’ll probably eat in your room a couple times, especially if you are staying somewhere with a full kitchen. Unfortunately, if you do want to save some money and cook in the room, it won’t be necessary to buy the dining plan too.

Bonus Tip!

BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Disney travel deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius! Discover More >



1. If you don’t usually eat a lot

If you don’t usually eat big meals, then the dining plan might just be a big waste of money. Even if you only get the regular dining plan (which comes with one snack, one quick service meal, and one table service meal) it can still be a lot of food. Especially if you opt for a buffet, those things are filling!

Just like many things at Disney World, the dining plan can be great for some people, but not for others. It all depends on you and your family. You just have to do the research! So what is your stance on the Disney Dining Plan? Take it or leave it?

BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!

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About Meghann McFadden

Writing has always been my passion. I have had an interest in writing ever since I was young. Similarly, I have always loved Disney. There is not a day that goes by that I'm not reading or watching something about Disney. I am currently finishing up my bachelor’s degree and working as well. I live right outside of Chicago, but visit Walt Disney World Resort several times a year.