Disney Meal Plans

Updated on January 07, 2011
C.J. asks from Racine, WI
11 answers

My parents have offered to pay for our trip (air fare and lodging at the park) to Disney World but we're responsible for our admission tickets and food. What are the best plans for eating at Disney World? My son will be about 4 1/2 years old when we go.

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answers from Chicago on

Deft get the mean plan. We bought the 2 snack and dinner one which worked out perfectly as you and the kids will get hungry from all walking! There's also one that includes breakfast (but we didn't buy that one and we were fine without it.)

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answers from Augusta on

The best plan is to not get the meal plan.
We were in the parks for 4 days and spent a couple of hundred less than the meal plan. And that was 2 adults and 2 kids.
We did breakfast and snack in the room with poptarts and cereal bars , Juice , etc.
The servings are big enough to share , so it's really a waste to order more than one dish for two people. Eating at the fast places is great, eating a sitdown meal is not necessary and really is a waste of time.
If you get a chance to get out w/o your son eat at Raglan Road at Downtown Disney. A bit pricey but it's SOO good. Fish and chips at cookes of dublin ,also downtown disney is the counter service side of Raglan. Also SO good and big servings.
Pizza planet, at hollywood studios , And Casey's on mainstreet disney are great places to eat for not TOO much.

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answers from Minneapolis on

We prefer not to do the meal plan. We tried it once and about broke even as far as actual food costs. We got more food that we needed and ended up getting things we normally wouldn't have ordered.....pop, dessert, etc. So essentially, we probably would have spent less because we wouldn't have ordered as much food. The other drawback for us, is that if your meal plan includes a table service meal, you have to have reservations at many places. It can be difficult to get reservations depending on the time of year that you are going and once you make them, you are tied to that schedule. We liked having a little more flexibility. Our kids were a little younger than yours and we also thought they would have a hard time sitting through a table service meal every night. Our first trip, our daughter was 19 months and our second trip, she was 3.5 and our son was 20 months.

Hope this helps! Also a great site to check out menus, prices and meal plans is www.allears.net

Have a great trip!

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answers from Minneapolis on

It seems like people either love the meal plan, or they hate it. We do NOT do the Disney dining plan. I think you can save some money, some probably save quite a bit, but it really depends on how many meals you plan to eat at the parks and the resorts. My family does NOT like the meal plan because DH and one of my daughters is vegetarian and they do not always order traditional entrees at meal times. My other daughter sometimes eats a kids meal, and sometimes orders off the regular menu. Sometimes we just want an appetizer or a salad. Sometimes we share things. Sometimes we want a dessert, not always. We do not like to be tied down and limited in our choices. We always eat a simple breakfast in our hotel room, a quick service lunch at the parks. Often we all get water, not soda, or split sodas. We like to eat a table service meal for dinners now that our kids are older, but when they were younger, we needed the flexibility to not do that if the kids and were just not up for it and all of us would rather lounge and eat poolside. Plus once or twice we leave WDW and eat off site for dinner. I've heard the meal plan is good if you plan to do a lot of character dining. Great for some, not for us.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I am on the fence with the meal plan because we always stay at a place with a half kitchen at least so we do breakfast in the room and sometimes even dinner. We always bring a back pack with some snacks and water and the crystal light flavor packets are awesome so that you don't spend a ton on pop. It also depends on how much your 4 1/2 year old will eat. We will be going to Disney in March and we will not be doing the food plan but partially because we don't know how many days we will really be at the parks. It is very nice for your parents to pay for your airfare that is a big chunk of expense. Also if you know where you will be staying see what they have to offer such as a kitchen you may want to do some meals in your room.
Good Luck and have fun.

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answers from Detroit on

Get the meal plan! It is worth it! We also add on and get the extra dining meal plan (worth it if you want to do a character dining experience)... The sit down restaurants are AMAZING... and kid friendly too.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Go with the meal plan if you plan to do any character meals as those can be quite expensive. While you'll end up with more food than you need, it is really nice to have it all pre-paid and budgeted out. I would recommend the 1 table service, 1 snack, 1 counter service per day. You use the table service for the character/fancy meal, counter service for your other main meal and snacks as you need them (we actually used these on the last couple days of the trip when we were out of our other meals). I also recommend pre-ordering health snacks (raisins etc), cereal, and milk from an online grocer and have it delivered to your resort the day you arrive. That way you don't waste time trying to get the 4 year old to settle down to breakfast in a restaurant, you can eat in your room then head out and grab the shuttle to the parks. Have a great time - it's a lot of fun to go with a 4 year old and watch the experience through their eyes.

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answers from Chicago on

Meal plan is awesome. Who wants to cook and worry about food when they are on vacation? Not me! When we stayed there in 2009, we got a GREAT deal on the plan. We stayed in the park and had the free dining plan. We got one snack, one quick service meal and one sit down meal. My mom is great at planning our Disney trips. She does a ton of research before we go on our trips so we get the most out of it. We really took advatage of the meal plans so we didn't wast our money whatsoever. So if you are willing to do that - go for it. For our sit down meals, she planned a character meal for every one. Those can be super pricey so we got a great deal on those. For our family of four, the dining plan lasted us the 6 days we were there. It was so worth it. But, it all depends on how much you plan to eat and how much planning you want to do and what you want to get out of your trip. We traveled with a 12 year old and 3 year old.

EDIT - I have to add that this plan lasted us for breakfast, lunch AND dinner!

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answers from Minneapolis on

We did the meal plan when we went 2 yrs ago and loved it. If I remember correctly, we did one sit-down per day, plus a "quick service" and "snack." The quick service was basically a buffet-style breakfast at our resort. The snack varied, but I think it was like an ice cream and drink per person, a pretzel, etc. Then we had a sit-down meal at night. We booked 6 months in advance because the times fill quickly, and if you have a bigger party or smaller kids and want specific times they advise you to book sooner rather than later. Next time we do Disney we'll be doing the meal plan again. Good luck and have fun!!



answers from Milwaukee on

Come and visit the disboards.com. On there there is a restaurant board where you can ask any question you wish. Character meals are the most expensive with the signature restaurants. These are some of my favorites according to Parks and location. We will be going for our 5th time in October 2011 and on our 3rd Disney cruise. At a minimum I would have one Quick service and one Table Service and one snack a day meal plan. If you go to the disney.com website under dining you can compare the plans.

Magic Kingdom
Cosmic Rays for quick service or Pinochios, Crystal Palace for character dining

Teppan Edo
Akershus for character dining with the princesses
quick service Fish and Chips in the UK

Animal Kingdom
Flame Tree Barbecue quick service
Jiko or Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge

Hollywood Studios
Brown Derby
Psy fy cafe
turkey legs

Downtown Disney
Wolfgang Pucks cafe
Goofys for snacks
Ohanna's at the Polynesian for character breakfast or 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian

If your parents could add the dining plan to your ressie if you are staying onsite that would be the best best and you could reimburse them. Without the meal plan you are looking at spending around $800 alone on food. (for a stay of 5 days) The park tickets also can be very costly. My husband is able to buy his park tickets through his work so I would look to see if your husbands work does that. There are also times in the winter and fall when they offer free dining. That can save a ton of money too.



answers from Johnstown on

I don't understand how your parents are paying for your trip to Disney if you have to pay for your own admission.

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