Disney Dining Plan?

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Mushi404's picture
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Disney Dining Plan?

Hey everyone! We got the Dining Plan (1 snack, 1 quick service meal, 1 table service) is that enough? Do you guys just skip breakfast? Or maybe use the snack for breakfast? We leave in about a week for my husband's first trip to Disney World which will encompass his birthday as well. I was wondering if those vouchers covered you for the day, or how much extra I should leave in our finances for food/water throughout the day. When we went to Disney Land last year we didn't eat all that much, mainly because we didn't want to get full and not be able to ride anything for a while. Prior to getting to the park, we'd stop by McDonalds for a quick breakfast. Then, in the parks, we maybe had one sit down meal and a couple of snacks throughout the day. We'd also have one slushy and a snack for each of us while waiting for World of Color/Fantasmic.

We'll also be at Universal for two days. I'm guessing we can have breakfast at the resort, but then we'll have to skip the snack/dinner voucher for those two days. So, maybe we'll have an extra 2 table service meals? Is there a great place for breakfast at Pop Century? I've heard about the amazing cheesecake there, but not so much about breakfast.

I'm sorry if this is too personal of a question to ask. But, I was wondering how much we should bring/budget for spending money/souvenirs/extra money for food & water in the parks. I was thinking we'd need over $1000, but my husband is thinking we might need less, considering the dining plan. What do you guys think? Lol, I'm in panic mode, I just want everything to be amazing for my husband. I don't want him to stress about whether or not we have enough while we're there. Tired

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Hello! Honestly I think the Dining plan is more than enough food!!!!! We are DVC member and hav a full kitchen in our room so we usually do some grocery shopping at Walmart (we rent a car) and we will eat breakfast in our room-cereal, toast, kids like the frozen waffles/mini pancakes. But most rooms have a kitchenette I believe, a small fridge (no freezer) a microwave and one burner I believe? But you could certainly use a couple of snacks for breakfast at the resort and you have your refillable mug-which is good only at he resorts. You could always do a table service for breakfast (it's a lot of food!) and then have a snack in the afternoon and then a quick service for dinner. I have never been to Pop Centry but most resorts have a quick service there that you can get breakfast meals or just items (like a cressant) as a snack.

Yes if you go to Universal and don't use your table services those day you can use them another day, you could alway do a dinner show which will use 2 credits (the Hoop-De-Doo review for an example) on a different day.

We have a "Disney Jar" that we throw our change into or dollar bill in throughout the year and bring that for extra $$$. The kids get their own spending money they will get gift cards from relatives for their birthdays and Xmas and they can end however they want (almost) and when it's gone, it's gone. The money from the jar will go for other stuff, clothes etc. that being said we have about $700 saved up so far and our trip is in February. Whatever is left over goes towards the next trip.

Also, don't forget that the Dining Plan does not include tips (unless you have a party over 6 I think?) another thing I do is for my quick service you get a meal, a drink, and a dessert. Lots of places have like a slice of cake, cup of moose etc. I usually ask for a kids chocolate chip cookie instead because it is prepackaged and I will throw it in a bag and have an extra snack.

Jackie mickey

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Agree that the DDP is more than enough food. I personally found myself not wanting to eat too much before a TS meal, so I actually ate less during the day than I thought. Also, every QS meal comes with a dessert, which is more than I might normally eat.

I think $1000 is plenty for tip, and miscellaneous snacks/food. I spent about $150 in addition to my dining plan, but I had an appetizer at 2 of my TS meals, beer with every meal (so that's extra - and sometimes I had 2. I sound like a lush, don't I?), several of the beers at F&W fest (which I paid for out of pocket at $3.50 each) and several bottles of water. Plus I tipped 20%. So I think the $1000 is more than enough and you'll probably come home with leftover.

As far as water, don't forget you can get water for free at the resort and in the parks. You can put it in your resort mug, or I had a Brita filter water bottle that I would fill up in the mornings at the resort (and then refill throughout the day from water fountains OR I'd dump leftover water from a TS restaurant into my bottle). If you are going to buy bottles of water, I highly recommend buying the 1.5 liter bottles from the resort gift shop and pouring it into smaller bottles. It was $3.50 or $3.75 for the 1.5 liter where as in the park it's almost the same amount of money for a 16oz bottle (plus you're saving the earth and all that jazz). I also might suggest packing in your checked luggage some large bottles of water from home, if you are under the weight limit, and then pouring those into smaller water bottles. Saves some money. I didn't think of that for this trip but I plan to do that in November.

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I also agree that the DDP is enough food. I'm not a big breakfast person though so a snack in the morning is enough for me. We usually bring some snacks (like granola bars) from home and snack on them in the morning or throughout the day at the parks. Pop century doesn't have any TS restuarant, just a quick service food court. But there are plenty of options and the food was good. Those rooms only have a mini fridge though, no microwave or anything (at least they didn't last time I was there). I would recommend using TS for buffets so you can really get your fill. Especially if you do a late breakfast/early lunch or late lunch/ early dinner then you can combine two meals into one awesome

http://allears.net/menu/menus.htm#pi

You can also check out the allears website and look at the menus before hand. Pop Century is on there as well mickey

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We are staying at pop as well we always use DDP and it is more than enough but Dh is a morning eater so I pack pop tarts for his breakfast and pick up a banana at the food court while toasting the pop tart and grabbing coffee. We budget $20 as a daily tip average for meals and prefill $3 a day for mouse keeping into thank you cards. We are big water drinkers and I get the smart water brand water bottles mostly because the plastic is strong enough for me to refill all day long in the parks. You can ask for ice water at all of the counter service places and it is free. You can also get a bottled water instead of a soft drink with your counter service meal. For souvenirs there is something for every budget. I'm sure you'll find that the time together will be the best thing you ever find anywhere so relax and let the magic happen. Make sure he wears his birthday badge. No places celebrates for you like Disney.

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Thanks JMUDukz for the brita water bottle idea! I didn't know they let you bring stuff into the parks, good to know Big smile I'm a big water drinker, we go through 3-4 cases of water a week, because the water comes out milky white at our house. And great idea Jrangerrn about the vacation jar! We should start one for next year's vacation mickey And thanks for the ideas about the dining plan you guys yay If we're full, we'll try to ask for snacks we can pack with us for later. Thanks for all the help! I feel much less panicky Big smile

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laugh Definitely start a jar for your next trip!!! Loose change adds up quick! As my Nana used to say "Every penny counts!" wink It is a pain to roll it up, though and the bank tellers laugh at us when we come in with a box of rolled change and dollars bills to exchange for $20!

There are a great of tips here!

Jackie mickey

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We used the DDP last year and used our snack credits for breakfast a couple dys and also at Epcot at the F&W Fest. We spent about an extra $650 or so, but that was including tickets to Universal for a day, souveniers, and lots of yummy drinks at F&W Fest, tips, plus a few drinks at the hotel or wine at dinner. Yes, we like to induldge a bit on vacation, so you might not need that much depending on what dining choices you make for your TS choices. We always tipped at least 20% so eating at the more xpensive restaurants, you may spend a little more on tips. Smile Hope you have an amazing time. Do you have any restaurants picked out to make your ADR's??

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Jrangerrn wrote:
laugh Definitely start a jar for your next trip!!! Loose change adds up quick! As my Nana used to say "Every penny counts!" wink It is a pain to roll it up, though and the bank tellers laugh at us when we come in with a box of rolled change and dollars bills to exchange for $20!

There are a great of tips here!

Jackie mickey

I used to work at a bank, and I loved seeing people come in with tons of loose change! I thought it was awesome that they'd come in with coins and walk out with hundreds of dollars. I heard that prior to me starting there, there was a guy who came in with a truckload of buckets filled with quarters. It took them days to process it through the machine laugh but I heard he walked out with a ton of cash! biggrin

Jessalynn27 wrote:
We used the DDP last year and used our snack credits for breakfast a couple dys and also at Epcot at the F&W Fest. We spent about an extra $650 or so, but that was including tickets to Universal for a day, souveniers, and lots of yummy drinks at F&W Fest, tips, plus a few drinks at the hotel or wine at dinner. Yes, we like to induldge a bit on vacation, so you might not need that much depending on what dining choices you make for your TS choices. We always tipped at least 20% so eating at the more xpensive restaurants, you may spend a little more on tips. Smile Hope you have an amazing time. Do you have any restaurants picked out to make your ADR's??

That's good to know! We'll be there for the food and wine festival, I'm super psyched about the booths! yay Food, food, and more food. I don't drink, I'm allergic to the stuff in wine/beer. I get all anaphylactic....it's no good. But, my husband drinks wine, so I was hoping to stop by, is it in the France area? There's a wine cellar somewhere..... I also got ADR's at Be Our Guest, Chef Mickey's, Victoria & Albert's, Fantasmic! Dinner Package @ The Brown Derby, Ohana, and Sci-Fi Dine-In. I'm thinking the hubbub will be having the wine pairing at V&A. They're all surprises for him, lol, there's a secret Disney box and now a secret Disney room where I'm keeping his gifts. Poor guy, he isn't allowed in 1/4 of the house anymore Stare Secret stuff is off limits. We also try to tip at least 20% when we dine, more if it's great service.

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You have great ADRs! All great places! I haven't been to all of them, but have heard great things about each of them!

Jackie mickey

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Awesome dining choices! And yes, there is a bigger wine selection in France, but there is also a wide variety of drinks at all of the booths in the World Showcase. Our favorites were France, Greece, Canada, and the Dessert & Champagne booths last year. Greece and Canada had some amazing food selections. mickey

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Mushi if you go to Italy in the WS at Epcot there is a wine cellar called Tutto Gusto. It is a first come first served basis but you can order food from Tutto Italia which their food is to die for and also buy bottles of wine.

Mushi404's picture
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Thanks so much you guys! I'm thinking we'll end up spending a lot of time at Epcot, we'll be at the parks when the halloween party will be going on, so Magic Kingdom will be closed early.

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I also order from Green Grocer so we have breakfast in the room and bring our own water and get the refillable mugs. I think the plan is plenty but there's always a little extra. $1000 is a God's plenty.

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I know that most people think that the standard Dining Plan is plenty of food - it's not really for my family and we do end up paying out of pocket for one meal a day. We really love having the Deluxe Dining Plan (3 meal credits, 2 snack credits per day), but that can sometimes be too much food. However when using the Deluxe Plan what we frequently do is schedule our meals so that maybe we do a big buffet for breakfast, use the snack credits for lunch, and then eat at a 2 credit restaurant for dinner.

It's really all about what works best for the people traveling, there's no one right or wrong way. mickey

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Kristen K. wrote:
However when using the Deluxe Plan what we frequently do is schedule our meals so that maybe we do a big buffet for breakfast, use the snack credits for lunch, and then eat at a 2 credit restaurant for dinner.

That's how I scheduled our meals this year with the deluxe plan to see how that works for us.

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JoAnn C wrote:
Kristen K. wrote:
However when using the Deluxe Plan what we frequently do is schedule our meals so that maybe we do a big buffet for breakfast, use the snack credits for lunch, and then eat at a 2 credit restaurant for dinner.

That's how I scheduled our meals this year with the deluxe plan to see how that works for us.

If we end up paying too much out of pocket this year, we'll get the deluxe one next year. We tend to not eat too often, we don't want to fill up and then have to wait for what seems like forever to ride again Smile But, we did go and buy those brita filter bottles, thanks to this site! Smile I drink wayyyy too much water, so that'll save us a ton of money. I'm trying to convince my DH for a Disneymoon next year. Or, I get one celebratory trip for when I get my Bachelors degree next year, so maybe then! Wink

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We found that using the credits for breakfast was a waste. We usually bought breakfast at POP, then used the QS &TS for lunch & dinner. The only breakfasts we used the TS for was chef mickeys & crystal palace.
Spend some time reading the menus on Allears, and the articles on disneyfoodblog. The allears menus are fairly current with prices, so you can figure out the best use of your credits for your family. Also note that for snack credit items that are inexpensive your might be better off paying cash, and using the credits for a more expensive item. For example if you are getting a coffee and cupcake, pay for the drink and use the credit for the cupcake. Just make sure to tell the cast member that you want to pay for an item separately .

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Oops, sorry for the double post. Silly IPad. waiting

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Double post gone now, wink all set Courtney.

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Courtney wrote:
We found that using the credits for breakfast was a waste. We usually bought breakfast at POP, then used the QS &TS for lunch & dinner. The only breakfasts we used the TS for was chef mickeys & crystal palace.
Spend some time reading the menus on Allears, and the articles on disneyfoodblog. The allears menus are fairly current with prices, so you can figure out the best use of your credits for your family. Also note that for snack credit items that are inexpensive your might be better off paying cash, and using the credits for a more expensive item. For example if you are getting a coffee and cupcake, pay for the drink and use the credit for the cupcake. Just make sure to tell the cast member that you want to pay for an item separately .

That's a great idea! Thanks! I'll take a look at the menu's tonight biggrin