Dining at Disney World: Diary of a Mad Disney Planner


Minnie and I are going back “home” in February. We have reserved a room at Pop Century for six days and five glorious nights. I have never used the Disney Dining Plan nor have I seen a need. We don’t have kids and usually just stop and get quick service if we are hungry and make one or two ADR’s a trip. So the need to have “scheduled” meal times really didn’t make it’s way into our plans.

Well when my wonderful Disney travel agent announced Disney was releasing the winter/spring discounts I was thrilled. I knew it probably wouldn’t be free dining plans (which was the only way I figured I would take advantage). So I figured it would be 15% off of our room reservation. Sure enough I got the email while at work that Disney guests love to see. “you have received a discount on your Disney vacation”. I saved $110.00 on my vacation!

I started playing Disney music at work and was feeling great. Then on my lunch break I started to dive into the discounts a little further. They were offering the “stay, play, and dine” packages as well which included the dining plan at a great discounted rate. So just for kicks I plugged in the dates we were going and adding the quick service dining plan option to our “magic your way” package. To my surprise it was only $122.00 more than our original package price.

It peaked my interest enough to start to look into the dining plan. With the QS plan you receive two entree or combo meals, one snack per person, and one refillable resort mug per person per night of your stay. For 2013 the restaurants that are included in the dining plan are some of our favorites as well. From Fairfax Fare, Flame Tree BBQ, Be our Guest (lunch only), Casey’s, Kringla Bakeri, etc.

So I fired up www.allears.net and looked at the menu selections and prices.  I took a typical meal for two people at Fairfax Fare and a snack. For the sake of argument I calculated if we used all of our credits there every day of our trip. Out of pocket for all that food plus the refillable mugs which have gone up in price. It was over $400.00! So for an extra $122.00 we will be saving around $300.00 in food throughout our trip. For those of you counting that is 60 Dole Whip Floats.

As you know I love the food at Walt Disney World so any thing I can do to enjoy more food and save money, I’ll hop on it faster than Tigger. I emailed my great TA and asked her to change our reservation. I went home triumphant and hungry.

So next time you are planning a Disney vacation, make sure you look at all angles to make sure you are getting the most for your money.

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Keith was born and raised in Northeast Ohio.He now lives with his wife a few miles from his childhood home. His first trip to the Magic Kingdom was at the age of two and while the only memories are in pictures, the magic laid dormant within him. Until he saw the animated movie Robin Hood, and his love began to grow. He has always had an interest in food and the togetherness it brings. He became a classically trained chef and all around foodie. His last trip to Disney World was in 2011 and he has been learning, researching, and keeping up on all things Disney since. He hopes to bring you all of the food news from the parks, tips on how to save money on food, and all the tastes and smells from the House of Mouse (especially when smell o vision is invented). You can follow Keith on Twitter @DarthChef79.

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