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Why Choose the Disney Dining Plan

Why Choose the Disney Dining Plan

My honeymoon at Walt Disney World in October of 2011, my husband and I both became a bit teary-eyed while experiencing “The Magic, The Memories and You!” for the first time standing in the middle of Main Street in Magic Kingdom. We still talk about that night in the streets and how that particular epic Disney spectacular captured our hearts. We remember back to other details from that trip, from the dinner at Coral Reef that we had the night before to the Mickey Premium bar that we had while waiting from the show to start.

Dining is a huge part of a Disney vacation. It is a major part of the budget for the trip and it where you will undoubtedly spend time every single day, from Disney quick and table service options to the exclusive Disney treats that we covet between trips. Let’s face it, the vast majority of us love food! We love the unique Dining experiences that Disney has to offer, along with all of the delicious smelling goodies while waiting in line for our favorite rides. You’re walking most of the day and have earned the treats, right?

How can you make this experience seamless, save money and focus on creating more invaluable memories with your family, you ask? Consider a Disney Dining Plan (DDP) when booking your Disney vacation. Well then you ask, “Is it really worth it?” Every time, my answer will be a resounding “Yes!!” We always book with a DDP (usually the Deluxe Dining) and fully stand behind this package offering for a few reasons:

• Budgeting: We know exactly how much our vacation will cost before we arrive, and never feel guilty or worry about what we are ordering. We know that we have already paid for it, and can happily order the meal of our choosing. We get that “all inclusive” feel to our Disney Experience and can focus on enjoying our stay, and not keeping track of meal receipts and how much we are spending. This can be especially true when it comes to snacking on churros and Dole Whips! We tend to forget to budget for snacking and it adds up quick. Luckily, snack entitlements are an option with DDPs.

• Flexibility: You can “spend” your dining entitlements however you wish (amount varies based on selected plan). If you want to use more of your entitlements on one day because you want to eat at a few higher-end restaurants and then lighter on other days, you can! You aren’t set with a certain amount of meals per day. You could use snack entitlements “around the world” at EPCOT one day, then a character breakfast and dinner at Cinderella’s castle the next. It’s your Disney Experience!

• Planning: For us, selecting our Disney Dining is part of our planning process, and we excitedly select our restaurants in advance and make reservations on the very first day that they are available (180 days from the first day of arrival). Depending on which DDP you select, you can obtain menus online and select restaurants that are eligible for your selected plan. You can determine how to use your entitlements depending on the dining experiences that you and your family would like.

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• New Experiences: When you aren’t looking as closely to the menu prices, you become a little more open-minded to the different unique dining experiences that Disney has to offer. We make it a point each time we take a trip to try a few different restaurants and quick service locations (eventually we hope to say we have eaten at them all!), along with our favorites. This has made several memories for us, and created new “favorites”. We become less concerned with what we are spending and more concerned with enjoying our meal as a family. Go ahead and try the delicious African-influenced cuisine at Boma in Animal Kingdom Lodge!

The Disney Dining Plans are a real asset to planning a successful, worry-free Disney vacation. Why not spend less time worrying about your budget, where you’re going to eat, if a particular restaurant is worth the price, etc.? Instead, with a little pre-planning and the help of the flexibility of the DDP, you are back to making more of “The Magic, The Memories and YOU!” moments and getting the most out of the precious hours you get to spend at any of the Disney resorts.

About Christy Caby

I am a long time Disney addict! This love began as a child and stayed with me in my teen years. I completed the Disney College Program, was engaged and honeymooned at Disney, visited WDW while pregnant with each of our two boys, and have brought our boys since they were babies (they are now 5 and 2).