Disney Dining Calculator

Does anyone know exactly what the Disney Dining Calculator uses to calculate their pricing? I know people say that’s it outdated, but what I’m actually seeing is that it’s possibly significantly inflated.

https://www.distripplanner.com/

And, if this isn’t a good resource, what is better?

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I actually think it is the best. If you look it counts in the mug (front loaded), snacks, and adds a drink each meal. If I set it to one day with QS lunch but no dinner or breakfast it is over \$50. Add the same QS only the next day it only adds \$17. Plus it adds in a tip to TS meals.

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I’m very interested in the answer to this as well. In particular, does anyone know if their average price per meal includes the alcoholic or specialty drinks now included with the dining plan?

Before I knew this calculator existed I had actually done all the math myself. I pulled the menu for each restaurant and picked which meals I thought we each would eat and made a spreadsheet tallying the cost so I could compare it to the dining plan. This afternoon I ran the calculator and surprisingly it was nearly spot on with my earlier manual calculations! So it looks pretty accurate to me.

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I suppose it is likely accurate if you are doing a fixed price buffet…

If the prompts at the top influence the total cost, if I select no appetizers or deserts, no snacks and no refillable mug, why is chef art smith’s SOO expensive for 2 adults and 1 child?!?! I know I can eat there for under \$100 when looking at the menu. Yet the website says it would be \$121.

At the end of the day, \$20 is not a big deal but \$20 per meal over a 10 day trip… I’m a budget analyst. I can’t help it!!

I actually don’t have any fixed price buffets on my list at all. I suppose it could just be the particular dishes I thought we would eat happened to fall in the price range the calculator used. I’m a number cruncher too, so I totally understand. The numbers for my family are not even close to making the dining plan a good deal. I can order an appetizer and a dessert with every meal and get the refillable mugs for everyone and still be more than \$700 less than the dining plan would cost me. We don’t typically do character dining though. So, that makes a difference I am sure.

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Character Dining is a huge expense. Seeing it in print makes me want to reconsider some of my options. I am not getting the dining plan. It doesn’t make sense financially. The number cruncher in me wants to have a better budget estimate than what i have now…Especially since I keep adding costs to the trip. I told DH it wouldn’t cost \$10k. I might eat my words by the time I’m done.

Glad I’m working this out at 220 days. Gives me a lot of time to figure out what’s most important for this particular trip.

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Two alcoholic drinks and an 18% tip.

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So for every meal it is assuming each adult will order an alcoholic beverage? That might make sense…

It says an assumption is a drink and with the new DP that has alcohol.

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I am a number cruncher also and try as I might I could never make sense of the dinning plan for our group, like @rckstrscat I went into each menu and picked what we would usually eat (before I knew of such a great tool) and it never worked out for me. The dining plan was always more money than we would spend. What I did do this trip was buy the discounted gift cards at Sams club and will use that for our meals, along with Disney visa discount where applicable.

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I actually emailed the distripplanner using their “leave feedback” link to ask whether they are including the cost of an alcoholic drink with each meal since the dining plan now includes it. This is what I got back:

“Thanks for the note. We do not assume an alcoholic drink as the selection. We do, however, include those drinks in the average price of a drink in most cases. That’s about the best we can do without allowing each person to select specific items - which would be a major change to the calculator.”

So for Homecoming, for example, where there is an extensive drinks list, I’m thinking that that average price of a drink is going to be heavily weighted toward the average price of an alcoholic drink since so many of the drinks on the menu are alcoholic, and any alcohol is going to be more expensive than a regular drink. For something without many alcohol options, the average drink cost is going to be closer to the price of a soda. (As a test, I looked at Yorkshire County Fish Shop, since it only has one entree. The dining calculator says the average cost of a meal will be \$15 and we know that \$10.99 of that must be the entree, which leaves \$4 for a drink, which is close to the price of a soda there.)

I will also say that they responded very quickly to my question, so if you’ve got further questions you want the answer to, definitely ask!

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Maybe I should email to inform them that their list of Dining locations is not up to date.

So for the character buffets, is 1900 Park Fare only loaded as the buffet cost plus a soda, OR does it include average cost of drink to include alcohol (which I know is offered but is not on the Disney menu)?

I hadn’t looked at any character buffets, since with the sole exception of Tusker House you’d have to pay me to go to one

I just looked at 1900 Park Fare for dinner and it looks like alcohol is probably included in the average drink cost? 1900 Park Fare dinner for an adult is \$45, and the dining calculator shows it as \$50.06 + tax. I don’t imagine even Disney is charging an average price of over \$5 for a soda?

If 18% tip is included I think it is only counting the regular buffet cost?

Sorry – I mis-typed before. The \$50.06 is before the tip, not before tax. They show the total cost as \$59.07 for an adult. So \$50.06 + \$9.01 in tip.

How much is the tax?

I just took a second look, and it shows the tax at \$0? Which doesn’t make sense to me. Is tax included in the buffet price?

(Edited to totally change my comment since I was wrong and they do break tax out separately—I’m just batting a thousand here this morning, sorry.)

All I know is \$155 for 1900 Park Fare for 2 adults and 1 child, is gonna be a … ummm … no. The food is great, but it’s not \$155 great. I really need to think hard about it…or find out for certain how much it actually costs… without soda and alcohol. I know it’s Cinderella but we’ve seen her a bunch of times and maybe it’s time to try other places.