Help me decide on how to allocate my dining plan credits

So I thought I was more or less set, and then my three year old threw me for a loop by telling me he really wanted to meet the Beast. So here’s where I am:

9 nights with two boys, almost 4 and just turned 6. 36 TS credits. Restaurants booked:
Sanaa (dinner)
Be Our Guest (dinner)
Garden Grill (breakfast)
Raglan Road (dinner)
Sci-Fi (dinner)
Storybook Dining (dinner)
Tusker House (brunch, ROL package)
Biergarten (dinner)
Crystal Palace (brunch)
'Ohana (dinner)
Topolino (brunch)

I’m way over. So here’s my thinking, but if anybody can offer a different plan I’d love to hear it:
Cancel Tusker House - we did it last year, we’ll see similar characters at Topolino, and I don’t really care about the ROL package.
At Sanaa, pay OOP for the bread service, share an adult meal with my husband, have the kids share a kids meal (they’re pretty picky eaters), and then if anybody is still hungry grab some ice cream or something with snack credits.
At Sci-Fi, share an adult meal and a kids meal - we’ll hopefully be at the Star Wars Dessert party not too long after anyway. (I thought about cancelling this one entirely but it looks so cool inside and I think the kids would love it)
Pay OOP for Raglan Road.

I always pay out of pocket for Sanaa. The last time we were there three adults shared the bread service with extra naan, and one entree. It is a very cheap meal.

If I was going to pay out of pocket and pick SciFi or Raglan, it would be SciFi.

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We are having a similar issue but only 1 over. Staying at GF. Our dining plans for Table Service (Standard Plan) are:

2/2 (arrival day): Kona Cafe dinner
2/3: Chef Mickeys Breakfast, 1900 Park Fare dinner
2/4: The Wave dinner
2/5: GF cafe dinner
2/6: O’Hana dinner
2/7: Akershus PPO breakfast

That’s 7 TS and we only have 6. So, GF Cafe menu appears to be the cheapest, so we will likely pay for that out of pocket. That’s how we made our decision. Hope that helps!

That’s a LOT of TS meals! Some days you must have multiples? Even one a day (every single day) is a bit much for my family, so I’m assuming it must align with your touring style since your question was more about paying OOP than just cancelling down to your TS credits.

Sci-Fi is very inexpensive (comparatively, for a Disney TS, not compared to real life :joy: ), and super fun if you’ve never been, so I’d keep it and pay OOP if you are planning on doing more TS than you have credits.

I’d lean toward minimizing repeats, so cancelling TH makes sense.

I’d do the same as above - choose the least expensive ones and just pay out of pocket. Sci Fi is pretty inexpensive so I’d definitely pay that one out of pocket.

We also eat a lot of TS meals with young kids so glad to see someone else is crazy like us :rofl: We need the indoor breaks and we enjoy eating almost as much as attractions!

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It is a lot, I know! The only day we have multiples is Crystal Palace and Ohana, and then we have an arrival dinner, and a departure brunch because of a late flight. It does work for us, we did more or less the same thing last year - it gives the kids a nice break. Also I really like restaurants! We’ve also got three break or half days scheduled in where we’re spending the day at the pool, so on those days it kind of adds something ‘Disney’-y to what otherwise is kind of a resort day. I have mild concerns that the boys might not have the patience for the courses in the Storybook dinner but that’s one that I really want…¯_(ツ)_/¯.

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Here is how much wdwpeprschool says is the average cost per credit used at all of your choices (where you put brunch and brunch isn’t a menu option I used the breakfast prices):

The names in bold are places where the menu is a la carte, so you could choose to share.

As for advice… I’d drop Tusker House for sure, since it’s a repeat and you don’t care about RoL. The main drawback to that is the lack of breakfast food options at AK. You said it’s brunch, but if you really want breakfast food you could still make a small pastry breakfast using snack credits at Starbucks, though they don’t let you use snack credits for the breakfast sandwiches for some reason (they’re the same price or cheaper than many of the pastries).

I’d also drop Crystal Palace unless someone is really into Winnie the Pooh. I just don’t think the breakfast food is that great, and it takes a long time. Also, the last 2 times I’ve been there (including September '19) the service wasn’t that great and there was a lot of chaos regarding who the characters saw and when, which made it take even longer (I think the September meal took over 90 minutes, and then we still had to stand in line at the door to see one of the characters who’d missed our section). We’re TS meal people too, because we like the break, but if you’re having to pick and choose or pay OOP then I’d drop that one.

This is super helpful, thank you!

I’ve been thinking about dropping Crystal Palace as well…we did it last year and really enjoyed it, though - it’s so pretty inside, I loved the atmosphere! It did take a while, though, we had an 8am reservation hoping to hurry and make rope drop and that did not happen. And there are no huge Winnie the Pooh fans, I’m not sure my kids would be disappointed/notice/care. I’d be sad to give it up, just because it felt so lovely and 20s-y inside, but would I be $100 disappointed, and would I miss it at that point into our trip, with 3 character meals already under our belt and one more to come? It’s a good point.

These prices don’t include drinks with alcohol? They would average a child’s drink and a drink with alcohol?

They only calculate dining plan credits for adults, and they’re priced as you’d actually use a dining plan credit, so they’d be for an adult entree & dessert or fixed price meal, plus an adult drink, which could be anything from pop or shake to a cocktail or glass of wine since you can get any of those with the dining plan now. Storybook Dining is fixed price for the meal, so the only variation would be in how much the chosen drink costs.

Obviously the other fixed price meals could have different drink prices too, but they must not have a very large selection or varied drink prices because the listed average min and max are much closer together.

I asked because of ‘Ohana. The latest price for the meal is $$57.51

https://www.easywdw.com/easy/blog/disney-world-price-updates-for-buffets-characters-meals-shows-and-all-you-care-to-eat-platters/

The last time I was there most drinks (other than soda, beer, and wine) were $14. I would estimate that meal, for me, at around $71 (or almost the one day dining plan cost). AP is $62.24 without alcohol so I would expect $73 would be the beer or wine cost?

I think they do some sort of averaging even on the fixed price places, maybe taking into account the seasonal pricing at character meals? Like, their average low price for Crystal Palace is slightly higher than we paid (with no alcohol) in mid-September. Similarly, I would imagine it’s slightly less than you’d pay on December 24.

I don’t think they have applied seasonal pricing the last couple of years. I think they decided “always high” and raising prices every October (and tweaking them throughout the year) is a better strategy :wink:

For what it’s worth - my 3 year old did great at Storybook. The courses actually come out pretty quickly and I feel like multiple courses kept her attention better than a normal TS meal.

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Sorry for the link elsewhere, but I am using this site to plan my meal plan:

https://www.distripplanner.com/

You enter the meals you plan to have and it spits out what you should pay for. Surprisingly, it seems to recommend paying out of pocket for the 2 credit meals. I’m guessing one 2 credit meal is cheaper than two 1 credit meals? Anyway, I’ve got a good handle on budget at least.

'Ohana is so very filling. I would have a light quick service meal for a late breakfast or early lunch on the day I was having 'Ohana.