My experience with the Deluxe Dining Plan

we just got back from a 7 night stay at Disney World using the deluxe dining plan. We are 2 adults and one 4 year old.
Bottom Line Numbers:
amount paid for dining plan: $1995.50
Value of meals eaten: $2,725.32
Value of snacks: $210.32 (this includes 17 snacks brought home)
Total value of meals + snacks: 2935.64
Total Savings by using dining plan: 937.14

That being said, the deluxe is TOO MUCH FOOD. We ate constantly and were too full and didn’t use our snack credits well or even on things we wanted because of all the meals. We are an eating family and it was still just too much. HOWEVER, we did LOTS of character meals and that was fantastic, our daughter loved the personal interaction and we loved not waiting in lines.
Favorite meal: Ohana dinner
Least favorite (food): crystal palace

restaurants we ate at:
sebastians bistro
hollywood and vine
ohana
tusker house
boma
Akershus
sci fi dine in
trattatio al forono
crystal palace
cape may
chef mickey
1900 park fare
brown derby
toppolinos terrace
raglan road
be our guest
crt

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Wow! I have always saved money on the deluxe plan but I have never tried to do it for more than 3 nights!

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I’ve been playing with a 3 night trip and the difference between DDP and DxDP is $250 so for $250 we get 6 more table service meals. Only problem is fitting them in now.

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Plus appetizers at each table service!

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It’s So so so much food.

Last summer we did GG PPO and then Le Cellier dinner that worked better then the day we did 1900 PF, LTT, Skippers. I was so stuffed I could not eat a dole whip. We went to France and used SC for food for the way home. I still want a meal plan that is 2 TS a day and 1 QS.

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We used the Deluxe Dining for a split stay, first 2 nights deluxe spread over 3 days & rest of vacation without dining plan. The resort mugs worked for the entire vacation. After our final dining plan day we were looking forward to being done with it so we felt more freedom to eat when hungry. I had Disney gift cards to pay for meals for the rest of our stay which I bought at a 20% discount. It worked out well & the combination of both definitely saved us money.

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Congratulations on the savings!!! That’s awesome.

We always do the Deluxe Dining plan. I do agree with the fact that there is a lot of food. Our last trip we decided to only two meals a day with snacks in between and that worked out well for us. For every night we were there we had 1 signature meal so that there wasn’t as much food. It’s always worth it for us because we don’t do QS meals due to my DH’s dietary restrictions.

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my daughter and I are both dairy free and all of the table service restaurants were great about that.

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@Mia22 That’s exactly our scenario with the split stay. Doing DxDP the first 2 nights so we have scheduled Signature TS dinners for our first 3 nights. (Cali Grill, Tiffins, Topolino’s) They are restaurants we have wanted to eat at but never have. Also, we will use all the snack credits at the Flower and Garden festival. I know we would probably get more “value” if we eat at 1 credit restaurants, but we don’t like to eat more than one TS meal a day. With the appetizer, alcohol, refillable mug and snack credits, we’ll come out ahead. And it will make ordering $60 entrees less traumatizing for my husband!

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It is those $18 appetizers that I love ordering!

How do the appetizers work? You order one for the table? our next trip since we are a family of 5 I’m debating getting 2 rooms and the DxDP for one room and using it for the whole family.

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It is a lot of food…I am unsure of meals for children 9 and under but adults (10 and over) each get an appetizer…5 adults- 5 appetizers.

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Yeah those are awesome and I love a good $20 glass of white wine!

@ateagardin I’ve only shared the dining plan when we got the QS one with all adults and it worked well. Everyone used to say that sharing credits was no problem, but recently I think I’ve heard people say that there were some glitches. Maybe having to do with changes to the kids plans? I’m not sure.

It was fun trying the appetizers, but we were often nearly full by the time the entrees came! Tutto Italia’s Antipasto Misto was my favorite. That was a $32 plate!

I’m thinking we might order one salad and one appetizer between the two of us, so maybe we won’t be so full! And we will definitely take leftovers to eat the next day.

Minor quibble, but I doubt if ordering on your own you would have ordered an appetizer for every adult (that’s bonkers by the way! I didn’t realize that’s how they did the appetizer allowance). I don’t think you actually “saved” $900+ because you wouldn’t have paid for all that food if you were paying cash.

I do think you probably saved overall…but not 50% of what you paid.

We aren’t foodies and don’t like doing a ton of TS for the time investment, so even the regular DDP doesn’t make sense for us (we did it on our first trip and I’m glad we did, but probably won’t ever again).

Sounds like you had a great time with it!

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Yeah, but are they savings, though? Would @mk1 have ordered all that food if they were paying OOP?

The Deluxe Dining Plan is the work of the Devil. It is a monstrous amount of food that makes you feel compelled to bloat yourself so that you don’t lose money. You end up arriving at dinner, still over-full from lunch. And still ordering three courses “because you paid for them”. It makes you order the steak when you really just wanted the fish because you want to get one over Disney. For the same reason you order the Venti Frappucino at Starbucks because “I might as well” (and a cookie) and then wonder why you’ve put on six pounds in six days when you get back.

I’m doing the regular Dining Plan in June because it was so heavily discounted that it would be insane not to. But in October, I’m paying out of pocket — and I will realise that $42 + tip + tax for breakfast is an insane amount of money to pay for an omelette and some juice and I just won’t do it. I’ll save a fortune.

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I happen to love DxDP. Instead of three meals a day I do one regular, one signature and space them far apart. Lunch and dinner. No breakfast. Snack credits are spent on things to take home.

I did a solo trip in August and decided to do the regular dining plan because it was just me. I didn’t like it. Wasn’t horrible, but I felt there wasn’t enough variety of food. I ended up paying OOP for the Bacon and Eggs dish at The Wave. Oh how I missed DxDP in that moment. It’s a lot of food, but I try and play it smart. No less than six hours between meals, no mega carbs like bread and heavy pasta dishes. No sugary drinks. I do have a buffet (Tusker House) scheduled next trip, so I will have to be careful with that. Tusker House in the morning, Wild Africa Trek (where they serve food) in the afternoon, and Tiffins in the evening. I’m thinking I will just pass on the food during the tour. I’m an open to close the park kind of girl. Long days and 27,000 + steps will work up a decent appetite between meals. The dining experiences are just as fun for me as being in the park, which is another reason I love it. I don’t get the DxDP to “save” money. I get it to have fun. Because there is no way in heck if paying day of I would order a $29 bowl of soup. (Monsieur Paul)

Rose and Crown
Monsieur Paul
Tony’s Town Square
California Grill
Tusker House
Tiffins
Crystal Palace
Boathouse
Sci-Fi
Flying Fish

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We spaced out our two meals a day far enough apart that we weren’t full by the next one. I certainly would eat an appetizer for my meals whether I was on the plan or not. It didn’t hurt my feelings if my family didn’t order an appetizer or not, or a dessert. Sometimes I would order an extra app to take with me for a snack later on. Plus we’d have some leftovers for our trip back home.

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