Going solo 2017, haven’t been since '04…dang! I know right?
Can you help me please? I’m intimidated by the dining plan-
How much food am I getting and what if I don’t eat it all? Then I feel like I wasted money.
What are my snack options and where are these snack available? I know Disney list a box of popcorn ,whole fruit, ice cream or drink for examples as snacks but what else is there?
I also feel limited on where I can use my credits since not every counter service accepts the ddp.
From what I saw on youtube it looks like massive portions for your meal. I’m going alone, not being able share my portions like most families or couples can do that would wisely use their credits.
Originally, I was considering quick service and paying out of pocket for a couple of table service meals. Now I can’t decide what I want to do or what is best for me especially since they changed up the credits for 2017, I guess it’s better? I don’t know. What do think?
Here’s what I’d like to do for my meals-
I’m not doing signature or shows
Breakfast- Would like to have sit down breakfast every morning (which for me, consist of waffles or bacon and eggs), I can’t do a grab and go breakfast like a muffin or granola bar, I need FOOD! lol.
Lunch, I can do a turkey sandwich with chips or fries, a slice of pizza (something to hold me over but not too light)
Dinner- I’d prefer to eat a heavier meal but I can’t do appetizer, entree and dessert, Just an entree for me
With all this said, do have any suggestions on which way I should go? Dining plan or pay out of pocket? I truly appreciate the help!
No dining plan! I think you’ll find it’s way too much food and you’ll try to use up your credits and bring snacks home. Do this: save all your food receipts and when you get home, add them up to a daily total and see how it would have compared to buying the plan. IMO, it adds and extra layer of stress to a vacation that’s already full of extra planning. My DH and I used the dining plan in its early years, but now are happier without it. It was too restrictive.
Basic DDP doesn’t have appetizers with sit-down, so it comes down to whether or not entree + dessert works for you. That said, I find that basic DDP is a lot less of a good deal than it used to be - it’s hard to get your money’s worth unless you actually want the highest-end items on the menu.
The flip side is having the “all inclusive” feel of having the bulk of your dining pre-paid.
Looking at your general preferences, I would certainly not suggest Deluxe - if you do a dining plan at all, make it the basic DDP and pay for the breakfasts out of pocket, using your QS credits for lunch (which no longer comes with dessert starting 2017, but you will get an extra snack credit per day). Dinner does cone with dessert, but there are lighter options if you don’t want the heavy ones (you can likely get some kind of fruit off the menu if you prefer).
If you’re going to pay for the dining plan, I’m guessing you’ll be doing it for convenience, not for cost savings. If you’re getting it included as part of your room promotion, it may make more sense (but depends on other available offers).
I agree with @willijen. My DW and I did the DDP last time. While the idea of having the food paid for in advance was nice, oftentimes we ended up eating just to use up our credits, even when we weren’t very hungry.
Plus we always seemed to be looking for the most expensive item so we could be sure to get our money’s worth, even when it wouldn’t have been our first choice of entree or dessert. In addition, for TS restaurants, you’ll still be tipping the server based on what you would have paid for the meal, so if you pick the most expensive item this can add up quickly as well.
Based on what you noted how you will likely eat, you will definitely save money by paying OOP.
We considered doing the dining plan for our next trip but did the math and quickly decided against it. Based on our math, we were getting about $76/per person/per day. Now I know this doesn’t apply to everyone but when we’re at Disney, we’re not constantly eating. There’s just way too many other things going on to consider stopping every single day for a nice sit down meal… and like you pointed out, unless you’re eating everything, you feel like you’ve wasted money. The dining plan, for me anyways, is great for convenience but it’s really not cost effective for most. I would honestly do the math. Look at what your dining plan will cost you, break down the price per day and see if you think you could eat on less or more and remember that A.) the plan doesn’t cover 3 full meals so if you aren’t wanting a snack for breakfast (which it doesn’t sound like you are), you’re only covering two of your three meals and B.) the refillable drink mug is great if you’re hanging at the resort but it’s useless in the parks so it’s not something I include when breaking down the cost.
I agree with the other posts about paying OOP. Especially going solo, I would not opt for the dining plan. In regards to your questions about the snack credits and counter service restaurants, almost all of the counter service places accept the dining plans. When you are there, every menu has items that have the little dining plan symbol next to it. For snacks, there are a lot of options other than popcorn, ice cream, etc. Cupcakes, fruit, pastries, cookies, pretzels, and more. I think if your main worry is not finding enough stuff to spend your credits on, you need not fear. However, I still suggest going with OOP on this one. Have a great trip and enjoy!!
Going solo I would pay OOP. I think some of the best solo dining is in the lounges and OOP gives you flexibility. Plus, your breakfast could be a CS meal, but it will cost less than $10.