I don't think I'll be doing the Dining Plan next visit

KellyHonos

DisneyDivaxo
Joined
Feb 27, 2018
I can't believe I'm saying this, but....

As someone who has ALWAYS gotten the dining plan, I think the next time I go to WDW (hoping for 2021), I'll be paying OOP.

I always enjoyed the convenience of not having to "pay" every time I ate, but once I realized my sister and I were pretty much ripping ourselves off, I got to thinking, "do we actually utilize this?" The answer for us is no.

My sister is vegetarian and typically vegetarian meals are on the cheaper side of things, especially when comparing it to the surf and turf or steak. I don't even eat beef or pork, so I typically ordered fish or chicken meals. Again, not commonly more expensive than the beef or pork dishes.

We also found ourselves paying for meals out of pocket ANYWAYS because we were both breakfast eaters so we typically used our quick service credits for our breakfast but then would end up paying for quick service meals at lunch. All in all, I think I realized paying OOP is the way to go. I also think we can save some money by ordering some groceries ahead of time.

Looking for feed back and/or personal experience in this. Paying OOP is uncharted territory for me.
 

leebee

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 14, 1999
I've tracked our expenditure over numerous visits and I always come out ahead paying OOP, usually by several hundred dollars. It's really individualized, though, based on how your family eats. We are not big breakfast eaters (often bring things like cheese and crackers or yogurt from home... yes we fly, it works), and often share a combo meal at lunch. While we always do a sit-down at dinner, we never really eat the dessert and end up with tons of little boxes back in our room. Also usually only have one snack a day. Now that I've had bariatric surgery, I am better off ordering an appetizer for my main course, which isn't even allowed on the dining plan. HOWEVER... now the plan offers adult beverages, which may make a difference. DH and I are currently booked for a free dining visit in December. I am going to have to run the numbers, to see if OOP will still make it a better deal for us. One thing I've considered is that if I order apps and pay OOP, DH could eat at signature restaurants every meal, utilizing my credits... but I have to run the numbers. It's not going to save much money at all if per meal he uses 2 credits, gets one free drink, and we pay $35 OOP for my food and drink.

Some folks like the pre-paid aspect of the dining plan. If this appeals to you, figure out how much you think you'll spend on meals and then buy some Disney gift cards in advance. Pay for your meals with them, or charge meals to the room and then stop at the front desk each night to pay the balance. Not quite the same, but you'll be pre-paid!
 
  • brockash

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 16, 2008
    I can't believe I'm saying this, but....

    As someone who has ALWAYS gotten the dining plan, I think the next time I go to WDW (hoping for 2021), I'll be paying OOP.

    I always enjoyed the convenience of not having to "pay" every time I ate, but once I realized my sister and I were pretty much ripping ourselves off, I got to thinking, "do we actually utilize this?" The answer for us is no.

    My sister is vegetarian and typically vegetarian meals are on the cheaper side of things, especially when comparing it to the surf and turf or steak. I don't even eat beef or pork, so I typically ordered fish or chicken meals. Again, not commonly more expensive than the beef or pork dishes.

    We also found ourselves paying for meals out of pocket ANYWAYS because we were both breakfast eaters so we typically used our quick service credits for our breakfast but then would end up paying for quick service meals at lunch. All in all, I think I realized paying OOP is the way to go. I also think we can save some money by ordering some groceries ahead of time.

    Looking for feed back and/or personal experience in this. Paying OOP is uncharted territory for me.
    For us paying out of pocket is always cheaper.... it's such a damb head game though lol.
     

    MomToOne

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 18, 2010
    The only time I do the dining plan is with free dining. And even then if there is a good room-only discount, I'll take that over free dining. The numbers just don't work out the way we eat.
     
  • lorenae

    I'm going to Disney World!
    Joined
    Sep 12, 2015
    We aren't big eaters and all, and don't want to spend the time every day for a big sit-down dinner, so we never go with a dining plan. I might have a special dinner once during the visit- my grandson loved Chef Mickey's when he was 5- but otherwise we just eat what we want when we are hungry.
    One of the things that I dislike is having to decide NOW where I want to eat in February. Not being on the DP means more flexibility, although our first choice for a dinner may not have any ADRs when we want to go. That's not been a problem for me so far- I've always been able to find what I want on the day we are there.
    I've made one ADR for January so far- Oga's- and that's for a drink on our (likely) HS day.
     

    Ladyandthepuppies

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 12, 2017
    We had the dining plan for our 2017 trip and paid out of pocket for our 2018 trip. We definitely saved $ by paying out of pocket, and an added bonus was that we ate a little less to save money. When we were on the dining plan, we ate everything to ‘get our money’s worth.’

    The only down side for me to not getting the dining plan is that it can be a bummer to actually see the bill with each meal. The food is expensive and even knowing that going in, and even having saved and planned to spend this amount, it still stung a little to see three-digit bills for lunch where the food was meh. With the dining plan (even though you do see the bill when tipping) it feels as though it’s all taken care of already.
     

    RamblingMad

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2019
    I could never get the math to work, so I always paid oop. We usually do a Starbucks like breakfast and a sit down dinner. Lunch is up for grabs. It's too hard to plan.
     

    wendow

    We create happiness.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2012
    We just got back from 10 nights at wdw. Our family is 5 Disney adults and 1 child. The QS DP would have been about $2800 for us. We paid OOP, and including dinners at 1900 PF, yak and yeti and T-REX, we only spent $1600’ish on our meals. The QS would not have covered and of our TS and those were about $500 total so we’d still have had those OOP. I just can’t ever make the ddp work for us. I love the idea of having everything paid for in advance but I don’t love the idea enough to spend that much more.
     


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