Dining Plan or No Dining Plan That Is The Question
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  1. #1
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    Aug 2005
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    Dining Plan or No Dining Plan That Is The Question

    Here's the situation. 8 days and 7 nights at Coronado Springs Resort the third week of January. 2 adults and a five year old. I'm going back and forth about the dining plan. Can anyone give me some pros and cons? From the info that I've gathered, it seems most people are happy with it, but I'm hoping someone can really give me some tips so that I can determine whether or not it would work for my particular situation.

    So how do you feel about the dining plan?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by newyorkeratwdw
    Here's the situation. 8 days and 7 nights at Coronado Springs Resort the third week of January. 2 adults and a five year old. I'm going back and forth about the dining plan. Can anyone give me some pros and cons? From the info that I've gathered, it seems most people are happy with it, but I'm hoping someone can really give me some tips so that I can determine whether or not it would work for my particular situation.

    So how do you feel about the dining plan?
    It saved us a ton, over $500. This may put it into perspective though... we ate at the Rose and Crown (for dinner so we could see illuminations) and the meal that consisted of a steak for my wife and I each, banger and chips for daughter and a kids meal for our 2 year old came to $150.00, without tip. Yes, $150.00. We would have had to pay that too if we didn't have the dining plan. Even the smaller places tended to be around $30.00 for the four of us. We are going with the dining plan for as long as Disney will continue it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Its a great bargain expecially if you want to do the nicer restaurant and the character dining for the little one!! One table service meal at a buffet style restaurant is about $21 for adults!! You can also use it for the dinner shows like Spirit of Aloha and Hoop Dee Doo Revue (counts as 2 meals though). The dining plan averages out to be about $34 daily. Also, you can make priority seating arrangements for some of the restaurants that require a deposit without the deposit!! The best part, to me, is that it is paid for in advance which means that I don't have to worry about cash or see the amount of green changing hands!
    Looking for the luck of the Irish -Kel

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
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    Orlando, Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by newyorkeratwdw
    Here's the situation. 8 days and 7 nights at Coronado Springs Resort the third week of January. 2 adults and a five year old. I'm going back and forth about the dining plan. Can anyone give me some pros and cons? From the info that I've gathered, it seems most people are happy with it, but I'm hoping someone can really give me some tips so that I can determine whether or not it would work for my particular situation.

    So how do you feel about the dining plan?
    I guess It all depends on how you like to eat. If you plan on eating table service meals at all this plan is worth it.

    It basicly works where you get 1 counter service meal 1 snack and 1 table service per night of your vacation.

    I broke it up like this

    for breakfast I ate at the resort and used a counter service meal.
    midday I used the snack to get something to drink.
    evenings i used my table service meal for a nice sit down dinner.

    You get to see how much it would have cost you when you sign the slip and the plan includes gratuity.

    The way it ended up working out i think i spent 4 bucks on food outside of the plan.. THey feed you so much food in the dining plan its hard to want to eat any more

    Keep in mind that you dont have to use it in any order. you could use 3 table service meals in on day and go for counter service the next. It all depends on how and where you would like to eat.

    If you want to save money this is the best way to go. Think of it as prepaying for all your food. And trust me it saved me loads of money on food.


    Dreaming of living in the sunshine state

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Northeast U.S.
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    830
    We're going in a few weeks and signed on the dining plan; we are doing a fair amount of character dining and eating at some table service places like Sci Fi Dine In and Le Cellier. I know the Dining Plan is saving us money and frankly, it is nice to not have to worry about forking over the cash. I hate parting with cash!!! Good luck!

    WDW Jan. 2000
    WDW Dec. 6-12 2005
    Next Trip....When???????

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Tinksmyid
    We're going in a few weeks and signed on the dining plan; we are doing a fair amount of character dining and eating at some table service places like Sci Fi Dine In and Le Cellier. I know the Dining Plan is saving us money and frankly, it is nice to not have to worry about forking over the cash. I hate parting with cash!!! Good luck!
    Be careful and take into conderation those in your party that are not on the dining plan such as the under 3 children. Some people say that they can eat from your plate but in some cases that is just not possible. For those cases you will need to buy a kids meal. The dining plan is still WELL worth it but be prepared to spend a little on food.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Ontario
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    100
    I was speaking to someone today who just returned from WDW. She advised that EVERY MEAL for her family of 4 was AT LEAST $50. That said, if you were to only eat 2 meals per day and have a snack and/or beverage, it would cost a minimum of $100 per day for food. The dining plan (for my family) is costing us $90/day. We plan on doing many character meals (which cost more) so, for us anyway, I feel it's worth it. I will let you know when we get back!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Windermere ( right behind the MK )
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    810

    what a bargain!!!

    we went last may on dining plan. It was fabulous. Unless you want to eat counter services the whole time it is WELL WORTH IT. In 2003 there was not as good of a meal plan so we tried to be frugal but, we still spent quite a bit on food.

    My son is the only one of us that is big on breakfast and that is a bowl of cerial. I took some fruit and snack bars. The resorts have refillable mugs for about $7 in the morning I would go down and get coffee's and soda's, while I was there I would purchase a muffin or pastry (they are huge ) and split it with husband and daughter. Another idea is that the lunch counter services for kids come with apple sauce or equivalent. My daughter loved that for breakfast.

    The food at all the restaurants we ate at was so plentiful and so very very good. I thought I would lose weight walking and all .... I am ashamed to admit I put on 10 pounds.

    another idea with your snacks get one drink at a time and split it. your snacks go a lot farther.
    "A dream is a wish your heart makes"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Windermere ( right behind the MK )
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    one more tip

    I forgot to mention that some of the restaurants and counter service do not all have a kids meal. You can still order for a child just let them know.

    your meal plan isn't specific as to adult or child. In your case there are 3 or you. ie: 5 days it will register 15 meal, 15 counter,15 snacks

    we were with my parents who also were on meal plan. We kept dividing out check which made it confusing. finally towards end of week one of the waiters told us we could have put all meals on one check and it would have deducted the same.
    "A dream is a wish your heart makes"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    My Laughin' Place
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    Thanks for all the advice, I'm glad I purchased the dining plan now, it'll make things so much easier than having to bargain for each and every meal like I've had to do in the past.

    I was also told that if I want to pay cash for a kid's meal, I can have them only deduct the 2 adult meals, and than still have an adult meal to use later, because the meals are all weighted the same.

    I have a question: does each member of my party have to have their card swiped for each meal? Or can they take all three meals off once card, since all the meals are in a pool, so to speak?
    1978 WDW Offsite
    1994 WDW Fort Wilderness Campground
    1995 & 1997 WDW Offsite
    1998 WDW Port Orleans (French Quarter)
    2005 WDW Offsite

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    100
    Quote Originally Posted by newyorkeratwdw
    I have a question: does each member of my party have to have their card swiped for each meal? Or can they take all three meals off once card, since all the meals are in a pool, so to speak?
    I was wondering the same thing..... I was told that each card will have the meals on it. Sounded like they are controlling the kids meals and the adult meals that way. Does anyone know if they have changed to that or if they are all still weighed the same???

    Only 61 days until we enter the 'World'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Windermere ( right behind the MK )
    Posts
    810

    keys to the kingdom

    when dining all you have to do is use one card. But, to get into park or for fast passes you need all cards. My husband was in charge of holding all cards.

    keep track of your meals, always check your receipt afterwards to make sure the receipts are correct.

    I hadn't heard that we can pay cash for a kids meal this can work to our benefit. I think I will start a thread about this.
    "A dream is a wish your heart makes"

  13. #13
    Yes. You can pay cash for a kids meal.

    Try to think of the dining plan as a group bank account. Dont associate the meals to individuals. If 4 of you go for 8 days / 7 nights then you will have 28 snacks, 28 counter service, and 28 table service options in the account (provided all 4 people are at least over 3). Just tell them specifically each time you pay for the meals what you want.

    For example...

    You and your husband (or wife) as well as a 4 year old and an 11 year old go to eat at The Garden Grill. (3 adults, 1 child) When you get the check just explain to them that you only want to use two of the table service options and you will pay cash for the other two.

    They will have no problem doing this. If they make a mistake just have them fix it there before you walk away and then about an hour later, call your resort to confirm that it was corrected. But you shouldnt have any trouble at all.

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