Disney dining plans:
||The cost of going to WDW is massive and dvcreservations.com helps you in that respect to find lower costs on resorts through disney vacation club owners. We are also able to get you meal plans, however, should you ever consider them?
Many who use the plans don't need them. To that end, we have assembled a primer for you. Most of the primer consists of reasons why you shouldn't get the meal plan. If you fail to fall into any of the "don't categories" then you are good on getting a plan.
Money savings? The cost is the primary concern (see DDP plan prices). Meal plans will only save you money if you (1) only eat at disney (2) only eat at the best places and order the higher end of each menu (3) eat every meal. If any of your party like to eat light or you think you will miss a meal or you will eat off property one day then do not get the meal plan.
Reservations: Although the meal plan doesn't require you to get reservations to dining facilities, you will not be able to get into the best ones without them. And if you do not have proper reservations, point two above is not possible. Thus, if you do not have time to plan ahead then don't get the meal plan. This point does not apply to the QUICK SERVE plan where reservations don't matter.
Meal plan changes your timing:
Now if all of your party wants to eat like mad and you are willing to do the reservation planning, consider this fact: the meal plan will dictate what you do and when you do it during your stay. If you make a reservation at Epcot on day two, you are going to epcot on day two because if you don't get that high end food your meal plan isn't worth it. If you like to have a more relaxed and fluid stay then the meal plan is not for you.
This is critical and 9 is the magic number. Children starting at 10 are considered adults on the meal plans and the price goes up drastically for adults. If you have children in the range of 6-9 you are in the sweet spot and a meal plan is more attractive, but if you have two children which are 10 and 12 then there is a problem. Young kids don't eat like adults yet you will be paying for adults. The age range of 10-14 we feel is a waste when it comes to the plan.
Note that for infants (2 or younger) the plan does not apply to them.
If you like to eat a late lunch and may not have a large dinner, do not get the plans. Lunches are cheaper at disney if you pay cash.
The entire party that is on your reservation must get the meal plan if your signup for it (with the exception of infants). If one person in your party will not use the meal plan fully, it is not worth it.
If you will eat half of your evening meals at a buffet then the plan is a money savings.
Many get the meal plans because, let's face it, its nice to have things prepaid and not worry about it. Valid reason! And some certainly will pay a little more for this. But there is no reason to throw money away either. Consider the prepaid gift card alternative
! What is this magic thing? We will tell you.
Let's say the meal plan is going to cost you $1200 total. Instead of doing the meal plan, go get a prepaid credit card or a disney gift card and put $1000 on it and use it for all your food purchases. You will see exactly how much you spend and also have that feeling of prepaid magic.