Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Disney Dining Plan | Leave The Guesswork At Home

Hi readers! We're officially THREE days from our fling at Disney! I am so excited and I know you are too. Don't forget I'll be sharing some real-time fun with you via Facebook Live, Snapchat, AND Instagram so if you're not following those platforms yet, make sure to do so! Here are the links:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/thedarlingdowntown

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/thedarlingdowntown

SNAPCHAT Username: anbeall

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, today's topic is about one of my FAVORITE things to do at Disney...EAT! We're talking Dining Plans people, and how to truly make your WDW Vacation all-inclusive.

A fan favorite Mickey Ice Cream

One of the most stressful things about planning a vacation is determining how much money to take with you. How much will we spend in gas? How much will we need for souvenirs? How much will we need for food? Let's stop there. See, I like to not think about how much I'm spending on food. I also like to not have so many different things to worry about budgeting for. Enter: Dining Plan. Disney offers three different Dining Plans to make eating during your trip super simple. No carrying cash around or picking and choosing places based on prices. Instead, you have a simple credit system that allows you a certain number of meals and snacks per day of your visit. Love it.

Main Dining Room at Be Our Guest Restaurant

I've taken some time to break down the three different Disney Dining Plan options so you can determine what might be best for your family and their needs. **Note that Dining Plans cannot be purchased without a Vacation Package. These are add-ons and your total cost is determined by length of stay.

Quick Service Dining-  The Quick Service dining plan is going to be your most affordable option at about $42 per adult per night of your stay and $17 per child (ages 3-9) per night of your stay. Think of this as your "Fast Food" plan. No sitting down to a table and a server, your quick service meals are going to be found at walk-up establishments throughout the World, and they have some GREAT quick service options. In a breakdown, this dining plan covers credits for 2 quick service meals per day per person, 1 snack item per day per person, and 1 refillable mug per person.

(Regular) Dining- The regular Dining Plan is the most popular of the three. To start with cost, it runs about $62 per adult per night of your stay and $21 per child (ages 3-9) per night of your stay. You're getting a taste of both quick service and table service with this plan and it's the one I always pick for myself. In a nutshell, with this plan you receive credits for 1 quick service meal, 1 table service meal, and 1 snack per person per night of your stay and 1 refillable mug per person. This means that each day of your trip you can sit down to a nice meal for lunch and grab a quick bite in the evening or vice versa.

Deluxe Dining- This is the mother of all dining plans. If you're truly a foodie and want to experience as many Disney eats as you can during your stay then you might want to spring for this one. At around $111 per adult per night of stay and $32 per child per night of stay, this plan is the most expensive, but for good reason. With the Deluxe dining you'll receive credits for 3 meals (quick-service OR table-service), and 2 snacks per person per night of your stay as well as 1 refillable mug per person. This plan gives you the choice to sit down for 3 meals a day or walk-up 3 meals a day and then treat yourself with a snack TWICE each day.

Now, there are always little asterisks that need mentioning. Alcohol is extra, but I'm sure you already figured with that one. You're responsible for tipping your server at table service restaurants, it's not included. Finally,when it comes to table service meals, not all restaurants are "One Credit" places. Your luxury Disney restaurants are going to cost you two of those table service credits so keep that in mind when making reservations. You can find a definitive list of restaurants and how many credits they call for HERE



Photos from our dinner at California Grill on the top floor of Disney's Contemporary Resort

INSIDER TIP: We usually like to dine at a Signature Restaurant (two credit) while at Disney, so to make up for that missing credit, we save up snack credits and grab a few snacks in place of that meal. You'll be amazed at how much food you get with these meals AND what foods are considered snacks. Another note, if you visit EPCOT during the Flower & Garden or Food & Wine Festival you can redeem snack credits at the various festival kiosks around the park. It's a great way to try the festival cuisine without feeling like you're spending extra!

And that's that! If you've found this helpful, have any tips of your own to add, or are just excited about YOUR upcoming trip, let me know in the comments below! Stay tuned for more Disney fun, babes.

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