By Sarah DeMare
** Note: This is an archived article written in June, 2007, the information have changed greatly since that time, for current information please visit The Mouse For Less’ Disney Magic Your Way Dining Plan page at: https://www.themouseforless.com/tripplanning/discounts/myw.shtml.
So, you’ve researched, run the numbers, and now you’ve decided that the Disney Dining Plan (DDP) would be a good value for your family. Maybe you are wondering how to turn that good value into a great value? There are a couple of tricks to make sure that you get the biggest bang for your buck on the dining plan.
First – just to refresh your memory – the DDP can be purchased along with your Magic Your Way vacation package for $38.99/night for adults and $10.99/night for children (ages 3-9). This price includes one Table Service (TS) meal, one Counter Service (CS) meal and one snack per night of your stay – and the price also includes taxes and an 18% gratuity at the TS location. You can use these in any combination you choose (two TS one day, two CS the next), but your credits must be used by midnight of the day you check out or you lose them. Additionally, you have to purchase the dining plan for your entire stay, for everyone in your party. So if you are staying for six nights, each member of your party gets six TS credits, six CS credits and six snack credits to use. You are not able to only purchase the dining plan for a portion of your stay, unless you are willing to book two separate reservations, one ressie with the plan, one without.
So, back to getting the biggest bang for your buck. Let’s look particularly at your TS meals, since these are by far the most expensive and where you can really get your money’s worth on the dining plan. First and foremost, make Advance Dining Reservations (ADR) for all your TS meals. With the popularity of the dining plan, it is getting increasingly more difficult to just walk up to a TS restaurant and get a table without an ADR. The easiest way to lose money using the dining plan is to not use all your credits, so let’s make sure that doesn’t happen.