Is Using the Disney Dining Plan While Kosher Worth It?

Breakfast at Be Our Guest, one way to get in easier

Disney is great at packaging things to make life “easier”, but usually more expensive at the same time (convenience at a price).  One such example is their Disney Dining Plan.  The plan is broken into a few different options but the general gist is that you get credits that can be used on different types of meals throughout the parks (the types vary by plan).

Plan Breakdown

First, lets talk about the plans available.  It is important to note the meals are set by each night you are in the park.  So if you are in the parks for 4 days and 3 nights you will get 3 days worth of meals.  Also, the meals are “pooled” between all the members of your party and can be used any day.  So if you are 2 adults, staying for 3 nights on a quick service plan, you get a total of 12 quick service meals and 12 snacks to be used at any time.

Quick Service Dining Plan

Each Guest in your party (ages 3 and up) receives:

2 Quick-Service Meals
1 entrée or 1 complete combo meal
1 single-serving, non-alcoholic beverage

Children ages 3-9 must order from the Children’s Menu (if one is available).

2 Snacks
Examples of snacks are: 1 frozen ice cream novelty, popsicle, fruit bar, popcorn scoop (single-serving box), single-serving bag of snacks, single piece of whole fruit, 20-oz. bottle of Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite or Dasani water, 22-oz. fountain soft drink or juice, 12-oz. coffee, hot chocolate or hot tea, single-serving prepackaged milk or juice

1 Resort-Refillable Drink Mug Per Person

Bring your Resort mug to any quick-service restaurant at your Disney Resort hotel and refill it as often as you like!

(Regular) Dining Plan

1 Table-Service Meal
Each (adult or child) table-service meal includes:
1 entrée
1 dessert (lunch and dinner only)
1 single-serving, non-alcoholic beverage
Or
1 full buffet

1 Quick-Service Meal
2 Snacks
1 Resort-Refillable Drink Mug Per Person

Deluxe Service Dining Plan

3 Meals
Choose from select Walt Disney World Resort table-service or quick-service restaurants for all 3 of your meals.

2 Snacks
1 Resort-Refillable Drink Mug Per Person

So, Nu, Is It Worth It?

I’m getting to it! You need to answer at least most of the following questions affirmatively to even consider the plan:

  • Are you planning on eating every meal at the park?
    • If not, the meals at the park are usually most expensive and not as good as the meals you would get outside the park.  The price difference could be quite large
  • If you are booking the “free dining” discount, were you planning on staying on a Disney property anyway?

    • While free dining sounds like a great deal it requires that you book “rack rate” at a Disney hotel which can negate the savings if you were planning on booking somewhere else for cheaper)
  • Are you planning on taking advantage of buffets and/or character dining experiences?
    • The best way to make the most of your credits is by going to normally expensive experiences (e.g. the character breakfast at Tusker House that is over $30 per adult) that only cost 1 table service credit.
  • Were you planning on getting snacks anyway
    • The normally overlooked snacks portion of the meal can give you little savings you might not expect and ensure you will always be “allowed” to get ice cream 🙂
  • Are you already planning on getting dessert and appetizers at each meal?
    • Since the regular dining plan include dessert and apps at every table meal, and the kosher meals are pretty pricey, this part of the plan also helps offset some of the spending

Kosher meals usually run ~$13-15 for an adult meal and ~$9 for a child’s meal at the quick service locations while the dining locations vary by location but in many locations you have to pay for the appetizer and dessert separately than your meal making it pretty expensive for a “full” meal (well over $30).  If you are not able to take advantage of the ways to maximize your credits as give in these tips from Mousesavers the plan probably isn’t for you.

Check out the Disney Food Blog for some great FAQ on the dining plan and the Disney Trip Planner on a helpful dining calculator (please keep in mind the calculator is not a 1:1 with kosher costs but gives you a good idea and is on the money for meals that are a flat cost like shows and buffets)

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