Wednesday, August 6, 2008


So, it's been announced that next year, Disney is now going to offer a Counter Service Dining Plan. The price will be $29.99 and you will receive 2 CS meals, 2 snacks per day and one refillable mug that can be used at the resorts during your stay. (Although, I did hear a rumor that they will be allowing you to use the refillable mugs anywhere on Disney property...don't know how they'd manage that one, but alas, right now, it's just a rumor).

This news excites me though. I think this is a brilliant idea and it's too bad they aren't rolling it out now, because I might have actually took them up on that offer for my trip in September.

The reason it's so brilliant? Before, there were only two dining plans...and with both, you absolutely had to eat a a table service meal (or multiple) to get your money's worth out of them. This of course, caused problems because people would book up the Table Service restaurants because they would need a place to eat for the night. Now, if you really didn't want a table service meal, you don't have to get one. It's perfect. Plus, maybe now it might free up a few slots at Table Service restaurants. Or maybe that's wishful thinking on my part. :)

The other reason this is so great is for people like me and my husband. People who are on a budget who don't really want to take the time to "waste" an hour sitting down for a meal when we could be off doing something else. That was the main reason my husband didn't want to get the dining plan for our upcoming trip. He didn't want to waste the valuable time we'd have.

The one negative...and really it's not much of a negative, is the cost. This would have been absolutely perfect priced at $24.99...however, it is price at $29.99...which, depending on how you look at it, could not be a value at all.

Example, say I was staying for 5 nights (You'll see why the number of nights is important in a minute). If that's the case then:

Snack 1: Breakfast-Cinnamon Roll at Pop Century-$2.69
CS Meal 1: Lunch-Grand Slam All Beef 1/4 lb. Hot Dog served with apple slaw or french fries at Casey's Corner-$5.79. Plus a Brownie $2.39 and Soda $2.39
CS Meal 2: Dinner-Fried Fish Basket served with choice of either French Fries or Apple Slices at Columbia Harbor House-$7.09 Plus Chocolate Cake-$3.59 and Soda-$2.39
Snack 2: Snack-Mickey's Premium Ice Cream Bar-$2.50
Cost of Refillable Mug broken down per day: approx. $2.50

The cost of all that is only $31.33, so you'd only be saving $1.34...still a savings, but not nearly as deep as one might think. And of course, this was only a sample of what someone might actually eat. If you went for the most expensive items off the menu for every single thing, you'd save more, but this was a general sampling.

So, while I still really like the idea of a Counter Service Dining Plan, it will be yet another plan where you'll probably need to weigh the costs of what you're spending to see if it really will be a value to you.

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