Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Disney Dining Plans 2012

It's that time of year again!  The time has arrived once again where we take a look at the Disney Dining Plans.  The 2012 Disney Dining Plans have been announced and as there are every year, there are some changes that have been made that you should be aware of. 

First of all, it appears that Disney has made one change to the Quick Service Dining Plan.  Before, guests were allowed 2 snack options per day, per person.  With the new 2012 plan, that has been reduced down to just 1 snack allowed per day, per person.

The other change that appears to have taken place is to the Basic Dining Plan.  New for 2012, guests will be given one refillable mug per person that is to be used for refills only at quick service locations at your Disney resort.

Those appear to be the major changes with the new 2012 Dining Plans.  Of course, as more details are to come, they will be included in this article as we receive them.

With that being said, let's take a look at an explanation of each of the 2012 Disney Dining Plans, plus the pricing structure for this upcoming year.  (Included in parenthesis are 2011 and 2010 prices in order.)

Quick-Service Plan
Adults 10+: $34.99/night ($34.99/$31.99)
Child 3-9: $11.99/night ($11.99/$9.99)

The Quick Service dining plan allows each guest to get 2 Counter Service Meals per day (which includes an entree or combo meal, dessert or juice, and a non-alcoholic beverage), 1 Snack Options per day, and 1 Refillable Mug per person for the length of your stay.

Basic Plan*
Adults 10+:  $51.54/night ($45.99/$41.99)
Child 3-9: $15.02/night ($11.99/$11.99)

The Basic Plan (Also known as the Standard Plan) comes with 1 Counter Service Meal per day (which includes an entree or combo meal, dessert or juice, and a non-alcoholic beverage), 1 Sit Down Meal per day (which includes entree, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverage. Or, if eating at a buffet, the full buffet.) Also 1 Snack credit per day and 1 refillable mug per person. 

Deluxe Plan*
Adults 10+: $85.52/night ($78.99/$71.99)
Child 3-9: $23.79/night ($21.99/$20.99)

For the Deluxe Dining Plan, guests receive 3 Table Service Meals (Or Quick Service meals). Table Service meals include which includes an appetizer, entree, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverage. Or, if eating at a buffet, the full buffet. Also included are 2 Snack Credits per day plus one resort refillable mug per person for the length of stay.

*Note that during Peak Season, prices will increase for both the Basic and Deluxe Dining Plans.   During Peak Season, the Basic Dining Plan will cost Adults 10+:  $53.54/night and $16.02/night for Child ages 3 to 9.  For the Deluxe Dining Plan, it will cost Adults 10+:  $89.52/night and ages 10+ and $25.79/night Child ages 3 to 9.

One thing to keep in mind when deciding on whether to purchase the dining plans is that gratuities and any extras like alcoholic beverages and appetizers (with the exception of the Deluxe Dining Plan...appetizers are included on that) are not included in the prices listed above and will be added at an additional charge.  Be mindful of that when you are budgeting to see if the dining plan is worth it for you, because if you like an adult beverage or two (or three) or often eat appetizers with your meals, the plan may not work for you.

The biggest question that I hear though is, "Is the Dining Plan Worth It?"  Is it a good value?

Honestly, I can't tell you if the dining plan is a good value. Really it all depends on each person's individual budget and tastes. It takes a lot of homework to decide if the dining plan is worth getting and for that I suggest looking at the menus on and deciding which restaurants you may be thinking about eating in (to me, the best value is to make sure you're eating dinners when on the dining plan) and looking at the prices and seeing if it meshes up with the cost of the plan.

(Basically, in a nutshell, for the easy way to figure it all out, for an adult, you want to budget about $11 for counter service meal, $3 for snack, and that leaves you with about $37 for dinner, give or take. If you think you'll spend more than that for the majority of your days, then the dining plan may indeed be worth it for you. If not, you may want to look at other options for saving for meals.)

A lot of people do like the convenience of the Dining Plans though. Everything is all paid for (for the most part) and you don't have to worry about what to order. You can just sit back and order what you want. Plus, since everything is then prepaid, so all that you'll really have to pay for during your vacation is for souvenirs.

Some however, don't like the Dining Plans because it serves them too much food. More than they normally eat. This is something else that needs to be considered when looking at the value of the plan. For example, if you don't normally eat desserts, these plans may not be for you.

Whatever you decide to do for your family, getting the Dining Plan or just saving money on something like a Disney Gift Card to pay for your food, or putting money aside in envelopes or whatever, I can't stress really have to do your homework. But unfortunately, the often asked question of is the Dining Plan worth it, doesn't necessarily have an easy answer to it.


Monkey said...

Just wanted to point out... the DxDP for 2012 still includes an appetizer for sit down meals. This is worth mentioning since you post states that "any extras like alcohol and appetizers are not included" (at least for the deluxe, this isn't entirely true)

Unknown said...

Tim, thank you so much. I have clarified that in the post.