Should I get the Basic Dining Plan or the Deluxe Dining Plan?
About This Page: This is a discussion on Should I get the Basic Dining Plan or the Deluxe Dining Plan? within the Feasting and Snacking: The Eateries at Walt Disney World, part of the PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel; I am wondering if I should get the basic plan or the deluxe plan. I have 4 kids, 3 of ...
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Should I get the Basic Dining Plan or the Deluxe Dining Plan?
I am wondering if I should get the basic plan or the deluxe plan. I have 4 kids, 3 of which are teenagers, and they like to eat. I am afraid I will end up spending money on at least a meal a day with the basic plan since you only get 1 table service and 1 counter service and 1 snack. There are also a few restaurants that take 2 credits that I think they would enjoy now that they are older and I was thinking we could eat breakfast in our room a few days and bank that meal for a 2 credit meal. Is it worth the extra to have 3 meals and 2 snacks?
Last edited by Belle*; 02-01-2010 at 02:35 PM..
last time we went was in 2003 and we ate 3 meals a day. It was usually a breakfast (either a sit down breakfast or breakfast at the resort), a table service (usually at lunch) and a counter service for dinner. I'm just afraid that if I get the basic my kids are going to want to eat and I'm going to either use up all our credits before the week is out and end up having to pay for other meals. When you say to much food what do you mean?
For our family, the basic plan would be too much food because we don't eat 3 full meals a day. But I will say that when we took my little sister with us, she was 14 at the time, and she ate A LOT! She was a cheerleader and ran track so she was keeping up her strength I guess. LOL We did end up paying for a lot of things OOP cause she would use up her daily credits, but still want at least 2-3 more substantial snacks throughout the day - and could have done 3 meals easily. (Actually, she and my mom already have informed me that they will be getting Deluxe the next time they come, cause it just suits their eating habits better.) So if that sounds like your kids , Deluxe might be something to consider. If it were me and I was unsure, I'd rather go ahead and get Deluxe so it would be paid for, rather than have to pay for extras for 4 hungry kids when I got there.
We are not big breakfast eaters...we are more than fine with breakfast bars and trail mix. Basic plan is perfect for us. Deluxe plan seems to take up a lot of time...so keep that in mind. And the cost...deluxe is $30 more a day I think. If you bought one extra counter breakfast each day at the food court of the resort OOp, you'd still save like $20 a day per person.
Stephanie- Mom to Jaden and Emerson, Wife to Keith, Novelist
To my mind, you either need to eat three meals a day, which is too much for us, or go for two meals and have a lot of signature meals, which is the route we tend to go. That's why we go for the Deluxe Plan. If you feel either of those approaches would work for your family, then go Deluxe. If not, then I'd go for the Basic Plan.
Playing with friends at Disneyland Paris during our trip to Paris with PassPorters. From left to right: Hazel, Nadine, Meri, Melanie and me.
We go Deluxe every year. It is a lot of food, but if you really enjoy the character meals, buffets, TS restaurants, then it is well worth it. We always end up with snack credits left over, but then we use them to take yummy treats home with us- like Mickey Krispies and things like that.
We were going to try and downgrade to the Basic ddp this year, but when we sat down and planned out our meals,it just didn't make sense- we would have ended up paying for a lot of things OOP- breakfast every day, more drinks and snacks.
DH & DS16 are big eaters, and we still come out ahead with the Deluxe ddp. We are not used to having apps & desserts with lunch and dinner...so we just pace ourselves and have a few bites of those. But, we get to have some great dining experiences on property,and for us, it's become part of the magic at Disney.
I think I'll stick with deluxe cause we do want to eat at several signature spots. I love narcoossees, and we want to do the spirit of aloha, and would like to do the fantasmic dinner at the brown derby. So this way I'll be able to bank meals for the signature dining. We also each get a refillable mug on deluxe and we really used those last time.
We've done both but now we stay with the basic plan. Not because of the amount of food or the cost but due to the amount of time it takes out of your day. We found ourselves running from park to park and restaurant to restaurant and spending sometimes 1 1/2 hours on a meal. Times that times three and that's alot of time to take out of your days.
We went Deluxe one trip with 2 boys ages 7 and 13 and we found:
1) time of our life - we called it the "porker plan" and other fun nicknames and really enjoyed it
2) it was really nice to have 2 sit down breaks from the heat each day
3) we opted to skip breakfast most days and do 2 credit meals for dinner - on the days that we did 3 sit-downs per day it was way too much and we were not hungry for our meals. You could get around that by scheduling later dinners which we could not really do with a 7 yr old
4) don't underestimate the amount of time or the amount of tips you will be spending - it surprised us a bit
5)we also had tonnes of snack credits left and brought home 21 snacks to keep the magic going for weeks after our trip.
Sounds to me like deluxe is made for your family and if you keep in mind a few of things I mentioned it would work very well. I would definitely do it again and learn from our first experience. It allowed us to try character buffets which we had previously skipped on the basic plan and it allowed us to try so many new places and TS breakfast which we really enjoyed. We really enjoy most of the restaurants at WDW and the meals are a big part of our holidays - Have fun!
We always do the deluxe plan.....we are big appetizer eaters(not included in basic plan) and would end up paying OOP for them, we only eat twice a day we do a 2 credit dinner most nights and either b'fast or lunch, we love the mugs(not included in basic plan and we would get them anyway) and being able to get 2 snacks a day(usually take to room for late night snack). So for us the deluxe plan actually saves us money.
We use the basic DDP. Even the basic is alot of food. We did 1 Sig. restaurant, so our arrival day we just used our CS credit for dinner and banked our TS for the 2 TS meal.
We use our snack credits for breakfast-side of eggs, bagel, muffin. danish, milk & cereal. With dessert served with both lunch and dinner we weren't using our snack credits very much. Found breakfast to be a better use of them. It's easy to pack several bags of bagels in your suit cases, you can toast them in the resort food court, and get a side of eggs to go with them with your snack credit. We get the resort refillable mugs for our drinks.
Last edited by Sue M.; 02-04-2010 at 10:58 PM..
I have not done the Basic Plan, so I can't speak to whether that would work for me, but I have done the Deluxe Plan and LOVED IT. As others have pointed out, it is a lot of food...not just the number of credits, but the fact that if you do TS for lunch and dinner in one day (even skipping reakfast to bank that credit for a sig restaurant) you are still eating an app/entree/desert for 2 meals in a row. Keep this in mind when you plan your meals because I found that a lot of times I wasn't super hungry when dinnertime rolled around. People are also correct in that eating 2 or even 3 TS meals a day takes up a good amount of time, up to an hour+ for each meal. However, if I had to plan things over again the best bet would be to do a breakfast early, before the park opens, a lunch around 1 or 2pm, and then a LATE dinner, around 8pm or so because by then the parks are close to closing and you can just leave when you are done and you aren't sacrificing more park time. Again, the tips, they add up. Especially if you are eating at Sig restaurants because obviously they tend to be more expensive to start with. I feel like you know your family the best. If they are eaters than I don't think you'll be too overwhelmed, and it's always nice to be able to look at the menu and not the prices when you're on the dining plan, whichever one that may be.
PS: I did not pay full price for the DxDDP, I went during free dining and only paid the difference, which equated to paying only a little more than the Basic Plan. So, I know we saved a ton of money vs what we paid and what we spent. I don't know how well it works out without the discount.
We did the basic plan in 2007 Mom, 17 yo son & 15 yo daughter. We ended up with several TS leftover because when meal times rolled around they were not interested in sit-down meals. Had I known this....However, for this 'child-less' trip, we are planning to get the Deluxe plan. There are just too many 'cool' restaurants that we want to try!