Vacation Planning: Is Meal Plan worth it?
I'm looking at booking our trip through Disney's website and there are a couple of meal options, although we will be in the park for 6 days (we are going w/ a 4 yr old and 8 month old so want to be fairly leisurely) I'm looking at doing the 4 day meal plan which costs $356.03 and includes: (per adult) one Character Breakfast, one Character Lunch, one Breakfast in the Park, three $5 Vouchers, two $10 Vouchers, two $15 Vouchers and (per child) one Character Breakfast, one Character Lunch, one Breakfast in the Park, four $5 Vouchers and three $10 Vouchers. Doing the math it looks to be about the same as if I were just to pay cash, the one advantage is that the meals would be pretty much paid for up front meaning not having to bring as much money with me on the trip. However I'm sure I could not get a full meal w/ those $5 vouchers so will end up having to supplement them with cash anyway. Has anyone else ever used a meal plan and what was your opinion?
edit: 8 month old does not get meal plan
01-10-2006 04:19 PM
I have not used the meal plan but at Disneyland I suggest not using the voucher thing. It is easier to use cash. I would, however, make reservations for and pre-pay all character meals. I found those to work out great.
I have never looked into DL dining but I have when at WDW and I know it is way too expensive. At DL there are also so many great restaurants in DD and across the street on Harbor Blvd. Sometimes nothing at DL sounded good so we went to Denny's that way everyone can get exactly what they want and it is cheap.
Budgeting is the best reason to get the Meal Plan....
We used a Meal Plan for our trip two years ago, and it worked out great for us, since we didn't have to think about our dining budget while we were enjoying our time at Disneyland. Since our vacation budget is often pretty tight, it was an ideal way for us to plan our dining. It was also nice not to have to think about how much those character meals actually cost--we justed handed them our vouchers! However, the only drawback was that you cannot use those meal vouchers at restaurants outside the parks or Disney hotels. We ate a couple of meals at restaurants at DTD and had to use cash or credit for those meals, which meant that we had extra vouchers at the end of our stay. The last day we were at the parks we left with an armful of fresh fruit and bottled water just to spend those last vouchers. Getting a four-day meal plan for a six day stay makes sense--that way you won't feel like you have to eat every meal within the parks. Have fun!
We have used them for our last 2 trips. We usually book about 6 months in advance, and I like to pay for as much as I can at that time. I means we have to come up with less money while we are there.
It doesnt save any money, though, so unless you want to do it for budgeting, dont bother. And if you do it, dont buy a full plan (day for day), buy a day or two less. That way you'll be able to eat in downtown disney, etc. The vouchers are non-refundable, so you dont want to end up with extra.
A $5 wouldnt get you a meal, but it would get you a snack/ drink. But, yes, you'll want to supplement with cash, so that you aren't wasting money (no change given).
Does this mean we can't use the Character Lunch voucher for Goofy's Kitchen? That's where we wanted to use it instead of at Ariel's Grotto (we have boys, not sure how they'd like the Princesses, although I'm pretty partial to Belle and Ariel ).
Originally Posted by babytmakes5
We loved the meal plan!!! (my husband and I bought it for ourselves) We could not eat it all and we were able to feed our toddler as well. At the Plaza they would give us a discount when we used them. I would advise buying one day less than you think you will need it for and do not buy a meal plan for the four year old unless he eats like a linebacker. Our kids never do more than nibble in the park since they are very excited. You would need to buy the character meal for him. I would also call Disney Dining and make reservations for every day. That way you can look forward to a nice sit down meal each day. If you don't use the reservation there is not any penalty.
Originally Posted by gimp_boy76
Yes, you can use them at Goofys. You can't use them at a nonDisney property. And there will be a few in the book that are good only in the park. I think is the $5. snack ones that are only good in the park, and oddly those ones include tax, so they are actually something like $5.32.
We have used the meal plan several times when booking through WDTC. The advantage, not worrying about food money when you are there. The disadvantage is not getting the 10% off those expensive character meals if you are an AP holder or a member of AAA.
As a side note, you can use your Breakfast in the Park vouchers at any of the character breakfasts. You simply pay the difference in the cost between the face value of the voucher and the buffet price. We do this often since we hate to take time in the Park to eat. Too many rides to ride in the morning!