Disney Guests Say They WON’T Buy The Disney Dining Plan When It Returns. Here’s Why.

The Disney Dining Plan has been unavailable since prior to the 2020 park closures, but it is set to return in 2024.

Disney World

When it does, Disney World guests will once again need to decide if the DDP is right for them. We were curious, so we asked our readers on Facebook: Are you planning on buying the Disney Dining Plan if it returns?

We got over 800 responses (!!!) and there are some seriously interesting insights about whether or not our readers think the Disney Dining Plan will be worth it. Let’s see what they said!

Yes, we can’t wait!

Some of our readers swear by the Disney Dining Plan and are looking forward to its return so they can add it to their vacations. One said, “I like having food paid for ahead of time. I know we don’t always maximize the value but peace of mind is far more important to me!”

The Disney Dining Plan has yet to return

The general sentiment was that the DDP just makes things easier. “We’re planning large family a trip for 2023 and would love this to come back,” one reader added, “It was nice knowing that some meals were essential prepaid.”

Close-up of Disney Dining Plan Snack Icon

Another added, “Not necessarily cost-effective but we go to lots of character meals and eat whatever we choose without the stress of budget. We use all the credits and enjoy all the magic!” For some, getting the Disney Dining Plan again will be a no-brainer.

It depends.

For others, the decision depends on some different factors. One reader responded, “It depends on what it comes back as. If it is the plan as it was, most likely yes. I like the convenience of knowing meals are paid for.”

Disney Food

Another added, “If the price is right. For those of us who don’t drink, you have to basically choose all the most expensive restaurants and menu options to break even on it. If the price goes up, it won’t be worth it for us.” Disney has since announced pricing for the Disney Dining Plan and there have been increases.

The full spread from the Hanami Booth!

“Depends on the cost…we always used to do the deluxe plan because it was a great way to get all our character meet & greets in when our kids were small,” one response said,  “But now we don’t really eat as much and prefer to snack around and do one big meal each day, so it depends on what it looks like.”

Everything looks amazing!

Nope, not for us.

The most common response was actually “No” but only because of the different ways people travel. For instance, one reader said, “The only time I had it was through a free dining promotion and it’s nice to have but not a good value for how we eat.”

Dinner Spread at Space 220

Another shared some tips! They said, “We save tons of money paying as we go (even using discounted gift cards if the trip is long enough to save a significant amount). So much more flexible without — sharing entrees, tapas dining, and fewer big meals all save money.”

Our Biergarten Spread

One reader had a trick of building-their-own Dining Plan in a way. “We always did in the past but on the last trip, we bought a couple of Disney gift cards equal to the price of the Dining Plan and in the end, we loved the extra flexibility and had a little money left over for an extra souvenir.”


Then there were a number of responses that noted the Dining Plan is too much food. “Last time we had it, we had 16 snack credits at the end of our trip we had to deal with,” a reader added.

Food and Wine Eats

Overall, our readers tend to agree that the Dining Plan is right for some people and not for others. As one put it, “Truly depends on cost and what we plan to eat for that trip. Sometimes it’s a great deal and others it’s not.”

If you’re trying to decide on the Disney Dining Plan when it returns, read up on the latest Dining Plan new right here!

And, follow us on Facebook so that you can weigh in with your Disney opinions too!

Click here to learn more about the Disney Dining Plan!

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13 Replies to “Disney Guests Say They WON’T Buy The Disney Dining Plan When It Returns. Here’s Why.”

  1. No, we will not be getting the dining plan. It was a huge waste of money for us. Last time we used the deluxe dining plan, for 12 guests, we had 8 quick svs and 8 snacks left, and we had to pay out of pocket for 2 table svc. The next trip, 12 people, no dining plan and we saved at least $1000. We still had all the table svc we wanted including character meals. If you have a tight budget and are worried about running out of money use a gift card for each day and have some simple snacks in your room. You will likely save money this way as opposed to the dining plan.

    1. Gift cards are definitely a great way to pre-plan your meal budget so you aren’t worried about being charged. Plus, any left over can be used for souvenirs!

  2. The dining plan provides too much food. I suppose it would be great for a family with a couple of teenagers, but for a senior, it is a waste of food and money. In fact, it is hard for me to eat at Disney because I cannot finish any of the adult entrees or fast food entrees. It is usually impossible and undigestible to order from the children’s menu. Virtually every children’s menu features the same five items, and many of those are deep fried, and many restaurants do not allow adults to order children’s meals.

  3. We are holding off our trip until the dining plans returns but we are a bit worried that the price will be stupidly high with less included like how everything else has become:(

  4. Definitely not any of the plans that include sit down or reserved restaurants. Almost impossible to get reservations now for any parties over 2. Reinstating the dining plans will just make ADR’s even harder to find.

  5. The dining plan is a no brainer. Without even trying, and doing a spreadsheet on two trips, we got one quick service and all of the snacks “for free”. Put simply, the dining plan is the same cost as paying individually for table and quick service meals. For prepaying for those meals (as in getting the dining plan), you get two free snacks per day. Don’t listen to Facebook and twitter…the dining plan is a no brainer.

  6. The dining plan is too much food but I like having it for the convenience knowing everything is pre-paid for already. I do feel there are too many snack credits and wish you could also use those credits towards merchandise.

  7. 20-25% of the dining points are NEVER used which is just pure profit for Disney since you can’t cash out. If you worry about having the money for food it’s simple. Figure the cost of the dining plan you want, put that money into your savings account and when it’s time to go on vacation move it into checking and use your debit card while at Disney or leave in savings, use your Credit Card and payoff when you get home.

    Or put the cash into your Apple Pay account on your iPhone and use iPhone for payment. Simple

    We have been doing it this way for years, no matter where we go on vacation. Chances are you will save money because you may not want big table meals all the time. You also won’t feel forced to eat just to “get your monies worth”.

  8. We’ve always gotten the dining plan, free or otherwise because it works for our style of touring. Right now, with our trip planned in September, we’ve been saving Disney gift cards for use at quick service locations and we’re pretty excited about trying food we’ve never had before because we’ve always done the table service plan. If Dining does come back, we’re on the fence about it but feel that we’d only do the quick service plan if we decide to go for it.

  9. Love the tip on using gift cards to create your own dining plan. This makes it more customizable to your family.

  10. when we had young children or had a need for the fixed price we used the DDP. we switched to tables in wonderland when the children were older. The issue there is the number of table services meals and party size to make it worth while. its gone now too.