The Disney Moms reader, Niki, asked, “Next yr will be my family’s first time to Disney World and my daughter will be 5 and she eats like a bird. Should we do the meal plan or just eat at the resort.”
This was always the question I asked when I was headed to Disney with my toddler. I knew that the foods offered by Disney would not accommodate my son. I looked up the menus that were available for the children, but still decided that we would have no benefit of him being on the dining plan.
What you may want to consider, though, is whether you plan on going to see character dining or dinner shows. If you do plan on doing either of these, the dining plan may be for you. Also, remember, just because the credits are for your daughter, does not mean that you cannot use them! For instance, anyone in your party can use the counter services or snack credits available to your daughter. This can be helpful if you want an extra meal as your snack or if you want to have a soda and a popcorn (which requires a snack credit for each the soda AND the popcorn). This may help you to reduce any other out-of-pocket costs you may otherwise incur!
You also mentioned, “Should we do the meal plan or just eat at the resort.” To be clear, anyone can eat in the parks, whether they are on a dining plan or not. The Disney dining plan is designed to reduce time spent on vacation thinking about the cost of dining because the dining has been prepaid. It is also supposed to reduce the cost of dining. The key is how the guest uses the dining plan as to whether it actually save time or money!
Thanks for writing in Niki! Remember, to send you questions to The Disney Moms under the Ask a Question? tab!