There is so much debate on if the Disney Dining Plan is really worth it. We have gone to Disney with and without it and I will tell you I am a fan. Now that they have added Alcohol to the Disney Dining Plan it really tips the scales in value. Now if you and your family don’t drink, then it may not be as big of a deal. And I am not saying that our family drinks a great deal. But having the option to have a drink at our sit down meal or a beer with the quick serve really is nice and also increases the value considerably!
The alcohol option has been available for awhile. We have done the regular Disney Dining Plan and the Quick Serve plan since they have changed. For every sit down meal or quick service meal, one alcoholic beverage is included. All guest that are provided alcohol must be 21 and they do check. EVERY SINGLE TIME! My daughter is 22 and even though I was with her, they still checked every time! Kudos to Disney!
So let’s take a look at it and see if it is worth it.
Table Service Meal – Cost with Alcohol on the Disney Dining Plan
It is recommended that for a sit down meal on the dining plan that you budget each meal to cost $41 or more to make the Disney Dining Plan worth the money you have paid for it.
Here is our receipt for The Crystal Palace for the Breakfast Buffet. I believe the dinner buffet cost more, but we like breakfast!
Now I know you are thinking, alcohol for breakfast? It is vacation and mimosas are a traditional breakfast item. And let’s face it, it was yummy!
Three adult buffets were $145. That included drinks. I believe we got 2 coffees and a juice. That was all included. Before tax that brings our breakfast to $38 a piece. Now you would add tax in there and you would hit pretty close to that $41 price point that has you getting what you pay for. If you add in the alcoholic beverage that was included (either $10 or $11), your pre tax amount is $48 or $49. That is above the amount that you need to make the Disney Dining Plan work efficiently.
Quick Service Meal – Cost with Alcohol on the Disney Dining Plan
Quick service meals can also include an alcoholic beverage. The breakdown for a quick serve meal would be about $18 to get your money’s worth from the Disney Dining Plan. Let’s see how we did at Woody’s Lunch Box. Which was really good, by the way. Here is our receipt.
Now here you can see we each got exactly the same thing to eat. It was a wonderful brisket sandwich! But the girls each got a grown up lemonade and Mom, who was a bit dehydrated, got a Mystic Punch. Notice the difference in price! The non-alcoholic drink was $4.49 and the alcoholic drink was $10.25 each. More than double the price. When you break that down the pre-tax price is $17.49 for the non-alcoholic lunch and $23.24. Both make the meal worth the dining plan cost (I am assuming that tax is more that $.50), but the alcohol really adds a bang for your buck so to say.
Now, you may be wondering was a grown up lemonade worth it? I did get to try a sip of the girls and it was really good! I did enjoy the Mystic Punch as well.
Summing it all up
I realize that alcohol is not for everyone. And you can see by these examples, that many meals at Walt Disney World make the dining plan worth it without adding alcohol. I am definitely in the Disney Dining Plan is a must have camp. We love it. And yes, we loved it before they added alcohol as an option.
But now? The alcohol definitely makes the value of the Disney Dining Plan go up.
If you are planning on adding alcohol to your meals it makes the Disney Dining Plan much more of an option. I have yet to crunch all the numbers for this trip to see how much the dining plan was worth for us.
We also used a snack credit a day at Starbucks. Did you know that you can have any size Starbucks drink with as many shots as you want and its a snack credit? But that is a whole different blog post isn’t it?
The Point is…
If you are using the Disney Dining Plan make it work. Know what you need to spend and how much you are going to spend. If alcohol is on your menu, especially those speciality drinks, you will be spending much more than you would otherwise, which makes it worth your while!
What’s your thoughts and ideas about the Disney Dining Plan?
I would love to hear what you think of the Disney Dining Plan? Is it worth it for you and your family? Do you add alcohol to your meals? What meal are you looking forward to most on your next Walt Disney World trip?
As always go out there and do something great!
And have a magical day!