Disney Dining Plan Plus Review: Getting Great Bang for Buck!
Walt Disney World recently released the Disney Dining Plan Plus (DDP+), and we immediately booked the meal plan along with reservations for some of the most popular and expensive character meals at Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Our goal was simple: see how this new tier works…and leverage it for maximum monetary savings.
If you’ve read our past posts How We Saved 50% on the Deluxe Dining Plan or Big Savings on Deluxe Disney Dining Plan?!, you know this is something of a sport and/or hobby for us. I spend a lot of time thinking about how to leverage the various tiers of the Disney Dining Plan, and probably have way too much fun doing this stuff. (I am very aware of the fact that this is a pretty lame “hobby,” but I never claimed to be cool.)
Even though we’ve “only” done two posts about hacking the DxDDP, we usually do this stuff a couple of times per year. In addition to saving money for sport, it’s important that we’re as unbiased as possible in our Disney Dining Plan Review & Info. The Dining Plan is divisive among Walt Disney World fans, with most loving or hating it. We’re squarely in between, with an “it depends” attitude. That’s true once again in the case of the Disney Dining Plan Plus, but the good news is that there are pretty easy ways to hack it…
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s reiterate the details of the Disney Dining Plan Plus for those who didn’t see our previous Disney Dining Plan Plus Info post. The DDP+ is the upgraded tier of the Disney Dining Plan, slotting in between the standard Disney Dining Plan and the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan. It bridges the gap between the two both in terms of price and appetites.
The Disney Dining Plan Plus offers two meals at your choice of table service or counter service restaurants and two snacks per night of your hotel reservation, plus a refillable mug per stay (all per person on your reservation. The per night price of the Disney Dining Plan Plus is $94.61 per adult and $35 per child.
Our main motivation for testing the Disney Dining Plan Plus early on was to see whether it worked as advertised, or if there were any unique wrinkles or unannounced details. Suffice to say, there were no hiccups or surprises–it worked exactly as any other Disney Dining Plan would, with exactly the credits and announced info. Everything was totally smooth, with all credits displaying right away in My Disney Experience.
When we’ve previously “hacked” the Deluxe Dining Plan, we’ve done so by adding it to one reservation of a split stay (which we covered in our How to Do a Split Stay at Walt Disney World post). For most readers, we recommended the same approach. This allows you to spread out your credits over an additional day, since you have your full check-in and check-out days to use them.
That’s certainly a viable option for the Disney Dining Plan Plus, too. Two table service meals per day over the course of an entire trip–plus two snacks–can be physically exhausting, and eat away at a lot of your vacation time. And while the DDP+ touts flexibility in using your credits at table or counter service restaurants, you absolutely should not use them at the latter.
You’re going to have a tough time breaking even if you do that more than once or twice over the course of a trip. If you suspect that two sit-down meals per day might be too much for your family, we’d strongly recommend the split stay approach, with the Disney Dining Plan Plus for one segment of the trip and a lower tier of the DDP or paying out of pocket for the other segment.
Of course, you could just book the Disney Dining Plan Plus for the duration and not worry about saving money. A lot of Walt Disney World guests do exactly that, using the DDP for perceived convenience and budgeting purposes. However, we don’t recommend that. Moreover, the whole point of this post is maximizing value, so that would defeat the purpose of this post and be irresponsible advice for us to give.
For this exercise, we opted to follow our own advice on our Best-Value Table Service Disney Dining Plan Restaurants List. We booked reservations for Minnie’s Springtime Dine and Akershus Royal Banquet Hall–the #2 and #1 options on that list, respectively.
We could’ve easily done these two character meals in a single day. Both have the same lunch and dinner menus, meaning that there’s effectively no difference in dining at 11 am or 8 pm in terms of cost or experience.
In fact, going that route and doing the first and last seatings at each would’ve been advantageous from a character dining perspective. As we noted in our new Minnie’s Springtime Dine Review, we did the very last seating of the night there, and had a great time as a result.
An early lunch is the exact same idea, except the restaurant starts empty and slowly fills during your meal instead of slowly emptying. It’s a really good approach for a more peaceful atmosphere and, more importantly, receiving more time, attention, and better interactions with the characters.
That route also offers the advantage of doing two of the more expensive meals rather than a character breakfast and dinner. That’s a fairly normal approach when using the higher tiers of Disney Dining Plan, and it’s not necessarily a bad idea.
However, it is worth noting a couple of things. First, breakfast is universally cheaper–by $10 to $20 at most character dining restaurants that do all three meals. Second, breakfast is almost never as good. There are a handful of exceptions to this (like Chef Mickey’s), but it’s a good rule of thumb. If you can snack for breakfast and do an early lunch, you’ll be rewarded with both more value and a better array of dishes.
Although the specifics would vary based upon the parks you’re visiting, here’s a “sample day” that would work wonderfully with this approach. (You could even combine it with a Park Hopper strategy for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance!)
Start with an early morning breakfast in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, ordering the Green Milk Bread Pudding and/or Saka Farm Egg Bite. Or, wait a bit for Epic Eats to open and start the day out with the cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast: Funnel Cake with Ice Cream. These are all strong uses of snack credits on the Disney Dining Plan, and should get you through until lunch.
Following whatever your morning plans are at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, do the first ADR of the day at Minnie’s Seasonal Dine. After lunch (and perhaps your Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance boarding group?) take the Skyliner gondolas over to Epcot and do dinner at Akershus. The 8+ hours in between will be ample time for the food to digest, and you’ll actually be hungry again for dinner.
There are numerous ways to modify this just in the Crescent Lake area. You could instead do Cape May Cafe, Garden Grill, or Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast. Same goes for Magic Kingdom and the monorail resorts–it’s pretty easy to cobble together your own character dining itinerary for significant savings. I only mention this one because it was our original plan for the day, before we switched things up a bit.
We also cleaned up with snacks. We ended up opting against doing the colossal Funnel Cake with Cookies ‘n Cream (and the one with Strawberry) & Ice Cream at the Epic Eats snack stand in Disney’s Hollywood Studios out of concern that it’d be too much food right before doing Minnie’s Seasonal Dine.
That would’ve offered tremendous bang for buck, but would’ve put us at a disadvantage in terms of stuffing ourselves at the character buffet. When I show up at a buffet, I like to be hungry. To quote sage buffet philosopher Joey Tribbiani, “here’s where I win all my money back!” Since that’s only a “value” to the extent that you make the most of the food spread, we opted to do snacks later at Disney Springs.
There, we started at Wolfgang Puck Express. This is one of the best value counter service restaurants on the Disney Dining Plan (and we love Wolfgang Puck Express), so it should be no surprise that we chose it.
While the snack credit value for desserts is not quite top tier, the quality is. These are table service caliber desserts, with presentation to match. Far better than what you’ll find at most bakeries or quick-service restaurants at Walt Disney World.
For our other snack credits, we headed over to nearby AristoCrepes. This snack stand can be difficult to find, but it’s tucked away right across from Rainforest Cafe at the edge of the bridge.
There, we ordered two of the Bubble Waffles topped with ice cream. Note that this is not listed as a snack credit on the menu, but we were told that it is one. (And there were four Cast Members all there who overheard our transaction, including a manager, so I assume that’s actually true and not just a “luck of the draw” thing.) The Bubble Waffles are an exceptional use of snack credits and tasty, too.
It’d be hyperbole to claim that how you use snack credits is make or break on the Disney Dining Plans, but it’s more important than you might think. It can definitely tip the scales in or out of your favor–so try to use snack credits at Epcot festival kiosks, on pricier items at bakeries, or nicer desserts. (See our Best Uses of Disney Dining Plan Snack Credits List for more suggestions.)
What you really want to avoid is stockpiling snack credits and having to use them on the last day of your trip on a bunch of prepackaged items to take home. (See our Worst Uses of Disney Dining Plan Credits at Walt Disney World List for more advice.) Avoiding poor uses of snack credits is especially important if you aren’t getting alcoholic drinks.
That was the case for us–our Achilles heel with the Disney Dining Plan Plus was definitely drinks. For the most part, we no longer drink alcohol or soda (or really any sugary drink–which also rules out the novelty nonalcoholic drinks), which meant that we both ordered water with each meal.
The frugal consumer in me died a little each time we ordered $0 water instead of a $15 cocktail. Based on what we would have liked to order on this front, we missed on $58 worth of value in a single day.
We also redeemed but did not use our refillable mugs. We’ll take them home and add them to our collection of travel coffee mugs.
However, given that we already have dozens of travel coffee mugs (including ones identical to these), we didn’t actually “need” these mugs. As such, we’ll ascribe them $0 in value for the sake of our math.
Even still, we managed to save $86 using the Disney Dining Plan Plus for one day, which is a tremendous amount of money. Granted, we could’ve cleaned up if we ordered alcohol or actually used our refillable mugs. Conversely, we would’ve lost some value doing cheaper character breakfasts or other table service meals.
On balance, I think we did fairly well–with these results being easily replicable by other Walt Disney World guests planning character dining-heavy trips, or even table service meals at expensive one-credit restaurants. It’s a bummer that it doesn’t include an appetizer like the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan, but this ends up being irrelevant if you’re mostly using the DDP+ at character meals (which is most obvious use case, and how we anticipate most guests utilizing this tier of the DDP).
The key thing with the Disney Dining Plan Plus is that it’s a good option even without attempting to hack it via split stays. It’ll be too much food for some parties, but definitely not others. By contrast, only a small minority of guests will be able to use the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan for the duration of a vacation to its maximum potential. That’s a great plan for those like us who will leverage it, but is simply overkill for a laid back trip with normal meals. As is true of literally every single tier of the Disney Dining Plan, this also won’t work for everyone. However, you can count us as fans of the Disney Dining Plan Plus.
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
Do you agree or disagree with our advice? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
I love your blog because you do try to give a balance view and then your opinion at the end. Your money value resonates with me!
DDP is such a personal decision. If you drink alcohol and will do lots of character meals, DDP is a no brainer in terms of value. Otherwise, if value is important to you, do the math. Think about whether you can actually eat all that food and whether you would feel constrained to only order more expensive entrees when you just want a salad. Remember that you may not be as hungry when it is hot and humid.
We’ve been to WDW twice, 2012 and 2019. Both times, I looked longingly at the DDP and then the rude reality of getting my money’s worth takes over. To get our money’s worth or at least break even for DDP, we would have to eat every QS, every TS, and every snack in the DDP. Entrees and snacks would have to be close to the most expensive items, otherwise, we may not break even.
The value arena was even more true for our December 2019 trip. We are all adults (daughter 21 and son 19) but we don’t drink alcohol. We are foodies and most buffets (character meals) don’t appeal to us (food isn’t that great). Right off the bat, we lose our DDP value. For people who don’t go to WDW that often, we would have to “waste” park touring time eating. We would never use 2 TS for Signature Dining either. That’s just bad value. And we would have to eat when we are not hungry and eat what we may not feel like eating. If we went to WDW much more often, we would have more time to eat and won’t feel the need to run around sorta commando style.
Because we didn’t buy DDP, that gave us more housing options. In 2012, we stayed at Pop for 2 weeks with 10-day Water Park Plus tickets. It was cheap, $69/night. In 2019, the husband and I stayed 5 nights at the Hampton Inn at Lake Buena Vista and 10 nights at the Hilton at Bonnet Creek after the two kids were done with college finals. Both hotels were paid with points. We didn’t need Disney perks the first 5 nights. The husband and I enjoyed MVMCP twice, touring the resorts using your touring plan, touring Disney Springs, doing cake decorating at Amorettes’, and just enjoying the holidays at WDW. It was very enjoyable and relaxing. We began 7 days of park over 9 days, once the kids arrived. We had TS at Storybook Dining (Characters and food were fabulous!), Homecoming’ (Huge portions! Fried chicken is superb. The other 3 dishes were just okay.), Boathouse (Delicious!), CA Grill (Food was exceptional. Waiter a bit disappointed we didn’t order alcohol.), Grand Floridian Café (Good food but portions were small.), and Garden Grill (Characters were great. Lunch food was just food) for Processional Dining. We ate at a whole host of QS when we were hungry and we ate whatever snacks we wanted. We ate really well. But we didn’t waste any food or eat something we didn’t want to eat. Sometimes, we didn’t order each person an entrée because the portions were huge, we weren’t that hungry, or we were eyeing dessert later. And we certainly didn’t have 2 snacks/person/day. I had budgeted $3,000 for food for the trip. I never told my family about my budget and neither did I tell them what they could and couldn’t order. We spent $2,700 on food. DDP would have costed $3,775 + tip. This entire 2019 trip was just about $8,000 and that included airfare from California.
I’m itching to go on a third trip to WDW soon. It will most likely be just the husband and me. Last week, I dreamt about DDP, again. Don’t ask me why! So, I sat down and ran a spreadsheet of all the restaurants I wanted to eat at and the snacks I wanted over 11 days. With only 2 character meals (no buffets) we would like to eat at, we would have to eat close to the most expensive entrées at every meal to break even. I love steak but sorry, Tom, I shudder at the thought of having steak every day. I can’t imagine both of us ordering and eating at a Quick Service, a Table Service, and 2 snacks everyday! That’s way too much food for us! On the day we sampled at the Festival of the Holidays booths, we didn’t eat a real meal. I saved the spreadsheet to remind me of the DDP’s poor value for my family. Maybe to ease my longing for the DDP, we should do a split stay of just 2 nights…
Don’t forget the “hidden” costs of tips when upgrading from free quick service to the other plans-especially if you are budgeting your trip.
Quick service-no tips and no out of pocket
Upgrades-plan price plus the tips out of pocket during your visit.
We were there at christmas and our buffet at Cape May plus the “free” $15 cocktail gave us a bill of $75 per person before tip!!
Eating at the buffets are good use of the table service credits but add in the alcohol and our “bill” for 3 was frequently $215 for buffets at holiday pricing. So the credits paid the “bill” but we were shelling out a lot for tips on those table service meals!
Really it got to be ridiculous for our 5 day trip.
If we didn’t have the plan, we wouldn’t have eaten a table service meal every day, probably every other day. And since we had the dining plan we made reservations at table service we hadn’t been to before which caused us to be inefficient in our park days.
Glad we tried it, it was fun but won’t do it again.
Just remember-the plan price for anything other than quick service plan is not the final price-you still have to budget for tips and I kind of think people forget that if they are using the dining plan as a budgeting tool.
“If we didn’t have the plan, we wouldn’t have eaten a table service meal every day, probably every other day.”
You raise a few good points, but I think this is the most important part of your comment.
We strongly discourage people from adjusting their behavior to fit any of the Disney Dining Plans. If the plans don’t fit with how you’d eat normally, do not use them–simply pay out of pocket.
You’re not saving money if you’re getting something that you really didn’t want in the first place. It’s like buying mayonnaise in bulk because it’s slightly cheaper…only to have half the container go bad.
Agreed. We would have been just fine with the free quick service dining plan. The $150 we spent on tips over the 5 days could have paid for 1 table service meal right off the bat to supplement our quick service plan. I just wanted to point out that all those table service meals added $150 in tips to the cost of the trip and that was eye-opening.
Your point of doing it for 1-2 days is spot on!
But the package we had for the free Quick service dining required 5 days. 🙁
Guess that’s how they hook you.
Can the Disney Dining Plus Plan be used towards Signature restaurants? We will be going to Disney this summer (group of 16). We have three ( Le Cellier, Be Our Guest, and California Grill) of our five nights at Signature Restaurants. We are currently on the regular dining plan, but wondering if it would save us money to switch to the Plus Plan?
Yes, it can in the same way that your current (standard) Disney Dining Plan can be used towards Signature Dining–by using 2 table service credits.
The question of whether it’ll save you money as compared to your current plan comes down to whether you’re currently paying out of pocket for any dining and/or if you’d like to add more table service restaurants to your itinerary.
Was hoping for more clarification as to how to leverage over a split stay. I know what a split stay is but how do you leverage? Do you carry over credits into the second portion of your stay? Or is it something else? Thanks
Since you have the credits on both the entirety of check-in and check-out days, you essentially have an extra day to use them. Meaning that you could do a 2-night stay followed by a 5-night stay, book the DDP with the first one, and use credits your first 3 days. Make sense?
Yes thanks Tom
OOI, did your $86 saving factor in either annual pass holder discounts or TiW discounts? And if not, do you think it’s really possible to save money on the DDP when competing against those other discounts?
Shoot, I did forget to do that.
You definitely can still save money with it, but as always it comes down to where you dine and what you order. Again, we did these meals at literally the two best options (statistically) for maximizing value on the DDP.
However, if we did Toledo, Via Napoli, Chefs de France (or pretty much any 1-credit restaurant that serves a ~$32+ steak) and ordered alcohol, we’ve done similarly well. Just reduce the savings by 20% if you have TiW or 10% if you’re an AP.
As always, it comes down to whether what the DDP includes matches your normal dining habits.
Thanks! But it’s not as simple as reducing the savings by 20%, since the DDP is a fixed price while TiW discounts from the pre-discounted menu cost.
Per your breakdown below, revised for TiW prices:
Akershus – (0.8 * $132) = $105
H&V – (0.8 * $112) = $89
Snacks (no TiW discount) – $32
Total cost with TiW = $226
Total saving ($226 – $190) = $36
…or a 58% decrease in saving.
That’s still positive(!), but I think the case is substantially weaker for TiW holders.
All depends on three things. How often do you come to Disney, how many table service venues do you use per visit and how many in your party. We come two to three times a year and at least once a year, at food and wine, we have over the limit of 10 per party. We are also DVC so we get the lower Tables price. Another plus is that, as Tom stated in his comparison, we don’t have to keep track of how much of what we’ve used. But then when it’s just the two of us we tend to do things on the spur of the moment. We haven’t planned in even the 11 month window in years and were always tacking on party members as we get closer to Disney Day!
You SAVED $86?!
Please give a breakdown.
Akershus (x2): $132
Hollywood & Vine (x2): $112
Wolfgang Puck: $13
DDP+ Cost: ($190)
Total savings: $86
So what’s changed in your headlining? Lot of effusive words–perfect, great bang for the buck? Do you have some Disney sponsorship, or trying to draw broader audience?
The change since last week when we criticized the virtual queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, contended “this isn’t working” with regard to DHS park hours, addressed the slew of negative news stories in a single day, or pointed out that the value proposition of staying on-site continues to erode with Runaway Railway not being included in EMH?
Publish two consecutive negative stories, people accuse us of being overly critical. Publish two consecutive positive ones and we’re suddenly paid shills. People see what they want to see.
(And no, we do not have a Disney sponsorship. Heck, we don’t even go to media events anymore.)
Do you think it’s still valuable to use these undetermined credits in the DDP+ at the festival kiosks in lieu of using it for a table service meal? We just returned from the Festival of the Arts and used QS credits at the kiosks, but what happens to the beverage part? I should have given thought to it or researched it a bit more – could you still get a beverage/alcoholic beverage when you use the dining plan credit for three snacks?
“Do you think it’s still valuable to use these undetermined credits in the DDP+ at the festival kiosks in lieu of using it for a table service meal?”
So how does this plan work with the Epcot kiosks? Can you still get three snacks for one of your meal credits if you wanted? Would it still be a good use if you could have used it for a table service meal? We just returned from Festival of the Arts where we used the quick service meals for kiosk items, but I should have been more aware of the beverage portion of the quick service credit? Could we still had gotten a beverage/alcoholic beverage when we used the quick service credit for the kiosks? Thoughts on continuing to use credits from the DDP+ for the Epcot kiosks? Thanks for all the great info!
We did a split stay once and used the DxDP for the 2-night portion of our stay, using the credits over 3 days… and it was still too much food! Though we did save money.
But I just remembered that for our upcoming May trip, we’re only staying at 1 resort, but we do have a split stay at AKL due to DVC rental availability (a 1 night stay, plus a 6-night stay). It could be fun to do the DDP for the 1-night portion.
The best hack for dining plans is definitely to share credits! We purchase the deluxe plan on one room and then share the credits with family in another room. Obviously it won’t work if you have only one room booked.
That’s what we did the only time we’ve done the dining plan. We’re probably going to add just the quick service to one room for our upcoming trip though – short trip, not expecting a lot of downtime to be able to take the time with table service meals. But we *do* drink and with Galaxy’s Edge on the agenda, I’m very confident that it’ll be a solid choice. (Even though we’re not heading to EPCOT, so I won’t be able to go and buy out Les Halles with the last of the snack credits… alas)
I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before I booked my trip! We have a group of 10 and have 2 rooms with 5 each. If we didn’t already have so many plans in place (we go to Disney in just over a month), I would consider updating one of the rooms!
This was the best experience for us as well. We had 2 rooms. Bought the plan for 4 adults in one room. We used the credits for 6 adults and 1 child. Over 9 days we only paid Via Napoli out of pocket. It also solidified that the Dining Plan is just way too much food for our family of 4. The fact that it fed almost twice as many people made that very clear. I also never understand trading a QS with a potential value of $30 for 3 bags of jelly beans or rice krispie treats.
We are very excited about this. We love character meals and like lunch and dinner table service, and plan to use the snack credits for light breakfasts and flower and garden booths. Add in the booze and the value is a no brainer!
I love a good deal but don’t drink alcohol and I die inside a little at disney as well when I’m on the dining plan (which I get when they have free dining only anyway). Maybe I should start offering beers to the person in line behind me?
That would be awesome
We actually thought about doing that with the table next to us at Akershus (as I did want photos of the drinks), but ultimately decided against it.
Between the coronavirus fears and general skepticism people have whenever they’re offered anything free by strangers, it’s just usually more of a hassle than it’s worth.
Tom, have you ever done a comparison of Tables In Wonderland, a straight discount dining program, with any of the Meal Credit programs? We opt for Tables because we found ourselves with tons of unused snack credits after everyvisit, but perhaps things have changed since our decision of many years back?
Our Tables in Wonderland Review (https://www.disneytouristblog.com/tables-in-wonderland-card-review/) sort of offers that.
If you were wasting a ton of snack credits before, there’s a good chance the DDP doesn’t match your dining habits–unless you eat a lot of steak (or other high priced entrees), order alcohol with each meal, and dessert–or some combination of the three.
Nevertheless, it might be worth doing the math again, as a la carte menu prices have increased at a faster rate than the cost of the Disney Dining Plan over the last 3 years.
DDP+ sounds like a good option for our family. we do try and time trips around free dining periods though, to get the most out of it we can. we love so many sit down options, but the deluxe plan is simply too much food, unless you plan on multiple signature meals. when we visit, we almost exclusively stay at value resorts and then pay the nominal upcharge to get the regular DDP and still come out way ahead. curious to see when free dining period rolls around next how this new plan will be incorporated into it, and what upcharges would. we do have a few QS places we can’t miss (flame tree and i can see sam eagle’s in our future) so we would be breaking your cardinal rule and use a couple credits at those places, but this way, we’d only go to the QS places we LOVE, and not feel like we had to fill in with others that were just ok.
totally random on the mugs- because we have so many, i’ve just gone to using them for my morning and evening tea, rather than regular mugs. our family wound up with 2 halloween resort mugs this year, one is totally unused. i’ve been searching the interwebs looking for someone who might be in the same boat with an unused christmas resort mug interested in a swap. if anyone out there reading this falls into that, let’s see if we can work something out!
As of now, with existing free dining reservations, they are not allowing upgrades to DDP+. That may change in the next batch of free dining.
yeah i’d be interested to see what happens with the next round. no trips planned for us on the horizon, just wanting to know where this goes.
I was able to add it to my existing 2019 reservation.
I contacted Disney and the reply was to contact them directly and they would arrange for the upgrade to DDP+
How did you add it to a 2019 reservation? It didn’t exist in 2019.
They allows upgrades to the DDP and DxDP in 2019… they still are in 2020. But they aren’t allowing upgrades to the DDP+, as of now.
We are very excited about DDP+, but our Be Our Guest travel planner stated that at this time it is not available for booking with current reservations and may never be available to those using a bounceback offer. Do anticipate this information as a glitch in the system or is this a permanent part of DDP+. We book our family vacation every year using the bounceback room discount.
Did you book in 2019? I had the same issue as I used a Unique Offer Code from 2019. Hopefully it’s just an issue with it being an offer from before DDP+, therefore something that can be applied to future offers.
I have heard that it’s available as an upgrade. So, for example, we usually stay at Pop Century Resort and the Free Dining Promotion there is the Quick Service Plan. We pay the difference to upgrade to the DDP. I heard that this option will also be available for the DDP+. Since we LOVE our Table Service meals, usually choosing more expensive restaurants and more expensive entree choices and we DO enjoy our cocktails this would work for us. There are a few QS Restaurants that we would pay for OOP (Sunshine Seasons come to mind) the new DDP+ would allow us to have more Character Dining and also still enjoy some more adult oriented meals. Looking forward to giving it a try.
I booked it with my current reservation. â€â™€ï¸
I waited on hold for 45+ minutes and Disney told me the DDP+ could only be added to new reservations.
You can add to existing reservations. We got next month and I was able to add DDP+ this week. Yes I was on hold for a bit while he figured it out but he did it no problem and I kept my room discount. So I’d try again.
To state what should be obvious though…
While a character lunch + character dinner is great for “maximizing value”– In the heart of the day, do you want to spend about 1/3rd of your time inside buffets? (11am-8pm, 9 hour period… about 90 minutes per buffet)
And certainly you wouldn’t want to do that every day.
Thus, comes the question of whether the DDP+ would have value on a more typical average eating day.
As you said, any days where you use your second credit for CS, you lost value.
Any day where you do a credit for an ala carte breakfast, you lose value.
Any day where you use a credit for a character breakfast… you lose some value, making it harder to break even for the day.
Any time you try to combine the credits for a signature meal… likely losing value. (need an $80+ signature meal to break even)
And any time you do 2 ala carte restaurants in 1 day, it can be difficult to efficiently get value, as well as questioning how often you really want to spend that much time inside restaurants. Even people who are usually on the regular DDP and typically get $50+ value out of their TS meal, would you do that same meal twice in the same day? 2 steaks, 2 cocktails, 2 desserts. I think *most guests* would keep at least 1 of the 2 meals lighter.
Yes, fantastic value if you really are going to do 2 character meals per day.
Probably very good value if you do a character lunch/dinner combined with a regular ala carte lunch/dinner.
If most of your days look like those 2 examples, probably a very good value. If that’s not how your days look…….
Isn’t that kind of Tom’s view of the Dining Plan in general though? That most tiers *can* offer value if you eat a certain way, but if that’s not how you want to eat then you should pass? I’ve never used any tier of the plan for that very reason, I find it much simpler to just pay out of pocket than worrying about if I’m ordering the “right” items to get a good value out of my prepaid meal credits.
Yes, you’re right. Tom is essentially saying the same thing, but with different emphasis…
“The key thing with the Disney Dining Plan Plus is that it’s a good option even without attempting to hack it via split stays. It’ll be too much food for some parties, but definitely not others. By contrast, only a small minority of guests will be able to use the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan for the duration of a vacation to its maximum potential.”
I actually think it’s a little easier to get the maximum potential out of the DxDP than out of the DDP+
Character breakfast + 1 credit ala carte TS restaurant (no appetizer) — DDP+
Character breakfast + 2 credit signature restaurant with appetizer — DDxP
Both are about the same amount of food, except throws in 1 appetizer. The DxDP is giving you a far superior dinner, and you’re paying less per credit. Signatures are a terrible use of credits on the DDP and DDP+, but an excellent use on the DxDP..
Take both examples:
$42 character breakfast + ala carte dinner ($30 entree, $10 dessert, $5 beverage) — $87. Add snacks, you about break even with the DDP+, maybe save a bit.
$42 character breakfast + signature ala carte ($15 appetizer, $50 entree, $15 dessert, $5 beverage)- $127 — Already saving money, before adding snacks.
+1. Wife and I don’t eat that much and often split meals. Last weeks trip for 5 days was <$180 for food. Had one beer each.
We’ve tried various Disney Dining plans throughout the years and, now that the kids and grandchildren are grown, found Tables in Wonderland to be easier for us to manage. The straight discount leaves no unused meal or snack credits at the end of our visit, as the dining plans used to. We buy snacks in the parks as sitdown meals are more what we gravitate to now. As well, the Tables discount apply to alcoholic drinks too. The drawback is that some restaurants, especially in Epcot’s World Showcase, don’t take Tables, but we were surprised and gratified to find, on our first visit, that STK did.
Please sign me up for your blogs on Disney.