By: @dailydisneyblog
There is a lot of back and fourth about whether the dining plan is or is not a good deal and here is the definite answer…… depends. I apologize if that was anti climatic, but its the truth. The dining plan CAN be a good value if you use it properly. Here are my Top 5 tips, secrets, and reasons to get the dining plan on your next visit. Basic rundown before we get started. The basic dining plan gets you 1 quick service meal, 1 snack, and one sit down meal a day. Plus one of the rapid refill mugs that you can use at the resorts.
5. Do not go to any restaurant that is 2 sit down dining credits ( such as Le Cellier, California Grill) I am not saying that they are not worth going to, because I have reservations for both on my next trip. But it breaks down like this, you pay (roughly) 60 dollars per day for the dining plan, and depending on what you order, you can break even or even com out ahead. UNLESS you use 2 credits for one meal. Lets say you go to Le Cellier and use two credits on their rib eye steak. Then you are paying (roughly) 100 dollars for a steak that cost 50 if you had payed out of pocket, So be mindful, and be careful with your credits.
4. Keep your refill mugs with you. You never know when you will be in a resort, waiting for the monorail, or waiting for a dining reservation. If you have your mug on you, you can fill it up if you get thirsty. I am pretty forgetful, and I tend to forget mine in the hotel room nine times out of ten. But that is a good tip for anyone on the dining plan, or who has bought a mug.
3. Do not waste credits, especially snack ones. A snack credit can be anything from a shot of coconut water you add to your drink at Starbucks (retails at 59 cents, LITERALLY the worst use of a snack credit at WDW) to a giant cupcake. But there are plenty of things in between.  If you are stuffed at the end of your trip and the last thing you want to do is eat another mickey bar, go for one of the pre packaged options at the emporium on main street, or most of the gift shops. My personal recommendation are the Goofy Candy Co. Assorted Sour Balls. However, any of the prepackaged options are good, DO  NOT WASTE SNACK CREDITS.
2. Choose a buffet. If you are going to be choosing  a sit down meal, go for the buffet. Disney food is some of the best food anywhere, its not like going to Golden Corral. So dig in and chow down!
1. Convenience. I always tell people that the dining plan is a hit or miss, but one big thing it has in its favor is that when you get down to WDW, all of your food for the week is covered. It makes a big difference not having to carry a wallet or a purse and have everything on your magic band. Honestly you don’t realize it until you have done it how much easier that is. And this to me is above “value”, there is something about having everything paid for ahead of time.
Well that is my list of the top five tips, secrets, and reasons you should consider the Disney Dining Plan. Follow me on Twitter @dailydisneyblog​ and check out the podcast The Daily Disney Blog Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.