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Planning The Full Disney Dining Experience

Most recently, I have been working on deciding between upgrading to the regular dining plan or just keeping the “free” quick service dining plan that comes with our room. Quick service versus table service or buffets would be basically the difference between going to a counter restaurant like Culvers, and a sit down restaurant like Red Lobster, or in some cases a fancy buffet. We will be staying at the All Star Sports in November, which with the “free dining” promotion is about the cheapest you can go to disney, eat tons of food, and stay on property in the entire year.

For some extra money, you can upgrade to the traditional dining, which is around 22.99 per day per person. Overall for the 7 nights we will have the free dining (we’re staying an 8th night also at all stars booked as a split stay because of how the free dining dates fell) it would be around $320.00 extra. You also have to account for the tip. By doing this we would go from having 2 quick service meals per day, to 1 quick service, and 1 table service meal.

Including tip, we’d be about $480.00 for our overall cost to upgrade. We would lose the 1 quick service meal per day, but gain a table service or buffet. If we were to do the plan I have in place and paid cash out of pocket, overall the cost would be an extra $1100.00 for just the buffets/table service restaurants alone.

That’s a savings of around $600.00.

However, it’s a luxury to have table service over quick service. These are the types of decisions you get to make, when you save on the front end for  your trip. We’re in a less expensive room, so we have a lot more “budget” left for our trip. Since I pay for everything with gift cards I purchase on credit cards, and for fuel points, every dollar I spend only costs me around $.80 when you account for money saved on fuel and credit card cash back. So overall, our real cost would be $400.00 for what would have cost us around $1100.00.

Always remember to pay off the cards as fast as possible for zero interest.

Which option would you go with?

-John M.