What Dining Plan Is Right For You?
For a family with younger children I think the dining plan is the best value. If you schedule your table service meals with characters than you can kill two birds with one stone. You get to eat and get your character time out of the way. The restaurants are very child friendly of course. You can usually stretch your snacks and quick service to do your breakfast and lunch.
It may seem like a lot of money at first but remember that you are going to be eating there anyway. You can scrimp by to purchase as little as possible but you will probably not save anything from the dining plan. If you purchase a plan then the only extra expenses will be tips and alcoholic beverages. (There is a Wine and Dine add on option if you will want wine with dinner every night). You can pay ahead and then while your on vacation order whatever you want and enjoy. You will go home with out a huge food bill. Better on the budget too because you can plan your cost going in.
How do you choose the plan that’s right for you?
Quick Service Dining is right for you if… you are planning to only grab meals. You don’t want to do any table service or character meals, except for maybe one you are willing to pay out of pocket for.
Disney Dining Plan is right for you if…you want to do a mixture of counter service and table service. You plan on doing several character meals and maybe give up a table service to do a dinner show.
Deluxe Dining Plan is right for you if…you plan on doing 2 table service meals a day. For example, you want to do a sit down breakfast and a sit down dinner. You want to also include a dinner show or one of the signature dining restaurants.
Here is the Disney Dining Plan 2013 explained if you need more information on each plan.