Our Thoughts on the Deluxe Dining Plan
On our last vacation we decided, for a number of reasons, to focus on eating delicious food versus the parks and attractions. Because of this, we opted for the Deluxe Dining Plan instead of the Disney Dining Plan, which is what we normally get for our trips. The Deluxe Dining Plan gives guests 3 meal credits a day, these credits can be used at either quick-service or table service restaurants. When dining at a table service restaurant, guests on the Deluxe Dining Plan enjoy an appetizer, an entree, a dessert and a beverage either alcoholic or non. When dining at quick-service restaurants, guests on the Deluxe Dining Plan receive a beverage either alcoholic or non, entree and dessert. Along with the 3 meal credits, guests receive 2 snack credits. Now that you have the lay of the land for what the Deluxe Dining Plan includes, here were our big take aways: it was a lot of food, you don’t need to eat everything you are served, guests need to pay attention to what they are ordering and we got to dine at a a lot of incredible restaurants .
When I was picturing us dining on this dining plan, I imagined myself eating a refreshing salad, maybe a soup for my appetizer. Something tasty but leaving me with plenty of room for the courses to follow. For an entree I planned to order a meat dish or seafood dish depending on what was suggested. To finish off the meal, I would enjoy an ice cream creation or maybe a creme brûlée as those are my preferences. I knew I would have water with all of my meals so that Jeff could enjoy the alcoholic drinks due to my pregnancy. We wanted to get the most of our dining plan investment. Friends, this is not how things went. I did not expect to order these extravagant and filling appetizers. But how could I not. At Artist Point, we had to try the cheese plate and the charcuterie board. It was one of their signature items. At Sanaa, we had to have the renown Indian Bread Service, it’s all everyone talks about. At Homecomin’, I was ordering fish for my main so I had to have something chicken for my appetizer. Wasn’t expecting three fist sized chicken sandwiches. The appetizers were not as small or light as I was used to. Which led us to realize the next take away….
You don’t need to eat everything you are served. This was really hard to do. I am not someone who normally clears their plate at a restaurant but when the food tastes SOOOOO good, it’s hard to not eat every single bite. But we learned after our first meal that if we wanted to order and try the food we wanted to try we would have to leave some of it untouched. Some meals we left half of our entrees on our plates because we knew we wanted to enjoy our dessert. We also knew that there would be another delicious meal not too far off from the one we were enjoying. So it became a survival tactic.
When we were able to we also watched what we ordered. When we ate at Beaches & Cream our drink options looked amazing. We could have a malt, a float or a milkshake, they even have a variety of hard floats and milkshakes. But we had learned our lesson by day three on the Deluxe Dining Plan that water was the best choice for me and Jeff chose a Hard Root Beer. Much to our dismay. But we knew we were in store for some monstrous sized desserts at the end of our meal and had to keep our eyes on the end game. Same came for sides, I didn’t have fries once during this vacation. Salads, veggies, soups or rice accompanied my meals, which made the entree a little lighter than it could have been.
What we loved about the Deluxe Dining Plan was the flexibility it gave us to dine at Signature restaurants and take in a dinner show. Both of these types of dining experiences require 2 meal credits. When you’re dining on the Disney Dining Plan that takes away a table service meal from one of your other days. Which takes a lot of thought and planning to make sure that everyone in your party will still be well fed. With the Deluxe Dining Plan, we had so many meal credits daily that we were able to dine at one of these 2 meal credit locations each night of our vacation. And friends, the meals were amazing. The service was top notch. We spent a couple hours at these restaurants spending time deciding what we wanted, eating and tasting our food (that may sound foolish but if you have young kids, how often do you taste your food when dining as a family), and most importantly enjoying each others company.
Will we do the Deluxe Dining Plan again? If we do, it may be 20 years from now, when our children are grown and we are returning for a couples only Disney vacation. With that in mind, I am very glad we did the Deluxe Dining Plan. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience. Happy Planning, Friends.