Friday Five – Random References & Reflections

1. WDW Fanzone – I’m really enjoying this metablog, which offers posts from an array of excellent bloggers from around the Disney fan community.

2. The Be Our Guest Podcast – one of the first Disney podcasts I started listening to. It’s got a really nice, “homey” feel to it, and an active and friendly message board community as well.

3. Big thanks to the DIS Dads who contributed new content to the website this week -carlnix30, Captain Oblivious, DisDadDoc and DisneyFed

4. Recently announced price increases to all of the Disney Dining Plans substantially diminish the plans as a value proposition. The Dining Plan is still nice from a convenience perspective, but don’t expect it to save you money. The only way it is likely to represent a savings is if you intentionally plan your ordering to maximize value – and to me, that’s the antithesis of the Dining Plan being worthwhile because you can just order whatever you want without thinking about it. The better alternative – figure out what buying the Dining Plan would cost and set that amount of money aside. Some people like to put that money on a stored-value card, but I think the better option is to just set the cash aside and use a credit card with rewards benefits to pay for your meals. Be sure the card has no balance at the start of your trip, then just pay off the card in full when you get home. This gets you the benefits of earning rewards for the money spent, the protection of a credit card (dealing with a lost stored-value card with a large cash balance on it can be a HUGE pain), and the real freedom to order whatever you want – maybe you want just appetizers and dessert one meal, or maybe only one or two people in your party feel like a full meal. With a credit card, you’re still OK if you go over your food budget, but you also get to keep any savings (unlike the Dining Plan).

5. The DISDads Podcast (iTunes link) is FINALLY indexed on iTunes! Have you listened yet? We welcome your feedback. Hit us up on Twitter @DisDadsPodcast or Email us at podcast@disdads.com

5 thoughts to “Friday Five – Random References & Reflections”

  1. I couldn’t agree more with your comments regarding the Dining Plan. We’re getting Quick Service Dining for this trip, which we will use maybe sharing a meal for breakfast and for our dinners. We usually do table service meals for lunch as kind of a break from things and with the regular dining plan cost it was going to be hard just to break even that way. By my calculations, with the QSDP, we’ll easily have plenty of snacks to use, have the resort mug already paid for and eat a couple of meals a day which should allow us to recover our cost. We’ll just pay out of pocket for Table Service meals where we likely won’t be ordering a dessert anyway. The way the little guy’s eating right now, I think we’ll be doing a lot of lunch buffets.

  2. Good advice on the dining plan. I really does pay to do your homework with that, especially if you have kids in the “transition period” that might not be eating grown up meals but paying grown up prices.

  3. We are praying the meal promo comes out for our trip!! When we go alone we always do a quick serve breakfast at the resort then do a sit down for early dinner. If the meal plan promo doesnt come out we might shorten our trip by one day to offset the cost. COME ON PROMO!!!

  4. The convenience of the dining plan is great and my wife loves the fact that I’m not worrying about the cost of things when ordering. I don’t know that its great for my family though. It seems we order way more food than we would typically, and the trip really becomes centered around eating. In the future I think we’ll look for other promos.

  5. I also agree with the Dining Plan ideas. We went on a 9 day trip at the beginning of February and I used our Discover Card for all our dining. It was during the 3 month window for 5% cash back for restaurants through Discover. I earned $60 cash back on that trip!

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