DIS Dads Podcast – Episode 7: The Great Dining Plan Debate

Host: Aaron Rittmaster (AJRitz)
Panelists: Chris Carroll (DisDadDoc); Nathan Trent (trennr); Carl Nixon (carlnix30); Bob Chavez (unclescrooge0707)

In Episode 7, the Dis Dads talk about Disney Dining Plans. We debate whether Disney Dining plans are a “value”, discuss special cases where Dining Plans can be especially useful, and offer our tips for best uses of dining credits.

In addition to the Dining Plan talk, Chris Carroll took the hot seat and answered 10 Questions in our getting to know a DIS Dad segment. Also, Carl Nixon shared a preview of his upcoming June trip to Walt Disney World.

As always, special thanks to our Producer/Engineer Josh Haas, who also created and recorded our intro music. The DIS Dads Podcast is edited and mixed at Pi Productions by A Veil Lifted.

8 thoughts to “DIS Dads Podcast – Episode 7: The Great Dining Plan Debate”

  1. Great job guys! I really enjoyed all of the tips. I wish there was some way that we could go back and listen to old podcast because this is one that I would like to review before a trip to WDW.

  2. Only 40 minutes this time, man you guys are slacking. As always, great job Aaron and crew!

  3. Good job, one thing that I think that was forgotten about in regards to dining and DDP are booking reservations or making advanced reservations for table service.

  4. Matt – we didn’t forget about ADRs, but we’ll be talking about ADR strategies on a future podcast. You don’t have to be on a dining plan to make ADR’s, and you don’t even need to be on a Dining Plan to take advantage of the 180+10 day booking window (you just need to have an on-property room reservation).

  5. After listening to the podcast…even though I was a memeber…I was fighting a cold and when my mic was muted…I was typically coughing my head off and not really listening very closely. I did not 2 items I’d like to comment or clarify…

    1] Pepper Market at Coranado. (Refered to as “Peppers” in the podcast) IF you are a cash customer they will add a 10% gratuity on your bill at check out. HOWEVER if you are on a Dining Plan this is not charged on your bill and it is up to the guest to leave a “Tip” however you see fit…on the table as you leave.

    2] While the discription of the QSDP was on my plate I should have mentioned that in 2009 a cast member told me that my DS9 did NOT have to eat off the childrens menu at Counter Service resturants. The cast memeber told me that ALL credits were equal as far as my credit balance was concerned…we found this out after day 3 of 9.

  6. Good job guys. My wife and I listened to it in the car while out doing some shopping and I think she’s hooked now. We both like the dining plan, even though it probably costs us more in the long run. We just like the peace of mind of knowing that our meals are paid for up front and we don’t have to pull money out of our pocket on the trip.

    Also, like someone mentioned, it kind of forces us to stop and eat. If we didn’t have the dining plan, I have no doubts that we’d blow through the parks and never stop to think about eating anything more than a quick bite. To us, dining at Disney is part of the experience and it’s a shame that some people miss the great theming of the restaurants because they’ve been told how “expensive” it is to eat on property.

  7. Hi guys! I love this show even though I am a mom instead of a dad. You do a great job on every show! I wanted to put my 2 cents in about the dining debate. I will be defending the free dining offer that runs every year. We have been to Disney 8 times in the last 6 years and 4 of those trips have been during the free dining in September. We stay at Port Orleans Riverside because we have a family of 5 and its’ affordable. I took into account the discounted rack rates that are offered during the regular season and added together the price for the standard meal plan(1 table service and 1 quick service and 1 snack) and then also the quick service meal plan. I then compared those prices to the room rates during the free dining season. At the riverside it was a savings of 480.00. I did do this for a family of 4 since thats more standard than 5. For the Polynesian I did the same thing using the same dates. The savings wasn’t as big but it was still a savings of 250.00. The free dining is always offered during the value season which is one of the least busy times to go. Comparing the times we went with free dining and without free dining there is no difference in service or food quality at all.
    Again, I LOVE your show. I just thought someone who has done the free dining several times should stick up for it. My husband and I look forward to the free dining every year and it’s well worth the little extra you pay for rack rates if you get something you were going to purchase anyways for free. Of course everyone has different situations, this is just what works for us. 🙂
    Keep up the great work! Looking forward to your next show!

  8. Deanna,
    I to plan my trips with the free dining plans. It’s the only was we can afford it sometimes. There is NOTHING wrong with that, nothing. We have a family of 5 as well. IF we can get the dining plan for free then that might make that decision easier to upgrade as well to a nicer resort. We are hoping/ praying that it is extended into October when we do our Adult only trip!

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