#AskIt Results: Disney Dining Plan – Now With Alcohol

by on July 5, 2017 6 Comments

Filed under: Dining, Drinking, Just For Fun

Anyone remember the good old days when the Disney Dining Plan was affordable and included an appetizer, entrée, and dessert? At one time, the Disney Dining Plan was a decent (albeit never great) option for convenience when dining at Walt Disney World. Over the years, the price of the Disney Dining Plan has increased, and what you got for the price has decreased. Different variations have appeared in an attempt to try and convince people that it is a value, or at least not a waste of money, but overall it seems that interest in the Disney Dining Plan has declined, except when rumors of “free” dining start to swirl around.

This year, an in attempt to bring more people back to the Disney Dining Plan fold, alcohol and specialty beverages are now being included in the (increased) Disney Dining Plan price. So we asked you:

Are you more or less likely to purchase the Disney Dining Plan now that it includes specialty beverages?

 

Here’s your results:

 

  • Less Likely: 279 (22%)

  • More Likely: 332 (26%)

  • Neutral: 658 (52%)

Less Likely

Chocolate Comet Shake

For those who are less likely, they have realized that for their travel party, the Disney Dining Plan is a money pit. I’ve often thought that if Disney gave an option for either a dessert or an appetizer, it would be more attractive than desserts for everyone, whether you want them or not. Now that you’re having to pay for alcohol or a specialty beverage, whether you want it or not, the pressure to get your money’s worth is even more of a challenge. You have to try and eat the most expensive dish on the menu (without going for one of the signature types of entrees that are not included), have every one of your party either get an alcoholic beverage (although again from the “included” list) or a specialty beverage, and have every person get a dessert. Even then, for some meals, you might just be breaking even. For some people, this extra challenge has them looking at paying out of pocket.

 

More Likely

Free Booze for All! It’s a great marketing point. And when you look at the price increase from this year to last, it does seem like you’re at least getting cheap alcohol. That gives incentive for some people to give the dining plan another try, or to try it for the first time. Although some people have said that they would try it now, some people did say that they would reserve the right to change their minds once they saw what alcohol and specialty beverages were on the included list.

 

Neutral

More than half of the respondents took a neutral stance. Some were long-term Disney Dining Plan fans who would continue for the convenience of the plan, and alcohol/specialty beverages were either a nice addition or something that didn’t really matter that much. Others were people who believe that the Disney Dining Plan hasn’t provided a value for a long time, and the addition of alcohol and specialty beverages didn’t change the perception that it was too much money for too little value. From these results, although the new changes to the Disney Dining Plan were great to generate short-term buzz, it isn’t the lifesaver for the Disney Dining Plan, nor will it cause major increases in its popularity going forward.

 

Do you agree with the results? What do you think Disney could do to save the lagging sales of the Disney Dining Plan? Let us know in the comments.

Thanks for your answers. Next week’s #AskIt question is available now on Twitter and on the blog here.

Posted on July 5, 2017

6 Responses to “#AskIt Results: Disney Dining Plan – Now With Alcohol”

  • Completely agree with the idea of appetisers or desserts. I think we would share one of each. Best of both worlds!

  • We’ve done DDP for most of our trips because my kids enjoyed character meals. It was much easier for me to stomach the price of those with the pre-paid plan where I only had to face the tip price during my vacation. And even for my other meals, I really enjoyed not thinking about the price of menu items. But with this change, I’ll have to skip the DDP. Two of my three kids are “adults” by DDP standards but not remotely close to drinking age and they’ve never ordered a “specialty” drink at WDW. I’m not even sure I’ll bother with it for our fall ’17 trip but *if* we go in 2018 I won’t be getting the DDP.

    • I agree. I had the DDP the past two times I went. The first time it was a “freebie,” so obviously I got it. The second time we paid, but the price is only justified because those buffets and character meals are super pricey. I’m getting it again for this coming trip for the same reason. But yeah, if you’re not going to get a bunch of $50-$60 meals in, the DDP plan isn’t worth it.

  • by Holly Hagelin on July 5, 2017, at 10:45 pm EDT

    I liked the idea of having the choice of either an appetizer or a dessert.
    Being on a diet ( lost 40 lbs since Jan ) to be in better shape for our trip in Nov,
    I’ve perused the menus and would much rather have an appetizer for most of our
    dinners, than a sugar/carb laden dessert ( key lime pie being an exception).
    Maybe, by Nov, the rules will be loosened up a bit to allow that choice!

    • Or just skip the dining plan. It doesn’t really save you any money. If you like the pre-paid aspect, buy some Disney gift cards at Target and use those to pay for your meals. You’ll only end up paying for what you eat, and you can include the tip if you are using gift cards. Even better, get a Target Red card and use that to buy the Disney gift cards; you’ll get 5% off the cost of the gift card!

      • Lee,
        We crunched numbers & decided that we’d use the “counter service/snack” meal plan.
        Even if we paid cash, we figured we were within $5 a day of the plan & it’s worth that $5 for the convenience ( plus the free mug $20 ) brings it down closer to $2 a day difference, if we do use up all our allotted meals/snacks, it would be charged to our room & we’d just pay at check out. We know which meals have huge portions and we can share, so it’ll all work to stretch the meals.
        So, that’s 6 dinner reservations I’m gonna cancel . . . Which means no rushing to make it across a park to make it to the restaurant in time . . . I’m too old for that silliness!