Derailed by DVC: Bringing Food from Home

Any entries posted between September 5th – 12th were composed prior to our trip. To follow along with us in our current WDW adventures, follow us on Twitter: malyourpal and timelrod or on Instagram: malyourpal.


So, as you know, this is our first trip as DVC members. We are so, so excited and hopefully having an amazing time right now as you read this. But I have to admit, preparing and packing as DVC members has really been a switch in gears for us. We have been derailed by DVC, when it comes to meal planning in WDW.

For the past five years, we have been riding the free dining plan promo that Disney has offered each fall. Initially, our dining plan {even when we were staying at the All-Star resorts} included one table service meal {which included an appetizer, entree, dessert, and non-alcholic beverage}, one counter service meal {which included an entree, dessert, and drink} and a snack {almost anything $5 and under} a day. PLUS a free refillable mug, PLUS gratuity was included!

Y’all that is what you call a free dining plan.

Over the years, Disney has been slowly trimming back what is included in the free dining plan. First, gratuity and appetizers were no longer included. Next, they scaled back the dining plans based on resorts, so value resorts were no longer offered the basic dining plan, but the quick service plan. In that plan, you get two counter service meals and one snack a day, along with a free refillable mug. To get the plan that included sit down meals, you had to be staying in a moderate or deluxe resort.

When Tim and I realized that becoming DVC members we would no longer be getting the free dining plan, we were a little bummed, but not much. We are grateful for the opportunity to have had it for the past five years because it allowed us to try restaurants we would have never have considered if we were paying out of pocket, and it essentially turned us into WDW foodies that love to try new restaurants and cuisines. However, we are also looking forward to a new world of being able to think outside of the “meal credits” and see what else Disney has to offer.

That being said, this trip we are trying to budget hard, so we knew splurging on a ton of meals just wasn’t going to happen. After all, we are still on the making-our-money-back end of the DVC buy-in {we just wrote that hefty check in April}, and we have a baby coming in just three months!

Crunch time!

So we hit Walmart hard last week, and tried to find some cheaper meal options that we can make and enjoy right in our DVC room. Here are some things we came up with.IMG_8467IMG_8470 IMG_8472 IMG_8471For breakfasts we plan on oatmeal {my boys love it and could eat it every day, thank goodness}, fruit, toast, and croissants. Lunches, and on a rare occasion dinners, are going to consist of microwavable meals, peanut butter and honey sandwiches, or yes, even a Lunchable or two by the pool. For snacks, we have both healthy and unhealthy options like mini rice cakes, fruit chews, chips, cheese and more fruit, and even the occasional gummy worm.

We plan on eating quick service meals to supplement and we have dining reservations at Via Napoli for lunch {which you’ve hopefully already read about!}, Whispering Canyon Cafe for breakfast, and Hollywood and Vine for lunch.

Honestly, we have no idea if we are doing this right. Please, any current DVC members, give us advice on how you dine in WDW! We may like the way we are doing things this year, or we may look back on this trip and think, “We were crazy. We had no idea what we were doing.”

Either way, I know that there is no chance of us starving in WDW. Busting the budget? Maybe. Starving? No.

I can’t wait to get back and share all of our stories and what we’ve learned!

With love, Malorie

One thought on “Derailed by DVC: Bringing Food from Home

  1. I think I was encouraged to eat what I brought even when tempted by some meals at Disney knowing that I could save so much per day and use it on special snacks offered this time of year…… I think I did pretty good. I even had $37 left in my food bank when I left Disney!

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