Tough call there! The picnic meals are adequate and have a good variety across the board. But, they're served cold and in smaller portions; and many folks seem to be underwhelmed and still walk away hungry. I've had the veg and asian 'plates' which I thought were pretty tasty. The kids options are the same price as the adults' ~ far less food, but with a WOC light-up bracelet.
Your other options are making a table service reservation at Wine Country Trat or Ariel's Grotto (more $$, but also more relaxing). You can always collect everybody's tickets and go for the fast pass distribution first thing in the morning. You may not all get the same section, but then your dining options wouldn't be limited.
I'd say, "Yes". I've had the fired chicken twice. It's not inspiring, but ok. My sister enjoyed her vegetarian wrap. The convienience of knowing you have a good spot a month before you go is what makes it worth it. Just one caveat, I ordered a meal for a friend who got off work late. We ended up at the back of the line and thus got the very back of the blue section, against the walkway. Then two dads put their kids on their shoulders right in front of us and we had nowhere to go. So showing up a little early might be helpful.
I just made a few priority seatings over the phone with DLR dining and got the latest info on the WOC dining packages. Reservations are available for table service meals at WCT and AG as before. Picnic lunches are only available for pre-orders online M-Th; but are available for walk-up purchase on the weekends (F-Sat-Sun). Hope this helps!
Definitely worth the $15 to me; but paying x11 is obviously pricey. I agree with sleepyjeff on weighing price with gambling on show location. How important is it to have a good view of the show with your entire group together? A co-worker of mine wanted it so badly for her party of 10 that they paid for Ariel's Grotto dining plan.
P.S. I've had the Asian picnic twice and like it very much. You keep the re-usable picnic tote too.
We have done it twice. It was so worth it and food was good ( I go the antipasta the first time -very good-great desert) and chicken second time good. My friend go the veg roll second said was good but does not like lemon so I traded deserts and the lemon desert sucked. I would go with the antipasta again.
$15 a person. If the food is worth even half that(and from what I've read it probably is) than you're basically paying only $7.50 a person for a guaranteed good spot for WoC.
So the real question should be is ~not having to wait in a big line for a fast pass(with the risk of having your party split up)~ worth about $80.00 to you?
Food portions are small, (and cold), so jeff is correct that you should not consider these as Meals, and not worth $15 (and personally, I'm not thrilled with any of their 4 selections). You really are mostly just paying to get a FastPass Ticket.
As for FP ticket line, if you are getting FP tickets for your entire group all at one time, and the Color Group changes in the midst, still get all the FP tickets, and then immediatley tell a nearby Cast Member about your group getting split. They should be able to accomodate a situation like that. (Of course all members of your party must have used there park tickets for entry into DCA that day, otherwise you won't get a valid FP ticket from the FP machine.)
I just had the All American meal last weekend. I thought it was very good, and worth the $12.99 I think it was (AP discount). The salads I thought were very good, the chicken was a bit on the sweet side but not bad. I don't remember what parts of the chicken it was... I want to say a leg and thigh. Portions were good to me. I've been doing portion control and generally get kids meals when I eat in the park so portion size was more than generous for me. All in all I think I would get the meal again (I was in the blue section, next to the water). Maybe not for the show, but I have to eat anyway and the meal is comparable price wise to other meals in the park and the tote bag is a nice perk.