The Disney Dining Plan is a convenient way to prepay for your meals while on vacation at the Walt Disney World® Resort. There are three different plans available, which vary in the amount of credits, types of restaurants where you can use the plan, and cost. The plans are based on the number of nights you have in a hotel, not the days of tickets you have as part of your package. All guests (over the age of 3) listed on the reservation must have the plan if it is added, and it must be for all nights of the stay. The plan can save your money if you use it to its full advantage and order the most expensive thing on the menu, but even if it breaks even, there is peace of mind knowing that you have already paid for your food and you won’t get a very large credit card bill when you get home. Let’s delve into the details.
First some Disney Dining Plan definitions
Snack: Anything that is considered a single serving size. On menus and price tags, an item eligible to be used as a snack credit is designated by a purple symbol. At Quick-Service restaurants, most Outdoor Carts and select merchandise locations, snacks may include a single serving of items such as a frozen ice cream novelty, popsicle or fruit bar, whole fruit, Drinks (including in park Starbucks), caramel apples, popcorn or a bag of candy. At festival kiosks in Epcot, many of the dishes qualify as a snack credit.
Reusable Mug: Each guest on a Disney Dining Plan (ages 3 and over) will receive a refillable drink mug, which is eligible for refills at self-service beverage islands at Quick-Service locations at any Disney Resort hotel, but not at a theme park or Disney Springs™.
Quick Service Restaurant: A restaurant where you go up to the counter, order your own food, and then you either carry it back or they deliver it on a tray.
Sit Down Restaurant: A restaurant where you order from a menu and a server brings you the food.
Signature Restaurant: A sit-down restaurant that requires 2 table service credits instead of one. Here is the list:
- Artist Point
- Be Our Guest (dinner only)
- California Grill
- Cinderella’s Royal Table
- Flying Fish
- Hollywood Brown Derby
- Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review
- Jiko – The Cooking Place
- Le Cellier
- Mickey’s Backyard BBQ
- Monsieur Paul
- Morimoto Asia
- Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show
- The BOATHOUSE
- Yachtsman Steakhouse
Credits: The Disney Dining Plan is based on credits, not meals. A quick service restaurant will count as one Quick Service credit. Most sit down restaurants count as one sit down credit, but signature restaurants count as two sit down credits per meal. When you check-in you will have all of your meal credits available to use, and they will not expire until midnight of the day you check out, which gives you flexibility in terms of when to use them. Prefer not to eat breakfast, snack for lunch, and eat dinner in sit down restaurant each night? You can do that. Want to eat with a character each morning, have a snack for lunch and then grab a burger each night? You can do that too. Prefer to do some signature meals, and skip some meals? You can do that too. Basically, credits make the plan very flexible.
The three Disney Dining Plans
Walt Disney World® offers three different dining plan options.
Quick Service Dining Plan
The Quick Service Dining Plan includes 2 Quick Service meal credits and 2 Snack credits per person (over the age of 3) per night of your stay plus a refillable mug for each guest. The 2018 Quick Service Plan costs:
- Adults: $52.49 per night
- Children (ages 3-9): $21.75 per night
Disney Dining Plan
The Dining Plan includes 1 Table Service meal credit, 1 Quick Service meal credit, and 2 Snack credits per person (over the age of 3) per night of your stay. Also each guest gets a refillable mug. The 2018 Disney Dining Plan costs:
- Adults: $75.49 per night
- Children (3-9): $25.80 per night
Deluxe Dining Plan
Deluxe Dining Plan includes 3 Table Service credits (but you can use those at a Quick Service restaurant if you prefer) and 2 snack credits per person (over the age of 3) per night plus the refillable mug. The 2018 Deluxe Dining Plan costs:
- Adults: $116.24 per night
- Children (ages 3-9): $39.90 per night
What is considered a meal on the Disney Dining Plan?
What you get to order on the Disney Dining Plan depends on the plan you have, and the time of day.
Breakfast lunch or Dinner: includes an Entree and 1 Non-alcoholic Beverage or Alcoholic Beverage, for Guests 21 and older.
Breakfast: Entree and 1 Non-alcoholic Beverage or Alcoholic Beverage, for Guests 21 and older OR 1 Full Buffet or Family Style Meal
Lunch or Dinner: Entree, dessert and 1 Non-alcoholic Beverage or Alcoholic Beverage, for Guests 21 and older OR 1 Full Buffet or Family Style Meal. If you have the Deluxe Dining Plan, this also includes an appetizer.
What’s not included on the Disney Dining Plan?
Here is a list of what is not included on the plan:
- Gratuities are not included except at Dinner Shows, Private In-Room Dining, and Cinderella’s Royal Table. Gratuity will be added for parties of 6 or more. A tip of 18-20% at table service restaurants is expected and is based on what the price of the meal would have cost if you paid out of pocket.
- Additional Alcoholic and specialty beverages
- Items that are more than a single serving (such as a box of doughnuts or a jar of peanut butter)
- Items (such as popcorn or drinks) that are served in a souvenir container
- Items sold from recreational rental counters
- Items considered to be merchandise (such as bottle toppers, glow cubes, and bottle straps)
- Special dining events offered at certain Table-Service locations or seating locations at dinner shows
Some Recent Changes to the Disney Dining Plan
Recently Disney made some updates to the Disney Dining Plan, which made it more flexible.
Changing dessert: You are now allowed to exchange your dessert for a side salad, cup of soup, or fruit plate.
Sharing Credits: It used to be that you could not share credits with anyone outside of the people sharing your room reservation, but now you can. There are no limits to how many credits you can use at a meal (previously it was limited to how many were in your party).
Kids can order from the adult menu: At quick service locations kids can choose from the children’s or the adult menu. On the Deluxe plan, kids can choose adult meals even at table service locations.
More flexibility: Quick service meals no longer include dessert, but now all packages come with 2 snack credits which could be used for dessert if you want it.
Specialty Beverages: For 2018, guests are able to choose from a wider range of beverages. Now, you can order specialty drinks like milkshakes, smoothies, hot chocolate, cappuccinos, and even a limited menu of alcoholic drinks.
Switching it Up: A Quick Service Credit can now be exchanged for 3 snack items (but you must use all 3 credits at the same location, at the same time).
How to Use Your Disney Dining Plan
The Disney Dining Plan is NOT a reservation and does not mean you will be seated right away. Reservations are always recommended, and your Key to the World Travel® planner will assist you with making them 180 days before you check in. If you wish, you can change/add dining reservations from the MyDisneyExperience (MDX) app. If you want to change the number in your party, or see if another time is available, make sure you click MODIFY. DO NOT CANCEL the reservation unless you are absolutely sure you don’t want to keep that reservation.
When you are at the restaurant:
- Your server will ask you if you are using any dining plans and then go what is included on your plan.
- When it is time to pay, present your valid Disney Resort ID (MagicBand or card) to your server or cashier at participating restaurants.
- Specify the number of meals or snacks being redeemed.
- If you plan to pay for any portion of your meal out of pocket indicate that at time of ordering
For special dietary requests, Guests should note them at the time of booking their dining reservations. Guests may also speak with a chef or manager upon arrival at the dining location.
How to Keep Track of Your Credits on the Disney Dining Plan
You can redeem your meals and snacks in any order during your stay until the number of meals and snacks associated with your package has been depleted. All unused meals and snacks and the ability to use your refillable mug expire at midnight on your package reservation checkout date.
Your dining plan usage is electronically linked to your reservation. Keep track of your remaining entitlements in 3 ways:
- Check your dining receipts. Remaining entitlements are printed on them.
- Ask your Resort Concierge, Front Desk or Guest Relations to obtain them at any time.
- Check the My Disney Experience App! Just look at “My Dining Plan”
Other Magical Dining Experiences to Redeem Disney Dining Plan Table Service Credits
Here are some different options to use those Table Service Credits:
- Character Dining is included. (Please note that Cinderella’s Royal Table requires 2 Table-Service meals will be redeemed per person.)
- The Disney Dining Plan can be used for Category 2 or Category 3 seating at all Dinner Shows (subject to availability) and Category 1 seating at the 8:30 PM Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue (subject to availability). 2 meals for each Dinner Show meal ordered will be redeemed from each person’s meal plan balance.
- 2 meals for each Private In-Room Dining meal ordered will be redeemed from each person’s meal plan balance. Gratuities are included.
- A total of two 2 adult meals will be redeemed from your meal plan balance for each Pizza Delivery meal. Gratuities are included.
Some Disney Dining Plan Tips
Here are a few extra tips to get the most out of your Disney Dining Plan:
- You pick up your resort refillable mugs at the quick service restaurant located at your resort.
- If you are dining at your resort and using your refillable mug for your drink, make sure you still get a bottled beverage with your meal. You can take that with you to the park or take it back to your room for later. This includes alcoholic beverages.
- Meals can be shared unless it is a buffet, family style meal, character meal, dinner show, or special dining package
- You can pre-order your food at Be Our Guest for breakfast and lunch.
- You can use the new mobile ordering on the MDX app and pay with dining credits at this time. Your credit card will be charged for your meal if you do.
- If you have an older child who does not like the options on the adult menu, you can ask for an adult portion of something on the kid’s menu.
- Snacks that cost about $5 or more are a good value on the dining plan.
- If you enjoy coffee, use snack credits for Starbucks® drinks. You can order their largest size. Adding extra syrups and espresso shots are included and can make a snack credit worth $8-9.
- If you find that you are not going to be able to use all of your credits before the end of your trip, you can buy items to bring home with you. Purchase rice crispy treats, bagged candy, lollipops, bagged snack mix, chocolate, etc and bring home. You can also spread some pixie dust and pay for someone else’s meal or snacks. Whatever you do, use them all up!
All Key to the World Travel® planners are experts and offer the highest level of exemplary customer service. Your planner will be happy to answer any questions about the Disney Dining Plans and make sure that you pick the best one for your family. Contact your travel planner to book your vacation, or click here to request a quote today.
Key to the World Travel®
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