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Disney Dining Plan 101: A Beginner’s Guide on how to make the most out of your dining adventure on your next visit to Walt Disney World

Updated: Apr 25

By: Ana Adams

 

When you hear people say that Walt Disney World is the Most Magical Place on Earth, they mean it! The magic doesn’t just happen on rides, attractions, or character interactions, it’s everywhere, especially in the food! Now I will be honest, I have been to many theme parks where the food offerings are anything but magical. However, Walt Disney World has some of the best and high rated food offerings amongst its competitors. One of my favorite subjects is talking about the food Walt Disney World has to offer! I take full advantage of eating all of my favorite Disney Park food because I know I am just going to walk it all off anyway!

With the Disney Dining Plan, you will have the opportunity to divulge into a culinary adventure with ease!


The Disney Dining Plan was a popular add-on to most people’s Walt Disney World packages pre-Covid. Sadly, it went away for a few years and we were left unsure of its return. However, we have the Disney Dining Plan is back!


There are two types of plans to choose from:

The Quick Service Dining plan, and the Disney Dining Plan.

 

You may select one type of Dining Plan to be added on to your Walt Disney World Resort stay for a fee, or if you’re lucky, it can be complementary if there is a current offer or promotion available when booking your stay. In the past, we have seen these made available for Disney+ subscribers and Disney Visa cardholders for select stays on non-discounted rooms throughout the year, at no additional cost!

 

Starting with the Quick Service Dining Plan: A quick breakdown.

 

Per night and per person, you will get 2 Quick Service Dining credits, along with 1 Snack credit (can be used for a non-alcoholic beverage instead). You will also receive 1 Resort Refillable Mug per person per stay, which can be used at any Walt Disney World Resort hotel and for up to 14 days from the date of activation.  The quick service credits include your beverage of choice, and yes, it can have alcohol (with valid ID)!

 

2 Quick Service Dining Credits

1 Refillable Resort Mug (per person, per stay)

1 Snack OR Beverage Credit (non-alcoholic)

 

 

 

For example, 1 Quick Service Dining Credit will provide you with 1 Quick Service Entrée and a beverage of your choosing.

 

It is important to note, Quick Service credits cannot be exchanged for sit down dining experiences. However, you are eligible to exchange a Quick Service dining credit for 2 snacks.

 

 Currently, this plan is $57.01 per adult, per day, and $23.83 per child (ages 3 to 9), per day.

 

Now for the Disney Dining Plan…

 

Per night and per person, you will receive 1 Quick Service Dining credit, 1 Table-Service Dining credit, and 1 Snack or non-alcoholic beverage credit. You will also receive 1 Resort Refillable Mug per person, per entire stay. Table-Service meals redeemed during brunch, lunch or dinner will also include a desert!

 

1 Quick Service Dining Credit

1 Table-Service Dining Credit

1 Snack OR Beverage Credit (non-alcoholic)

1 Refillable Resort Mug (per person, per stay)

 

 

Currently, this plan is $94.28 per adult, per day and $29.69 per child (ages 3 to 9), per day.

 

As always, these prices are subject to change at the discretion of Walt Disney World, at any time.


 

There are many participating restaurants across Walt Disney World including Disney Springs, where you can redeem your Dining credits. Just keep in mind that some Table-Service dining experiences will cost 2 Table-Service credits. If you are unsure if the plan is accepted as a particular restaurant just look for this Disney Dining Plan logo or ask a friendly Cast Member.

 

 

Beverage Offerings

 

As I mentioned above, beverage options for those enjoying the Quick Service or Disney Dining Plan can be a single serving of a non-alcoholic beverage, or for guests over 21 years of age, may be a beverage containing alcohol. If you wish to have a second beverage with your meal, you may choose to redeem a snack credit for any non-alcoholic beverage, or you must purchase it out of pocket. This is unless it is a refillable beverage, such as soda, coffee or tea.

 

Some examples of non-alcoholic single-serve beverages include:

 

·      Milkshakes

·      Freshly blended smoothies

·      Premium Hot Chocolate

·      Soda

·      Coffee/ Tea

 

Alcoholic beverages include:

 

·      Beer or Cider

·      Wine or Sangria

·      Mixed Drinks or Specialty Cocktails

 

Most sit-down dining experiences will only cost 1 Table-Service Credit, however, there are some Signature Dining selections that will require 2 Table-Service Credits. You will be happy to know most character dining experiences, other than the ones specifically mentioned below, are only 1 Table-Service credit.

 



 The Character Dining Experiences that will require 2 Table-Service Credits per person are:

 

  • Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (lunch & dinner)

  • Fairytale Dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table

  • Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White


 

 

The Signature Dining Experiences that will require 2 Table-Service Credits per person are as follows:

 

  • Be Our Guest

  • Topolino’s Terrace (dinner only is two credits)

  • Yachtsman Steakhouse

  • Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue

  • Citricos (including the lounge)

  • Narcoossee’s

  • Hollywood Brown Derby (both with and without the Fantasmic! Dining Package)

  • Tiffins

  • The Boathouse

  • Jaleo by Jose Andres

  • Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar

  • Morimoto Asia (dinner only)

  • Le Cellier Steakhouse

  • Flying Fish

  • Paddlefish

  • Jiko-The Cooking Place

  • Toledo-Tapas, Steak & Seafood

 

You are also eligible to redeem 2 Quick Service credits for the pickup of 1 Large Pizza and 2 Beverages at select participating resorts.

 

There are some popular restaurants that DO NOT participate in Disney Dining Plan including Monsieur Paul, Space 220, California Grill and Summer House on the Lake. It is important to keep these in mind so that you are not surprised when the bill comes. That being said, your travel advisor should also remind you of this when assisting you in making your reservations.

 

Reservations can be made 60 days ahead of check-in and are strongly encouraged.

 

Gratuities are not included in any meal plan, so be sure to plan accordingly.

 

 

Snacks!


When it comes to snack redemption, there is an abundance of options to choose from, including:

  • Frozen ice cream novelty, popsicle or fruit bar

  • 2 scoops of hand-scooped ice cream

  • Popcorn scoop (single-serving box) 

  • Piece of whole fruit

  • Single-serve bag of snacks (I personally love the gummy snacks to munch on while waiting in line)

  • 20-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola® products, including Dasani® water

  • 20-ounce fountain soft drink

  • Single-serve coffee, hot chocolate, hot tea, milk or juice

  • Cup of soup

  • Add on toppings or sauces (e.g. side of cheese dipping sauce)



Again, if you are unsure of which snacks are eligible for redemption, look for the Disney Dining Plan logo next to the name of the item!

 

Please remember that like pricing, participating restaurants and credit usage can change at any time.

 


Frequently Asked Questions:

 

1.     Do I save money with the Disney Dining Plan?

 

Short answer…it depends. Long answer…you have to think of the value when using any dining plan. For starters, being able to prepay for your meals and in installments leading up to your vacation, means that you are able to budget much more easily than if you are counting your dollars while at the parks. It also means that you do not have to worry about that cost during your trip, as it is already taken care of. Less worry = value. However, when it comes to cost breakdown, you are either spending the same amount you would have spent anyway or saving.

·      For example, on my most recent trip in a single day, I had a character dining experience over at Garden Grill in Epcot where I also ordered a Bloody Mary. My beverage was covered in the cost. $47 for Breakfast and $14 for my cocktail and already we are at $61.00! Then I grabbed a chocolate covered caramel S’mores over at Karamell-Küche in the Germany Pavilion for $5.29 as my snack. Now we are at $66.29 for the day. Later, I grabbed a late lunch in Hollywood Studios at Backlot Express and had a Smoked BBQ Pulled Pork Burger for $15.29 and a Rum Island Breeze for $15.00. That totals $96.58, which is more than what I spent on for a single day of the Disney Dining Plan. If we factor in the cost of the Refillable Resort Mug divided by the length of my stay (4nights) we are calculating $102.00! And the best part is that I did not have to pull out my credit card all day!

 

Finding value in convenience is easy, especially when it means saving time and potentially saving money.

 

2.     How do the credits load and what happens if I do not redeem them all during my stay? Do I get a refund?

 

When you check-in to your resort, your dining credits will load to your My Disney Experience app for each day of your trip. You will be able to easily view all of your credits and usage throughout your stay. Credits are redeemable until midnight of the day of your check-out, so even if you are just hanging out on your last day and you have already checked out, you can still redeem your credits.

 

3.     Can I use my Refillable-Resort Mug while visiting the parks?

 

Unfortunately, the mugs are only available for use at Disney Resorts. You are able to use them at any Disney Resort, even if you are not staying at a particular one. Do not let that discourage you from bringing them with you into the parks. You can transfer beverages into your mugs after purchase and use them to keep your drinks either cool or hot while easily transporting them throughout the day.

 

 

4.     Can my child eat from the adult menu and vice versa?

 

Children are eligible for meals from the children’s menu and may not be redeemed towards an adult entrée. However, if you are an adult and you prefer to have an item off of the children’s menu, you may order it using your full dining credit.

 

5.     What if only one of us in our room wants to buy the plan, are we able to just do one person?

 

All people on a room reservation must purchase the dining plan. It can only be the Disney Dining Plan or Quick Service Dining Plan and not a combination of the two.

 

 

Don’t see your question answered here? Ask me! For more information on how to take advantage of the Disney Dining Plan or to start your planning journey, send me an email to PrincessAnaTravels@gmail.com. To follow along with the fun, check out my Instagram or Tiktok!

 

Published by Ana Adams, If You Can Dream It Travel

April 2024

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