That is such a great question! What is the Disney Dining Plan? The Goofy Guy is here to help clear up some of those questions. The decision on whether it is right for you is another question. Then you might ask (actually you will ask) “Is it worth it?

Well, those second two questions I’ll cover in another article. But first, let’s talk about what the Disney Dining Plan is.

The Basics

So you want to know what the Disney Dining Plan is.

The way this is gonna work is that I am going to give you straight information. What Disney wants you to know about their dining plan. And then I’m gonna tell you what I really think it is. I’m going to try to not discuss what I think of the dining plan until the end of the article. But know that is just a goal, and sometimes goals shift. It may be hard to keep my personal opinions out of this.

(Wait, did I just give away what I think?)

The Disney Dining Plan is a way for you to pre-pay for all of your meals and snacks while you are on your Walt Disney World vacation. Disney gives you credits which you use to buy your food or drink.

The way it works is that you make a resort reservation (probably buy a package of hotel and park tickets). After you do that you can buy a food package for your vacation. That means that you won’t need to “pay” for any snack or food while you are on your vacation. It makes it feel like an “all inclusive” vacation.

A big thing to know is that if you do decide to get a dining plan, you have to buy it for all of the nights of your stay, and for everyone in your reservation. You don’t get to choose days you want it and days you don’t. You also don’t get to say “I want it for us, but not for the kids.” It is an all or nothing sort of thing.

Let me say that again…IT IS ALL OR NOTHING. I don’t think that is bad, you just need to be aware.

There are three different packages you can choose from. They are:

  • Disney Quick Service Dining Plan
  • Disney Standard Dining Plan
  • Disney Deluxe Dining Plan

Here is a brief description of each.

Disney Quick Service Dining Plan

This plan includes counter service (quick service) meals and snacks at almost all quick service locations throughout Walt Disney World.

Here is what you get:

  • 2 quick service meals (an entree or combo meal and a drink at lunch and dinner)
  • Guests under 21 years of age can choose one non-alcoholic beverage(including specialty beverages — i.e. Artisanal Milk Shakes,  Fresh Smoothies, Premium Hot Chocolates, or Soda, Coffee or Tea — where offered). Guests 21 and older can choose either one non-alcoholic beverage (including specialty beverages where offered) or one single serving mixed cocktail, beer, or wine (where offered) within their meal entitlement.
  • Two snacks
  • One resort refillable mug per person, per package

COST (2019):

$52.49 per night ages 10 and up
$23.78 per night age 3 to 9
This cost is added to the regular cost of a Magic Your Way Vacation Package.

Disney Standard Dining Plan

The following is what this plan offers:

  • One table service entrée, dessert (lunch and dinner only), OR full buffet
  • One quick service meal, including entrée OR combo meal
  • Guests under 21 years of age can choose one non-alcoholic beverage with their Quick Service and Table Service meal (including specialty beverages — i.e. Artisanal Milk Shakes,  Fresh Smoothies, Premium Hot Chocolates, or Soda, Coffee or Tea — where offered). Guests 21 and older can choose either one non-alcoholic beverage (including specialty beverages where offered) or one single serving mixed cocktail, beer, or wine (where offered) within their meal entitlement.
  • Two snacks from a wide variety of options
  • One Resort Refillable Mug per person, per package

Cost (2019):

$75.48 per night ages 10 and up
$27.98 per night age 3 to 9 <br/>Children Under 3 are free

Disney Deluxe Dining Plan

This is the big kahuna! Here is what each member of your party gets for each night you are staying:

  • Three table service or quick service meals: table service includes appetizer, entrée, and dessert (lunch and dinner), OR full buffet quick service includes entrée OR combo meal
  • Guests under 21 years of age can choose one non-alcoholic beverage with their Quick Service and Table Service meal (including specialty beverages — i.e. Artisanal Milk Shakes,  Fresh Smoothies, Premium Hot Chocolates, or Soda, Coffee or Tea — where offered). Guests 21 and older can choose either one non-alcoholic beverage (including specialty beverages where offered) or one single serving mixed cocktail, beer, or wine (where offered) within their meal entitlement.
  • Two snacks from a wide variety of options
  • One Resort Refillable Mug per person, per package

COST (2019):

$116.24 per night ages 10 and up
$43.49 per night age 3 to 9 <br/> Children under 3 are free

Additional Information

Here is some information that you need to know.

  • A table service meal may be used for one Character Dining Experience (except Cinderella’s Royal Table, which will require 2 table service meals).
  • Two table service meals may be exchanged for one of the following: One Signature Dining Experience, including appetizer, entrée, dessert plus one non-alcoholic beverage (OR one alcoholic beverage for guests 21-and-over for the 2018 Plans)
    • One Disney Dinner Show (Category 2 or 3 seating at either show or Category 1 seating at the 8:30 pm show for Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue)
    • One room service meal, including appetizer (lunch and dinner), entrée, dessert (lunch and dinner), plus non-alcoholic beverage (OR one alcoholic beverage for guests 21-and-over for the 2018 Plans)
    • One Pizza Delivery – 1 pizza, 2 single-serving non-alcoholic beverages (or 2 alcoholic beverages for guests 21-and-over for the 2018 Plans), 2 desserts
  • For cancellations made 1 day or less prior to check-in, the full price of the package is non-refundable.

That is pretty important information to know. I think the hardest part of this plan is understanding that you are getting dining credits. It is not money. So if you buy spaghetti, it is one credit. If you buy a steak, it is one credit. That is important to know.

Also, the credits roll over. You get them all on your first day, and can use them all on your first day.

Usually what happens is that people get to the last day and realize they have credits left. Then they use all of the remaining credits on their last day trying to get snacks to make sure they use them all.

What that means is that you need to make sure you are planning your meals and snacks to not leave anything on the table.

In Conclusion

The dining plan is an interesting option. It definitely is a way to make the vacation feel “All Inclusive”.

It’s also a great way to make sure you have a budget and stay on it. You have already paid for the food, so it is definitely a great way to stay on budget.

In another article, I look at “Should you do the dining plan“. That is going to be a different answer for each person. And it depends a lot on how you eat on vacation.

In my opinion, it is also a way for Disney to keep you on the property. You can definitely spend less money buy eating off the property. I don’t do that a lot, but the option is always there. With the dining plan, you feel like you have to stay on property and eat. Another thing to think about – are you going to Universal for a day, or two? You cannot use your dining plan credits at Universal.

So once again, it all comes down to how do you vacation?

I’m sure you will make the right decision for you and your family.

Have any questions? Leave a comment and I will answer them as best I can.

Also, thanks go out to www.disneyfoodblog.com which provided the details on the plans. It is an amazing place to get the information that you need about food at Disney (among other things).

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