A trip to Disney has many moving parts beyond deciding when to go (that’s a post for another day!) There are many options to choose from in building your dream vacation from resort selection, ticket options to the dining plan. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices in front of you, you’ve come to the right place! Your Magical Tripcations travel planner is armed and ready to assist you in each step of your Disney vacation planning.
Today we’re tackling which Disney Dining Plan is right for you. If you’re debating whether or not to add a dining plan to your package or which one is right for your travel party, read on as we’ve got you covered with the ins and outs of how the dining plans work.
What does each dining plan cost and what does each include?
2016 Disney Dining Plan Pricing:
Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan:
- 2 quick-service meals
- 1 snack
- 1 refillable resort mug
Adult 10+ Years and Older Per Night: $42.84 Child 3 – 9 Per Night: $17.47
Disney Dining Plan:
- 1 quick-service meal
- 1 table-service meal
- 1 refillable resort mug
Adult 10+ Years and Older Per Night: $61.84 Child 3 – 9 Per Night: $20.96
Disney Deluxe Dining Plan:
- 3 meals (any combination of table-service and quick-service)
- 2 snacks
- 1 refillable resort mug
Adults 10+ Years and Older Per Night: $111.73 Child 3 – 9 Per Night: $32.56
Which Disney Dining Plan is Right for You?
Disney offers 5 different dining plan options so there is likely one perfect for you and your party. Dining plans are a convenient and affordable way to experience many of the unique Disney dining locations. Your Magical Tripcations travel planner can further discuss the pros and cons of each of the plans with you but here is a brief overview of each of the more popular plans:
Quick-Service Dining Plan: Each of your (2) quick-service meals includes 1 entrée or complete combo, dessert and one single non-alcoholic drink. Quick-service locations operate much like a fast food restaurant where you place and pick up your order at the counter and find an available table. Most locations have both inside and outside dining tables.
If you know that you and your party will be touring the parks from sun up to sun down with little need for more than a couple of breaks for a quick meal or a snack, the quick-service dining plan is for you.
Disney Dining Plan: In addition to your (1) quick-service meal, you are entitled to (1) table-service meal. At table-service restaurant locations, you are escorted to your table and waited on by a server.
- One table-service breakfast meal includes entrée and non-alcoholic drink or full buffet and tax (gratuity not included.)
- One table-service lunch or dinner meal includes entrée, dessert and non-alcoholic drink or full buffet and tax (gratuity not included.)
If you know that you and your party need at least one sit down meal a day, the Disney Dining Plan is more of a fit for you and is the most popular plan. Table-service restaurant meal credits can be used towards character dining meals.
Deluxe Dining Plan: The main difference in this plan is that you are entitled to (3) meals in any combination of quick or table-service.
If you and your party enjoy a sit down table-service meal for most of your meals or want to experience the variety of food and restaurant experiences, then the Deluxe Dining Plan is more of a fit for you.
After you’ve selected your dining plan package, you are ready to start planning your meals during your trip. If you have selected the quick-service dining plan, you do not need to do quite as much pre-planning. However, if you selected a plan with table-service meals there is a bit of planning involved to ensure that you get the most out of your dining plan.
Key Dining Plan Tips:
Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs)
For table-service restaurants, Advanced Dining Reservations are a must! Resort guests can begin making dining reservations 180-days for up to 10 days ahead of your check-in date. Reservations fill up fast for some of the more popular restaurants such as Cinderella’s Royal Table, Chef Mickey’s and Be Our Guest. So if dining with princesses or with the fab five is high on your list, it is highly recommended that you make your reservations well ahead of your trip. It is very difficult to walk up to a restaurant and request a table. Pixie Dust Alert! Your Magical Tripcations travel planner can make your dining reservations for you at no additional charge to you!
Dining Credits Begin at Check-in
Dining plan credits begin the moment you check-in to your resort and expire at midnight on the day you check out. If you check-in too late at the resort and cannot use your meal credits for the day, you haven’t lost them. Meal credits don’t expire from day to day and can be used however you like. Redeem your meals in any order throughout your package stay until each person’s meal total is complete. Your remaining meal and snack entitlements will appear at the bottom of your receipt after each meal/snack, so it’s easy to keep up with the remaining credits. All of your dining credits are linked in your account through your Magic Band.
Gratuity Not Included
Gratuity is not included on the dining plan. You will need to pay the tip after your table service meal. Your server will bring your bill and you can either pay the tip with a credit card, cash or if your Magic Band has a credit card tied to it, you can use your Magic Band to pay the tip and any other items not covered on the dining plan such as alcoholic beverages.
Dining Credits are Nonrefundable
Dining credits are nonrefundable so that is where good pre-planning comes into play. Your travel planner can assist you in mapping out a plan (as detailed as desired) to utilize all of your dining credits.
Food Allergies and Special Dietary Needs
Disney is excellent at accommodating for food allergies. You can talk to the chef when you sit down and discuss what they can make for you to ensure you have a safe dining experience. It is recommended that you note allergy concerns when making your reservation so that the restaurant is fully prepared for your special needs. You can call Disney Dining at (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463) and speak to a Cast Member ahead of your visit to discuss special dining needs.
Look for this symbol on counter service menus, snack carts, and in merchandise locations to help you identify which items are eligible to be redeemed for your credits.
Tips to make the most of your dining plan:
- If you have snack credits left over at the end of your vacation, you can use them in some of the shops for candy and Mickey treats like the Mickey shaped rice krispy treat. Treats like this make wonderful souvenirs for friends or snacks to enjoy on the plane ride home.
- At quick-service restaurant locations (not a cart or kiosk), you can substitute your dessert in exchange for fresh fruit or other items such as a muffin. Ask the Cast Member at the restaurant if they have any applicable substitutions.
- If you don’t want the drink included with your quick-service meal, you can substitute a snack or bottle of water to go.
- At table-service restaurant locations, ask your server if you can substitute your dessert for a salad or cup of soup. This is allowed if the restaurant has the option so, be sure to ask.
- Best tip: Book your Magic Your Way Vacation Package with Magical Tripcations and allow your travel planner to do the reservations and planning! Our planning services are completely free. Pixie dust and magical extras are always included.
For more information on each of the dining plans, please click here https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/planning-guides/in-depth-advice/disney-dining-plan/
Your Magical Tripcations travel planner can assist you with deciding which dining plan is right for you and book any table service reservations for you at no additional cost. Adding a Disney Dining Plan can be a great value and make for a relaxing vacation since your meals are paid for in advance when you book your vacation. Curious to see our team’s top picks? Click here for our list of favorites.