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The Essentials of Disney Dining Plans 2013

The Essentials of Disney Dining Plans 2013

One of the most daunting things about planning your Walt Disney World Vacation comes at the very beginning—selecting the right package for your family. With so many variables and options, it can be a challenge to figure out which Disney Dining Plan works best for your vacation. Below you will find the basic details of the 2013 Disney Dining Plans to assist you in the decision making process.

The Disney Dining Plan must be booked in conjunction with a Magic Your Way package at a Walt Disney World resort including tickets, and everyone in your room must have the same package elements. If you are an Annual Pass Holder you can add a Disney Dining Plan to your room only reservation thereby making it a package and subject to package reservation terms and conditions (payment due 45 days prior). In this case you would not add tickets, but use your Annual Pass for admission. As a Disney Vacation Club member, you may add any of the Disney Dining Plans except the Premium and Platinum packages up to 48 hours prior to your vacation, and payment for the Disney Dining Plan is due immediately upon booking.

Your dining credits begin on the first day of your package stay, and expire at midnight on the night you check out. Dinner shows, some Signature Restaurants, like Le Cellier and the Hollywood Brown Derby, and Cinderella’s Royal Table Character Meal, require two table service credits. Private Dining or room service, and in room pizza delivery also require two table service credits. Gratuities are not included in the Disney Dining Plan and must be paid separately when you dine. Children ages 3-9 must order from a Children’s Menu where available.

For the first two basic Disney Dining Plans, a counter service meal consists of one entrée, one dessert, and one non-alcoholic beverage, or a complete combo meal. A table service meal is one entrée, one dessert and a non-alcoholic beverage, or one full buffet.

• Disney’s Quick Service Dining Plan, Year Round: $37.58 per adult per night (ages 10 & up), $14.32 per child per night (ages 3-9)

This plan allows you two quick service meals and one snack per night of your resort stay. You also receive a resort refillable mug. It is a good option for those who prefer to spend more time touring and less time eating, or who want flexibility by not committing to a lot of dining reservations months in advance.

• Disney’s Plus Dining Plan, Value & Regular Season: $55.59 per adult per night (ages 10 & up), $17.16 per child per night (ages 3-9); Peak Season: $56.94 per adult per night (ages 10 & up), $18.16 per child per night (ages 3-9)

This is the traditional Disney Dining Plan that most people are familiar with. This plan allows one table service meal, one counter service meal, and one snack per night of your resort stay. In addition you receive a resort refillable mug.

For the remainder of the dining plans a counter service meal is made up of one entrée, one dessert and one non-alcoholic beverage, or one complete combo meal. A table service meal means one appetizer, one entrée, one dessert and one non-alcoholic beverage, or a full buffet.

• Disney’s Deluxe Dining Plan, Value & Regular Season: $99.97 per adult per night (ages 10 & up), $26.84 per child per night (ages 3-9); Peak Season: $102.27 per adult per night (ages 10 & up), $28.91 per child per night (ages 3-9)

In addition to including the appetizer for your table service meals, the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan gives you more flexibility in when and where you dine. With this plan you are allowed three meals per night of your resort stay of any combination of table and counter service you prefer. You also receive two snacks per night and a resort refillable mug.

• Disney’s Premium Package, Year Round: $189 per adult per night (ages 10 & up), $139 per child per night (ages 3-9)

This package includes all of the dining options of the Deluxe Dining Plan (three meals of any combination of counter and table service per night of resort stay, two snacks per night and a refillable resort mug). Once you upgrade to the Premium Package you may eat at the Signature Restaurants, Cinderella’s Royal Table, the Dinner Shows and in-room dining for only 1 credit. The Premium Package gives you a lot more than just dining for your money. You will get unlimited use of these recreational activities: golf, miniature golf, water sports, horseback riding, guided fishing excursions, and bike and boat rentals. You get unlimited use of selected theme park tours in the Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Animal Kingdom. Also included is admission to one show of Cirque du Soleil, unlimited use of certain Children’s Activity Centers, and preferred fireworks viewing—one each at Magic Kingdom for Wishes and Epcot for Illuminations. This is all in addition to the usual Magic Your Way package inclusions like luggage tags, Planet Hollywood vouchers, select discounts, and an arcade card. You do have to stay a minimum of three nights to book this package—but you would need at least two weeks to take advantage of all that it offers AND visit the theme parks.

• Disney’s Platinum Package, Year Round: $249 per adult per night (ages 10 & up), $179.01 per child per night (ages 3-9)

If the Premium Package left you thinking, “That just doesn’t give me enough things to do on my Disney Vacation,” then the Platinum Package is your ticket to non-stop fun. This package includes all of the dining options of the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan (three (three meals of any combination of counter and table service per night of resort stay, two snacks per night and a refillable resort mug), all of the bonus inclusions of the Premium Plan (including the single credits for signature meals), and kicks it up a notch with even more for your package price. With the Platinum Plan you add personalized itinerary planning services from Disney’s staff, one Richard Petty Ride Along Experience or Exotic Driving Experience Thrill Ride, in room babysitting, a fireworks cruise for special viewing of either Wishes or Illuminations, reserved seating at Fantasmic, and a spa treatment (which you should save until the end of your trip because you will need it after all of that vacation). The Platinum Package requires the minimum three night stay and must be booked at a Deluxe Resort, or select Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts (not Saratoga Springs or Old Key West).

So, in a nutshell, those are the Magic Your Way package options and and Disney Dining Plan prices for 2013. Of course you can also book a package with just your resort and tickets—no dining. There is a lot to consider in terms of budget, convenience, flexibility, and luxury when selecting the best package for your Walt Disney World Vacation.

About Sarah Chapman

I am a long time Disney fan; I became hooked on Walt Disney World on my first trip in 1987. Since that time I’ve been obsessed with experiencing everything I can in the parks, with a total of 23 visits and counting (I’m always planning my next trip). I’ve turned that obsession into a profession helping others plan their magical vacations as a Dream Vacation Maker at LBAC Travel. You can find me on Facebook at facebook.com/SarahLBAC. I am a work at home mom to three wonderful boys, and each one has been properly indoctrinated with all things Disney. Walt Disney World is definitely our “Laughing Place.” "Contact me to begin planning your magical vacation, sarah@lbactravel.com"