If you are staying at a Walt Disney World owned resort, you might want to consider adding the Disney Dining Plan to your Magic Your Way Package. With it, you’ll be able to include the price of your meals with your total cost, making it easier to budget. Everyone in your room who is three or older must be on the plan, and you must book it for the length of your stay. You will use credits, and the number of credits you receive is based on the number of nights that you are staying. Not all restaurants on Disney property accept the Disney Dining Plan, but don’t worry, you’ll find plenty to eat. Here are ten things that you need to know about the Disney Dining Plan.
10. The Quick Service Dining Plan
The Quick Service Dining Plan is the cheapest of the three plans. You will receive enough credits for two quick service meals and two snacks per night of your vacation. Your meal will include one entree and one beverage. Alcohol is never included as part of the Disney Dining Plan.
9. The Standard Dining Plan
Known on the Walt Disney World website as the “Disney Dining Plan”, this plan opens up the possibility of more restaurants. You will receive one quick service meal, one table service meal, and two snacks per night of your vacation. Quick service meals are the same as above. Table service meals include an entree and beverage for breakfast, or an entree, dessert, and beverage for lunch or dinner. Most buffets are also included. If you are dining at a signature restaurant, you will be charged two table service credits on both the Standard and the Deluxe Plans.
8. The Deluxe Dining Plan
The most versatile of the dining plans (and the most expensive) is the Deluxe Dining Plan. With this you will receive three meals and two snacks per night of your vacation. The meals can be quick service or table service. With the Deluxe Plan lunch and dinner includes an appetizer, an entree, dessert, and a beverage. Remember if you’re using the Disney Dining Plan that the gratuity is not included at most table service restaurants, so please be generous.
7. Lots of Food
No matter which Disney Dining Plan you choose, you will not have to worry about going hungry. All of them offer lots of food. There are plenty of filling snack options that can replace a meal for many people; including a two scoop sundae, a Mickey Pretzel, and many bakery items. Look for the purple and white Disney Dining Plan icon on the menu to see if something will count as a snack.
6. Refillable Mugs Included
A nice extra with the Disney Dining Plan is that each member of your party will receive a Refillable Mug at no extra cost. You can fill the mugs up at any resort for the length of your stay. You can’t use them in the parks, but they are great for your morning coffee, a late night soda, or a day at the pool. The mugs are yours to keep as a souvenir.
5. Character Meals
One benefit of the Standard and Deluxe Disney Dining Plans is that most (not all) character meals are included for one table service credit. Character meals are all you care to eat, so you will be able to fill up, and also enjoy some extra special time with your favorite characters. The fact that character meals are included is reason enough for some people to add the Disney Dining Plan to their vacation packages.
4. Stock Up on Snacks
Your Disney Dining Plan credits will expire at 11:59pm the day that you check out. You might not think at the beginning of your vacation that you will end up with leftover quick service or snack credits, but it happens all the time. Before you leave, head into a shop that sells candy, cookies, and other such treats that will travel well. Use your remaining credits to bring snacks back home with you. Quick service credits can be traded for three snacks, but they all have to be used in the same place. Stocking up is a great way to not waste your credits.
3. Epcot Festivals
If you’re a fan of the annual festivals that are held at Epcot, you are in luck if you purchase the Disney Dining Plan. You can use snack credits at the food booths. This is a great way to try some of the dishes without having to pay anything extra out of pocket. Remember, credits cannot be used for alcohol.
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2. Free Dining
Sometimes the Disney Dining Plan is offered for free as part of a Magic Your Way Vacation Package. The dates are usually in the fall, and the number of rooms and even resorts are limited. If you stay at a Value Resort it’s the Quick Service Plan that you’ll receive, while those staying at a Moderate or Deluxe Resort will get the Standard Plan. There are lots of extra requirements to qualify, and Disney could discontinue Free Dining at any time.
1. Expect Changes
The Disney Dining Plan can and will change from time to time. The changes will usually go into effect at the beginning of the year. The restaurants on the plan can change, especially if the restaurant is not owned by Disney. The benefits of the plan can change as well. For example, the ability to exchange quick service credits for snacks was not possible a couple of years ago. Disney does a good job of keeping the information on the official Walt Disney World website up to date, so if you are not sure about a restaurant or a benefit, that is a good place to start.