Disney is in the midst of “The World’s Most Magical Celebration”, honoring 50 years of magic making! The festivities kicked off on October 1, 2021, and will continue for a full 18 months. We’ve enjoyed seeing the return of favorite dining experiences the return of buffets, Casey’s Corner Pianist, and much more. We’re also looking forward to beloved Disney Park favorites returning like Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular and EPCOT’s Candlelight Processional. However, as a Disney dining blog, we tend to receive one question more than any other. “When will the Disney Dining Plan return?”
While not the Disney Dining Plan, Disney has recently announced a few “dining packages” have made a return. For example, there are now two dining packages available for EPCOT’s new nighttime spectacular, Harmonious. These dining packages include a meal at either Spice Road Table or Rose and Crown Restaurant with VIP seating for the nighttime show. Guests will also have an opportunity to take advantage of EPCOT’s Candlelight Processional dining package. With this dining package, Guests can eat at one of four restaurants (Coral Reef, Biergarten, Garden Grill & Rose and Crown) for lunch or dinner, and receive preferred seating for the Candlelight Processional. On top of these dining packages, Disney has once again introduced the Magic Kingdom Fireworks Dessert Party. All of these Disney foodie selections returning are great… but why no mention of the Disney Dining Plan?
If you never took advantage of Walt Disney World’s Disney Dining Plan, it was a chance to enjoy pre-paid meals in dining credit form with snack credit and specialty beverage options. Many Guests enjoyed it because of the all-inclusive feeling for their Disney vacation rather than pulling out payment for each meal. There were different tiers of Disney Dining Plans Guests could purchase per person in their travel party. One Disney Dining Plan might be more quick service restaurant focused while another such as the Deluxe Dining Plan for those that really want to eat at table service restaurants, signature dining, and/or character dining experiences. Plus, Guests received a refillable Resort mug to enjoyed all the fountain beverages they could want during their Resort stay. The Dining Plan could be purchased as an addition to your overall vacation package as a Walt Disney World Resort Guest.
The good news is back on June 30, 2021, Disney announced the dining experience is returning with the message, “We know many of you are also wondering when Disney dining plan packages will return. While we’re not quite ready to share an update on timing, we are planning to bring this guest-favorite option back at a later date.” Since June 30, Disney has remained quiet about the Disney Dining Plan.
Like all Disney experiences returning after the pandemic closures, we suspect that when the Walt Disney World Dining Plan returns, it will likely have some changes and a price increase. From the Annual Passholder program, to the Disney Genie, and just about everything in between, nothing at Walt Disney World has seemed to stay the same… and yes, the price point has increased for several experiences.
We hear you Disney fans, and we too hope to hear something from Disney soon about when and how the Disney Dining Plan will return! Did you enjoy the Disney Dining Plan when it was available pre-COVID? Does anyone else hope Disney doesn’t forget they used to offer vacation packages that included the FREE dining plan? We’ll keep you posted as we wait on the edge of our seats for Disney to share Disney Dining Plan details, hopefully, sooner rather than later!