Disney World Announces HUGE Disney Dining Plan News!

disney world dining plan logo with castle and mickey ears
Credit: Becky Burkett/Disney Parks/Canva

Attention Disney foodies and non-foodies who love the Disney Dining Plan! Disney World has just shared a major announcement about the plan, and guests who plan to visit the parks in 2024 will want to get all the details.

dining plan logo and stars

Credit: Disney Parks/Canva

News of the return of the Disney Dining Plan to guests of the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida, was music to the ears of fans who love Disney World but had never visited without using the dining plan that was available as an add-on, for-purchase option in addition to guests’ Disney Resort Hotel stay, park tickets, and other perks.

Disney World closed in March 2020 in response to the growing global coronavirus pandemic and didn’t reopen for almost four months. On July 11, 2020, when the resort began welcoming guests back to the Most Magical Place on Earth, it did so with very different regulations, restrictions, and offerings. Many of those offerings were extremely limited.

magic kingdom empty aerial view

Credit: Twitter/Bioreconstruct

Only Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom were open to guests on July 11. EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios opened a few days later. Crowds were minimal because Disney had rolled out the Park Pass Reservation System, and the maximum number of guests who could visit any of the Central Florida theme parks in one day was extremely low compared to pre-pandemic park capacities.

There was no live entertainment in the parks–no Festival of Fantasy Parade at Magic Kingdom, no fireworks over Cinderella Castle, no nighttime spectaculars to dazzle guests gathered around World Showcase Lagoon, and no character meet-and-greets. Overall, many of the parks’ usual offerings were eerily absent.

fantasyland magic kingdom empty

Credit: Becky Burkett

But one of the most noticeable differences seen initially in a post-pandemic Disney World had to do with dining in the parks. Quick-service dining venues that were open to guests were accessible solely through the mobile ordering option on the My Disney Experience app. There was no counter service for placing orders.

Disney’s table-service dining venues were few and far between, as many of them did not reopen when the parks began welcoming guests back to the magic. Table-service restaurants that were open to guests had a very different “feel” to them, and ordering was very different, as it was available only by scanning a QR code and reading the menu online. Good luck finding a menu on the table because those were missing completely.

But perhaps the most “missed” missing offering at Disney World was the Disney Dining Plan. For years before the pandemic, guests had purchased the dining plan as part of their vacation packages, and once they arrived at the parks, they didn’t have to think about snacks, meals, etc., because the Disney Dining Plan made eating at Disney World easy. It was one of the most popular options available at Disney World, and fans were extremely disappointed when it was gone.

disney world dining plan logo with castle and mickey ears

Credit: Becky Burkett/Disney Parks/Canva

In May 2023, however, those fans finally got the news they’d been waiting for–the Disney Dining Plan would return in January 2024! And on Wednesday morning, Disney made another huge announcement about the soon-to-be-available Disney Dining Plan.

Disney World is offering a special package for guests visiting the parks in spring 2024. As part of the offer, guests will receive a 50% discount on children’s (ages 3 to 9) tickets AND children’s dining plans when they purchase a non-discounted 4-night Disney vacation package. Bookings for these packages and discounts will be available beginning November 14, 2023.

The discounted deal is available for the majority of dates between March 3, 2024, and June 30, 2024. As always, guests who want to take advantage of the offer are encouraged to make their plans and book their vacations as soon as possible–this time, beginning November 14.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!