You Don’t Really Need a Dining Plan at Disney World, Do You?

disney dining plan
Credit: Disney/Canva

Unless you’ve been living under a rock like the trolls in Disney’s Frozen, the chances are you’ve probably heard by now that Disney World’s dining plans have returned. But do you know why fans are so thrilled about the plans being available to guests once again? And why should people in the parks consider purchasing Disney’s dining plans?

disney dining plan

Credit: Disney Parks/Canva

Disney Dining Plans Are Back

Yes, it’s true. Disney World’s dining plans have returned. The plans had long been a favorite among guests until they disappeared in 2020.

fantasyland magic kingdom empty

Credit: Becky Burkett

When Disney World–alongside all of Disney’s theme park resorts on planet Earth–closed its gates in response to the growing global coronavirus pandemic, no one knew when the parks would reopen, though everyone was hopeful the closures wouldn’t last long. And no one could have believed all that would be missing in the parks once they finally reopened in July 2020.

Among the missing experiences and offerings at Disney World were the Disney Dining plans, which just returned earlier this month.

What is a Dining Plan, Anyway?

Disney Parks describes the dining plan as “the ultimate vacation planning tool that allows guests with Disney Resort Hotel Packages to prepay for meals and snacks.”

Guests who include Disney Dining plans as part of their Disney World vacations can choose between the Disney Quick-Service plan and the Disney Dining plan, which each include a certain number of meals and snacks for everyone in their traveling parties who are at least three years old.

Ohana dining room at Disney's Polynesian Resort

Ohana Restaurant/Credit: Disney

Why Should I Consider Adding a Dining Plan?

There are two reasons guests add Disney Dining plans to their Disney World vacation plans. First, the plans offer guests a lot of convenience. There are more than 200 dining locations throughout the Walt Disney World Resort’s theme parks and hotels that accept the Disney Dining plan. There are even select locations at Disney Springs that participate in the plan.

San Angel Inn Restaurante

Credit: Disney

With so many options, the plan offers guests the invaluable gift of convenience when they’re searching for a place to eat during their Disney vacations. It also means there’s a lot of flexibility for guests to make their own decisions about where and when to eat, especially when you consider that prepaid meals and snacks in the plans don’t expire until midnight on the day the guest checks out.

How Do I Use a Dining Plan?

Using your prepaid Disney Dining plan is simple.

First, visit Walt Disney World’s official website to learn about which dining locations are included in the Disney Dining Plan by clicking here.

disney dining plan

Credit: Disney World

Then, when you visit a participating location to purchase meals and snacks, simply present your Disney Resort ID, which can be your MagicBand, Disney MagicMobile pass, or Key to the World card, to the server at a table-service venue or to the cashier at a quick-service location.

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!