What is the Disney Dining Plan?
For many, it is the greatest things ever. Plan your dining needs ahead of time and focus on enjoying your vacation! In order to answer the question, “Is the Disney Dining Plan worth it?”, you need to understand exactly what it is.
Anyone who is staying in a Disney hotel and adds theme park tickets to their vacation is eligible for the Disney Dining Plan. There are three levels of the Dining Plan (outlined below). Your meals are prepaid on all levels of the dining plan, so when you arrive at Disney World all you have to do is order from the menu and enjoy! (Gratuities are not included with few exceptions.) Children under the age of three are ineligible for the Dining Plan. They can usually share a meal with someone else in the party. You can also pay out of pocket to order them a drink or meal of their own. For Dining Plan purposes, children 10 and older are considered adults. Really? Yep!
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How to Use the Dining Plan
You will receive either a card or a Magic Band, depending on the vacation package you book, with all of your party’s meals preloaded. You scan your card or band and enter a pin number of your choosing to use your meal plan credits. Meal plan credits are available beginning the day you check in and expire the day you check out. You are not required to use them day by day. This means you are able to eat four meals one day and only one meal another day. Flexibility is great on vacation!
Most restaurants and many snack locations are participating vendors in the Disney Dining Plan. You will be able to see the Dining Plan logo at participating snack locations. This may take some getting used to. You may need to train and instruct your family on what the symbol looks like.
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Dining Plan Options in 2018
Each person on any of the Dining Plans receives two snacks per person per night and a refillable mug. You can fill the refillable mug with any soft drink located at the quick service locations of your resort throughout your stay. However, you can not fill the mugs in the parks.
New in 2018 is the option of one single serve alcoholic beverage (for guests 21 or older) or one single serve non-alcoholic beverage (such as a milkshake or smoothie) as part of the quick serve meal or the table service meal.
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There are three Dining Plan options in 2018. The first option is the Disney Quick Serve Dining Plan. This entitles each person to receive two quick service meals per night of your stay. Each quick service meal comes with one entree and one drink.
Included in the Disney Dining Plan are one quick serve meal and one table service meal (sit down restaurant) per person, per night of your stay. Each quick service meal comes with one entree and one drink. Each table service meal also comes with one entree and one drink OR one full buffet style or family style meal. For lunch or dinner, table service meals also come with dessert. With this meal plan you are also able to use table service meal credits to order in room dining.
The Deluxe Disney Dining Plan includes three meals per day for each guest per night of your stay. When you choose this package you are able to use meal credits for either quick serve meals or table service meals. Each quick service meal comes with one entree and one drink. Each table service meal also comes with one entree and one drink OR one full buffet style or family style meal. For lunch or dinner, the table service meals also come with an appetizer and a dessert. With this meal plan you are also able to use table service meal credits to order in room dining.
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Is the Disney Dining Plan Worth It?
The Disney Quick Serve Dining Plan costs $52.49 per adult (ages 10+), per night and $21.74 per child (ages 3-9), per night. The Disney Dining Plan is offered at the cost of $75.49 per adult, per night and $25.75 per child, per night. The Deluxe Disney Dining Plan costs $116.25 per adult, per night and $39.99 per child, per night.
It really comes down to personal preference. If you would rather have your food paid for in advance, the dining plan is a good option for you. For those who would rather look at the monetary value, it will depend on how much you are likely to spend on food throughout your vacation. Families that enjoy several character meals and prefer to eat at least two meals a day at Disney restaurants will likely spend less money with the dining plan.
Our family loves character meals and we use the Disney Dining Plan to the fullest. On most trips you can find us at Be Our Guest, Crystal Palace, Akershus, Chef Mickey’s and Cape May Cafe, among other restaurants! In addition, we love Pecos Bill’s and Restaurantosaurus as well as many World Showcase establishments for quick serve options.
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What questions do you have about the Disney Dining Plans in 2018? Ask them in the comments below!
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