When it comes to organizing your trip or making Walt Disney World dining plans, one of the most challenging things can be determining whether or not to include a Disney meal plan in your package.
This article will explain what meal plans are, why they are important, how to determine whether or not to book with them, and how to receive free dining plans from Disney.
Walt Disney World Resort’s dining plans are back on the menu! A meal plan can be added to Walt Disney Travel Company packages that include a Disney Resort hotel stay for arrivals on or after January 9, 2024.
Disney Dining Plans: The Basics
Walt Disney World boasts scores of excellent table service restaurants, over 100 quick service establishments, and even more snack carts scattered throughout the theme parks.
A family of four will consume roughly 100 individual meals during a seven-day Disney vacation. And all of the meals (and snack stops) are expensive. It all adds up.
Disney has designed eating plans to prevent the sticker shock of a Disney vacation from destroying your time in the parks. In a nutshell, dining plans are a way to pay for your meals before you arrive at Walt Disney World.
When you purchase a Disney dining plan, you are purchasing a meal plan with Disney dining credits that you may spend at Walt Disney World.
How Do Walt Disney World Dining Plans Work?
- Your Disney band or card is loaded with meals and snacks.
- When making a transaction, tap your Disney band or card on the magic point.
- Your waitress will issue you a receipt with your current meal balance.
When you book a Disney trip package, you’ll be given the option of adding one of two eating plans. Children on the Quick-Service Dining Plan pay roughly $24 per night, while adults on the Standard Dining Plan pay about $94 per night.
Who Can Buy a Disney Dining Plan?
The Disney Dining Plans are exclusively offered to visitors staying at Disney-owned resort hotels within Walt Disney World.
This implies that visitors staying in the Swan, Dolphin, Swan Reserve, Disney Springs Resort Area hotels, the Four Seasons, or Shades of Green are ineligible.
Disney has two dining plans: the standard plan, which is what most people refer to when they say ‘Disney Dining Plan,’ and the Quick Service Dining Plan.
How Much Does the Disney Dining Plan Cost?
The Disney Dining Plan rates in 2024 are as follows:
- $94.29 for adults and $49.76 for children ages 3 to 9.
- The Quick Service Plan will cost $57.01 for visitors aged 10 and above and $43.81 for children aged 3–9 in 2024.
- Children under the age of three eat for free from an adult’s plate.
Disney World Restaurants and Food Types
We’ll begin our deep dive into Disney Dining Plans with some fundamentals. Some of them are self-explanatory, but all require at least a brief explanation because Disney uses some phrases in technical ways in their meal plan guidelines.
Once we’ve established these concepts, we’ll go on to the specifics of the two plans, followed by a discussion of whether they’re worthwhile. Here are the topics we will discuss:
- Dining Plans
- Dining Plan Credits
- Table Service Meals
- Table Service Meals Requiring Two Credits
- Quick-Service Meals
Benefits of the Disney Dining Plans
- Reservations for eating can be made up to 60 days in advance.
- There is no need to carry cash with you.
- It is simple to plan and budget ahead of time.
Enjoy a wide range of options, from formal dining to supper with characters to healthier options.
Disney is devoted to providing a diverse choice of options for customers looking for well-balanced meals, as well as those with lifestyle dining preferences or particular dietary requirements.
Guests should make dietary requests when making their reservations and speak with management when they arrive at the eating spot.
The meal plans include a variety of beverages with each meal. Non-alcoholic beverages include handcrafted milkshakes, fresh smoothies, mocktails, as well as sodas, coffee, and tea.
Alternatively, select an alcoholic beverage such as beer, cider, most wines, or specialty cocktails!
Tips to Remember
- Reservations are strongly advised! Character Dining and Signature Restaurants fill up quickly, but you may make reservations up to 60 days in advance by calling 00 800 2006 0809.*
- Quick-Service meals are ideal for informal dining or pit stops in the parks, and Table-Service meals are ideal for relaxing over your meal.
- Is there something to rejoice about? Fine dining with a decidedly magical touch is available at one of the Fine/Signature restaurants for two Table-Service meals per guest. There are certain restrictions.
- Snacks such as beverages, popcorn, ice cream, and fresh fruit are offered at Quick-Service restaurants and outdoor food carts throughout the Resort.
- Dining Plans are not offered for kids under the age of three, however they can share an adult plate for free or purchase a separate meal from the menu.
Alternatives to the Dining Plan
One of the most appealing aspects of Disney’s eating plan is that you’ve already paid for your meals before you leave.
You can achieve the same effects by purchasing a prepaid debit card and loading it with the same amount of money as the Disney plan.
The main benefit of using your own debit card is that you get to keep any money you have left over at the end of your vacation.
Prepaid cards from Visa and MasterCard can be ordered and loaded via your phone or computer. We’d love to hear from families that experiment with this option. If you do, please let us know how it went.
If you must have a Disney meal plan for your piece of mind, consider the quick-service option. As with the normal eating plan, the quick-service meals for lunch and dinner will save you the most money.
Even if you decide to splurge on a sit-down meal or two, you can use your saved quick-service meals for breakfast without feeling like you’ve paid twice as much as everyone else.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does Disney dining work?
Your Disney band or card is loaded with your meals and snacks. When making a transaction, tap your Disney band or card on the magic point. Your waitress will issue you a receipt with your current meal balance.
How to book dining packages at Disney World?
Guests can reserve dining packages at Walt Disney World online at www.disneyworld.disney.go.com, in person at Guest Relations, or by calling (407) WDW-DINE.
Do you have to tip on Disney Dining Plan?
Gratuity is not included in the Disney Dining Plan. Even while dining at a buffet restaurant, it is usual to leave an 18%-20% gratuity for your server.
Can I bring food into Disney World?
Outside food and nonalcoholic beverages are permitted to be brought into the park for self-consumption, provided they are not in glass containers, do not require cooking, reheating, processing, refrigeration, or temperature control, and do not have unpleasant scents.
How much is the cancellation fee for Disney dining?
$10 per person