All About The Disney Dining Plan

Disney Travel || ||

If you’re planning a trip to Disney World (and staying on property) then you’ll be faced with the question “Do you want the Disney dining plan”? There are so many pros and cons, and I’m going to break them down for you so you can make the best decision for your trip!

What is the Disney Dining Plan?

Essentially the dining plan allows you to pre pay for your meals so that you don’t have to worry about it while you are on your trip. Entitlements are calculated by the number of nights you stay. Plans do not include gratuity so you’ll have to keep that in mind (gratuity not required at quick-service locations).

Commonly used terms:

Quick-Service is similar to a fast food restaurant. You order at a counter and find a place to sit. A quick-service meal includes an entrée and a beverage (21+ can get an alcoholic beverage with their meal).

Quick Service Meal at All Star Sports

Table-Service is a meal at a sit down restaurant. A table-service meal includes entrée and beverage (at breakfast), a full buffet, or an entrée, dessert and beverage (at lunch or dinner). 21+ can get a alcoholic beverage with their meal.

Table Service meal at Sanaa

A Snack is defined as a single serving item such as an ice-cream bar, popcorn scoop, piece of fruit, yogurt cup, etc. There are SO MANY snacks. You’ll know it’s a snack by a purple square with DP on it, beside the item on the menu.

Snack from Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe at Norway in EPCOT

There are 3 types of plans

Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan – Each person gets 2 quick-service meals and 2 snacks per night you stay. Price in 2018 is $52.50 for adults (10+) and $21.74 for children (age 3-9) per each night of stay.

Disney Dining Plan – The most popular plan includes 1 quick-service meal, 1 table-service meal and 2 snacks per person, each night you stay. Price in 2018 is $75.49 for adults (10+) and $25.75 for children (age 3-9) per each night of stay.

Disney Deluxe Dining Plan – Each person gets 3 meals (quick-service or table-service) and 2 snacks per night you stay. Price in 2018 is $116.25 for adults (10+) and $39.99 for children (age 3-9) per each night of stay.

Each plan includes a refillable mug to use at your resort for hot or cold non-alcoholic beverages.

3 year olds are not on the plan. You would have to pay out of pocket for them or let them eat off another person’s plate.

But is it WORTH it?

Well, it depends. Here are my pros and cons of the dining plan!

Pros

  • May save you money – depends on where you eat and what you order.
  • Meals are paid for in advance – you still have to pay gratuity at table service restaurants but unless you order things that are not on the meal plan, you don’t have to worry about paying after eating.
  • You don’t feel bad about ordering expensive items – this is a big one for me. If I’m stuck between a few items I’ll usually go for the cheaper one at home, but at Disney on the dining plan it doesn’t matter!
  • May get you to try new things – We ate at restaurants we might not have picked and tried new food!

Cons

  • Not usable at all restaurants on property – some restaurants are not included on the plan.
  • May force you to eat more than you normally would – at table-service restaurants you each get a dessert on the Disney Dining Plan and the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan, this isn’t something I would normally order, or usually we might split something.
  • May cost you more money than if you paid out of pocket and ate less – If you normally eat smaller meals without dessert or snacks the plan might cost you more money.
  • 10 year old + are “adults” on the plan – A lot of 10 year olds might want to order off the kids menu, which isn’t as good of a value on the dining plan.

Bottom Line

As you can see it depends on your family and eating habits! I would recommend checking out the menus on the Disney site and seeing where you would eat and what you might order, giving you an idea of what you would spend, and then comparing that to the price per person of the dining plan. We enjoy the convenience of it.

There are times that Disney offers a free dining promotion when booking a package to stay on property. This is usually offered during the Fall, but it’s never guaranteed.

What do you think about the Disney dining plan? Does it work for your family?

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Adults Only Disney World Trip
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