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Breaking Down the Disney Dining Plan

July 19, 2023

Starting January 9, 2024, guests can add the Disney Dining Plan to their resort stays once again!  Is the Dining Plan right for you and your travel party?  Let’s look at the options and some of the pros and cons.

Dining Plan Options

Beef nachos from Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe

There are two options for the dining plan, the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan and the Disney Dining Plan:

Disney Quick Service Dining Plan

  • $57.01/night for adults and children ages 10 and up
  • $23.83/night for children ages 3-9
  • 2 Quick service meals per night
  • 1 Alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage per meal
  • 1 Snack per night
  • 1 Resort refillable drink mug

Disney Dining Plan

  • $94.28/night for adults and children ages 10 and up
  • $26.69/night for children ages 3-9
  • 1 Table service meal per night
  • 1 Quick service meal per night
  • 1 Alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage per meal
  • 1 Snack per night
  • 1 Resort refillable drink mug

Pros of the Dining Plan

Chicken wings, dumplings, noodles, and seasonal vegetables from ‘Ohana

The biggest pro is less stress because all your meals are prepaid except for gratuities.  For some families, this makes it easier to budget for their trip.  

The Dining Plan is also easy to use.  All you have to do is show your MagicBand, Disney MagicMobile pass, or Key to the World card to the server or cashier to redeem your meal or snack credits.  You can then track your credit balances through the My Disney Experience app, your receipts, or with the help of Guest Relations or a Resort Concierge.  

In addition to the convenience, there is flexibility with your meal and snack credits since they just need to be used during the time of your stay–they don’t need to be redeemed daily.  If you decide to skip a snack one day, then you can get two snacks the next day.  The credits don’t expire until midnight on your checkout day.  

There is also some degree of savings, depending on what you order, especially for children.  Guests can save up to 20% on dining for children ages 3 to 9 compared to non-discounted kids’ menu items.  Adults may also feel like they get a good value for their meals since alcoholic beverages are included.   

Cons of the Dining Plan

Sole meunière from Topolino’s Terrace

The Dining Plan isn’t a good deal for those who don’t have a large appetite or prefer to snack or explore the EPCOT festival booths.  This is especially true since the number of snack credits has been reduced to one per night of your stay instead of two snack credits as it was before the Dining Plan was temporarily paused.    

Another con is that some restaurants require two meal credits.  This includes:

  • Fairytale Dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table
  • Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
  • Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White
  • Dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant
  • Dinner Shows
  • Fine/Signature Dining Restaurants
  • In-Room Dining at the Grand Floridian 

Using two meal credits for one Table Service meal means you will need to pay out of pocket for another meal.  

While there are more than 200 restaurants that participate in the Dining Plan, there are certain menu items that require an extra charge in addition to the meal credit redeemed.  

It can also be more difficult for adults to get the full value of their meal credits, particularly with the Disney Dining Plan at nearly $95 per night of the stay for adults. Many of the single credit Table Service Restaurants have entrees that top off at about $35.  Add an alcoholic beverage (about $15.50) and dessert (about $10) at dinnertime, and that’s a total of $60.50.  Many quick service lunch entrees max out at around $13.  Add $15.50 for a more expensive beverage, and you’re now at a total of $89 for the day before choosing a snack.  Basically, if you aren’t doing character dining, ordering the most expensive menu items, or ordering alcoholic beverages, it is more difficult to come out ahead or break even.  

All in all, the value of the dining plan will really depend on your travel party. If you are interested in adding the Dining Plan to your rented DVC reservation, only the DVC member who rented out their points can add the Dining Plan on your behalf.  To add the Dining Plan to stays starting January 9, 2024, guests can visit the DVC Rental Store guest portal to add a request for the Dining Plan.  The Reservation Specialist Team will then work with the DVC member to add the Dining Plan to the guest’s reservation. 

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