Walt Disney World’s Disney Dining Plan Overview

Update: As of May 28, 2020, Walt Disney World is cancelling all pre-booked Disney Dining Plans through September 26, 2021. Disney Dining Plans may be available before that date, and we will update as details emerge.

INTRODUCTION

One of the best things about visiting Walt Disney World is the FOOD!

‘Ohana Breakfast Platter

That’s why Disney offers the Disney Dining Plan to its resort Guests. There are three different plans to choose from, and each one allows you to pre-pay for your meals as part of your vacation package.

But the Disney Dining Plan can be a bit confusing, which is why we’re here! This page will answer all of your questions — from who can get the dining plan to the differences in the three plans to what a “snack” entitlement is!

Mickey Pretzel

GETTING STARTED: Booking the Disney Dining Plan

Can anyone book the Disney Dining Plan?

No. The Disney Dining Plan is only available to those with Resort Packages. This means you have to be staying at a Disney Resort, and you must have park tickets linked to your stay.

The only exception to this rule is for Disney Vacation Club Members. DVC Members are able to book the dining plan without theme park tickets.

Does this mean Annual Passholders cannot book the Dining Plan?

No! Annual Passholders are welcome to book the Dining Plan with a Resort Stay — in this case their tickets are the annual passes which should be linked in your My Disney Experience Account.

How many days do I get the Dining Plan for?

The Disney Dining Plan is solely based on the number of nights of your stay, and not the days on your ticket.

For example, you could be staying for 5 nights, but only purchase 3 day tickets, and you’d have 5 days worth of Dining Plan Entitlements.

Can I add the Dining Plan once I arrive?

No. The Disney Dining Plan must be booked at least 24 hours in advance and cannot be added once you arrive.

However, if you book a package or resort stay initially, and decide to add the dining plan later, you may call and add a Dining Plan to an existing reservation.

Can I book the Dining Plan for just the adults in the family and just share with our kids?

The Disney Dining Plan must be booked for EVERYONE on the Reservation. There is a difference in pricing for kids (age 3-9) and adults (anyone 10 and older), and children under 3 do not need a dining plan.

Additionally, all Guests must have the SAME Dining Plan. You cannot book the Deluxe Dining Plan for one guests and the Quick Service Plan for the rest. (Keep reading to learn about the different plans!)

Kids under 3 can eat off their parent’s plates, or at a buffet you can get them their own plate. However if you want anything extra — like milk or a kid’s meal — you’ll have to pay out of pocket. You’re free to bring in snacks and items for them as well!

That said, portions at Disney are very generous, so you often can share with your toddler without any issue.

Kid’s Sweet & Sour Chicken at Lotus Blossom Cafe

UNDERSTANDING THE THREE DISNEY DINING PLANS

The Four Levels of the Disney Dining Plans are: 

Pork Shoulder Meal at The Polite Pig

What is the difference in the Dining Plans?

Each of the four Dining Plans offer various amounts of “entitlements” per person, per night. (We will get deeper into what qualifies for each entitlement — keep reading!) Because of this, they also vary in cost, with the Deluxe Dining Plan being the most expensive.

Quick Service Disney Dining Plan Entitlements (per person, per night): 

  • 2 Quick Service Meals
  • 2 Snacks

Basic Disney Dining Plan Entitlements (per person, per night):

  • 1 Table Service Meal
  • 1 Quick Service Meal
  • 2 Snacks

Dining Plan Plus Plan Entitlements (per person, per night):

  • 2 Meals (May be used at Quick-Service or Table-Service restaurants)
  • 2 Snacks

Deluxe Disney Dining Plan Entitlements (per person, per night):

  • 3 Meals (May be used at Quick-Service or Table-Service restaurants)
  • 2 Snacks

For example, if you are staying for 4 nights and using the Standard Disney Dining plan, each person would receive 4 Table Service Meals, 4 Quick Service Meals, and 8 Snacks.

Additionally, every Guest, regardless of Dining Plan, will receive a Refillable Mug that can be used to sodas, coffee, and tea at the Resorts.

What is the cost of each Disney Dining Plan?

For 2020, the Disney Dining Plans costs are as follows:

Quick Service Disney Dining Plan:

  • $55.00 per night per adult (ages 10 and up)
  • $26.00 per night per child (age 3-9)

Basic Disney Dining Plan:

  • $78.01 per night per adult (ages 10 and up)
  • $30.51 per night per child (age 3-9)

Dining Plan Plus Plan:

  • $94.61 per night per adult (ages 10 and up)
  • $35.01 per night per child (age 3-9)

Deluxe Disney Dining Plan:

  • $119.00 per night (ages 10 and up)
  • $47.50 per night (age 3-9)

Please note that tax is included, but gratuity is not. An 18% gratuity will be added to each table-service meal when using the Dining Plan, and will need to be paid at the time of the meal. 

 

To learn more about each specific Disney Dining Plan, use the following links:

 

Spaghetti and Meatballs – Tony’s Town Square

 

UNDERSTANDING YOUR ENTITLEMENTS

The biggest question many people have about the Disney Dining Plan is what their entitlements include and where they can be used. Note, you can use them in whichever order you’d like — for example you could use 3 snacks in one day, and only 1 snack the next.

Let’s take a look at what is included for each entitlement!

SNACKS:

Snacks are single-serving items that are available at Quick-Service Restaurants, Outdoor Carts, and some merchandise locations.

Examples of snacks include:

  • Popcorn
  • Ice Cream Novelties
  • Bottled Beverages
  • Single Sides (ex. an Order of Fries) at Quick Service Restaurants
  • Sweet Treats from Bakery Cases (ex: Rice Krispie Treats, Cookies, Cupcakes, Pastries)
  • Certain Food Items & Non Alcoholic Drinks at Epcot Festival Kiosks

Note: Alcoholic Beverages and Souvenir containers (such as Sippers or Popcorn Buckets) cannot be purchased with Snack Credits.

Items that qualify as Snack Credits will be notated with a Disney Dining Plan Logo on the menu.

Peevy’s Polar Concoction Menu
Close-up of Disney Dining Plan Snack Icon

 

 

Kid’s Ice Cream Cone at Hollywood Scoops

 

QUICK-SERVICE MEALS:

You can redeem your Quick-Service Meal entitlements at the over 50 Participating Quick Service Locations.

Quick-Service Locations are generally restaurants with walk-up counters where you’ll order your food (or pick it up from Mobile Order), and then find a seat after.

With each Quick Service Meal Entitlement you’ll receive:

  • 1 Entrée (including any accompanying sides)
  • 1 Beverage (includes specialty drinks such as milkshakes and alcoholic beverages where available)

Starters, desserts, and additional sides can be added by paying out of pocket, or using Snack Credits.

Note: Kids using the Disney Dining Plan must order off the Kid’s Menu for their Quick Service Entitlement.

 

Columbia Harbour House Salmon Entrée

 

TABLE-SERVICE MEALS:

You can redeem your Quick-Service Meal entitlements at the dozens of Participating Table Service Locations.

Table-Service Restaurants are full-service restaurants, meaning you will be seated with a Host/Hostess waiting on your table. Meals include a la carte menus, family-style, and buffet dining.

Unlike snacks or Quick-Service Entitlements, Table-Service Meal Entitlements vary by plan.

On the Basic Disney Dining Plan, each Table-Service Meal Entitlement will include:

  • 1 Entrée (with accompanying sides)
  • 1 Dessert (Lunch and Dinner Only)
  • 1 Beverage (Includes Specialty Beverages and Alcoholic Drinks)

-or-

  • 1 Family Style or Buffet Meal (Includes all-you-care-to-eat food and standard drinks. You can also order a alcoholic or specialty beverage.)

Additional alcoholic beverages, sides, or appetizers may be purchased out-of-pocket.

On the Disney Dining Plan Plus, each Table-Service Meal Entitlement will include:

  • 1 Entrée (with accompanying sides)
  • 1 Dessert (Lunch and Dinner Only)
  • 1 Beverage (Includes Specialty Beverages and Alcoholic Drinks)

-or-

  • 1 Family Style or Buffet Meal (Includes all-you-care-to-eat food and standard drinks. You can also order a alcoholic or specialty beverage.)

Additional alcoholic beverages, sides, or appetizers may be purchased out-of-pocket.

On the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan, each Table-Service Meal Entitlement will include:

  • 1 Appetizer
  • 1 Entrée (with accompanying sides)
  • 1 Dessert (Lunch and Dinner Only)
  • 1 Beverage (Includes Specialty Beverages and Alcoholic Drinks)

-or-

  • 1 Family Style or Buffet Meal (Includes all-you-care-to-eat food and standard drinks. You can also order a alcoholic or specialty beverage.)

Additional alcoholic beverages or sides may be purchased out-of-pocket.

Note: Kids using the Disney Dining Plan must order off the Kid’s Menu for their Table Service Entitlement.

Meatballs at Akershus

What are Signature Table-Service Meals?

Certain meals and restaurants are known as “Signature,” meaning they are more expensive and more elegant fare. You are welcome to use your Disney Dining Plan to eat at Signature meals, but it’s important to note that each Signature meal will require TWO Table Service Entitlements per person.

Click here for a list of Participating Meals and Restaurants, with the Signature Meals notated in the right column. 

 

Jiko Signature Oak Grilled Filet and Mac and Cheese

What happens if I don’t use all of my Disney Dining Plan Entitlements?

Unused entitlements will NOT be refunded, so it’s important to use all of them to get your money’s worth. If needed, Table-Service Entitlements can be redeemed for Quick-Service meals. Additionally, you can exchange a Quick-Service Meal for 3 snacks at some locations.

Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar

Choosing the Right Plan

So with that in mind, which plan is right for you? That depends on your family!

D-Luxe Burger and Fries

There are different factors when selecting which plan is right for your family — or even if you should get the Disney Dining Plan at all.

The biggest one is cost. The Dining Plans are expensive, but convenient. We suggest crunching the numbers — check our menu pages and see how much an average meal would cost your family to eat for a day.

The second is how much your family eats and how you vacation. If you see yourself wanting a sit-down meal each day, you’ll want to consider the Basic, Plus, or Deluxe plans. If you’re on a quick trip and don’t want to waste time eating at lengthy meals, you may consider the Quick Service Plan.

And of course, if you’re the kind of family who grazes throughout the day, eats at lounges (often not on the Dining Plan), or splits a lot of meals, you may find the Disney Dining Plan isn’t right for you at all.

Prime Rib Sliders at Crew’s Cup Lounge

Free Dining

During slower months, guests may be offered a free or discounted Dining Plan as part of a vacation package. The details on this offer vary from year to year; sometimes you need to be a Visa Cardholder, sometimes the Dining Plan is only for guests of a certain age, usually you must pay rack rate for your room, and sometimes there are no strings attached at all.

Free Food is Best Food. ©Disney

Typically, Free Dining will be the Quick Service Dining Plan, but you might rarely see a Standard Plan up for offer as well. This is clearly the best deal you can get on the Disney Dining Plan, but they sell out quickly, so pay attention to AllEars for updates!

Historically, Free Dining has been announced early in the year (January or February for stays in summer and early fall), but 2019 saw two rounds of Free Dining (a second dropped in the summer for fall and winter dates).

Tips and Tricks

The best way to make the most of your Disney Dining Plan is to spend every credit in the most cost-efficient way possible. That means figuring out what meals and snacks will get you the most bang for your buck.

Not all snacks are created equal. ©Disney

Obviously, your own personal desires and experiences are key here. Take those Galaxy’s Edge soda bottles, for instance. In terms of cost, they’re probably one of the least efficient snacks at Disney, offering less than half the volume of an equivalent bottle of soda. However, if you’re a huge fan of Star Wars who wants the souvenir, the value goes beyond the beverage. With that personalized caveat in mind, here are a few quick tips on making the most of your plan.

Use Those Snack Credits Wisely

Because the definition of “snack” varies so wildly, you can easily squeeze out an extra meal on snack credits alone. Skip the ice cream bars, and go for heartier options, like French fries, soups, and sandwiches. Generally speaking, items that cost more than seven dollars are a financially sound deal on the DDP, provided they offer enough food.

Nearly all the food at Epcot’s festivals count as snacks.

One of the best times to use the DDP is during one of Epcot’s quarterly festivals, especially the Food and Wine Festival.  Nearly every dish you can sample qualifies as a snack on the DDP, and many of these delicious dishes can be considered meals in themselves.

Don’t Waste Your Snacks on Bottled Drinks

You get a refillable cup with your Dining Plan, and you can upgrade to a fancy vacuum insulated one for a small fee. Plus, you get a drink included with every meal. Even if you’re a soda addict, you shouldn’t need to spend those precious snack credits on a drink. This goes double if you’re mostly a water drinker, as water is free at any snack counter or Quick Service location! That bottle of Dasani is just a wasted credit.

Refillable mugs like this one can keep your drink cool all day.

You can, however, spend credits on signature drinks like milkshakes or smoothies if you’d like. Those may not be the biggest monetary values, but because their specialty beverages, they are a good use of a credit.

Convert Quick Service Credits to Snack Credits

If you find yourself with leftover Quick Service credits on the last day of your vacation, use them to collect pre-packaged snacks that you can take home as souvenirs or as gifts for family and friends. One Quick Service credit can transform into three snack credits, enabling you to pick up several special treats rather than wasting the meal credit.

Another great way to use your Quick Service credit as three snack credits? At Epcot’s festival food booths. If you plan to purchase three items at a single booth, you can ask the cast members there to use a single Quick Service credit instead. The catch is simply that you must purchase all three items at a single booth in a single purchase.

Maximize Every Credit You Spend

When it comes to Table Service credits, you should be spending them as effectively as possible. And that means ordering the most expensive thing on the menu (or pretty close to it) each and every time you sit down for a Table Service meal.

Go ahead, treat yourself.

This also raises a question of whether Signature meals requiring two Table Service credits are worthwhile, and the answer really depends. Technically, you’ll get more food by sticking to the one-credit options. Those Signature restaurants will, in theory, give you higher quality and a more luxurious experience, but that is where their value resides. If high-quality eats and full dining experiences aren’t your thing, Signature meals likely aren’t worth the credits for you.

Spend EVERYTHING

If you’re not hungry, consider snacks you could take back to your room, or take home.

Don’t leave a credit behind. Bring snacks to your room. Pack non-perishables for the trip home. Stuff your luggage with candy. Whatever you do, do not leave a single credit on the table when your vacation ends. If you do, you’re essentially leaving money on the table — your money.

Have remaining questions about the Disney Dining Plan? Drop us a line here, and we’ll try to answer it for you!

Want to share your tips for maximizing the Disney Dining Plan? Click here to leave a review and rate the various DDP tiers!