DMK Explains Disney’s Dining Plan

Disney’s Dining Plan can be confusing. Is it worth it? What tier do you need? It’s a lot to navigate through especially if you are a Disney newbie. Here, I’ll break down it all down for you and give you a neat tool to determine whether the dining plan is worth it for you and your family!

The Disney Dining Plan (DDP) is a prepaid meal plan offered at Walt Disney World that allows guests to budget their dining costs and possibly save money. The plan comes in three tiers, each with a set number of credits, that can be redeemed for snacks, counter service (think fast food), table service, or signature dining. The credits are stored on your MagicBand, which is scanned at the time payment is due, and a receipt is given with the remaining credits.

For the purpose of the DDP, a ‘snack’ includes items sold at snack carts around the parks or in quick service restaurant. It has been expanded to include any single serving side item like hand-scooped ice cream and many other items.

“Counter Service” consists of a combo meal (entree plus side) and beverage, to include alcohol, but does not include a dessert. A counter service meal may also consist of three snack items in a single transaction. “Table Service” consists of an entree, dessert, and beverage, including alcohol, for adults.

Two table service meal credits can be used for one Signature Meal, dinner shows, room service, or pizza delivery. Tax is included but tips are not, so please make sure to take care of the waitstaff.

Quick Service Disney Dining Plan

This is the lowest tier of the Disney Dining Plan. This is the tier of the Disney Dining Plan that is typically included with Free Dining at the Value Resorts.

For each person on the room reservation, the Quick Service Disney Dining Plan includes:

  • two counter-service meals (per night)
  • two snacks (per night)
  • a refillable drink mug (per stay)

The per night price of the Quick Service Plan is $52.50 per adult and $23.78 per child ages 3-9.

Standard Disney Dining Plan

This is the standard tier of the Disney Dining Plan (Disney refers to it as simply the “Disney Dining Plan.” To avoid confusion, we’ll call it the “Standard Disney Dining Plan”), and what’s typically included with “Free” Dining at the Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villa Resorts. For the price difference between the plans, you can upgrade from the Free Quick Service Dining Plan to this plan at the Value Resorts.

For each person on the room reservation, the Standard Disney Dining Plan includes:

  • one counter-service meal (per night)
  • one sit-down meal (per night)
  • two snacks (per night)
  • a refillable drink mug (per stay)

The per night price of the Standard Disney Dining Plan is $75.49 per adult and $27.98 per child.

Deluxe Disney Dining Plan

Excepting the Premium Package or Platinum Dining (both over $200/night per person!) that are not recommended for anyone, this is the upper echelon of Disney Dining Plans. By default, no resort tier receives this package for Free Dining, but you can pay the difference to upgrade to it.

For each person on the room reservation, the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan includes:

  • three meals at your choice of counter service restaurants or table service restaurants (per night)
  • two snacks (per night)
  • one refillable drink mug (per stay)

The per-night price of the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan is $116.25 per adult and $43.49 per child during regular season, and more during peak season.

Children under three can eat off of an adult plate. Those on the deluxe dining plan can mix their adult and child credits so the credits may be used for adult entrees.

Keep in mind that not all restaurants accept the Disney Dining Plan. It’s important to check when making your reservations to see if the restaurant does or does not accept the DDP.

The next thing to determine is whether or not the dining plan is worth it for your family. There is a site with a Disney Dining Calculator that is a great tool to use to help determine that for you. You simply enter your trip information, your dining preferences, and select your restaurants and the calculator does all of the work for you! It will give you an estimated cost using no dining plan plus cost and savings with each tier using the dining plan. It’s really easy and user friendly so if you are considering the DDP, I highly recommend this calculator. It can be found at http://www.distripplanner.com and is the best thing since sliced bread!

Have you ever used the dining plan? Share your experience in the comments!

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