Disney Dining Plans A Quick Guide

Disney Dining Plans A Quick Guide

If you’re confused about the world of the Disney Dining Plans and Disney Restaurant Options you are not alone! There are a lot of things to remember and keep in mind. Table Service, Quick Service, Counter Service, ADR’s, mobile ordering, oh my! And since some things need to be done before you arrive we’re gonna dive right in. Know that everyone will have a different idea of what is good and bad about what we’re about to share. So here it goes.

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Disney Dining Plan Options

Okay, so if you’ve ever been to Disney you know they have tons of food options! There is no chance of going hungry. Whether you’re eating on the Disney Dining Plan or frequenting the closest food cart, here is what you need to know. Purchasing a Disney dining plan with your tickets means you will have PREPAID for all the food you plan to eat on vacation. Or if you choose not to go with a plan, you will be paying for meals as you go for everyone in your party, throughout your vacation. Here are the Disney Dining Plan Options available. 

Disney Dining Plans

When purchasing your Disney Magic Your Way Package, you’re given an option to add a “Dining Plan”. Here are the dining plan details for each price level. We share these here because they breakdown the elusive world of Snacks( S), Quick Service Meals (QS), and Table Service Dining ( TS) dining experiences. And as always be on the lookout for Disney promotions on how to get a Disney dining plan for free. 

Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan 

The Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan will allow you a refillable drink mug for use at the resorts, 2 quick service meals, and 2 snacks per person. Details about the Quick Service Dining Plan. 

Disney Dining Plan 

The Disney Dining Plan also allows you a refillable drink mug for use at the resorts, 1 quick service meal, 1 table service meal which includes dessert, and 2 snacks per person. Details about the Disney Dining Plan.

Disney Dining Plan Plus *NEW*

The newest dining plan at Disney allows you a refillable drink mug for use at the resorts, 2 Meals – Any combination of Table-Service and Quick-Service (per night of stay) 2 Snacks/Nonalcoholic Drinks (per night of stay) Details about the Disney Dining Plan Plus.

Disney Deluxe Dining Plan

The most expensive Dining Plan at Disney allows you 3 meals, 2 snacks, and again, the refillable mug. Honestly, this is A LOT of food but if you have a big appetite or are just used to larger portion sizes, then this may be a good deal for you. Details about the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan.

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Types of Food included on the Disney Dining Plans

Snacks (S)

If you’re not thrilled about using your theme park time at a restaurant or at anything that requires more than 30 minutes without rides the Disney Snack carts littered throughout every park are a good option. And they do offer real food. You could grab Egg Rolls in Epcot, a Turkey Leg in Magic Kingdom,  Fried Rice at Animal Kingdom, and Crab Cakes at Hollywood Studios. Generally, a snack credit is about 5 dollars, so grabbing any snack above that cost, is a deal. Check out our Best Non-Dessert Snacks at Walt Disney World for good food options. 

And if you’re looking for where to find snacks all across Walt Disney World check out the snacks we love at each Disney Park.

What Food is on the Disney Snack Credit List?

Some Disney Snacks, including those found at the festival booths during EPCOT festivals, can often be purchased with a snack credit. If you have a Disney dining plan just keep an eye out for the DDP ( Disney Dining Plan) logo next to snacks on menus and kiosk signs. 

Quick Service (QS)

Otherwise known as Counter Service, Quick Service is set up like your basic fast food joint. Wait in line, order from a menu hanging over the counter, and get your food without waiting too long. You can also Mobile-Order at Disney from these restaurants. We’ve pulled together The Best Disney World Quick Service Restaurants list so that you can make sure your Quick Service Meal at Walt Disney World doesn’t taste like theme park food. A Disney Quick Service credit is usually about 19 dollars, so being able to get food at a higher cost than that ( like at Be Our Guest) makes it a good deal. 

Table Service (TS)

Table Service usually requires a reservation and some advanced planning. A table service reservation requires that everyone in your party be present at the time of your reservation, and it also requires you to cancel at least 24 hours ahead of time if you change your mind. In many cases, you can cancel the day of your reservation, but be aware that you will likely have to call to cancel and you may or may not have a penalty for canceling. We have never incurred a penalty, but we need to state it since it’s technically in Disney’s policies. Check out all our Disney Restaurant Reviews for our favorite Disney Restaurants so far. A Disney Table Service credit is about $42 dollars, so any meals that cost more than that, like steak, are a bargain on the Dining Plan. 

Disney Restaurants that are 2 Dining Credits on the Disney Dining Plan

  • Be Our Guest (Magic Kingdom) 2 Credits DINNER ONLY
  • The BOATHOUSE ( Disney Springs)
  • California Grill (Disney’s Contemporary Resort)
  • Cinderella’s Royal Table (Magic Kingdom)
  • Citricos (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort)
  • Flying Fish (Disney’s Boardwalk)
  • Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue ( Fort Wilderness Resort and Campgrounds)
  • Jaleo (Disney Springs)
  • Jiko – The Cooking Place (Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge)
  • Le Cellier (Epcot
  • Monsieur Paul (Epcot)
  • Morimoto Asia (Disney Springs) 2 Credits DINNER ONLY
  • Jaleo (Disney Springs)
  • Narcoossee’s (Disney’s Grand Floridian)
  • Paddlefish (Disney Springs)
  • Spirit of Aloha ( The Polynesian Resort and Villas)
  • STK Orlando (Disney Springs)
  • The Hollywood Brown Derby (Hollywood Studios)
  • Tiffins Restaurant (Animal Kingdom)
  • Topolino’s Terrace (Disney’s Riviera Resort) 2 Credits DINNER ONLY
  • Yachtsman Steakhouse (Yacht Club)

Disney Dining Packages at EPCOT Festivals that are 2 Dining Credits

These specialty dining packages get you a front-row seat to the main event at the Festival and a special dinner experience. If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, these will cost you two credits each. 

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Advanced Dining Reservations Disney Timeline

How early can Disney Resort Guests Make Dining Reservations?

If you’re staying at a Disney Resort you can make dining reservations 60 days in advance of your first day of arrival. You can make up to 10 dining reservations on that day. It’s best to do this online, that way you can keep track of your itinerary right in the Disney My Experience App. And make sure you’re in the right park with the right restaurant each day of your vacation.

When Can Off-Site Guests Make Dining Reservations?

If you’re staying Off-Site at Walt Disney World, you can make dining reservations 60 days in advance of your first day of arrival, but only one reservation at a time. So at your 60-day mark you can call and make 1 reservation for 1 restaurant. The next day you can make the next reservation for the next day’s restaurant. Again all of this is best done online unless you really love the phone.

Note: You can make a Disney dining reservation at any time within the 60-day window before your dining experience. Just know that Disney restaurants fill up quickly with not only vacationers but also pass holders, visiting high schools and Florida residents. Reserve early.

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Canceling Disney Dining Reservations

Yes, you can cancel your dining reservations. But be aware that since you need a credit card to make your Disney Dining reservation that if you cancel or don’t show up, you may be charged. Some restaurants require more notice than others and cancellation fees vary. If you don’t think you’re gonna make it, just call the WDW Dining line at (407) 939-3463. If you know far enough in advance you can also cancel reservations in the My Disney Experience App.

Disney Dining Plan FAQ

Mobile Ordering at Walt Disney World

Ahhhh mobile ordering! Where have you been all of our Disney-loving lives?! Not all Disney quick-service restaurants have this feature available, however, if you open up your My Disney Experience app and click on the restaurant, it will show you if Mobile Order is available. It’s super helpful and takes away those long wait times for busy meal periods. Order while you’re in line for a ride, pick up your food when you’re done! Here’s our quick guide to Mobile Ordering and what restaurants are included!

Do I need a Park Ticket to Dine at Restaurants in Disney?

You will need a Disney Park ticket if the restaurant is located in one of the Disney parks. You can however dine at any Disney Resort Restaurant without park tickets.

What if the number of people in our travel party changes?

You will need to call and adjust your reservation or modify the reservation in your app. Disney does have a pretty strict rule that they cannot seat you until everyone in your party arrives at the restaurant. So if a rogue family member decides to spend dinner at flying dumbo you could be up a creek! You won’t get charged no-show fees, but you may not get seated or may have to wait until an appropriately sized table for your new party number is available.

Do I have to make reservations to eat at Disney Restaurants?

No! Disney has many many Quick Service Restaurants and those are always available without reservations or advanced planning. If you’d like to eat at a Table Service Restaurant we highly recommend getting reservations! Even if you’re just taking a last-minute trip to Disney, it doesn’t hurt to check which restaurants have availability in the App. You might get lucky! If not you can always head to some of the better Quick Service Restaurants to eat.

What About Disney Free Dining?

We love the free dining offers. But…it’s not for everyone. Some don’t think the cost is validated and others can’t live without it. Decide for yourself! Check out our take on the Free Disney Dining Plan Promotions.

Topolino's Terrace Breakfast

What’s the Best Way to Pay for Food At Disney?

So, this will be a different answer for everyone. For us, we’ve tried multiple dining options and have opinions to share! You will surely feel the bias here, but know we’re just giving it to you straight!

Disney Dining Plans

You pre-pay for the Disney Dining Plans with your vacation package. As a result, it feels slightly better than forking over hundreds of dollars at each meal.  A favorite option is to take advantage of the Free Disney Dining Plan. Then upgrade to the second tier plan which gets us a quick service and table service for lunch and dinner each day. Then we just pack little breakfast bars or buy yogurt with cash for breakfast. We of course also get 1 snack each day on that plan so could also find a snack to have for breakfast if needed. But then we do like our snacks, so we usually save those for treats. This choice is one that we like best for peace of mind. We know what we’ve paid, can eat what we want, and won’t face a high credit card bill when we get home.

Pay For Each Meal With Cash/Credit

We’ve also just paid for food in the moment while combining table service and counter service meals throughout our vacation. But we have to say the illusion of free food or even pre-paid vacation food is much better than paying for things in the moment. When you’re at the table after an amazing meal and get that check for 300 dollars you start feeling bad about a lot of things… which shouldn’t be part of your vacation. 

Now, if you’re traveling with a smaller group or don’t really eat much this cash option could be your best choice. Especially if you’re good at self-restraint, won’t buy every amazing food item you see, and can keep yourself on a Disney Dining budget. We’d recommend buying Disney gift cards to help keep dining costs in check. 

Add your Credit Card to Your MagicBand or MagicMobile Wallet

Another option is to add a credit card to your magicband or MagicMobile Wallet. While convenient, this is another one we wouldn’t recommend. The illusion of food is included in your vacation is real because you just charge it to the magicband, but instead of having that 300 dollar let down from one meal you now have a full vacation’s worth of charges, you’ll have to reconcile when you check out of your resort. Not great. And may have you second-guessing the magic of the Disney Vacation.

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Quick Guide to Disney Dining Plans Wrap Up

So that’s it! Our quick guide to Disney Dining Plan options. Remember, your Disney experience will be full of many surprises and hopefully lots of fun. Things like where to eat lunch or dinner, or how to pay for them shouldn’t consume your day. Make these decisions in advance and you’ll be able to enjoy your trip so much more because when lunchtime rolls around… all you’ll have to do is show up! 🙂

The Disney Dining Plans sometimes make sense and sometimes don't. Here's everything you need to know about the 3 levels of the Disney Dining Plans. #polkadotpixies #disneydining #disneyfood #disneytips



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