Disney Dining Plans Guide at Walt Disney World

Disney Dining Plans Guide at Walt Disney World

Wondering if you should pay for your Disney food ahead of time on your next Disney Vacation? If you’re confused about the world of Disney Dining Plans and Disney Dining Plan Restaurant options you are not alone! There are a lot of things to remember and keep in mind. Table Service, Quick Service, Counter Service, ADRs, mobile ordering, oh my! And since some things need to be done before you arrive we’re gonna dive right in so you can see what may work for your family on your next Disney World trip. From Disney Dining Plan Cost to Disney Dining Plan Restaurants, we’ll cover everything you need to know.

skipper canteen steak at magic kingdom disney world

2024 Disney Dining Plan Update

Disney Dining Plans are Available for Disney World Vacation Arrival dates beginning January 9, 2024, or later. Guests are able to add a Disney Dining Package to their 2024 Disney Vacation Package upon checkout. 

When are Walt Disney World Dining Plans available at Walt Disney World?

For arrival dates beginning January 9, 2024 or later, Guests will be able to choose from two popular options: Packages that include either the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan or the Disney Dining Plan. Both plans will be a great value for families with young children with access to many spectacular food and beverage offerings across Walt Disney World.     

Disney Free Dining Plan Dates 2024

A FREE Dining Plan has arrived EXCLUSIVELY for Disney+ Plus subscribers. Starting Jan. 3, 2024, Disney+ subscribers can get a FREE dining plan when purchasing a non-discounted 4-night, 4-day Walt Disney Travel Company package that includes a room at a select Disney Resort hotel and theme park ticket with a Park Hopper option. This offer is valid for arrivals most nights July 1 through Sept. 30, 2024.Visit DisneyWorld.com/SpecialOffers beginning Jan. 3 for additional offer details!* Check out everything to know about the Disney Free Dining Plan 2024 Offer. 

Ronto Wraps at Star Wars Galaxy's Edge

What is the Disney Dining Plan at Walt Disney World?

Okay, so if you’ve ever been to Disney World you know they have tons of food options! There is no chance of going hungry. Whether you’re eating on the Disney Dining Plan (DDP) or frequenting the closest food cart, here is what you need to know about purchasing this pre-pad food option. 

Purchasing a Disney Dining Plan with your Disney Vacation Package 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. We calculate those below. 

What do you get on the Disney Dining Plan?

Both plans, the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan and the Disney Dining Plan provide everyone in the party (ages 3 and over) with a specific number of meals and snacks based on the number of nights of your Disney Resort stay. 

Potstickers atTambu Lounge Disney's Polynesian Resort

How do I get a Disney Dining Plan for my Disney World Trip?

The Disney Dining Plan is an optional Add-On that Disney Resort Guests can get by doing one of the following.

  • Purchase a Disney Vacation Package: You can purchase a Disney Vacation Package for arrival dates starting January 9, 2024, or later. Then simply add whichever Dining Plan you choose to your package before checkout. A Disney Vacation Package includes a room and tickets. 
  • Upgrade Your Disney Resort Package: For current vacations with arrivals starting January 9, 2024, or later, you can visit the “My Plans” section of your Disney account to change your reservation to one that includes a dining plan. Simply sign into your My Disney Experience account to make the change. 
  • IF you are a Disney Annual Passholders with a valid annual pass or a guest with Military Tickets, you can ADD the Disney Dining Plan ( DDP) to your room-only reservation by calling Disney at 407-WDW-MAGIC.
  • IF you have a Disney Vacation Club ( DVC) reservation you can ADD the Disney Dining Plan ( DDP) to your room-only reservation by calling Disney at 407-WDW-MAGIC.

Crystal Palace

Walt Disney World Dining Plan 2024

If you’re heading to Walt Disney World in 2024 and want to get a Walt Disney World food plan know that you only have two choices; the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan and the Disney Dining Plan. While this is a departure from previous years when there were 4 choices, these two choices cover the basic needs of a Disney meal plan. Offering up options for food from Table Service Restaurants, or Quick Service Restaurants. Let’s dive into the details. 

Kona Cafe Macadamia Pancakes with Pineapple

Disney Dining Plan Types

When purchasing your Disney Vacation Package, you’re given the option to add a “Dining Plan”. Here are the Walt Disney World dining plan details for the plan. We share these here because they break down the elusive world of Snacks( S), Quick Service Meals (QS), and Table Service Dining ( TS) dining experiences, which we talk more about later in the post. Here are the Disney Dining Plan Options available. 

Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan 

The Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan allows you the opportunity to dine at a variety of Disney Quick-Service Restaurants and purchase your meal with a dining credit. These are counter-service restaurants and are perfect for breakfast, lunch, or a casual dinner. Everyone in the party ages 3 and over receives the following PER NIGHT OF STAY.

  • 2 Quick-Service Meals (per night of stay)*
  • 1 Snack/Nonalcoholic Drink (per night of stay)
  • 1 Resort-Refillable Drink Mug

* A Quick Service Meal Includes

  • 1 Entrée
  • 1 Nonalcoholic Beverage (or Alcoholic Beverage, for Guests 21 and older)

Get all the details about the Quick Service Dining Plan. 

Disney Dining Plan 

The Disney Dining Plan offers everything that the Quick Service Dining Plan Offers PLUS a Table Service Meal. So, if you’re looking to have a nice dinner each day, or a special breakfast, then the Disney Dining Plan includes those more expensive dining experiences. Everyone in the party ages 3 and over receives the following PER NIGHT OF STAY.

  • 1 Quick-Service Meal (per night of stay)*
  • 1 Table-Service Meal (per night of stay)**
  • 1 Snack/Nonalcoholic Drink (per night of stay)
  • 1 Resort-Refillable Drink Mug

* A Quick Service Meal Includes

  • 1 Entrée
  • 1 Nonalcoholic Beverage (or Alcoholic Beverage, for Guests 21 and older)

** A Table  Service Meal Includes

  • 1 Entrée ( prix-fixe or non-prix-fixe) and Dessert, or Full Buffet, or Family Style Meal
  • 1 Nonalcoholic Beverage (or Alcoholic Beverage, for Guests 21 and older)

A single-serving alcoholic beverage includes items such as:

  • Beer or Cider
  • Wine or Sangria
  • Mixed Drinks and Specialty Cocktails

Get all the details about the Disney Dining Plan.

Tea and Lemonade Slushy at Golden Oak Outpost Magic Kingdom

What’s Included in the Disney Dining Plan?

  • Beverages are included with each meal. Guests under 21 years of age may choose from a variety of nonalcoholic beverages. Guests 21 and older with valid identification may substitute for beer, wine, and cocktails.
  • Meal and Snack Allotments, depending on the plan purchased, are loaded into your Disney Account starting with your first day of stay. 

What’s Not Included in the Disney Dining Plan?

  • Items that are more than a single serving (such as a box of doughnuts or a jar of peanut butter)
  • Items (such as popcorn or drinks) that are served in a souvenir container
  • Items considered to be merchandise (such as bottle toppers, glow cubes and bottle straps)
  • Special dining events offered at certain Table-Service locations

Carrot Cake Space 220 Disney Restaurant Best Dessert

Disney Dining Plan Credits 

What are Disney Dining Plan Credits? The Disney Dining Plan is an allotment dining plan that allows you to purchase 1 meal or snack with a dining credit specified for that purpose. Depending on which plan you use, you will have certain types of credits loaded on your Disney account. Allotted credits are loaded depending on the number of NIGHTS you stay. Note, that it is not days. This means you will not have any food allotments to use on your departure day

  • Snack/Nonalcoholic Drink: 1 Credit = 1 Snack OR Non-Alcoholic Drink
  • Quick-Service Meal: 1 Credit = 1 Quick Service Meal
  • Table Service Meal: 1 Credit = 1 Table Service Meal, EXCLUDING the restaurants below where 2 Credits = 1 Table Service Meal

We’ll also talk about how some of the restaurants are 2-credit restaurants. Typically reserved for signature dining experiences, when you’re working on a credit system, it’s important to know before you book. Read through the Disney Restaurants that are 2 Credits on the Dining Plan, so you can choose wisely. 

How Do You Use Your Disney Dining Plan Credits?

When dining, whether it’s at a restaurant, kiosk, or your resort commissary, simply scan your MagicBand, MagicMobile Wallet pass, or key to the world card to use a “credit”. You can keep tabs on your Disney Dining Plan Credits in your My Disney Experience App. Just go to the “My Plans” section, your resort and you should see your Dining Plan allotments left. 

polkadotsandpixiedust disney dining plan dessert

Which Disney Dining Plan Restaurants are 2 Dining Credits?

Some Disney Restaurants that take the Disney Dining Plan are pricey. As such, when getting a meal at certain restaurants, you will use 2-Dining Credits, instead of 1. Since this puts a dent in your Dining Credit Allotment, it helps to know which Disney Restaurants are 2-Dining Credits. They are typically Fine/Signature Dining experiences, select Character Dining experiences and Dinner Shows. Here’s the list. 

  • Be Our Guest (Magic Kingdom) 2 Credits DINNER ONLY
  • The BOATHOUSE ( Disney Springs)
  • 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)
  • Toledo ( Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort)
  • Topolino’s Terrace (Disney’s Riviera Resort) 2 Credits DINNER ONLY
  • Yachtsman Steakhouse (Yacht Club)

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disney appetizers magic kingdom

Disney Dining Plan Food

What Food Do You Get on the Disney Dining Plan?

On the Disney Dining Plan, you have access to foods at Disney Quick Service Restaurants ( Quick-Service Dining Plan, Disney Dining Plan), Table Service Restaurants ( Disney Dining Plan), Snacks and Beverages ( Quick-Service Dining Plan, Disney Dining Plan). Pretty much anything your heart desires, with the exception of high-priced alcohol or dessert packages.

Quick Service Meal

  • 1 Entrée
  • 1 Nonalcoholic Beverage (or Alcoholic Beverage, for Guests 21 and older)

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. 

Zebra Domes at Animal Kingdom Disney World

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. 

  • Frozen ice cream novelty, popsicle or fruit bar
  • 2 scoops of hand-scooped ice cream
  • Popcorn scoop (single-serving box)
  • Piece of whole fruit
  • Single-serve bag of snacks
  • 20-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola® products, including Dasani® water
  • 20-ounce fountain soft drink
  • Single-serve coffee, hot chocolate, hot tea, milk or juice
  • Cup of soup
  • Add on toppings or sauces (e.g. side of cheese dipping sauce)

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

Dole Whip Float Magic Kingdom Snacks

What Disney Snacks are good for Dining Plan Snack Credits?

When you see the DDP logo next to a snack, that means you can use a “snack” credit for it. If a snack is higher than $6 it’s typically a great value to use a credit for it. 

Beverages

As part of each plan, guests can get 1 Snack/Nonalcoholic Drink (per night of stay) or Alcoholic Beverage for Adults 21 and over. Here’s what each designation includes. 

Alcoholic Beverages
Guests 21 and older may choose either one nonalcoholic beverage or one-single serving mixed cocktail, beer or wine (where offered) as part of their meal. A single-serving alcoholic beverage includes items such as:

  • Beer or Cider
  • Wine or Sangria
  • Mixed Drinks and Specialty Cocktails

Nonalcoholic Beverages
Guests 10 years and older can choose one nonalcoholic beverage (including specialty beverages where offered) as part of their meal. A single-serving nonalcoholic beverage includes items such as:

  • Milkshakes
  • Fresh Smoothies
  • Premium Hot Chocolate
  • Soda, Coffee or Tea

Contempo Cafe Vegetable Pizza

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. 

Cirticos Lounge at Walt Disney World

Table Service (TS)

Table Service usually requires a reservation and some advanced planning. As they come in all shapes and sizes, you have a variety to choose from. From easy casual restaurants like Trattoria al Forno to something more extravagant like Toledo, the dining plan includes all Disney-owned Restaurants.  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's 50th Anniversary Refillable Mug

Disney Dining Plan Refillable Mug

 As part of both Disney dining plans guests receive a Resort Refillable Mug. Frankly, we love these things and use them often. These mugs allow you FREE REFILLS throughout your stay, up to 14 days, at Walt Disney World. And really, if you’ve ever paid the $4 for your daily commissary coffee, or soda fountain drinks, you can see how that can add up. We use it for all things. Morning coffee, afternoon tea, evening hot cocoa. So many options.  Resort-refillable mugs are eligible for refills from self-service beverage islands at any Disney Resort hotel Quick-Service location.

  • Disney Refillable Mug Size: 16 oz. 
  • Refillable Mug cost: $21.99 each plus tax
  • Able to be Refilled at ANY Disney Resort
  • Refillable for the length of stay UP TO 14 days
  • Includes refills on Coffee, Tea, Coca-Cola Soda Fountain Beverages, and Hot Chocolate.

D-Luxe Burger Disney Springs

Disney Dining Plan Cost

Okay, down to the nitty-gritty. How Much Does the Disney Dining Plan Cost? Let us be clear that this will be DIFFERENT for everyone depending on the length of stay. We don’t yet know if these approximate prices will change throughout the year, like variable ticket pricing, but it will give you a jumping-off point to do your own calculations. Plus, you can easily see the exact cost of the dining plan, by adding a vacation to your vacation cart on the Walt Disney World website and doing some math with and without the plan. Here are the estimated approx. cost of the dining plans. 

Disney World Quick Service Dining Plan

In addition to the lodging, and park tickets, the addition of the Quick Service Dining Plan came out as follows. 

  • Adult- $57 per person/ per night
  • Child ( 3-9)- $24 per person/ per night

What is the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan Cost Value?

So how much does it really cost? On the Quick Service Dining Plan, you do not have enough credits to have all your meals. So whether you get your own breakfast, which will be the cheapest to purchase on your own, or just bring breakfast snacks for your room, here’s the inherent value of the package. Remember beverages are included with each meal and this is per person, per night. TOTAL EST. VALUE: $56.99- 81.99 per person/ per night

  • 2 Quick-Service Meals (per night of stay) $15-25 x 2 
  • 1 Snack/Nonalcoholic Drink (per night of stay) $5-10 
  • 1 Resort-Refillable Drink Mug $21.99 plus tax

Dinner at Disney Toledo Restaurant

Disney World Dining Plan Cost Per Person

In addition to the lodging, and park tickets, the addition of the Disney Dining Plan came out as follows. 

  • Adult $95 per person/ per night
  • Child ( 3-9) $30 per person/ per night

What is the Disney Dining Plan Cost Value?

This higher-cost plan also omits one meal. The difference here is that with the Table-Service Credit, you can head to character meals and higher-priced restaurants to have your dinner covered. Given that some dinners get rather pricey it may be worth it to look at your restaurant choices ahead of time, to see if this plan makes sense for you. Note that the meals at the 2-Dining Credit Restaurants we talk about below, are rarely worth 2 dining credits. Remember beverages are included with each meal and this is per person, per night. TOTAL EST. VALUE: $66.99- 116.99 per person/ per night

  • 1 Quick-Service Meal (per night of stay) $15-25 
  • 1 Table-Service Meal (per night of stay) $25- $60
  • 1 Snack/Nonalcoholic Drink (per night of stay) $5-10 
  • 1 Resort-Refillable Drink Mug $21.99 plus tax

Is the Disney Dining Plan Worth the Cost?

As you can see it may or may not make budget sense to get the dining plan. On the other hand, unless you’re really focused on saving money on a Disney Vacation, complete with packed snacks and lunches, the costs come out to be somewhat the same. With each plan, you’d need to plan to spend at least another $15-20 per person/per day to cover the omitted meal. And don’t forget that you don’t get the dining plan credits on your last day either. 

France Strawberry rose Mimosa

How To Make the Most out of Your Disney Dining Plan Credits

If you’re looking to get the most value for your money on the Disney Dining Plan, consider that it’s simply about choosing the highest-priced items available to you at each restaurant. This is great if you’re a big seafood or steak lover. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, chances of you picking the cheaper pasta, quinoa, or salad on the menu were already pretty good, so the Disney Dining Plan may not be the most budget-conscious for you. Especially since you may have been already eating at the below-average cost. That said, it also makes sense if you drink sodas, or grab the one allotted alcoholic beverage along with your meal. A glass of wine is typically 8-10 dollars, so saving that is a bonus. 

Beirgarten REstaurnat at Walt Disney World EPCOT Park

Disney Dining Plan Benefits

What are the Benefits of the Disney Dining Plan? Is it actually worth it? Do you really get enough to pay for your food? Here is the lineup of benefits of the dining plans at Walt Disney World that we’ve come up with so far. 

Convenience

Prepaid snacks and meals, what a treat! The convenience and flexibility of the Disney Dining Plan are unparalleled. So much so, that we’ve been lamenting its loss these last few years and are so grateful to have it back. Why? Because being on the dining plan means that we’ve already paid for our food, and lamented about how expensive everything is. So, when we actually show up on vacation, we only need to scan our MagicBand+ at restaurants and snack carts and choose our favorite things to eat. No digging around for a gift card, or credit card. No calculating how much money is left in the budget for food today. Just show up, scan, and eat. Bliss. 

You Can Order the Expensive Stuff

When we add the Disney Dining Plan to our Disney Vacation Package, we always find ways to MAXIMIZE those Disney Snack Credits. At restaurants included in the Disney Dining Plan, you can order that Filet Mignon or the Lobster, or whatever and not feel bad about it, even if it is $50 a plate. This is the benefit of having a dining plan. Because in Real Life you may make a more sensible choice, like the butter chicken, but when you’re on the dining plan, your dining credits include all entrees, so you can just pick your favorite. Without worrying about the price. 

The same goes for Disney Snacks! Typically, you may just spring for the Popcorn, or any other Cheap Snacks at Disney World, but with the dining plan, you simply need to look for the DDP logo. And you can often find Disney Snacks up to $10 for your choosing. Hence, you can try the more expensive snacks without worry, since you just use a snack credit. 

Disney Dining Plan Meals and Snacks Roll Over Each Day Up until the Last Night of Your Trip

One of the biggest pros of the Disney World Dining Plan is that when you purchase a Disney Dining Plan, your account is loaded with those meals and snacks as credits you can use throughout your trip. As such, if you don’t use a quick service credit, table service credit, or snack credit, they simply roll over. Giving you the option to then use those the next day, or anytime throughout your stay. 

Families often use this perk as a way to “save”  a Disney Dining Plan Credit for a 2-credit restaurant like Cinderella’s Royal Table. Or stockpile snack credits to use at the Epcot Festivals, as many food kitchens accept the Disney Dining Plan ( DDP). 

Lightyear Lemonade at Space 220 Restaurant Disney World

Increases Your Happiness Levels

Oh yes, we’re absolutely making this claim! Buying a Disney Dining Plan as part of your Disney Vacation Package is often one of the BEST things families can do to make their Disney Vacation less stressful and more magical. Why? Because when you prepay for your Disney food, it’s “Included” in your Disney Vacation Package cost…which YOU’VE ALREADY PAID.

Sure, it may hike up your vacation cost a bit, but hear us out. This means the stress you felt around your Disney Budget, and how much you had to spend on this vacation already happened. It’s over. Done. As a result, when you show up at the restaurants at Walt Disney World for your 3 meals a day, you do not have to revisit the cost of your meals. This is such a godsend. Think about that. On a 7-day vacation that would be at least 21 times that you had to hand over a credit card. 21 times that your brain says “You already paid for this vacation…why do you have to keep paying for things? Gosh, this is expensive!”

It Sometimes Costs Less

Say you’re a family 4, taking a 7-day vacation at Walt Disney World. The Disney Food Budget typically runs at about $80-$100 per person/per day. So, about $400 dollars a day just to eat. That includes a $15 breakfast, a $10 snack, a $20 dollar lunch, and a $35 dollar dinner. And keep in mind that at these prices you’re really going only to quick service and the lowest-cost restaurants for dinner. Character meals are typically in the $45-$60 dollar range. That said, the dining plans don’t include all your meals, so there still will be some things you have to pay for out of pocket. 

Crystal Palace Dinner

Disney Dining Plan Cons

What about the Cons of the Disney World dining plans? Many would say, there are many. Yet, even these may or may not be a breaking point for you. While cost should be considered to see if you’re really getting your money’s worth, there are other considerations that may not make this a good fit for your vacation. 

Not All Your Meals are Included

Both offered Dining Plans currently have only TWO (2) of your daily meals covered for the cost, plus ONE (1) snack. This means, that even if you purchase a dining plan, you will still be responsible for that 3rd meal. That said, if you are a traveler who brings things like granola bars for breakfast, or yogurts, or protein shakes, then you’d be fine! Additionally, if you’re vacationing at a villa or Fort Wilderness Resort and Campgrounds, where you could easily make your own breakfast foods at the RV, or over the campfire, then you’re golden. 

Your Departure Day Doesn’t Include Any Meals

A big surprise for us, when we first started getting the Dining Plan was that the last day doesn’t include food. And since we like to really maximize our Disney Departure Day this was a shock to us. And a very stark “we’re going back to the real world now” kick in the pants. Not great. That said, if your departure day is literally a quick breakfast before you head to the airport, then that extra $15 per person at the resort commissary may not be a big deal. 

You Have to Use All Your Dining Credits Before Your Second to Last Day

Another Dining Plan Con we were surprised to experience is that you have to use ALL your dining credits the day you spend your last night at the resort. So, the second to last day of your vacation. While we would typically use the meal allotments there were some days where we wouldn’t have a snack, and then they’d be extra. Back in the olden days, we’d see people clearing out the resort gift shop packaged snack section to use their remaining credits. That said, with only 1 snack per day, which now includes the alternative of a non-alcoholic drink, you shouldn’t have any issue spending down the snack credits on either plan. 

Toledo Restaurant at Coronado Springs Walt disney World

Disney World Dining Plan Restaurants

Which Disney restaurants are included in the Disney Dining Plan? With more than 200 Disney Restaurant locations across Disney Parks, Resorts, and Disney Springs many are included in the Disney Dining Plan. Head to our page on Disney Restaurants Included in the Dining Plan at Walt Disney World for a breakdown of which restaurants are included and whether they’re 1 or 2 credits each. Plus, to make this easy on yourself you can simply FILTER the My Disney Experience App, or the Disney Restaurants Page on the website and select both dining plan boxes to see the list.

polkadotsandpixiedust.com art of animation dining

Disney Dining Reservations 

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, at 6 AM. 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. Check out all our Tips for Making Disney Dining Reservations for your best chance at getting great restaurants. 

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. All of this is best done online.

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.

best quick serve dining at contempo cafe at walt disney worlds contemporary resort

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, you may be charged if you cancel or don’t show up. 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. You can cancel reservations in the My Disney Experience App if you know far enough in advance.

Contempo Cafe Quick Service Disney Tofu Rice Bowl

Disney Dining Plan FAQ

How Do I Use the Dining Plan at Walt Disney World?

Once purchased and loaded into your Disney accounts, it’s easy! Simply choose where to eat throughout your vacation and let your server know you’re on the dining plan once you’re seated. They will then scan your MagicBand or MagicMobile Wallet and remove the appropriate number of dining plan credits from your account for the meal. 

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, and pick up your food when you’re done! Here’s our quick guide to Mobile Ordering and what restaurants are included!

Can you use the Disney Dining Plan for Mobile Orders?

Yes, you can use the Dining Plan when mobile ordering at Walt Disney World. Simply choose your meal items, and the app will allow you to assign the snack or quick service credit to the order. 

Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo

Do My Kids Have to Order from the Kid’s Menu on the Disney Dining Plan?

Yes. Guests age 3 to 9 must order from a children’s menu, where available.

Do Disney Dining Plan Credits Roll Over to the Next Day?

Yes! Disney Dining Plan Credits roll over until used, throughout your stay. See, the Dining Plans come with a certain number of meal and snack credits, based on the length of your stay. As such, Meals and snacks can be redeemed at any time during your stay. Unused meals and snacks will roll over day to day and expire at midnight on the day of checkout.

For example, if you book a 4-night package with a dining plan that includes one snack per day, each Guest (ages 3 and up) in your party would receive 4 snacks—which can be used at any time during your 4-night stay.

Do I need to buy the Disney Dining Plan for My Whole Trip?

Yes, the Disney Dining Plans are purchased for the entire stay and for the entire party (ages 3 and up), as part of your Disney Vacation Package. 

How Can I Keep Track of How Many Disney Dining Plan Credits I Have Left?

There are several ways to keep track of how many meals you have remaining on your dining Plan throughout your stay. As a reminder, unused meals and snacks will roll over day to day and expire at midnight on the day of checkout.

  1. View your remaining meals and snacks in the My Disney Experience app.
  2. Check your dining receipts. The remaining meals and snacks are printed on them.
  3. Ask your Resort Concierge or Guest Relations to obtain them at any time.

Harambe Market Animal Kingdom

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

Yes. You 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?

If your travel party changes, you must 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. Once a staple that was offered at Walt Disney World each fall, they most likely will never return. However, you can check out the Disney Dining Card Promo for something similar to help offset your Disney Food Budget. 

Topolino's Terrace Breakfast

Disney Dining Plan Alternatives

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! There are many ways to purchase food at Disney; here are a couple of other options if you’re leaning against the dining plan.  

Pay For Each Meal With Cash/Credit

We’ve also just paid for food at 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 at 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.

Pay for Your Disney Food with a Disney Gift Card

Frankly, we like using Disney Gift Cards every chance we get. Better still when we buy them at Target with our RedCard and get another %5 off the price fo the gift card. Yes, that’s our favorite. And one of the best ways to keep your dining budget in line is to load 1 gift card for each day with your food budget. So, if you’re planning the $80 per person per day and you’re traveling with 4 people, load $320 dollars on a Disney Gift Card for each day of your vacation to cover food costs. This is a lot like pre-paying and won’t be as stressful later when you get the credit card bill. 

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 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.

Be our Guest dinner, be our guest, magic kingdom restaurants, disney restaurants

Is the Disney Dining Plan Worth It?

The big question tends to be, is the Walt Disney World Dining Plan Worth it? And really, it depends on what you mean by worth it. Is it worth not having to think about money the entire vacation because your family eats three times a day? Yes. Is it cheaper than just paying for the food as go? Probably Not. What about the daily reminder that you’re spending more money? We’d like a vacation from that too.  So, for us, while the Disney Dining Plan may not actually be cheaper, it is a better way for us to try the pricier restaurants that we normally do, get more expensive food than we normally do, and feel good about money while we’re traveling. For us, offloading that mental drama while we’re on vacation is completely worth it. So, while we may not get the plan on a 4-day vacation… if it’s a longer vacation we’re buying it. 

Quick Guide to Disney World Dining Plans Wrap-Up

As always be on the lookout for Disney promotions on how to get a Disney dining plan for free.  And even the most recent Disney Dining Card Promo Offer has some savings that could benefit you on your next trip.

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

Co-Founder and Director at Polka Dot Pixie Co LLC | Website | + posts

Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.


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