The Disney Dining Plan Explained | Walt Disney World Resort

 

There is a lot of information needed to understand the Disney Dining Plan (DDP) and many questions associated with it.  The DDP is not for everyone, but does fit the majority of peoples travel styles.  It can be extremely convenient or a  considerable waste of money if not utilized properly.  So let’s make sure you are making the best decisions possible!

What is the Disney Dining Plan?

Simply put, this is a prepaid service during your stay at Walt Disney World Resort.  You pay per person, per night in your traveling party up front and it negates some expenses for food.  There are 3 options to choose from:

  • Disney’s Quick Service Dining Plan: 2 Quick Service and 2 Snacks Per Person Per day of your stay
  • Disney’s Standard Dining Plan: 1 Table Service, 1 Quick Service, and 2 Snacks Per Person Per Day of your stay
  • Disney’s Deluxe Dining Plan: 3 Table Service meals and 2 Snacks per person per day of your stay

All three have different benefits and should be used differently.

So what is a Quick Service and Table Service restaurant?

A quick service or counter service restaurant is similar to a food court or fast-food restaurant. The quality of food is much better than a McDonalds, but there are no reservations, you order your food at a counter, pick it up at the counter, and find a seat in the dining area.  Many of these features personal pizzas, hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken fingers, fries, and other similar “fast-food” options; however, there are some unique options at some Quick Service locations. These are great for families looking to fully maximize their time in the parks with little to no breaks during the day.  Pricing is typically $15 and under per person depending on the food ordered.  It typically does not include a fountain beverage with the meal, this will be an additional charge.

A Table Service Restaurant is your typical sit down restaurant where you order at your seat from a menu and a server takes care of you from drinks to the food.  These restaurants features a wide array of food selections from almost every culinary location around the world.  These dinners typically range anywhere from $20 to upwards of $60 or more person not including a fountain drink.  These restaurants range from casual dining to signature and fine dining.

Disney Quick Service Dining Plan

As mentioned above this is really for families looking to have a run through the parks with minimal down time in order to experience everything the park has to offer.

Adults (10+) $52.50 and Children (ages 3-9) $21.74 per day per person

2 Quick-Service Meals One entrée and one beverage

OR one complete combo meal

2 Snacks Choose from:

  • Frozen ice-cream novelty, popsicle or fruit bar
  • Box of popcorn
  • Single piece of whole fruit
  • Medium fountain soft drink or juice
Resort Refillable Drink Mug One per person, per package

You will be able to eat at two Quick Service restaurants a day, and unused credits for that day will roll over to the next if not used.

At any quick service or snack stand, look for this icon.  This will help you determine if you can use a snack option for smaller items!

DDP

Disney Dining Plan

This plan is allows families to take a break throughout the day and typically allows for a quick service for lunch and table service for dinner, but can be used however you please.  We typically would pay cash for breakfast and spilt a bounty platter at the food court at our resort.

Adults (10+) $75.49 and Children (ages 3-9) $25.75 per day per person

1 Table-Service Meal One entrée, one dessert and one beverage

OR one full buffet

1 Quick-Service Meal One entrée and one beverage

OR one complete combo meal

2 Snacks Choose from:

  • Frozen ice-cream novelty, popsicle or fruit bar
  • Box of popcorn
  • Single piece of whole fruit
  • Medium fountain soft drink or juice
Resort Refillable Drink Mug One per person, per package

Disney Deluxe Dining Plan

Okay, here is where many families loose a lot of money if not planning properly. This is the most expensive meal plan.  It is specifically designed for table service restaurants and families looking to take their time through the parks.  We highly discourage the use of quick service meals with this option for you will typically not get your money’s worth during your vacation.  This is a great option for those looking to do expensive character dining experiences, like Chef Mickey’s, The Crystal Palace, and many others.  Most table service meals will be one credit per person; however, some require two table service credits per person.  For example, Chef Mickeys for breakfast (1 Credit), Be Our Guest for lunch (1 Credit), and Cinderella’s Royal Table for dinner (2 Credits) then you would have to pay cash for either breakfast or lunch. This is because you get only 3 credits per person for each day. I also must mention this is a lot of food…A LOT.  If you are considering this option please make reservations 180 days in advance of your resort stay in order to fully maximize the cost of this service.

Adults (10+) $116.25 and Children (ages 3-9) $39.99 per day per person

3 Meals
ANY combination of Quick-Service and/or Table-Service Restaurants
Each Table-Service meal includes:
One appetizer, one entrée, one dessert and one beverage
OR one full buffetEach Quick-Service meal includes:
One entree and one beverage
OR one complete combo meal
2 Snacks Choose from:

  • Frozen ice-cream novelty, popsicle or fruit bar
  • Box of popcorn
  • Single piece of whole fruit
  • Medium fountain soft drink or juice
Resort Refillable Drink Mug One per person, per package

Is it Worth the Price?

This really depends on how you and your family travel.  One of these Disney Dining Plans could be perfect for you and your family and help you save a lot of money if you plan accordingly.  If you’re big eaters and are looking to take it slow while seeing some characters, then the Deluxe Dining Plan may be right for you, but if your looking to take minimal breaks and eat on the run, then you may want to consider the Quick Service option.

Let us know what you think? Do you use a dining plan?  If you have question please email me at joshrippey@goldgellgetaways.com

 

Author: Josh Rippey

Josh has been to Walt Disney World numerous times and also visits the surrounding theme parks and other natural wonders of Florida. He loves to share his experiences with the readers and receive their feedback. He also books vacations through Goldgell Getaways. Email him for a quote at joshrippey@goldgellgetaways.com. Follow him on Instagram @rippeyjosh; Twitter @Josh_Rippey; and over on Facebook!

Josh Rippey

Josh has been to Walt Disney World numerous times and also visits the surrounding theme parks and other natural wonders of Florida. He loves to share his experiences with the readers and receive their feedback. He also books vacations through Goldgell Getaways. Email him for a quote at joshrippey@goldgellgetaways.com. Follow him on Instagram @rippeyjosh; Twitter @Josh_Rippey; and over on Facebook!