There are far too many preconceived notions, rumors and misinformation circulating the web regarding the elusive and not terribly intuitive dining plan at Walt Disney World. I am going to try to make it a simple to understand as possible.
What is the Disney Dining Plan?
Guests staying at any onsite, Walt Disney World resort hotel can pre-purchase dining credits that can be used at over 140 restaurants throughout Walt Disney World. You are paying for an allotment of meals prior to your vacation.
Who is eligible to purchase a Walt Disney World Dining plan?
Guests, 3 years old or older, staying at an onsite Walt Disney World resort is eligible to purchase a dining plan.
What are the different dining plan options and inclusions?
There are 3 dining plan options, and depending on which dining plan option the guests choose, everyone in the party, ages 3 years and older, will receive the following for each night of their stay at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel:
How does the Walt Disney World Dining Plan work?
This is where it gets tricky. Each eligible guest under the reservation gets the number of credits PER NIGHT OF THE RESERVATION at the Walt Disney World resort for the designated dining plan.
For example, if a family has a reservation at POP Century for 4 nights (Check in: Feb. 4; Check out: Feb. 8) with the Disney Dining Plan (standard), each guest over the age of 3 years old will be able to use the following allotment of credits from check-in (Feb 4) until midnight of the day they check out (Feb 8):
4 table-service meal credits
4 quick-service meal credits
1 refillable drink mug to be used at WDW resorts
You can use these credits however you wish, all at once or spread throughout the vacation.
The Cast Member taking your order will typically ask if you will be using a dining plan. When it is time to pay, you will tap your Magic Band, and the entitlement needed for that dining experience will be subtracted from your reservation's allotment of credits. When a tip is customary, you can charge it to your reservation through your Magic Band, or you can leave cash or charge to a credit card. Your receipts keep a tally of your meal credits.
How many credits are dining experiences?
Quick service locations are all 1-credit each. Most table-service locations are also 1-credit each, but “signature restaurants” and dinner shows are 2-credits. Some of these include Cinderella’s Royal Table, Hoop-de-doo Musical Review, Tiffins among others.
Do I still need to make reservations if I have purchased a dining plan?
YES! Reservations are HIGHLY recommended for all table service restaurants, but you cannot make reservations for quick service locations, for the exception of Be Our Guest quick service breakfast and lunch.
As a dining plan holder, you do NOT get any preferential seating at table service restaurants either. The reservation window for table service dining opens 180 days (roughly 6 months) prior to your day of arrival, and on the 180 day mark, guests staying at a Walt Disney World resort hotel can make reservations for dining 10 days from the arrival date. (180 days + 10)
Is alcohol included in the dining plan?
New for 2018!! I’m so happy to announce that YES, alcohol is now included!! A single serving alcohol beverage can be selected with a quick service or table service meal. This includes beer, cider, wine, mixed drinks or specialty cocktails. Note that not all establishments carry alcoholic beverages.
Do you have any further questions? Don’t hesitate to ask!!! Email me at email@example.com!
Click HERE to earn a $200 gift card when you spend $500 in the first 3 months of opening a Disney Rewards Visa account!