Is the Disney Dining plan worth it?
Is the Disney Dining plan worth it?
This is a question I get asked almost every time I plan someone's Disney Vacation. Let's start by breaking down what the different Disney Dining plans include, the cost of each plan, and why I think the Disney Dining plan is a good choice for your vacation.
The Disney Dining plans are a prepaid dining plan offered by Disney to allow guests to budget meals into their vacation packages. The Disney Dining plans are only available to those staying on Disney Property. There are three different Disney Dining plans you can choose from; Disney Quick Service Dining Plan, Disney Dining Plan, and the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan.
The Disney Quick Service Dining Plan is designed as an on the go meal plan that makes it easy for guests to grab a meal quickly. Included in this meal plan (for everyone over the age of three) is 2 quick service meals, 2 snacks or non-alcoholic drinks and a resort refillable drink mug.You get this based on how many nights you are staying. The quick service meals include 1 entree, and 1 non-alcoholic drink for those under 21, or an alcoholic drink for those over the age of 21. The non-alcoholic drinks could include: Artisanal milkshakes, fresh smoothies, premium hot chocolate, soda, coffee or tea. The alcoholic drinks included are: beer or cider, wine or sangria, mixed drinks and specialty cocktails. There is a vast variety of snacks that can be chosen and they are marked by a Disney Dining Plan sign as a snack. The cost for this dining plan is $55 for ages 10+ and $26 for ages 3-9. You can see the snack sign on the two pictures below. ( A small tip: sometimes the snack sign isn't there but can still be used. It never hurts to ask.)
The Disney Dining plan gives you the option to have an on the go meal and a sit down meal at over 50 table service restaurants. Included in the Disney Dining plan (for everyone over the age of three) is 1 quick service meal, 1 table service meal, 2 snacks, and a resort refillable drink mug. The quick service meal is the same as the quick service meal in the Disney quick service dining plan. The table service meals include 1 entrée, 1 dessert, nonalcoholic beverage (or alcoholic beverage, for guests 21 and older) or
1 full buffet or family-style meal. If you book this meal plan it is highly recommended that you make a dining reservation and these can be made 180 days before check in date. Gratuities are the only thing not included and have to be paid at the end of the meal. The cost of the Disney Dining plan is $78 for adults and $30 for kids.
The Signature Dining Plan gives you the option of meals on the go or sit down meals, whichever best fits your plans and family. The Signature Dining plan has 3 meals per day, 2 snacks, and a resort refillable drink mug. The quick service meals include 1 entree, and 1 non-alcoholic drink for those under 21 or an alcoholic drink for those over the age of 21.The table service meals include 1 entrée,1 dessert, nonalcoholic beverage (or alcoholic beverage, for guests 21 and older) or 1 full buffet or family-style meal. This dining plan allows you the ability to eat at one of the dozen signature restaurants without giving up all your dining credits for the day. There are currently more than a dozen signature restaurants at Disney that use 2 dining credits for one meal. Examples of this are: Cinderellas Royal Table, California Grill, and Le Cellier just to name a few. The cost of the signature dining plan is $119 for adults and $47.50 for kids.
Your magic band monitors your meals and at the bottom of your receipt you can view the amount of total meals left for your party. You can also track this on the app. Your snacks and meals can be used at any time during your stay until midnight the night you check out.
I recommend buying the Disney Dining plan for your trip because lets face if you will eat while at Disney. I personally love having to not think about the cost of each meal and having it already paid for. It allows you to have no pressure about what you want to order while there. You won't bat an eye at saying yes to a snack when your daughter or son asks for it because it is included. Popcorn...sure....Ice cream cone...why not. This is all included.
Here is an example of a recent day, what my family ate, and what the cost would have been had we not had the Disney Dining plan.
Giant Donut Joeffrey's $4.99
Double scooped Ice Cream Cone $6.99
Trio Platter at Columbia Harbour House $13.99
Artist Point Storybook Dining - $59.00
Enchanted Apple Cocktail $14.00
This day would have cost me $98.97 plus tax but I only paid $78 with the Disney Dining Plan. I call this a win!!! ( I also call this funnel cake a win since it counts as a snack credit)