A Guide to Dining at Disney

Disney isn’t just known for their award winning theme parks and characters. They also have some of the best restaurants in Florida. So if your staying at Disney for a few days and are interested in trying some of these restaurants, I would highly recommend purchasing a Disney Dining Plan.

Now you may be wondering, what is a Disney Dining Plan and how much do I have to pay for it? Keep reading to learn more about these awesome packages.

When purchasing your vacation package, Disney has three options to choose from for your dinner package, the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan, the Disney Dining Plan and the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan. Besides the cost difference, these also differ in what you are receiving. Before I explain the packages, let me explain the different types of dining experiences available at Walt Disney World Resort.

Snack Credit:

Snack Dining Plan

Mickey Brownie from Gasparilla Island Grill, A Snack Credit

Just like it sounds, a snack credit is good for smaller items usually priced under $10. This can include water bottles, funnel cakes, french fries, churros, dole whips, ice cream sandwiches, packaged snacks like cookies and brownies. You can get these anywhere on Disney property including parks and resorts.

Quick Service Credit:

Fish & Chips Quick Service

Fish & Chips from Yorkshire County Fish Shop, A Quick Service Meal

A quick service meal is essentially a fast-food type option, without being typical fast-food meals. Someone doesn’t take your order but instead you either go to a counter or kiosk, place your order and pick it up at the counter. Once again, there are tons of these options around the parks and resorts. Most resorts on property feature a quick service option.

Table Service Credit:

Table Service

Pulled Pork Platter & Donuts from Homecomin’, A Table Service Meal

A table service meal is a sit down meal or buffet. There are 4 categories of table service meals.

  • Table Service– A table service meal is a typical sit down meal or buffet.
  • Character Dining– Character Dining falls under a table service meal. Here you either have a buffet or table service where characters walk around while you eat. Most character dining experiences require more credits to be redeemed on a dining package, but check to be sure before booking.
  • Dinner Shows– There are three dinner shows on Disney property. Two of which are at the Fort Wilderness Lodge and the other at the Polynesian Resort. These are all you care to enjoy feasts that often require additional credits to be redeemed on a dining plan.
  • Signature Dining– Signature dining locations are the creme de la creme of restaurants at the Walt Disney World Resorts. These always require additional credits on a dining plan and are located in the parks and resorts.

Now that you’ve seen the type of dining options available, let’s discuss the dining plans available.

For those guests staying on Disney property, you can choose to add one of three dining packages onto your vacation. They are listed in ascending price order. My go-to plan is the second one since it allows a little of each plan. Prices do vary based on the season you are going, the number of nights and the amount of people in your room.

Disney Quick Service Dining Plan:

Yorkshire County Quick Service

An Example of a Quick Service Restaurant, Yorkshire County Fish Shop at Epcot

The first type of Dining Plan is Disney’s Quick Service Dining Plan. With this plan you will receive 2 quick service meals and 2 snacks for each guest on each day of your stay. In addition, you are eligible for a refillable resort mug which can be used at any Disney Resort Quick Service location. Your 2 quick service meals come with an alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage (depending on age and preference). In 2018, this plan starts at $52.50 for an adult and $21.74 for a child, per day.

Disney Dining Plan:

Table Service

An example of a Table Service Restaurant, Les Chefs de France at Epcot

Next up is the Disney Dining Plan. With the Disney Dining Plan, you will receive 1 quick service meal, 1 table service meal and 2 snacks for each guest on each day of your stay. As you did with the Quick Service plan, you will receive that refillable mug and the alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages. In 2018, this plan starts at $75.49 for an adult and $25.75 for a child, per day.

Disney Deluxe Dining Plan:

With the Deluxe Dining Plan, you receive any 3 types of meals per person per day. You can do 3 table service meals, 3 quick service meals or customized mixture of them. You also receive the mug and the drinks. In 2018, this plan starts at $116.25 for an adult and $39.99 for a child, per day.

Dining Plan Tips:

Here are a few tips to make the most out of whichever dining plan you choose.

  • Think about what you eat in a day. Some people only have quick meals and aren’t interested in sitting down and being served for a meal, while some people want to be served for all three meals. This is important to consider as it can effect which dining plan you should choose. Also, it’s important to think about what you eat and if that pricing will match up to how much it costs for you to pay for the plan.
  • Think about how much the plan costs. Essentially purchasing a Disney Dining plan requires you to lay out money for food ahead of time. This is completely optional. If you aren’t interested in laying the money out with your package, then I would not recommend a package.
  • Think about your flexibility. Since table service restaurants require you to make reservations to ensure there is a spot for you, you have to plan where you will be months in advance sometimes. If you don’t want to be locked down by having to be a certain place at a certain time, then the dining plan may not be for you.

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