Disney Dining is a magical part of any Walt Disney World vacation. You have to eat on vacation, right?
And with character dining, unique dinner shows, even fantastic Quick Service options, the question of the Disney Dining Plan being worth it is asked by SO many guests planning their Disney trips.
While there are so many factors in determining if you want to add the Disney Dining Plan to your Walt Disney World vacation package, it’s helpful to know the pros and cons, so your family can decide if the Disney Dining Plan is right for you.
Disney Dining Plans – 3 Options to Choose From
Before we dive into the pros and cons of the Disney Dining Plan, I want to give you a brief overview of the options.
*NOTE : All 3 plans come with a refillable mug that you can use at any of the Disney resorts for juice, soda, water etc.
Disney’s Quick Service Dining Plan
This allows each guest age 3 and over two quick service meals (think food court, cafeteria style meals) and two snacks based on your nights of stay. To get the most out of this plan, you want to be the family who eats on the go, and may only want to book one or two sit down meals and pay for those out of pocket.
The Quick Service Dining Plan is $52.50 per night for adults and $23.78 per night for kids (3 to 9 years old).
Disney Dining Plan
Also known as the Regular Disney Dining Plan, this allows each guest age 3 and over one quick service meal, one table service meal, and two snacks based on your nights of stay. To get the most out of this plan, you want to plan one sit down meal a day, and fill in the rest of your meals with quick service and snacks.
The Regular Disney Dining Plan costs $75.49 per night for adults and $27.98 per night for kids (3 to 9 years old).
Disney Deluxe Dining Plan
This allows each guest age 3 and over three meals and two snacks based on your nights of stay. You can use your meal credits for both quick and table service meals, as the plan does not dictate which meal type you are allowed.
To get the best use out of this plan, you want to book a few dinner shows or 2 Table Service Credit experiences, and eat more table service than quick service meals during your stay.
The Disney Deluxe Dining Plan costs $116.25 for adults and $43.49 for kids (3 to 9 years old) per night.
Is a Disney Dining Plan Right for Your Family?
YES, a Disney Dining Plan is right for your family if….
1. You like the feeling of an all inclusive vacation
A huge factor of adding a Disney dining plan is that all your meals and snacks are paid for before you even arrive at Walt Disney World.
When you arrive, all you have to do is scan your MagicBand to redeem your credits and you are on your way!
You do need to pay for gratuity at your table service meals, but otherwise there is no need to pull out your credit card and make a payment after you have eaten.
2. You want to save money on your dining experiences
With a Disney dining plan, your options are WIDE open. You don’t have to crunch numbers or order the least expensive item on the menu when you are dining because you spent money on a snack earlier that day.
If you are at Columbia Harbour House at Magic Kingdom and you really want a $14.99 Lobster Roll versus a $8.99 Harbour Salad, you can have the Lobster Roll on the dining plan because they both are a meal credit…so they are equal in terms of the meal plan.
3. Your family likes to try new foods and unique dining experiences
With so many fantastic food offerings at Walt Disney World, you can easily find a location for both adventurous and tame eaters in your family.
There are over 140 restaurants to choose from at Walt Disney World, and you can enjoy unique offerings from escargot to strawberry soup when you have a Disney dining plan.
4. You enjoy the flexibility of eating at many Disney locations
Your Disney dining plan entitlements can be used all of Disney property. You can use them at Disney Springs, the resorts (even if you aren’t staying at them), and in the parks.
NO, a Disney Dining Plan is not right for your family if….
1. Your family wants a 100% flexible and free spirited vacation
I always encourage you to have an idea of how you want to spend your time at Walt Disney World, as poor planning can make for a stressful trip. When you have a meal plan, you may be worried about using your meal and snack credits effectively, or using them all before you check out.
If you get to the end of your trip and you have Quick Service meals left, you can redeem one quick service meal for 3 snack items before you leave for home…so don’t leave food behind at Disney!
2. You want to experience dessert parties, fireworks cruises, or other special experiences in the parks
These options cost money as well, and are not included on your meal plan. If your family enjoys these extra experiences, and want to spend your money on those, then the meal plan may not be a good option for you.
3. Your family will be too busy to eat
If your family would rather one more spin on Space Mountain instead of sitting down to eat at Chef Mickey’s, then the meal plan is not a good option.
Every family vacations at Disney differently, and you want to have the best time possible! If that means packing food for the parks each day so you can enjoy as much of the Disney parks as possible, then a meal plan is not right for you.
Adding a Disney dining plan is a great option for a lot of visitors to the Walt Disney World Resort. Disney allows guests an overall, well rounded plan for most families to enjoy some fantastic Disney food and experiences. However, it may not be for everyone. Has your family enjoyed one of the Disney dining plans?