Beginner’s Guide: Disney Dining Plan

Whether you’re one of the lucky ones who is traveling during a period of the year when the Walt Disney World Resort is offering a free Dining Plan for each guest or you’ve purchased it for your length of stay, there are a few key details that you will want to take note of:

1. There are a few different Dining Plan levels as of this writing with two being the most popular. The most basic level is the Quick-Service Dining plan which gives every member of your party a resort refillable mug, 2 quick-service dining meals a day which include an entree or combo, a non-alcoholic beverage and a desert per person, per day. You are also entitled to one snack item per day. The next level up includes 1 quick-service meal a day with the same options as above as well as 1 sit-down or standard dining option per day. Each restaurant meal also includes an entree, a desert and a non-alcoholic beverage per person.

2. If you have the Disney Dining Plan, you are allowed, and encouraged, to make dining reservations 180 days before the first day of your vacation arrival. You can then make reservations for your entire stay. Some of the more popular restaurants will book up quickly so if there’s a place you’d love to eat, the earlier you make reservations, the better your odds. I should say, however, don’t give up if you don’t get a reservation. Other guests may cancel so be sure to check back online, over the phone or even with Guest Services when you arrive just in case.

3. Some misconceptions of the Dining Plan are that you have to either eat at the park you are in or at your resort, but in reality you can eat at almost any of the more than 100 restaurants and quick-service dining options on property. If you have opted for the Park Hopper option (and you should, keep an eye open for an upcoming post on that) you can eat at any park for breakfast or lunch and then at a different park later that evening.

Any of the Disney Dining Plans are a great value for the amount of food you get. And don’t forget, everyone you purchased the dining plan for will also get a resort refill mug giving you unlimited refills at your resort on soda, coffee, tea, hot chocolate and some sports drinks for your entire length of stay.

HINT: Every quick-service meal comes with a drink, including the meals eaten at your resort. If you eat lunch or dinner at your resort while on the dining plan, grab that bottle of water, soda or juice with your meal and save it for later since you can use your mug while at your resort.

For even more information, look at Disney’s Dining Plan Guide