Exciting news for everyone: the Disney Dining Plan returns to Walt Disney World after being on hold since 2021 due to the pandemic!
Starting May 31, you can book the Dining Plan for stays that begin on January 9, 2024, and beyond.
Guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort hotels and purchasing a vacation package can enjoy this fantastic option starting January 9, 2024.
The Disney Dining Plan returns to Walt Disney World after a pandemic hiatus. Bookings start May 31 for stays from January 9, 2024. Guests at Disney Resort hotels with vacation packages can choose between the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan and the Disney Dining Plan.
With the Disney Dining Plan’s return, you’ll have two delightful options to choose from: the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan and the Disney Dining Plan.
Disney Dining Plan Options
As the Disney Dining Plan returns, guests will have two main options to choose from, depending on their preferences and vacation needs.
1. Disney Quick Service Dining Plan
The Disney Quick Service Dining Plan focuses on fast, convenient meals, perfect for those who want to spend more time enjoying the parks.
With the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan, each guest will receive:
- Two quick-service meals per day (includes one entree and one non-alcoholic beverage)
- Two snacks or non-alcoholic beverages per day
- One refillable drink mug per person (for use at Disney Resort hotels)
Pricing for the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan varies depending on the season and the number of people in your party. Check the official Disney website for the latest pricing information.
2. Disney Dining Plan
The Disney Dining Plan is designed for guests who want a more diverse dining experience, including sit-down meals at Disney’s table service restaurants.
With the Disney Dining Plan, each guest will receive:
- One table-service meal per day (includes one entree, one dessert, and one non-alcoholic beverage or one full buffet)
- One quick-service meal per day (includes one entree and one non-alcoholic beverage)
- Two snacks or non-alcoholic beverages per day
- One refillable drink mug per person (for use at Disney Resort hotels)
Using the Disney Dining Plan
As the Disney Dining Plan returns, let’s dive into the details of how to use it to make your Disney vacation even more magical.
Redeeming Meal Credits
Each day, your Disney Dining Plan provides a certain number of meal credits based on the plan you’ve chosen.
These credits are automatically loaded onto your MagicBand or card. To redeem, simply tell the cast member at the counter or your server that you’re using your Disney Dining Plan, then tap your MagicBand or card to pay.
Meal credits are flexible—you don’t have to use them on specific days, but can spread them out over your vacation as you wish. Unused credits remain valid until midnight on the day you check out of your Disney Resort hotel.
In addition to meal credits, the Disney Dining Plan includes two snack credits per person per day.
Snack credits can be used for a variety of items, including popcorn, ice cream, fruit, pastries, and drinks. Look for the Disney Dining Plan snack logo on menus throughout Walt Disney World Resort to identify eligible snack items.
Dining Reservations and Recommendations
One of the biggest advantages of the Disney Dining Plan is the ability to use your meal credits at over 100 participating restaurants across Walt Disney World Resort.
This includes everything from quick-service locations to signature dining experiences.
To make the most of your Disney Dining Plan, we recommend making dining reservations as early as possible—up to 60 days before your arrival date.
Some of the most popular restaurants can book up quickly, so it’s best to reserve early to get your top picks.
Tips and Tricks for Maximizing Value
To get the most value out of your Disney Dining Plan, consider the following tips:
- Use meal credits for higher-priced meals. Meal credits are worth the same no matter where you use them, so try to use them for higher-priced meals when possible.
- Save snack credits for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Many festival items count as snacks on the Disney Dining Plan, so you can sample cuisine from around the world.
- Understand that some dining experiences require two table-service credits. Signature restaurants and dinner shows often require two table-service credits, so plan accordingly if you’re hoping to experience these.
With these tips in mind, you’re well-equipped to enjoy the benefits as the Disney Dining Plan returns!
One of the great benefits as the Disney Dining Plan returns is the wide variety of participating restaurants.
Whether you’re in the mood for a quick bite or a luxurious sit-down meal, there’s an option for you.
Disney World Restaurant Categories
Walt Disney World restaurants are typically categorized into three main types:
- Quick-Service Restaurants: These are fast, casual dining experiences where you order at a counter. They’re great for a quick meal between attractions.
- Table-Service Restaurants: These include a wide range of dining experiences where you are seated and served by a waiter. They can range from family-friendly themed restaurants to more upscale, fine dining experiences.
- Signature Dining and Dinner Shows: These are premium dining experiences that often require two table-service credits on the Disney Dining Plan.
Quick Service Restaurant Options
With the Disney Dining Plan, you have a multitude of Quick-Service restaurant options spread across the parks, resorts, and Disney Springs.
Here are just a few examples:
- Satu’li Canteen in Pandora – The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom offers delicious bowls with your choice of protein and base.
- Woody’s Lunch Box in Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios serves up fun, nostalgic eats like the “Totchos” (tater tot nachos).
- Sunshine Seasons in Epcot’s The Land pavilion offers a variety of options from grill fare to Asian cuisine.
Table Service Restaurant Options
Table-Service restaurants are a fantastic way to relax and enjoy a meal.
With the Disney Dining Plan, you can choose from a wide variety of options:
- Be Our Guest in Magic Kingdom allows you to dine in the Beast’s Castle from Beauty and the Beast, with a French-inspired menu.
- Cinderella’s Royal Table is a unique dining experience inside Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom, where you can meet Disney Princesses during your meal.
- Le Cellier Steakhouse in Epcot’s Canada pavilion offers premium steaks and Canadian cuisine.
These are just a few examples of the many dining experiences you can enjoy as the Disney Dining Plan returns.
Be sure to check the Disney World website for a full list of participating restaurants and to make your dining reservations.
Special Dietary Needs and Preferences with the Disney Dining Plan
As the Disney Dining Plan returns, it’s important to note that Disney is committed to offering a wide range of dining options to accommodate various dietary needs and preferences.
Allergies and Food Sensitivities
Disney takes great care in offering dining options for guests with allergies and food sensitivities.
Many restaurants, both Quick Service and Table Service, offer allergy-friendly menus. Additionally, Disney chefs are often available to discuss individual dietary needs and can often accommodate special requests.
Be sure to mention any allergies or sensitivities when making dining reservations and upon arrival at the restaurant.
Vegetarian and Vegan Options
Disney World is increasingly catering to vegetarian and vegan guests, with many restaurants offering plant-based options.
From Beyond burgers at Quick Service locations to gourmet vegan dishes at Table Service restaurants, there are options for every taste.
TIP: Look for the green leaf icon on menus, which signifies plant-based items.
Kosher and Halal Meals
Kosher and Halal meals are available at select Table Service restaurants and can also be requested in advance at all Table Service locations.
To ensure availability, Kosher and Halal meal requests should be made 24 hours in advance by calling (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463. Please note that while efforts are made to avoid cross-contamination, meals are prepared in shared cooking areas.
Disney strives to be accommodating to all guests, ensuring everyone can enjoy their dining experiences as the Disney Dining Plan returns. Always communicate your dietary needs or preferences to Disney dining Cast Members, who will do their best to meet your needs.
Why was the Disney Dining Plan cancelled in the first place?
Initially, as Disney was getting ready to bring guests back into the parks, they let everyone know they would be putting the plan on a hiatus.
The Disney Dining Plan was cut short during COVID because many of the restaurants and Disney parks were forced to operate during the reopenings with a limited number of guests due to social distancing guidelines. It was this guidance from the Federal and State levels which made it so Disney could not guarantee tables for their Disney Dining Plan guests.
What is the Disney Dining Plan Cost?
The Disney Dining Plan, which is exclusively for guests at Walt Disney World, offers several levels of membership, each with its unique benefits.
These include the Quick Service Disney Dining Plan, the Basic Disney Dining Plan, the Disney Dining Plan Plus, and the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan.
- The Quick Service Disney Dining Plan provides two quick-service meals and two snacks per person, per night. The cost is $55 per adult per night and $26 per child per night.
- The Basic Disney Dining Plan offers one table service meal, one quick-service meal, and two snacks per person, per night. It costs $78.01 per adult per night and $30.51 per child per night.
- The Disney Dining Plan Plus includes two meals that can be used at either quick-service or table-service restaurants, along with two snacks per person, per night. This plan costs $94.61 per adult per night and $35.01 per child per night.
- The Deluxe Disney Dining Plan provides three meals that can be used at quick-service or table-service restaurants, and two snacks per person, per night. This plan costs $119 per adult per night and $47.50 per child per night.
In more detail, a quick-service meal credit under the Disney Dining Plan will typically provide you with an entree, a drink, and a dessert.
NOTE: The plan also includes extras such as snacks (think water or a side of french fries) and a free reusable resort mug, ensuring that all your meals are taken care of during your Disney vacation.
How to Book the Disney Dining Plan
Now that the Disney Dining Plan returns, booking it for your vacation is simple and convenient.
1. Choosing a vacation package
To add the Disney Dining Plan to your trip, you’ll need to book a Walt Disney World vacation package that includes accommodations at a Disney Resort hotel and theme park tickets.
2. Adding the Dining Plan to your package
When booking your vacation package, select the Disney Dining Plan option that best suits your needs – either the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan or the Disney Dining Plan.
3. Booking deadlines and restrictions
Remember to book your Disney Dining Plan in advance, as it may not be available for purchase upon arrival. Additionally, be aware of any booking deadlines or restrictions that may apply to your vacation package.
Can the Dining Plan be Modified?
The Disney Dining Plan is designed to be flexible to accommodate different dining needs. However, the overall structure of the plan (i.e., the number of meals and snacks per day) cannot be modified once purchased. What can be flexible is how and when you use your credits. You can use your meal and snack credits in any order, at any time, throughout your stay until midnight on your checkout day.
What Happens if Meal Credits are Not Used?
Unused meal credits from your Disney Dining Plan will expire at midnight on the day you check out of your Disney Resort hotel. They do not carry over and cannot be refunded, so it’s a good idea to use them all before your vacation ends. Some guests choose to use remaining snack credits to purchase treats to take home.
How Does Tipping Work with the Dining Plan?
Gratuity is not generally included in the Disney Dining Plan, with the exception of dinner shows, private in-room dining, and Cinderella’s Royal Table. For other Table-Service restaurants, it’s customary to leave a tip for your server, typically 18-20% of the bill total. You can add this to your bill and charge it to your room, or pay separately with cash or a credit card. Cinderella’s Royal Table Price (Explained)
Is Disney getting rid of meal plans?
No, Disney is not getting rid of meal plans. On the contrary, they have announced the return of the Disney Dining Plan, which was temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The return is scheduled for stays beginning on January 9, 2024.
Is there a penalty for canceling a Disney dining reservation?
Yes, there can be a penalty for canceling a Disney dining reservation. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, Disney charges a $10 per person penalty if you cancel a dining reservation less than 24 hours in advance or if you do not show up for your reservation. It’s always a good idea to check the most recent policies directly with Disney.
Can you leave Disney World to eat and come back?
Yes, you can leave Disney World to eat and come back. Once you’ve paid for admission for the day, you’re able to leave the park and return later that same day. Just be sure to keep your ticket or MagicBand with you, as you’ll need it to re-enter the park.