Updated: January 31, 2024
Disney Dining Plans are officially back at Walt Disney World! If you’re like many others, you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed and confused. What a buffet of options! What a smorgasbord of rules! Your questions might have you hungry for answers. What exactly does each Dining Plan include? When and how can I redeem them during my vacation? Are there additional charges for certain items? And most importantly, is the Disney Dining Plan worth the cost?
We’ve got all the delicious answers. We’ll even answer the questions you haven’t thought to ask yet. As a Gold Authorized Disney Vacation Planning Agency, we’ve got expert insights on the ins and outs of the Disney Dining Plan, along with the practical steps you can take to get the most value out of your plan.
Yes, it’s confusing. But as we like to say, you do the wishing. We do the thinking. We’re here to clarify and explain 2024’s Disney Dining Plans for you. And, above all, help you understand why it’s a smart idea to include a Disney Dining Plan with your vacation.
- What is the Disney Dining Plan?
- When and how can you add a Disney Dining Plan?
- How many different plans are there?
- What does the standard Disney Dining Plan include?
- What does the Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan include?
- What does each type of meal consist of?
- What are the snacks on a Disney dining plan?
- Can you convert meal credits into snack credits, or vice versa?
- What's the dining plan policy on alcohol?
- Can you buy food or drinks that are not included with your Disney dining plan?
- Can you give a meal credit to someone who doesn't have a Disney Dining Plan?
- What's a resort refillable mug?
- What's not included in the dining plan?
- Are character meals included?
- Is fine dining / Signature dining included?
- Which hotels qualify for the Disney Dining Plan?
- How do actually use my dining plan during my vacation?
- Can I add the dining plan for just some of the guests on my reservation?
- What if we have more than one room?
- Can I add the dining plan for just a portion of my stay?
- Are there limits on how many credits we can use on a given day? Can a guest only use their own individually-assigned credits?
- When can we start using our plan? When do we have to stop?
- How do I keep track of my meals and snacks?
- Do I need advance reservations for Disney restaurants in order to use my dining plan?
- Do all Walt Disney World restaurants accept the dining plan?
- How does gratuity / tipping work?
- Are there additional charges for certain items?
- Does the Disney Dining Plan accommodate special diets?
- Can I bill any additional food / drinks etc. to my Disney resort folio?
- Can I use the dining plan for room service?
- Can I use the dining plan to get a resort pizza meal?
- How can I get the most value out of the Disney Dining Plan?
- Can guests who are not listed on my resort package reservation join us at meals?
- If I have a reservation for the Walt Disney World Swan, Dolphin, Swan Reserve, Four Seasons, Shades of Green, Disney Springs, Bonnet Creek, etc. can I get the Disney Dining Plan?
- Can I change my mind and remove the Dining Plan from our package?
- Why did Disney wait to bring back their Dining Plans until now?
- What are the prices for the 2024 Disney Dining Plans?
What is the Disney Dining Plan?
Essentially, it’s a way to pre-pay for your meals on a Walt Disney World vacation. It likely won’t save you money — for most guests, it comes out about even — but it helps you budget more accurately for your whole trip, and pre-pay for more of your vacation. What’s the real reason why it’s always been so popular? It’s not the savings. It’s the feelings. It makes it feel like your meals are free.
When and how can you add a Disney Dining Plan?
You must add it to your Disney Resort Hotel Package before your arrival at Walt Disney World. Disney wants to make the change 24 hours before your arrival — you cannot add it when you check-in at your hotel, and you can’t add it after your vacation has already begun.
Here’s how to add a Disney Dining Plan. If you bought the trip directly on Disney’s website, call Walt Disney World at +1.407.W-DISNEY. If Wishful Thinking set up your trip, we handle everything for you — we’ll even help you get the dining reservations on your wish list!
How many different plans are there?
For 2024, there are two different Disney Dining Plans. The first is simply called the Disney Dining Plan and the second is called the Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan. The main difference between the two plans is: the Quick-Service version includes two meals at Quick-Service restaurants, while the standard Dining Plan replaces one of those meals with a Table-Service restaurant.
What does the standard Disney Dining Plan include?
For the main dining plan, every person in your party aged 3 and over will receive one Quick-Service meal, one Table-Service meal, and one snack or nonalcoholic beverage for each night of their stay. Additionally, each guest will receive one resort-refillable mug. As you’ll see below, please note that every meal includes a beverage.
What does the Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan include?
Every person in your party aged 3 and over will receive two quick-service meals and one snack or nonalcoholic beverage for each night of their stay. As with above, each guest will receive one resort-refillable mug.
What does each type of meal consist of?
A Quick-Service meal includes one entrée and one beverage. A Table-Service meal includes one entrée, dessert (at brunch / lunch / dinner) and one beverage. Please keep in mind: at both Quick-Service and Table-Service restaurants, most entrées include side dishes, such as meat or fish accompanied by vegetables, potatoes, rice, etc., or a burger / sandwich with fries / chips. Children’s entrées typically offer fresh fruit like apple slices or a mandarin orange. For restaurants that serve a buffet or a family-style meal, your all-you-care-to-enjoy meal is included, along with a beverage. Guests who are 21 or over may select an alcoholic beverage (beer, wine, cocktail) — see below.
What are the snacks on a Disney dining plan?
Snack choices range from single-serving ice cream, popcorn, whole fruit, single-serve bag of snacks, 20-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola® products, a cup of soup, or a small-plate from the EPCOT food festival kitchens. You’ll find these items at Quick-Service restaurants, kiosks, outdoor carts, and select merchandise locations.
In other words, think: Dole Whip, churros, turkey legs, Mickey Premium Bars, cookies, cupcakes, caramel apples from the sweet shops, etc. Snacks credits do not apply to items that are more than a single serving, like a box of doughnuts, a loaf of bread, or jars of peanut butter / jelly (sold in Resort Hotel merchandise shops).
Can you convert meal credits into snack credits, or vice versa?
As of January 2024, guests may not convert table service or quick service credits into snack credits. (This is different from the rules of the dining plans before 2020.) You also cannot combine snack credits into a meal credit.
What’s the dining plan policy on alcohol?
New for 2024: Guests aged 21 and over can choose to include an alcoholic beverage with their meal. Options include beer, wine, or single-serving mixed cocktails. Also new for 2024, many of Walt Disney World’s lounges will participate in the Dining Plan. Popular spots like Nomad Lounge, Enchanted Rose, and the Crew’s Cup will provide an opportunity to dine and drink and redeem your plan credits.
Can you buy food or drinks that are not included with your Disney dining plan?
Of course. You’re always welcome to supplement your meal by purchasing additional food, drinks, cocktails, bottles of wine, etc. You simply pay for the extra items directly at the restaurant.
Can you give a meal credit to someone who doesn’t have a Disney Dining Plan?
No. Even if someone is sitting at your same table and dining with you, if they are not a guest on your Disney Resort Hotel package reservation, you cannot use your credits to pay for their meal. (This is different from the dining plan rules pre-2020.) In this scenario, Disney’s servers would simply give the guest a separate check and they’d pay their own way. If they are on a separate Disney Resort Hotel package with a dining plan, they may use their own credits.
What’s a resort refillable mug?
Upon arrival, your resort hotel gives you a plastic Disney-themed mug. Refill it as much as you like at the fountain beverage stations within your Disney resort. Coca-Cola products, lemonade, etc., along with regular & decaf drip coffee, hot tea or cocoa. Disney doesn’t include specialty coffees — i.e., Disney’s term for anything with espresso. You’ll pay for those when you order. Important: you cannot use these mugs for complimentary drinks within the Theme Parks or the Water Parks. Only at the hotels. But hey — the mug’s yours to keep as a souvenir!
What’s not included in the dining plan?
You can’t use your dining plan for items that are more than a single serving (such as a box of doughnuts), items delivered in a souvenir container (like a popcorn bucket or special holiday party snacks), merchandise items, and special dining events at certain Table-Service locations (such as Thanksgiving or New Year’s Eve dinner with one-night-only menu). As we mention above, you’re always free to simply pay for these non-included items directly at the restaurant.
Are character meals included?
Yes, you can enjoy character dining with your meal plan. However, four specific character dining restaurants gobble up two Table-Service meals from your dining plan:
- Be our Guest (at Magic Kingdom)
- Cinderella’s Royal Table (at Magic Kingdom)
- Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (at EPCOT)
- Storybook Dining at Artist’s Point (at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge).
All other character meals — like Chef Mickey’s, Garden Grill, Topolino’s Terrace, ‘Ohana, etc. — will just use one Table-Service meal credit per guest.
Is fine dining / Signature dining included?
Yes, you’re welcome to enjoy Disney’s fine dining restaurants, which it classifies as Signature Dining. However, these meals subtract two Table-Service credits from your dining plan. Signature restaurants are Walt Disney World’s fanciest restaurants, like Yachtman’s Steakhuse, Topolino’s Terrace (for dinner), Jiko, Citrico’s, California Grill, and Toledo.
Which hotels qualify for the Disney Dining Plan?
Disney’s Dining Plans are only available at the Disney-owned hotels at Walt Disney World. Here’s the list:
- Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort | Disney’s All-Star Music Resort | Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge | Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House | Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort | Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Disney’s BoardWalk Inn | Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort | Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
- Disney’s Ft. Wilderness Resort & Campground | The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort | The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa | The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort | Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter | Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge | Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge | Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
How do actually use my dining plan during my vacation?
During your trip, you’ll simply present your resort room key (known as a Key to the World Card), your MagicBand, or MagicMobile device to the servers or cashiers when it’s time to pay for your meal. The meal / snack credits are stored electronically on your MyDisneyExperience account.
Can I add the dining plan for just some of the guests on my reservation?
No. Disney requires the dining plan for every guest who’s listed on the reservation who is over the age of 3. Guests under 3 may dine from an adult’s plate for free, or you may purchase an additional meal out-of-pocket if you like. Are you a very large travel party, spread out across multiple hotel rooms or villas? See below.
What if we have more than one room?
Let’s clarify things. Do you have more than one bedroom, or more than one reservation? Many Disney resort hotels have multiple rooms — like a 2-Bedroom Villa, a 2-Bedroom Suite, or a Family Suite. But if your’e all together on one reservation, that’s what matters, regardless of where each guest is actually sleeping. So if there are 6 of you — all over the age of 3, all on one reservation — then 6 guests will qualify for your Dining Plan. (If any guest is under the age of three, they don’t count.) However, if you’re a group of 6 split up into separate reservations — say, you’ve got three different hotel rooms with 2 guests in each room — each duo may choose whether or not to add a Dining Plan to their own reservation.
Can I add the dining plan for just a portion of my stay?
No — Disney requires you to have your dining plan for all the nights of your reservation. If you know you’ll only want it for part of your time at Walt Disney World, we should set up a split-stay — as in, two back-to-back resort reservations.
Are there limits on how many credits we can use on a given day? Can a guest only use their own individually-assigned credits?
There are no limits, neither in terms of who, which day, or where you use them. Here’s an easy way to see it: Disney tallies ALL the meals and snacks for your entire trip, for every member of your group on your reservation, and places it into a single, big pool of credits. Everyone in your group can dip into this pool and use these credits freely, any time from the first day you check in until the day you check out.
Let’s imagine that your party splits up along the way, and part of the group dines at a Quick-Service restaurant while others dine at a Table-Service restaurant. Or, perhaps you’d like to eat at three table service meals on the same day, then only eat at Quick-Service for all your other days. Or imagine if someone wants more snacks than someone else. Each of those scenarios are totally fine.
When can we start using our plan? When do we have to stop?
You may begin using your Dining Plan on your arrival day. Check in online via the MyDisneyExperience app / website if you plan to dine before your room is ready. All unused meals and snacks (and the ability to use your Resort-refillable mug) expire at midnight on your package reservation checkout date.
How do I keep track of my meals and snacks?
The MyDisneyExperience app is your friend here. Simply open your app to review your account. If your phone dies, don’t stress. You can also ask a Disney Resort concierge, the in-park Guest Experience team, or a Cast Member in Guest Relations. Your remaining meals / snacks are also printed on your dining receipts after you pay for your meal.
Do I need advance reservations for Disney restaurants in order to use my dining plan?
Be spontaneous! You’re welcome to use your dining plan any time you dine. Similarly, you can decline to use your plan and simply pay out of pocket. (Perhaps you’d like to save up your credits for another day.) Although advance reservations are not required to use your plan, reservations are always strongly recommended for Table-Service restaurants. They are required for dinner shows like Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue.
If you book your vacation package through Wishful Thinking, we can handle all your dining reservations for you.
Do all Walt Disney World restaurants accept the dining plan?
Nearly all of them do. Some third-party restaurants — for example, some of the at restaurants at Disney Springs — do not participate. The gourmet fine dining restaurant Victoria & Albert’s does not accept the Disney Dining Plan. To view all the participating restaurants, visit this page and then apply a filter to select your dining plan.
How does gratuity / tipping work?
Gratuities are not generally included (see the important exceptions below). In keeping with the USA’s dining etiquette, when you dine at a Table-Service restaurant, you should plan to tip 15% to 20% of your food and drink cost (before tax) for good service. Although this gratuity is customary, it is optional. Gratuities are not accepted at Walt Disney World’s kiosks, outdoor food carts, EPCOT festival kitchens, or Quick-Service restaurants, including Starbucks. (They’re required to return it to you if you offer.)
For a few meals, gratuity is prepaid and included: dinner shows (like Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue) and Cinderella’s Royal Table. For large parties, gratuity is not prepaid but it is required: if you’re a party of 6 guests or more, an 18% gratuity will automatically be added to your bill, payable directly at the end of your meal.
Are there additional charges for certain items?
Certain select menu items require an additional amount of payment on top of the meal redemption. These might be enhancements like adding truffles to your pasta, adding lobster meat to your gourmet mac & cheese, etc. The menus always clearly designate the meal enhancements and any additional cost.
Does the Disney Dining Plan accommodate special diets?
Always. Disney’s restaurants have an incredible array of plant-based items. Make special arrangements on-site for those in your party with food allergies. Additionally, those who follow a restricted diet (Kosher, Halal, gluten-free, etc) may contact restaurants in advance to arrange menu items that accommodate their needs.
Can I bill any additional food / drinks etc. to my Disney resort folio?
Yes. Link a credit card (American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa) when you check-in for your hotel stay, and all your reservation’s guests (13 or over) may bill any food, drink or merchandise items to your resort folio. Simply present your hotel Key to the World Card (your plastic card door key), MagicBand, or MagicMobile when it’s time to pay, and enter the 4-digit PIN code that you’ve set up during check-in.
Can I use the dining plan for room service?
Yes. Disney calls room service Private In-Room Dining, and as of January 2024, it is only offered at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. These meals use one Table-Service credit, and they include an entrée, dessert and beverage.
Can I use the dining plan to get a resort pizza meal?
Yes. Select Disney resorts offer Quick-Service pizza meals for carry-out, which includes 1 large pizza and 2 beverages. This option uses up two Quick-Service meals for each pizza meal. It’s available at Disney’s All-Star Resorts, Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach, Pop Century, Port Orleans – French Quarter, and Port Orleans- Riverside.
How can I get the most value out of the Disney Dining Plan?
Ahhh, friends. This question is a bit of a mental Olympic sport for die-hard Disney fans! You’ll soon see YouTube videos, TikToks, blogs and more on all the ways to stretch the value of your Disney Dining Plan credits. Rather than get lost in the weeds, here are a few big guiding principles to keep in mind.
EPCOT’s food festival items are a great use of your snack credits — you can often combine those small-plate tapas into a pretty satisfying meal! The character meals which uses 2 Table-Service credits (see above) probably aren’t the best use of your credits — you may want to pay out-of-pocket for those. And if the thought of pigging out on one big meal appeals to you – so you can eat less later on — the buffet and family-style ‘all you care to enjoy’ meals are a pretty great way to gain big value from the Disney Dining Plan.
Can guests who are not listed on my resort package reservation join us at meals?
Of course. As we mentioned above, it’s fine if those who aren’t on your reservation dine with you. If they’ve got the Disney Dining Plan on their resort package, they can apply their own credits when it’s time to pay for the meal. And if they don’t, they’re welcome to pay the restaurant directly. To save time, before you place your orders, it’s always a good idea to ask your server for a separate check for anyone who’s not on your resort reservation.
If I have a reservation for the Walt Disney World Swan, Dolphin, Swan Reserve, Four Seasons, Shades of Green, Disney Springs, Bonnet Creek, etc. can I get the Disney Dining Plan?
Unfortunately, no. The Disney Dining plan is really only available for Guests of the Disney-owned hotels. It’s one of the ways that Disney incentivizes you to stay in their own lodging. To cancel and rebook at a Disney hotel, start here and tell us about your trip.
Can I change my mind and remove the Dining Plan from our package?
Of course. With all Walt Disney Travel Packages, Disney allows you to modify your package add-ons up until 30 days before your vacation, when your balance is due.
Why did Disney wait to bring back their Dining Plans until now?
We don’t really know, but we’ve got an educated guess. After the pandemic’s restrictions on indoor dining came to an end — even as visitors were eager to flood into Walt Disney World — it took Disney (and the entire hospitality industry) a very long time to fully staff-up their restaurants for high capacity.
Therefore, for all of 2021 through 2023, Walt Disney World’s restaurants were often fully booked. It was extremely difficult to get many Table Service reservations. It didn’t make much sense to invite guests to pre-pay for Table Service meals when there’s not enough space in the restaurants to actually accommodate them.
Now in 2024, Disney’s finally back at pre-pandemic staffing levels, and they can open their restaurants for full operating hours and full seating capacity.
What are the prices for the 2024 Disney Dining Plans?
Remember: the Dining Plan costs are calculated per night that you’re staying in your resort hotel.
The Disney Dining Plan charges $94.28 USD per hotel night for adults and $29.69 USD per hotel night for guests aged 3 to 9.
On the other hand, the Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan costs $57.01 USD per hotel night for adults and $23.83 USD per hotel night for guests aged 3 to 9.
The easiest way to review the total prices for your travel dates and whole party is for us to quote your Walt Disney Travel Package — we’ll quote pricing that includes a Disney resort hotel stay, theme park tickets, and each dining plan option.