Benefits Of The Disney Dining Plan
But, what made this such a popular Disney offering? Well, the Dining Plans essentially enabled guests to budget for all of their meals ahead of time meaning that you could enjoy your meals without worrying about the cost.
That being said, the Dining Plans are a set cost and do not account for the actual cost of your meals and snacks when youre visiting. So, you could end up paying more than the food would have costed you without the dining plan. But, with some planning ahead and tips from the AllEars team, you could actually save money using the dining plan too!
Disney World Dining Plan Overview And Faq
Disney offers dining plans to accompany its ticket and travel-package programs.Theyre available to all Disney resort guests except those staying atthe Swan, the Dolphin, the Swan Reserve, the hotelsof the Disney Springs Resort Area, and Shades ofGreen. Guests must also purchase a travel packagefrom Disney or an authorized Disney travel agent, have annual passes,or be members of the Disney Vacation Club to participate in the plan. Except for DVC members,a three-night minimum stay is typically also required. Overall cost isdetermined by the number of nights you stay at a Disney resort.
Why Isnt My Restaurant Showing Up
The huge list of restaurants and their credit values below only covers restaurants that are eligible for the Disney Dining Plan, and, in general, we only included places to eat that served meals and not just snacks.
If your restaurant isnt listed, it is either too new to be included OR it isnt eligible for the Disney Dining Plan.
You can double-check eligibility for restaurants here:
Looking for information on a new restaurant?
We typically update the list to include new restaurants a couple of times per year, however, it is important to note that it isnt unusual for new restaurants to not immediately become eligible for the Disney Dining Plan .
Sometimes it can take a few weeks for new places to begin accepting the DDP.
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Where Is Cinderellas Royal Table
Cinderellas Royal Table experience is located inside the magical castle right in the center of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. As you enter the park through the main gates, continue through Main Street, U.S.A., and you will see the castle in all her glory. While its tempting to try to walk to the castles front door, youll actually find the entrance to the Royal Table tucked on the backside of the castle. Walk around the magnificent castle, and at the back right side of the castle, youll see the wooden sign hanging in the corridor for Cinderellas Royal Table.
Heres What Was Included In Each Credit In :
Snack credits: Most recently, snack credits were worth a bit more, with more snacks in the $7 and under range qualifying as a snack under the plan. Though you could also get some MORE expensive items for a snack credit as well. Theyd always be noted with the Disney Dining Plan snack logo.
It seems that as the prices for food have increased over the years , the base level of the food included under the snack credit category has also increased, which makes sense. If the popcorn you used to get for under $X is now above $X in terms of pure cost, then it makes sense that the overall price of the snacks included in the snack credit be increased to adjust for this.
Colossal Mickey Cinnamon Roll
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Still Trying To Decide
If you havent thought much about where you want to eat yet, you can still get a good idea as to which Disney Dining Plan will make the most sense by thinking about how your family eats.
Do you prefer sit-down meals or would you prefer to be in the parks and on the rides? Do you know that youll definitely want to have breakfast with Mickey at least 3 times or do you imagine youll be grabbing fruit in the parks as you hustle between attractions?
If all that feels too overwhelming right now, the plans that provide the greatest flexibility might be the best option for you.
How Do Disney Dining Plans Work
Finally, the third big question you may be asking is what do dining plans at Disney actually give you in terms of the amount of food. Well, this is where things get a little bit more complicated
and there are lots of factors. Understand that no matter which dining plan you choose, the number of credits you receive is all based on the number of nights you stay at the hotel.
Additionally, all of the dining plans also come with a refillable mug that can be used at the quick service locations at all of the hotels. Typically that mug would cost you $18.99 by itself. The different types of credits you get are all based on which plan you choose and there are a total of three.
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Who Can Get The Dining Plan
If you think the dining plan is right for you, you must be staying at a Disney World resort to buy it. If you are buying a package through Disney you will be given the option of adding the dining plan when you buy online.
If you are buying your tickets elsewhere, fear not! You can still call Disney to add the dining plan to your package.
If you are a DVC member you can also call to have the dining package added to your reservation.
Is The Disney Dining Plan Worth The Cost
We have created the Disney Dining Plan Calculator to help you answer this question.
Whether or not the Disney Dining Plan actually saves you money vs. paying out-of-pocket has been debated ever since Disney first introduced the plan back in 2005. To be frank, there isnt a correct answer. It really just comes down to your individual dining preferences.
Do you prefer Table Service or Quick Services restaurants? Which types of restaurants do you enjoy? How big of an appetite do you have? What types of entrees and beverages you would select? How frequently do you snack, order appetizers, desserts, etc.?
These answers will help you determine if a Disney Dining Plan makes sense.
Generally speaking, if you eat light skip the desserts, cocktails, and extra snacks then paying for food out-of-pocket would probably be the way to go.
If you enjoy Table Service restaurants, expensive entrees, specialty drinks , desserts, etc, then the Deluxe Dining Plan would be your best bet.
For those of you in the middle, the Quick Service or Standard Dining plans should provide you with more value vs. a paying-as-you-go strategy.
Try different scenarios on the Disney Dining Calculator and see which plan works best for you, if any.
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Heres What Was Included In Each Credit In 200:
Snack credits: A snack credit was good for various snacks throughout the parks, which were marked with a Disney Dining Plan symbol. They were usually $5 or cheaper and included things like Mickeys Premium Ice Cream Bars, a box of popcorn, a 20 oz bottle of Coke, and select other items.
Quick Service credits: Each quick service credit included an entree, dessert, and a nonalcoholic beverage.
Table Service credits: Table service credits included an appetizer, entree, dessert, and nonalcoholic beverage. The tip was also included in the credit, which was usually between 15% and 18%, depending on the restaurant.
Yak and Yeti Table
In 2005, guests were able to trade 2 table service credits for 1 signature dining meal or 1 Disney dinner show experience.
General Advice For Maximizing Credits
- Quick Service credits are worth about $19
- Table Service credits are worth about $42
- Snack credits are worth about $5
That means to break even on the Disney Dining Plan, youll need to choose food that costs at least that amount.
There are huge lists below detailing every Table Service and Quick Service restaurant and the value of a credit at those locations.
You can plan according to our lists and/or keep these general things in mind when maximizing credits:
- Character meals and dining packages are generally a great use of a credit.
- Signature Restaurants are almost never the best way to maximize a credit since they require 2 Table Service credits per meal but dont cost twice as much if you were paying out-of-pocket.
- Go for the steak, lobster, shakes, alcohol, and orange juice. Those are often the most expensive options so take advantage when theyre on the menu.
- Dont choose breakfast when trying to maximize most DDP credits since it is usually much less expensive than lunch or dinner.
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How Much Does A Trip To Disney World Cost
Lets get to the bottom linehow much does a Disney World vacation really cost?
Everyone has different budgets, so the cost is going to depend on how many days you go, how many people are in your group, and how you like to vacation.
The major costs to consider for a Disney World vacation are:
- Hotel Room
Weve made our estimated costs based on a family of 4 on a 5-Night vacation to Walt Disney World in the Summer, with 4 days of theme park passes.
For a family of 4, a Walt Disney World vacation in 2022 costs: $4,610.64, $5,260.74, or $7,785.64. These prices include the above expenses and are broken down our price estimates into 3 categories: Budget, Moderate, and Expensive.
- For a family of 2 adults, the prices change to: $3,025.32, $3,580.32, or $5,735.32.
- For afamily of 3, the prices change to: $3,817.98, $4,420.53, or $6,760.48.
- For a family of 5, the prices change to: $7,103.30, $7,525.95, $8,460.80.
Of course, there are many more factors to take into consideration, especially the time of year you visit. We calculated these prices based on a Summer vacation, but they can change by hundreds of dollars in either direction, so keep that in mind.
Read our post on the Average Cost to go to Disney World for more details and how to save money on your trip.
When And Why The Disney Dining Plan Was Cancelled
As Disney was preparing to reopen the parks last year, they announced that they would be canceling all Disney Dining Plans that guests have booked and would not offer new packages through the end of 2020.
This was done because restaurants reopened with limited capacity numbers to ensure social distancing measures could be in place, so Disney could not guarantee that there would be enough tables available for guests.
And, though 2020 came to a close, the suspension has still been in place and remains until a later date according to Disney.
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What To Pack & Bring
We are almost there, the only thing left to do is pack your bags. Walt Disney World is a unique place and there are many things you might not think about packing that will be very helpful on your trip. We usually think we packed everything, but inevitably leave something at home, thats why its best to have a list.
Here are the most important things to pack:
Luggage/Bags Make sure your suitcases are in good condition before packing and are big enough to hold all your essential items. Decide how many bags each person is bringing. This will also depend on how many bags your flight permits.
We always pack too much on our trips to Disney World and we find ourselves swimming in bags. If you have a room with a washing machine, take advantage of that and do a load of laundry to save space in your bags.
If you have colorful, character-themed bags, this is the time to use them, your kids will love them. Also, make sure to bring a small backpack. We like to carry one during the day so hold our camera, a bottle of water, sunscreen, medicines, and other necessities.
Shoes This might be the MOST important item on the list. If you dont have comfortable shoes in Disney World, you are going to have a miserable time. On average we walk between 8-10 miles PER DAY on our trips. You may not walk as much as us, but it will be at least 2-3 times more than what you are used to back home.
Here are some other important things you need to bring with you Disney World:
What Times Of Year Has The Dining Plan Been Offered For Free
You will find that the Dining Plan can be offered at different times in different countries across the world.
The Dining Plan was suspended in 2020 but during 2019 free dining was offered twice:
- For dates July 5th to September 30th 2019 booking January and February.
- For dates September 1st to September 18th 2019, November 17th to November 27th 2019 and December 8th to December 23rd 2019 booking July through to September.
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Have A Daily Itinerary
No one likes being tied to a schedule on vacation, unfortunately at Walt Disney World that is not an option if you want to have the best experience possible during your visit.
Were not saying you have to walk around with a clipboard and spreadsheet, but you need to create a general itinerary for the parks you are going to, which restaurants, etc.
The hard truth is, Disney World is too big and you cant do it all even if you are there for 2 weeks. Thats why you need to make a plan and prioritize the most important things to you each day.
Getting A Reservation For Cinderellas Royal Table
Ahh, the tricky part. If youve had multiple trips to Disney in the previous years, you know that planning your dining is an absolute must if you want to enjoy a particular spot while in Disney. Cinderellas Royal Table is one of the most coveted reservations you can snag while planning for your Walt Disney World adventure. If booking a reservation here is at the top of your list, here are a few suggestions and tips for scoring a spot:
- You can book your reservation online or with the MyDisneyExperience app starting at 6:00 a.m. or by calling 800-800-9800 at 7 a.m. , starting 60 days before the date youre trying to book.
- Reservations sell out within minutes for each day youre trying to book, so be online or in the app refreshing your page regularly and be ready to book instantly. If you wait a few minutes, it will probably get scooped up.
- You can book a reservation for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, so be open to another meal than your original plan.
- Full prepayment is required in advance for Cinderellas Royal Table, so have your card information handy.
Being able to meet Cinderella in her own castle and then partake in an enchanting meal is truly a remarkable experience that you and your family will never forget. Little princesses and big kids alike will be transported into a fairytale that will definitely be the topic of fond family memories for years to come.
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Who Can Buy The Disney Dining Plan
The Disney Dining Plan is available only to guests staying at Disney-owned resort hotels. These hotels are:
- Art of Animation
- Wilderness Lodge & Villas
- Yacht Club
Disney offers three dining plans. Well cover thestandard Disney Dining Plan first, and then explain the two variations.
The standard plan provides, for each member of your group , for each night of your stay, one counter-service meal, onefull-service meal, and two snacks at participating Disney dining locationsand restaurants, including room service at some Disney resorts.
The plan also includes one refillable drink mug per person, per package,but it can be filled only at Disney resort counter-service restaurants.For guests age 10 and up, the price for 2020 was $78, tax included forguests ages 39, the price was $30.50 per night, tax included. Childrenyounger than age 3 eat free from an adults plate.
For instance, if youre staying for three nights, youll be creditedwith three counter-service meals, three full-service meals, and six snacksfor each member of your party. All meals are placed in a group mealaccount. Meals in your account can be used by anyone in your group,on any combination of days, so youre not required to eat every mealevery day. This means that, for example, you can skip a full-servicemeal one day and have two on another day.
The counter-service meal includes
The full-service sit-down meals include
- An entrée or a complete combo meal, plus drink
- A dessert
Disney Dining Plan Prices & Options
Currently, Disney World is not doing Disney Dining Plans for 2021 due to Covid Restrictions
Those taking a Disney vacation have the option to purchase meals plans in advance of their stay. This Disney Dining Plan can either be a budget buster or a fun way of trying new restaurants depending on your situation. If you are planning a Disney Vacation, you are probably trying to decide whether or not the Disney Dining Plan is right for your family.
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What Is The Cheapest Time To Go To Disney World
Going to Disney World is expensive, so planning a vacation for cheap can be a huge help to many guests. So what is the cheapest time to go?
Disney World offers the best rates and the biggest discounts during the off-season when kids are at school. Prices are the highest during the summer and during holidays. Things like ticket prices, airfare, and hotel rooms are all more expensive during those times.
If saving money is important to you, try booking your trip in January, February, or September.
Read our post on the Cheapest times to go to Disney World for more info and tips for guests on a budget.