The Disney Dining Plan Is Returning — Here's How to Plan a Nearly All-inclusive Trip

Disney Dining Plans are returning in January 2024 — here's what you need to know to make the most of this Disney World package.

<p>Amy Smith/Walt Disney World</p>

Amy Smith/Walt Disney World

It took some faith, trust, and pixie dust, but the Disney Dining Plan is finally returning to Walt Disney World in January 2024. The fan-favorite program is a way to prepay for your favorite snacks, meals, and drinks before arriving at the magical destination, giving your vacation an all-inclusive feel — and if you plan ahead, it can even save you money.

With the plan, guests use credits to pay for meals at hundreds of dining locations throughout the four theme parks, two water parks, dozens of resorts, and Disney Springs. Here’s everything you should know about the Disney Dining Plan so you can decide if it’s right for you.

Related: 42 Disney World and Disneyland Tips for a Magical Vacation

What is the Disney Dining Plan?

After theme park tickets, travel, and accommodations, the next biggest component to factor into your Disney vacation budget is food. Disney World is home to a wide range of foodie delights, from quick-service favorites like Casey’s Corner to treasured table-service dining options, like Cinderella’s Royal Table and Be Our Guest. Quick-service meals typically set you back around $8-15 per person, while table-service options will cost considerably more.

The Disney Dining Plan is an optional add-on that can be selected and paid for ahead of your vacation. Guests that select a dining plan are allotted a certain number of meal and snack credits for each night of their vacation; the exact number and type of credits depend on the plan selected. The redemption process is easy and requires a simple scan of a MagicBand+, MagicMobile pass, or Key to the World card. Guests can easily keep track of their credits as the balance is listed on receipts after each transaction and can also be found in the My Disney Experience app.

What is the difference between the Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan and the Disney Dining Plan?

There are currently two plans to choose from: the Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan and the Disney Dining Plan.

The Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan is for those who enjoy a more casual approach to their vacation dining. This plan includes two quick-service meal credits and one snack or drink credit per day. A resort-refillable drink mug is also included for each person on the plan, and it can be used at any self-service beverage station at Disney resort hotel quick-service locations for the duration of the stay. 2024 Disney Quick-Service Dining Plans are priced per night at $57.01 for adults and $23.83 for children ages three to nine.

The Disney Dining Plan is best for those who want both casual dining and table-service experiences. This plan includes one table-service meal, one quick-service meal, and one snack or drink per day. This plan also includes one resort-refillable drink mug per person. The 2024 Disney Dining Plan is priced per night at $94.28 for adults and $29.69 for children ages three to nine.

It’s important to note that one credit doesn’t always translate to one meal at whichever restaurant you choose. The Disney Dining Plan gives guests the option to redeem two table-service meal credits for specialty dining experiences and private in-room dining (at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa). Those on this plan can also redeem two quick-service meal credits for a pizza meal at select value and moderate resorts. For more details, check out the Disney World website.

<p>David Nguyen/Disney Parks</p>

David Nguyen/Disney Parks

What can you order on a Disney Dining Plan?

Quick-service meals for guests ages 10 and older include one entrée and one beverage (guests 21 and up can order a qualifying alcoholic beverage where available). Guests ages three to nine must order from the children’s menu.

Table-service meals include one entrée, one dessert, and one beverage, or one buffet or family-style meal, for guests ages 10 and older. Guests ages three to nine can redeem a table-service credit for one children’s menu combo meal or one buffet or family-style meal. Gratuities are not included, except for dinner shows and Cinderella’s Royal Table.

Nonalcoholic beverages include soda, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, milkshakes, and fresh smoothies. Alcoholic options include beer, wine, sangria, mixed drinks, and specialty cocktails, when available. Eligible snacks can be found throughout the theme parks and resorts and include ice cream novelty bars (like the popular Mickey bars), baked goods, popcorn, and the iconic Dole Whip, just to name a few.

Related: 40 Disney World Foods Everyone Should Try at Least Once

<p>Kent Phillips/Walt Disney World</p>

Kent Phillips/Walt Disney World

Where can you dine on the Disney Dining Plan?

Quick-service meal credits can be redeemed at over 100 locations throughout the theme parks, water parks, and resorts. This includes fan favorites, like Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons and Flame Tree Barbecue at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Table-service credits can be redeemed for meals at many locations throughout Walt Disney World Resort, including the beloved character meals at restaurants including Chef Mickey’s, The Crystal Palace, and Topolino’s Terrace.

You can even visit signature and fine dining restaurants on the Disney Dining Plan, but you will have to redeem two table-service dining credits per person (rather than just one). Eligible locations include fine dining restaurants, like Citricos and Le Cellier Steakhouse, dinner shows like Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, and signature restaurants including Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Cinderella’s Royal Table, and Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White.

There are also dining locations, like ultra-upscale Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, that do not accept the dining plans.

Related: 30 Best Disney World Restaurants

Is the Disney Dining Plan worth it?

Will buying a Disney Dining Plan help you save money during your theme park vacation? The short answer is yes, it’s entirely possible to save money by using the Disney Dining Plan, but this is largely dependent on how you choose to redeem your dining credits. If you strategically choose the most expensive options available, like an artisanal milkshake or a $15 specialty cocktail over a soda, your savings will add up. Choosing more expensive restaurants, like character dining locations that accept single table-service credits, and pricier entrées will also help maximize the value of your credits.

That said, many guests select these plans purely for the peace of mind in knowing that a major chunk of their vacation spending is already budgeted for as the Disney Dining Plan adds that all-inclusive feel. However, if your family enjoys table-service dining for every meal, then it may not be the best fit for you.

<p>Harrison Cooney/Walt Disney World</p>

Harrison Cooney/Walt Disney World

The Fine Print

The Disney Dining Plan returns on Jan. 9, 2024, and it’s exclusively available for guests staying at Disney World hotels. Packages are currently open for booking on Disney World’s website, over the phone, and through authorized Disney travel agents.

Each plan has a set number of meals and snacks offered based on the length of stay, but credits can be redeemed at any point throughout your vacation. Meals cannot be transferred to another party member, and the package expires at midnight on the day of checkout. Every member of your party ages three and older must have the same package for the entire length of your stay. The dining plan can be added after a vacation package is booked, and restaurant options may be limited depending on availability.

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