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There are many pros and cons to the Disney Dining Plan. In this post, you will find out all about the Disney Dining Plan as well as the top 5 reasons why I would purchase it again!

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Full disclosure before I begin, I am cheap and I LOVE the Disney Dining Plan! But, I don’t purchase it every time I go to Walt Disney World. There are pros and cons.

 

On each vacation, I have to weigh our length of stay, where we’re staying, our budget (the Disney Dining Plan can be pricey), and whether or not I am trying to “eat healthy” at the time.

 

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What is the Disney Dining Plan?

 

The Disney Dining Plan allows you to prepay for all of your meals while staying as a guest at any of the Walt Disney World Resort Hotels.

 

There are three tiers of the Dining Plan that each come with different “credits” that can be used at almost any restaurant or snack location on the property.

 

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Three Disney Dining Plan Options

 

Although the Disney Dining plan can be expensive, they do offer three different plans that can fit into a variety of vacation budgets.

 

Disney Quick Service Dining Plan

 

The Disney Quick Service Dining Plan is a great grab-and-go plan! When you are ready to eat, head to one of the counter service locations, grab your food, and enjoy!

 

The great thing about this plan is that you don’t have to make dining reservations! Eat whenever it fits into your day!

 

The Quick Service Plan includes:

 

  • 2 Quick Service Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner = 1 entree + 1 non-alcoholic beverage)
  • 2 Snacks (generally a snack worth about $5)

 

Each guest over 3, will also receive a refillable drink mug that can be filled at quick service  locations at any Disney Resort Hotel (not the parks).

 

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Disney Dining Plan

 

The Disney Dining Plan is actually my favorite plan because it does include meals at table service  locations as well.

 

This plan makes it possible to eat at many Character Dining locations (see my favorites here) which my kids love!

 

The Disney Dining Plan includes:

 

  • 1 Quick Service Meal
  • 1 Table Service Meal
  • 2 Snacks

 

Breakfast

  • Quick Service – 1 entree + 1 non-alcoholic beverage (or 1 alcoholic beverage if over 21)
  • Table Service – 1 entree + 1 non-alcoholic beverage (or 1 alcoholic beverage if over 21) -OR- 1 Full Buffet

 

Lunch and Dinner

 

  • Quick Service – 1 entree + 1 non-alcoholic beverage (or 1 alcoholic beverage if over 21)
  • Table Service – 1 entree + 1 non-alcoholic beverage (or 1 alcoholic beverage if over 21) + 1 dessert -OR- 1 Full Buffet

 

Each guest over 3, will also receive a refillable drink mug that can be filled at quick service  locations at any Disney Resort Hotel (not the parks).

 

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Disney Deluxe Dining Plan

 

The Deluxe Dining Plan is the most comprehensive option that includes appetizers with meals as well as snacks. 

 

I would choose this plan if dining at Disney was one of my main vacation goals!

 

The Deluxe Dining Plan includes:

 

  • 3 Meals
  • 2 Snacks

 

Breakfast

 

  • Quick service – 1 entree + 1 non-alcoholic beverage (or 1 alcoholic beverage if over 21)
  • Table Service – 1 entree + 1 non-alcoholic beverage (or 1 alcoholic drink if over 21) -OR- 1 Full Buffet

 

Lunch and Dinner

 

  • Quick Service – 1 entree + 1 non-alcoholic beverage (or 1 alcoholic beverage if over 21)
  • Table Service –  1 appetizer + 1 entree + 1 non-alcoholic beverage (or 1 alcoholic beverage if over 21) + 1 dessert -OR- 1 Full Buffet

 

Each guest over 3, will also receive a refillable drink mug that can be filled at quick service  locations at any Disney Resort Hotel (not the parks).

 

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Free Dining at Disney World

 

Disney will occasionally offer Free Dining certain times of the year. There is usually some sort of requirement to get this deal. 

 

Currently, the deal states

 

Enjoy a FREE dining plan when you purchase a non-discounted 5-night/6-day vacation package that includes a room at a select Disney Resort hotel and ticket with a Park Hopper Option.

 

To check out current Disney World Vacation deals and to get a quote on your vacation, click here to visit GetAwayToday.com or give them a call at 1-855-Get-Away and tell them that the Mommy Mouse Clubhouse sent you!

 

Pros of the Disney Dining Plan

 

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Pro #1 Less Vacation Stress

 

Planning and going to Disney World can be stressful. There are so many moving parts like Fastpasses, extra magic hours, two-year-olds, etc.

 

When I go on vacation, I want to relax and enjoy myself. With the Disney Dining Plan, eating doesn’t have to be stressful.

 

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You will have to do some planning ahead of time, but once you are there, you won’t have to worry about deciding when and where to eat and about how much your meal will cost, because it’s already paid for!

 

Sign for Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

Pro #2 Variety of Restaurants

 

Like I said above, when you buy the Disney Dining Plan you will get 1 Table Service Credit, 1 Quick Service Credit and 2 Snack Credits per night of your stay.

 

Here’s where things get really fun! There are so many wonderful quick service and table service restaurants in the parks and at the resorts.

 

You can definitely eat at these amazing restaurants without the dining plan, but for me, having paid in advance for the credits, the experience was so much easier.

 

You can order almost whatever you want on the menu and enjoy your vacation!

 

There are a lot of restaurants that I probably would have passed up if I had chosen to pay at the time. I would have missed out on some delicious food and great experiences so I could save a few dollars.

 

Three little boys posed with Mickey Mouse in a Safari outfit at Tusker House Restaurant.

Pro #3 Characters

 

The third reason I think that purchasing the Disney Dining Plan is worth it, is because of the character meals.

 

Included with your table service credits are many different character meals. There is at least one at each of the four parks.

 

Many of the Deluxe resorts have character meals as well. The reason that the character meals are such a benefit is that you can knock out two things at once.

 

You are going to be eating anyway, you might as well meet many characters at the same time! This will save you time running around the parks, looking for your favorite characters.

 

Most meals have at least 4 characters that will come and spend time with you and your family at your table for pictures, hugs, and autographs!

 

Do some research ahead of time to see which character meal has the friends your child wants to meet. And check out my article about The Best Disney World Character Meals!

 

Picture of a family at the Grand Floridian Resort at Walt Disney World

Pro #4 Exploring Resorts

 

Disney World has so many resorts with excellent restaurants to eat at and beautiful grounds to explore.

 

On our last trip, we spent two of our days visiting other resorts. We had character breakfasts booked at both the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian

 

Though we didn’t stay at either of these resorts, we had a lot of fun eating and exploring the gorgeous grounds of each! We even rented a pontoon boat from the Grand Floridian and jetted around The Seven Seas Lagoon!

 

If not for the Disney Dining Plan, I probably would have never taken this adventure!

 

Top Five Reasons You Should Purchase The Disney Dining Plan

Pro #5 Disney World Snacks!

 

I don’t even know where to begin with this pro. Disney World has some of the most delicious snacks ever.

 

With two snack credits per day on the Disney Dining Plan, you can try many of them.

The Magic Kingdom has Dole Whips and ice cream sundaes, Animal Kingdom has delicious barbecue, Hollywood Studios has decadent cupcakes and Epcot has an entire world of snacks!

 

We saved up and shared many of our snack credits “eating around the world” and trying limited time snacks during Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival.

 

Disney World Planning Tips

 

Disney Dining Plan Con #1 Cost

 

For me, there seems to be more pros than cons for purchasing the Disney Dining Plan. But, I would say that the number 1 con would be the price. 

 

For some, the Disney Dining Plan can be a money saver, if you would normally purchase more food than what is included with the plan.

 

But the dining plan didn’t actually save us any money. But I think that all of the benefits outweighed the cost.

 

Dining Plan Con #2 Extra Credits

 

In normal circumstances “extra credit” is a good thing. But, I always end up with extra dining plan credits at the end of our trip, because there is just so much food!

 

With kids, we end up sharing most snacks and two snack credits per person per day is actually more than you think.

 

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What you can do with the extra credits is use them to buy snacks at the gift shop. This is a great way to bring a little Disney magic home with you.

 

Disney Dining Plan Con #3 Time

 

Another con to having the dining plan is being locked into dining reservations. Most of the time it is not an issue, but there were are few times on our trip when we were not able to ride an attraction because we had a dining reservation across the park.

 

Disney World Vacation Savings

 

When booking your next Disney vacation, make sure you check out Get Away Today. Their customer service is THE BEST! Visit www.getawaytoday.com for current savings and earls at Walt disney World!

 

Disney World Planning Tips

 

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Hopefully I’ve helped give you an idea on why the Disney Dining Plan Worked for me and my family and why it may be a good purchase for you!

 

Are you headed to Disney World soon? Let me know when your next visit will be down in the comments!

 

 More Tips To Help You Plan Your Disney World Trip:

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