Disney Dining Plan for Dummies | Disney World

  • Disney Dining Plan

    Disney Dining Plan for Dummies -

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    Planning is one of the most important things about a Disney vacation. With the Disney Dining Plan, or DDP, guests can choose from over 100 dining locations as well as allow you to prepay for your party’s meals. By purchasing this plan in combination with a Disney World Package you will receive a Key to the World which is basically your own personal card that is used at select dining locations. These plans make dining during your stay at Walt Disney World convenient and affordable.  The dining plan also helps you budget for your vacation being that it is prepaid and allows you to more accurately plan estimate how much your entire vacation will cost.

    Dining Locations for 2014(pdf)

    Quick Service Plan 

    • (2) quick service meals, per guest, per night of resort stay
    • (1) snack, per guest, per night of resort stay
    • (1) resort refillable mug, per guest

    Disney Dining Plan 

    • (1) table service (sit-down meal), per guest, per night of resort stay
    • (1) quick-service, per guest, per night of resort stay
    • (1) snack, per guest, per night of resort stay
    • (1) resort refillable mug, per guest

    Deluxe Dining Plan 

    • (3) meals (does not differentiate between table and quick service), per guest, per night of resort stay
    • (2) snacks, per guest, per night of resort stay
    • (1) resort refillable mug, per guest

    Redeeming & Tracking Your Meal Credits 

    Before dining, present your Key to the World card to the server or cashier before purchasing your snack or meal and specify the number of meals or snacks being redeemed. After dining, your party’s remaining balance will be printed onto your receipt. You can also ask about your remaining balance by calling your hotel concierge for your meal plan balance.  Note: All unused meal credits will expire on your resort check out date at midnight.

    Not Included in the Plan 

    • Alcoholic beverages
    • Items that are more than one serving such as a whole pizza
    • Items that are served in a souvenir container, or otherwise considered merchandise unless included in the plan (such as popcorn and drinks)
    • Gratuity
    • Photo packages offered at table-service restaurants

    A Few Things to Remember 

    • Every person in your party must be on the same dining plan
    • You must purchase the dining plan for the entire duration of your stay, and your meal credits expire at midnight on the day of your checkout.
    • Gratuity is not included in the plan with the exception of Dinner Shows, Private In-Room Dining and Cinderella’s Royal Table (18% gratuity for parties of 6 or more)
    • You may not redeem meal credits for any person who is not on your dining plan
    • Guests ages 3-9 must order from the children’s menu where applicable
    • Dining plans aren’t available to guests under the age of 3, although they may share from other members of the family or an additional meal may be purchased
    • Merchandise and photo packages are not included in the dining plans with the exceptions of Cinderella’s Royal Table and Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
    • Dinner Shows, Disney’s Signature Restaurants, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Private In-Room Dining, and Pizza Delivery all require 2 adult meal credits for each that is utilized
    • The dining plans are flexible. Therefore guests may use their meal credits whenever they want during their stay. For example, you can set aside a meal credit in order to attend a dinner show that requires 2 meal credits on the next day. Meal credits may also be used in advance until the limit is reached. For example you may use all of your snack credits in one day, but you will no longer have any snack credits for the remainder of your stay.

    What Plan is the Best for Your Family?

    If your family plans on spending most of your time inside of the Disney parks, I would recommend the Quick-Service plan so that your family can stay on the go without having to slow down at a table-service restaurant.

    If you have a large family and/or would like to be able to sit-down for your meals then I would recommend the Deluxe Dining Plan for several reasons. The first reason is that if you plan far enough in advance (many travel agents recommend 180 days until your vacation) and reserve your table-service meals then you can see characters at your favorite restaurants and have a great time with your family as well. If you're not planning on spending much time in the parks, if at all, then this plan is definitely for you.  

    Finally, if you are between the two mentioned above and you are planning to spend half the time in the parks and the other half at your resort then I would recommend the Disney Dining Plan as it gives the best of both worlds. The Disney Dining Plan is great for families that want to explore the parks as well as have some time to relax at a sit-down meal.

    Changes for 2013

    The Disney Dining Plan has become a favorite to include as part of a Magic Your Way Vacation Package. The Disney Dining Plan (DDP) for 2013 is the same as the 2012 program, with a new option for table-service restaurants to offer menu add-ons and prix-fixe menus. What's prix-fixe you ask?  --- "a complete meal offered at a fixed price".

    Prix-fixe menu: Table-service restaurants may offer a separate prix-fixe menu that is available for a retail price. DDP Guests can choose this option with payment of a surcharge in addition to the table-service entitlement redemption. Separate surcharges for Disney Dining Plan Guests and Deluxe, Premium, and Platinum Dine Plan Guests will be noted on menus.

    For restaurants that offer only a prix-fixe menu (such as Cinderella’s Royal Table) or have a prix-fixe menu included on their regular a la carte menu (such as Captain’s Grille): the prix-fixe menu is fully covered by the required DDP meal entitlements.

    The new offering is a separate prix-fixe menu that is available in addition to the regular a la carte menu.  DDP Guests who select the separate prix-fixe menu will be required to pay a surcharge in addition to the table-service entitlement redemption

    Menu add-ons: Table-service restaurants may offer menu add-ons, the ability to add another protein component to their entrée selection (e.g., option to add sea scallops to entrée). This option will be listed on the menu and requires payment of a surcharge by Guests who choose this option. DDP Guests can choose the menu add-on with payment of the surcharge in addition to the table-service entitlement redemption.

    Be Our Guest Restaurant: Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom Park offers fast casual service for lunch (requires one quick-service entitlement); however, for dinner, it operates as a table-service restaurant (requires one table-service entitlement).

    Disney Dining PLan FAQ's
    I’ve heard other people mention they are on Free Dine. What is “Free Dine”?
    On occasion, Guests who book Magic Your Way room and ticket packages qualify to receive a free dining plan. Quick Service Dining Plan, Disney Dining Plan and Deluxe Dining Plan are the options typically offered as part of the promotion. Participating in this offer often refer to it as “Free Dine.”
    Can a child order from the adult menu?
    Disney Dining Plan is an add-on feature of a Guest’s Magic Your Way package, which includes room and ticket packages. Guest ages 3-9 must order from the children’s menu where available. A Guest between the age of 3 and 9 years old would have to purchase an adult Magic Your Way package to be able to order from the adult menu on the DDP.
    Can a child under the age of 3 be on the DDP?
    Disney Dining Plan is unavailable for Guests who are under the age of 3. However, these Guests may share from an adult plate at no charge. A meal may also be purchased from the menu and the price of that meal will be added to the Guest’s bill. For a child under 3 years old to be included on the DDP, a child’s Magic Your Way package must be purchased.
    What plans include a Resort Refillable Drink Mug?
    All Disney Dining plans include a Resort Refillable Drink Mug. Guests can refill it, free of charge, only at quick-service locations at the Disney resort where they are staying for the length of their current stay. They are NOT refillable in the theme parks, water parks, or resorts other than where they are staying.
    Do kids meals fulfill the Disney Dining Plan entitlement of entrée, dessert and beverage?
    Yes, kids meals (both QSR and TSR) fulfill the entrée, dessert and beverage components covered under Disney Dining Plan. Many kids meals (including kids meals featuring the Mickey Check) come with apples, grapes or applesauce. It’s important to note that upon request these may be substituted for another dessert item available on the kids menu. If a Guest orders a kids meal and asks about the dessert component, please let them know which item is considered dessert and that it may be substituted for another item on the kids dessert menu such as a cookie, pudding, etc. Dessert options on kids menus vary by location.
    Can a Table-Service Restaurant entitlement be transferred to a Quick-Service Restaurant location? Guests are able to use a TSR (table-service restaurant) entitlement at a QSR (quick-service restaurant) location. However, a QSR entitlement cannot be used at a TSR location.
    Can a Guest substitute an appetizer or salad for a dessert? Guests may not substitute their dessert component of their TSR meal entitlement for an appetizer or salad. However, a dessert option is a fruit cup. If they would like to add an appetizer or salad, the price of that item will be added to the Guest’s bill.
    Can Guests substitute a Table-Service or Quick-Service entitlement for a Snack? Guests cannot substitute a TSR or QSR entitlement for a Snack.
    What options do Guests with food allergies or intolerances have when on the Disney Dining Plan? The WALT DISNEY WORLD Food & Beverage team is committed to offering a wide range of choices to accommodate Guests with food allergies or intolerances. Note that in many cases, advance notice is required – usually at the time of dining reservation. Use this link for helpful information.

    You can discuss this article and the Disney Dining Plan in our forums. Our agents are also ready to help by calling 888-WDW-CHEAP.