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Disney Dining Plan FAQ

Disney Dining Plans are probably our #1 question we get when planning a Disney vacation. It can be confusing and overwhelming for first time visitor. Let's talk more in detail about how they work!!

Q) What are the dining plans?
A) Basically they are a way of pre-paying for your food, sometimes at a discount. There are 5 dining plans but today we'll just talk about 3 of them:
  1. Quick Service Dining 
    1. Includes two quick service meals and one snack per person, per package night, plus a resort refillable mug per person.  
  2. Plus Dining
    1. Includes two meals (one table service, one quick service) and a snack per person, per night plus a resort refillable mug per person.
  3. Deluxe Dining
    1. Includes three meals and two snacks per person,per night plus a resort refillable mug per person.
Refillable Mugs may be used in the food court at your resort only!

*In 2017 there will no longer be any snacks with Quick Service meals and the Quick and Plus dining plans will get TWO snacks per night!!

Quick Service Breakfast at Be Our Guest

Q) What is the difference between a Quick Service and Table Service meal?
A) Quick Service meals are basically quick food. I don't like calling it fast food because it's often much better!  These restaurants don't accept reservations (except Be Our Guest). You basically walk up when you are hungry, order your food and seat yourself.

Table Service restaurants are any restaurants where you are being served by a waiter or waitress (with a few exceptions). These meals are those that you should reserve in advance. These also include character meals and fine dining restaurants.

Q) How do I know where I can eat?
A) There are lots of great resources to find out what restaurants participate (most of them). Check out the official Disney Dining Plan Guide to start. Other resources I love are:
Disney Food Blog
Gluten Free Dairy Free at Disney

Plus everywhere you go Disney uses the Dining Plan logo to symbolize where you can use credits. They make it super easy!

Q) So what's included in each meal?
A) For each meal credit, counter or table service, you get one non-alcoholic drink, one entree and one dessert.  Most restaurants don't have any restrictions and you aren't choosing food from a special menu. You are welcome to order additional food like appetizers and alcohol, just be prepared to pay out of your own pocket for it.

The only exception is if you are on the Deluxe Dining Plan! Then you still get the non-alcoholic drink, entree and dessert but you also get an appetizer!
Q) Will I be stuck eating at my resort every day?
A) Absolutely NOT!  There are hundreds of restaurants, both counter and table service, to choose from.  They are located in all 4 theme parks, at the resorts, Downtown Disney and more! You'll also be able to choose from a wide array of food. There is literally something for everyone!

Q) I still don't get the "credits" will I know what to use and when, or how many I have left?
A) Let's use an example! You have a family of 4; 2 adults, 2 kids 6 and 4.  You are staying at Disney for 5 nights and have the Plus Dining Plan . That means you have:
10 Adult counter service credits
10 Child counter service credits

10 Adult table service credits
10 Child table service credits

10 Adult snack credits
10 Child snack credits

4 Refillable Mugs

Counter Service and Snack Credits MAY be shared and there is no distinction between adult and child. Table Service Credits you may NOT share.

You'll want to plan your table service credits in advance. If you are using a Disney Travel Planner (like me) they should be helping you reserve those meals. 

Q) But how do I use the credits?
A) Your Magic Band! Your credits are all loaded onto the band and you simply tap it!  You'll get a receipt that shows you how many of that type you have left!

Q) We are arriving late on our arrival night and won't be able to use any credits.What happens to those credits?
A) Since your credits are all pooled, you can simply use them at any other time during your stay. You have up until MIDNIGHT the day of check out.

Q) We plan to spend some time outside of Disney (GASP) so we don't need the dining plan for every night. Can we get it for a just a few nights?
A) Unfortunately your dining plan is tied to the number of nights on your reservation. Don't forget the credits are pooled so you can use them anytime!

Use your snack credits for something yummy!

Q) I've heard a lot about FREE Dining. What is it and how can I get it?
A) During certain times of year, typically fall, Disney will give you one of their dining plans for FREE when you pay full price for room and tickets. Check with your Disney Travel Planner to see if there is currently a deal.  

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