Disney Dining Plan can be confusing. If you don’t do the background research, you definitely will not get the best value for your money. It can be a very positive experience and save you a ton of money on an already expensive trip. I like the Dining plan because our meals are paid for before we leave. We don’t come home from a trip having spent more money that we wanted to spend (except on drinking maybe).
Disney Dining standard plan costs $58.66 per adult and $18.88 per child (3-9) for each night of your stay. Yes, Disney considers children “adults” from age 10. There is a less expensive quick service plan, which doesn’t include table service restaurants. The Deluxe plan gives you 3 meals each day, either quick or table service, but this is upwards of $100 per person.
For each night of your stay, you have 1 table service credit, 1 quick service (fast food) & 1 snack. With 5 night trip, you will have 5 sit downs, 5 quick service & 5 snacks for each person. Your credits are for the entire trip, so you don’t have to have a sit down meal each day or use 1 snack each day.
Here is what you get for each type of meal:
- Table Service: 1 entrée/buffet, dessert (except breakfast), non alcoholic beverage
- Quick Service: 1 main course or combo meal, dessert (except breakfast), non alcoholic beverage
- Snack: Basically anything you can buy for $4 or under (some things cost more than $4)
- Alcoholic beverages are not included, but you can order and pay for them
- Tip is not included (18% will be added for parties of 6 or more)
- Appetizers are not included
Suggestions for making the best use of your dining plan:
- Dinners are always more expensive than breakfasts, so use your table services for dinner
- Character meals can be very expensive and a great use of your dining plan
- Don’t order appetizers, there is plenty of food with entrée and dessert
- Make Advanced Dining Reservations (ADR) for all your meals before your trip
- Order more expensive items that you might not have paid for out-of-pocket
- You can have a really nice breakfast using snack credits
- Quick service is not just burgers and pizza, there are some great options in every park.
- Some quick service portions are big enough for 2 people to share
- Kids have to order off kids menu for table service but not quick service (if they don’t want to)
To get the most of your money this is how much you should spend per adult:
- Sit down meal: $31
- Quick Service: $14
- Snack: $3.75
In a future post I will list my favorite restaurants both quick and sit down along with the best use of snack credits.