Disney Dining Plans at Walt Disney World provide a great convenience for guests. By pre-paying for your meals, there is no need to worry about carrying money with you to the parks. Most restaurants on Disney property accept the Disney Dining Plans. There are three tiers of the Dining Plan: Quick Service, Disney Dining & Deluxe Dining.  Both 2019 and 2020 pricing is listed below. Rates are based on travel dates.

First let’s talk about the three different kinds of credits you can get with the dining plans: Quick Service credits, Table Service credits and Snack credits.

Quick Service credits are used at restaurants where you order at a counter or register, pay, collect your food and find a table. Each credit covers an entree and a beverage (including alcohol for guests over 21). My best tip? Send someone to find a table while someone else waits in line to order.

Table Service credits are used at sit-down restaurants where you are seated at a table and are waited on by a waiter or waitress. Table Service restaurants vary; some are a la carte, some are family style and some are buffet. You’ll also find character dining experiences at Table Service restaurants. Each credit covers an entree and a beverage (including alcohol for guests over 21) or a buffet or family style meal for breakfast. For lunch and dinner, one credit covers an entree, a dessert and a beverage (including alcohol for guests over 21) or a buffer or family style meal. Some Table Service restaurants require 2 credits per person.

Snack credits can be used on about a million different things from Starbucks coffee to Mickey Mouse pretzels to giant Cinnamon Rolls at Gaston’s Tavern in Magic Kingdom (one of my favorites). Snack credits are a great way to get in a quick breakfast or lunch while you’re running around the theme parks.

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Next, let’s break down the 3 dining plan tiers. Something important to keep in mind: *a “child” on any of the dining plans is ages 3-9*. Children under the age of three are not eligible for a plan, and honestly it’s much cheaper to let them eat off someone else’s plate or order an item or two for them off the menu.

The first tier is called the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan. This plan includes 2 quick services credits and 2 snack credits per night of your stay as well as a refillable mug to use at your resort for soft drinks, tea, coffee or water. For 2019, this plan costs $52.50 per adult per night and $23.79 per child* per night. For 2020, this plan costs $55 per adult per night and $26 per child* per night.

The middle tier is called the Disney Dining Plan. This plan includes 1 quick service credit, 1 table service credit and 2 snack credits per night of your stay as well as a refillable mug to use at your resort for soft drinks, tea, coffee or water. For 2019, this plan costs $75.50 per adult per night and $27.99 per child* per night. For 2020, this plan costs $78.01 per adult per night and $30.51 per child* per night.

The top tier is called the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan. This plan includes 3 meal credits that can be used at quick service or table service restaurants and 2 snack credits per night of your stay as well as a refillable mug to use at your resort for soft drinks, tea, coffee or water. For 2019, this plan costs $116.25 per adult per night and $43.50 per child* per night. For 2020, this plan cost $119 per adult per night and $47.50 per child* per night.

When deciding on whether or not to purchase a dining plan, it’s important to consider where you’ll be eating. Will you be doing lots of character meals? If so, it’s worth it! Will you mostly be eating on the go, grabbing smaller meals as you need them? Then the plans may not save you money.

A trick I’ve learned to really figure out if the dining plan will save you money or not is to plan your meals. Decide which restaurants you plan to eat at and take a look at their menus. Tally up how much all of your meals would cost and remember to add in some snacks! Then compare that to how much the dining plan would cost.

If the Dining Plans don’t seem like a good deal for your family, another option to “pre-pay” for meals is to buy Disney Gift Cards. Gift Cards are accepted at almost all of the restaurants on property. By spreading out your spending on gift cards the same way you spread out a payment plan for a Disney Dining Plan, it won’t feel as painful and you’ll have a set amount of money to spend on food.

For help with the dining plans or any other vacation planning advice, feel free to e-mail me at justinefafaravacations@gmail.com or fill out a vacation quote request here.

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