Hello and welcome back to KatDoesDisney! Today we will be talking about the all popular Disney Dining Plan (or DDP). You can add this prepaid meal plan to your Disney World vacation package. There are different tiers as well as a few tricks, so let’s dive in!
What is the Disney Dining Plan?
The Disney Dining Plan (DDP) is a prepaid meal plan that is available to guests staying on property at a Disney World Resort Hotel. You are essentially paying for your meals and snacks up front and then using “credits” while on vacation at Disney World. You receive “credits” based on the number of nights in your Disney World vacation stay. That’s right, the number of credits is based on how many nights you are in the Disney World Resort Hotel! So if you are staying for 5 nights/6 days, you will multiply the number of daily credits by 5 (the number of nights for your stay). Credits are activated at check-in and available until midnight on the last day of your stay.
On property guests can purchase the plan as a part of their vacation package directly through Disney or via your travel agent. If you have a hotel reservation only (ticketless option), you can still get a DDP by calling Disney directly or working with your travel agent. If you are renting Disney Vacation Club points, you can get the Dining Plan through the rental company. For instance, dvrentalstore.com can add a DDP to your reservation no later than 30 days prior to arrival.
Everyone on your reservation will need to participate in the DDP if you decide to add it to your reservation. You must add a DDP for the entire length of your stay.
The Disney Dining Plan Tier Costs
There are 3 main “tiers” in the DDP: Quick Service Dining Plan, Regular Dining Plan, and the Deluxe Dining Plan. A refillable mug is included for all tiers and can be used at the Resort Hotels (but NOT at the theme parks). These tiers only differ in the number of credits and type of credits received during your stay. Here is the breakdown:
|Dining Plan Tier||# Quick Service Credits||# Table Service Credits||#Snack Credits||Cost Ages 10+ (2020) per night||Cost Ages 3-9 (2020) per night|
|Quick Service Dining Plan||2||0||2||$55||$26|
|Regular Dining Plan||1||1||2||$78||$30.50|
|Deluxe Dining Plan||3 used as Quick Service or Table Service||2||$119||$47.50|
Quick Service Credits
Quick Service credits can be used at Quick Service locations. Includes an entree and drink. Drinks are fountain beverages, milk, or specialty drinks (smoothies, shakes, etc.) for guests under 21 years of age. The drink option for guests 21 and over can include 1 mixed drink, cocktail, beer, or wine. Currently, Quick Service credits are divided out into adult and child options. They are no longer interchangeable so kids must select meals from the kids menu! One Quick Service credit can also be equal to 3 snack credits.
Table Service Credits
Table Service credits can be used at sit-down, table service locations (with a server). This includes a drink, entree, and dessert. Those on the Deluxe Dining Plan also receive an appetizer with their Table Service credit. As with the Quick Service credits, the drink options are the same. Drinks are fountain beverages, milk, or specialty drinks (smoothies, shakes, etc.) for guests under 21 years of age. The drink option for guests 21 and over can include 1 mixed drink, cocktail, beer, or wine. Make sure you look to see how many Table Service Credits a location requires! Some experiences (signature restaurants, dinner shows, and Epcot dining packages) will take up 2 Table Service Credits.
The Disney Dining Plan does NOT include gratuity. Thus, you will need to tip your server if you dine at a Table Service location.
These credits can be used on qualifying snack items. Look for the DDP logo on the menus for snack-eligible options. Items that are eligible for Snack credits include bottled water, bakery items, or ice cream (yay Mickey Premium bars!).
The DDP for Guests Ages 0-2
Kids that are under the age of 3 do not require a park ticket and, therefore, do not need the Dining Plan. They can eat off of your plate or actually get their own plate at buffet locations. If you find they will need their own food, it is usually more cost effective to purchase their meals rather than investing in their own Dining Plan and park ticket.
How to use the Disney Dining Plan
You will be given “credits” to use throughout the duration of your vacation. When you check-in to your Disney World Resort Hotel, you receive your credits.
Using those credits is actually quite easy! You simply scan your MagicBand and the number of credits will be deducted from your account. The number of credits you have remaining are always posted at the end of your receipts or in the My Disney Experience app under “My Plans.”
Pro tip: Track the credits yourself as mistakes can happen! If you find an issue, you can bring it up with your server or a Cast Member are your Resort Hotel.
It is up to you how many credits you use per day! You receive all of your credits upon check-in so you are free to use them as you please!
Why Get the Disney Dining Plan?
There are a few reasons Disney World guests decide to get the Disney Dining Plan:
- Make trips have an all-inclusive feel
- Better way to budget the vacation if paid ahead of time
- Sometimes it’s free with your Disney World Resort Hotel package!
- It can save money
Check back next week for a follow-up post where we talk about ways the Disney Dining Plan can save you money!! You’ll want to do a bit of planning to maximize those credits.
I hope this helps you when deciding if the Disney Dining Plan is right for your vacation!
Until next time… Cheers!!