Dining Plans can be confusing and even divisive among Disney fans. There seem to be two schools of Walt Disney World vacationers-those who do the dining plan and those who don’t. And maybe a third school of people who don’t even know about it. Actually, I was once guilty of being in that category … I have since seen the light and I am proud to say I have traveled to Disney both with and without a Dining Plan and have loved every single trip (and enjoyed GREAT food no matter what). So, without further ado; here is some basic info you need to know if you are in that third school of thought.

The Dining plan is pre-paid.

· That means us budget minded travelers don’t have to keep track of what we are ordering/spending. It’s already paid for.

· Gratuity is NOT included (with the exception of a very few select dining locations). So you will need to budget for that. Your Travel Agent can help you determine estimated price ranges for Disney Dining locations

· You do not have to have a dining plan to eat at Walt Disney World. You can pay cash or credit at any Dining location.

Table Service

There are 4 different Dining plans that can be added to a Magic Your Way Package*
*A Magic Your Way Package includes a stay at a Disney Resort and Theme Park Tickets.

· Magic Your Way plus Quick Service Dining

· Magic Your Way plus Dining

· Magic Your Way plus Deluxe Dining

· Magic Your Way Premium Package

The Lingo

· Table Service Meal = a restaurant where you are served/waited on at your table. Buffets and Character Dining are considered Table Service as well. Reservations are highly recommended.

· Quick Service Meal = Counter Service. Reservations not accepted. Could be outdoor or indoor facilities.

· Snack = a large variety of snack options are available and range from fruit to ice cream to popcorn and hundreds of items in between. Look for the snack icon on any menu and even at merchandise locations. (read about some great snack options here)

· Credits/Entitlements = the number of meals/ snacks you have on your dining plan; determined by the dining plan you have and the number of NIGHTS on your Disney Resort Reservation. All Credits/Entitlements are loaded onto your Magic Band or Key to the World card when you check-in to your Disney Resort. Then, it works like a Gift card; use the entitlements anytime and however many you want at a time…until they are gone. Entitlements expire at midnight on the day of check-out.

Magic Your Way plus Quick Service Dining (read my blog about this plan)

· 2 Quick Service Meals, 1 Snack (per person per night)

· Lunch/Dinner = entrée, dessert and nonalcoholic beverage

· Breakfast = entrée and nonalcoholic beverage

Magic Your Way plus Dining

· 1 Table Service Meal, 1 Quick Service Meal, 1 Snack (per person per night)

· Lunch/Dinner = entrée, dessert and nonalcoholic beverage or one full buffet.

· Breakfast = entrée and nonalcoholic beverage or one full buffet

Magic Your Way plus Deluxe Dining

· 3 Meals (any combo of Table and/or Quick Service), 2 Snacks (per person per night)

· Lunch/Dinner = appetizer (only available at Table Service), entrée, dessert and nonalcoholic beverage or one full buffet.

· Breakfast = entrée and nonalcoholic beverage or one full buffet

Magic Your Way Premium Package = Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner at any of the restaurants on the meal plan, 2 snacks (per person per night) PLUS Recreation and Entertainment “extras” such as Cirque du Soleil, Richard Petty Driving Experience, Horseback Riding, Golf and more! Truly a PREMIUM Package!

· Character Dining = Just what it sounds like! Meet and Greet Characters while you eat! Available at select restaurants for Breakfast, Lunch, and or Dinner. Table Service Meal or Signature Dining

· Signature Dining = A Table service so wonderful that it requires two of your Table Service Entitlements from your meal plan. Cinderella’s Royal Table, California Grill, and Citricos are a few examples.

· ADR’s= Advanced Dining Reservations = Not technically required for Table Service and Signature Dining but you would be pretty crazy not to. We use the term “highly recommended”. So, just do it-your patience and your taste buds will thank me. ADR’s can be made 180 days in advance. You can make them online through your My Disney Experience Account or your travel agent can make them for you. A credit card number is required to reserve but is only charged if you are a no-show AND did not cancel in advance.


So, should you add a Dining Plan to your Disney Vacation Package? This is one of the many ways that having a travel agent can really help you plan. Discuss the Dining Plan options with your Travel Agent. They will help you decide based on your goals, family lifestyle, and budget if a dining plan is a good fit for your family and your budget (and which plan to go with). Don’t make that decision alone or you may really be missing out!


My name is Aleshia and I would LOVE to help you plan your next Dining…I mean Disney Vacation. (Did I mention I LOVE Disney dining/food?) Email me or Call me at 1-800-670-4312 ext. 139 or Find Me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Meal from Sanaa