Since I live in the Western United States, we go to Disneyland much more often than we go to Walt Disney World. However, we recently had opportunity to go to Walt Disney World in Florida and to use the Disney Dining Plan. I was skeptical before the trip, but now I’m convinced that the Disney Dining Plans at Walt Disney World are easy to use, easy on the family budget, and add to the magic and fun!

The 3 most popular Disney Dining Plans to choose from:

  • Quick-Service Dining Plan– 2 Quick-Service Meals and 1 Snack Per Person Per Night (2 Snacks Per Person for 2017)
  • Disney Dining Plan– 1 Quick Service Meal, 1 Table Service Meal, and 1 Snack Per Person Per Night (2 Snacks Per Person for 2017)
  • Disney Deluxe Dining Plan– 3 Meals and 2 Snacks Per Person Per Night

All the plans also include a Complimentary Resort Refillable Mug that can be filled without limit at any Walt Disney Resort Quick Service Dining Restaurant with soda, tea, lemonade, water, or coffee. Dining Plans are for guests 3 years of age and older.


Easy to Use-  Once you’ve purchased a Dining Plan with your Vacation Package, using it is simple. You will receive a MagicBand that acts as your room key, park entrance, AND your meal ticket. Each time you eat at a Disney Restaurant, you will use your MagicBand to pay for your meal. It’s really that simple. You will receive an update at the end of every meal that shows how many meals and snacks you have left. It’s recommended that you check each time to make sure you agree with the credits remaining on your plan. With over 100 restaurants to choose from, you will have opportunity to try some varieties of food you might not ever try at home! My family had never tried Moroccan Cuisine, but thanks to Restaurant Marrakesh in Epcot’s World Showcase, now we have!


Easy on the Family Budget-  We all know that eating out costs more than eating at home. If you’re a family who eats out regularly, wouldn’t it be helpful to prepay for those meals and already have them budgeted? That is essentially what you are doing when you purchase a meal plan on your Disney Vacation Package. You’re prepaying for your meals. Meals at Walt Disney World can get pretty expensive. Unless you’re willing to carry in your own food to the park for all 3 meals each day, you’ll probably find yourself enjoying the excellent cuisine that’s offered. It’s easier on your budget plan if you already know how much those meals will cost you and you’ve paid for them before you even leave home. The cost savings come if you eat all your meals that you’ve chosen and if you eat some of the pricier menu items. If you tend to be a picky eater who orders a la carte, then you will probably not save money on the Disney Dining Plans. Unless you happen to get Free Dining offered on your package, you will pay between $45 and $115 per person per night depending on which plan you choose (2016 prices).   It depends on how much you plan to eat and how expensive the food you plan to eat is as to whether it will be cost savings for you. Personally, I love to try the more expensive restaurants and not be inhibited in ordering a costly menu item when on vacation. My recommendation is usually to select the Plus Dining Plan for your first visit and see how it goes for you. Keep a tally of how expensive your food is per day and decide if it’s worth it for future visits. One final note in regards to cost: the Dining Plans DO NOT include gratuity so be sure to plan for that expense and take care of the excellent server you’ll have.


Adds to the Magic and Fun- I usually recommend to my clients that they make at least one Advanced Dining Reservation per day for their entire party. It may be a big breakfast, lunch, or dinner. That gives you a time when you can all sit down together and reflect on what you’ve done so far and decide what’s next. This helps especially if you have a large party. And if you’re going to be sitting down for a relaxing meal together, you may as well have a Disney Dining Plan in place to pay for it! Big family meals are just a part of making memories and making lasting family memories is what Disney is good at! When you share a meal at Walt Disney World, you get to experience great food and fun. When you pay for your meal with the flash of a Magic Band, it’s magic!

I hope you’ll consider adding one of the Disney Dining Plans to your next trip to Walt Disney World. If you don’t have a trip planned, I can certainly help you book one complete with the Dining Plan of your choice. I’m Jeri May and you can find me by email at Jeri@TravelwiththeMagic.com, on Facebook, or by phone 1-800-670-4312 x 147.

Bon Appetit!