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Disney Dining Plan – What’s The Best Plan For How You Theme Park?

Let’s eat! There’s tons of great food to enjoy at Walt Disney World, and many ways to do it. From quick service to fine dining, or even dining with the head mouse himself at Chef Mickey’s in the Contemporary, there is an option for every type of diner. At the beginning of every meal at Disney World we all get the same question, are you on the Disney Dining Plan? If you’re like us, then the answer is yes. The big question is which Disney Dining Plan is best for your trip? We’re breaking down the Disney Dining Plan options based on different ways to experience the most magical place on earth. Grab your fork and bring your appetite, it’s chow time!

Logo - Disney Dining Plan

What Is The Disney Dining Plan?

The Disney Dining Plan is a pre-paid meal plan for your guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort. Prior to arrival, you can choose from 3 different plan options to add to your trip. Each of the plans will be priced based on the number of nights you’re staying at a Disney Resort. Within each plan, you’ll receive credits for different meal types that include quick serve meals, table service meals, and snacks. You can’t forget the snacks! Each plan shows how many credits you’ll receive per night stay at a Disney resort. The plan options include the following:

  • Quick Serve Plan – includes 2 Quick Serve Meals and 2 Snacks
  • The Dining Plan (the original) – includes 1 Table Service Meal, 1 Quick Serve, and 2 Snack
  • Deluxe Dining Plan – includes 3 Tables Service Meals and 2 snacks

Each of the meals, both quick service and table service includes one non-alcoholic or alcoholic beverage.

Passholder Insights: You can add the Disney Dining Plan at anytime prior to the day you arrive.

Satuli Canteen is a quick serve option on the Disney Dining Plan
Entrance to Satuli Canteen

Food Is Fuel!

If you’re heading to Walt Disney World looking to set the record for most rides on Expedition Everest or going non-stop from rope drop to park close, you’re gonna need fuel to log all those theme park miles. Look no further than Quick Serve Disney Dining Plan. It’s perfect for fueling up while leaving plenty of time to get your ride on.

What’s great about Disney World dining is, you do not have to sacrifice great food for convenience. One of our favorite meals on property is Satuli Canteen in Pandora over at the Animal Kingdom. All of the parks have a quick serve hidden gem like this one.

Passholder Insights: To really speed up the process use the mobile order option with the My Disney Experience app. You’ll be back tossing up your hands on Big Thunder Mountain before you know it!  

The new Storybook dining is 1 table service on the Disney Dining Plan
Storybook Dining with Snow White

Character Dining

Need we say more? It explains itself. No Walt Disney World vacation is complete until you’ve enjoyed a meal with your favorite character. If you’re looking to do multiple character dining experiences, definitely check out the Disney Dining Plan with one 1 table service. All the character meals, except for Cinderella’s Royal Table qualify as single table service credit and it’s a great value.

When planning for a character dining experience you can expect the meal to take about an hour and a half from start to finish. We would highly recommend making an Advance Dining Reservation within My Disney Experience, as the character meals fill up quickly. Don’t forget your autograph books and cameras!

Passholder Insights: At Tusker House at the Animal Kingdom if you cannot decide between breakfast or lunch, book a reservation for around 10:45 am. You’ll be able to enjoy both meals!

Signature Dining is 2 table service credits on the Disney Dining Plan
View From California Grill

We’re Here For The Food!

When most people hear Walt Disney World the first thing that comes to mind is rides, then characters. Not in the DVC Duo house, it’s food! Disney is a foodie’s paradise with tons of amazing restaurants and dining experiences. If you’re looking for the ultimate food experience we recommended the Deluxe Dining Package. You can play it a variety of ways, from a table service experience for all meals, to doubling up for Signature Dining.

Sprinkled throughout the Walt Disney World resort area you’ll find restaurants labeled as signature restaurants, like Flying Fish or Le Cellier. At these restaurants, it takes two table service credits for one meal. For the creme de la creme foodie dining experience you can double up every night and enjoy signature dining for the entire trip!

Passholder Insights: One of the best dining experiences that is one table service credit is ‘Ohana at the Polynesian resort. You can’t go wrong with breakfast or dinner.

Let’s Beat The Heat

Afternoons in Florida most of the year are warm, some may even say “hot”. It’s the perfect time to take a break and soak up some air conditioning. We like to cool down while enjoying a late lunch or early dinner. It’s a great way to recharge for the night ahead riding some of the best nighttime coasters at Disney. All the Disney Dining Packages work with this strategy. The big question is whether you relax in the parks or head to one of the resorts.

Our Thoughts

Over the years we’ve enjoyed the Disney Dining Plan as it helps de-stress our trips. We find that it helps us plan and budget knowing the majority of the food cost up front. All we do is pick the plan that fits our trip and we’re ready. We’ve found our go to plan is the original plan. It’s the perfect balance of the amount of food and the opportunity to enjoy multiple table service restaurants. Our strategy usually entails splitting a quick serve for breakfast, and splitting another for lunch, then enjoying a nice table service meal before the nighttime shows. Throw in a few snacks and we’re happy campers. All that’s left to do is pick our plan and hit the parks!

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