Disney Dining Plan – What’s Included and is it Worth It?

The Disney Dining Plan – is it worth it? It’s a bit of a tricky question but you can work out whether it is worth it for your trip.

To start with, at various points in the year you can book Disney accommodation and receive free dining.  It’s absolutely worth doing this if you are planning to stay in a Disney hotel anyway.  If you are planning to stay off Disney property, it’s worth weighing up the costs of paying for Disney when there is a ‘free dining’ promotion on.

If there isn’t a ‘free dining’ promotion running you can still buy the Disney Dining Plan independently, I will describe the different plans and give you the prices below then you can weigh up the costs (all of the restaurant menus and prices can be found on the Disney World website).   Consider how much you would normally spend on a meal at Disney and then compare this to the Disney Dining Plan cost.  I love the DDP because I can relax, feeling that I have already paid and it’s ‘all included’.  But – it needs to be worth it too!



What’s included in the Disney Dining Plan 2017?


First of all there are several levels of Disney Dining Plan.  Have a look at what is included and then read my notes underneath!  The cheapest is the quick service or counter service plan (QSDP). With this you get:


What are the prices for the Disney Dining Plan?


Counter/Quick Service Disney Dining Plan


2 Self Service Meals

2 Snack Credits

1 Refillable resort cup


How much does the Disney Dining Plan cost?

2018 Prices: $52.49 per adult per day $21.75 per child per day (age 3-9)


The refillable resort cup can be (as the title suggests 😊) refilled during your stay. It can be refilled in any of the Disney resorts, but not, unfortunately within the parks.


A counter/quick service credit is for one meal and a soft drink taken in a counter service restaurant (a counter service restaurant is one where you go up to a counter and order your own food, carrying it back to the table yourself, rather than one where you sit and order from a server).


Snack credits can be used on a myriad of wonderful things from chili cheese fries to ice cream sundaes and funnel cakes. I have written a post detailing some of the best uses of snack credits in each park.  



Disney Dining Plan (DDP)


1 Self Service Meal

1 Waiter Service Meal

2 Snack Credits

1 Refillable resort cup


How much does the Disney Dining Plan cost?

2018 Prices: $75.49 per adult per day $25.80 per child per day (age 3-9)



A table service meal is one where you are seated and order your food from a server (basically like a normal restaurant that isn’t somewhere like McDonald’s!).  Included in the Table/Waiter Service meal you get a main course (entree), dessert and a soft drink.


Ideally you should book your table service restaurant at 180 days before you go. I know, I know, it feels like a long way in advance, but the popular restaurants get booked up.  You can swap and change them if need be, right up to the day but at least if you have the popular ones booked you get to go!



Deluxe Dining Plan


3 Waiter Service or Self Service Meal

2 Snack Credits

1 Refillable resort cup


How much does the Disney Dining Plan cost?

2018 Prices: $116.25 per adult per day $39.99 per child per day (age 3-9)




The Deluxe Dining Plan is a much more expensive option.  If you like eating in the Signature restaurants then this will be ideal (the Signature restaurants use 2 table service credits at once).  I think the majority of people choose the Quick Service or the regular Disney Dining Plans.

My recommendation would always be to go for the middle plan – the Disney Dining Plan.  It’s great to grab quick service during the day but then sit down to a lovely relaxed family meal in the evening.


The allocation is per day or your stay – if you are there for 7 nights then you will receive 7 lots of whichever plan you are on.  So if you are on the middle one – the DDP then you will receive:


7 Self Service Meal

7 Waiter Service Meal

14 Snack Credits

1 Refillable resort cup


You will receive these right at the start of your stay, and you can use them as you like.  For example, you can use two self service credits the first day and two waiter service meals the second day.  You can use three in one day if you would like – just plan for the entire week.


As of 2018 the Disney Dining Plan will include one soft or one alcoholic drinks with both quick service and table service meals.  So you can choose from soda, beer, wine or cocktails (if you are over 21 of course).









7 thoughts on “Disney Dining Plan – What’s Included and is it Worth It?”

  1. Hi. Thanks for the great article. Just a quick edit – you’ve out the quick service prices instead of the Deluxe prices under the cost for the Deluxe Dining Plan.

    I’ve inky just discovered your blog so I’m off to check out some more:)


  2. The “free” Disney Dining plan isn’t really free. You cannot combine that with any other offers, so you will get that in place of a discount on a resort room. Rooms always have some form of discount or another throughout the year except for during peak times such as Christmas and spring break. But the “free” dining plan is only during peak hurricane season. Not only will you have to travel at a certain time whether it’s convenient or not, you’re also going risking being there during a hurricane. Disney got hit by one in 2017, so don’t think it can’t or won’t happen. Also, if you want to go during that time, you really have to make sure to buy the travel insurance through Disney to protect you in case you are there and a hurricane hits. The extra cost of the insurance will make your “free” dining even less attractive unless it’s something you would have purchased anyway, no matter what time of the year you went.

    • I think it is indeed sensible to check prices before the free dining is released, and compare just how much extra you will be paying. I think it probably varies depending on what country you are coming from too as the UK free dining promotion is valid from just after Easter to just before Christmas usually (so the majority of the year). It might be different in the US? One of my best friends and her family were there during the hurricane in 2017. They didn’t have Disney insurance, but did have travel insurance of course (again, this is something that UK folk would not travel without, but I can see that you might be less likely to take it out if you are from the US). The insurance covered the extra nights they needed to stay when outgoing flights were cancelled.

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