Disney World Dining Demystified - What You Need to Know About Dining At Walt Disney World

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The magic of a Walt Disney World trip is simply unlike any other vacation you’ll experience. The first-class guest service, immersive theming, and endless magical touches are enough to turn first-time visitors into lifelong fans. That being said, planning the logistics for a Disney vacation is a different animal. Today, our goal is to clear up confusion and explain the basics of dining at WDW. Like so many things in Disney, real-world rules don’t necessarily apply here. Let us continue to explain those differences regarding the delicious side of Disney.

1. Various Disney Dining Packages

As we just stated, you can actually pay for food in advance! To do this, all you have to do is purchase a Disney Dining Package. By doing this, you will theoretically never be pulling out your debit card to pay for meals (with the exception of gratuity.) There are a few Disney Dining Plan options. Each plan offers some variation of meals per day and they are ‘purchased’ via meal, snack, or drink credits. The plans are as follows: The Quick-Service Plan, the Disney Dining Plan, and the Deluxe Dining Plan. The first plan entitles guests to two quick-service meals and two snacks per day. Then, the next-level plan provides guests with a daily quick-service meal, table-service meal, and two snacks. And the most luxurious plan of all offers three quick-service or table-service meals and two snacks on a daily basis. Regarding which plan to pick, this will depend on your appetite and touring style. If you don’t want to keep track of reservations, the Quick-Service Plan will be ideal. On the other hand, if you’re a hard-core foodie, you may want the Deluxe Plan to book more expensive restaurants. Preferences will vary.

2. Package Stipulations

If a dining package is calling your name, make sure that you understand some of the conditions. For example, only guests staying at an on-property resort hotel can purchase this package. Also, if a party of four decides to book one room at the Pop Century hotel, all four guests must decide unanimously to add or not add a dining package. However, guests in the same party can still opt to eat at different restaurants. This is great news for any family that is divided between juicy burgers and authentic schnitzel. On the other hand, if you decide to pay for meals out of pocket, you can still eat at any WDW establishment.  

3.Dining Plan Credit System

Since every dining plan is paid for ahead of time, you will use dining credits to redeem food and beverages. Depending on the plan, you will be allotted a certain number of snack and meal credits each day. Then, it will be up to you to decide how they are dispersed throughout your trip. It’s easy enough to use your maximum credits on a daily basis, but things can get confusing if you skip a meal or forget to redeem one of your snack credits. (Also, some table-service restaurants require 2 table-service credits which means you may pay for an extra meal out of pocket.) If you find yourself with leftover credits, Disney will let you exchange them for a number of packaged snacks. Whatever you do, keep track of your dining credits just like you’d keep track of a bank account.

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BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Disney travel deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!