How can I maximize my dining plan credits?
** Go to character meals - these meals are generally $40 - 60 out of pocket, making them great uses of credits.
** Order the steak! No seriously, your credit is good for anything on the menu, so order whatever your heart desires, even if it is the most expensive menu item!
** Use table service credits on lunch or dinner, as those are typically the most expensive meals of the day for table service restaurants.
** A couple of restaurants offer dining packages for 1 table service credit and this is a real dang good value most of the time!
I’m staying off property, can I still use a dining plan?
Unfortunately, dining plans are reserved as a “perk” to Disney Resort guests & can only be purchased by adding it to your Disney vacation package.
Can I purchase the dining plan for only select members of my party?
Nope - when you add a dining plan to a package, everyone must have the dining plan.
Can I purchase the dining plan for only select days of my vacation?
This is a big one that I get asked all the time! The answer is no - when you add a dining plan to your vacation, it is for the entire length of your stay, not just parts of it.
How do I feed my kids who aren’t old enough for the dining plan? (2 and under do not receive dining plan entitlements)
The littles who aren’t old enough to have their own dining plan credits can still eat, I promise! At buffets, they are welcome to have their own plate, free of charge. At restaurants where you order off of a menu (such as quick service locations, and other table service restaurants that are not buffet or family style), you can order anything off the menu a la cart and pay for it out of pocket OR they can share from your plate (or siblings plates) at no extra charge.
Anything else included in the dining plan that you haven’t mentioned?
Rapid Refill Mugs! These mugs are good for the length of your stay and give you free soda/coffee/water refills at any Disney Resort (not just the one you’re staying at!). You pick these up at your resort’s food court, usually on the day you check in. Note: these mugs can be purchased even if you’re not on the dining plan!
What is NOT included in the dining plan?
Gratuity is NOT included (except at a select few restaurants) and that’s very important to note! So while this plan makes your vacation 98% all inclusive, there will be that extra 2% you need to account for — 1% on gratuity at table service meals and 1% on souvenirs. ;)
What are some of your favorite quick service locations?
** In Animal Kingdom - Satuli Canteen, Flame Tree BBQ
** In Epcot - Sunshine Seasons + any of the stops in World Showcase!
** In Hollywood Studios - Woody’s Lunchbox, Backlot Express
** In Magic Kingdom - Casey’s Corner, Cosmic Ray’s, Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn, Be Our Guest (breakfast/lunch), Pinocchio’s Village Haus
What are some of your favorite table service restaurants?
** In Animal Kingdom - Tusker House
** In Epcot - Rose & Crown Dining Room, Le Chefs de France, Garden Grill, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
** In Hollywood Studios - Mama Melrose (with Fantasmic package), 50s Prime Time Cafe, Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater
** In Magic Kingdom - Skipper Canteen, Cinderella’s Royal Table (but I wouldn’t use dining plan here, I’d pay out of pocket for this one!), Crystal Palace
** Elsewhere in WDW - Ohana (breakfast/dinner), Artist Point, Homecomin’, Sebastian’s Bistro, 1900 Park Fare, Cape May Cafe, Splitsville (bowling alley + food!)
I think that’s it for now - if you have any questions, feel free to ask and I’ll update this post as things change!
Until next time!