During our last few visits my family and I have booked our holiday during a period where as part of the package we received a free dining plan. Disney have periods were if you book a certain level of hotel with park tickets together you get a dining plan for free.
Walt Disney World has 3 level of Dining plans – Deluxe Dining Plan, Regular Dining Plan and Quick Service Dining Plan. Speaking from a UK point of view the Deluxe Dining Plan is not available as a free option.
To get the free Regular Dining Plan a guest must stay in a deluxe resort or villa such as Boardwalk or Polynesian, the Regular Dining includes 1 table service meal and 1 quick service meal plus 2 snacks and a refillable cup. A table service meal would be one where you are seated and a waitress serves you your meal. Examples of this would be the Sci Fi Diner at Hollywood Studios or Liberty Tree Tavern at Magic Kingdom. A quick service meal would usually be were you walk up to the counter and order you meal such as the Electric Umberella at Epcot or the Riverside Mill at Port Orleans Resort. Two table service credits can be used for a Character meal but quick service credits cannot be used for table service.
In order to get the free Quick Service Dining Plan you would need to stay at a moderate resort such as Port Orleans Riverside or French Quarter or Caribbean Beach Resort. The Quick Service Dining plan includes 2 quick service credits, 2 snack credits and 1 refillable cup. A quick service credit gives you an entree with side such as a burger and fries and then either a dessert or drink. We often use a quick service credit for breakfast at the resort.
The snacks can be and single serving of an item or a drink such as a Mickey ice cream or a cupcake. A few of the bakery/coffee shop restaurants are now Starbucks and snack credit can be used for a coffee or Frappuccino of any size. in addition if you so wish 1 quick service credit can be exchanged for 3 snacks. An example of this would be if you ordered 3 grande pumpkin spice lattes (we usually go in Fall specifically October) together it could cost you 1 meal credit instead of 3 snacks.
All dining plans come with a refillable cup, these cups are supplied to everyone in your party with dining plan credits. The cup can be filled at any drink dispenser at any of the Walt Disney World resorts regardless of which one you stay at. They cannot however be refilled at the parks or Disney Springs. These cups are handy if you are having a pool day or don’t want to use your snack credits for drinks.
As our children are older it was nice to know that they could go and get themselves some food, drinks or snacks without us eating at the same time.
on our most recent visits we have stayed at Carribbean Beach and Port Orleans Riverside and therefore had the quick service dining plan. I know many people feel that the regular dining is a better option as you can have a table service meal. the down side of the regular plan and table service is that it needs to be booked in advance. sometimes the most popular restaurants are booked as much as 6 months.
we like the quick service dining because you can eat whenever you are hungry and the children can eat different food. my daughter is very fussy and has vegetarian tendencies so being able to choose her on meal is handy.
The very large appeal of the dining plans is the cost, especially if you get the dining as a free option. we have found that the extra we pay to stay at a Disney resort totally outweighs the amount that we would pay on food. dawn and I have many discussions about this, food in Disney costs quite a bit when you are paying for just one person so when there are 4 of you it can become very expensive. it is not uncommon for a quick service meal to total $80 for a family of 4 and a table service meal at somewhere like the Liberty Tree Taven can cost upwards of $150.
For those of you who feel that all the quick service food is just about burgers and fries then take a look at the pictures I have posted both in this post and on the Traveling Nurses Instagram account.
If you have tried the Disney dining plan what do you think? Is it worth the money? I certainly think that it is…