Disney recently released a free dining promotion (you can read the details here) so I thought it would be a good time to talk about why I think the dining plan is a great idea.
What is the Disney Dining Plan, you ask? It is a prepaid meal plan that is offered to most onsite Guests* that have made package reservations at Walt Disney World Resort. It is also available to annual passholders and Disney Vacation Club members (with restrictions). There are several options: the Quick Service plan, the Standard Plan, the Deluxe Plan, and the Platinum Plan.
Of course, there are pros and cons to having a plan. Here are my top 5 reasons to consider one:
- Since it’s prepaid as part of your vacation package, you don’t need to worry about budgeting for food while in the parks. You’ll only need to worry about gratuities at your table service restaurants.
- As I mentioned above, sometimes you can get the plan for FREE when you book a package. The free dining plan that is offered is dependent on your accommodations. Value resorts are offered the Quick Service plan (2 quick service credits and 1 snack credit, per person over 3 years old, per day and 1 resort refillable mug valid for the length of your stay, per person). All other resorts are offered the Standard plan, which is 1 table service credit, 1 quick service credit, 1 snack credit per person over 3 years old, per day – plus 1 resort refillable mug (that is valid for the length of your stay) per person. If you want to upgrade to a higher-level plan during a free dining offer period, you would just need to pay the difference between the cost of the free plan and the upgraded plan.
- Snacks! Don’t underestimate the value of a snack. Whether it’s a bottle of water, popcorn, or some other yummy treat (Dole Whip? Mickey ice cream bar?), snacks can add up quickly if you’re paying out of pocket.
- Flexibility. You can use your meal credits however you wish. Have the Standard plan but don’t feel like having a sit-down meal one day? Just have two counter service meals instead, and have two table service meals another day. Do you want to eat ALL THE FOOD and have extra experiences too? Then the Platinum plan would probably work best for you. Are you a family that just grabs food as an afterthought and table service doesn’t matter? Then the Quick service plan might be for you.
- Character meals. They can be quite expensive if paying out of pocket, but with the dining plan they are just one table service credit. You could have a character meal every day if that’s your thing!
* Guests staying at the Swan, Dolphin, and Shades of Green are not eligible to purchase the Disney Dining Plan.
DIStracted Tip: If you’re going to switch around your meal credits, be sure to keep track very carefully. You don’t want to wind up thinking that you have credits left for your last day when you’ve used them all.
DIStracted Tip: If you’re interested in taking advantage of this fall’s free dining promotion, contact Caroline Knowles at Magical Distractions Vacations. She’ll get you all set up!
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