Will you be purchasing the dining plan?

When planning a trip to Walt Disney World, one of the first things many Disney park veterans plan is dining. If you’ve never been, and are planning to go during regular or peak season, you’ll definitely want to plan this part of your vacation. If you are thinking about trying the Disney Dining Plan for the first time here are the various plans and what is included (for 2011 dining plans):

  • Disney Quick Service Plan – Two Quick Service Meals and two Snacks per person, per night plus a resort refillable mug.
  • Disney Dining Plan – One Table Service Meal, one Quick Service Meal and one Snack per person, per night.
  • Disney Deluxe Dining Plan – Three Meals (can be Quick Service or Table Service) and two Snacks per person, per night plus refillable mug.
  • Disney Premium Dining Plan – Three Meals (can be Quick Service or Table Service) and two Snacks per person, per night plus refillable mug. This plan also includes recreation and tours.
  • Disney Platinum Dining Plan – Three Meals (can be Quick Service or Table Service) and two Snacks per person, per night plus refillable mug. This plan also includes recreation, tours, fireworks cruise, Fantasmic! reserved seating, spa treatments, Disney PhotoPass photo CD and the Richard Petty Ride Along Experience.
Important things to note about the Disney Dining Plan:
  • Must be a package (unless Annual Passholder or DVC)
  • Everyone on the package must be on the same plan
  • Does not apply to children under 3
  • Gratuities not included unless indicated
  • Alcohol is not included
  • Refillable mug is only good for the duration of your stay
  • Refillable mug is only good at your resort
  • Meal credits can be used in any order
  • Meal credits expire at midnight on checkout date
  • You can not use your credits for anyone that isn’t on your package
As an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner I often get asked “Which dining plan is right for my family?” That is something that only you can really answer. However, there are a few things to think about. First, what is your families eat. Do you like the freedom of not having to worry about making Advanced Dining Reservations? If so, then the quick service plan is probably the right plan for you. If you enjoy sitting down and having a nice meal, then one of the other plans would be great.  Secondly, think about how you like to vacation.
Do you enjoy fine dining or “Signature Dining”? Do you like a big breakfast or like taking time out in the middle of your day to relax and enjoy a nice lunch plus have a dinner? If so, then consider the Deluxe Dining Plan. Third, are you more interested in a leisure vacation. Are you looking to spend most of your time doing recreational activities like golf, water sports and tennis? Are you wanting to take the special tours? If so, then look at the Premium Plan. If you have money to burn and want to enjoy the spa, have special viewing of some of the nighttime park entertainment and are looking to experience Richard Petty, then consider the Platinum Plan.
Do I get the dining plan? Always! I enjoy at least one nice meal a day and in the hot months like to take things at a leisurely pace and get out of the sun. So I always get either the basic Dining Plan or the Deluxe Dining Plan.
Do I recommend the dining plan? Yes! It makes dining easy, convenient, worry-free and they all save you money. If you are looking to dine at the Signature restaurants, this can save you a significant amount of money. I’ve saved as much as $75 a day (for two people).

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Kristen is a foodie who has travel extensively and dined at 85% of the Walt Disney World restaurants, including the Five Diamond Award winning Victoria and Albert’s. She’s been to Disney World 20 times in the last 20 years and has made two visits to Disneyland. Kristen uses her culinary knowledge and love of food to help others plan their Disney dining and recreate that magic of Disney food once they come home. Be sure to check out http://CookingWithMickey.info for everything Disney food related. 

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