Disney Dining Plan Calculator 2017-09-19T19:32:59+00:00

Disney Dining Plan Calculator

Use the Disney Dining Plan Calculator to help you decide if one of the Disney Dining Plans will save you more money than paying out-of-pocket dining expenses.

Begin by selecting the basic details of your trip and your dining preferences for each meal of your Disney World vacation (breakfast, lunch, dinner). Based on the information you provide, the Disney Dining Calculator will compute your estimated daily out-of-pocket food expenses, as well as the Quick Service (QS) and Table Service (TS) credits you would use for these meals. Switch between each Disney Dining Plan (Quick Service, Standard, and Deluxe) to see which plan offers you the most value based on your dining selections.

Those who are light eaters may find that paying out-of-pocket is more cost-effective, while most guests will likely find one of the dining plans offers greater value.

Notes

*Assumptions: Calculations are based on the average price per restaurant.

*Appetizers: Since appetizers are not included in any Disney Dining Plan, our calculations do not factor in this extra cost. If you choose an appetizer with your meal, be aware that this cost will be considered an out-of-pocket expense regardless of if you are on a dining plan or not.

*Tipping: While taxes are included in Disney Dining Plan pricing, gratuity is typically not included. Therefore, the Disney Dining Plan Calculator results do not take gratuity into account. Gratuity is already included with your meal costs at the following dining events: Cinderella’s Royal Table, Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue, Spirit of Aloha Luau, and Mickey’s Backyard BBQ. Parties of six or more are automatically assessed a 18% gratuity charge. Otherwise, remember to tip your servers!

*TS for QS: Disney does not allow you to substitute a Quick Service credit for a Table Service meal, but they do allow you to exchange a Table Service credit for a Quick Service meal.  Note that if you run out of Quick Service credits and have an extra Table Service credit available, the Disney Dining Calculator will automatically convert a Table Service credit to a Quick Service credit.

The food at Disney World is spectacular! There are over 140 dining locations in the parks, ranging from snack carts to counter service restaurants, buffets to ethnic restaurants, character dining to exquisite fine-dining, and much more. With such an abundance of great food around, its no wonder that dining expenses end up being one of the biggest costs of a Disney World vacation.

In 2005, Disney introduced the Disney Dining Plan as a convenient, flexible, and potentially affordable way for guests to dine and snack at restaurants and food kiosks around Disney World.  The Disney Dining Plan essentially gives guests the option to pre-pay a set amount in exchange for receiving credits to be used at over 100 dining locations throughout Disney World. Guests can choose from 3 tiers of dining plans: the Quick Service Dining Plan, the Standard Dining Plan, or the Deluxe Dining Plan (see below for a detailed explanation of each plan).   Dining plans are often included in Magic Your Way Packages (along with Disney Resort reservations and theme park tickets).

Understanding the Disney Dining Plan Calculator

Here are a few terms you should be familiar with as you use the Disney Dining Plan Calculator and consider the benefits of each plan.

Dining Credits: A “credit” is the term Disney uses to count a meal or snack. Since your credits are based on the number of nights you stay at a Disney Resort, you can use your credits at any time during your vacation.

Snack: A “snack” item is defined by any single serving side item purchased at Quick Service restaurants, most outdoor carts and select merchandise locations throughout Disney World. Examples of snack items include: ice cream novelty, fruit bar, 20 oz. soda, popcorn scoop, fruit item, container of milk orange juice, bag of a snack item, etc

Quick Service: Restaurants accepting Quick Service dining credits typically offer cafeteria-style or counter service dining. A Quick Service meal includes an entrée and a beverage (or 3 snack items in a single transaction).

Table Service: Restaurants accepting Table Service dining credits tend to be less casual than Quick Service restaurants (ie, sit-down restaurants with a server).  Some Table Service restaurants are fine dining establishments, while others have themes or other unique characteristics. A Table Service breakfast meal consists of an entrée and a beverage, while a lunch or dinner meal consists of an entrée, a dessert, and beverage (or a buffet/family style meal at any time of day).

Children Under Age 3: Children under age 3 can either share a meal with an adult or dine at a buffet for no charge. However, menu items ordered separately (for the child) are subject to normal menu prices.

Children Age 3-9: Most Disney World restaurants have a kid’s menu for children ages 3-9. These prices are often considerably less than normal (adult) menu prices. Kids on a child’s Disney Dining Plan must order items from the kid’s menu.

Refillable Mugs: All guests on a Disney Dining Plan will receive a complimentary rapid refill mug. These mugs can be used for free refills at self-service beverage counters throughout the duration of your stay. Refill stations can be found at select Quick Service locations, food courts, and pool bars at Disney Resorts (every resort has at least one refill station). If you are not on a Disney Dining Plan, a rapid refill mug with cost you $17.99.

Signature Dining: There are a few dining experiences which are considered “signature dining” because they are special or extra-fancy in some way. Guests on the Standard or Deluxe Dining Plan will spend two Table Service credits per meal at these locations or experiences.

– Current two-credit dining experiences include: Artist Point, The Boathouse, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Citricos, California Grill, Flying Fish, Hollywood Brown Derby, Jiko, LeCellier Steakhouse, Monsieur Paul, Morimoto Asia, Narcoossee’s, Paddlefish, Tiffins, and Yachtsman Steakhouse

– Dinner shows requiring 2 Table Service credits include: Fantasmic! (at Hollywood Brown Derby), Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, and The Spirit of Aloha.

– Pizza delivered to your hotel room also counts as two Table service meals. You will receive 1 pizza, 2 beverages, and 2 desserts per every 2 Table Service credits.

Specialty Drinks (new for 2018): As of 2018, single-serving specialty drinks are now included as part of the Disney Dining Plan.  Guests under 21 can choose one non-alcoholic specialty beverage with their meal, while guests ages 21+ can choose either a non-alcoholic specialty beverage (if available) OR a single-serving alcoholic drink with their meal.

– Examples of single-serving non-alcoholic beverages include: fresh smoothies, artisanal milkshakes, premium hot chocolate, coffee, tea, and coffee.

– Examples of single-serving alcoholic beverages include: beer, wine, cider, mixed drinks, specialty cocktails, and sangria.

– Alcoholic specialty drinks can only be redeemed with Quick Service or Table Service meal entitlements.

2018 Disney Dining Plan Options

Disney offers three unique Dining Plan options as an alternative to paying out-of-pocket dining expenses. Let’s review the details of each plan..

Disney Quick Service Dining Plan

The Disney Quick Service Dining Plan is the least expensive dining plan option. It entitles you to counter service meals and snacks at most Quick service dining locations and food carts around Walt Disney World Resort.

Cost Per Person, Per Package Night:

Adult: $52.49

Child: $21.74

The Disney Quick Service Dining Plan includes:

✓  2 Quick Service meals – (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) 1 entrée and 1 alcoholic (21+) or non-alcoholic beverage

✓  2 snack items

✓  1 refillable mug

Disney Standard Dining Plan

The Standard (Regular) Disney Dining Plan is the mid-tier dining plan option.  It allows you to experience a variety of dining options around Walt Disney World Resort.

Cost Per Person, Per Package Night:

Adult: $75.49

Child: $25.75

The Disney Standard Dining Plan includes:

✓  1 Quick Service Meal – (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) – 1 entrée and 1 alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage

✓  1 Table Service Meal – (breakfast) 1 entrée and 1 alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage OR full buffet or family-style meal; (lunch and dinner) 1 entrée, 1 dessert, and 1 alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage OR full buffet or family-style meal)

✓  2 snack items

✓  1 refillable mug

Disney Deluxe Dining Plan

The Disney Deluxe Dining Plan is Disney’s most inclusive (and expensive) dining plan. If you are a big eater or plan on dining at Table Service restaurants frequently during the course of your Disney World vacation, the Deluxe plan may present the most value.

Cost Per Person, Per Package Night:

Adult: $116.25

Child: $39.99

The Disney Deluxe Dining Plan includes:

✓  3 Quick Service or Table Service Meals

Quick-Service Meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) – 1 entrée and 1 alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage

or

Table-Service Meal (breakfast) – 1 entrée and 1 alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage OR full buffet or family-style meal; (lunch and dinner) – 1 entrée, 1 dessert, and 1 alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage OR full buffet or family-style meal)

✓  2 snack items

✓  1 refillable mug

Is the Disney Dining Plan Worth the Cost?

We created the Disney Dining Plan Calculator to help you answer this question. Whether or not the Disney Dining Plans actually saves you money vs. paying out-of-pocket has been debated ever since Disney first introduced the plan back in 2005. To be frank, there isn’t a correct answer. It really just comes down to your individual dining preferences – if you prefer Table Service or Quick Services restaurants, which restaurants you choose, how big of an appetite you have, which entrees and beverages you would select, how frequently you snack and order desserts, etc.

Generally speaking, if you eat light – skip the desserts, cocktails, and extra snacks – then paying for food out-of-pocket would probably be the way to go. If you enjoy Table Service restaurants, expensive entrees, specialty drinks (especially fancy alcoholic drinks), desserts, etc, then the Deluxe Dining Plan would be your best bet. For those of you in the middle, the Quick Service or Standard Dining plans should provide you with more value vs. a paying-as-you go strategy. Try different scenarios on the Disney Dining Calculator and see which plan works best for you, if any.

Use Your Dining Credits Wisely

There are strategies you can implement to get the most value out of the dining plan you choose.

Menu items tend to be more expense at lunch and (especially) dinner, so it would be wise to use your snack credits during breakfast (if you are on a Quick Service or Standard plan).

Table Service meals generally have higher out-of-pocket costs and, quite frankly, higher-quality food. Plus, lunch and dinner Table Service meals include a dessert item. If you are on the Disney Standard Dining Plan, use your Table Service credit for dinner and your Quick Service credit for lunch (unless you are more hungry during lunchtime).

If you are on the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan, you have the choice of 3 Quick Service OR Table Service meals. Extract the most value out of your plan by eating the majority of your meals at Table Service restaurants (and make your stomach extra happy in the process).

Other Things to Consider

General Requirement

All guests staying in your Disney Resort room must be booked on the same dining package for the duration of your stay.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the Disney Dining Plan, you must either have a Magic Your Way package or be a Disney Resort guest with park tickets. Annual Pass ticket holders and guests staying off-site (not at a Disney Resort) do not qualify for the Disney Dining Plan. Since online travel search engines (like Expedia) do not always have an option to book Disney Dining, it may be a good idea to book through a Disney travel agent to confirm your eligibility and tailor your vacation to include your appropriate dining plan.

How it works

Prior to ordering, tell your server that you are on a dining plan. Your server will first scan your MagicBand and then ask you to enter your personalized pin number for your account. Once your account has been verified, you meal is then charged to your Disney Dining Plan. It’s really a convenient and hassle-free payment system. Note that gratuity and any menu items you order that are not covered by your Disney Dining Plan will be charged to the credit card on your account.

You can track your meal usage by checking the bottom portion of your receipt or by asking your hotel concierge for a print out of your balance.

Seasonal Events

Seasonal dining events often coincide with holidays and festivals at Disney World. These special limited-time experiences are not included in the Disney Dining Plan Calculator. Check your Disney travel agency for the most up-to-date details and pricing.

Fantasmic! Dining Package

Hollywood Studio’s Fantasmic! is a spectacular 26-minute show featuring fireworks, music, Disney characters, projections, and water effects. Disney offers guests a unique dining package (The Fantasmic! Dining Package) to compliment the show. The FDP includes one meal at a participating Hollywood Studios restaurant and  a voucher to see the Fantasmic! show in a specially reserved, prime viewing section of the amplitheatre. The dining package also gives ticket holders the ability to bypass the long (60-90 minute) line upon entering the theater.

There are a few downsides to the Fantasmic! Dining Package.  For one, meal times are often at off-peak hours (for example, dinner at 3 pm). On nights when Fantasmic has 2 shows scheduled, the Fantasmic! Dining Package is only available during the first show. And if the show is canceled due to weather or some other unforeseen circumstance, you will not be issued a refund or a voucher for another show.

For 2018, the dining package includes:

✓  One entrée, dessert and nonalcoholic beverage at select full-service restaurants or one buffet (where applicable)

✓  One voucher for seating at Fantasmic! in a reserved area

Here are the current participating Fantasmic! Dining Package restaurants:

Mama Melrose Ristorante Italiano

Lunch/dinner – $42 adults; $18 children (plus tax and gratuity)

*this dining experience counts as 1 Table Services credit

Hollywood & Vine

Breakfast (Disney Junior Play ‘n’ Dine) – $41 adults; $24 children (plus tax and gratuity)

Lunch and dinner (Minnie’s Seasonal Dine) – $59 adults; $35 children (plus tax and gratuity)

*this dining experience counts as 1 Table Services credit

The Hollywood Brown Derby

Lunch/dinner – $62 adults; $22 children (plus tax and gratuity)

*this dining experience counts as 2 Table Services credits

We hope the Disney Dining Plan Calculator is helpful in planning your Disney World food budget.  For more helpful Disney World vacation planning articles, see other Magic Guides articles, as well as our interactive Disney World Transportation Map.

If you need help planning and booking your magical Walt Disney World vacation, contact our friends at The Vacationeer. Their services are always helpful and totally free of charge!