FAQs about Disney’s Dining Plans
What Qualifies as a Snack on the Disney Dining Plan?
Generally speaking, any single-serve food or non-alcoholic beverage item with a price point around, say, $7 or less will likely qualify for use of a snack credit.
Examples might include a Mickey Ice Cream bar, Dole Whip, a soft pretzel, a churro, a box of popcorn, a 20-ounce bottle of soda, and even many items at the festival booths in EPCOT.
Again, these are merely possible examples — the best way to determine if something qualifies is to either ask the Cast Member tending the location, or to look for a “DDP” logo next to the item on menus and price signage.
Purple DDP icons are shown to the left of eligible snacks on a menu board
What Qualifies as a Quick Service Meal on the Disney Dining Plan?
A quick service meal at Disney World is one in which you place your order and pay in advance (either at a cash register or in the MyDisneyExperience app’s mobile order function) and then wait for your food; you pick up your meal from the counter and take it to your table to enjoy. For a real world example, think of the experience you might have at a McDonald’s or other “fast food” or “quick casual” place.
Connections Cafe at EPCOT
Your Disney Quick Service Meal entitlement will usually include an entrée and side item (or a combo meal if offered), along with a beverage. Those who are of age may enjoy a beer, wine, or cocktail with their meal.
What Qualifies as a Table Service Meal on the Disney Dining Plan?
A table service meal at Disney World is one in which you are seated at a table and given a menu, and have a server visit your table to take your order, deliver your food, serve you throughout the meal, and process payment at the end of the meal.
Via Napoli restaurant in Epcot’s World Showcase
Your Disney Table Service Meal entitlement will usually include an entrée and side item (or possibly a prix fixe menu option if offered), along with a beverage. Those who are of age may enjoy a beer, wine, or cocktail with their meal. Dessert is also included, except at breakfast.
Where Can I use my Resort Refillable Mug?
Your resort refillable mug is valid for use only at the self-service drink island at your resort hotel. It can not be used to get drinks in the theme parks, water parks, or Disney Springs.
Typical drink options include soft drinks (Coca-Cola products), water, coffee, tea, and occasionally even some frozen slush options.
Which Restaurants Take Disney Dining Plan Credits?
Most Disney World Restaurants and snack carts — including many locations at Disney Springs — accept the Disney Dining Plan. You can see the updated list on Disney’s website; and you can always ask a Cast Member if you’re not sure. Note that some high-end locations may require the use of two dining entitlements — see below.
Which Restaurants Take Two Disney Dining Plan Credits?
Dining locations which are listed as a “signature dining” experience require two table service entitlements per meal in recognition of the higher-end experience they provide. Some examples include California Grill, Le Cellier Steakhouse, Cinderella’s Royal table, and Cítricos. Some of the most-popular character meals, such as Cinderella’s Royal Table, also require two credits. You’ll also need two credits to use in-room private dining (AKA hotel room service) or the pizza service offered at some resorts.
Do Dinner Shows accept the Disney Dining Plan?
Certain performances and seating categories at the Hoop-Dee-Doo-Musical Revue can be experienced with the Disney Dining Plan. You’ll need to redeem two entitlements for the experience.
Do You Need Reservations if You Have the Disney Dining Plan?
The Disney Dining Plan does not include any type of guaranteed seating, so you’ll almost certainly want to make reservations for any table service meals you plan to have. You can reserve your meals 60 days in advance of your check-in date, so book early to have the best chance of getting your desired meals.
Quick Service restaurants typically don’t take reservations, so you can plan to simply walk up to those.
And don’t forget — if the restaurant is inside a theme park, you’ll need theme park admission tickets (as well as a theme park reservation if your ticket requires one) to dine.
Does the Disney Dining Plan include tips (gratuities)?
Tips are not included with the Disney Dining Plan. It’s customary to tip around 18% of the regular menu price for your meal at table service restaurants, regardless of what you paid for the Disney Dining Plan itself.
Does the Disney Dining Plan Include Alcohol?
Beer, wine, or a cocktail is included with the cost of the dining plan during quick service and table service meals. Snack entitlements cannot be redeemed for alcoholic beverages.
Does the Dining Plan Cover Appetizers and Desserts?
2024’s dining plan includes dessert for table service brunches, lunches, and dinners. Dessert is not included for table service breakfasts, nor is it included for any quick service meals. Appetizers are not included.
Does the Disney Dining Plan Include Breakfast?
Both versions of the Disney Dining Plan include two meals per day, but they are not assigned to any specific meal times. You can use your meal entitlements at breakfast, lunch, or dinner as you wish.
And because you can use multiple entitlements per day, there’s no reason that you can’t use three entitlements in one day if you desire — you’ll just have to skip a meal later in the trip.
Which Hotels are Eligible for the Disney Dining Plan?
The dining plan is officially offered at “select Walt Disney World Resort hotels”; generally speaking, if your hotel is on Disney World property and is owned/operated by Disney, you can add the dining plan to your reservation. These include Disney’s Value Resorts, Moderate Resorts, Deluxe Resorts, and Deluxe Villa Resorts.
Third party hotels such as the Swan and Dolphin resorts do not participate.
Can I Add the Dining Plan to Just Part of My Stay?
The Disney dining plan must be purchased for the entire length of a resort reservation. It’s not possible to have it applied only to part of your stay, unless you have two separate reservations in different accommodations. In that case, you could add the dining plan to one reservation and leave it off the other.
My Kids Don’t Eat Much. Can I Add the Dining Plan for Just the Adults in the Room?
No; if the dining plan is added to the reservation, it must be added for every member of the travel party who is aged 3+.
Do I get a refund for unused dining plan credits?
Unused dining plan credits will expire at 11:59PM on the day you check out of your resort, and there are no refunds. So make sure you plan ahead to use all those credits!
It’s a common sight at check-out time to see folks in the resort gift shop buying up lots of chips and sodas on the last morning of their stay so their snack credits aren’t wasted — it’s like watching Supermarket Sweep, Disney Edition!
What if I Run Out of Dining Plan Entitlements?
There’s no way to “refill” your dining plan or add more entitlements. If you run out of credits/entitlements, you’ll simply need to pay out of pocket for any additional dining you wish to do.
When Will Free Dining Come Back?
Disney has traditionally offered “Free Dining” as a promotion during the slower times of the year, including a Disney Quick Service plan (or other meal plan) at no additional cost when purchasing a full-priced hotel stay and full-priced length-of-stay theme park tickets. This promotion is immensely popular whenever it is offered, and often sells out.
So is it coming back?
The entire Disney Dining Plan — free or otherwise — was suspended during the 2020 through 2023 travel seasons, and is just now returning for stays starting January 9, 2024 and beyond. Given nearly four years of pent-up demand, it would be surprising if Disney decides they need to stoke travel demand by offering free dining as an incentive to book.
And yet, the mouse works in mysterious ways and new promotions are announced regularly. We actually believe there’s a very good chance Free Dining could return soon — so make sure you’re in good with a trusted Disney Travel Agent to ensure you stay in the know about all the latest promotions.