The Disney Dining Plan (also known as the DDP) sure can initiate some heated discussions among Disney fans!
Some think it’s a waste of money while others claim that it can be a huge savings. As with every vacationing decision, it’s important to realize that no vacation or vacationers are the same. What works for some might not work for others.
Those who like the Disney Dining Plan have many good reasons. Let’s take a look at nine reasons people love the DDP. The discussion will also include a break down of each plan for those who are not familiar with the different choices.
9. Someone suggested it
When planning a vacation, it’s always good to talk to someone who has been there. This is especially true with a Disney vacation. If someone you know used the Dining Plan successfully, ask them what they learned, what they would have done differently, and if they would do it again. If their situation is like yours, it just might work well for you too!
8. Flexibility with credits
All plans are made up of “credits” that can be redeemed for meals or snacks. The number of credits you receive is based on how long you’re staying, and you can use these credits however you want to.
While most meals are just one credit, some fancier meals like dinner shows and character meals require two credits. Since credits last the length of your stay, you might want to save a couple credits for a special dinner show or character meal. Maybe you’re not a breakfast person or you ate a big lunch so you only need a snack for dinner; in this case, you can use your credit for a future purchase. They’re also good for the whole group; if Johnny wants an extra snack and Dad wants to give his credit to his son, he can do that!
7. Simplify snacking
Snacks can sometimes be tricky. They’re usually different prices and not everyone is going to want the same thing at the same time. The DDP gives you the peace of mind knowing that you can have a snack at some point during the day and the ease of choosing whatever you want when you want. Just look for the purple square on the Quick-Service Menus.
Even better, some small meals and sides are considered snacks, so you may not need to use a meal credit to get something small for lunch.
6. Prepayment is convenient
Many folks love the MagicBands because they don’t have to carry cash or a credit card with them all the time. It takes the stress of spending money out of daily goings on of vacationing, and people can just relax and know that purchases are covered.
The same convenience comes with the Dining Plan. First of all, it’s also connected to your MagicBand. When you’re paying for your meal, just tell the cashier or waitress that you’re on the DDP (they usually ask), and scan your band to redeem your credits.
Second, since you’ve already paid for your credits before you even left home, you won’t have to budget as much on your trip. Restaurants also make it easy to monitor your credits because the remaining balance is printed at the bottom of your receipt.
5. Quick-Service or Table-Service
When you just want a quick meal, you can go to any Quick-service location and use your DDP. These locations are fast and convenient, but they offer good-quality and tasty food options for the person on the go. All Dining Plans include a Quick-Service option.
If you want to sit down for a relaxing meal, you can do that too with most Dining Plans. All Table-Service meals include an entrée, and a dessert. These credits are good for any sit-down restaurant including character meals, dinner shows, and even pizza deliver and room service. You should be aware that some of these require two credits like pizza delivery and signature dining options.
4. Early reservations
Have you heard that Disney Resort Guests can make reservations 180 days in advance? Well, those on the Dining Plan get an extra perk because they can make 10 days of Advanced Dining Reservations at the 180-day mark! This means that you’ll get a head start on those ADRs, and you’ll have a better chance of getting hard-to-get reservations like Be Our Guest and Cinderella’s Royal Table.
3. Say “yes” to souvenirs
If you’re worrying less about how much money you might still spend on meals, you’ll be more inclined to allow little Susie to get that light-up souvenir mug or popcorn bowl.
One of the best things about the Disney Dining Plan is that there’s something for everyone! There are five different plans, so you’re sure to find something that will work for you.
1. Quick-Service Dining Plan: The Quick-Service Dining Plan is the least expensive, and it’s most appropriate for the family on the go. You get two meals and two snacks per day at any Quick-Service location in Disney World including parks, resorts, water parks, and Disney Springs.
2. Disney Dining Plan: This is the most common plan because it includes both quick-service and table-service options with one table-service, one quick-service, and two snacks per day. You can also use it for pizza delivery or other room service. Since most breakfast items are considered a snack, this should cover all three meals for the average person. Table Service meals include a dessert with lunch or dinner.
3. Deluxe Dining Plan: The Deluxe plan is for the person who enjoys food. This plan includes more credits that are good for three meals and two snacks per day. What’s great about this plan is that the meals can be either quick- or table-service or you can opt for room service or pizza delivery.
Sometimes value isn’t always just about the price you pay. When you purchase the right Disney Dining Plan for you, you get the peace of mind knowing that you’ve pre-purchased your meals. Now all you have to do is sit down and enjoy the delicious food Disney has to offer. You also have to worry less about how much you might still spend on food, so as I mentioned above, you can more easily budget for impromptu extras and souvenirs. Many people say that the plan more than paid for itself before the end of their vacation.
Do you get the Disney Dining Plan on your vacations?