Disney Dining Plans & Free Dining

Pixie Vacations, your local Disney and travel expert, answers your questions about how to get the most out of your next Disney vacation. This month, Pixie answers a question from Laura who asks:

My family is planning to go to Disney World over Fall Break. How do the Disney Dining Plans work? Will I save money by using one? Will the Disney Free Dining offer come out again this year?

Laura, there are three basic dining plans (and two additional dining plans that include some recreation and entertainment options). They are each based per person, per night of your reservation. 

The first is Quick Service Dining
This plan includes 2 counter service meals (entrée, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverage) and 2 snacks (box of popcorn, fountain soda, bottled water, ice cream novelty, or one of many others – some choices are not obvious, so ask what counts). It includes a beverage mug with unlimited refills per person at your Disney resort. This is a good option if you are not big on making reservations or keeping to a schedule. It is also good for a family of light eaters.

The second option, and the most popular, is Plus Dining
This includes 1 table service (entrée, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverage) 1 quick service, and 2 snacks. It also includes a resort drink mug. Plus Dining allows a lot of flexibility to your dining. You can dine with character, see shows, or experience one of Disney’s Signature Restaurants. You can simply plan a nice sit-down meal for the family at the end of the day. Or mix it up!

The third option is Deluxe Dining
This plan includes 3 meals (entrée, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverage) and 2 snacks. The resort refillable drink mug is included with this plan too. This is A LOT of food, but is great for a family who wants to experience some of the dining options that require 2 table credits. The meal credits do not have to be used at table service restaurants; they can be used at quick service locations too.

Disney Free Dining

The dining credits are put onto your Disney Magicband, and are deducted each time you use one. It doesn’t matter if you use them all in one day or skip a day or two — they just come off one at a time. The dining plans can save you up to 30%. There are over 100 restaurants and location to use your credits. You can make reservations up to 180 days in advance. It may sound silly to reserve this early, but it can become difficult to get the restaurants and times you want if you wait.

For the past eight years or so, Disney has offered Disney Free Dining. Will Disney Free Dining be offered in 2017? We don’t know, but we are happy to plan your Walt Disney World Vacation and if Free Dining comes out in 2017 we will move your Disney Vacation Package to free dining if the offer is better than the current Disney vacation package. Right now there is a Disney World room discount available, best for Moderate and Deluxe Resorts, and also a Walt Disney World Vacation Package. I would advise that you don’t wait in hopes of the Free Dining coming out again. If you are sure you are going to Walt Disney World in 2017, secure your reservation now. We can switch your reservation to Disney Free Dining if it comes out!

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