We are definitely big dining plan fans when we are staying on property. I love the feeling of not needing to worry about meals and that cost creeping up in the budget. We are also huge Disney Dining fans in general so it gives us a great excuse to enjoy all of our meals on property, where we really want to go. Here are 8 things that Walt Disney World Insiders love about the Disney Dining Plan:
8. Easier to plan your budget, with various options
Disney vacations require planning, and among that planning is, of course, budgeting. You are likely like many of the rest of us and don’t have an endless supply of money to spend while on vacation, so you have to save and plan for the vacation. The dining plan makes it much easier to do that since food can be such a variable cost. When you pay the set price, you already know what you have and will spend and don’t have to worry about that cost being radically different than what you planned. There are also 3 different options to pick from based on your budget and the dining habits of your family, giving you greater control over your budget and what you can manage.
7. All-inclusive feel
This is one my favorite aspects about the dining plan. You have already paid for the plan, and now you don’t have to worry about prices or how much something costs. You get to show up and order from the menu based on what your dining plan covers. You get to order whatever appetizer or main course you like, or even dessert (all 3 if you have the Deluxe Dining plan) and not worry about the cost. It is a great feeling and not one that you can get on most vacations, especially with so many restaurant options.
6. Rapid Refill mugs
The Rapid Refill mugs are included in all dining plans. Each member of your party over 3 will get their own mug and then they can refill it as much as they like at the resort. This allows you to always have the beverage of your choice when you are lounging around the resort or just want to fill up before heading out to the parks. The mug also makes a great souvenir from your trip to take home with you.
5. Getting the most bang for your buck from snack entitlements
The snack entitlements can really be used to work in your favor. You can get $5-6 snacks (as opposed to like $2-4 snacks) and really get a nice return on the price of the dining plan. You can also use the flexible snack options as a way to take some of the magic home with you and bring back some baked goods and pre-packaged treats home with you. The flexibility with the plan is awesome, and the snack entitlements are one aspect that can be really helpful, even to stretch out meals so that you won’t need a meal in between.
4. Specialty Beverages included
Alcohol is included in the Dining Plans. You don’t have to get an alcoholic beverage to enjoy this perk. Disney allows for “specialty beverages” which do include alcoholic drinks for guests 21 and up, or non-alcoholic specialty beverages like milkshakes for guests of any age.
3. Trying new dining options
Some people get very antsy about trying new cuisine or restaurants. People tend to feel even antsier about it when you have to shell over your credit card at the end of the meal to pay for it. Even though you have paid for it, it still feels different when you pre-pay and don’t have to actually pay during the meal. Something about that makes you feel a little more brave and ready to try something new. If you are on a dining plan that gets an appetizer and/or dessert, you are getting so much food that you can be a little risky with one of the items that you order and play it safe for the other so that you know that you still leave full and satisfied. Definitely take advantage of the opportunity to try something new and different. You are very likely to find your new favorite thing!
2. Can still use other discounts
Just because you are on the dining plan doesn’t mean you still can’t use discounts for other items. If you order anything extra outside of the dining plan entitlements, you can still use any other available discounts on those items, like Tables in Wonderland, DVC discount, Annual Passholder discount, etc. Be sure to check on any discounts that you may have available to you so that you get all of your savings!
1. Free dining promotion
This is a highly coveted promotion that Walt Disney World usually runs every year. It is usually in the fall after schools have started back. The promotions offers a free dining plan with a resort and ticket reservation for a certain specified number of nights. The free dining plan can result in a large savings for families since that alleviates the cost of meals while they are on their trip. Since the dining plan promotion has been so popular it has made those times of the year popular times to travel. So be sure to watch for this promotion and compare prices to determine if it is the best deal for your family!