Disney Tips

Four Tips To Make The Most Of Your Disney Dining Plan

If there’s one thing I love about Disney than the Disney parks, it’s the Disney FOOD! From the restaurants to the snacks, I love finding new yummies all around the parks. I recently had a chance to try the Disney Dining Plan for the first time and I know I’ll be dining with this plan on future trips as well!

Walt Disney World offers three different tier options when it comes to Dining Plans. Each plan consists of pre-paid meals so you can focus on the fun while you’re on your trip! The first is the Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan, which includes 2 Quick-Service Meals and 2 Snacks per person per night. The second is the Disney Dining Plan, which includes 1 Quick-Service Meal, 1 Table-Service Meal, and 2 Snacks per person per night. The last plan is the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan, which includes 3 Meals and 2 Snacks per night. 

On my recent trip, I took advantage of the second plan and I found that it was the perfect plan for me! After trying the Disney Dining Plan, I’ve got a few tips to help you make the most of your dining plan investment.

 

Tower of Pancakes from Trattoria al Forno

 

Early Bird Gets The Worm

Just like Fastpass+ Reservations, you’ll want to try and plan your table-service meals as early as possible. In my family we have certain restaurants that are must-dos at Disney, so those are the reservations we choose first! On our last trip, our entire trip was planned around an initial breakfast reservation that was made months in advance. While all dining reservations won’t require this much planning, it’s important to do your research and know which to focus on! There’s nothing more rewarding than having all of your plans fall into place.

More on Kait Around The Kingdom:   Take the Leap and Become a Walt Disney World Annual Passholder

 

 

Turtle Cheesecake from Coral Reef

Stretch Your Investment

There are some tips and tricks to getting the most out of your prepaid dining plan. When booking your reservation, check the price range. Whether it’s a $$ restaurant or a $$$ restaurant, at the end of the table-service meal all you’re responsible for is the tip! Character meals are usually more valuable, so go for those whenever you can.

Meeting Pluto at Chef Mickey

Another way to stretch your investment is with quick-service meals. Most people only think of restaurants like Cosmic Rays when it comes to quick-service, but there are always other options! One hack we found on our last trip was if you book a reservation with Be Our Guest for lunch, it counts as a quick-service meal. This is HUGE because if you’re on that middle dining plan, you could potentially eat at two popular restaurants in one day. Talk about the royal treatment!

 

Drinks from the Light Lab

Snack Strategically

Disney really goes above and beyond when it comes to snack on the dining plan. a snack can include popcorn, dole whip, and so much more! Instead of wasting your snack credit on just a bag of chips, pay attention to what other offerings are available to you.

Night Blossom from Pandora

Instead of just choosing a Starbucks drink, choose the largest size (Trenta) Starbucks drink. Thirsty for a coke? Treat yourself to a Frozen Coke! If you and someone else in your party each want to try different two snacks, divide and conquer. You can each try each other’s choice and if you want to get another one later, you’ll know it’s worth it! 

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Sweet Avocado Crema from Active Eats

Visit During Special Events

Epcot has special events going on throughout the year. Whether it’s Flower and Garden or Food and Wine, these events have special food offerings that aren’t always available. One thing that a lot of people don’t know is that some of these festival offerings can count as snack credits! While at Food and Wine last month, Paris and I had saved up our snack credits and were able to enjoy tons of offerings from the festival! You can get Disney popcorn any trip, but you can’t always enjoy beer-braised beef and mashed potatoes from Belgium or an Avocado Crema from Active eats. 

Zesty Cheeseburger and Cheddar Cheese Macaroni Handwich from The Odyssey

A trip to Walt Disney World is a ton of fun, but the investment can be overwhelming! Enjoy a stress-free trip to see the mouse when you choose the right Dining Plan for your party. If you keep my tips in mind, you’re sure to make the most of your next vacation to the Happiest Place on Earth!

 

Which Dining Plan Would You Try?

  • Amy

    Love this! I’m actually heading to Disney for DCP next spring and am so excited to try these places out!

    • Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew

      Oh my gosh that’s so fun! I would’ve LOVED to do DCP when I was in school!

  • Miss ALK

    Food is DEFINITELY the best part of Disney!! Yum yum yum. This post will be helpful for any future trips I go on there!

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

    • Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew

      Yes! So much love for Disney Food!

  • I’ve never planned my own trips to Disney World, so I’ll have to keep these tips in mind!

    • Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew

      Awe good! Glad I could help!

  • mckenna bleu

    Thanks so much for this post. I haven’t been to Disney world in so long. I had no idea they had different meal plans.

    • Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew

      You’re welcome! Hope you get a chance to try them someday!

  • I haven’t looked much at the dining plan since I usually just do day trips over, but this is super helpful info!

    • Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew

      Awe good!

  • I LOVE dining plans at Disney. On our last three trips, we did the dining plan, and it was honestly a game changer. My mom and I would split quick service meals between us – especially at Animal Kingdom – because they were so huge! Then we always had a quick service meal to cover both breakfast and lunch if we wanted, or for dinner if we’d used a full-service meal ticket on a character breakfast.

    I didn’t know about Be Our Guest for lunch – I haven’t been since they added that area so I am so ready to go!

    • Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew

      I didn’t even think about that! I’ll have to split meals next time because sometimes the food really was too much! And yes girl! We went to make a BOG reservation and noticed it said “QSR” or “Quick Service Reservation” and sure enough you basically have a reservation to eat food that you order when you first walk in! I got a french dip sandwich and fries (YUM) and Paris got pork roast in mashed potatoes! I wish I could do Quick Service like that all the time!

  • Daynna Hartjes

    I’m so sad that I’ve never been to a Disney park! It’s going to happen, it’s on my bucket list, and now I have the perfect food plan guide for when I do go! Everything looks amazing!!

    • Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew

      Awe yes! You’ll have to go!

  • These are great tips to know when visiting Disney! I didn’t even know they had dining plans!! That’s awesome 🙂

    • Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew

      Yes! It’s really such a game changer, especially for people on long trips!

  • I love Disney but haven’t been in so long. These are such great tips!

    • Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew

      Thank you!

  • Oh wow, I didn’t even know Disney even had dining plans! That sounds awesome! I’ll totally keep this in mind when I go in February!

    • Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew

      Yes! I highly suggest it to anyone planning a trip!

  • This are great tips! I haven’t gone to Disney in years! And I definitely want to go soon!

    • Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew

      I hope you make it there soon!

  • I have a trip planned for february and we got the standard dining plan. We were online the second that our booking options were open and we got every restaurant on our list except for one! I also have a list of snacks and QS places to try!

    • Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew

      That’s awesome! It feels good to have that to look forward to! I’ll be there in February as well!

  • Such great tips! I’ve never done the dining plans- I usually just wing it!
    -Nicholle
    http://www.nichollesophia.com

    • Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew

      I had never before either but I’ll definitely be doing it again!

  • Keri @flipflopweekend

    We are local, so we rarely stay overnight to be eligible for the dining plans. But, I would definitely do it if we were overnight guests…for the ease if nothing else! Very nice post!

    • Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew

      Thank you so much!

  • Omg – I had no idea that they had dining plans?! I love that!

    • Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew

      Yes! They really make it easy in my opinion! Especially those who are vacationing from out of the country! By staying on Disney property guests have transportation to and from the airport, dining plan (if they choose to), transportation to the parks, and even the opportunity to order groceries that are delivered to their room!