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The Disney Dining Plan is returning, but is it worth it?

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We’ve written many an article about how much Disney World has changed since the start of the pandemic. Luckily, most of Disney’s recent changes are swinging toward making upcoming trips feel like they did before the park temporarily closed in 2020.

However, one offering has been very slow to return, and some frequent Disney World visitors have been not-so-patiently waiting for it: the Disney Dining Plan. While that add-on isn’t back for use quite yet, it is now bookable for Disney vacation packages that include a hotel stay and theme park tickets or a resort-only reservation for visits on or after Jan. 9, 2024.

Related: The best restaurants at Disney World in 2023

The idea of paying for your meals before your Disney World vacation is certainly enticing, but is it convenient — and filling — enough to justify the cost? It’s been a few years since Disney dining plans were on offer, so here’s everything you need to know before you decide to buy for your 2024 trips.

What is the Disney Dining Plan?


With a Disney dining plan, you can prepay for a specified number of meals and snacks for your Disney World vacation.

How many meals and snacks you’ll get with a dining plan depends on the number of nights of your Disney World hotel stay. For example, if you are staying for three nights, you’ll get three days’ worth of meals and snacks to redeem during your stay.


In addition to the convenience of prepaying for your meals, the Disney dining plan is flexible. You aren’t required to redeem a set number of meals and snacks each day; you can use them anytime during your stay.

If there is a day when you don’t use all of your credits, you’ll have even more meals and snacks to use the next day. If you have leftover snack credits at the end of your trip, you can stock up on prepackaged treats to take home and fend off the post-Disney blues.

What is included in a Disney dining plan?


There are currently two Disney dining plans that you can purchase for your 2024 vacations. Each comes with two meals, one snack and one mug with unlimited soda, water and coffee refills at your Disney hotel. However, one focuses on quick-service dining, and the other includes options for daily table-service meals.

Here is what you’ll get with each package:

Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan

  • Two quick-service meals per night stayed.
  • A snack or nonalcoholic drink per night stayed.
  • One refillable drink mug with unlimited refills at your resort.

Disney Dining Plan

  • One table-service meal per night stayed.
  • One quick-service meal per night stayed.
  • A snack or nonalcoholic drink per night stayed.
  • One refillable drink mug with unlimited refills at your resort.

A “quick-service meal” includes an entree and nonalcoholic beverage at any eligible quick-service dining location, such as Woody’s Lunch Box in Hollywood Studios, Columbia Harbour House in the Magic Kingdom or Capt. Cook’s at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. These are essentially the spots where a waiter doesn’t come to your table; instead, you pick your food up from the counter.

For breakfast, a “table-service meal” includes an entree, buffet or family-style meal and a nonalcoholic beverage at any participating table-service restaurant. For brunch, lunch or dinner, you can also order a dessert with your entree at table-service restaurants.

Related: Tips for visiting Disney World in 2023: 18 ways to save money and have more fun

If you have your heart set on a character meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table or a signature dining experience like Topolino’s Terrace at Disney’s Riviera Resort, select restaurants will allow you to redeem two table-service credits for these experiences. However, not all character meals require two credits. Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort, for example, is just one credit for both breakfast and dinner.

If you purchase a Disney dining plan for a child aged 3 to 9, you must order from the children’s menu at any restaurant that offers one.

Snacks on both plans include single-serve items like popsicles, ice cream bars (including the iconic Mickey ice cream bar), a box of popcorn, a 20-ounce soda, a piece of whole fruit and more. You can also use your snack credits to purchase bags of snacks at your hotel gift shop or other retail locations.


Participating dining locations should have details on their website regarding which dining plans are accepted and how many credits you’ll need to redeem to dine there. Some fine dining restaurants, such as Takumi-Tei in Epcot and Victoria & Albert’s at the Grand Floridian Resort, do not accept the dining plan.

Keeping track of your credits is also relatively simple. Each time you redeem a credit, you should see your remaining credits printed on the receipt. You can also check on your remaining balance under the “My Plans” section of the My Disney Experience app.

Related: These are the best credit cards to use at Disney

How much does a Disney dining plan cost?

Food at Ohana
A meal at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. SUMMER HULL/THE POINTS GUY

The cost of a Disney dining plan depends on which plan you choose and the length of your stay. Pricing starts at $57 per night for adults and $23 for kids.

Here is a more detailed nightly breakdown of each plan:

Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan

  • Adults: $57.
  • Children age 3 to 9: $24.

Disney Dining Plan

  • Adults: $94.
  • Children age 3 to 9: $30.

Tax is already included when you redeem a credit for a meal or snack, but you will still have to pay out of pocket for tips at table-service restaurants. That will add to the overall cost of the plan, so factor that into the cost if you’re thinking about purchasing the table-service dining plan.

How do you purchase a Disney dining plan?

There are two ways to purchase a Disney dining plan. You can include a dining plan when you purchase your Disney World vacation package online, over the phone or through an authorized Disney vacation planner. Or, you can add it on anytime after you purchase your vacation package up until the day before your arrival.

Is a Disney dining plan worth it?

Now for the fun part – let’s do some math. Before you choose to purchase a Disney dining plan, you want to determine whether the plan’s cost provides more value than if you paid for your meals out of pocket.

Let’s look at how much food you can get — and the cash total — on a typical day with each plan for one adult.

Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan

Lunch at Casey’s Corner in the Magic Kingdom

  • Footlong, Chicago-style hot dog — $14.
  • Fountain beverage — $5.

Dinner at ABC Commissary in Hollywood Studios

  • Shrimp tacos — $12.
  • Glass of chardonnay — $9.

Snack at ice cream cart in the Magic Kingdom

  • Mickey ice cream bar — $6.

Refillable resort mug

  • Average of three soda or coffee refills per day — $12.

Total cash price: $58 plus tax.

Daily cost of Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan: $57.


Disney Dining Plan

Lunch at Connections Eatery in Epcot

  • Southwestern burger — $14.
  • Vanilla shake — $7.

Dinner at Ohana at the Polynesian Village Resort

  • All-you-care-to-enjoy dinner — $59.
  • Polynesian mai tai  — $15.50.

Snack at ice cream cart in Epcot

  • Mickey pretzel — $7.49.

Refillable resort mug

  • Average of three soda or coffee refills per day — $12.

Total cash price: $114.99 plus tax.

Daily cost of Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan: $94.

Enjoy dinner at Disney’s Polynesian with the Dining Plan. SUMMER HULL/THE POINTS GUY

As you can see, it is possible to break even or come out ahead with a Disney dining plan if you maximize the value of your credits by choosing more expensive restaurants, selecting pricier menu items and factoring in the cost of unlimited drink refills at your resort.

For example, ordering alcohol (for adults) or a milkshake (for kids) with your meal will get you more value than ordering a soda; ordering a steak or seafood will probably be a better value than ordering a chicken or vegetable dish.

The real question is whether or not you want that much to eat and drink in a day. If you don’t use all of your credits, you are essentially leaving money on the table. You’ll need to do a little math and plot out how you’d use up all the credits to see if you will come out ahead. Of course, for some people, the opportunity to not worry about food costs while enjoying time in the park is worth the price of the plan.


Bottom line

Whether or not the Disney dining plan is a good value for you depends on your budget, vacation style, and eating and drinking preferences. This is going to be different for everyone.

Fans of this “all-inclusive” option love that you can truly leave the real world behind and live in the “Disney bubble.” However, Disney dining plans are only worth the monetary cost if you maximize your credits and ensure no Mickey ice cream bar, pretzel or beverage is left behind.

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