Disney has several options for Dining Plans that can be added to your reservation at one of the Disney-owned resorts making your vacation have a more all-inclusive feel to it. The two resorts that do not offer any dining plan are the Swan and Dolphin resorts in the Epcot area. Those resorts are not Disney-owned.
The most popular dining plan Disney has is the plan which gives you a table service, a counter service and a snack, every day. The cost of this plan is $39 per person per day. You need to know that you get credits for your meals which are tallied on your room key/park pass. When you include dining in your reservation you get those credits for each night of your stay, not each day.
The regular dining plan is a great way to experience Disney’s large assortment of restaurants. Your table service dinner will include entree, dessert and non-alcoholic beverage. The tip is not included so you’ll have to pay for that out-of-pocket. For your counter service meal which many people use for lunch, it includes a combo meal, beverage and dessert. Now while breakfast isn’t included in this plan, many people use their snack credit for breakfast. You can get almost anything at the Main Street Bakery in the Magic Kingdom and use a snack credit. You can also use the credit at your resort food court and get a bagel, yogurt, fruit, or one of many other items. The food courts have a DDP symbol that shows what is permitted as a snack credit. Though this may sound complicated, it’s not.
In 2009, Disney will offer a quick service dining option. With that plan, you pay $29.99 for each person per day and receive 2 counter service meals, 2 snacks and your refillable mugs at your resort for free! That is a great deal considering your refillable mugs alone total almost half the price of a day on that dining plan.
I was tempted to try the new quick service plan for my upcoming trip in May but since we booked the buy 4 get 3 free, the cost difference is only $65 and for that, I’d rather have the table service dining plan. Just a reminder of you do book a dining plan, make your table service reservations as soon as you can (407-WDW-DINE), which is 180 days from the day of the reservation. This way you will have a good chance of getting the restaurant you want in the time frame you want.
Also, some signature restaurants such as the California Grill atop the Contemporary Resort require 2 table service credits for one meal. When booking, cast members will remind you that it’s 2 credits. And since you can’t buy more days of dining than nights you are staying, you’ll have to pay out of pocket for one night of dining.