The Guide to Disney Dining Plans

Disney Dining Plans return in 2024 with two options to save you time and stress.
Carissa Rawson
By Carissa Rawson 
Published

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

MORE LIKE THISTravel

One way to budget for Disney World is to pay for food ahead of time. The Disney Dining Plan is a a prepaid meal program that will let you effectively plan when and how your family is going to eat before you step foot in the parks.

But is it worth it? Or can you save more money by buying food separately?

Let’s take a look at the Disney Dining plan, including what is offered and how to maximize your plans.

What is the Disney Dining Plan?

Walt Disney World offers something known as the Disney Dining Plan, which allows you to pay for all of your meals in advance. This can be a great deal if you’re able to maximize the plan since it can save you money.

It can also reduce the stress associated with budgeting for a Walt Disney World vacation — since the price of the plan is fixed, you’ll be able to plan ahead for food costs.

Who is eligible for the Disney Dining Plan?

In order to be eligible for the Disney Dining plan, you’ll need to be staying at a Walt Disney World Resort property.

When will the Disney Dining Plan return?

Disney Dining Plans aren’t currently available and won’t be through the end of 2023. However, they will return on January 9, 2024. This means that if you’ve already booked a stay for after that date, you can easily add the plan to your package. You can also book new packages that include a dining plan.

Types of Walt Disney World dining plans

There will be two types of Disney Dining Plans available when they return in 2024. The first is less expensive and is good for those who like to eat on the go.

The second option costs more, but includes sit-down meals, which can be a great opportunity to rest during a busy day.

Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan

Disney’s Quick-Service Dining Plan is the less expensive of the two on offer. Here’s what you’ll get with your plan:

  • Two quick-service meals per day.

  • One snack or non-alcoholic drink per day.

  • One refillable mug. 

Quick-service restaurants at Walt Disney World tend to resemble fast food spots. They’re designed to allow you to order, sit for a few minutes to eat, then move on.

Food quality can vary, but you’ll find a wide variety of cuisine options, including classics such as pizza, burgers and fries. At Epcot in particular, you’ll find many unique options, such as food from the Morocco, France and Germany pavilions.

Each quick-service meal consists of an entree and a drink. Those over 21 can choose from alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages with their meals.

Finally, the refillable mug that you’ll receive can be refilled at self-service beverage stations in Walt Disney World Resort hotels.

The cost for the Quick-Service Dining Plan depends on your age:

  • Adults: $57.01 per day.

  • Children (ages 3 to 9): $28.83 per day.

Disney Dining Plan

Your other option for a Disney Dining Plan is named, fittingly, the Disney Dining Plan. It’s more expensive than the quick-service option and includes a sit-down meal at a restaurant each day.

  • One table-service meal per day.

  • One quick-service meal per day.

  • One snack or non-alcoholic drink per day. 

  • One refillable mug. 

You’ll note a lot of similarities to the Quick-Service Dining Plan, though there are better benefits for this plan.

For both table service and quick-service meals redeemed at breakfast, you’re entitled to an entree and a drink (or a buffet/family-style meal).

However, credits redeemed for lunch or dinner are also entitled to a dessert. This is true for both quick-service and table-service credits.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Always do the math before purchase to figure out whether Disney Dining Plans will save you money. NerdWallet estimates Disney World food costs at about $19 to $93 per person per day, depending on the level of service.

The cost for the Disney Dining Plan is as follows:

  • Adults: $94.28 per day.

  • Children (ages 3 to 9): $29.69 per day. 

Maximizing Disney Dining Plans

Eat later

If you’ve paid for the higher-end Disney Dining Plan, you’ll be better off if you opt to eat later. This is because you’ll redeem the same credits for breakfast as you would for lunch or dinner, but the later meals include dessert.

Skip some restaurants

Although the Disney Dining Plan includes one table service credit per day, not every restaurant is going to charge you a single credit. There are some restaurants and experiences that will cost you two credits in a single sitting.

This includes the Be Our Guest restaurant at dinner, some character meals, dinner shows, in-room dining at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa and many different fine dining spots.

Skip these if you’re looking to maximize your plan since you’re effectively being charged twice for a single meal.

Pick up pizzas

Several Walt Disney World resorts allow you to pick up pizzas from their quick service restaurants. Although you’ll be charged two quick-service credits for a large pizza, you’ll also receive two drinks with your order.

A large pizza can easily feed two to three and can also stretch to feed a family with children (especially if you combine it with a snack!). This can be a great way to stretch out those quick-service credits.

If you’re interested in a Walt Disney World Dining Plan

Disney Dining Plans will return in early 2024, which means it’s time to crunch those numbers. There are two different types of plans available, and while they can save time and reduce stress, it’s always important to figure out if these plans make financial sense before purchase. Remember, you can always save money by bringing your own food into the parks.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024, including those best for:

Cards for Disney from our Partners
Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-10x

Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Points

Intro offer

60,000

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Points
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-5x

5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

60,000

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Points
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

on Chase's website

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
4.2
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-3x

Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services, and select streaming. Earn 1X points on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

30,000

Limited-time offer: Earn Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25 plus 30,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Points
See more cards for disney
Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.