Disney World Unveils New Dining Plan – Disney Dining Plan Plus

Last week news began to circulate about a new Disney Dining Plan at Disney World.  Well, today Disney officially unveiled the new dining plan.  The plan is formally known as Disney Dining Plan Plus.  We’ve got all the details on the plan, including how it is different from the other dining plans, what it costs, and who we think it will benefit.

We should note that this new dining plan is available for booking now.  If you already have a trip planned, you can call and have it added to your upcoming trip.

What is the Disney Dining Plan Plus?

At its core, the Disney Dining Plan Plus option is a prepaid meal plan that allows you to eat different meals around Disney World.  With this new dining plan, you get the following:

  • 2 Meals – Any combination of Table-Service and Quick-Service (per night of stay)
  • 2 Snacks/Nonalcoholic Drinks (per night of stay)
  • One Resort-Refillable Drink Mug

The refillable mug is only eligible for refills at self-service beverage islands at Quick-Service locations at any Disney World Resort hotel.

When dining at a quick-service location, you can order the following:

  • 1 Entrée
  • 1 Nonalcoholic Beverage (or Alcoholic Beverage, for Guests 21 and older)

If you are eating at a table-service restaurant, your meal will come with different things, depending on if you are eating breakfast or lunch/dinner.  With breakfast at a table-service restaurant, you get the following:

  • 1 Entrée or Full Buffet/ Family-Style Meal
  • 1 Nonalcoholic Beverage (or Alcoholic Beverage, for Guests 21 and older)

For lunch/dinner, you get the following on the Disney Dining Plan Plus:

  • 1 Entrée or Full Buffet/ Family-Style Meal
  • 1 Dessert (desserts at buffets are whatever is served on the buffet, not an individual item you can order)
  • 1 Nonalcoholic Beverage (or Alcoholic Beverage, for Guests 21 and older)

You should note that single-serving alcoholic beverage includes items such as:

  • Beer or Cider
  • Wine or Sangria
  • Mixed Drinks and Specialty Cocktails

You can use the Disney Dining Plan Plus at Character Meals, Dinner Shows, and Signature Dining, but it may require the use of two table-service credits.  It can also be used for in-room dining (except at Disney’s Coronado Springs) and pizza delivery.

What is the Price of Disney Dining Plan Plus?

The Disney Dining Plan Plus price is $94.60 for adults and $35.00 for kids.

These prices put the plan squarely between the Disney Dining Plan and Deluxe Dining Plan.  This makes sense as the dining options are right in between these two.  The below table is a simple summary of the cost of each and what type of credits you get one each plan, for comparison.

PlanQuick-Service Dining PlanDisney Dining PlanDisney Dining Plan PlusDeluxe Dining Plan
Snack Credits2222
Quick-Service Credits212 credits for either table-service or quick-service meals3 credits for either table-service or quick-service meals
Table-Service CreditsNone1

Who Will Benefit from the New Dining Plan?

Now, we’ll readily admit that what we are about to say is a little subjective because no two traveling parties are the same.  Everyone has their own point of view on food and value, so your opinion may differ from ours.

That said, the Disney Dining Plan Plus is clearly a tweener dining plan.  It offers more flexibility than the standard Disney Dining Plan since you aren’t required to use a dining credit on a quick-service meal. 

This flexibility could also lead to a loss of value.  We tried to break down the cost of the individual table-service and quick-service credits in each dining plan, and what we found is the value of a table-service credit is around $41 for an adult.  Kid’s table-service credits are worth approximately $12.  This isn’t exact, so others may have different values but should be in the realm of this number.

How does this impact the value of the plan?  Since Disney gives you the ability to eat at either a table-service or quick-service restaurant, they have to price the plan assuming you will eat both meals at a table-service location.  If you choose to use one of your credits at a quick-service location, you’ll use a credit that is worth $41 to buy an entrée that likely only costs $10-20.  There are exceptions out there, but not many.  If you do this, the value of the Disney Dining Plan Plus will be very poor and you will ultimately lose money buying it.

So who benefits from this plan?  We think there are two groups that benefit.

First is the group of people that are looking for some dining flexibility.  One of the chief complaints about the Disney Dining Plan is that you have to eat one table-service and one counter service meal.  It somewhat constrains your ability to eat what you want.  This new dining plan gives you all the flexibility you could want.

The second group that benefits are those who fancy themselves as “foodies” and appreciate the flexibility of the Deluxe Dining Plan, but don’t need to have three table-service credits available to them.  I mean, who needs to eat three full meals a day.  Not many people.  Yes, you can use two table-service credits for signature dining, but how many meals do you really do this with?  This is a slimmed-down version of the Deluxe plan, which is a good alternative for people who find the deluxe plan too much.

While not a specific group, if you have young kids and are doing a character meal heavy trip, this plan could work well.  Most character meals require only one table service credit, with exceptions like Cinderella’s Royal Table.  You could use one table-service credit to eat at the Topolino’s Terrance character breakfast so you can meet Mickey and friends, and then have dinner at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall with princesses.  These are a couple of our favorite character meals.  This is a very narrow use, so probably won’t apply to most groups.

All that said, we want to go back to the value trap that this plan presents.  If you intend to eat at quick-service locations while at Disney World so you can get as much ride time in as possible, you really need to do some math to see if the Disney Dining Plan Plus is a good value.  You are likely better off getting the regular Disney Dining Plan or just paying out of pocket for meals.  For a family of four (with two kids), the price difference is around $40 per day between the two plans.  If you have older kids, that difference is $65 per day.  It’s a big financial decision.  What’s right?  Only you can answer that.

Overall we do think that the Disney Dining Plan Plus has its place in the mix of all the dining plans for certain people.  We will likely not use it ourselves because we tend to have at least one counter service meal each day.  However, if it makes financial sense for whatever we are doing on a trip, we wouldn’t hesitate to buy it.

If you’re interested in where to dine, we have a page dedicated to our Disney World Restaurant Reviews.  Each trip we accumulate more reviews, so feel free to look through where we have been.


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