The Disney Dining Meal Plan is something I whole-heartily LOVE, especially for those with Food Allergies. We get it EVERY trip…and yes I have to pay the same price as everyone else…no kickbacks for this gal 🙁 But for some reason the “meal plan” concept can confuse many and I mean many people. In fact it’s one of the most popular questions from my clients…a daily question for sure. After years of booking Disney vacations and booking dining for other people…I find I have “experience” on the subject, lol.
So…in an attempt to Dis-Confuse you…here you go. And in an effort to keep this simple, but yet detailed…I am only talking about the Basic plan, the middle plan, the Disney “Plus” plan, the Disney Dining Plan…as it seems to have many names these days.
The Disney Dining “Plus” Meal Plan includes…
- 1 Table Service Meal Credit
- 1 Quick Service Meal Credit
- 1 Snack Credit
- And 1 Refillable Mug (per person Ages 3+) – A great souvenir for home.
Easy right…ummm for me it is…for others…they need more info…so keep reading
How many do I get? And who gets it?
The number of credits you get are based on the number of nights you’re staying…so if you’re staying 7 nights and 8 days…that’s 7 credits per person (aged 3+). So no matter how many days you’re spending at the parks…it’s based on nights staying at the resort. As far as who gets it? It’s for everyone in your party, everyone on your reservation…everyone that is aged 3 and up. Those under 3 are not on the plan, do NOT get meal credits and do NOT get a mug…they can however eat off your plate (especially at a buffet meal) and in many cases a chef will make your portion a little larger knowing your also feeding a little one.
Does everyone have to be on the plan? – YES, everyone on your RESORT reservation must have the same plan, the same everything actually.
Can I use the “Credit” at my Resort? – YES, you can use those credits anywhere on Disney property, were it is accepted. Yes, some places do NOT accept the plan…but 99% of them do 🙂
So…how come some require 2 credits? All the Dinner shows, Fine Dining experiences and Specially Restaurants (like Cinderella’s Royal Table) take 2 credits (as it’s more than just eating)…but the majority requires 1 credit, including most of the character meals.
What does a Table Service Meal, a Quick Service and a Snack mean? Ah…the question of all questions.
- A Table Service Meal…is basically all restaurants that have a waitress, that require a reservation, that are sit down. This includes the Character meals, any fun Themed dining and other yummy places. They are either buffets or menu ordering. Consider this your BIG meal, the meal that will fill you up the most…thus I plan for when I might be the hungriest.
- A Quick Service Meal…is basically all the other restaurants. They don’t take reservations, you don’t get a waitress and you seat yourself. You walk up to the counter, order, take a seat and wait for either your beeper to go off or for your food to be brought out. I often tell people to think of this as your “fast food” meal…but that seems to make people think you’re getting burgers and hotdogs…NO…there are plenty of awesome, yummy, healthy options at these places…and they go far beyond your typical fast food joint, by FAR. Gourmet burritos, sandwiches, salads, yes burgers too, deluxe pizza, and so on.
- A Snack…a snack on the dining plan will be clearly labeled with a little icon symbol. But in general if the item is less than $5…it’s probably a snack credit. But for the purpose of being detailed; dole whips, Mickey pretzels, popcorn, soda, bottle of water, fruit, bagel, cupcake, rice krispy treat, coffee, hummus/chips, ice cream, Mickey’s premium bar, etc are ALL snacks 🙂
And this brings me to the BIG question: How /when do I use these credits? Now…this is something I do for my clients (for FREE)…I will walk you through the calendar, the parks and restaurants and find your family the best ones…for you. Then we discuss the best time to eat these meals, based on your families’ specific needs…then I BOOK them for you…again for FREE. So…this part of the planning is under control and I will walk you through it, step by step. But for those that wonder…you can mix/match these credits…you are NOT required to use 1 per day or on a certain day. They are your credits…so as long as you use them before midnight on the day you check-out…use to your needs and enjoyment. And every time you use one (of any kind), your receipt will tell you how many you have left…so keep track.
So…in major conclusion…I hope I helped clarify the meal plan. In simple terms…you are purchasing credits; you’re paying for the meal before you dine…and at a discount. Then when you’re at Disney…you click your Magicband (pay a tip if at a table service) and walk away. No need to pinch pennies or skip the most expensive item on the menu…enjoy what you want since it’s already paid for. And to get the most bang from your “credit”…you want to aim for the most expensive places and meal times. But for us…we just aim for our favorites…the ones that make our trip the most magical, aka the Character Meals. Those make and save our trip…they are entertaining and prevent me from standing in line after line to meet a Character…dining with them “kills two birds with one stone” (as the saying goes).
Remember I am a FREE Disney Travel Agent…booking all Disney Vacations daily…my services are ALWAYS free when you book a trip with me. I specialize in food allergies and special diets at Disney…and with all our Food “issues”…I am the perfect gal to help you with your food choices.
Contact me anytime – Nina 734-890-2350 or Nina@goTMCtravel.com