Tuesday, June 20, 2017

2018 Dining Plan Decoded

Every year I try to do an updated article on the Disney Dining Plan!    I personally think the Dining plan is a great way for families to save money on their trip and add convenience!    There are some tricks to making it save you the most money, which is why we always recommend using a Travel Agent with a lot of Disney knowledge!  (We personally run Ohana Adventures Travel and would love to help every single one of you!   FREE of charge!)

This year, Disney did not make any major changes to their Dining Plan, however, there are some new added perks!!!!   Today, there is a lot of buzz because Disney has announced that in 2018, guests 21 and up can use the dining plan on alcoholic beverages!!!  Here is their official word on this:

Guests under 21 can choose (1) non-alcoholic beverage (including specialty beverages where offered). Guests over 21 can choose either one (1) single serving non-alcoholic beverage (including specialty beverages where offered) or one (1) single serving mixed cocktail, beer, or wine (where offered) within their meal entitlement.
A single serving non-alcoholic beverage includes items such as:
  • Artisanal Milkshakes
  • Fresh Smoothies
  • Premium Hot chocolates
  • Soda, Coffee, or Tea
A single serving alcoholic beverage includes items such as:
  • Beer or Cider
  • Wine or Sangria
  • Mixed Drinks and Specialty Cocktails
Most beer, wine and mixed drink beverages included, some exceptions apply.
Guests must be age 21 and over and present valid ID to be served one (1) alcoholic beverage.
Alcoholic beverages may only be redeemed with a quick-service or table-service meal entitlement.

A lot of people are VERY excited about this!    This pretty much means anyone under 21 can get specialty drinks where offered and guests 21 and up can get select alcoholic beverages where offered!

I am excited to see if they make any changes to any of their menus to accommodate this!

For each night, each guest is assigned a certain allotment of meal/snack vouchers.   These credits are kept on your magic band that you swipe to pay with.  It is a pretty cool technology!   Your receipt will show you how many credits left per package (not per person).   The Dining Plan is for all guests ages 3 and up. 

Different Dining Plans have different combinations of the following:

REFILLABLE DRINK MUG:  You get 1 mug per guest ages 3 and over.  For each night you stay, you get a day worth of unlimited refills at any of the resorts!  You can resort hop all day and get refills at any of them!  The mugs are new every year and can be kept as a souvenir mug which is an extra perk!  Some guests will take them to the parks and leave to the closest resort.  I personally think its best to just leave those in your room when your visiting the parks.  They can be a pain to have to take everywhere, especially if you are in a large group.

SNACK:  Each Dining Plan now allows every person ages 3 and up to receive 2 snacks per night of your stay.  Wherever you see the Disney Dining Plan Snack Icon (shown below), that shows you that that particular item counts as one snack from your plan!   There is a giant list of items!!!    Ice Cream, Pretzels, Popcorn, Funnel Cakes, Dole Whip, Fruit, Granola Bars, Water Bottle, Coffee, and SO MUCH MORE!

QUICK SERVICE MEAL:  These meal credits are good at restaurants known as Quick Service.   Pretty much these are the restaurants where you order at the counter and seat yourself.   All the resorts have one that is similar to a food court, and the parks have a ton of options as well!  This credit typically includes:  1 entree and 1 non-alcoholic beverage (dessert is now no longer included). 

TABLE SERVICE MEAL:  These meal credits are good at restaurants known as Table Service.  These would be the ones where you are seated and you have a waiter/waitress.  The coolest thing about these is they can be used at Character Dining locations!  That is where you will get the most bang for your buck!  And it also helps to cut back the need to stand in long lines at meet and greets!  Win win all around!  Certain Character Dining locations will take two of your table service credits (For Example, Fairytale Dining at Cinderella's Royal Table takes two Table Service Credits).  All of the Signature Restaurants, Dinner Shows, and In Room Service Dining will also take two table service credits.  This credit typically includes:  1 entree, 1 dessert, and 1 non-alcoholic beverage (dessert not included at breakfast) OR one full buffet or family style meal..
NOTE:   Remember, you are still responsible for gratuity!  If you have a party of 6 or more, you will automatically be charged 18%. However, there are a few places where the gratuity is included.

OK, so now that we have that terminology out of the way, lets start exploring the different dining plans that Walt Disney World has to offer!

This is one of the newest dining plans that Disney launched this year!  If you are working with a tight budget, this is the smallest of the Dining Plans and the one with the least frills. This plan includes the following for each guest (ages 3 and up) per night: Rapid Refill Resort mug, 2 snacks, and 2 Quick Service meals.

This plan is the most commonly used plan and one of the best deals in my personal opinion!  It includes the following for each guest (ages 3 and up) per night:  Rapid Refill Resort mug, 2 snacks, 1 Quick Service Meal, and 1 Table Service meal.

This plan is one I recommend for guests who want to eat all three meals on property or for guests who want to visit more of the higher end restaurants or dinner shows.  This plan includes the following for each guest (ages 3 and up) per night:  Rapid Refill Resort mug, 2 snacks, and 3 meals that can be used at either Quick Service or Table Service locations.

If you need help booking your own magical Disney Vacation, please visit 

and send them a message for a no obligation quote to get started!!   All their services are FREE to you!  Their services include:
  • Finding the best rate possible, they will even notify you if a better deal comes up before your trip
  • Booking all of your dining reservations
  • Booking all of your fast passes
  • Itinerary planning, including helping you plan your visit around the lowest crowds for your dates
  • Special Events and experiences
  • Customizing which resort is best for you and your family
  • and so much more!  It is like having your own personal fairy godmother in real life!

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