Is the Disney Dining Plan Worth the Cost in Disney World?


The Everymom’s travel selections are curated by the editorial team. If you book something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend places we genuinely love.

Source: @mrscofieldandco
Source: @mrscofieldandco

There are many different factors to consider when it comes to planning your Disney World vacation. Where should you stay? How many parks should you plan to visit? Should you add Disney Genie+ to skip the lines? And 2024 brought a new option to consider with the return of the Disney Dining Plan. The fan-favorite add-on for vacation packages allows you to prepay for your meals at the Most Magical Place on Earth. After pausing the program in 2020, the Dining Plan has officially returned this year. 

Here’s everything to know about the returned plan to consider whether it’s worth adding on to your next Disney World vacation.

What is the Disney Dining Plan?

Let’s start by explaining what the Disney Dining Plan actually is. Basically, it acts as a prepaid meal package that you can use during your Disney World stay. When you book a Disney World hotel room and park tickets, you’ll also be able to add on the Plan for yourself and any kids over age 3 (children 2 and under eat free at Disney World). 

disney dining plan
Source: Disney

The Disney Dining Plan includes a set number of meal credits that you can use for table service and quick service locations throughout Disney World. The plan covers a certain number of meals and snacks per person per night of your stay so you can budget out your food spending ahead of time.

There are two options with the Dining Plan: the Standard Disney Dining Plan and the Quick Service Dining Plan. You can choose which you would prefer depending on what you think you’ll get the most use out of (we’ll outline what that is in a moment). 

Standard Dining Plan

If you plan on eating at table service restaurants (as in sit-down restaurants that require a reservation), you’ll want to go for the standard Disney Dining Plan. Each person on the plan will get:

  • 1 Quick Service Meal Per Night of Stay
  • 1 Table Service Meal Per Night of Stay*
  • 1 Snack or Non-alcoholic Beverage Per Night of Stay
  • 1 Resort Refillable Mug
  • Cost: $94.28/per adult per night and $29.69/per child (ages 3-9) per night

*It’s worth noting that select character and premium dining options may require two table service credits for one meal.

Quick Service Dining Plan

The Disney Quick Service Dining Plan is more geared towards guests who don’t plan on using table service restaurants, or at least don’t plan to every day. Each person with this plan gets:

  • 2 Quick Service Meals Per Night of Stay
  • 1 Snack or Non-alcoholic Beverage Per Night of Stay
  • 1 Resort Refillable Mug
  • Cost: $57.01/per adult per night and $23.83/per child (3-9) per night

What’s included in the Disney Dining Plans?

A quick service meal will get you one entrée and one non-alcoholic beverage (or alcoholic for guests over 21). For table service, you can get a full buffet meal and drink for buffets. When ordering off a menu at breakfast, you can get an entrée and drink, or both of those, plus a dessert for lunch and dinner.

With both plans, you’ll also get a resort refillable mug, which you can use endlessly to fill up with fountain drinks throughout the day. For snacks, things like ice cream bars, fruit, snack bags, popcorn, soup, bottled drinks, and more are included.

Gratuities are also not included in either plan, except dinners at Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue and Cinderella’s Royal Table. 

Is Character Dining included in the Disney Dining Plan?

Because the Disney Dining plan is based on meal credits, you can use multiple meal credits for certain special dining experiences. For example, select Disney character dining requires two table-service meal credits per person. So, families who want to use the plan for character dining should purchase the Standard option. The same goes for families who want to enjoy Dinner Shows or Fine Dining experiences.

For more of the nitty-gritty details (along with a full list of participating restaurants), you can click here.

disney dining plan
Source: @raven.vasquez

When is the Disney Dining Plan worth it?

When it comes down to it, whether the Disney Dining Plan is worth it is ultimately going to depend on how much you will use it. Dining at Disney World is expensive (understatement of the century), so if you plan on eating out a lot you can certainly save money by purchasing one of the dining plans for your group. 

As someone who has purchased the standard plan in the past, I was taken slightly aback by how much food you get as part of it. We found that we were going to quite a few reservations throughout our stay in order to get the most from the Plan. This worked well for my group, which was just adults at the time. Now that I have a kid in tow, I might reconsider whether we’d purchase the Standard Disney Dining Plan again, knowing that my toddler may not enjoy doing a sit-down meal as often. 

However, every group is going to be different. If you are with younger kids who may not enjoy table service dining as much, the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan may meet your needs. Or, if you have a group that wants to experience all of the Disney character dining buffets and table service that Disney World has to offer, the standard plan could be the perfect fit.

Ultimately, both Disney Dining Plan options are going to add quite a bit to an already hefty bill. But, if you plan on eating out a lot while you’re at the parks and hotel, prepaying for your meals in advance can help you better budget your stay ahead of time. And that peace of mind can certainly be worth it!

best of family travel