2009 Disney World Dining Plans

Walt Disney World has announced 2009 rates, including changes to their dining plans. Please find below a quick overview of all the available dining plans for Walt Disney World along with a downloadable brochure for each with more in depth information.

Information on the 2010 Disney World Dining Plans has been released, not much has changed other than pricing.

Quick Service Dining Plan

New for 2009, the Quick Service dining plan appears to be a fantastic option for park guests who don’t want to be tied to eating at a sit down restaurant each day.

The Quick Service Dining Plan includes, per person, per night of your stay:

  • Two counter service meals
  • Two snacks
  • One refillable resort mug

The cost of the Quick Service dining plan is $31.99 per night per adult (10 and older), and $9.99 per child (3 – 9).

Brochure: Disney World Quick Service Dining Plan

Disney Dining Plan

Nothing has changed from the Disney Dining plan of 2008, except a small increase in price.

The Disney Dining Plan includes, per person, per night of your stay:

  • One table service meal
  • One counter service meal
  • One snack

Please note gratuities are not included on the table service meals. Table service meals can also be used for signature restaurants, dinner shows, private dining or pizza delivery (these typically run 2 table service meals per person). More information can be found in the brochure.

The cost of the Disney dining plan is $39.99 per night per adult (10 and older), and $10.99 per child (3 – 9).

Brochure: Disney Dining Plan

Disney Deluxe Dining Plan

Again, nothing has changed from the Deluxe Dining Plan of 2009, with the exception of a small price increase.

The Disney Deluxe Dining Plan includes, per person, per night of your stay:

  • Three meals, which can be used for either counter service or table service meals
  • Two snacks
  • One resort refillable mug

The policy is the same for table service meals on the deluxe dining plan (gratuities not included, can be used for signature restaurants, etc.)

The cost of the Disney Deluxe dining plan is $71.99 per night per adult (10 and older), and $20.99 per child (3 – 9).

Brochure: Disney Deluxe Dining Plan

Magic Your Way Premium Package

Again, very little has changed with the premium package, it now includes:

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus two snacksper person, per night. Available 100 Walt Disney World restaurants (includes tax but not gratuities, unless otherwise noted). More information is found in the brochure below
  • One resort refillable mug per person
  • Unlimited selected recreation, including Golf, Miniature Golf, Water Sports, Archery, Tennis, Guided Fishing Excursions, Cane Pole Fishing, Horseback Trail Rides, Pony Rides, Carriage Rides, Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides, Bike Rental and Watercraft Rental. Some restrictions may apply and advance reservations may be required, and are suggested. More information is found in the brochure
  • One admission per person to Cirque du Soliel La Nouba
  • Unlimited use of Disney Children’s Activity Centers
  • Unlimited admission to selected theme park tours
  • Preferred fireworks viewing areas for Wishes at the Magic Kingdom and IllumiNations at Epcot. ( Advance reservations are required at least 24 hours in advance and voucher is required.)

The cost of the Premium package is $159 per night per adult (10 and older), and $109 per child (3 – 9). That is in addition to the standard cost of a Magic Your Way package.

Brochure: Magic Your Way Premium Package

Magic Your Way Platinum Package

Similar to the premium package above, the Platinum package is the ultimate in luxury. It includes everything the premium offers, plus:

  • One Disney’s Photopass CD
  • Private in-room child care (4 hour minimum, 6 hour maximum, gratuity is not included)
  • One selected spa treatment per person
  • Fireworks cruise (one per reservation, everyone on your reservation is included)
  • Reserved seating at Fantasmic! (one per person)
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Personalized pre-arrival itinerary planning
  • Exclusive keepsake (one per room)

The cost of the Platinum package is $209 per night per adult (10 and older), and $144 per child (3 – 9). That is in addition to the standard cost of a Magic Your Way package.

Brochure: Magic Your Way Platinum Package

Disney Wine and Dine Plan

The Wine and Dine plan is available to add to any of the above dining plan options, with the exception of the Quick Service dining plan. The Wine and Dine option includes one bottle of wine per night of your stay, and can be used at most table service and signature service restaurants in Walt Disney World. The cost is $39.99 per night of your stay (price is per reservation, not per person).

Brochure: Disney Wine and Dine

For all of the packages above, there are a few things to remember:

  • Everyone in your room must be on the same dining plan/package
  • Dining plan credits expire at midnight the day you check out
  • Dining plan credits are based on the number of nights you stay
  • Dining plan credits and park passes are not transferable

Please note, as you look at the brochures, many of the restaurants that will be included for 2009 are not currently listed on the brochures. This happens every year, as the agreements and contracts for non-Disney restaurants are negotiated every year when it comes to inclusion in the dining plans. As 2009 approaches, more restaurants will be included, and the list should be similar to 2008.

Comments

  1. Robin Suprenant says

    What if your taking all your saving to go to Disney World for vacation and want the meal plain but can’t afford the tip.
    Will be arrested and not allowed back in the park.
    My family of 6 is giving up all our birthday’s and chrismas.
    Please let me know because this could cancel our vacation.

  2. Keith says

    Robin

    Well, I doubt you will be kicked out of the park, but not tipping is very poor form. Would you go to a restaurant at home and walk out without tipping? If you don’t think you can afford the tips in advance, I would suggest not getting the dining plan.

    If you are going in 2009, consider the Quick Service plan, as all of those meals are at counter service restaurants, no tips required.

  3. Wendy says

    Something you should keep in mind also is that you are a Family of 6… and any parties of 6 in the sit down restaurants incur an automatic 18% gratuity directly on your bill. There is no way around this or to adjust the amount based on the service you received. Personally I don’t like that as the wait staff are then gauranteed their tip (and a good one too!) whether your experience was good or not.

  4. Keith says

    Wendy

    We had 6 our last trip a few months ago, and found that some restaurants had the automatic 18%, while most did not, and we were left to figure our own trip. While I was fine with the 18%, we had great service everywhere, I sure appreciated it if they didn’t force us into something, and most of the time, I left more than an 18% tip when I had the option.

  5. Sue says

    In 2008 Disney took away the appetizer from the Dining Plan. I wish they would give us the choice of either a dessert or an appetizer. Does anyone feel this way?

  6. Tom Parker says

    Does anyone know if you can get the Dining Plans without getting one of the “Magic Your Way” packages? Everything I’ve found says these meal plans are addons to the vacation packages.

  7. Keith says

    Tom

    There are only three ways to get any of the Disney dining plans:

    1. As part of a Magic Your Way package that includes your Disney resort and at least one day of park passes

    2. As an annual passholder having booked your Disney resort room with an AP discount (this is technically a package too, but without park passes, since you would already have an annual pass)

    3. As a DVC member staying at a DVC resort on points, you can add the dining plans to your reservation

    If you are staying off of Disney property, or just have a room only reservation, you are out of luck.

  8. mconaway says

    To the person above… yes, I so wish they would allow a choice with either appetizer or dessert. We recently returned from a Disney vacation where we used the delux dining plan. I think in the long run it was a good deal, if you can eat that much food. As a small person, I cannot… therefore I wasted quite a lot of food, as did my kids. 2 sit down meals a day, each with appetizer, entree and dessert, plus 2 snacks a day is far too much food for the normal human gastronomy! I don’t think my waistline will ever recover. That said, we tried to use it to the max, but it seemed ridiculous. Also the gratuity is a crock… I do not like having it automatically applied. Having it included as previously or let me determine how much I need to pay… although this undermines part of the appeal of the dining plan for me which was not worrying about money/tips/charges while on my vacation.

  9. Cherryl deJager says

    We had the deluxe plan last year and I agree that it is far too much food to fit in and too much time was wasted keeping reservations etc. It became intrusive to having fun. We loved dining out at the nicer restaurants though and agree that we should have a choice of an entree or desert based on a person to person. Not everyone would prefer an entree over having desert but we should all have the choice individually. This year we are considering the cost of just paying for going out to the nicer restaurants three or four times. It will probably come to about the same as a deluxe plan and won’t tie us down so much.

  10. Jason says

    Can you purchase the dining plan if not staying at a Disney owned hotel. We are staying on property but not at a Disney Hotel.
    There are 16 of us going, so the savings would be huge

    • Keith says

      Jason

      Unfortunately no, you must be staying in a Disney resort. Just one of the many perks available for staying with Disney.

    • Keith says

      Ashley

      All meal/snack credits expire at midnight the day you check out. It is your responsibility to make sure you use them all, or you lose them.

  11. Daisy says

    We are currently planning our trip to Disney for this summer. We are staying at the Shades of Green Resort for the military. We would like to participate in the meal plan and have gotten mixed information as to whether this is available to us or not. Is there a way for us to purchase the plans?

    • Keith says

      Daisy

      The Disney Dining plans are not available to guests of Shades of Green (of the Swan/Dolphin). You must stay in a Disney resort to get the dining plans.

  12. kim says

    How do I add a Dining Plan onto a DVC reservation with points? I can’t seem to find info. on it and I haven’t received any confirmation yet.

  13. Keith says

    You must call DVC (1-800-800-9800), and have them add it on your reservation. You will pay for it when you arrive, but it must be added on before you arrive, or you will be out of luck.

  14. Joe O says

    My wife and I are heading to WDW on Tuesday. I have purchased the dining plan. Can you order additional items and pay seperately for them? I really like a glass of wine with my dinner. The plan comes with entree, dessert and a soft drink. Can I add an app and a glass of wine or a beer and pay for them outright? Help!

    • Keith says

      Joe

      Yes, you are free to order appetizers, drinks, whatever you want. Your waiter will hand you a bill showing what is covered and what is not. You will then pay cash/charge to your room the balance that is not covered. If you have any questions, feel free to ask your waiter, they deal with the dining plan every day.

  15. Jason says

    Do you have any idea when they will be offering the Free Dining Plan. I actually booked my trip for Aug 16th & was told by the Rep to not add my Dining just yet? I am not sure id he was hinting to me that the free dining would begin that day or not??? I know the Buy 4 get 3 free ends the 15th so I am not completely sure to what deal he might be inquiring about…

  16. Keith says

    Jason

    Typically, res agents have no idea what is coming up, they usually don’t find out until the day the discount is offered. He may just be reading rumors like others are doing.

    The buy 4 get 3 free discount is currently active until March 29, so it is unlikely we will not see anything before then. Historically, the free dining has been released in early April, I would expect the same this year.

  17. Carl says

    If you have already booked your vacation in Sept. with Quick Service Dining, and they offer the free dining in April. Can you change over for the free dining?

  18. Keith says

    Carl

    Yes. Your travel agent will/should do that for you. If you booked directly with Disney, you will need to watch for the discount to be released and then call Disney and have them apply the discount for you.

  19. Jennifer says

    We just purchased the delux dining plan for our honeymoon WDW trip this July. Can you order any apetizer, entree, dessert off the menu at participating restaurants or are you restricted to only select items?

    Also I have two questions about the tip. 1. is tip included with the dining plan? 2. If the tip is not included do the restaurants automatically bill you for a set gratuity fee or do you get to leave whatever you want as a tip?

  20. Keith says

    Jennifer

    You are not limited on the menu, if it is there, you can order it. There are a few exceptions, some restaurants have a dessert that is a combo of all the other desserts, you can’t order that. Well, you can, you will just have to pay a bit extra. If there is something like that on the menu, your waiter will point it out before you order.

    Gratuities are not included. After dining, you will get a “bill” that shows the total for the meal. You are then free to tip what you want, and pay with your room key, a credit card or with cash. The bill will be taken care of by your dining credits.

  21. Paul says

    Jennifer, I think if you have the deluxe dining plan option, you will get the appetizer, entree, and dessert all included. We did this deluxe plan in August ’07, mainly because we were without our kids and wanted to try several 2-table service credit restaurants.

    • Keith says

      Paul

      The deluxe dining plan does not include the appetizer any longer, it was removed for 2008, and did not come back for 2009. You can see a list of inclusions above.

  22. James says

    Everything I’ve read says that the Deluxe Dining Plan does include one appetizer, one entree, and one dessert. Even both released versions (one of them dated December 18, 2008) of the “Disney Deluxe Dining Plan” (PDF also available on this website). I know that there’s the “terms subject to change” caveat, but that is really poor if they’re promoting this, WHEN they know it’s not so.

  23. Jeanine says

    Jennifer

    I went in Aug 2008, and the appetizer WAS included on our Deluxe Dining Plan. I just checked again and it still IS included on the 2009 DELUXE plan.

  24. Keith says

    James and others

    Sorry, my fault, I was thinking regular dining plan (no appetizer), you are all correct.

    Sarah

    No, to get the free dining (if released), you have to have a Magic Your Way package that includes both the resort and park passes on a package, DVC stays with points do not qualify. You can add the dining plan to your DVC stay, but it will not be free/discounted.

  25. Jennifer says

    Hi Everyone,
    Thank you so much for your great replies to my questions. However, I think I asked the wrong question. I’m trying to figure out if everything on the menu is included in the Delux meal plan. Example, if there are three appetizer options..can I pick any of the appetizer choices?…same for entree…if the menu shows three different entree options..say, chicken, steak, or fish.. am I free to pick which entree I want or is there a restriction on the kinds of food choices on the menu that I can pick from?

    • Keith says

      Jennifer

      You can order anything on the menu, and the menus are the same if you are on the dining plan or not. If you have any questions, just ask your waiter. The usually tell you before hand if anything is excluded/extra. The only thing I remember being excluded is some of the desserts which are combinations of all the desserts they offer, a dessert pupu platter if you will.

    • Keith says

      Chuck

      You are correct. The original information was written just as the 2009 dining packages were released, and the pricing information on the new Quick Service plan was changed before it launched. I did not realize it was listed here incorrectly, it has been updated.

  26. Jennifer says

    I wish Disney offered the children’s dining rate to older children. I have a very picky, very small 11 year old. (He still ways under 70 pounds). He will only eat off of the childrens menu (nuggets & such), so I either have to fork up 39.99 for him, or not get the dining plan. If I get the Dining Plan, does anyone know if I can NOT use his dining credit and just pay outright for his kids meal? At the end of the week that would save us enough credits for another full dinner.

  27. brandy says

    i have purchased a wdw magic your way package for my family and i what free dining plan do we get? im confused on that part

    • Keith says

      Brandy

      It should be listed on your confirmation, you get the Disney Dining included for free (one quick service, one table service and one snack).

  28. Jack says

    What if you don’t want to use the plan for all of the days of your stay? I am a pass holder and want to take advantage of the pass holder plan but I will also be visiting non Disney parks while on vacation. Can I adjust the plan to only include those days I’m actually visiting a Disney park?

  29. Keith says

    Jack

    Sorry, no. Disney requires that you purchase the dining plans for the entire length of your stay. Now, you do receive all your credits at check in, so you can use them when you are in the parks/resorts, but you cannot cut out days.

    You could book 2 separate reservations, one with the plan and one without, but you would only have the dining plan during the dates you have the dining plan added, they do not carry over past midnight of the day you “check out”.

  30. Jack says

    Thanks Keith. We also thought we might use some days for breakfast or take late dining options at Downtown Disney as well.

  31. Jason says

    Going in August, any helpful hints for places to eat dinner that equal 1 table service? Can be character or regular!

  32. jay says

    hey i was looking on disney’s website about the dining plan and it says that you need to take part in the magic your way package in order to get it? is that true? im not going through that package for my trip in august but wanted the deluxe dining plan. can i still do the dining plan? i couldnt find anything on their website saying you could.

    • Keith says

      Jay

      In order to get the Disney Dining plan, it must be part of a Magic Your Way package that includes your Disney resort and park passes. There are a few exceptions:

      Room only with Annual Pass discount
      Room only with military discount
      DVC room reservation using points

      You can add the dining plan to those room only reservation. Under any of these options, you also must be staying at a Walt Disney World resort (the Swan, Dolphin and Downtown Disney resorts are NOT Disney resorts).

  33. Kim says

    To answer the question about just paying for a child’s dinner instead of using the package…they are usually very accomodating. My husband and I shared at a restaurant because we weren’t very hungry, and they were fine with that.

    Also…we always have a few counter service meals left over at the beginning of the vacation, and we like to get as many desserts as we can (sometimes they’ll substitute a dessert for a sandwich) and take them to our room to pig out!!! It has always been the kids’ favorite night, and the one they remember the most.

    Last thing – when choosing a restaurant, look for the most expensive that doesn’t take two credits! The restaraunt in Japan is great, as is any character meal. We also love ‘Ohana in the Polynesian.

    Hope this helps!

    • Keith says

      Steve

      Assuming you are traveling during the free dining offer (and that is what you are talking about), and you have booked a MYW package, then yes, you should be able to get it applied. Just call whoever you booked the package through (your travel agent or Disney), and ask them to apply it for you.

  34. allison says

    My husband is leaving DW midway through our trip, but we really want to use the meal plan for all four of us (husband, me and two kids), is there any way to book his meal plan seperately? we will be staying on site, but I don’t want to pay for him to eat for 10 days when he will only be there for 5.

    • Keith says

      Allison

      No, not really. Disney requires that everyone on the package have the same tickets, and have the same dining plan, and you must have the dining plan for your entire stay. You have two options:

      Stick with the dining plan, and use your husband’s meal credits for extra meals after he leaves.

      Book 2 reservation, one for the time he is there, one for after he leaves. The problem here is that to get the dining plan on the second package, you must purchase park passes again, which eats up any savings you get by not paying for the dining plan for your husband.

  35. Shontell says

    If we are staying at a DVC resort as part of an exchange (we are not DVC members) will we still be able to puchase the dining plan?

    • Keith says

      Shontell

      Yes, you can do the dining plan. You will need to contact the trading company that you used to exchange it (RCI or Interval) and have them add it for you. You will pay for the plan at check in. You cannot add the plan at check in, it must be done in advance.

  36. elli says

    i have reservations using the 40% military discount I also have the dining plan. Ccn I now call them and ask for the dining plan to be free? Seems to good to be true.

    thanks for all the great info!

  37. Keith says

    Elli

    No, you cannot. The only way to get the dining plan free is with a Magic Your Way package that includes both the resort room (at full price) and MYW tickets (at least a one day park pass). So, you give up your room discount, and have to buy everyone a one day park pass, but it may be cheaper for you to do that, depends on where you are staying and how many people are with you.

  38. Nick says

    My wife and I will be taking our son for the first time in Jan 2010. We have the adult passports left over from the last trip (they were 10 day – no expire). We’re going to stay on property. If we get the magic your way plan and get our son’s ticket, is he the only one we can get a dining plan for? I’m thinking yes, but want to confirm.

    • Keith says

      Nick, good thing you asked, you thought wrong. Disney requires that all guests in the room have the exact same park passes and the exact same dining plan when booking a MYW package, you cannot get a package with just tickets and dining plan for your son, you all have to purchase the same tickets/dining plan.

  39. Kevin says

    Do you still need a credit card to make reservations at certain places if you are on the dining plan?

    • Keith says

      Kevin

      Yes, California Grill, as well as Cinderella’s Royal Table and the Princess Storybook meal in Epcot require a credit card guarantee. They do not charge your card, they just require the information in case you don’t show up. This is the same whether you are on the dining plan or not.

    • Keith says

      Jennifer

      Assuming you have a MYW package already, you can add the dining plan on. Same cost as always, though there may be a $10 change fee to add it. I think it can be added up until 3 days before, but I will double check that.

  40. Wendy says

    We booked our vacation late, and will be using the Dining Plan. We were fairly flexible about eating….we only were looking for 2 restaurants Chef Mickeys and/or the Crystal Palace. We’re there for 8 days and would take ANY reservation. We’ve been told by our travel agent that there is NOTHING available during our time there. Any special tips or tricks that can be used to possibly get into one? I realize we can call everyday hoping for a cancellation. What if we showed up 30 min before the restaurant opens and offer to take the first available table?

  41. Shanta says

    We have used the Dining Plan before…it does seem costly. However, it did meet our needs! It used to include tips for table meals…but not anymore! Another thing…we are members of the Tables in Wonderland (formerly Disney Dining card). They automatically include the 18% Gratuity reguardless of how many is in the party! It seems the minute your server finds out you are on this plan…the service is HORRIBLE!! I do not feel that this is fair to the consumer at all! The Membership has gone up…& although they say you save 20%…when the server gets their 18%…you are only saving a whopping 2%!!! Once again…where is the savings! I feel as much money as we spend on passes, food, etc…the consumer should really get a true break!

  42. Shanta says

    Also…in reference to Wendy…KEEP TRYING!!! Alot of people do not cancel reservations…so that is what hurts the others who want to dine there. By all means…when you get there…go up & ask…it never hurts!

  43. Sue says

    Wendy, I would try calling every day but, if I were you and couldn’t get reservations before I left, I would reconsider the Dining Plan. You are allowed to book restaurants 90 days in advance so restaurants will be booked. I booked 90 days in advance and I still couldn’t get Mama Melrose at a decent time. We will be eating dinner at 4 p.m The Dining Plan is not cheap so it may be a waste for you not having reservations. I do love it though. We are a family of six and I am taking my niece so I had to book for seven people.

    • Keith says

      There are no size requirements to qualify. As long as you have one person in your party, you can get the free dining. Disney often uses a family of four for pricing examples, but that is only an example.

  44. Monica-New Brunswick says

    I booked our family first time to DW 7 days/nights for the beginning of September. Booked through Expedia and was pleasantly surprised when I saw the “free” Disney Dining package included. I know this is going to save us a ton of money as we all enjoy a great meal.
    Can someone please explain in detail the types of food offered by the quick service meal? I’m hoping it is not all grease.

    So excited can’t wait to go. :0)

    • Keith says

      Monica

      The free dining is not for the Quick Service plan, but the Disney Dining plan. You can see more about the free dining here:

      2009 Free Disney Dining

      To find out more about the plans, just download the brochure above.

  45. Monica-New Brunswick says

    Thanks Keith but I was asking about the 1 quick service meal that in included in the dining plan. The plan includes 1 snack, 1 quick service meal and one full service meal. I was wondering about the types of food available/served at the quick service establishments.

    Thanks for any info.

    • Keith says

      Monica

      You can see a list of all the Disney restaurants, with complete menus here:

      Disney World Menus

      There are plenty of hamburger places included in the quick service restaurants, but most places offer other options such as sandwiches or salads.

  46. Cynthia says

    I was looking for the list of restaurants that offer the dining plan. to my understaning, not all restaurants participate. thanks.

    • Keith says

      Cynthia

      Download the Dining plan brochure from above, it lists all restaurants included in the dining plan. All restaurants in the parks and resorts participate, there are some in Downtown Disney that do not.

  47. Sue says

    Cynthia, If you click on the Dining Plan, find a restaurant, click on the restaurant and the menus will pop up. You can even decide on your dinner before you go. Two years ago I knew I was having crab cakes for my appetizer and lobster tails for dinner at Cap’n Jack’s before I left home. I know it sounds crazy but being able to see the menus will help you pick out restaurants.

  48. Lu says

    So how healthy and economical is the dining plan?

    We’re going to Disney in mid-July. I was considering the regular plan for 2 adults and 2 young kids, but the discussion about needing reservations makes me second guess it.

    1. For those that have used the regular plan, do you need reservations for most restaurants?

    2. For those that have used the Quick Service plan, are there plenty of healthy food options?

    3. If we tend to be people that eat lightly (definitely do not want deserts with each meal), is the Quick Service plan still an economical choice compared to just paying cash for food as we need it?

    Thanks!

  49. Leslie says

    Lu,

    It depends on how much you eat. If you are planning to hit the “big” places, and you don’t mind scheduling your days around your dining reservations, it’s a good value. My husband and I are not huge eaters, and disney portions are HUGE, so we skip it because it’s not a good value for us. Hope this helps.

    Leslie

  50. Lisa says

    Is it true that if I order an expensive item off the menu or go to an expensive resturauant (places that accept the dining plan), that they could charge me for two people instead of one?

  51. Keith says

    Lisa

    The “cost” of the restaurant is not based on what you order. Some of the restaurants are what Disney calls “Signature Restaurants”, they are double the cost, 2 table service meals per person. You can download the dining plan brochure above, all the restaurants available on the plans are listed, with the signature restaurants notes as such.

  52. Deanna says

    I know that some dining uses two sit down credits, but I think I saw somewhere that you can trade down too, like you can trade in one sit down credit for two counter service, or a counter service for two snack. Of course, I can’t find it anywhere now, so I figured I’ll just ask. Can you trade down?

  53. Keith says

    Deanna

    Most of the time, a counter service restaurant will accept a table service credit for payment, though you don’t receive anything additional. There isn’t any official way to “trade down”.

  54. Lisa says

    A lady on the phone at (407-wdisney) told me there is no such thing a a refillable cup at disneyworld. I am going to be staying at the pop star hotel in disney and I keep reading about refillable souvenier cups, did the lady lie/not know what she was talking about or are all the sites I read about the cup wrong? I am trying to figure out how to save money on my trip.

    • Keith says

      Lisa

      She was partially right. There are no refillable mugs available for the theme parks. If you want a drink, you pay for it. There are refillable mugs at all of the Disney resorts, though they are only refillable at your resort. The water parks also sell them, but those are only good for the day of purchase, and only available to refill in the water park.

  55. Greg says

    I booked a one week trip in August through Expedia and for some reason they were not able to add the meal plan to my “Magic Your Way” package. Can this be added when we arrive at the resort? I think I saw somewhere that if you ask nicely and beg a little they will let you add it after the fact.

    • Keith says

      Greg

      Officially, it must be booked as part of a package. Whether you can find a CM at check in who will add it for you, while extremely unlikely, I guess, is possible.

  56. Robin says

    I am taking my daughters family (will be 7 of us) to Disney and renting a house, is there a way to purchase a dining plan for while we are at the part (5 days)? if you are not staying in Disney World?

    • Keith says

      Robin

      The only way to purchase the Disney Dining plans is by staying on Disney property and purchasing a MYW package.

  57. lucy says

    Wow Robin! If you can’t afford the tip, get the quick service plan and stick with the smaller counter meals where no tip is necessary. Unlike you, the wait staff is NOT going to be on vacation, they work for tips. As a waitress during this bad economy in a “resort community” I understand money is tight. But just because you are giving up christmas and birthday’s doesn’t mean these people should give up a car payment or groceries. Vacation is a luxury, tipping is not.

  58. Robin says

    Lucy, forgoing tips was never mentioned…get the chip off your shoulder…I too have waited tables …I NEVER don’t tip. Your attitude bears a NO tip attitude. If you take that to work with you…….you will starve. Read carefully before you chime in next time. I am insulted.

  59. Sandi Schultz says

    Question – I’m waiting to hear back from our travel agent but thought I would post this.

    We have a Disney Cruise booked in December so we’ll be staying 4 days at the Poly. and then getting on the ship. Do we qualify for the free Dining Program since we will be staying on land and will have passes. I don’t see anything about this listed. Thanks.

    • Keith says

      Sandi

      That will depend on how the 4 nights were booked. If they are part of a land/sea package through the cruise line, then no, you will not qualify. If it was booked separately from the cruise, the most likely, yes, based on dates and availability of course. If you were booked as a land/sea package, have your TA look at the cost of rebooking the cruise separately and then booking the WDW portion with either the free dining or the Fall MYW discounts (which should be a better deal for you staying the Polynesian than the free dining).

    • Keith says

      Judi

      Absolutely. The easiest way is to call 407-WDW-DINE. You can make reservations 90 days in advance of the reservation date. Staying on property, you can call 90 days in advance of the day you check in and make reservations for your entire stay.

  60. josee says

    We are going for the holidays.is there anything special we should do for new year’s eve? Is the free dining plan available at that time? We would like the quick service deal but would like to enjoy at least one sit-down character type meal during our stay. Is that possible? It is our first time going and we are on a tight budget. We are a family of 4. two adults ,teen and pre-teen.

    • Keith says

      Josee

      Free dining requires that you check in December 17 or before, and stay on Disney property. Checking in after December 17 would mean you pay for the dining plan in full.

      The dining plans are not required to eat at Disney restaurants. If you want to do a character meal, I would suggest you make the reservation as soon as you can. You can do so 90 days in advance, which should be soon, depending on your check in date.

      I do not think Disney has announced their New Year’s Eve lineup yet. They usually have concerts in Downtown Disney and other events.

  61. Jen says

    Question: My family and I are going to back to Disney for the 2nd time since 2007. When I had the Dining Plan last time we had 1 quick 1 table 1 snack. I found out that I wasn’t getting the most out of my money. Example: I brought some mini boxes of ceral. So i had my husband go down and get milk. And he did. 1/2 way through our trip we found out cereal comes with milk on the dining plan as a snack. Same with the table servies i see now. Like does and entree come with a side? at The Wave it shows you have to purchase a side? Does anyone know the best way to get the most out of the Dining Plan and exactly what you can get? I found out that you need to ask lots and lots of questions to the Mousekateers to help you with your choices.

  62. joeli says

    Hi Keith–

    My family and I are planning a trip to Disneyworld. I just want to double check, if we go Dec 7th thru Dec 11th, is that still the value season? We want to stay at a Value resort. We wanted to go Nov 16th thru Nov 20th, but I read that is regular season–I thought that we went last year around that time and it was considered Value season. Not sure though. Thanks.

    • Keith says

      Joeli

      For 2009, value season runs November 29 – December 17. October and November have been regular season for as long as I remember.

  63. Jo says

    I took advantage of the free DDP for my September 2009 vacation. I thought it was terrific and I enjoyed trying out restaurants that I had not been to yet.

    Next year I would like to take advantage of some of the places that use 2 DDP table service (hoop-dee-doo, sprit of aloha, yachtsman steakhouse).

    If the free DDP is available in 2010, do you know if you can just add on the difference to upgrade to the Deluxe plan?

    And … does anyone have any hints for getting a reservation at LeCellier? That place seems to be booked all the time.

    Thanks … Jo

    • Keith says

      Jo

      Historically, yes, you can pay the difference and upgrade to the deluxe dining plan, assuming the free dining is released again for 2010 that is.

      Starting next week, Disney is going to a 180 booking window. Just book as close to the 180 days as possible, you will have no problem with any restaurant.

  64. cindy hemms says

    I was just reading through to get some tips as although i have been to Disney over 20 times as a child and now a mother their are always things to know . I was rather disgusted at the answers given to Robin over the tipping im from england and we always follow the custom of tipping here and whilst in the States , we purchused the dining plan last yr and found the 18% tipping a disgrace for example my family of 7 did not get seated together not even close but because we made the reservation for 7 was charged the 18% the service was terrible as soon as the man realised we was on the plan and when we told them at the end that we would leave 10% because of not sitting together and service we was rudely told they would let our other resevations know that we dont tip … we do tip the amount when the service is correct and i actually site with my children who ended up sitting with grandparents you are also seperatly charged graturaties for drinks that are not on the plan i can easily understand why people are so angry at the tipping and feel that it is their right to tip what they feel , we will be going back next yr and getting the dining plan for the great food but i will tip what i feel and if it warrents the 18% they will get it other wise they will get what i feel is correct !!

  65. Rebecca says

    For those who are saying they will tip what they want regardless of what the bill says…you can be arrested for not paying your entire bill if you do that. If you are unhappy with your experience, talk to a manager before refusing to pay..bail costs a lot more than the 18% gratuity.

    • Keith says

      George

      No, unfortunately not. You must stay at a Disney owned resort to qualify for the dining plan. Non-Disney resort on Disney property, such as the Swan and Dolphin and the Downtown Disney resorts do not qualify.

  66. Sharon says

    Hi! I just earned a trip to disney with Pampered chef which includes park admission and hotel (disney property)and a few of the meals are covered as well. Is there any way I could get the dining package added even though I’m not paying for the trip? If not, do you have another easier/cheaper way I could go and not go broke paying for our meals? Thanks for any info

    • Keith says

      Sharon

      It will depend on how your reservation was booked. Did they give you a confirmation number? If so, call Disney directly and have them look up the reservation, they will be able to help you out.

  67. Nancy says

    Hi All,

    We last went to Disney as a family in 2007 & had the Dining Plan. We are a family of 7 and I do believe that the convenience of the plan makes it worthwhile. Additionally, I think if you plan right (choose the more expensive restaurants) it is well worth the money. I know that LeCellier & O’Hana are some of the better choices for getting the most for your dollar. Does anyone else have any recomendations of restaurants where we can get the most “bang for our buck” without having to use 2 credits?

    Thanks

  68. becky says

    What if you don’t eat dessert and have the basic dining plan; what happens to those “non-billed credits”? Can they be used for something else or put towards an appetizer?
    Many Thanks :)

    • Keith says

      Becky

      With the dining plan, you are just given a credit for a meal, whether it is a table service or counter service. When you eat that meal, it is all or nothing, you cannot opt to use part of the meal at that time and part later. So, if you opt not to order dessert, you can do that, but you don’t retain that “dessert credit”, it is just gone.

  69. Sacy says

    We are staying at the Boardwalk Villas in September. We booked DVC through RCI. I’m trying to find out if we can get either the Premium or Platinum plans. The 800 number had no idea what I was talking about. Any info would be good, thanks!

    • Keith says

      No, unfortunately, not. The only way to do the Premium or Platinum plans is to purchase a package that includes your Disney resort and park passes with the plan. Any DVC stay would be excluded from doing that. You are able to do any of the three Dining plans, I would suggest you call DVC at 1-800-800-9800, they will be able to walk you through the options.

  70. Sacy says

    That’s a shame since I’m still buying park passes and dining. We’ve done the Premium plan in the past and loved it.

  71. Denise says

    Hello: With the table service part of the dining plan can you order anything off the menu, or is there a separate menu for the dining plan??? Kind of like when restaurants have pre fixed menus??

  72. Keith says

    Denise

    You order from the same menu as if you were paying cash for the meal, there are not separate menus. There may be some exclusions, the only ones I have run into are the combo desserts, where you get a sample of each dessert on the menu, they tend to be excluded as they are usually considerably more expensive than the other desserts.

  73. sherry says

    If I have extra dining credits left from my deluxe dining plan can I treat my mother who is joing us for two days in the middle of our trip?? We are a family of four but will not be using every last dining credit on the deluxe plan, so I figured a few meals I could include my mom on our tab.

    • Keith says

      Sherry

      Yes, just let your waiter know when you are seated that you will be using the dining plan to pay for everyone’s meal, it won’t be a problem.

  74. sherry says

    Thanks Keith,
    Are you sure I dont want, to be embarassed at the resturant. Do’nt they know how many adults should be dinning with you. I am affraid they will say you are only allowed 2 adults and 2 kids, not three adults (even if we have enough table service credits.

    • Keith says

      Sherry

      I have done it several times before, known many people that have as well. You purchased the credits, the waiters don’t care how you use them, just explain it to them as you are seated, they won’t even think twice about it.

  75. Jessica says

    My family and I are going to Disney world in a couple of months we have the quick service plan. We were wondering if we can order anything on the menu or if there are only certain food items we can order.

    • Keith says

      Jessica

      Yes, anything on the menu is included in the plan. If you have any questions, just ask the CM when you are ordering, they are usually very helpful. The quick service includes an entree, dessert and drink.

  76. Bob says

    Hello,
    I noticed that someone said that you are able to get the dining plan when you are doing an exchange. I have done an exchange and just spoke with RCI and they said that they are not able to add the dining plan. Any other information about how this might be possible?

    • Keith says

      Bob – I would suggest calling DVC directly at 1-800-800-9800, have them look up your reservation, and see if they can add it, that is how DVC members must do it.

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