What Changes Has Disney World Made to Their Dining Plans in 2018?

Disney Dining Plan

This time of year is a very popular period for families to start plotting out their 2018 vacations which means that most of you are probably wondering whether or not one of Disney World’s pre-paid Dining Plans are a good option during your visit.  If you’re new to Dining Plans or if its been a few years since you’ve visited Disney World, there are some changes to the Dining Plans going into 2018 that you’ll want to be aware of.  We here at Disney Addicts want your vacation planning to be smooth sailing so we’ll give you a breakdown of these changes as well as costs for the plans to help you make up your mind.

Dining Plan 2018

Changes to the Dining Plan in 2018:  For those that have used one of Disney’s Dining Plans in the past you’ll want to make a note of the following changes that will go into effect starting on January 1, 2018.

Under the 2018 Dining Plans, guests have several new beverage options to chose from that are covered under the plan. These fall into two categories: Non-alcoholic Speciality Beverages and Alcoholic Beverages.  Here’s a look at what falls into these categories:

Single-Serving Non-Alcoholic Beverage under the 2018 Dining Plans Include: 

  • Artisanal Milkshakes
  • Fresh Smoothies
  • Premium Hot Chocolate
  • Soda, Coffee or Tea

Single-Serving Alcoholic Beverages under the 2018 Dining Plans Include: For Guests 21 and older

  • Speciality Cocktails and other Mixed Drinks
  • Wine (including Sangria)
  • Beer or Hard Cider

This is a fantastic perk for adult Disney-goers but means of a couple of things for those used to older versions of the Dining Plan.  The first is that prices have gone up slightly to accommodate alcoholic drinks being added to the plans. The second is that Disney has taken away the dessert from the quick service meals to also make up for the difference.  Here’s a quick look at what’s included in the plans as well as a breakdown of the costs.

Best Disney World Quick Service

2018 Quick Service Dining Plan:  This plan is perfect for families that like to have their meals on the go or who don’t want to be bound by reservation times. Quick Service meals are casual where guests order from a counter and find a seat on their own.  Under this plan, each guest is entitled to the following:

  • 2 Quick Service Meals entitlements per person for each night you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort
  • 2 Snacks per person for each night you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort
  • 1 Refillable Drink Mug per person which is eligible for refills at self-service beverage islands at any Disney Resort Hotel (but not at the theme parks)

So what is considered a Quick Service Meal? A Quick Service Meal under the plan includes the following:

  • 1 Entree
  • 1 Non-alcoholic Beverage (or Alcoholic Beverage for Guests 21 and Older)

What sorts of items can I purchase with my Snack Credits? This is a where a bit of research will help you maximize your savings if opting for the dining plan.  Disney lists snacks as any of the following:

  • Frozen ice cream novelty, popsicle or fruit bar
  • Popcorn scoop
  • 12 oz. coffee, hot chocolate or hot tea
  • Prepackaged milk or juice
  • Piece of whole fruit
  • Bag of snacks
  • 20 oz. bottle of Coca-Cola®, Sprite® or Dasani® water
  • 20 oz. fountain soft drink

However, this barely skims the surface.  Snack Credits are best used on higher end items.  For instance, a snack credit can be used to purchase a Venti Frapuccino at any of the Starbucks locations on property or it can be used to get a banana.  You can use it to treat yourself to a Dole Whip Float or a bottle of water.  There’s a ton of information out there about maximizing your snack credits.  Make a list of some of your favorites and be sure to seek them out during your park days.

So how much does the Quick Service Dining Plan Cost? This will depend on the total number of nights that you are staying at Walt Disney World but here’s a helpful formula to help you get started:

Quick Service Dining Plan is $52.49 for each adult or $21.75 for each child (ages 3-9)  X number of nights you’ll be staying at Disney World 

So if you are one adult staying seven nights, the cost of the Quick Service Dining Plan would be $52.49 x 7  = $367.43

ADRs

2018 Table Service Dining Plan – This is an option is perfect for families who want to try it all.  The plan includes Quick Service Meals as well as Table Service which includes sit down meals,  character dining and buffets. Under the plan, each guest is entitled to the following:

  • 1 Quick Service Meal entitlement per person for each night you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort
  • 1 Table-Service Meal entitlement per person for each night you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort
  • 2 Snacks per person for each night you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort
  • 1 Refillable Drink Mug per person which is eligible for refills at self-service beverage islands at any Disney Resort Hotel (but not at the theme parks)

Here’s a closer look at what’s included in the Table Service Meal entitlements:

Each Table-Service meal includes (for breakfast):

  • 1 Entrée
  • 1 Non-alcoholic Beverage (or Alcoholic Beverage, for Guests 21 and older)

-OR-

  • 1 Full Buffet or Family-Style Meal

Each Table-Service meal includes (for lunch or dinner):

  • 1 Entrée
  • 1 Dessert
  • Non-alcoholic Beverage (or Alcoholic Beverage, for Guests 21 and older)

-OR-

  • 1 Full Buffet or Family-Style Meal

So how much does the Disney Dining Plan Cost? Again, This will depend on the total number of nights that you are staying at Walt Disney World but here’s a helpful formula to help you get started:

Disney Dining Plan is $75.49 for each adult or $25.80 for each child (ages 3-9)  X number of nights you’ll be staying at Disney World 

So if you are one adult staying seven nights, the cost of the Disney Dining Plan would be $75.49 x 7  = $528.43

What Changes Has Disney World Made to Their Dining Plans in 2018? 1

2018 Disney Deluxe Dining Plan – This is the dining plan option that’s best for families who consider dining to be a very important part of your Disney visit.  It is the only plan that includes three full meals a day and provides the greatest flexibility in that families can use their credits for EITHER Quick Service or Table Service Dining. Here’s a rundown of what each guest is entitled to under the plan:

  • 3 Meal entitlement per person which can be used for either Quick Service or Table Service Dining for each night you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort
  • 2 Snacks per person for each night you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort
  • 1 Refillable Drink Mug per person which is eligible for refills at self-service beverage islands at any Disney Resort Hotel (but not at the theme parks)

So how much does the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan Cost? Again, This will depend on the total number of nights that you are staying at Walt Disney World but here’s a helpful formula to help you get started:

Disney Deluxe Dining Plan is $116.24 for each adult or $39.90 for each child (ages 3-9)  X number of nights you’ll be staying at Disney World 

So if you are one adult staying seven nights, the cost of the Disney Dining Plan would be $116.24 x 7  = $813.68

2 Dining Credits

Some Dining Experiences Will Cost Two Table Service Credits – This is an aspect of Disney’s Table Service and Deluxe Dining Plans that tend to confuse a lot of first-time guests.  Under the 2018 Disney Dining Plan, not all Table Service Restaurants are considered only 1 dining credit.  There are some where guests will be asked to use two Table Service Dining Credits on 1 meal. These include the following experiences.

  • Fine/Signature Dining Restaurants
  • Dinner Shows
  • Pizza Delivery
  • Room Service

For a complete list of restaurants that charge two dining credits check out this article. This means that if you chose to dine at one of these locations you will need to forfeit a credit on another day to make up for it.  This will avoid you overspending on your dining credits and finding that you have to pay out of pocket for your meals later in your stay.

I am travelling with a child under the age of 3 are they included in the plan?  No. Children 2 and under do not need to pay for a dining plan just like they don’t need to pay for a park ticket.  Therefore they will not be allocated dining plan credits, snack credits or resort mugs.

Is it possible that Disney will offer the dining plans for FREE in 2018? This is probably the question I get asked the most when it comes to Disney planning.  The answer is that Disney will probably offer a FREE dining promotion in 2018 just as they have in years past. However, it is typically a Fall promotion meaning that your odds of getting it in the Spring or Summer are extremely unlikely.  Free dining discounts are usually released in late Spring for those booking a vacation September – December.  However, guests should note that these promotions offer very limited availability and that restrictions apply.  For information on FREE dining and other 2018 discounts check out this article.

Thinking about planning a visit to Disney in the year ahead? Packages are currently available to book through until the end of 2018. Read below to find out how you can get your FREE quote.

What Changes Has Disney World Made to Their Dining Plans in 2018? 2

Click here for your FREE no obligation quote!

Find articles like this helpful? Then why not consider booking with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? As an agent with MickeyTravels, I’ll be on hand to help you with everything from finding your perfect package to nabbing those hard-to-get dining and Fastpass reservations.  Best of all, my services are absolutely FREE. Get in touch at 1.800.801.4025, via email at mroden@mickeytravels.com or follow along on Facebook

Image copyright Disney.

 

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