The New Disney Dining Plan (2018)
UPDATE 04/24/18: Disney has released it’s “Free” Dining Plan Dates for 2018, now with more caveats than ever before. Anyways here’s the 411:
August 20th to September 29th, November 24th to November 27th, and December 7th to December 23rd can get a free dining plan with they purchase a non-discounted Walt Disney World Resort hotel and ticket package. The package must be at least a 5-night/6-day Magic Your Way package with a Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus Option.
This promotion must be booked by July 7, 2018.
Guests staying at Value and Moderate resorts will receive a free quick-service dining plan and Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resort guests will get a free Disney Dining Plan.
However Guest staying at the following Resorts are EXCLUDED: All Star Movies, Fort Wilderness Campgrounds, Art of Animation, Port Orleans, The Contemporary and Bay Lake Tower, The Polynesian standard rooms and studio villas, Villas at the Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge.
I’m often asked by friends in the midst of planning their Walt Disney World vacation the age old question of whether or not to buy the Disney Dining Plan. Without hesitation my answer has always been, “Fuck no.” However, on June 20th, Disney “surprised” the masses by adding ALCOHOL to the DDP (honestly the shit had been out there for a few weeks as reputable Disney fans in other blogs and websites had gotten wind of it. Like this savvy reader over at the DIS, a site you certainly should be visiting if you’re even remotely interested in a trip to WDW).
So, now that the sweet nectar of life is included, Should I buy the DDP?
Editor’s note: By “maximizing” your DDP, you will likely fall into the trap of thinking that cost is equal to quality at Disney World. While this is sorta-kinda the case when jumping from Quick Service to Table Service. Even though there are some Table Service places to avoid like San Angel Inn which is absolute fuckery in terms of food quality. Now, within the same category of eatery price is just a price and really no indication of what’s good food so you have to be cognizant of what your fellow park goers are saying about their meals. Simple Google searches and Yelp reviews can help with that. Oh an be sure to check the dates on reviews you read shit changes with these places often as restaurant staff has turnover just like any other place you’d eat outside the Disney bubble.
But I got “Free Dining!”
But I just want to know what my food cost is before I leave.
So now I’ve got a bunch of Disney gift cards and I’ll have to read them off one-by-one to some poor Disney cast member to pay off my room-charge balance before checkout, right?
Editor’s note: Be sure to stay mindful of your spending limit at each resort. If you reach this limit the credit card you have on file will be charged. So before you hit your threshold and/or the night prior to check-out make sure to go to the front desk to pay down your balance with the gift card.