The New Disney Dining Plan (2018)
UPDATE 01/02/20: Disney has released it’s “Free” Dining Plan update for 2020, now with more caveats than ever before. Anyways here’s the 411:
Valid for Arrivals Most Nights
June 27 through 28, July 5 through 7 and August 29 through September 8, 2020
- Theme park ticket(s) with Park Hopper Option
- Dining Plan (Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan with Value and Moderate Resort hotel packages; Disney Dining Plan with Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resort hotel packages)
*This promotion must be booked by January 16th, 2020
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: 3-bedroom villas, campsites, Cabins at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Bungalows at Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, Little Mermaid Standard Rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.
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.” Even with the addition of the free alcoholic beverage with your meal, it’s still a no go in my book. So, if you’ve got a short attention span you can stop here. For the rest of you who like to know the entire breakdown let’s get right into it.
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 and 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.