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By British Diva

Following on from my recent article……

–  A British View of Advanced Dining Reservations 

Chef Mickey & British Diva
The next most popular question I get asked is……

 “What is The Disney Dining Plan?”

“How does is work?”


“Is it good value?”


In short the Disney Dining Plan is an optional dining package that can be purchased alongside your Walt Disney World holiday (vacation).

In essence including the dining plan to your booking will somewhat make your magical stay into an all inclusive style one!

Often the Disney Dining Plan is referred to as the DDP for short!

The Disney Dining Plan Rules…….

To purchase the Disney Dining Plan you must 

– be a guest staying in a Disney owned and run Resort.

– purchase it in advance, alongside your accommodation & park tickets.

– include everyone in your booking on the DDP.

– have everyone on the same level of dining plan.

– purchase the DDP for the entire length of your stay.

Please remember, don’t forget…..

– some restaurants will also require you to have valid Park tickets.

Advantages & Disadvantages

– Choose to feast at 100+ dining locations all throughout Disney property.
– On average save up to 40% with the DDP as opposed to purchasing meals individually.
– purchasing your meals up front makes it easier to budget.

– For British vacationers, paying in ££’s will mean taking advantage of foreign  exchange rates; with the possibility of saving you some cash!

– Freedom to use Advanced Dining Reservations to their fullest extent.

– Take full opportunity of choosing character meals & dinner shows without the fear of the mounting expense!

– In my opinion the only disadvantage comes when you don’t use all your DDP credits before the end of your stay – credits will be lost with no refund – so you’d better eat up!!

Choosing the best dining plan for your family is as easy as pie…..

If you’re the light, snack grabbing sort then the Quick Service Dining Plan would be ideal.

If you prefer lighter fare combined with a more substantial main meal for the day, the Dining Plan would be perfect for you!

Now if you are BIG eaters, the Deluxe Dining Plan will most certainly suffice!

Disney Dining Plans are priced per person per night  of your entire stay!
Quick Service Dining Plan 
2 x self service (counter) meal credits
1 x snack credit
1 x refillable Resort mug
Dining Plan 
1 x self service (counter) meal credit
1 x waitress (table) service meal credit
1 x snack credit
1 x refillable Resort mug
Deluxe Dining Plan
3 x waitress (counter) service meal credits
2 x snack credits
1 x refillable Resort mug

Please note: you are only permitted to use refillable Resort mugs at the re-filling stations within the Resort at which you are lodging.  They cannot be used for free refills elsewhere. 

Any Children on your booking aged 2 & under do not require their own DDP.

The Key to the World

Upon checking into your Disney Resort every member of your party will be issued with a Key to the World card; which looks & performs just like a bank or credit card.
This important piece of magical plastic contains –

 All your park ticket information.

– Has optional room charge facilities.
– contains all your Disney Dining Plan credits.
– and acts as your swipe style room key.
I advise you to read Savvy Diva’s cautionary advice for it’s use!

Understanding the Disney Dining Plan Credit system

The exchange rate is  –  1 Credit = 1 meal or 1 snack However, if you’re using the Dining Plan you can also –

Exchange 2 waitress (table) service meal credits for 1 character meal or dinner show.

You may use these credits in any combination you wish to accommodate your families schedule.
Your Key to the World card holds all your Disney Dining Plan information on it.  

Instead of paying in the usual manner for your meal or snack; simply hand your Key to the World card to the Cast Member serving you!

In return you will be given a receipt (check) for your purchase; this will clearly show both spent & remaining credits, making it very easy to keep track.

The Tipping Point

We British do find leaving the correct amount of gratuity in the USA a complete nightmare; “Is it too much….is it not enough?!”  No one wants to make a social faux pas!

Generally speaking, for good service the tip should be 10%-15% of your total bill.  However, if the service was unsatisfactory request to speak with a manager before leaving any gratuity.

You may find that reading my article ‘How to make a complaint at WDW’ to be useful.

The tipping headache is removed sometimes when using the DDP; if you order alcoholic beverages, or there are or more people in your party an automatic 18% gratuity will be added to the bill (check).

It’s also worth remembering that gratuity is included for all dinner shows, Cinderella’s Royal Table and in-room dining.

‘Free’ is my Favourite Price!

It’s not uncommon for Disney to include the dining plan free of charge as part of a special promotion!
Keep a look out for these not to be missed offers or book with Patricia with All for Dreams Travel who will do all the hard work for you!

Bon appétit!