My family and I are planning a trip later this year and are considering staying in an on-property, non-Disney run hotel (like the Hilton in Downtown Disney). We were wondering if it is possible to get the meal plan in that situation. Thanks so much for your help and have a great day!
Dad's this one is easy, but you won't like it Answer
The Disney Dining Plan is only for guests staying at Disney Resorts. Period. Not even the Swan and Dolphin which are located closer to a park than the Animal Kingdom Lodge are eligible for the Dining Plan.
Years ago, the Downtown Disney hotels shared in some of the on-site benefits, but not anymore. There is one Disney Hotel benefit of staying at the Hilton (or the Swan and Dolphin), that's Extra Magic Hours. Those 3 hotels in addition to the 25 Disney Hotels are eligible for Extra Magic Hours.
While this might sound like bad news, it's really not. It's Dad's contention that the Disney Dining Plan is an evil plot by Disney to take your money. Yes, that's right, I don't like the dining plan (unless it's free which probably won't ever happen again).
Dad's Bottom Line
I'm sorry (not really) to say that no, you can't get the Disney Dining Plan if you are staying at the Hilton in Downtown Disney.