(Fitchburg, MA, USA)
If someone at the table does not have the meal plan can I use my credits and pay for their meal?
Use your Disney Dining Plan Credits to get some Mickey Waffles
|Photo by Samantha Decker
Dad’s nope, uh ha, no way Answer
The short answer is an unfortunate no.
You see, the Disney Dining Plan is tied to your Key to the World Card, which you will be presented with at your resort during check-in and will also serve as your room key, your park ticket, and will allow you to use the FastPass system in the parks. Disney is really clear in their 2012 Disney Dining Plan brochure that credits are NOT redeemable for dining companions who have not purchased a Disney Dining Plan.
Let me pause for a minute and make an observation. Several people have reported that they have shared their Dining Plan with others. I don’t condone or encourage that. It’s cheating and stealing. As a Dad who wants to be a good influence on future generations, I think it’s important not to bend the rules even if others do it. Enough of that.
The good news is that you’ll still be able to dine together. Simply let the Cast Member (that’s what Disney calls their staff) who serves you know who in your party is using the Disney Dining Plan and who isn’t – that way you’ll receive two separate bills to be paid, one for those on the Disney Dining Plan and one for those who aren’t. Yes, you too will get a bill – remember the tip isn’t included in the Disney Dining Plan! So even if you are on the free plan, you will get a bill at Table Service restaurants so you know how much to tip.
This may be disappointing news, but don’t make it worse by forgetting to make your dining reservations! Since the advent of the Disney Dining Plan, Walt Disney World’s most popular restaurants (like Dad’s favorite – O’hana) fill up quickly. You can book your dining reservations up to 180 days in advance by visiting the Walt Disney World Dining Reservation Page.
If you need suggestions, Dad is full of them!
In general, Dad’s not too keen on the Disney Dining Plan in any of its forms – it minimizes your ability to be flexible and it’s hard to save money using one. Disney didn’t create the Disney Dining Plan to save you money. Don’t believe me? Check out this nifty Disney Dining Plan Calculator I’ve created:
The exception to the rule of course is the Free Dining offers that are floating about these days. Dad loves the Dining Plan when you get it for free, and ONLY when you get it for free. Free is good. Trust me.
Dad’s Bottom Line
Sherri, don’t fret – Disney has some mighty fine chefs at their outstanding restaurants. With or without the Disney Dining Plan, everyone in your party should be in for a fabulous meal.