The Disney Dining Plan is the name of the program where you can prepay for meals at Walt Disney World. There are 3 levels to the plan. The Quick Service Plan, the Disney Dining Plan and the Deluxe Plan.
The worst name ever
Chef Mickey's is a fun place to use the plan - Photo by Brett Svenson
That's right, the Disney Dining Plan has an option called the Disney Dining Plan. This is probably the worst name in the whole wide world.
I want to get the Disney Dining Plan, Disney Dining Plan. Wow. OK enough about that, I'm just going to call it the "regular" plan.
The Regular Plan combines Quick Service credits with Table Service credits. You get one quick service credit, one table service credit, and two snacks per person, per night of your stay. If you have four people in your party, you'll have four quick service, four table service, eight snacks per night of your stay.
What is a table service credit? A table service credit is used at a table service restaurant. A table service resturant is where you go in, and you are escorted to a table, you sit down, a server comes, they take your order, and bring you the food.
A quick service restaurant is where you go to a counter and order your food, and they give it to you, or they bring it to your table. That's the difference between quick service and table service. It's usually price difference too. Quick service is cheaper, table service, typically is a little more expensive.
What does it include
A table service credit includes an entrée, and a drink, and a dessert at lunch or dinner, no dessert at breakfast, or a full buffet or family style meal, including a drink.
So, if you're say, at Crystal Palace, you get the buffet and the drink, if you're at, Liberty Tree Tavern, you get the meal, a dessert, and a drink. If you're at a breakfast place, say 'Ohana's Breakfast with Stitch, you get the family service breakfast and a drink. This year they did add an option for alcoholic drinks for those over 21, and some specialty drinks, shakes and things like that, milk.
Some of the higher end restaurants, signature restaurants, and dinner shows, require two credits. Cinderella's Royal Table, Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue, California Grill, etc. are a two credit meals. You will be "charged" two table service credits for dining at them.
Use Credits Any Time
You can use credits any time, you can pay cash anytime, you can two credit meal today, no table service meal tomorrow. No big deal, that's just the way it works. When your stay starts you get all the credits to use when you want to.
The Fine Print
You must be staying in a Disney Hotel to get the Disney Dining Plan. You have to have it for the length of your stay. If you are staying for 6 nights, your plan must be for 6 nights. You can't choose to have it for 3 nights.
Everybody in the room has to be on the Disney Dining Plan. So, if you have a four year old who four year that doesn't eat, who eats like a bird, they're still going to have to pay for the Dining Plan. If you have a 10 year old that eats like a bird, they're going to have to pay the adult price for the Dining Plan. So, the Dining Plan doesn't always work for everybody.
One thing that you do want to remember is, that for table service restaurants, tips are not included. So, you have to have cash, have another means of payment for the tip. And you should tip, it's very important that you tip these people, because, their livelihood depends on tips.
I like using cash for tips because it's real easy. It's a little harder once you start having credit card, because the server has to go back again and run the credit card.
Dad's Bottom Line
So, the bottom line is, to use the Standard Dining Plan, you've get a quick service credit, you get a table service credits, your get two snack credits per person, per day. You order, you eat, you pay.
That's how to use the "regular" Disney Dining Plan. What do you think about the "regular" Disney Dining Plan? Have you tried it? Let us know down in the comments.