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2020 Disney Dining Plan Breakdown

2020 Disney Dining Plan Breakdown

There is a lot of buzz that stirs around the Disney Dining Plan. People tend to be adamantly for it or strongly against it and they both like to share their opinions with anyone who will listen. It is not a decision that should be made lightly as it is no cut and dry that you will save money if you buy the Disney Dining Plan. If you are worried about the money factor be sure to read, How to Get the Most Out of the Disney Dining Plan.

What is a Disney Dining Plan

So what is the Disney Dining Plan? It allows you to pre-purchase your food before your vacation. The plans are added on to Disney vacation packages, which means you must be staying on property with a package. While it can be pricey people love that once they arrive all they have to do is eat at a restaurant on the list and scan your card.

At each meal you eat, points will be deducted from your MagicBand, and you don’t pay while you’re at the restaurant. The exception to this is for gratuity at table-service meals.

Some important things to note, when you book a dining plan, everyone in the room must be booked on the same package and must be using the same type of ticket. Kids under 3 years old may share from an adult plate at no charge, or a meal may be purchased from the menu for them. You can’t purchase the dining plan for a child under the age of 3. Guests ages 3-9 must order from a children’s menu where available.

2020 Disney Dining Plan Pricing

While we didn’t see any price increases last year Disney did raise the pricing of the Disney Dining Plan from 2019 to 2020. The 2020 Quick Service Disney Dining Plan nightly cost is $55 per adult, up from $48.19 in 2017. The 2020 Standard Disney Dining Plan is $78, up from $69.35 this year. The 2020 Deluxe Disney Dining Plan is $119, up from $106.68 in 2017.

Quick Service Disney Dining Plan

Entitlements for the 2020 Quick Service Dining Plan include the following for each guest (ages 3 and over) per night of your package stay:

  • Two Quick Service Meals (each includes one entrée and a beverage)
  • Guests under 21 years of age can choose one non-alcoholic beverage (including specialty beverages where offered). Guests 21 and older can choose either one non-alcoholic beverage (including specialty beverages where offered) or one single serving mixed cocktail, beer, or wine (where offered) with their meal entitlement.
  • Two Snacks
  • One Refillable Resort Mug

Standard Disney Dining Plan

Entitlements for the 2020 Standard Dining Plan include the following for each guest (ages 3 and over) per night of your package stay:

  • One Table Service Meal (includes one entrée, one beverage, and one dessert OR one full buffet)
  • One Quick Service Meal (includes one entrée and one beverage)
  • Guests under 21 years of age can choose one non-alcoholic beverage with their Quick Service and Table Service meal (including specialty beverages where offered). Guests 21 and older can choose either one non-alcoholic beverage (including specialty beverages where offered) or one single serving mixed cocktail, beer, or wine (where offered) within their meal entitlement.
  • Two Snacks
  • One Refillable Resort Mug

Deluxe Disney Dining Plan

Entitlements for the 2020 Deluxe Dining Plan include the following for each guest (ages 3 and over) per night of your package stay:

  • Three Meals (redeemable interchangeably at Quick Service or Table Service locations)
  • Guests under 21 years of age can choose one non-alcoholic beverage with their Quick Service and Table Service meal (including specialty beverages where offered). Guests 21 and older can choose either one non-alcoholic beverage (including specialty beverages where offered) or one single serving mixed cocktail, beer, or wine (where offered) within their meal entitlement.
  • Two Snacks
  • One Refillable Resort Mug

Keep Track of Your Disney Dining Plan Credits

Your MagicBand is the key to everything on your Disney World vacation these days. When you arrive at a restaurant a cast member will scan your MagicBand to help you navigate what your individual plan includes at that particular location. Also, be sure to save your receipt at the end of the meal. Your dining receipts include the number of meals remaining for each room, note that is not per guest.

What to Do For Kids Under 3

While you are under the age of three at Disney World you are thing magical age that gets a lot of things for free. There are no theme park admission tickets required for your little ones under three. If they are under three you also don’t have to buy the Disney Dining Plan for them either. It’s totally acceptable for these little ones to eat off your plate at a restaurant and if you are at a buffet they are even welcome to get their own plate of food. 

If you think your little one is up for a whole meal I would still advise against getting the dining plan for them. You would have to add a ticket to the package for them as well and at that point, you are 100% better off just paying out of pocket for their meal. 

Two Credit Restaurants to Watch Out For

What is known as Disney World Signature dining is what will eat up two instead of the standard one table service credit. Why do I say you need to watch out for these dining locations? First, because you don’t want to be surprised by suddenly losing a table service credit that you thought you had. Second, since they require two credits it becomes hard to order off the menu and get the value back that you paid for the credits. 

Other two credit experiences to watch out for are the two remaining dinner shows:

  • Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue
  • Spirit of Aloha

Plus you can also use two credits to reserve the dining packages that they sell over at Epcot. These packages are available during all four of Epcot’s festivals. They get you dinner and reserved seating at each one of the festival’s respective shows.

Maximizing your Disney Dining Plan Credits

Skip Breakfast

We find it’s really hard to break even on quick service credits for breakfast. If you want I would use a snack credit to pick up a breakfast pastry and save your quick service credits. Alternatively, you can bring your own breakfast with you to your hotel or pay out-of-pocket.

Make Sure you Break Even

In order to make sure you are getting the full value out of your Disney Dining plan make sure you know your break-even amount. For 2017 you will want to keep these numbers in mind!

  • Quick Service credits are worth about $19
  • Table Service credits are worth about $42
  • Snack credits are worth about $5

Sharing is Caring

My husband and I do this all the time when we are in the parks! We will often split the bigger meal at a quick service location and then I use it as an excuse to get a Dole Whip a couple of hours later.

Be Adventurous

Don’t just order burger and fries try to order some out of the ordinary food. This will help you choose items that will maximize your dollar. A few items we love to get are quick service ribs! Over at the Flame Tree Barbecue, you can get half chicken and ribs mix. This is a prime example of a good menu item to split. We will get an extra side if we do split as well, so we don’t feel like we are getting any less than we normally would.

Steak and Characters Always Win

If you love steak and character meals those are your best values. Character meals always have an increased cost due to the special experience you get while dining. Another great way to increase the value of the Disney Dining Plan is by ordering the most expensive item off the menu. The most expensive menu item is typically the steak hence the name of the headline.

Don’t Forget the Tip

Gratuities are not included at any Table Service Meal. Exceptions to this rule are Cinderella’s Royal Table, any Dinner Shows and Room Service. For more information on tipping with the DDP read Cash Needed for Tipping at Disney World.

Skip Signature Dining

Signature Dining at Disney requires the use of two meal credits and is never a good way to use up your Disney meal plan. Since these restaurants don’t cost twice the amount of a standard Disney sit down location it isn’t worth it to pay double the amount it credits. If you have your heart set on eating at a signature dining location then we recommend paying out-of-pocket instead.


More Disney Dining Tips

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