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Explaining The Disney Dining Plan

The Disney Dining Plan can be a great option to add to your Walt Disney World Vacation. For the first time user of the Disney Dining Plan it can be a bit overwhelming trying to understand how it works and how to proceed.

Disney Dining Plan – The Basics
The Disney Dining Plan (DDP) is a pre-paid meal plan for Disney World Vacationers that provides a lot of flexibility as to what you can eat and where you can eat. The plan is based upon the number of nights that you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort. You must purchase the plan for your entire party (in your Room) for the entire stay at the chosen Disney World Resort Hotel.

As the name implies the plan is paid for prior to your resort check-in for non-DVC (Disney Vacation Club Resorts) or at check-in for DVC Resorts. Since you know the amount that you will be spending on food ahead of time, this makes it easier to budget for your trip.

When you check-in you will be awarded a certain number of Dining Credits according to the numbers of nights that you are staying and the number of people in your party.

For the Disney Dining Plan each person receives for each night stay:

  • 1 Table Service Credit
  • 1 Quick Service Credit
  • 1 Snack Credit
Example: If you have 6 people that are staying for 5 nights, you will receive:

          30 Table Service Credits ( 6 People X 5 Nights = 30)
          30 Quick Service Credits
          30 Snack Credits

An example of what was actually received at check-in at the Old Key West Resort.  We had a party of 6 made up of 5 adults (ages 10+) and 1 child (ages 3 -9) staying for 5 nights.  The Table Service meals are the only place where they make a distinction between Child and Adult.

These credits are encoded onto your Key To The World (KTTW) Room Key. Note: The family shares the “pool” of Dining credits instead of each person having their individual credits tied to just their KTTW  Cards.

A Key To The World Card is shown above.  Note that DDP (Disney Dining Plan ) is printed on the card.

DDP Entitlements:
There are three different types of Dining Credits. Each allows the Guest to receive certain entitlements within a different Dining Category.

Table Service Credit: This entitles the guest to his/her choice of entrée, non-alcoholic beverage, and dessert at a sit-down Table Service Restaurant. There are very few menu exclusions, and typically there are none. This means that you can choose any item on the menu for your entrée. This gives you a lot of flexibility and makes it easy for the entire family to choose what they like. The Table Service credit can also be used at a Buffet Style Restaurant to receive full buffet and a non-alcoholic beverage.  There are over 35 different Table Service restaurants to choose from.  Gratuities are not included so you will have to pay for these separately at the conclusion of each meal.

Disney World Table Service Restaurants tend to fill up during busy seasons, so it is important that you make reservations ahead of time.  You can make reservations either at Disney On-line Dining Reservations or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.  You may make reservations up to 180 days in advance.

Quick Service Credit: This entitles the guest to his/her choice of entrée or combo meal, non-alcoholic beverage, and dessert at a Counter Service Style Restaurant. Disney World has a wide variety of Quick Service Class Restaurants that cover the gamut of food choices including: burgers, salmon, pork chops, Moroccan Cuisine, Sushi, Pasta, Salads, Chinese Food, and much, much more.

Snack Credit: This entitles the guest to receive his/her choice of a number of items available from Disney World Quick Service Dining Locations and Snack Carts/Kiosks throughout Disney World. Items are typically considered single serving and cost approximately $4.00 and under. They are designated with a Snack Symbol, shown above, if they are available for purchase with a DDP Snack Credit.

How To Consume Dining Credits:
To redeem your Dining Credits you inform your server or cashier that you are using the Disney Dining Plan and then hand them your Key to The World Card. They will use the card to check your Disney Dining Plan Credit Balance and then debit the quantity of credits required for the food you ordered. You will receive a receipt detailing the transaction and showing you how many credits were used and how many are remaining.
The above picture is an example of the receipt that you receive after using a Disney Dining Plan Credit.  In this example we purchased a Dole Whip Float from the Aloha Isle in the Magic Kingdom.  It cost 1 Snack Credit (Note line that says: Entitlements Used: 1 ).  Near the bottom of the receipt it lets you know how many of that category of DDP Credits are remaining.  In this case there are 7 SNACK Credits Remaining.

There are no rules as to how many credits you can use on any specific day.  It is entirely up to you!  This flexibility allows you to plan your eating like you want to.  If you want to eat at 2 Table Service Restaurants one day and none the next, you can do so.  You spend the credits however you like until they are gone or until they expire.  All credits expire on midnight of the day that you check out.  Even if you check in to another Disney Hotel the credits remain good until midnight.

Sources Of Disney Dining Plan Information
You can learn more about the Disney Dining Plan at the Only WDWorld Dining Plan Fact Page.  You can also check out the following pdf files that Disney has put together about the DDP:

2 comments to "Explaining The Disney Dining Plan"

  1. now i can decide what to eat and how much to eat

  2. Jeanna says:

    Disney Dining Plan is quite a saver... I just hope the processing of whatever the documents of what you are going to eat will not be long and make you very starving like for example the documents needed just to have a senior citizen discount which is really so annoying.

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