Let’s examine why Disney may have made this decision.
Disney dining plans return
The world of Disney Parks fans is abuzz with the news that options for Disney dining plans are finally returning! The dining plans were not an option when the parks reopened, likely due to the lack of character dining and the number of restaurants open in general.
Now, with most dining back to normal Disney is finally ready to bring back the dining plan! Disney dining plans will be coming back as an option exclusively for those staying at Disney Resort hotels who purchase a vacation package with us starting with stays beginning Jan. 9, 2024, which will also open for bookings on May 31.
What is included in the plans?
The Disney Quick Service Dining Plan entitles Guests to meals at counter service locations and snacks. Everyone in the travel party (ages 3 and up) will receive 2 Quick-Service meals per night and 1 snack/nonalcoholic drink per night of their package stay. Each Guest will also receive 1 Resort-refillable drink mug.
The Disney Dining Plan includes a combination of Table Service and Quick-Service meal entitlements. This is ideal for those who prefer table service dining such as character meals during their vacations.
Everyone in the travel party (ages 3 and up) will receive 1 Table-Service meal per night, 1 Quick-Service meal per night, and 1 snack/nonalcoholic drink per night of their package stay. The plan also includes 1 Resort-refillable drink mug.
If you look at the details of the dining plans, you will notice that something is missing! In the past, both the Disney Dining Plan and the Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan provided Guests with 2 snack credits per guest per day. However, Disney has reduced the offering to ONE snack/nonalcoholic beverage per guest per day.
No more deluxe or plus plans
The announcement has left many of us wondering: what happened to the rest of the dining plans?! The Deluxe Dining Plan included 3 Quick-Service OR Table-Service meals per day in addition to the snacks and refillable mugs. The Plus Plan was introduced just before the parks closed in 2020. That plan included:
- 2 Meals – Any combination of Table-Service and Quick-Service (per night of stay)
- 2 Snacks/Nonalcoholic Drinks (per night of stay)
- One Resort-Refillable Drink Mug
So, why did Disney decide to eliminate the flexible plans that gave you the option to choose between Table-Service and Quick-Service? While Disney did not come right out and say why they decided to eliminate these plans, it’s worth going through some possibilities.
First, I think they are pushing for more Quick-Service meals. Why? Because many Table-Service restaurants are already stretched thin with availability. Quick-Service restaurants can serve a lot more Guests per hour with less Cast Members.
Because a lot of Table-Service restaurants are also independently owned by third parties (especially at Epcot and Disney Springs), Disney can control costs/revenue better if they keep dining plan credits “in-house” as much as possible.
Second, people are willing to pay out-of-pocket for those meals. Dining availability backs that up. Guests who pay for a plan will also likely continue booking those character meals and signature restaurants as well. This means more money for Disney, and the dining availability “pool” can remain mostly unchanged.
Why do you think Disney decided to eliminate two of the four dining plans? Let us know in the comments below and share this post with a friend who may also have some ideas.
I can sorta see that, but are the people not goingnto book any sit down meals then??