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Is the Disney Dining Plan worth it in 2024?

Is the Disney Dining Plan worth it in 2024?

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The Disney Dining Plan finally returns in 2024! But, should you buy it? Let’s analyze pricing and offerings to see if it’s really worth it for you to buy.

Disney Dining Plan

Credit: Susan

Potentially save time and money on your Disney World vacation by purchasing a Disney Dining Plan. Enjoy a certain number of prepaid meals and snacks during your stay to make your vacation feel more “all-inclusive”. Spend more time enjoying your vacation and less time on meal budgeting while you’re at Disney.

After a long few years, the Dining Plan finally returns in 2024! There are now only two plans when the Disney Dining Plan (DDP). Unfortunately, they eliminated the Deluxe and Plus plans. We speculated why this may have occurred HERE. You can purchase either the Quick-Service Plan or the Disney Dining Plan as part of your 2024 vacation package.

Credit: Susan

We have everything you need to know about the plan, including what comes with the plans and how to keep track of everything in this handy guide.

If you are savvy Disney vacation planner, you may be analyzing the cost of everything – from hotels and tickets to food and souvenirs. The Dining Plan can be a great way to save money if you have big dining plans. We are going to analyze the cost of the plan compared to the average cost of food. Additionally, we will look at some ways you can maximize your plan to help you save some money.

Quick-Service Plan

Credit: Monica

With the Quick-Service Plan, each Guest ages 3 and up will receive 2 Quick-Service meals (entree and drink) and 1 snack per day along with 1 refillable mug for the length of your stay. The cost is $57/adult and $23.83/child (rounded to $24 for easy math).

A typical Quick-Service breakfast consisting of eggs, waffles, and bacon is $13 for adults. Fountain drinks are $4.29. The kid’s menus across property usually include eggs OR waffles along with two sides (think bacon, potatoes, etc) and a drink. These meals are in the $7 range.

Credit: Monica

Lunch and dinner entrees will have a much wider price range depending on what you order. You can find burgers and chicken sandwiches at Cosmic Ray’s for approximately $12. The shrimp and chicken teriyaki entree at Katsura Grill at Epcot is $15. Again, fountain drinks are $4.29. Kid meals like hot dogs and chicken tenders are roughly $7.50 wherever you go. This includes two sides and a drink.

Snacks are also going to vary greatly, but typically you can find dole whips, Mickey ice cream bars, popcorn, and the like for around $6.

Quick-Service Math

Credit: KtP writer Susan

So, let’s do some basic math, shall we? If you order the breakfast platter and drink, shrimp and chicken teriyaki entree and drink, plus a $6 snack that is $42.58/day/adult. For kids, the breakfast platter and chicken tenders is $20.50.

Then, factor in the cost of your refillable mug. Everyone could fill up once in the morning before heading to the park and then again at night. At our average cost of a fountain drink ($4.29) that adds another $9/day to the value of the plan. We are coming out pretty even with children but still come up a bit short for adults.

If you wanted to get a bit more bang for your buck, consider using your credits for lunch and dinner and having breakfast in your hotel room. The Cosmic Ray’s example above is not the best because it’s actually cheaper than the breakfast platter. However, depending on where you want to eat look for entrees that are in the $15 price range. Doing so will get you almost even with the per-day cost of $57.

Disney Dining Plan

Credit: KtP

With the traditional Disney Dining Plan, each Guest ages 3 and up will receive 1 Table-Service meal and 1 Quick-Service Meal along with 1 snack per day and a refillable mug. The cost is $94.28/adult (rounded to $95) and $29.69/child (rounded to $30).

Lunch and dinner at table-service restaurants will almost always be a better value than breakfast. We highly suggest using your table-service credit for lunch or dinner. Then, use your quick-service credit for breakfast or the other meal.

Credit: Susan

Character buffets will also always be a better value. For example, the sampler entree and alcoholic beverage at 50’s Prime Time Cafe is roughly $44. Dinner at The Crystal Palace (a character buffet) plus an alcoholic beverage is $73. A kid’s entree and specialty drink at 50’s is $20. Kids can enjoy The Crystal Palace buffet for $38.

On the flip side of that, you will be responsible for tipping at Table-Service restaurants. The higher your bill the more your tip should be.

Disney Dining Plan Math

Credit: Susan

Let’s look at our Quick-Service breakfast platter example from above plus our buffet at the Crystal Palace. The adult price for 1 quick-service breakfast, 1 buffet, 1 snack, and 2 refills from the mug per day is $105.29. Children can eat for $60 using this example.

As you can see, you are getting almost double the value for children and $10 more for adults. When you factor in your tip, that’s another $15/adult and $8/child. Any “savings” you have will likely go to tipping your server. But it’s still saving money overall.

Final Thoughts

Credit: Monica

So, is the Disney Dining Plan worth it in 2024? Well, that largely depends on your travel party and eating habits. Do you intend to enjoy a buffet or sit-down character meal each day? Will your kids actually eat all that food? Will you have to purchase more food out of pocket (this is big because you only get 2 meals per day with these plans)? Are you going to eat at a restaurant that requires 2 table-service credits? (Spoiler alert: those are a bad use of 2 credits!)

You will need to sit down and take a look at each restaurant’s menu and pricing. Character Locator has up-to-date information on all Disney World restaurants. Add up the price of the food you would likely order along with the value of 1 snack and how many times you will realistically fill your mug up. Compare it to the price of the Dining Plan you are considering. Don’t forget to add in tips and any extra food you will need to purchase!

Are you booking the Dining Plan in 2024? How did the math come out for you? Let us know in the comments below! Do you know someone who is struggling whether to buy it or not? Pass this article along to them!

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Sunday 7th of January 2024

For somebody who's gone to Disney for decades and has used the dining plan. The author of this article does not know how to maximize the benefit of the plan. Breakfast is the cheapest meal of the day. You would never use your credits towards breakfast. So the fact that they even mentioned breakfast shows the inexperienced of the author. Table service should always, always be for dinner and for signature dining. Quick service you use at lunch time. As a whole, people do not like the dining plan because people don't want to sit down every night and have a dinner. They're trying to get the most of their money at the parks. However, families like mine who go twice a year enjoy the relaxation of a sit down dinner every night. When a family of five yachtsman's bill is $400 the plan definitely pays for itself.

Monica Street

Sunday 7th of January 2024

You must have missed the line in the article that said: If you wanted to get a bit more bang for your buck, consider using your credits for lunch and dinner and having breakfast in your hotel room.

Thanks for reading!

Michael Pulik

Wednesday 6th of September 2023

Its a watered down cheap version of the old plans that actually gave value. Cheaping out and less for more....if attendance would drop off they would adjust but we dont see that happening...


Sunday 7th of January 2024

You never use your dining credits at breakfast. It is the cheapest meal of the day. This article shows the inexperience of the author for the fact they're even mentioning using the dining plan at breakfast. You always, always use your table service at dinner. Signature dining is your best bet. Your quick service will be for lunch. We have been going to Disney for over 30 years about twice a year. I think most people don't like the dining plan as they don't want to sit down and have dinner every night. They're trying to make the most of their money by staying at the parks as long as they can. Since our family goes frequently, we enjoy a nice sit down every night. Our family of five is about 400 to $500 at the Yachtsman. So the dining plan does pay if you know how to use it

Wade A Alderson

Sunday 4th of June 2023

The DDP never made sense to mewhen I went. From the very start I would take the cost of the plan I thought I would use, add 50% and put that money on a Disney Gift Card and I NEVER had to worry about being cheated out of points. Now that I belive the dollar value for pleasure is no longer there for Disney. I now use the same plan for the non Disney cruise ships for dinning and cocktails

Diana Valenti Morgan

Saturday 3rd of June 2023

One more point to consider. Taxes are included in the dining plans, so you only pay tips at restaurants. Without dining plan, you play taxes on your meal in addition to tips. My family of 10 always does table service dinners every night of our stay. For us, it's one of the highlights of the trip, and we always got the Disney dining plan, which worked well for us, especially since everyone orders alcoholic drinks, except the one child in our party. Last couple visits without the dining plan, we spent slightly less but we are DVC members and got the DVC discount. While it's convenient, it might cost more with the dining plan unless everyone gets alcohol and the most expensive menu items, and you could spend less without it if you're looking to save money. Don't think we'll be using the dining plan at the current price.


Friday 2nd of June 2023

Don’t forget. Both dining plans include alcohol as a beverage choice. If you do drink it’s easier to justify the price.

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