DISNEY DINING PLAN PROS

As I’m writing this it is officially just 176 days until our trip to Florida and we are beyond excited! As I mentioned in my first post about our trip, we are on the Disney Dining Plan for the duration of our stay and this week we were able to book all of the sit down meals we wanted whilst we are away. This blog is going to be jam packed (and super long) sharing all the details of the dining plan and what we were able to book. 

For those that may not know, the dining plan is a prepaid meal package that those who are staying on Disney property are able to purchase ahead of their trip. There are various different tiers of plan and one each one you get a number of ‘credits’ that can be used as you wish at Walt Disney World restaurants. There are currently four tiers of dining plan offered; the quick service disney dining plan, the disney dining plan, the disney dining plan plus and the deluxe disney dinging plan.

We got the quick service plan included in the package price of our stay, but I opted to pay a nominal fee to upgrade to the standard dining plan as we enjoy the sit down dining experiences that Disney have to offer. This means that for each night of our stay, each person is entitled to;

  • 1 Quick Service Credit – can be used at any quick service restaurant for meals such as sandwiches, burgers, chicken tenders, pizza, salad, hot dogs etc and includes one meal and alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink.
  • 1 Table Service Credit – can be used at any table service/sit down restaurant and includes an entree, dessert and one alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink.
  • 2 Snack Credits – can be used for anything that qualifies as a ‘snack’ (which is indicated by the purple dining plan logo next to the name of the snack of a menu). This is usual something that is up to $8 in cost such as funnel cake, ice cream, Starbucks, cakes, cookies, cheesy fries etc.
  • 1 Refillable Resort Mug – a branded disney mug that gets you unlimited refills of soft drinks and hot drinks at your resort hotel.

We have only ever used the dining plan once before and this was on our last trip in 2015, but we were so excited to plan everything dining related and get to re-expereince our favourite meals from last time and also get to try lots of new things. Due to the demand of everything Disney related, they allow you to make what they call ‘advanced dining reservations’ up to 180 days ahead of your arrival day on a 10 day rolling window. This meant that we were able to book meals for the first 10 days on our trip on the 4th March and then one meal per remaining day each day after if that makes sense?

Alex and I had spent a long time looking through literally every dining experience Disney has to offer making a shortlist. As my nan and grandad are coming with us, we needed to make sure we had meals and experiences that cater to everyone. We have a spreadsheet where we tried to plan roughly which parks we wanted to be in on each day and then what meals and times we wanted to book with the dining plan so there was a good variety.

There were a few choices that we knew would be super hard to get as they are so popular at the minute. This included the brand new Story Book Dining Experience with Snow White, the Dwarves and the Evil Queen at the Wilderness Lodge and the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue Dinner Show. We were ready a good hour and a half before hand, logged into my disney experience and prepping ourselves for the manic rush to snag the reservations we could. I popped for a nervous wee about 40 minutes before the ADRs were set to open only to hear Alex shouting ‘Meg come quick they have opened them early.

Alex started at the end of the 10 day window and worked his way back and I started at the beginning our trip. I also then logged on each day and booked the remaining 3 meals. It was a mad dash but I am so pleased to say that with some level 100 team work, we managed to get absolutely everything we had wanted! The following photos are from the Walt Disney World website and belong to Disney.

Here’s a full look at what we booked

Character Breakfast at The Crystal Palace 

Pooh and Tigger pay a visit to a dinner table with 3 Guests

On our first full day, I knew we would we awake mega early due to the jet lag and I have always wanted to spend some time in an empty Magic Kingdom. I was so thrilled to snag at 8:30am reservation for The Crystal Palace as this is before the park opens and means we will be allowed in from 8:15am to get some pics in front of a crowd less castle and soak in the beauty of an empty park! This is an all-you-can-eat character breakfast buffet with Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore which we absolutely loved last time and can’t wait to go back and kick off our trip in true Disney style!

Coral Reef Restaurant Dinner 

Rows of tables at Coral Reef Restaurant alongside a bank of aquarium windows

My grandad and Alex in particular loved this place last year and was one that they requested me go back to. Here we get to dine inside the largest inland saltwater environment ever built that holds enough water to fill 54 Olympic-sized swimming pools! The habitat is home to 4,000-plus sea creatures and 85 species of tropical fish! The menu feature ocean-fresh specialties from around the globe alongside classic favorites.

Dinner at Sanaa

Window tables with savanna views across from booth tables, separated by a walkway

This will be a brand new experience for us all as no one has dined here of been to Animal Kingdom lodge before. Ever since I was little, Animal Kingdom Lodge has been the one resort that I have always dreamed of staying at so I am so excited to have a look around and see this beautiful place in all its glory. Here we will get to expereince African cooking with Indian flavors, as exotic animals roam the savanna outside. I mean how cool is that?! Getting to eat authentic african cuisine whilst watching zebra and giraffes etc wander around.

Be Our Guest Lunch 

On this day, we decided to not use any table service credits to save them up for a specialty meal that are worth 2 credits. Luckily one of my favourite restaurants offers sit down lunch for just 1 quick service credit. We snagged a lunch reservation and then plan on attending the food and wine festival at Epcot in the evening and using some of our snack credits to ‘eat around the world.’ At Be Our Guest, we get to dine inside the Beast’s Enchanted Castle in either in main ballroom, the west wing or the library. As Beauty and the Beast is my all time favourite Disney film, you can imagine that I am thrilled we managed to get in here so I can live my best Belle fantasy!

The BOATHOUSE Dinner 

A small ship sails along the water in front of The BOATHOUSE at Disney Springs

This will be our first 2-credit meal of the trip and another brand new experience for Alex and I (my nan and grandad have been once before). This is such a beautiful location, situated on the water front at Disney Springs. We are looking forward to enjoying this upscale meal and soaking in the romantic atmosphere.

Sci-Fi Dine In Theatre Lunch 

Panoramic view of car dining booths facing big screen at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant

This is one of Alex’s picks that I have to admit in 20 years of visiting Walt Disney World I never knew existed! He literally geeked out when he saw this place on the website. I absolutely adore Disney imagineering and this is one of those where imagineering takes centre stage – it’s such a cool concept. We’ll get to eat inside a car at a 1950s style drive in theatre that plays old, black and white sci-fi films!

Yak & Yeti Lunch 

Dining room with Southeast Asian décor of wooden tables and carved chairs guarded by fierce statues

Yak & Yeti was a stand out favourite from our last trip that we just had to return to. It’s a beautiful Nepalese-style restaurant that serves delicious dishes from various regions across Asia. We are eating here for lunch on the day we have booked Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in the evening.

Dinner Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano 

Dining room of Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano at Disney's Hollywood Studios

This is another place that I had no ideas existed until I had a proper look. We wanted to make sure we had a range of cuisine to choose from in our meals and its so easy to fall into the burger or steak choices every day when in Disney. We had to throw an Italian place into the mix and this restaurant looks so pretty and yummy. Being one of the only table service places in Hollywood Studios means we get to eat inside this park and will probably head straight over to watch Fantasmic afterwards.

Donald’s Safari Breakfast at Tusker House 

Dining area with spears arranged like sun rays around a ceiling light

We loved our character breakfast at Tusker House last time so wanted to come back and do it all over again. Donald is also my favourite member of the fab five and I just can’t get over how cute they are look in their safari outfits. We will get an all-you-can-eat buffet that include staple breakfast favourites but is also brimming with African flavours. We will also get to meet Donald, Daisy, Mickey and Goofy and because it is located in Africa we are looking forward to hopping straight on the safari afterwards.

Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White 

A little girl smiles up at Dopey while sitting with her parents and brother at a table

This was the one that I really didn’t think we would get but wanted the most. It’s a brand new ‘story telling dining experience’ all about Snow White. We will get to meet the evil queen and dwarves (who are never in the parks except for at special ticketed events) along with Snow White. This is a really new and unique experience with a set menu and some really cool imagineered desserts and cocktails. I am so pleased we managed to get a reservation!

Lunch at Teppan Edo 

A Chef and 4 Guests marvel at his handiwork: a Mickey image made of onions on a grill

Originally we were saving this slot for the upcoming opening of Space 220 in Epcot as it looks incredible, but with all the uncertainty about its opening and little info of whether it will even be available on the dining plan we changed our minds. We went for Teppan Edo instead as it is something different and that none of us had tried before. It’s a traditional Japanese restaurant that’s part meal, part show as the the chefs share the communal ritual of Teppan-yaki-style cooking, preparing the dishes on grills at your table.

Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue 

The cast of Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue, 3 men and 3 women, pose on stage holding musical instruments.

This is the second 2 credit meal of our trip and our only fully fledged dinner show. I have heard so many amazing things about this experience and we are all looking forward to an evening of ‘hilarious, high-spirited hootenanny.’ We get served buckets of all-you-can-eat fried chicken, smoked BBQ pork ribs, green salad, baked beans, mac and cheese, french fries and fresh-baked strawberry shortcake. We also get unlimited draft beer, wine and sangria are included and by opting for the latest show time we managed to get category 1 seating!

Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Harvest Feast Breakfast at Garden Grill 

A semi-circular booth looking out over the Living with the Land prairie scene

For our final full day in Walt Disney World we chose to maintain tradition and go for a character breakfast. We were stuck on what to choose but after watching copious amounts of Disney Food Blog videos and chatting to fellow Disney goers, we decided on Garden Grill as everyone raves around it. Here we get to dine in a revolving restaurant and eat all-you-can-eat breakfast favourites all of which have been grown or made from ingredients in the restaurants green house. We’ll also get to meet Mickey, Pluto, Chip and Dale – what more could you want for a farewell meal.

There we have it! Months of planning was worth it and writing this has made me even more excited for our holiday!

Let me know what you think of our choices in the comments.

Meg xo

 

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