By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

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The Disney Dining Plan: 2024 Recommendations

By Dave Shute

Note: the Disney Dining Plans, paused after the pandemic started, are once again bookable for stays beginning January 9th, 2024.


(This page is one of a series explicating Walt Disney World lingo, abbreviations, and FAQ for first time family visitors to Walt Disney World.)

There are two Disney Dining Plans available to guests at Walt Disney World resort hotels. The basic idea of these plans is that by pre-paying for most of your meals, your budgeting is simplified, and, possibly, you might save money.

(See this for the official Walt Disney World website material on all of these plans.)

Pre-Covid, I recommended that the Dining Plan that included table service meals for most families eating all the meals in one of its recommended itineraries was worth purchasing.

Given in particular price increases and also a bit the elimination of one of two snack credits in the new plans, I no longer see the value to purchasing any dining plans for most families, and thus don’t recommend them, with a couple of exceptions:

  • Families with a high proportion of kids between 3 and 10, who are also committed to a vast number of one-credit Character Meals, can do quite well with the dining plan that includes table service credits (two credit meals, like Akershus, Hoop Dee Doo, Be Our Guest are NOT value-creating…). There’s lots of great and fun one credit Character Meals.
  • Families with a high proportion of folks 21 and older, who are also committed to drinking an alcoholic drink at both lunch and dinner most days, can do well on the Quick Service Dining Plan. This is tricky though, as for example at Magic Kingdom it’s hard to find a quick service location that serves alcohol…


All of the Disney Dining Plans work basically the same way.

  • You buy the same dining plan for each person registered in your hotel room, for each night of your stay. (You can’t buy it for kids under three, and kids three to ten have special, much lower, prices.)
  • When you check in, you will be granted a certain number of credits of various types for each night of your stay.  These credits can be used on any day of your stay, and by any member of your party, except that you can’t trade kid credits for credits for those 10 and over.
  • So, for example, you could use none of your credits on one day, and have half of your party use all of your remaining credits the next.

The plans vary by what credits you get per night of your reservation.

The rest of this page goes into much more detail on the plans, and is based on the wildly helpful The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit.


Disney World dining is expensive. For some guests, it may even be the priciest component of the vacation. The two versions of the Disney Dining Plan (Quick Service and the base Dining Plan, which I’ll call “Regular,” are a way to prepay some of these dining expenses.

Years ago, when the Regular Dining Plan included appetizer and tip at sit-down restaurants, and two snacks, you could actually save some money by using these plans. These days it’s hard to recommend them with the exceptions noted above.

We suggest skipping the dining plans, with these exceptions:

  • Pricing on the Regular Plan is advantageous for visitors with kids under the age of ten that plan multiple one credit buffets and character meals. The cash cost of a child buffet at many character meals exceeds their cost of the Regular Dining Plan for that day.
  • If you take comfort in pre-paying some of your dining expenses as a budgeting tool (even if this means you spend more money), the Quick Service or Regular plans may make sense for you—the cash loss may be worth the budget comfort. It’s nice knowing that food is pre-paid and users are free to order whatever entrees and desserts that they like, even if those prices are higher than they’re accustomed to paying.
  • Those 21 and over who would have had an eligible alcoholic drink at most of their quick and table service meals anyway may come out ahead, especially on the Quick Service Plan, which gives you just as many free drinks as the Regular Plan but costs about $37 per night less.

With or without a dining plan, the typical family eating their meals on property should budget $55–$100+ per adult per day, and between $25 and $45/day for the kids—depending on their ages and appetites.


The 2024 Quick Service Dining Plan includes per person, per night:

  • Two quick service meals (entrée/beverage)
  • One snack

In addition, each guest receives a refillable mug for use at their resort hotel (or any other Disney World-owned hotel).

So a family of four staying for five nights would receive ten quick service meals, five snacks, and a refillable mug each. For 2024, after tax pricing is:

  • $57 per night for those ten and older
  • $24 per night for kids ages three to nine

Ignoring alcohol, adult quick service entrees are typically $14-$16 in the theme parks. Add a $4 fountain beverage and your average meal comes to around $18-20. Eat two of those, in addition to a $6 Mickey Ice Cream Bar, and add about $5 for a day’s worth of the refillable mug and you are about $10 shy per person per night. But substitute a couple of alcoholic drinks (one at each meal) and you’ll come out ahead.

Kids’ Picks meals (kids are required to order off the Kid’s Picks meals if one is available) generally come in around $7 each. Eat two and add a $7 Mickey Pretzel and the use of the refillable mug, and you’ve covered the day’s cost.


The 2024 “Regular” Dining Plan—often known simply as the Disney Dining Plan—includes per person, per night:

  • One quick service meal (entrée/beverage)
  • One table service meal (entrée/dessert or select side/beverage)
  • One snack

In addition, each guest receives a refillable mug for use at their resort hotel (or any other Disney World-owned hotel).

For 2024, after-tax pricing is:

  • $94.28 per night for those ten and older
  • $29.69 per night for kids ages three to nine

Child pricing is advantageous with a cost just about $6 more than the Quick Service Plan. With most character buffets priced for kids over $30, and many into the $40s once you include taxes, it’s easy for kids to come out ten dollars or more ahead each day they dine at such a venue.

For those older than 9, the price of $37/per day more than the Quick Service is harder to justify. If you follow the model of using almost all of your credits on one-credit character meals, drink at least one alcoholic drink a day as part of your credits, and basically can match everyone in your party ten or older with a kid between ten and three, you’ll be pretty close to break even.  But older kids, fewer alcoholic drinks, and/or fewer character meals will wreck your savings.



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