Why The Disney Dining Plan Will Make Your Life MUCH Easier

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DiningPlan Collage

So you’re in the midst of planning your Walt Disney World vacation, and you are deciding things like places to stay, when to go, flights/transportation etc – but there’s one more thing that should be on your list of things to book – the Disney Dining Plan! Why should I get it you might ask? Well, it will make your life easier – and don’t we all want that on vacation (and in general?)

First of all, you probably need to know what the Disney Dining Plan, or DDP actually is – so let’s start with the basics – it’s a meal plan that is purchased when you book your WDW vacation, and it allows you a certain number of prepaid meals and snacks for each night of your visit. The standard DDP includes 1 sit down meal, 1 counter service meal, and 1 snack per person, per night – but there are other options too, read about them here. Each meal includes a non-alcoholic drink, entrée, and dessert (this goes for counter and table service)

So now that you have an idea of what the DDP actually is, let’s talk about why you need it:

Prepaid meals: So once you arrive at WDW, you won’t have to worry about coming up with extra money to pay for your meals/snacks, because you already prepaid for them using the Disney Dining Plan! And that’s much easier than worrying about carrying cash or making sure you are using the right credit card to pay for meals, isn’t it?

Scan It And Done: Thanks to the new Magic Bands system, paying for food using the Dining Plan is easy. Like really easy. Snack carts, counter service, and table service restaurants pretty much all have the ability to accept the magic band and DDP as form of payment, you just scan your band and enter your pin and that’s it, meal is paid for – no scrambling for exact change needed!

Most Locations Participate: Over the years, the vast majority of Disney World restaurants have jumped on the bandwagon and will now accept the DDP as payment, and will gladly explain to you which items are eligible, etc. Check out the most recent list of participating restaurants here

Its One Less Thing: One less thing to pay for out of pocket – which is a HUGE plus in my book – a WDW vacation doesn’t come cheap, and by the time I get to Parks I am looking to spend as little money as possible, and the dining plan helps me plan and budget my trip more accurately (great news for all your planners out there, right?)

So, I am sure you’re pretty much sold on using the Disney Dining Plan to help make your life easier for your next WDW vacation, but you might be wondering – “Can I possibly save more money by not using the DDP and buying my meals individually?” And the answer would be yes, it IS possible – but it’s a LOT more work, both before and during your trip – and personally I would rather get the DDP and spend more time enjoying my vacation!


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Catie Hiltz is an avid Walt Disney World lover who has been vacationing there since she was tall enough to ride Space Mountain. She believes there is something for everyone at WDW-and especially writing about the benefits of vacationing there as an adult
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One thought on “Why The Disney Dining Plan Will Make Your Life MUCH Easier

  1. Totally agree – it’s one less thing to worry about paying for AFTER your vacation is over (that’s no fun!) When we went this summer our whole trip was paid off (park tickets ,room, dining plan meals, plane tickets) before we even got there! It was so nice having only a couple hundred dollars or so spent in Disney on our credit card when we got back.

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