Exploring the All-New Disney Dining Plan

6/11/23 This is a three part article.
Click here to read all about what both plans include.
Click here to read my Quick Service Dining Plan analysis.

Is the Disney Dining Plan worth it? Only you can decide but here is how it breaks down and how it might work out with real menu items and pricing. If you haven’t read all about what the dining plan includes and how it works, click here and read that first. Then come back here for my analysis.

Prepare to have your taste buds tickled and your wallets delighted as we dive into the revamped Disney Dining Plan (DDP). In this article, we’ll uncover whether this plan is a gastronomic dream come true or merely a fairytale feast.


Let’s begin our journey by exploring the Disney Dining Plan for children and how it might work out on a day to Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Picture this: a young adventurer embarking on a delectable expedition through the Magic Kingdom. For a mere $29.69 per night, they can indulge in a culinary extravaganza. Imagine savoring mouthwatering chicken strips and a refreshing beverage at the iconic Columbia Harbor House for $9.08 with tax. Later, the young gourmand can revel in a character meal at the Crystal Palace, a buffet of delectable dishes, including dessert, all for $40.66 with tax. And let’s not forget the delectable snack options like a single serve of popcorn, priced at $5.50. Even before accounting for the resort mug, this child will have experienced an astonishing $55.24 worth of dining for a mere $29.69. It’s a dining plan fit for a prince or princess!

Now, let’s sprinkle some different magic onto our culinary adventure. Instead of Crystal Palace, let’s take your young food enthusiast to the charming Plaza restaurant. With its enchanting ambiance and delectable offerings, it’s the perfect choice for an unforgettable dining experience and it is one of the least expensive table service meals you can get. For dinner, the Plaza serves up a mouthwatering cheeseburger kid’s meal, accompanied by two sides and a beverage, all for an incredible $12.84 with tax. Again, let’s assume a delightful lunch at Columbia Harbor House with chicken strips and a refreshing beverage, priced at $9.08 with tax. And of course, the snack mustn’t be forgotten—a single serve of popcorn priced at $5.50. At this point, even without considering the dessert at dinner or the resort mug, this child will have enjoyed $26.35 worth of food for the price of $29.69. That is eating the least expensive choices. Add in the desert with dinner and/or any use of the resort mug and the dining plan is a no-brainer for children ages 3-9 even at the least expensive restaurants. If your child will eat a quick service meal, table service meal and a snack for each night of your trip, you are saving money buying the dining plan.

Now, let’s turn our attention to an adult on the dining plan. Indulge in a succulent shrimp skewer with rice and beans at Columbia Harbor House for $14.29. Paired with a refreshing coke priced at $4.29, the total comes to $19.89 with tax. Later, a feast fit for royalty awaits at the renowned Crystal Palace. For $63.13 with tax, one can partake in an opulent buffet, complete with beverage and dessert. And let’s not forget the delightful snack—don’t miss out on the single serve of popcorn, priced at $5.50 (or Mickey Bar or any one of over 100 snack choices). By this point, the adult will have savored an impressive $88.52 worth of food, and we haven’t even included the resort mug yet. Priced at $94.28, the adult dining plan will break even if you enjoy an alcoholic beverage at any point OR if you make use of the resort mug daily. (I might have a coffee habit) However, if you opt for a more expensive table service dining option, you will find that you are saving a princely sum.


Our clients depend on us to make the right recommendations for them. The Disney Dining Plan is right for some families and not right for others. So, what do we recommend for our clients? Let’s dive into the magic of our recommendations:

  1. For any party that includes children, ages 3-9, the kids’ dining plan is an absolute must! The value it offers is undeniable, even if the adult plans only break even. Without a doubt, the kids plan is a shining gem in the world of Disney dining. Most character meals alone come close to covering the cost of a child’s dining plan.
  2. For parties consisting solely of adults, the dining plan is well worth considering if you plan to indulge in lavish dining experiences, make full use of the resort mug (especially if you are an avid coffee drinker), or enjoy the occasional alcoholic beverage with either your quick service or table service meal. The beauty of this plan is that the adult guest need only choose one of these options each day to break even or, even better, enjoy a superior value compared to dining without the plan.
  3. However, if you are adults who never indulge in snacks, eschew alcohol, and shy away from desserts, the only reason to purchase the plan would be for the convenience of prepaying for all of your meals. Knowing how much you will pay in advance takes away from the stress of seeing each meal add up (and they do add up!).
  4. For parties with children aged 10-17, who may vary in their eating habits, it becomes a slightly more nuanced decision. While they’ll pay for the adult dining plan, lighter eaters may prefer ordering from the kid’s menu so the dining plan might not be a great choice for them. For teenagers who eat hearty meals, the dining plan is the best way to go. Each family is unique, and their preferences will guide the best choice for them.
  5. In my personal opinion, I wholeheartedly recommend the dining plan to clients with children aged 3-9. The value it offers is simply unmatched. As for families with teenagers, I would inquire about their appetites before making a recommendation. For adult-only trips, I’ll delve into their preferences—whether they enjoy the occasional alcoholic beverage, savor a morning coffee ritual, or possess a discerning palate. If any of these factors hold true, the dining plan will likely be my enthusiastic recommendation.
  6. So, fellow adventurers, unleash the magic of the Disney Dining Plan and embark on an extraordinary culinary escapade. Let your taste buds dance, your wallets rejoice, and your hearts be filled with the enchantment only Disney can provide!

This article was all about the Disney Dining Plan but there is more to know! This is a three part article.
Click here to read all about what both plans include.
Click here to read my Quick Service Dining Plan analysis.

Are you ready for a magical vacation? Click this link to request a complimentary quote now!