2007 Disney Dining Plan - All You Ever Wanted to Know

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Plan' started by Pumbaa_, Jun 10, 2007.

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  1. Pumbaa_

    Pumbaa_ >Hakuna Matata!< Moderator

    Jan 7, 2001
    This is the 2007 FAQ, look for a 2008 coming soon!

    Welcome to the new Disney Dining Plan thread. The Restaurant Mods would like to thank bicker for all the work he has put into gathering this information. He has done a phenomenal job organizing and keeping the information up to date.

    The Disney Dining Plan information is included in this thread. At this time, the thread is being locked and stuck at the top of the board. As new information is gathered, the thread will be updated. If you have questions not already answered on this thread, post your question on the DDP board and this thread will be updated as appropriate.


    The Disney Dining Plan is a Meal Plan available with the purchase of a Magic Your Way Plus Dining Package. The Magic Your Way Plus Dining Package includes Disney Resort Accommodations, Magic Your Way Base ticket and the Disney Dining Plan.

    According to Disney’s brochure, everyone in the room must be on the same package and ticket options. All tickets are for one Theme Park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use. Package and package components, including dining entitlements, are nontransferable. Dining entitlements expire at midnight on day of checkout.

    The Disney Dining Plan (DDP) entitles each guest to receive 1 Table Service (TS) credit, 1 Counter Service (CS) credit and 1 Snack credit per night’s stay. EXAMPLE: Sunday to Saturday stay allots 6 TS, 6 CS and 6 Snack credits per guest age 3 and over.

    Adult credits are assigned to Guests 10 and older. Child credits are for guests age 3-9. Adult and child credits are not interchangeable.

    The nice feature about the DDP is how the credits can be used. The credits are not restricted to 1TS or 1 CS or 1 Snack credit per day. If the guest would like to have a TS breakfast and a TS lunch and a TS Dinner, they can! (As long as they have the credits to use of course :) )

    How much does the plan cost?
    The price for the DDP is per night of stay. The DDP price includes tax and 18% gratuity. The Dining Plan must be purchased for everyone registered on the reservation.
    • $38.99 per guest 10 years old and over and
    • $10.99 for children 3-9 years old.

    What does each credit entitle the guest to receive?

    Each Table Service Credit includes one of the following:
    Breakfast: Juice, Entrée, Non-alcoholic beverage
    Lunch: Appetizer, Entrée, Dessert, Non-alcoholic beverage
    Dinner: Appetizer, Entrée, Dessert, Non-alcoholic beverage

    OR One full buffet.
    Guests ages 3-9 must order from a children’s menu where available.

    Advanced Dining Reservations (ADR) are strongly suggested.

    As an added benefit, you may exchange two (2) Table Service meal credits for either one Signature Dining Experience at one of WDW's finest restaurants, (see list below), or for one Disney Dinner Show, such as Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue. In-room dining, where available can also be used for 2 TS credits.

    Your Counter Service (or Quick Service) Credit includes one of the following:
    Breakfast: Entrée, Non-alcoholic beverage
    OR One Combo Meal, Non-alcoholic beverage

    Lunch: Entrée, Dessert, Non-alcoholic beverage
    one Combo Meal, Dessert, Non-alcoholic beverage

    Dinner: Entrée, Dessert, Non-alcoholic beverage
    OR one Combo Meal, Dessert, Non-alcoholic beverage

    Guests ages 3-9 must order from a children’s menu where available.

    Beverage choices do vary by location. While typically any sized soft-drink is permitted, sometimes the beverage is limited to medium size (such as at Yakitori House). Also, while typically the beverage is limited to fountain drinks, guests have been allowed specialty drinks and/or bottled water.

    Your Snack Credit includes one item selected from a vast array available at snack locations. Disney is now generally defining a "snack" on the Disney Dining Plan be an item under $4 (pre-tax), edible, non-alcoholic, non-merchandise and non-souvenir. Some items such as pizza slices are excluded. Snacks can be redeemed at quick service or snack cart locations only. Quick-service and snack cart locations display a DDP logo on their menus indicating items for which you can use your snack credits.

    There is an entire thread listing the snack credits guests have reported being able to get a list of available snack options. Click here to open that thread.

    Signature restaurants requiring 2TS credits:
    • Artist Point (Wilderness Lodge)
    • California Grill (Contemporary Resort)
    • CRT character breakfast/lunch/dinner with photo package (Magic Kingdom)
    • Citricos (Grand Floridian)
    • Flying Fish Café (Boardwalk Inn & Villas)
    • Hollywood Brown Derby (MGM Studios)
    • Jiko - The Cooking Place (Animal Kingdom Lodge)
    • Narcoossee's (Grand Floridian)
    • Yachtsman Steakhouse (Yacht Club)

    Dinner Shows requiring 2TS credits:
    • Disney's Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show (Polynesian)
    • Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue (Fort Wilderness)
    • Mickey's Backyard Barbeque (Fort Wilderness)

    Exclusions, limitations and/or surcharges may apply (especially at Downtown Disney restaurants). We will try to keep a full, up-to-date list of those here.

    • Earl of Sandwich - fountain drink and cookie for dessert
    • Tangerine - limits your dessert
    • The Lunching Pad - no dessert
    • Teppanyaki - Lobster (when available) and sushi are not included in the Dining Plan. (These items are now listed separate from the entrees as "Specialties".)
    • Yakitori House - Only certain combinations permitted. For example, Tonosama Combination is not included.
    • Pepper Market - Dessert options with CS only allowed from Tier 1
    • Spoodles - A Dessert "Sampler" can be ordered, but only by two Dining Plan guests.
    • Raglan Road - Dessert "Sampler" is excluded.
    • Planet Hollywood - Aubriee reports that surf and turf is excluded.
    • Wolfgang Puck Express - Two of the most expensive entrees (depending on the menu, this could be meatloaf, lasagna and/or tortellini) are not included in the Dining Plan.
    • Wolfgang Puck Cafe - Sushi is considered an entree, not an appetizer.
    • California Grill - Yoshi's Deluxe Sushi Platter is considered an entree. Aubriee reports that Snake in the Grass is excluded from the Dining Plan.
    • Pastries at Boulangerie are not available on the Dining Plan for snack credits.

    Of course, "add-ons" are never included, nor are items intended for more than a single diner. In some cases two diners may be able to order an item-for-two. Also, both Whispering Canyon and Le Cellier might have surcharges for the more expensive child meals. Ask before you order.

    In the past, some restaurants and eateries (but not all) permitted selection of a smoothie or other specialty non-alcoholic drink in place of the standard beverage option in TS and CS meals. Jocelyn (phlufster) reports that a memo was circulated to all restaurants early in January indicating that that practice is no longer permitted. It is not yet clear to what extent this memo reflects the reality.

    Official Brochures

    Click here to open the 2007 Magic Your Way Dining Plan brochure.

    Click here for information on the 2007 Magic Your Way Packages with the Disney Dining Plan. (This link opens a page on Dreams Unlimited's website. Dreams Unlimited is a site sponsor.)

    Note that the Disney Dining Plan is one of three package plans Disney offers that includes dining. The other two are the Premium Plan and the Platinum Plan

    Now, for some of the more common questions about the plan.

    Money Questions

    How much does the plan cost?
    The price for the standard Dining Plan is $38.99 per guest 10 years old and over. The price for the Dining Plan for young children, 3-9 years old, is $10.99. This is the cost per night of stay and is required for each night of your stay (on the same reservation). The Dining Plan must be purchased for everyone registered on the reservation.

    The prices listed above, include tax.

    Are tax and tips included?
    The price of the plan includes tax and all expected gratuities for the included items. Extras and add-ons are charged-for separately, and tax and gratuities are automatically added to those charges. The automatic gratuity is even added to separate checks for meals for non-Dining Plan guests dining with Dining Plan patrons (in most cases).

    How much does the server get in terms of gratuities?
    The servers receive an 18% tip. For Disney-owned restaurants, their tip is computed based on what you actually order. Some non-Disney-owned restaurants base the tip on how much they get reimbursed from Disney.

    Can I tip more?

    Booking the Dining Plan Questions

    Do I have to stay onsite?
    Yes, you must be staying at a Disney hotel and book a package, or be staying at an on-site DVC resort.

    Is there an admission purchase requirement?
    With the exception of guests staying at DVC resorts, you must at least purchase a basic one day admission ticket, but you do not have to purchase a ticket that matches the number of nights you are staying.

    Do I have to purchase the Dining Plan for the entire duration of my visit?
    The Dining Plan must be purchased for the entire duration of your reservation. If you wish to purchase the Dining Plan for only a portion of your visit, you would have to make separate reservations (which could lead to having to switch rooms mid-trip, but that's somewhat rare).

    How far in advance can I add the dining plan before my arrival?
    The Dining Plan can be added to qualifying packages until shortly before your arrival date. The number of days varies depending on circumstances, so the recommendation is to be sure that you've made final arrangements at least five days prior.

    Can I still get my AP or other discounts?
    The Dining Plan is only available as an add-on to qualifying Magic Your Way Packages (or to DVC reservations) -- it cannot be added to just any reservation. There are some discounted packages that do qualify for the Dining Plan, but many do not. Note that AAA can offer some packages with the Dining Plan with the AAA discount, but these must be booked through AAA directly -- they cannot be booked through Disney.

    What is "free dining"? Will they offer free dining this year?
    During the heart of Hurricane Season, Disney has offered a free dining promotion to help encourage reluctant guests to visit during this normally very quiet time of the year. The free dining promotion requires guests to book a Disney MYW package, paying for the hotel at the rack rate, and in return offers the Dining Plan as a free add-on to the package. For the UK/European residents offer, the free dining promotion had to be booked between August 25 and November 6, 2006. The free dining promotion has also been offered to guests while on-site at WDW if staying at Disney resort hotels during December 2006. The free dining promotion applies for arrivals starting August 5 (for the bounce-back offer) or August 12 (for the UK/European offer), through September 29, 2007.

    There is a third offering of free dining for this year, this one open to the general public. Disney VISA cardholders had the first chance at the available spots for the promotion, starting on April 9 (Code ZHQ), with the rest of the general public able to book on April 12. Reservations are limited to those with check-in from August 26 to September 22. There is a three night minimum required; the maximum number of nights for MYW packages is 14. This offer expires on June 24, 2007.

    Note that free dining is not available with any other discount applied.

    Using the Plan Questions

    How many credits do I receive?
    The number of credits you receive is based on the number of nights you are staying at the resort. You receive one Table Service credit (TS), one Counter Service/Quick Service credit (CS), and one snack credit, for each person registered on your reservation, for each night of your reservation.

    What if I go offsite for the day, do I lose my credits?
    No you do not lose them. They are for the entire trip. You could, in theory, save all your snack credits and use them on your last day.

    When do my credits expire?
    Your credits will expire at midnight the day of your check-out.

    Is there a special menu we must order from?
    No, you order from the regular restaurant menu.

    Are add-ons such as shrimp or sides included in the plan?
    No they are not.

    Okay what about glow cubes, pizza delivery, mini-bars, souvenir or refillable mugs?
    These are also not included in the Dining Plan and would have to be paid for separately.

    Can we order menu items intended to be "for two"?
    Generally speaking, the Dining Plan only includes menu items that are intended for a single diner; it cannot be used to get menu items intended for more than one diner, and (again generally) you cannot even "pool credits" from multiple diners to order such items. There are exceptions, of course, especially to the last part; i.e., some restaurants will sometimes allow Dining Plan patrons to order menu items intended for more than one diner, if that number of diners are willing to order it and share.

    Does the family have to eat together, or can we split up?
    All Dining Plan credits are accessible from all of the room keys associated with a reservation, so you can split up and eat.

    Does everyone at the table have to use Dining Plan credits?
    You can split the check, and pay cash for any guests at your table not on the DDP or for whom you don't want to use credits for.

    Do I have to make prior advanced dining reservations for all my Table Service meals?
    No, but you should. The popularity of the DDP has led to many restaurants being fully booked months in advance. If you have your heart set on eating at a special place, make the reservation so you know you have a spot. You can walk up the day you are in the park and put yourself on the walkup list, but you may have a long wait.

    If I order my meal, but do not get dessert, can I order it later?
    It has been reported that when ordering ice cream at counter service locations, you can have your receipt stamped. This allows you to return to the restaurant after you finish your meal so your ice cream isn't a sloopy mess. However, that is not part of the Plan itself, and may or may not be offered to you at any specific restaurant.

    Can I use TS credits for CS meals?
    No. During the 2006 free dining promotion, Disney did extend an offer to use TS credits for CS meals (plus two snacks and a lanyard), but that offer has expired. Prior to that offer, some (but not all) hotel front desks allowed some (but not all) guests to convert some of their remaining TS credits in the CS credits, with the understanding that once converted they cannot be converted back. However, that is not an official part of the Dining Plan, and may or may not be successful in getting them to do that for you.

    Can I use two (or three) CS credits for a TS meal?
    No. There is no way to combine CS credits to "pay for" a TS meal.

    Can I exchange CS credits for snacks?
    No. However, some eateries which support both CS and snack credits will allow you to use one CS credit for two or three snacks. That's not a standard thing, though, and it isn't necessarily consistent either.

    Can I share meals on the Dining Plan?
    Sharing is never permitted at buffet or prix fixe meals. Beyond that, this is actually two separate questions, addressed below...

    Can I share meals with guests not on the Dining Plan?
    No. The Dining Plan cannot be shared with guests who aren't registered as part of your hotel reservation.

    Can I share meals with other guests on the Dining Plan staying on the same hotel reservation?
    There is no clear answer to this. Consistently, guests seem to be allowed to share the meals ordered on the Dining Plan amongst the guests at their table, with the exception of fixed price meals, such as buffets or other all-you-can-eat options. However, this question was been asked directly to Disney via email, by a number of guests, and consistently, they have answered this question by saying specifically that, "sharing is not permitted." Despite several attempts to get clarification about that statement, no clarification appears to be forthcoming from Guest Communications, and nothing official has been released by Disney Dining to resolve the confusion.

    Can I pay for my child's meal in cash, and use their TS credit for another adult meal?
    Sorry, child meal entitlements can not be used for adult meals.

    Can I pay for my child’s meal in cash, and save his/her TS/CS credits for another day?

    Can my ten- or eleven-year-old order a child meal and "pay" for it with their (regular) Dining Plan credit?
    While it may seem intuitive that they should, and generally at TS restaurants they can, word is that at CS restaurants that's not permitted, at this time, due to the changes being implemented (see below).

    The following quotes a message from a Disney Dining castmember, regarding changes coming to the Dining Plan as of 2007, relevant to the issues discussed in the several questions above:
    Originally Posted by BuffaloGal
    Beginning January 1st, all credits will be separated into adult vs child. At any given meal period (Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner) you will only be able to use the entitlements on your card (if it says 2A2C, then you get two adult and two kid's meals). ... You will not be allowed to buy dinners for a neighboring table because you have credits left. ... You get that as part of a package and package entitlements are non-transferrable. Just like you can't give extra days off of your ticket to your sister. You got them at a huge discount and you can't give them away.
    BuffaloGal's entire message can be found here: http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...3&postcount=17

    Children's Meals and Character Meals Questions

    I've read at some sit down restaurants that a child's appetizer was not included with their meal. Why not?
    The brochure states that children must order from the children's menu where available. Also as of 10/06 Disney has revamped the children's menu to more pre-plated items that include the appetizer

    Do character meals require 2TS credits?
    Only Cinderella's is a 2TS meal. All other character meals are 1TS.

    Are you only allowed to do one character meals per stay?
    No you can go to one everyday of your vacation if you like.

    What if I want to attend a character breakfast and have a sit-down meal the same day?
    You can use the credits whenever you wish, including more than one meal on the same day.

    Everything I've seen references ages 3-9 for children. What if there is a child under 3 on the reservation? Do you just pay OOP for them?
    Children under 3 years old may share from a parent's plate, as desired. In the case of buffets and other all-you-can-eat options, this is like getting that very young child's meals for free. At other restaurants and eateries, you can still, of course, share your food with your child, but if you want anything else for your child, you would have to pay for it separately.

    Some guests have reported that they were allowed to purchase the young child Dining Plan (normally for children 3-9 years old) for their very young child (under age 3). However, in turn, they had to purchase the child a park ticket as well.

    I understand that where there is no child menu, children can order off the regular menu. Which CS locations do not have a separate child menu?
    • Catalina Eddie
    • Taluca Turkey Legs
    • Cool Wash Pizza
    • Casey's
    • Pete's Doggone Good dogs
    • Pizza Planet
    • Sommerfest
    • Yorkshire County Fish Shop
    "Is the Dining Plan right for me?" Questions

    Is the package a good deal?
    The answer to this question depends on you and your family. You need to determine how much you save doing your trip with and without the plan. For some, it is a better deal to get the discounts, but for others, the food expense is greater than the amount saved. You need to review the list of participating restaurants and try to set up a sample meal plan for your trip. Make sure to include all your snacks, drinks, tax and tip. Try to compare apples to apples. Make out your list showing where you would eat if on the plan. Then compare where you would eat if not on the plan, but were still able to eat what you wanted. Then compare that with how you would eat if Disney did not have this plan at all.

    Isn’t this a lot of food? Is it still cost effective if we do not order/eat the appetizer or dessert?
    Each family needs to determine if it is cost effective for them. You do not have to order the appetizer or dessert. If you are too full, then don’t. Many families have reported that they ordered a dessert they could take with them to the park, such as a muffins or cookies. Other families have reported that they have saved money even without ordering appetizers or desserts (much).

    Doesn’t this plan force me to stick to a schedule?
    You can look at it that way, but others like knowing that they have a reservation made at a certain restaurant for a certain time. You can always call and cancel the reservation when you are on site and change your mind.

    Miscellaneous Questions

    Is this the same as the DDE card I keep reading about?
    No, it is not the same thing. The Disney Dining Experience is a dining discount program for eligible Florida residents and annual passholders, 21 and older, which provides a 20 percent discount on food and beverages (including alcoholic beverages) at a number of Walt Disney World Resort hotel and theme park restaurants and lounges. Click here for a great thread that explains DDE.

    Is the Dining Plan valid for the Food and Wine Festival?
    Use of snack credits for F&W items was allowed in 2006. Click here for a list of the items that were available.

    RobinB has created spreadsheet to help you with your planning. It tracks the total number of Counter Service and Table Service Credits, each meal for every day of the plan (up to 11, the maximum), the restaurants for each meal and how many credits used for each meal. It then calculates how many credits you have remaining so you can adjust your meal schedule to use all your credits. Mouse Eared Kiwi has created a spreadsheet of Restaurants Ranked By Value Per Credit. You can access these spreadsheets and learn more about them, here: http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=12294810
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