2013 Disney Dining Plans Released

by on July 11, 2012 49 Comments

Filed under: Dining, Recent News, Walt Disney World (FL)

It’s that time of year again! The time has arrived when we take a look at the Disney Dining Plans. The 2013 Disney Dining Plans have officially been announced.

There do not appear to be any major changes in the 2013 plans; they seem the exact same as the 2012 versions, with the exception that the prices have increased across the board.

With that being said, let’s take a look at an explanation of each of the 2013 Disney Dining Plans, plus the pricing structure for 2013. In addition, research has been done for the past few years to see how the Plans have changed in price. Included in this post are 2012, 2011 and 2010 prices.

Quick-Service Plan

Price Per Night2013201220112010
Adult (Ages 10+)$37.58$34.99$34.99$31.99
Child (Ages 3-9)$14.32$11.99$11.99$9.99

The Quick Service Dining Plan includes the following for each resort guest:

  • 2 Quick Service Meals per night stayed
    Each meal includes an entrée or complete combo meal, dessert (lunch and dinner only), and non-alcoholic beverage
  • 1 Snack Option per night stayed
  • 1 Resort Refillable Mug for the length of stay

Basic Plan*

Price Per Night2013201220112010
Adult (Ages 10+)$55.59$51.54$45.99$41.99
Child (Ages 3-9)$17.16$15.02$11.99$11.99

The Basic Plan (also known as the Standard Plan) includes the following for each resort guest:

  • 1 Quick Service Meal per night stayed
    Each meal includes an entrée or complete combo meal, dessert (lunch and dinner only), and non-alcoholic beverage.
  • 1 Table Service Meal per night stayed
    Each meal includes an entrée, dessert (lunch and dinner only), and non-alcoholic beverage, or, if eating at a buffet, the full buffet.
  • 1 Snack Option per night stayed
  • 1 Resort Refillable Mug for the length of stay

Deluxe Plan*

Price Per Night2013201220112010
Adult (Ages 10+)$99.97$85.52$78.99$71.99
Child (Ages 3-9)$26.84$23.79$21.99$20.99

The Deluxe Dining Plan includes the following for each resort guest:

  • 3 Meals per night stayed, which can be any combination of Table Service Meals and Quick Service Meals
    • Quick Service Meals include an entrée or complete combo meal, dessert (lunch and dinner only), and non-alcoholic beverage.
    • Table Service meals include an appetizer (lunch and dinner only), entrée, dessert (lunch and dinner only), and non-alcoholic beverage, or, if eating at a buffet, the full buffet.
  • 2 Snack Options per night stayed
  • 1 Resort Refillable Mug for the length of stay

*Note that during Peak Season (typically summer and holidays), prices increase for both the Basic and Deluxe Dining Plans. During Peak Season, the Basic Dining Plan will cost $56.94/night for Adults 10+ and $18.16/night for Children ages 3 to 9. For the Deluxe Dining Plan, it will cost $102.27/night for Adults 10+ and $28.91/night for Children ages 3 to 9.


The Disney Dining Plans are always something that people debate. Is it something that you should add to your Walt Disney World vacation or not?  The best advice I have is to do your research. If it appears that you will be spending more than the plan costs, per night, then I would suggest it could be a good option for you. If you will not be spending more than the plan per night, then I would probably not opt for the plan. The decision, however, is completely up to you.

Posted on July 11, 2012

49 Responses to “2013 Disney Dining Plans Released”

  • The plan is like prepaying for gas on your rental car. It’s almost guaranteed not to be a good value, but it is an available option that needs to be considered.

    • I disagree, my wife and I average 40 dollars per person per meal 3 meals per day is 120 per person per day. If you plan on enjoying your meals it a great plan. If you want to eat crap pay cash.

      • The Quick Service is not crap food. I have participated in the Disney Dining Plan (including the table service) since it began and there are lots of places that have good food.

  • We like the dining plan for the ease of use. It’s like an all-inclusiver resort. No worries. No hassles. Sit down, order, eat. Don’t even look at the prices on the menus.
    That’s a vacation.

  • I know I overpay for the dining plan, but agree with Brian Jones – we are on vacation – don’t like to look at the prices, just enjoy, eat and vaca!

    • I should add – with these price jumps, I may have to reconsider! And they took away the extra snack last year. And I don’t care about the refillable mug.

      • by Debbie from Chicago on July 12, 2012, at 10:19 am EST

        I feel the same way on all your points.

        • by Debbie from Chicago on July 12, 2012, at 11:19 am EST

          Whoa…I just read that Character meals are not included. This was one of the reasons to get the plan. I have a 6 year old and I load up on character meals. No way will I get the plan in the future.

          • by Debbie from Chicago on July 12, 2012, at 11:28 am EST

            I jumped the gun based on later post. Character meals are included, they are just added as their own category.

  • The first year we went – 2009 — I wanted to make sure everything was paid for in advance. I didn’t want to have that shell-shocked, “I Can’t Have That” mentality. Typically we eat out at places where the entrees aren’t over $8.00!” We did the deluxe plan and ordered the most fabulous things at every restaurant.

    Of course, we wasted lots of time making our table service reservations…. kids wouldn’t eat much of anything…. But we ate at all the fabulous places and had many, many character meals.

    It just depends on what you want to get out of your trip and how you want to spend your money.

    Next time, we are eating out of our cooler! 🙂

  • I think a few years ago it was a much better value. 2 snacks, an appetizer and gratuity were included. They keep taking things away and the price keeps going up.

    • The deluxe meal plan jumped about $30 in the past 2 years alone. You’re not getting anymore value for the money. They claim that it’s because of the price of food. Here’s an idea……STOP GIVING FREE MEAL PLANS IN SEPTEMBER AND MAKING THE REST OF US PAY FOR IT THROUGHOUT THE YEAR!!!!!

  • Well, to play devil’s advocate, I know I’ve been pretty shocked at the grocery store in the last year. Even at Wal Mart, the prices have jumped ridiculously! Pasta I used to buy for $1.70 is now $2.12! At Wal Mart! Crazy!

    But yes…. no doubt it is expensive to eat at Disney! 🙂

  • When we visit WDW, we usually take the regular dining plan. We were just on the Disney Magic and had a 1-day visit to the Magic Kingdom. We ate as if we were on the regular dining plan – dinner for 3 at Tony’s, lunch at Pecos Bill’s, 3 Dole Whip Floats and 2 sundaes at the Plaza, and our food bill came to around $145! I couldn’t believe it! Food was so expensive, and I realized that for me, paying for it all ahead of time takes some of the sting out of it. I was left thinking about all that money!

    • I definitely get your point about pre paying but the dining plan for that one day would have cost you $166. You saved $20 paying out of pocket. Now for a one day trip that’s not too much, but multiply that by 7 for a week long trip and your savings are enough to pay for an extra night in a moderate resort probably. Up until yesterday I was all for the dining plan. Now I’m not so sure 🙂

  • I’ve yet to understand the justification that somehow prepaying higher prices for already over-priced food makes a vacation better. Take into account that most locations have their own intricate exceptions or guidelines to the plans, and the hassle factor actually increases. It takes the same amount of time to pay with credit/debit as it does a KTTWC. “Prepay” by putting money in a account and use a debit card if you fear credit card statements.

    The funny thing is that Disney advertises these plans as saving money. But I rarely find a guest that uses it to save money, but rather as a “convenience.” And people wonder why Disney continually raises prices! Most companies’ marketing departments would kill for their customers to have this mindset.

    • If the dinning plan isn’t saving you money you bought the wrong plan and are eatting at the wrong places.

      • Robbie I couldn’t agree with you more! All that is needed is a little time spent researching the options. Unfortunately there are a lot of people that grab a hot dog and use a counter service credit or get a (in my opinion) over-kill burger with a table service credit. Also I find that people are not aware of how much the snack credit can get you. Most people dont realize that a cinnamon roll (a large one might I add) is only a snack credit and it can take care of a whole meal. I know there are just some things that we have to get like mickey waffles and such but really if you plan you can really save with the dining plan!

  • My family always used the dining plan in previous trips. We were huge advocates for it and encouraged others to get it as well. When the price was announced yesterday with ANOTHER increase, I used pricing on allears.net for an estimated total price on what we would spend out of pocket. It came in about $125 cheaper to pay out of pocket (I included drinks, desserts, and snacks too). I was shocked. We are eating a couple of table service breakfasts and 1 lunch this trip. Those are of course cheaper table service meals. I think with the price increases, it is going to be imperative to calculate it all out and see what the better deal is for your family.

  • Did I read it wrong? No Character breakfasts will be allowed to be used for table service meals?
    We have scheduled our vacations the last couple of times to coincide with free dining. It was a little hard to justify full price rooms, but not paying for meals, did balance the scale.
    Our kids straddle age brackets and it is hard for us to justify cost of food for one who doesn’t eat but is older and a younger child who wants adult portions. That said, our last trip we enjoyed the plan mostly because we ate most days in Epcot at Food & Wine Festival. The kids no longer nap and taking the time to sit down for a table service meal, discuss our day,and plan out our next steps did fortify us to continue our trek.

  • We used to use the dining plan all the time. Then we had kids, and now one is going to be considered an adult at age 10. We stayed offsite this past trip, and ate at great restaurants outside the park for dinner. Will never get the dining plan again. Just not worth the money.

  • We have previously purchased the dining plan on every trip to Disney, we probably wind up paying a little more but like the fact that we can get whatever we want and don’t worry. We are going again in January 2013 and I am working on reservations. I noticed that Disney has taken several restaurants OFF the dining plan list. Has anyone else noticed?? It really doesn’t seem worth it now, there aren’t many restaurants that honor the dining plan. I would love to hear some thoughts on this, is there something I don’t know?

    • A lot of the restaurants in the World Showcase and Downtown Disney are independently owned. They usually aren’t included on the plan until the last minute when they all renew their contracts with Disney. You should see most of those restaurants appear around November maybe. 🙂

  • Depends on your eating habits. If you tend to eat at buffets, and higher end restaurants, while optimizing snack (get the $4-$5 vs the $2) and counter service, it works in your favor. However if your eating habits are more “grazing”, more snacks after eating a moderate meal, then OP may be better. I am current trying to determine if the TIW would be more beneficial vs the dining plan and I am finding out that it “depends” 🙂 on eating habits as well.

    • But even that’s increasingly not true. Current dinner non-peak buffet price examples:

      Biergarten: $35.14
      Akershus: $42.59
      CP: $39.40
      Ohana: $35.14
      Hollywood & Vine: $30.88
      Chef Mickey’s: $41.53

      At 2012’s standard DDP price of $51.54, the non-character buffets will leave you having to spend another $16.40 with your other credits to break even. Even with the most expensive CS and snack credit choices, you’re only saving a few dollars, and only artificially getting there by choosing dinner buffets when you could save a lot of money just by going to the buffets at lunch. And that assumes that all the restaurant prices go up again proportionally to the DDP price increase, which they appear not to have from 2011 to 2012.

      When I went in 2011, I got the DDP because I thought we’d at least break even and the convenience was worth it. I don’t think we’ll get it in 2013.

  • So the price of the DDP is up about 22% in 2 years, but it looks like actual restaurant prices haven’t gone up quite much since we went in 2011. Here’s my standard:

    I remember distinctly that when we went to Tutto Italia, I ordered the most expensive meat dish then on the menu (the veal), and one of the more expensive desserts (a trio of mousse, nutella cake, and cannoli), and the non-plan price was equal to a little more than a full day of the DDP ($46).

    If I look at AllEars now, the comparable meal at Tutto Italia would be the lamb shank ($31), the cannoli ($12), and a soda ($3)…still $46.

    So unless food prices shoot up a lot, I’d barely save anything in 2013 on the DDP getting about the most valuable set of credits possible (Tutto Italia TS, Cosmic Ray’s ribs & chicken combo CS, $5 snack). That makes it a much worse deal than even in 2011.

  • Interesting to see that lunch at Le Cellier is now going to be TWO credits instead of one! Geez…

    Also Be Our Guest restaurant is going to be one credit which is great! I anticipated it would be two credits.

  • We were already talking about not using the dining plan anymore (we have used it our past 7 trips). The price is now out of control!

    Anyone else think this is just to make ‘Free’ dining seem more valuable?

  • I think even the convenience component of the DDP is overstated. We went without it on our last trip, and not only did we save money, it was very liberating to not have to worry about having a certain number of TS/CS meals, or canceling an ADR if plans changed for fear of wasting a dining credit. In hindsight, DDP added more hassle, not less, to our trips.

  • I don’t watch my dining pennies on vacation. Pre-trip, I always go through menus and make dining plans simply on where we want to eat. I then look over the dining plan and try to guess what we might want to eat. I compare those costs with the cost of the dining plan. Never, not once, has the dining plan been cheaper in guestimates.

    After we vacation, I take every dining receipt (meals, snacks, drinks, etc) and add them up, including tips and non-included dining plan items (adult beverages, appetizers, the food for our under 3, etc)and it has always been less than the cost of the dining plan which would still need to have tips and other items added to it. Dining plan? NO THANK YOU! And that is *without* looking at costs.

    We like lots of table service, but not enough to justify deluxe because we also like lots of freedom to change our minds. A few of our dining choices would be 2 credits–always a waste of money. Sometimes we like an appetizer, but would never need enough for one per person. And sometimes we don’t want dessert. The plan just doesn’t make sense. Especially not at those costs.

    The dining plan keeps going up in cost. And I do think it is to make free dining look good. And the resort room prices, which require you to pay rack rate for if you take advantage, have more than doubled (maybe even tripled) since free dining was introduced. Disney has to be banking on dining, especially when free.

  • Does anyone know what they mean by “Special Dining Events with special menus offered at certain Table-Service locations”. Will the Fantasmic! packages now be excluded?

    With Le Cellier moving to two credits and the surcharge for the “Prix fixe” options at the restaurants; it is making less and less sense for the dining plan.

  • by Brandon Shurtz on July 16, 2012, at 8:27 pm EST

    I think the value for 2013 is WAY down. The places that accept the plan in 2013 seems to be down. Example epcot in 2012 there were 13 places under the sit down dining option. Which also included the Canadian steak house for lunch. 2013 there are FOUR!!!!!!!!! IMO 2012 it was almost an even value and with the mind set you did not have to worry about prices and could get anything made it worth while to get it. In 2013 with the price increase and taking away many of the epcot restaurants has made it not worth while.

    • I recently noticed this,…I called disney to make sure it wasn’t a misprint I was told it was not a misprint. I then reached out to a travel agent. I am not sure if what she told me is true, but she said alot of restaurants won’t be listed until closer to the end of they year when they agree to the dining plan…hmmmm…not sure.

      • Travel agent is correct. It happens every year. A lot of the World Showcase restaurants and downtown Disney restaurants will show up closer to the first of the year 🙂

  • I agree that the Standard plan is just not worth it anymore. We have used it in the past and when it included everything, even gratuities and there was not restrictions, and the value was immense. now I just don’t see how the standard plan is worth it.

    Although, after looking at the price increases further, it does appear that the Deluxe Dinning plan, if used properly, has some value. Although expensive, you get 2 additional sit down meals per day, and 1 additional snack per day. I could easily see myself spending more than $100 out of pocket for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner at TS restaurants.

    • Lets not forget as well, the DDP essentailly makes WDW a All-Inclusive resort, and i know from experience that $100 per person per day, is a bargin campared to some of the other all-inclusive resorts out there!

  • I’m disappointed in the selection of available restaurants for the dining plan. The price when up and the restaurants that you can choose went down from the ones available in 2012.

  • I have gone to WDW twice this year. Once without the dining plan, and once with the dining plan. My children are adults. We compared our receipts and found we saved from $15.00 to $25.00 dollars per day per person. It depends on what you want to eat. This year we were able to use our snacks at the food and wine festival. I would definitely buy the dining plan again.

  • Half the fun for me in Disney World is the dining experience. Turns out the majority of the meals I enjoy the most happen to be the at the higher end of the price spectrum for the single table service credit options. When I add up all the out of pocket expenses versus the dining plan costs, I more than break even, and often save a considerable amount of money.

    Chances are you stand to lose a lot of cash if you don’t plan accordingly. Obviously purchasing the dining plan and only eating at sandwhich shops for the duration of your stay would be financially futile. However if you’re serious about getting the best bang for your buck, and ensure you make the corresponding reservations ahead of time, then you can certainly make the dining plan a worthy choice.