Here’s What You Need to Know About the Latest Disney Dining Plan Price Hike

One of the big incentives Walt Disney World offers its resort guests every year is the Disney Dining Plan, which is only available for those staying on property and may or may not be a good deal for hungry guests looking to save some money, depending on who you ask.

Though the specifics of the Disney Dining Plan change slightly every year (with different tiers offered, accommodations required, etc.), with package bookings now available for 2018, we’ve noticed some BIG changes have been made to next year’s edition of the Disney Dining Plan, which you should definitely consider before you confirm your travel plans for 2018. And while some of these changes were rumored for some time, there’s one in particular we didn’t see coming…

Specialty beverages (including alcohol!) now included in Disney Dining Plan

Be Our Guest

Image: Disney

While beverages available as part of the Disney Dining Plan have historically included soft drinks, juices, milk, coffee, and tea, beginning next year guests using the Disney Dining Plan will be able to use their beverage entitlement (at either quick service or table service locations) to order “specialty” beverages with their meals.

This new class of beverages include artisan milkshakes, fresh smoothies and even blended coffee and hot chocolate drinks. But perhaps in an even bigger surprise, it was confirmed that with this new beverage designation guests over 21 can now order a single serving alcoholic beverage with their meal, which can include beer, cider, wine, mixed drinks or even specialty cocktails

Though this addition probably doesn’t change much if you are traveling with a lot of young guests, if your party has a number of guests over the age of 21 (who drink alcoholic beverages), this new addition could be a game changer, as alcoholic drinks can be double or triple the cost of traditional beverages, and can change the potential value of this year’s Disney Dining Plan substantially.

However, speaking of changing math, we also have information about pricing for next year’s dining plans as well, and to no one’s surprise, costs are going to be higher in 2018, but you might be surprised by how much the cost is going to go up…

2. Prices go up, again, but not by as much as you might think

Image: Disney

While there’s value to be had with the new drink policy, nothing is ever, truly free (especially at Disney), and as expected, prices for the Disney Dining Plan are up for 2018 by several dollars. However, the price hikes for 2018 are actually not as bad as they have been in years past, suggesting that perhaps Disney has found a “ceiling” for the cost of the Disney Dining Plan.

Here’s the cost breakdown of 2018’s Disney Dining Plan offerings per guest, per night of resort stay, as well as what each dining plan will get a single guest daily:

Quick Service Dining Plan: $52.49/adult (up from $48.19 in 2017), $21.75/child age 3-9 (up from $20.88 in 2017)
  • Two Quick Service Meals (one entree and beverage, specialty included)
  • Two Snacks
  • One Refillable Resort Mug

Standard Dining Plan: $75.49/adult (up from $69.35 in 2017), $25.75/child age 3-9 (up from $24.95 in 2017)

  • One Table Service Meal (includes entree, beverage, and dessert or full buffet)
  • One Quick Service Meal (one entree and beverage, specialty included)
  • Two Snacks
  • One Refillable Resort Mug
Deluxe Dining Plan: $116.24/adult (up from $106.68 in 2017), $39.99/child age 3-9 (up from $38.75 in 2017)
  • Three Meals (either at Quick Service or Table Service, with the options listed above)
  • Two Snacks
  • One Refillable Resort Mug

Image: Disney

Though these price hikes are substantial, they’re in line with what we’ve seen in previous years, and the added value of being able to get specialty drinks across all of the different tiers represents a significant increase in value for those who would order these drinks at every meal. Just one $13 cocktail per day could make up the cost difference year to year, which is something definitely worth considering if you are looking at booking a package with a dining plan in 2018.

Of course, all of these Disney Dining Plan changes are only for 2018 and do not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2018, so if you are thinking about planning a fall 2017 getaway with a dining plan, you’ll be able to enjoy lower prices, but you also can’t cover any specialty drinks (including alcohol) with your Disney Dining Plan either.

Image: Disney

How do you feel about these changes to the Disney Dining Plan? While the higher prices may come with some sticker shock, they certainly aren’t as dramatic as they could have been, and the plans in 2018 could potentially offer a lot more more value for the Disney Dining Plan for guests when compared to previous years. Will you be taking advantage of next year’s plan? Let us know in the comments!

-From Theme Park Tourist, June 21, 2017  By Amanda Kondolojy




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