When staying in one of the Disney World Resorts for your magical vacation, you have the option of purchasing the Disney Dining Plan or DDP. With more than 300 dining choices throughout the Disney parks, resorts and Downtown Disney, making dining choices and navigating the pros and cons of the plan can seem intimidating. We’ve put together 7 helpful Disney Dining Plan tips to make things a bit more simple.
1. Choose the DDP package that fits your needs. One of the most popular is the Regular Dining Plan that provides each guest in your party with one (1) table service meal, one (1) quick service meal, one (1) snack and one (1) Rapid Fill Resort refillable drink mug.
2. Make your dining reservations early. Advanced dining reservations are strongly recommended. All Disney table service restaurants take reservations and many fill up quickly during typical lunch or dinner hours. Reservations can be made as early as 180 days before your resort check-in date.
3. Never be afraid to arrive early for a Disney dining reservation. Always plan to arrive at least 20 minutes early — allow for enough time to travel via bus or other Disney transportation. If traveling from the Animal Kingdom Lodge to Downtown Disney to enjoy a dining experience at Raglan Road™ or Planet Hollywood® plan for at least 60 minutes of travel time and leave enough time to walk from the bus drop off to the restaurant.
4. Signature-Table Service restaurants use two (2) table service credits and do have a dress code. Disney can be a fairly casual place for dining but all Signature restaurants and do not allow tank tops, swimwear, cut offs, torn-clothing or hats on gentlemen. Signature restaurants include The Hollywood Brown Derby in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Le Cellier Steakhouse in the Canadian pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase and the California Grill at the Contemporary Resort.
5. Take advantage of restaurants on the Dining Plan that offer both amazing food and entertainment while you enjoy that food all for just one table service credit. Great choices include the Biergarten Restaurant in the Germany pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase, Raglan Road™ at Downtown Disney and Restaurant Marrakesh in the Morocco pavilion in the World Showcase at Epcot. Each of these restaurants feature music and encourage audience participation from the children.
6. At all dining plan counter service restaurants, kiosks and food carts, you can find a handy Snack Credit Symbol that designates which items on the menu can be “purchased” with one snack credit. Snack credit items are numerous and include the classic Mickey Ears ice cream bar, but also include the unforgettable Zebra Domes at The Mara in the Animal Kingdom Lodge, specialty cupcakes at Starring Roles in Hollywood Studios and even sushi at the Kabuki Café in the Japan pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase.
7. The DDP can be used for Dinner Shows that offer family-style dining combined with live performances and a themed setting. You can use these for Category 2 or Category 3 seating at any Dinner Show such as Mickey’s Backyard BBQ (a seasonal Dinner Show) at the Fort Wilderness Resort and the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at the Polynesian Village Resort.