New year, new Disney Dining Plan!! There have been a few changes, and it’s up to YOU to decide if the Disney Dining Plan is still the best for your family or not.
The price has gone up compared to in 2017, however there has been an addition that might make it more appealing for you. Keep reading!
Disney Dining Plans can be a little bit confusing if you've never used one before. If used wisely, the Dining Plans are a fantastic way to save a little or a lot on your trip, depending on what you eat or how much you drink, letting you add even more magic to your vacation!
Here's a basic overview about the Disney Dining Plan for 2018 to help you decide if the plan is right for you.
Disney World offers three dining plans for guests staying on property. The Quick Service Dining Plan, the Dining Plan, and the Deluxe Dining Plan. Each plan comes with a refillable souvenir mug that can be used at any resort during the length of your stay. Each restaurant will have a different theme, so it's often fun to try a new place each time.
The Quick Service Dining Plan is our favorite right now since we have small kids who don't want to sit still at a sit down restaurant for very long. This plan includes 2 meals per day, consisting of an entree and it's included side(s) (think half chicken, green beans and mashed potatoes, or sandwich and fries) and new to 2018, those under the age of 21 can choose to have soda, tea or coffee, a milkshake, smoothie or other specialty non alcoholic beverage. Those over the age of 21 with valid ID can choose to have a beer, cider, mixed drink or wine if available. This plan also includes 2 snack credits which can be used on a variety of things from soups or salads, drinks, desserts or packaged snacks. My favorite thing to use a snack credit on are the themed cupcakes. Gigantic works of art and delicious! We have never felt like we've sacrificed food choices with this plan. Quick Service doesn't mean you are stuck with just burgers and fries. There are yummy salads, seafood, fajitas, and so much more. Mr. Disney Magic loves going to Animal Kingdom and having lunch at Flame Tree BBQ so he can order the Ribs, chicken and pulled pork plate that includes baked beans, coleslaw and jalapeno cornbread. With Quick Service meals, no gratuities are charged and you do not need reservations.
The Dining Plan is the standard meal plan with Disney World and it includes 1 Quick Service meal, 1 Table Service meal and 2 snacks. You get everything as above with the Quick Service plan, but the Table Service meal can be a buffet or a sit down restaurant, and includes a dessert. This is a popular plan because it's the best of both worlds. You can have a quick lunch if you want and a leisurely dinner to unwind after a day at the Parks. There are a few Table Service restaurants that even offer special seating for nighttime shows, or Character Meals including breakfasts, however some of those might require the use of two meal credits. Gratuity will be added on additionally for Table Service restaurants just like if you went to a sit down restaurant at home. Reservations are usually required, and may be reserved up to 180 days before your trip.
The Deluxe Dining Plan is the most expensive plan because you get a lot more. This plan includes 3 meals, your choice of Quick Service or Table Service. If you choose the Table Service, in addition to the above entitlements, you also get to choose an appetizer. Gratuity will be added on additionally for Table Service restaurants just like if you went to a sit down restaurant at home. Reservations are usually required, and may be reserved up to 180 days before your trip.
The prices for the 2018 Disney Dining Plans are as follows:
Quick Service - Per night Ages 10 and up $52.50 Ages 9 and under $21.74
Dining Plan – Per night Ages 10 and up $75.49 Ages 9 and under $25.75
Deluxe Dining Plan – Per night Ages 10 and up $116.25 Ages 9 and under $39.99
There are some legitimate reasons as to why, or why not this plan might be good for you. If you love the idea of having all meals paid for in advance and if you like to have Table Service meals and don't mind planning in advance this plan may be perfect for you. If you just like to snack in the park, or want to bring in part of your own food and just eat one meal in the park, you might not get as much benefit from this.
An incredibly easy way to see if you will come out ahead or not if you buy this plan is to use this fabulous dining plan calculator. DisTripPlanner.com has put a lot of work into making your decision as easy as can be. Just make sure that you do add in the refillable mug in step 2, in order to get the most accurate result. Just click here to see the calculator.
A few things to remember.
Want to read more?
Click here for tips and tricks to maximize your Disney Dining plan credits
Click here to read about bringing your own food in at Disney
Click here to read about how to save HUNDREDS in just a few minutes at Disney
It doesn't have to be a holiday to make a copcat Disney treat, but I really couldn't think of anything better than Halloween, and carmel apples. I FINALLY got one on our last trip, and for weeks after I dreamed of them! I tried to make my own, and I'm only slightly embaressed to say the 8 I made were gone in 2 days. I'd like to say I had help eating them, but to be honest, only one of them went to my oldest. Yikes! This time, I made a dozen, with the intention of sharing!
A quick note on the apples-- green apples last longer. They also balance the sweet of the caramel, so if you make these using red apples, they might not taste as good, and they won't last as long. These can last several days (just not in my house) without any taste loss.
These are super simple to make. The hardest part is unwrapping all those caramels. I used the recpie on the back of the bag:
However, I did use milk, instead of water, and I felt like that worked better than before, when I used water.
Also, make sure to wash and DRY your apples. If you don't dry them, the caramel won't stick! Put the sticks in. I ran out of sticks, so I cut bamboo skewers (like for the grill) in half. Those worked great!
So get your pan ready. I've done it both ways, bowl over simmering water, and straight in the pot. I really prefer in my pot. It goes faster, and I don't have a bowl trying to fall onto the stove.
Once you've decided how you want to melt your caramels, unwrap, put them in the pot and add your liquid. Stir, stir stir... it transitions... keep going until it's all melty. Don't leave it though! It could burn and ruin your caramels.
Dip your apples into the caramel, no photo here, it goes quick and starts to harden fast! Roll into nuts if you like, and place on a sheet of waxed paper. They set pretty fast!!
Aren't they sooo pretty? Takes less than an hour to do these. If you have people helping unwrap the caramels, it will go much faster!
So delish, and easy, and pretty close to the Disney ones. It's not spot on, but in a pinch, or dire Disney emergency, these will do the job!
Happy Halloween everyone!!
In honor of Epcot's upcoming birthday, I'm sharing photos of two recipes recently posted on the Disney Parks Blog. Directly from those magical kitchens, you can recreate some of your favorite dishes at home!!
If you'd like to read the original blog article to get the recipes, just click on the photo and it will take you right there.
Since you'll need something sweet to finish it off, why not this?
I'm not sure if there's a better way to start the morning than with the news that Dole Whip mix is available to the masses! Yes!! It's true! Gaze upon the beauty of that which is Dole Whip!
Now when you aren't at Disney, you can still enjoy the iconic, icy, yummy and dare I say it, good for you treat! No more DIY trying to find just the right recipe, nope! Get the REAL thing. God bless Amazon. I have said it many times, and I mean it. If you can't find it there, it doesn't exist.
Look at this... !! (Well, you'll have to click the color to look at it) Pineapple! Raspberry! Mango! Orange! Strawberry! It's all here! Okay, so I know Raspberry and Strawberry aren't at the Parks, but those do sound nice!
It looks like all you need is an ice cream maker. The other night I saw this one, on America's Test Kitchen, but since I don't have one, I might have to hint at Christmas time so we can get our Dole Whips outside the parks!
Did you already know about this amazing at home Dole Whip mix? Are you excited to try it too? Have you already tried it? I can't wait to!
I LOVE Disney Treats, and there is very little that's better than looking at these yummy delights through the nose smudged (Oops! Sorry!) case at Goofy's Candy Kitchen. I don't really stand that close, but who wouldn't want to get a close up at these beauties? What's amazing though is they taste just as good as they look. I've tried to make the caramel apples at home, and they are closeish...but not nearly the same. I think I'm lacking the Pixie Dust and wave of Mickey's wand that must happen in the creation process!