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2012 Disney Dining Plan Changes

Details for the 2012 Disney Dining Plans have begun to be unveiled! See Pricing below (thanks to reader Pudge the Fish for this!). And there are a few changes you need to know about if you’re planning a 2012 trip.

Standard Disney Dining Plan to Include Refillable Mugs

Let’s look at the thirst-quenching addition first. The standard Disney Dining Plan will include refillable mugs!

Our first clue that this addition was likely in the works was via the release of the Virgin Holidays 2012 free dining package details for United Kingdom guests. And we can now confirm that refillable mugs will be included in all standard Disney Dining Plan packages! You’ll receive one refillable mug per person for refills at quick-service locations ONLY in your Disney resort hotel.

Refillable Mugs

Quick-Service Dining Plan Reduces Snack Quota to One Per Day

Quick Service Disney Dining Plans didn’t fare as well for the 2012 season. If you love snacks (cupcakes, Dole Whip and more!), the significant change is that only one snack will be allowed per person per day on the Quick Service plan. Be still our snack-worthy hearts (and stomachs)!

Dole Whip From Captain Cook's

Wine and Dine Plan Seems to be Missing…

As of right now, we don’t see an indication of the Wine and Dine plan in 2012. As we know, these preliminary info releases are missing a lot of updates and changes that could lock into place closer to the end of the year, so we can’t definitively say that this won’t be returning. All the same, we wanted to give you a heads up that it’s not appearing at the moment.

Pricing Updates

Quick-Service Dining Plan (all year long)
$34.99 per night ages 10 and up
$11.99 per night age 3 to 9

Standard Dining Plan (Value and Regular Season)
$51.54 per night ages 10 and up
$15.02 per night age 3 to 9

Standard Dining Plan (Peak Season)
$53.54 per night ages 10 and up
$16.02 per night ages 3 to 9

Deluxe Dining Plan (Value and Regular Season)
$85.52 per night ages 10 and up
$23.79 per night ages 3 to 9

Deluxe Dining Plan (Peak Season)
$89.52 per night ages 10 and up
$25.79 per night ages 3 to 9

More Updates to Come

While restaurants are listed on the plans, it’ll take some time before all eateries are finalized (usually some restaurants wait until the last minute to re-up their status in the Dining Plan). Stay tuned for more Disney Dining Plan information as it is released.

Thanks to Disney Op Ed and reader Pudge the Fish for the heads up and extra details on this news!

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58 Comments

  1. Kelly says:

    Without 2 snacks, I don’t think the QSDP is a good deal at all anymore.

    I did it back in ’09 and I saved a little bit of money. It was nice for the convenience factor, but I certainly didn’t “save” enough to justify it (normally I wouldn’t have been buying the desserts at the counter service places…)

  2. Chris says:

    The quick service plan is really not worth the money anyway. Unless someone is totally sold on it (and there people who swear by it) I tell people they can do better on their own.

    And darn it, now that you can’t get two cupcakes per day, what’s the point?

  3. Nicola says:

    Wine and Dine plan as far as im aware is never offered in the UK – or at least ive never seen or heard it to be advertised. We get 3 plans – quick, standard and deluxe.
    :-)

  4. Mary Grace says:

    I did find prices for the 2012 DDP. Here is the info I got from my travel agent.
    2012 Dining Plans- QS- only has 1 snack
    Ad $38.99 , CH $14.99
    Basic/Plus Dining – now will include Mug
    Ad $54.99 , CH $18.99
    Deluxe- stays the same
    Ad $88.99 , CH $26.99
    You are also able to book Art of Animation -

  5. Stephanie says:

    the mugs are a nice addition! wish you could refill in the parks though…

  6. Dana says:

    The mugs were definitely a nice plus on the quick service dining, but the fact that they’re taking away one snack makes it less appealing. It was nice to use one snack for a breakfast and another later in the day.
    I don’t know if its just me, but the DDP seems to be less and less of a value each year.

  7. AJ says:

    Kelly — Good point, my friend.

    Chris — My sentiments exactly (on the 2 cupcakes — this will cause a serious problem on the Cupcake Crawl)

    Nicola — Thanks for the tip!

    Mary Grace — Thank you! I totally forgot that a reader had already sent along the pricing, so I updated the post before seeing your comment! Great tip on Art of Animation! Considered a value resort, right?

    Stephanie — No kidding. And I also wish there were more mug refill spots at the resorts!

  8. vanessa says:

    The only time we do dining plan is when we get our holiday price for cms. That’s the only time it’s actually worth it for us. We did the math, it’s almost the same price as paying out of pocket depending on how you use the plan. I do agree that it’s amazing if you don’t want to deal with cash and the convenience of it all and it’s pretty awesome that they’re allowing refillable mugs now. =) I wish I still had my 2003 beach club mugs though. =(

  9. Dennis says:

    For me the value in the DDP is the convenience of paying for my meals in advance. The convenience of it is what makes it a deal for us. I’d much rather have to pay for a second cupcake than have to plan a budget for all of our meals in the parks, even if it only saves me a few dollars.

  10. Marci says:

    Is anyone else tired of Disney cutting back but charging more? I’m SO sick of it.

  11. Adam says:

    Price increases aren’t as bad as they could have been, but still not great.

    Although according to the Disney package reservation site, the Regular Plan is listed incorrectly at 2 snacks, although that is clearly not indicated in the pdf. The correct information is posted in their main dining section as well.

    Wonder how long and how many phone calls it will take them to correct the information.

  12. Adam says:

    Marci – You are not alone….

  13. Jill says:

    did UK residents get the free dining offer first last year? should we get excited yet that we might get it too in January? **fingers crossed**

  14. Cleo says:

    Well, it sounds like the mugs would be a good idea if dining OOP in your resort most of the time as I plan to do (Grand Floridian was MADE for me!)

  15. Cleo says:

    p.s. except for the grandma decor in some of the rooms

  16. Amanda says:

    We were on the fence about getting the dining plan, but the new prices make it an easy choice now. We’ll pass. Since my son will only drink milk, juice, and water, he has no use for the mug. We also like to eat lunch at a lot of table service that aren’t a good deal on the dining plan (Liberty Tree Tavern, Sci Fi, The Plaza.) The convenience was nice, but I don’t think it’s worth it anymore.

  17. Lynne says:

    After our last experience with the QSDP, I would have totally paid for it out of pocket. Now, when you take away one of the snacks, plus, it’s not like we NEED dessert at every meal, I would only use it if it were free again.

  18. Emma Godbold says:

    Pleased the refillable mug is now in all plans, could never understand why it was not included on the standard dining plan! Unfortunately all businesses gave to increase their prices but as meal prices should also increase the dining plan should still offer value. Unsure if there was an original reason for the 2 snacks on the quick service plan but seems sense for it to be one per day like the other two plans.

  19. Jen says:

    We quit using the dining card after the first year we bought it (TiW now)…because they add the 18% mandatory gratuity onto it, which cancels out the 20% savings. And there were times we didn’t want to pay the 18%, because we had a bad server, (only twice) and the manager wouldn’t take it off. (there were times we left a little more because we had an awesome server).

    We haven’t used the WDW dining plan (only the DL coupon plan–which worked really well for our family at the time); we had AP for a few years, and then we just started getting the FL resident rate for one visit a year-and you can’t add the DP to the resident tickets (so said the CMs I spoke with). The only advantage we found was the mug and we never plan on being at our resort for that long of time. It would have come in handy the last trip we took, when we were stuck in our resort due to inclement weather; but we had brought a cooler full of drinks, so that canceled that out anyways.

    Without the extra snacks, not worth it, unless it is free. Problem is, then Disney tacks on yet more things you HAVE to buy, in order to get the free plan. Make it buy the hotel/tickets and get DP free or make it buy the hotel/tickets/DP for 3 days and get 4 free…that would be worth it.

  20. Jen says:

    @Marci Disney has priced us out. As a family of 4 (with a 17 and 7 year old), we can get 2 year platinum passes to Busch gardens (all 9 of the sister parks) for the cost of 1 year 6 park +DQ passes to WDW. Will we go to all 9 parks? Probably not, as we aren’t planning on heading to CA any time soon, but we want to do some traveling next summer, and now we have an incentive to do so. So, we’ll go up the east coast a little ways, and maybe back over to Texas too.

    Can’t compare the two exactly (WDW is a world to itself) but we can have just as much fun at Busch gardens or Seaworld as we can at WDW. Do I want to go to WDW? I’m not sure, the last trip was not a good one (too many problems to go into here), but I’m willing to give BG a chance to charm us.

  21. Diane M says:

    I like the fact that they are adding the refillable mugs, but do wish it was in the parks we could use them too. We always get the dining plan, it really seems to save us money but with the new pricing and one less snack we will have to see and compare.

  22. Pudge the Fish says:

    I’m sure it is to Disney’s advantage to have you purchase the dining plan or they would not offer it. I can only imagine that due to the increase in cost to these 2012 dining plans that they plan a fairly dramatic increase in their ala carte menu pricing. Hopefully that means that they also increase the value of a snack credit, maybe a $5 value intead of the current $4 value? Of course that all just speculation and wishful thinking on my part.

  23. Christina says:

    Yeah, not liking the snack alottment reduction on the QS plan – It was bad enough it only gives TWO meals per day (pretty sure the average person usually eats THREE meals per day), but with the 2 snack options it could work. Now, you basically have to use your SINGLE snack option as your third meal? Or, pay out of pocket for another meal/snack/etc… which defeats the whole purpose of the dining plan to begin with.

    Not liking this change, Disney…not at all…

  24. I’m not much on the dining plan to begin with, but clearly this strips away much of the value to the QS plan. But it doesn’t surprise me, as a gradual striping down of benefits seems to be the norm these days, not just at Disney, but just about everywhere. Didn’t the regular dining plan originally include gratuity at table service?

  25. canadianslovewdw says:

    i remember when i first used the dinning plan it included the app and the dessert and the tip.. and they keep taking away.. but i go when it is free so its worth it for me.. .

  26. Teresa says:

    This is what I wish for the Plus Dining Plan:
    1. A choice of appetizer OR dessert at table service. Even I don’t have a sweet tooth after each meal (isn’t that what the snack credit is for?)

    2. Include the gratuity as part of the plan again. I HATE having to automatically pay 18% on my bill for our family of 6 when my 2-year-old isn’t on the plan and doesn’t even order food!

    Who’s with me?!?

  27. Pudge the Fish says:

    Theresa, I right there with you on both points. Especially that the choice should be appetizer or dessert. Disney loves to preach about their “healthy initiative” yet they make you choose something like a chocolate cake instead of a salad. I know that they offer sugar free items, and that some people would still get the deep fried appetizer, but I would still like a choice of one or the other.

  28. Adam says:

    I think they are trying to keep you from splitting apps and dessert within your party and trying to get the best of both worlds. The idea is to really have you need to purchase the apps outright.

    It is a little low, but I believe that is the rationale.

  29. Christina says:

    I remember when the original dining plan was 50 bucks a day and got you (if i recall correctly..) 3 table service meals a day. but that was quite a while ago and of course, the economy has tanked considerably since then.

  30. Jill says:

    options like app over dessert would be great, so would including the tip again. but if it is free i’m not complaining!

  31. Brian says:

    It’s important to remember that “Free” dining requires you to pay rack rate for your room.

    That may be a better deal for you, but it also may be better to take advantage of a room discount and pay for dining (either DDP or out of pocket).

    Only by comparing the various discounts being offered can one see whether “free” dining is a good deal or actual costs more than another plan.

  32. Mark D. says:

    I think it is time for Disney to release an all snack plan. How about 6 snacks a day including one Turkey Leg, you know, for health reasons.

  33. Brian says:

    @Mark D–they could call that the “Food & Wine Plan.” It’d be great to have all those snacks to use at F&W!

  34. Jackie says:

    The new plans are horrible! Why can’t Disney come up with a build your own dining plan. You purchase what you need and will use and you can add if you need more. Just put a set price on the table service, snacks, and quick serve. They are not going to loose money by making customers happy! At this rate everyone is going to go to international drive to the all you can eat buffet for $10 a person.

  35. AJ says:

    Love the build-your-own idea!! IF the tickets are “Magic Your Way,” why can’t the dining plans be Magic Your way! Great idea Jackie!

  36. Teresa says:

    Adam – I won’t share my appetizer; I promise!

  37. Rae says:

    Dining plan prices are going up, but we don’t know yet how much the food prices will go up in the future. How much will the buffets cost in 2012? I suspect they’ll go up as much as the dining plans have. Does anyone track the changes in prices, and when that happens? I suspect it happens with little fanfare.

  38. Amanda says:

    I’m sure that some of the table service prices will go up especially the buffets/character meals. If you eat a lot of those kinds of meals, then you still might find some value in the dining plan. I haven’t noticed big increases in counter service prices or at some of the less expensive table service restaurants (like the Plaza or Liberty Tree for lunch.)

  39. Quite a surprise. Quick Service Dining Plan taken value away! This is a microchosm of why I’m not a fan of any DDP.

  40. Laura B. says:

    How am I supposed to get my Karamell Kuche fix without all my extra snacks from the QSDP!?! Oh Disney, this makes me so sad :(

  41. Joyce says:

    I do not like the Dining Plan at all. We had the Plus in May and were very unhappy with it. You lose all of your flexibility, for one. For second, we found a counter service restaurant around the corner from our hotel which we didn’t know was there. We got completely ripped on it. It is only worth it if you book all of the upper price restaurants. I suppose I know more what I’m doing now, but I will not risk it again.

  42. AJ says:

    Thanks for the review Joyce!

  43. Marykate Edgette says:

    As a single traveler the DP’s have not really worked for me.I usually end up eating more than I want to get in all of the meals on the standard plan.I was also advised by servers in various resaurants to not use the plan for certain meals if I didn’t plan on using all parts of the meal.I definately agree about being able to choose apps or desert.I do like the idea of a reusable mug on all plans,except I have quite a collection of mugs from previous trips.I was told on my trip in March that they are forever mugs,I don’t know if this is really true but I had no problem using a mug from a previous trip!

  44. JOHN M says:

    I am just about to book a 2012 disney holiday and include the standard DDP (1 QSM, 1 Snack and 1TSM)

    The list of restaurants for 2011 is quite detailed, but the 2012 list is somewhat limited in comparison. Does anyone know if this is the definitive list? or will others be added in due course?

    I would also like the option of app’s or desserts, as I am not really a dessert person and would much rather choose a starter.

    Which are the best buffet restaurants? and do the TSM have salad bars or is this an added extra?

    Sorry for all the questions, on researching the DDP’s in a bit more detail I am starting to have second thoughts.

    Thanks.

  45. AJ says:

    John — The 2012 list will fill out as the new year approaches. Many Disney World restaurants are not run by Disney — these ones usually re-up with the plan toward the end of the year. Most likely the list from 2011 will change very little. Best buffets vary based on what you’re looking for — characters, best food, best atmosphere, quiet/loud, etc. Let us know what you’d consider to be a good buffet and we’ll give you our opinions :-D Not sure what you mean by TSM — will you clarify? Keep the questions coming!

  46. JOHN M says:

    Thanks AJ.

    With two children (12 & 15 – at the time of travel) I would want buffets that have the best atmosphere, good food and food that will fill teenagers that eat more than I do!!! Characters are still their favourites, no matter how old they try to be. I can’t expect quiet retaurants when I have two teens myself, but not restaurants that are geared towards younger chidlren.

    TSM = Table Service Meal.

    Can you give any advice on the dinner shows, are they worthwhile? we were thinking about the BBQ dinner show.

    Thanks.

  47. AJ says:

    John — For buffets, I’d suggest Tusker House in the Animal Kingdom (morning character meal), Akershus in Epcot (princess character meal, interesting food, not really geared toward children, but one could possibly perceive that with the princess theme), Cape May Cafe clam back in the evening if you like seafood (no characters in the evening, but character meal in the morning). If all-you-can-eat is a possibility (not a buffet), we love ‘Ohana at the Polynesian.

    TSMs usually do not have salad bars unless they’re buffets.

    We LOVE LOVE LOVE Hoop Dee Doo Revue dinner show. It’s a must-see in my opinion.

  48. JOHN M says:

    Thanks again AJ, your advice is much appreciated.

    No doubt I will be posting more questions in due course.

    JOHN.

  49. Amy says:

    I am also concerned about the limited restaurants on the 2012 plan…..Is this list accurate. Many EPCOT restaurants are off the list for 2012. This takes away too much variety for my family…

  50. AJ says:

    Amy — Most restaurants don’t sign up for the plan until the last minute. Check back in December — most of them will be on the list.

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