News! 2018 Disney Dining Plan Updates — Now With Alcohol!

BIG NEWS TODAY! Booking is now open for 2018 Disney World vacation packages…but this year specialty beverages — including alcoholic drinks for guests 21-and-over and milkshakes and other options for guests of any age — are available with the 2018 Disney Dining Plans. 

Disney Dining Plan

You may already be well aware that booking a Disney World Vacation Package (also called the Magic Your Way package) means you’re eligible to add the Disney Dining Plan to your vacation.

But with Disney Dining Plan pricing changes, alcohol being added to the plans, and more, we’ve got a lot to chat about today.

But first, an overview… Just click any of the links below for full details for the 2018 Plans (and keep an eye on the pages for pricing updates, too!)

2018 Disney Dining Plans and Updated Prices

Quick Service Dining Plan

Entitlements for the 2018 Quick Service Dining Plan include the following for each guest (ages 3 and over) per night of your package stay:

  • Two Quick Service Meals (includes one entree and a beverage)
  • NEW FOR 2018: Guests under 21 years of age can choose one non-alcoholic beverage (including specialty beverages where offered). Guests 21 and older can can choose either one non-alcoholic beverage (including specialty beverages where offered) or one single serving mixed cocktail, beer, or wine (where offered) with their meal entitlement.
  • Two Snacks
  • One Refillable Resort Mug

2018 PRICE Per Night: $52.49/adult (an increase from $48.19 in 2017), $21.75/child age 3-9

Brown Derby Lounge Margarita Flight

Brown Derby Lounge Margarita Flight

Standard Dining Plan

Entitlements for the 2018 Standard Dining Plan include the following for each guest (ages 3 and over) per night of your package stay:

  • One Table Service Meal (includes one entree, one beverage, and one dessert OR one full buffet)
  • One Quick Service Meal (includes one entree and one beverage)
  • NEW FOR 2018: Guests under 21 years of age can choose one non-alcoholic beverage with their Quick Service and Table Service meal (including specialty beverages where offered). Guests 21 and older can can choose either one non-alcoholic beverage (including specialty beverages where offered) or one single serving mixed cocktail, beer, or wine (where offered) within their meal entitlement.
  • Two Snacks
  • One Refillable Resort Mug

2018 PRICE Per Night: $75.49/adult (an increase from $69.35 in 2017), $25.80/child age 3-9

Rose and Crown Cider and Black

Rose and Crown Cider and Black

Deluxe Dining Plan

Entitlements for the 2018 Deluxe Dining Plan include the following for each guest (ages 3 and over) per night of your package stay:

  • Three Meals (redeemable interchangeably at Quick Service or Table Service locations)
  • NEW FOR 2018: Guests under 21 years of age can choose one non-alcoholic beverage with their Quick Service and Table Service meal (including specialty beverages where offered). Guests 21 and older can can choose either one non-alcoholic beverage (including specialty beverages where offered) or one single serving mixed cocktail, beer, or wine (where offered) within their meal entitlement.
  • Two Snacks
  • One Refillable Resort Mug

2018 PRICE Per Night: $116.24/adult (an increase from $106.68 in 2017), $39.90/child age 3-9

Be Our Guest Restaurant

Be Our Guest Restaurant

You can learn all about the Disney Dining Plan here.

Changes to the Plan for 2018

Well, well, well… the rumors are true! In case you didn’t notice above ;-D, guests selecting a 2018 Disney Dining Plan may now order one specialty beverage per meal. Guests 21-and-over may order one specialty alcoholic beverage or specialty non-alcoholic beverage and guests of any age may order one specialty non-alcoholic beverage.

This applies to meals at both Quick Service and Table Service locations.

Specialty non-alcoholic beverages may include:

  • Artisanal Milkshakes
  • Fresh Smoothies
  • Premium Hot Chocolate
  • Soda, Coffee, or tea
Red Velvet Peppermint Shake at Hollywood Studios

Red Velvet Peppermint Shake at Hollywood Studios

Specialty alcoholic beverages may include:

  • Beer or Cider
  • Wine or Sangria
  • Mixed Drinks and Specialty Cocktails
Raspy Old Fashioned at Raglan Road in Disney Springs

Raspy Old Fashioned at Raglan Road in Disney Springs

As always, information is subject to change. We will keep our Disney Dining Plan Page updated accordingly.

Don’t Miss Out — Get the Biggest Bang for Your Buck at Disney!

The 2017 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, Second Edition, is now available!

2017 DFB Guide to WDW Dining Cover March 6

With more than 650 pages, the 2017 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World  Dining, Second Edition is full of tips and planning tools developed by Disney World experts over 20+ years of visits. We’ve done the research for you, so you’ll know just which spots will uniquely suit your family’s needs!

With mini-reviews of every single restaurant, bar, lounge, kiosk and more; an entire chapter on the best snacks in Disney World; full Disney Dining Plan analysis (and how to get FREE dining); and a full chapter on discounts and deals; you’ll have everything you need to plan your best vacation yet. Click here to get your copy of the 2017 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, Second Edition E-book — and use code SAVE2017 for a 20% discount for a limited time!

Use code SAVE2017 at check-out for a 20% off the cover price!

Disney Dining Plan Cost Analysis

Well, I have to be honest. I thought the cost difference was going to be MUCH more substantial than this when alcohol and specialty beverages were added in. Less than $10 difference across the board on all Dining Plans in 2018 is pretty much in line with the annual Disney Dining Plan increases we’ve seen in past years, and having alcohol and specialty beverages in the mix means we’re talking about assigning a much higher value to the dining plan than in previous years.

I’ll be crunching some numbers today. In previous years, the numbers showed the dining plan to pretty much be a wash in terms of value — unless you ordered the absolutely most expensive item on every menu and used every single dining credit allotted. Now, I’m guessing you’ll have a little breathing room as to value if you’re ordering alcohol with every meal. While there still won’t be massive savings, at least it doesn’t look like there will be massive losses with the dining plan, either, which is what I expected when imagining the costs that would go along with adding alcohol to the dining plan.

Watch this space! And chime in!

Pin it for later!

Everything You Need to Know about the 2018 Disney Dining Plan - which now includes alcohol!

What are your thoughts? Happy/Not Happy at the addition of alcohol to the dining plan? Does this make you more likely to book the dining plan for your visit? What about value — do you think the costs are in line with what’s offered? Let us know in the comments below!

Many thanks to Sue at Small World Vacations for the heads up!

Comments

  1. says

    Carol — It will be interesting to see how/if the alcoholic beverage options change based on this move.

  2. says

    Nancy Stinson — Disney is actually really great with allergies. All of the restaurants have options for people with food allergies, and at any table service restaurant you should have the chef come out to chat with you so he can create a meal that suits your needs.

  3. Doombuggy says

    I’m not quite understanding the ‘It’s not fair” comments. My family are not dessert eaters at all…when a dessert was included before the substitutions were allowed, we didn’t complain, we just simply didn’t get the dining plan.

    IMO Disney did a great thing by giving the option of non-alcoholic specialty beverages….They have pretty much everyone covered.

  4. says

    We just returned from wdw. Had the regular meal plan. We found we could substitute an appetizer for a dessert if we wanted. Adding the wine or drink would have been nice. That’s about $6.00 more which is nice for a glass of wine. Like the new option.

  5. les says

    This just another Disney trick to get more money from me. My question is why must the people that don’t drink alcohol have to pay the same as those drinking? There must be 2 pricings to accommodate this situation. It can simply be put on the magic band that way and when ordering you can tell them if you want alcohol or not.

  6. Essie says

    I’m not a big eater, so I’m not thinking the dining plans are good for me, as I can’t drink alcohol for medical reasons either. I can make a snack a meal!.I’d probably opt for a room discount.

  7. J Cannon says

    I wonder if this will be used to load balancing. In that popular dinner/lunch spots might not get alcohol drinks added to the menu, where unpopular will in an effort to make those more appealing. Also wonder what this will do to breakfast reservation, as most people are not drink(alcohol) for breakfast.

  8. Penny says

    I will keep my TIW along with my DVC & AP discounts. I live in KY not FL and we still come out ahead with the added bonus of eating what we want without the worry of maximizing credits.

  9. Jenny says

    I am kind of disappointed. I always get the free dining and I have a family 4 all over 10 years old. I get my money’s worth. But we always got milkshakes and the like for our beverage at places such as prime time and Sci Fi anyway. I am not happy with the change. I have nothing against alcohol or having a few drinks but not while I’m hanging out with my kids. I feel like it encourages one drink so people will buy more alcoholic drinks and spend more $$ therefore changing the whole dynamic of the vacation. We have never drank on our disney vacations before but my husband, for one, will get a drink knowing it’s “free.” And I know you can opt for a non-alcoholic one but like I said, they already included those at table service restaurants. Just like the little know fact that they don’t require kids to get kids meals at quick service restaurants on the dining plan. I’m thinking this will also change the availability of free dining offers and resorts included in free dining. Seeing this year they changed moderate resorts to only get the quick service instead of the standard plan from previous years.
    Just my 2 cents….

  10. Beverly says

    I am thrilled. we always have beer or a cocktail at dinner and the price increase was minimal. This will save us a lot.

  11. Kathie Newell says

    Six of us adults will be traveling with 4 small children. Is it possible to buy six Deluxe Dining Plans and just share our food with the little ones, who never eat a full meal at any one meal? People have said they get soooo much food with the table service meals that it is easy to share. Is an appetizer included with the Table Service meal?
    Thanks for your help!!
    Go, Mickey!! :-)

  12. Kendall says

    Was very excited to learn about this! I crunched the numbers for my husband and I though and it still doesn’t end up in our favor (by about $400). We don’t eat meat so the items we get are not nearly the most expensive on the menu. Plus the items I’m generally most excited about are appetizers and sides :) It’s nice that they are offering this now though. Now we can indulge in drinks and pretty much whatever else we want and know we’re still spending less than the cost of the dining plan.

  13. William Heuser says

    I am not thrilled with the alcohol addition. I have not enjoyed the epcot food festival with the amount of people doing a pub crawl. It’s a family vacation, you should be able to go without when there are so many kids.

  14. Mike V says

    As I have said from the onset, I love the new addition. Think it’s very much worth the value esp for those that do take advantage of having that adult drink.
    My issue is with those who think that adding drinks to the plan will lead to more drinking..
    I do not get that.
    If I get a freebie, I will have the freebie.
    In years past when they added a dessert to each meal (that I would not have used) that did not lead me to wanting more desserts.
    My guess is sample sizes decrease, MK will start having adult drinks at counter service locations and I keep coming back and loving my vacation.

  15. Hannah says

    We used to get the DP when you got an appetizer or salad and the tip was included…yes, a long time ago. We have decided the past few years that, with all the choices at the QS places, no longer just nuggets, hot dogs or burgers, we enjoy the meals and a beer. We save lots of money and time. If we did want to spend time having fancier meals, we would totally take advantage of the beer or wine offer.

  16. says

    This is such exciting news! I too am surprised that the price increase wasn’t more. I am wondering if there will be special “dining plan eligible” boozy drinks at each restaurant that will help Disney control the cost. I highly doubt that you’ll be able to order a $14 margarita at San Angel Inn on the plan, but maybe I’m wrong!

  17. Jean says

    This seems like great news for folks who like to have a drink with meals, but it definitely doesn’t make sense for my family and me, for four reasons: (1) we don’t always order the most expensive item on the menu; (2) it’s too much food anyway; (3) we don’t drink; and (4) my 3 kids are super picky and rarely finish their meals. The main reason I’ve enjoyed the DDP in the past is that it allows you to pre-pay for your food so that it feels like it’s “free” when you’re actually on vacation. However, nowadays I just stockpile hundreds of dollars in Disney gift cards (5% off at Target), and then when we’re at Disney, I charge all our dining on our MagicBands and then visit the front desk on the night before check-out to pay it off with all the gift cards. That way, we’re spending WAY less, and we get the added bonus of “pre-payment!”

  18. Sam says

    I don’t think this is a problem other than the age 10+ child can’t order an alcoholic drink so they HAVE to order the specialty drink too get their monies worth. If I think it will affect the overall value I’m spending, I probably won’t get the plan. I would like to know how they will handle the restaurants where they charge 2 table services… Will I get 2 alcoholic drinks?

  19. says

    Sam — Using the Disney Dining Plan in Signature Restaurants that require two Disney Dining Plan credits will only entitle the user to one alcoholic beverage, according to the plan rules that we’ve read.

  20. says

    Kathie — It depends on the ages of the children. Children under 3 can share food from your plates and do not require their own Disney Dining Plans (DDP) or park tickets; children over the age of 3 require their own DDP and park tickets. If the children are over 3, then everyone in the room must have the DDP. For more information on the DDP, check out our FAQ Page.

  21. Kate says

    When we started going to Disney 5-6 years ago the dining plan was a little over $50 per person, per day. It made financial sense if you were the type of traveler that wanted one table meal each day. We tested traveling without the dining plan during our last trip in July and ended up saving a ton of money. And that was with a character buffet and another table service in our 4 day trip. The addition of alcohol helps defray costs, but if someone in your party doesn’t drink, the plans are starting to get really expensive. Dining plan offers peace of mind that things are “paid for” and allows you to feel free to order whatever you want. However, given the increases and reduced portion sizes, I think we’ll be going out of pocket for the forseeable future.

  22. Robydotdot says

    I don’t really like the change, I don’t like having to pay more because I have no intention on drinking alcohol in the middle of the day! it just gives me a headache lol. And it might be harder to justify buying the dining plan now.

  23. Rit says

    Help, please!! Two adults and two under 10 children arriving in April 2018. What advice would you give me regarding a meal plan with kids who only eat pizza and mac and cheese and dont drink anything but water – never milk or juice. Is it worth any meal plan to cover costs for the adults? Thanks in advance!

  24. DebC says

    Re: Help, please!! Two adults and two under 10 children arriving in April 2018. What advice would you give me regarding a meal plan with kids who only eat pizza and mac and cheese and dont drink anything but water – never milk or juice. Is it worth any meal plan to cover costs for the adults? Thanks in advance!

    Your children may have a hard time finding any food to eat if they only eat pizza and macaroni and cheese. Not all table or counter service restaurants have these two items. Some have a variety of these, but it won’t be the same. If your children are very fussy, you may have to concentrate on a few counter service dining locations. In your case, unless the two children are both under the age of three when you arrive at WDW, you probably just want to skip any dining plan at all. The refillable mug that comes with the dining plans gets you soda and some non-carbonated beverages (not juice, not milk, but your’s don’t drink those either). You’d have a nice souvenir for drinking your water.

  25. Ria says

    Hi,

    I’m from the UK and have already purchased my dining plan for an August 2018 holiday will mine update to include alcohol?

    Ria

  26. says

    Ria — As far as we know, the 2018 rules should apply, but I think it would be best to double check with Disney.

  27. Jesse says

    I wonder what cocktails at which restaurant will be available. Like, are we talking a Lapu Lapu at O’hana? :)

  28. Gordy says

    Why are they taking away the dessert from the quick serve dining plan only and not all of them? They are still raising the price and giving us less.

  29. Rory says

    Beer nerd question here-

    I was wondering what beers will be included in the plan. Will it be a designated beer (From a large industrial brewery) or will it be possible to order a craft beer, for example?

    I know in particular restaurants where things are very themed there may only be a particular unusual beer available (Tusker in parts of Animal Kingdom, for example), but I guess what I’m getting at is if you’re the sort of person who wants to drink craft beer where possible then is the plan going to allow for that or is it going to be a case of “you can have bud lite but that’s it”.

  30. says

    I am happy for this because every time we purchase an alcoholic beverage and are on the dining plan for the rest of the meal, we have all the extra confusing paperwork (and it is an overwhelming amount of paperwork)to sort through and sign at the end of the meal. It takes a long time to go through this process.

  31. Nina says

    I for one am chuffed about the change. We went last year as a party of 5 adults and we found firstly that we didn’t ever need the dessert option with our meal we ended up just getting the takeaway options and never using them, we would have much preferred the extra snack option. We always ordered an alcoholic beverage with our meals (lunch or dinner not breakfast!) so the non alcoholic drink option was never really touched and it added a lot to the overall holiday to keep adding a beer or wine at disney prices.

  32. Shannon says

    Do you think the speciality drinks for kids will include the punch with the light up Buzz Lightyear or Tinkerbell that they have in most restaurants? Because my kids love those, and I’d be happy to have them included with their meals…

  33. Aryn says

    Replying to: Why are they taking away the dessert from the quick serve dining plan only and not all of them? They are still raising the price and giving us less.

    They added an additional snack. You can use that for a dessert with your QS meal (which would then work out to the same as before), or use it for a salad/soup/other snack item with your QS meal, or just use it as an extra Dole Whip.

  34. Sheila says

    We are disappointed. We are an occasional beer with a spicy meal. We don’t drink mixed drinks. We also don’t drink our calories. Sugary drinks are not something we would indulge in on a daily basis and we are both dairy intolerant. I wish they offered with or without alcohol. Maybe instead of alcohol they could bring back the appetizer that was once offered on the original plan.

  35. Geannie says

    For those that don’t drink, it helps to keep in mind that the increases are more or less in line with regular yearly increases – and nowhere NEAR the cost of Disney alcoholic beverages per meal. So you really aren’t paying for “a drink you aren’t getting ” – you’re just not getting as much of a deal for the cost, the same as if you were not buying as costly a meal as someone else.

  36. MIke V says

    I cannot believe I am doing this because I always laugh when people ask you guys specific questions that likely only Disney would know.
    But I am here to ask your thoughts / opinions on how you would interpret the new change.

    And this is steered to a festival (Flower or F & W) type question…

    With the ability to use a counter entitlement to get 3 snacks, would you think that an alcoholic drink would fall under one of the snack options?
    I may have answered myself in that these are not going to be snack options but a drink option with a meal but just your opinion on this.
    Thanks

  37. says

    Mike V — I’m leaning toward your thinking, that the drink would be a drink instead of a snack. But we’ll be out there at the booths on opening day, so I’ll see if I can get an answer for you.

  38. Joseph says

    I wonder if there will be additional signage indicating what counts as a specialty drink under the new rules similar to how the snack options are marked. It says they include fresh smoothies, so if I go to Landscape of Flavors at Art of Animation for breakfast, will the smoothies be marked that I can get one as my beverage option, or will I have to ask every time to make sure it’s included before getting one? I’m concerned that the non-alcoholic specialty beverage options are going to be confusing because at the very bottom of the page on Disney’s website about it it says that things like souvenir cups and glow cubes aren’t included, but it’s such an after thought the way it’s mentioned, I imagine a lot of people will try to get them if they don’t drink.

    I also wonder if they’ll work to add new specialty drinks to places that don’t really have any so people that don’t drink don’t feel like they’re being cheated by not getting a $10-$15 glass of wine.

    I guess only time will tell, but I hope everything is clear by the time I go in April. I’ve already done the math and I’ll probably be close to even on the dining plan, which is what I think Disney is shooting for with the price.

  39. peggy lebeau says

    I am actually not thrilled with the alcohol addition to the Dining plan. I think it will encourage more people to drink and we will see more people drinking excessively at the parks. WDW is not someplace that we need to have intoxicated people walking around.
    When you had to pay for every drink right out of your pocket I think that was a deterrent for people to purchase more, now they will see it as part of their meal and may drink more since it will not come out of their pocket right at that moment..
    I also don’t think the children’s prices should have gone up that much. Be serious how many locations offer specialty drinks for children and soda, tea or coffee was already on the plan.
    I personally loved the plan for the ease of use, but they are pricing it out of a normal families budget and offering things most families aren’t going to partake of.
    They should have done it as specialty drink or dessert. That way people that wanted to drink they could choose that option while not increasing the price for those of us that don’t want the drink.

  40. Doombuggy says

    Peggy, while I respect your opinion (don’t agree with it, but respect it)…People will drink at WDW regardless. Two little drinks with meals certainly does not encourage it and the price of the dining plan would have gone up anyway.

    I do have to give you kudos because you’re one of the few people who actually use the dining plan to simplify things…which is what should be the case. I guess I look at the time and effort that people spend milking every last penny out of it and can’t help but shake my head.

    As a whole, you need to look at WDW in its entirety. They are pricing themselves out of a normal family’s budget in food, room rates & park tickets. Yes, people complain…but they still go faithfully.

    My family doesn’t drink smoothies, shakes or soda…and we certainly don’t eat dessert. IMO, the addition to the dining plan makes it a lot more enjoyable to folks who would like to have a glass of wine or beer with their meal.

  41. Doombuggy says

    I also want to add that as I’ve said before…. Families may be those with children, honeymooners, empty nesters….Whoever….. What exactly makes a family ‘Normal”? (as per Peggy’s comment)

    All too many times, I’ve seen moms & dads pushing strollers drinking a beer, a glass of wine or a Grey Goose Slushie. Are they not normal??

    I’ve also seen mom & dads…pushing an empty stroller, pounding a beer or something before the other parent brings SuzyBob back from the bathroom.

    As Peggy suggested…adding a specialty drink or dessert, takes away from those of us who don’t want sugary smoothies or desserts. (yes….we do exist)

    Anyone who gets the dining plan now and does not want alcohol, doesn’t lose anything…..if anything, they get a little more because of certain ‘specialty’ drinks that weren’t included are now. This just opens the dining plan to those of us who don’t want all the sugar.

  42. Mike V says

    Well said Doombuggy…
    I do not understand the correlation so many are making how offering a drink with a meal means more drinking.
    Also, how many counter service meals can you eat while rotating through the countries. It’s not like they are offering alcoholic drinks with a snack option. You only get a drink with the purchase of a counter service.
    Again, share you opinions, that is what this is for…..however I do not draw the same correlation as some are.

  43. says

    Just wondering if anyone has “researched” if food offered at Club Level is a reason to decide against any dining plan. Just two adults that don’t eat a lot and not on a strict budget. Also wondering if pre purchased Disney gift cards offer some of the convenience of a pre paid dining plan.

  44. says

    Some time ago we had a plan that included 2 full meals a day, so we could enjoy a full breakfast buffet mid to late morning then a full service dinner in the evening. On the meal plan now it doesn’t appear that that would be an option on those days we want to do a breakfast buffet, say, in the hotel or a special character breakfast. We don’t want to give up a full service dinner. Suggestions?

  45. says

    Joan — The Deluxe Dining Plan includes three full table service OR counter service meals per day, so that might suit your needs.

  46. Nicole says

    For the 2018 dining plan, does anyone know if you will be able to get an alcoholic drink at buffets?

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