Editor’s Note: We’ll be updating this post regularly as we learn more about how specialty, non-alcoholic drinks are being classified at Walt Disney World. If you’ve had experience with the plan, please comment below so we can add it to the post! Thanks, Disney food friends!
When the 2018 Disney Dining Plan details were released last June, many guests were excited to discover that alcoholic drinks would be included. For those who like to try adult beverages at Walt Disney World, this was an immediate way to bump up the value of the Disney Dining Plan!
But what about those guests who choose not to drink alcohol or who are under 21 years old (but still required to pay the adult price)? How can they maximize the 2018 Disney Dining Plan by imbibing in “specialty beverages” promised by the new DDP?
We’re asking the same questions, so we decided to do a post here that we’ll be updating regularly as more information becomes available.
What Specialty Beverages are Included on the Disney Dining Plan?
According to the official word from Disney, specialty beverages include Artisanal Milkshakes, Fresh Smoothies, and Premium Hot Chocolate. (Guests can still get typical Soda, Coffee, and Tea as well if they opt not to select a specialty beverage.)
But what, exactly, constitutes a specialty beverage on the DDP? Are we talking bottomless milkshakes at Plaza Restaurant? Slushies at quick service locations? Capuccino? Souvenir mugs and drinks with glow cubes?
The easy answer: we’re still trying to figure this one out. As we expected, reports from guests using the 2018 Disney Dining Plan show that the application of the DDP is a little inconsistent. Some guests report they were told they could select any specialty beverage up to $16, and others have been told their options were more limited.
We’ve had a number of inquiries from our readers, and we hear you! So here’s what we know — with the caveat that mileage may vary dramatically for you until the plan has worked out its evident kinks.
Artisanal Milkshakes are typically super filling and super tasty, so we love this option! At 50s Prime Time Cafe, the PB&J Milkshake (which comes in at $7 out of pocket) has been reported to be included in the DDP. This is delicious and a fun use of the beverage part of your meal credit — and how’s a milkshake with lunch for a little nostalgia?
You may not think of food courts as great places to grab a milkshake, but the All-Star Resorts have been stepping up their game with cool (and kooky!) combinations — like this Behind-the-Scenes Milkshake that showed up at All-Star Movies for a while! At present, you can pick up Split Screen at World Premiere Food Court — a milkshake with a slice of cheesecake! And these babies can run upwards of $7, so for a use of a beverage credit, they’re a decent value!
We expect diners at the All-Star food courts can apply their beverage credit for these milkshakes, as we have heard that the DDP’s alcoholic component has been used for the spiked smoothies and shakes that appeared at the food courts as well. But we can’t confirm that your experience will be the same. Let us know in the comments if you’ve had positive or negative experiences with these shakes!
We’ve professed our love for D-Luxe Burger in Disney Springs many times — and now you can consider grabbing an Artisanal Milkshake to go with your burger and fries on the quick service Disney Dining Plan! And since they come in at $7.50, these shakes are some of the best non-alcoholic values on the DDP!
And happily, we have had confirmation from DFB reader Dave that D-Luxe Burger Artisanal Milkshakes are, in fact, DDP-approved!
Smoothies come in all shapes and sizes these days (including alcoholic versions as seen at the All-Stars!), and they may be a healthier way to augment your meal.
End Zone Food Court offers several options — including the option to add protein powder! Prices range from $5.49 to $6.49. We expect these smoothies to meet DDP requirements — although we are curious about guest experiences adding protein powder.
Other delicious smoothie options include the Super Green Spinach Drink at Landscape of Flavors and a Mango Lassi Smoothie at Sanaa. Yum! We don’t know for sure that these are included, but, again, they seem to meet the letter of the DDP law.
Thanks to DFB reader Isabel, we can confirm that you can add the Smoothie of the Day to your meal at Pepper Market at Coronado Springs Resort (although she reports that it took a little chat with the cast member)!
And DFB reader Vanessa M. tells us that strawberry and mango smoothies are included at San Angel Inn!
Premium Hot Chocolate, Coffee, Tea, and Fountain Drinks
The other drink options on the 2018 Disney Dining Plan include Premium Hot Chocolate (most likely to be found on menus in the fall and winter), plus coffee (are we talking press pot here?), tea, and fountain drinks.
In some locations, drinks may be served in specialty goblets and cups, and we have heard from guests who were able to secure a drink with an add-on like a souvenir mug, glow cube, or character clip while on the DDP. But — again — your mileage is likely to vary depending on who’s serving you and where you’re dining.
We hope that as 2018 unfolds, the non-alcoholic beverage option will become more precise, with consistent applications of the credits across the board. But while all of that sorts out, we will continue to update this page with information as we get it!
Click here to see details about the Disney Dining Plan! And click here to see our Disney Dining Plan FAQs!
If you’ve had experience with the 2018 Disney Dining Plan and its non-alcoholic beverage stipulation, let us know in the comments! We want to hear from you!