What Specialty Drinks are Included on the Disney Dining Plan?

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?

Iced Tea Lemonade Slush

Iced Tea Lemonade Slush at Columbia Harbour House

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?

Lotus Glow Cube on Pink Lotus Beverage

Lotus Glow Cube on Pink Lotus Beverage

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

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?

Peanut Butter and Jelly Milkshake

Peanut Butter and Jelly Milkshake

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!

All-Star Food Court Shakes

All-Star Food Court Shakes

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!

Salted Caramel Shake at D-Luxe Burger

Salted Caramel Shake at D-Luxe Burger

And happily, we have had confirmation from DFB reader Dave that D-Luxe Burger Artisanal Milkshakes are, in fact, DDP-approved!

Fresh Smoothies

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.

Pineapple Orange Smoothie

Pineapple Orange Smoothie

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.

Press Pot of Coffee

Press Pot of Coffee

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.

Schweitzer Slush in Souvenir mug

Schweitzer Slush in Souvenir mug

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! 

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Comments

  1. Dave says

    I can confirm that the artisanal shakes and ice cream floats at D-Luxe burger ARE incl as we got them on our trip in January. Strawberry gelato shake was amazingly thick, my fav!

  2. Brian says

    So, when talking about milkshakes, you mention a beverage credit. Does that mean beverages are separate from meals, like snacks. It makes sense to choose an filling artisanal milkshake if it is a meal replacement, but if it’s tied to a meal, it makes less sense.

    Two things to think about. First, when I was down at the end of January, I noticed breakfast cocktails were new on most food court menus. This has to be a dining plan related change. Second, I looked at specialty drinks for all the Magic Kingdom quick services, and I just couldn’t make the math work. Slushes are great, but cost about half of what it would take to make the dining plan economical.

  3. Isabel says

    After an argument with the server, we finally got a “smoothie of the day” with our dinner meal at Pepper Market at Coronado Springs.

  4. Hillary says

    Can you do a post like this for alcoholic beverages? I would love to know what fun alcoholic beverages are included as well.

  5. Catherine says

    When we were there in January there was a pretty standard set of drinks that appeared to be offered at most TS locations. Will ask next time for additional options as none of the ones included did much for us.

  6. Dave says

    Brian, the dining plan allows an alcoholic drink with both counter service lunches and table service dinners. So, if the particular location you are eating does not have an alcoholic drink available, you may get a smoothie or a shake ($7.50-8.50)instead of a soda/water ($3-4). So, its Disney’s way of giving you a more expensive drink as a “credit” since they don’t offer alcoholic drinks at every location. So this in essence does make the meal plan more of a value just like a $12 alcoholic drink does at most other locations. We enjoyed and noticed most table service locations had the same alcoholic drinks. Most are $11-$13 ea so it does bring the cost of the meal plan down vs settling for a non-alcoholic drink.

  7. Cindy says

    Question, If I choose an alcoholic or specialty beverage, is that in place of a soda or water? I like some drinks, but I also like a soda with my meal. Would I have to purchase the soda seperately?

  8. Sara says

    Shakes and smoothies have been included with table service meals at some restaurants since at least 2014. I was able to get a milkshake as my drink at SciFi in 2014, 2015, and 2016. I didn’t have a dining plan in 2017. I got a mango lassi at Sanaa in 2015. In 2016 I got a strawberry lemonade at the Animal Kingdom Rainforest Cafe.

  9. says

    Would also love alcoholic version of this list. We are going in May and curious of our options.
    Thanks so much, love and look forward to All Dfb posts!

  10. Mike V says

    I just returned from a trip to the World and had the Quick service plan for my vacation.
    For the F & G festival you CANNOT go wrong getting this for your visit.

    But back to the post’s subject – specialty drinks. I had no problem getting any beverage (adult) at any location throughout my visit. That includes all, parks and 3 resort hotels. If it was on the menu, I was able to use it as my drink entitlement with my counter service meal.
    HOWEVER, if I was one that does not like to partake in adult beverages, besides a couple places that offered slushies I saw NOTHING that would make me feel good about the increase in the plan this year. I thought you would start to see more milkshake options (remember at Pinnochio Haus) or items that would justify the increase for those not wanting alcoholic drinks and I saw hardly anything.
    I have a feeling this will be very short lived.

  11. Lsouth says

    What have people experienced when you have a family dining at a table service restaurant with 2 adults and 2 kids over 10, so they have adult meal credits? If the adults have say 4 glasses of wine (2 each) and the “adult” kids have 2 sodas, do they take off the 4 wine and charge you cash for the sodas since all credits are for adult meals, or do they charge you for the other 2 glasses of wine? Just curious how they approach that – basically do they take off the most expensive 4 drinks for the 4 adult dining credits?

  12. Lindsi says

    Can you order your DDP alcoholic beverage with mobile ordering? I’ve never used mobile ordering, so wasn’t sure how they handled ID-ing people. And if so, can one of us pick up both of our alcoholic beverages with one ID?

  13. DFB Sarah says

    Lindsi, you are able to order DDP alcoholic beverages with Mobile Ordering. As for picking up the drinks and the ID situation, we’ve seen mileage varies. Some guests report only being allowed to pick up two beverages per ID, while others say they’ve had no problem picking up more than that. No official word on how this works.

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