Disney World has experienced a lot of changes over the past few years — almost too many to count.
But, of course, that’s what we’re here for. We’re here to keep track of all the changes to better inform you ahead of your next trip to the parks. One major change that’s happened is the extended pause of the Disney Dining Plan. We haven’t seen it in effect since before the parks shut down for the global pandemic. Disney HAS said that it will return in the future, but it’s been a while since they made those comments. So, what would have to happen for the DDP to return?
Well, first of all, we have seen a recent offer from Disney that is the closest anything has been to the Dining Plan since it shut down — the Dining Promo Card. However, this is still VERY different from the Dining Plan, so let’s break it down.
Disney recently announced that they will be offering a Dining Promo Card this summer for guests visiting between June 25th and September 14th, 2023. Guests must be staying a minimum of 4 nights at a Disney World hotel with at least 4 days of park tickets in order to qualify for the card.
The card is basically like a gift card from Disney that you can use at select restaurants and food locations at Disney World. It’s included with certain hotel reservations, so if you have a qualifying reservation, you will have the option to get the card. The amount of money you get on the card depends on your vacation arrival date, how long you’re staying at your hotel, and which hotel you choose. You can get up to $750 on the Dining Promo Card.
Find out more details about the Dining Promo Card here
The difference between this card and the Disney Dining Plan is that the card is pretty much Disney just giving you free money. It’s a perk or an incentive to stay at a Disney World hotel for a certain length of time during those dates. The Dining Plan, however, is just you paying for your dining in advance of your Disney World trip so you don’t have to think about it once you’re at Disney World.
We’ve seen some encouraging things changing lately that might mean the Dining Plan will actually be returning at some point. Disney has reversed some changes that help out guests, like overnight self-parking being free again at Disney World hotels when it had previously cost money.
Another change we’ve seen is Disney announcing that soon guests who buy Disney Genie+ will also get free digital PhotoPass downloads for attraction photos on the day of their purchase, thus increasing the value of the Genie+ system.
And, Annual Passholders are even getting a great perk — they will be able to enter the parks after 2PM without a Park Pass Reservation (with a few exceptions).
These are all encouraging signs because they are generally changes that are making guests very happy instead of angry, which is a nice change of pace from the overall sentiment about changes in the past few years. Guests are now getting more for their money and better perks with these changes.
So, that means Disney is listening to guests and their experiences. And if there is ONE thing that guests have been extremely vocal about, it’s the demand for the Disney Dining Plan to return. So, if Disney wants to make more people happy and keep stepping up their game when it comes to helping out families on their vacations, we could see them bring back the Dining Plan sooner rather than later. It is a logical next step after some of the other recent changes that have happened.
We doubt Disney would bring back the Dining Plan before the Dining Promo Card offer ends in September, but you never know. It also doesn’t mean that it won’t be announced before then, though. We will, of course, let you know if Disney announces anything about either!
For more on dining in Disney World, check out which Disney World deal is better: the new dining promo card or a room-only discount, what Disney DIDN’T tell you about their new dining deal, and when you should say NO to Disney World’s new dining package.
Stay tuned to DFB for more Disney World news, info, and updates.
Our NEW Tips for Saving BIG in Disney World!
Planning a Trip to Disney World? We’ve Got Everything You Need to Know
Tips, Hints, Lists, and Videos for Planning the BEST Disney World Trip
The ONLY Disney Dining Planning Tool You’ll Need Is Here – Get the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining!
Join the DFB Newsletter to Get All the Latest Disney News Delivered Right to Your Inbox! Click Here to Subscribe
When do you think the Disney Dining Plan will return? Tell us in the comments!
Leave a Reply