Disney Parks To Reintroduce Dining Plans In Early 2024

While it is likely that Disney will never return to pre-pandemic business as usual, there are signs that some elements of that bygone era are returning to the House of the Mouse. Walt Disney World has announced that some of the precautionary measures and policy changes put in place during COVID will be ending soon. According to the official Disney Parks blog, input was sought from fans and park goers to see what is working and what isn't as the world returns to normalcy.

For fans of the edible offerings at Walt Disney World and convenience, the park is bringing back dining plans effective May 31, 2023. These are pre-pay options that simplify dining and snacking while vacationing at the park. As per the Walt Disney World website, full details are still forthcoming but, as of now, there are two dining plans to choose from.

The Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan offers each guest in a party two quick-service meals and one snack or alcoholic beverage per night of their stay at the park plus a resort-refillable mug. The Disney Dining Plan affords each guest one quick-service meal, one table-service meal, and one snack or alcoholic beverage for every night of their stay as well as the resort-refillable mug. Meals and snacks do roll over from one day to the next; however, they expire at midnight on the day of checkout.

A popular option makes a comeback

As you can imagine, quick-service options are akin to fast food, but the park offers a plethora of options including pizza, burgers, and deli sandwiches as well as international fare, such as Japanese, Mexican, and Norwegian cuisines. Table service is just as it sounds and options include grills, brew pubs, biergartens, and more.

The dining plans proved popular with park visitors before the pandemic, especially those budget-conscious folks traveling with children, as they didn't need to worry about the variations of costs across dining establishments. But when COVID forced the closure of all Disney parks, dining plans across the company were tabled. As it has gradually returned to full operations, Disney has been cautious if and how it will reintroduce elements like the dining plans. 

In fact, they have been one of the final pre-pandemic elements to be either reintroduced or officially retired as of 2023. This hesitancy to bring the program back has been curious, notes the Disney Tourist Blog, as it is just as much a benefit to the park as the visitor. The Disney Dining Plans ensure that guests — and their dollars — stay within the confines of Walt Disney World and the other parks.

Either way, now that the Disney Dining Plans are back, families can enjoy Dole Whips, Mickey-shaped ice cream bars, jumbo pretzels, and turkey legs without having to reach for the wallet and count the cost up dollar by dollar.