DDP beginner


I’m looking to book a package for next year including free dining - I’ve never used the dining plan - in fact I’ve never eaten TS at WDW, so I am a complete newbie!
Can you explain it to me really simply - like you’re talking to a 5 year old! Can I use it at all WDW restaurants? Can I order anything I want? What do I need to know?

Do you know which level of resort you’re planning to stay at? Free dining at Value resorts includes the Quick Service Plan, and Moderate and Deluxe include the regular Plan. If staying Value, you can pay to upgrade to the regular plan if you like. This is Disney’s information about the plan, most of your how-to’s and knowing which restaurants are included are listed here. I recommend reading through it and then coming back once you’re able to narrow down some more specific questions :slight_smile:


I’m in the UK, we get QS at moderates and the full plan at deluxes. I’m looking at POFQ and probably paying to upgrade. The link actually made everything alot clearer, thanks!

Ahh sorry. Didn’t know you were in the UK. I don’t think the upgrade costs much, but I don’t know the numbers offhand. For next year, there’s no guarantee that the restaurants included will stay the same, but it should stay pretty similar to this year. Did you have any other questions come up as you were reading through the info?

Not right now, I’m trying to figure out what it will cover and therefore how much less spending money we will need. I have to make sure we can afford the trip before we book!

Thanks again :blush:

We paid for one meal on our two week trip and that was beaches and cream and that was only because we made it a conscious decision to as it’s a relatively cheap TS, but we probay wouldn’t do that again. At the start of the fortnight we were quite conservative with our credit use, but at the end we had loads of CS and snack credits left over. By planning carefully, you won’t need to pay for any meals at all. The only thing to bear in mind is that your tips for TS aren’t included. By sharing sometimes and using snack credits we were able to cover all meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner.

When are you looking to go?

July or Aug 16. I know we’ll be going to Universal for a few days so we’ll have spare credits, I’ll need to plan to make sure we don’t waste any. I know I want to do at least 1 character meal, and buffets will be high on the agenda too, my boys love all you can eat!

On those days you could still use a CS for breakfast from your resort and even a snack credit for something to take with you. It would also allow you to do some 2 credit meals - either signature or a dinner show like HDDR.

We’re looking at end of August next year too. I think the crowds are a little lower then. Also, I noticed that going midweek was slightly cheaper than at the weekend. Not sure how flexible you can be with departure dates, but if you can that might be worth looking into.

@missoverexcited We got free dining on our second trip and have used it ever since. We do several character meals and we are fairly carnivorous and choose steak on a fairly regular basis so it has always made sense for us.

We use @NotThatKevinSmith’s dining plan calculator to help us keep track of our dining plans. I don’t know if you’ve seen it but it is very cool and is free (although donations are very welcome.)

I have seen the dining calculator, thank you :blush: