Announcing New Changes to the Disney Dining Plan!

Disney Dining Plan changes

Back in May of 2015, changes were made to the current Disney Dining Plan. While many people hold out for the free dining announcement, the recent disappointment with the free offer has left many people planning to pay out-of-pocket for each meal or just outright purchase the dining plan. Paying for the Disney Dining Plan ensures all your meals are paid for in advance, and many people feel it saves them some money in the long run.

Should You Bring Your Own Snacks to Disney World to Save Money?

Free or paying for it yourself, what do these changes mean for anyone with the dining plan?

should you order the Disney Dining Plan

Table Service

Mix Up Adult/Child Credits

If you are using the Deluxe, Premium, or Platinum Dining Plans, you can mix your adult and child credits. If you are traveling with two adults and two children, you can now choose to select four adult entrée options. If you are using the regular Disney Dining Plan, this is not an option, so your child credit must still be used for a childs’ meal.

Dessert Substitutions

You can now substitute that dessert choice for either a side salad, a cup of soup, or a fruit plate. You have to specifically request this option and substitutions may be limited. You will still not be able to select an appetizer option in place of dessert.

No Restrictions on Meal Entitlements

You will no longer be restricted on the number of meal credits you use in one dining experience. So if your family of four (have dining plan) meet up with friends or grandparents at dinner (do not have dining plan), feel free to use your extra credits to buy their meal. I’m sure they will love you for this!

To Save Money on Disney World Food, Eat Breakfast Here!

changes to the Disney Dining plan

Quick Service

Swap for a Snack

You can now substitute any dessert or non-alcoholic beverage choice for an eligible snack, as long as you do this within the same transaction. Eligible snacks are listed below.

Swap Child to Adults Credits

Quick Service restaurants will not be enforcing the mixture of adult and child credits. Sometimes kids need more food while adults could desire less food. Two adult and two child meals can now be ordered as four adult meals.

Swap a Meal for 3 Snacks

You can substitute one Quick Service meal for up to three snack options within the same transaction. Swapping your lunch credit for three snack options might sound good if you just ate a huge buffet breakfast.

Can You Bring Your Own Food into a Disney World Theme Park?

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Everybody loves ice cream!

Snacks

Changes to the dining plan rules now mean a snack is anything that is a single serving size, so the price of the item no longer matters. This is great news for many Disney snackers. Larger snacks like funnel cakes and Mickey cookies will be considered a snack option from now on.

These items are now considered as snacks:

  • All items on Quick Service menus listed under the Sides option
  • All single-serve non-alcoholic beverages not served in a souvenir container
  • All soups served in Quick Service locations
  • All ice cream novelties and all hand-scooped ice cream including sundaes, which cannot exceed two scoops or be served in a souvenir container
  • All items that were considered snacks but offered additional options at a separate price, like toppings, sauces, etc. (think funnel cake with ice cream or a pretzel with cheese sauce)

With changes to the existing dining plan, there are Quick Service restaurant breakfast items that can now be considered part of an entrée and also offered as a side.

These breakfast items may now be included as snacks:

  • Cereal with milk
  • Side of sausage
  • French toast sticks
  • Side of eggs
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Oatmeal or quinoa
  • Side of potatoes
  • Grits
  • Biscuits and gravy
  • Side of bacon

Want FREE Drink Refills at Disney World Theme Parks? Then Choose These Restaurants

new Disney Dining Plan

So if you missed out on the free dining offer, would these changes make you want to purchase the Disney Dining Plan? If we hear of any additions to this information, we’ll be sure to  update what we have heard so far.

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you looking over the menus…

To see more of our Cheapskating Guides, use this link.

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess

.

Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

.

Now let our vacation planner help you plan your trip, totally for FREE!

Earn $20 Rewards for Vacation Referrals!

Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from Mike Ellis, our Disney Vacation Planner with Pixie Vacations.

Call Mike at 919-606-6725 or e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

Amanda Major CheapskatePrincess.comAmanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.

Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast. 

We hope we can help save you some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Travel Consultant with Pixie Vacations, Mike Ellis. You can also e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

Where Can You Get FREE Fall Disney Dining and FREE Kid’s Mickey Mouse Hats?

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If there is anything I love more than FREE, it’s extra FREE! Because a Cheapskate Princess loves a great deal, back in 2014 in conjunction with the Free Dining Promotion, we gave away FREE Mickey Mouse ear hats for the children traveling with your party when you make reservations for the Free Dining promotion. That was a win-win for everybody!

Maybe in 2017 we can offer another great deal?
Check back…

 

How much can you save with the Free Dining Promotion?

We asked our  Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans how much they saved.

Cheryl, “Last December, we went to and just missed free dining but was just me and hubby. We are adopting our five foster kids and are taking them in 2015. I am estimating we will save $2300+ for our week stay. We will be doing character meals and the Hoop-Dee-Doo Review. It will be me, hubby, and our two grown kids plus our 5 younger children, but one will qualify as an adult since she will be 10.”

Stephanie, “We have only booked with free dining for the last four trips. Since character meals are included, we save $1000 minimum with that deal. We do normally stay at a moderate or higher resort. We are booked for September.”-

Pam, “We love to stay when the free dining is available. With our family of five, we save $$. We love the quick service dining just as much as the dining with table service. With the baby, age eight, we love the flexibility of not watching the clock to make it to dining reservation and just grab a quick service meal when we get hungry. However there is nothing like a meal with the princesses or some of our favorite characters.  We’ve stayed in All-Star Sports and the All-Star Music Resort. We also stayed at Port Orleans Riverside and once at Coronado Springs when one of our big kids couldn’t go due to college (which, by the way, was heart breaking for me as well him…lol) Port Orleans is great for those families with five.”

Christie, “We LOVE going during free dining! On our last trip, we saved over $1000 by having free quick service dining for our family of four. It is just plain awesome. And where else can I try a cronut, two Dole Whips, and a Mickey pretzel for free in a week?!”

Free food at Disney World

 

To see more of our Cheapskating Guides, use this link.

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess

.

Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

.

Now let our vacation planner help you plan your trip, totally for FREE!

Earn $20 Rewards for Vacation Referrals!

Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from Mike Ellis, our Disney Vacation Planner with Pixie Vacations.

Call Mike at 919-606-6725 or e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

Amanda Major CheapskatePrincess.comAmanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.

Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast. 

We hope we can help save you some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Travel Consultant with Pixie Vacations, Mike Ellis. You can also e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

Disney World Food Tip #5: Eat When They Are Not!

When to eat meals at Disney World when to eat lunch at Disney, when to eat dinner at Disney

Updated for 2017!

Meal time can be what I call “crazy time” at Disney World. Do you want to dine at a resort restaurant or one of the food courts? Were you able to snag Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) far enough in advance to book the actual restaurant where you really wanted to eat? Did you wind up standing in line at Casey’s Corner with 100 people after a Main Street parade? Did you have to leave your kids at a table by themselves so you could order the food?

[Read more…]

Tipping at Disney World Restaurants: A Cheapskate Guide

Updated for 2017!

Like to make your Disney friends jealous? Just tell them that you booked your next vacation already. Like to make them turn green with Mickey Mouse envy? Casually mention you qualified for their Free Dining Offers. I am probably a shade of Mike Wazowski green, because I can never get to Orlando for the free dining promotion.  And make no cheapskate mistake, some Disney fans report that free dining is one of the best deals Disney ever offers. Depending on how many people you are feeding and the length of your stay, you can save hundreds of dollars.

One thing you should keep in mind though is that Free Dining does not include a tip for your server. How much should you Cheapskate Princesses be prepared to pay? [Read more…]