Couple enjoying pretzel at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park
  • On Jun 19, 2023
    Edna from CA Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    I have a reservation for 10 nights starting July 15 Can I add a meal plan to it?


    Thanks for asking your question to planDisney!

    I see that your arrival date is in July 2023. Unfortunately, the recently announced return of the Disney Dining Plans does not launch until January 2024. So no, you would not be able to add a Dining Plan to a vacation this year.

    I am sure that this is not the answer you were hoping for but don't worry. There are still some great ways to enjoy the wide breadth of dining that Disney has to offer, and still stay on a budget. My family has a few strategies, and perhaps some of them will be helpful in your travel planning.

    One Table Service Per Day
    On our first trip, we planned a sit-down table service meal for both breakfast and dinner every day and even a few lunches. With a 2 and 4-year-old in tow, it was just too much food! It was also a lot of time sitting at a table instead of enjoying attractions. We now plan only 1 table service meal per day, and all but one will be dinners. These meals give us a chance to recharge for the evening's activities and connect over our favorite experiences from that day.

    Some of the dining experiences that involve entertainment also can cause our budgets to get out of control. That is why we will swap some dinners for ones of a similar cuisine or experience, but that are more budget-friendly. A perfect example is if we have someone in need of a princess character meal. We will go to the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall instead of Cinderella's Royal Table. The savings add up rather quickly, and we still get to meet so many of our royal favorites. Another example is opting for barbecue at Flame Tree Barbecue instead of at Whispering Canyon Cafe.

    Light Lunches
    Because we know we typically have a larger meal ahead of us at dinner, we often will split one or two sandwiches between the four of us at a counter-service restaurant for lunch. So many of these venues have both great food, as well as immersive and fun atmospheres. We never feel like we leave the magic, and we also enjoy shorter, more affordable lunch breaks which translate to more time for attractions!

    I hope that this helps, and if you come back in 2024 or after, know that the Dining Plans should be there for you to enjoy!

    Please feel free to write me back directly if you have any follow-up questions.

    Have a Magical Vacation!


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Meet the Panelist: Doug, Indiana

I am one of the Dads on the planDisney Panel, and I love to help parents plan their vacation, with a focus on showing them how it can be fun for them too. I am also here to help Dads plan some nice surprises for the Moms in their life (they deserve it!). Learn More About Doug

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