Family on Expedition Everest
  • On Oct 28, 2019
    Katie from ND Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    I will be traveling March 17-24, 2020 with my 6 and 8 year old kiddos. My sister is joining me on March 19. If we do the Meal Plan, can my sister have different dates than the three of us arriving on March 17?

    Welcome to the Disney Parks Moms Panel, Katie!

    I love visiting the Walt Disney World Resort with my extended family, and I know your kiddos are going to have a blast having their aunt join them on their magical adventure. I’m so excited for you!

    Having a reservation where Guests have different arrival dates does make your vacation planning a little more complex. I recommend calling the Walt Disney World Resort Reservations Center at (407) 939-1936 so a Cast Member can walk you through the possibilities, including pricing, to help you make the best call. 

    When you add a Disney Dining Plan to your Walt Disney World Resort hotel reservation, it becomes a vacation package. For vacation packages, all Guests on the reservation must have the same package, for the same length of days, which means your sister could not have a different arrival date. The Cast Member I spoke with suggested adding your sister, but noting her arrival date as the same as yours – but, if you do that, she will pay for the days she is not there. In this case, you would be able to use the Disney Dining Plan entitlements assigned to her (they all go into one big pot to be used however you’d like). In this case, she would also receive two days of theme park tickets she may not be able to use, though you might be able to visit Guest Relations to adjust the ticket length (though there are no guarantees they would be able to do that).

    Another option is to make a “split stay” reservation. In this case, you and your Mouseketeers would have one reservation for March 17-19, and then you would check out from that reservation and in to a second reservation for March 19-24, which includes all four of you. You could add the Disney Dining Plan to both stays, or just the one with your sister. There are two things to keep in mind, though. One is that you will need to change hotel rooms, which can be a pain with two kiddos. The other is that you will only be able to make FastPass+ selections 60 days from the check-in date on each reservation. (So, you’ll select FastPass+ for March 17-19, and then log in again when you’re 60 days from March 19 to make the remainder.)

    One more thought is that you could make a room-only reservation. In this case, you would purchase your theme park tickets separately, and you could pay out of pocket for your meals (The Disney Dining Plan cannot be added to a room-only reservation). I know you’d like the Disney Dining Plan (and I love it too!), but I wanted to make you aware of this option, which is probably the easiest one when your party has differing arrival dates.

    Katie, I think your sister deserves two extra days at Walt Disney World! Maybe she can make it work so you all have the same length of stay? If not, though, I do recommend calling the Reservations Center, as they may be able to offer even more possibilities to make this all work as easily as possible for you. 

    I’m sending pixie dust that you find the solution you’re wishing for, Katie! Have so much fun planning with your sister, and please come back and see us if you have any more questions as you dream about all the fun you’re going to have together!

    Wishing you a magical vacation,
thumbnail image for Robyn

Meet the Panelist: Robyn, Virginia

Hi there! I'm Robyn, and I am so excited to share my love of all things Disney with you! My proud military family loves going on Disney adventures that include enchanting moments, laughter and happy tears, and all the pineapple and Mickey-shaped snacks we can find. It's my pleasure to help you plan the most magical and unforgettable vacation in the Disney Parks. Learn More About Robyn

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