TomRFD wrote: ↑ The dining plan is accepted at most of the restaurants around the resort. Other than the restaurants at the Swan and Dolphin hotels, I can't think of any others off the top of my head. There are around 15 signature restaurants where you'll need to redeem 2 credits but the vast majority of restaurants only require 1.
Character dining is included with the Disney dining plan and is a great use of a credit since they're typically more expensive (dinner at Chef Mickey's for example is $35-60 for an adult) and most are only 1 credit (Cinderella’s Royal Table is 2 credits). You'd be paying up to $190 for 2 adults and 2 kids out of pocket otherwise.
Here's a list of all participating restaurants: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/media ... _added.pdf
I stand corrected.stack1 wrote: ↑ Actually, I think the character meals are the ones where the Dining Plan has an advantage, just because they are so expensive. When I went on the dining plan, the table credit covered Chef Mickey, Crystal Palace and Akershus, I think Cinderella's Royal Table was 2 table credits, though I didn't bother going. Those character meals can easily cost $200US+ for a family of 4. (I had a family of 5 which made it even more expensive) Note the dining plan doesn't cover tips. Unfortunately, the current free dining offer doesn't include table credits unless you book deluxe accommodation.
That said, not sure I would do the character meals again, bc my kids are older. I think those are a good option for a way to see the characters without waiting in line.
One other thing with the free dining is that it ends up being a pool of credits, and you don't have use everyone's credits at once. E.g. For quick service, we discovered that for my family of 5, we could get away with using 3 QS credits for lunch. (at that time QS inlcuded a drink and dessert and you could change the dessert for drinks etc -- but QS doesnt include dessert anymore) , but you can then exchange a QS credit for 3 snacks. We did have a bunch of credits left over, but then on the last day I changed them all for things like packaged candy (mickey shaped licorice or mickey rice crispies) as souvienirs to take home.
For those who are booking with Free Dining, I'd advise doing some research on how to dine in DIsney and "best value" for your credits. Disney is one of those places that are more enjoyable if you do your legwork beforehand.
I have nothing to offer other than anecdotal evidence, but I felt like there were quite a few places we went to that either didn’t qualify (maybe because of the tier of the restaurant) or that they required 2 vouchers. That list would be great but the link is showing down for me (could be my work’s firewall). Is there another link by any chance (or instructions how to get to it)?