Will Disney Dining Plan Return?

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
Yea I would love for the DDP to disappear as well. But a price drop? There's a better chance we get a full ride based on song of the south before Disney lowers prices. Lol If the plan goes away, I would fully expect the prices to go up, and the quality not to change.
That might not necessarily be true. If every restaurant was owned by Disney then I could absolutely see it playing out just as you described, However, if the DDP were to go the way of the dinosaur the thrid party restaurants would finally have some room to compete especially in the quality department.
 

Jon81uk

Well-Known Member
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Is it only “essential” if they bring back FREE DDP? I don’t see that happening for a long time, if ever. And when people paid cash ahead for the DDP, unless you were ordering the most expensive items on the menu at the most expensive restaurants, Disney had it rigged so you would lose money on that thing. We learned that years ago when they offered either free dining or room discount to ALWAYS take the room discount.
I agree with your first part, it is hard to save money on the dining plan now if paying cash, as you say you need a lot of expensive meals to make it worthwhile.

But looking at the offers to the UK the free dining offer for us was a significant saving. I estimated for two of us, over a 14 night trip we would spend £1000 on food. There is no other offer that saves that sort of amount. This year they are offering up to 4 free nights for 2021, that is almost a similar saving, but last trip I paid about £200 a night so the free dining was the bigger saving.
 

Jon81uk

Well-Known Member
Yea I would love for the DDP to disappear as well. But a price drop? There's a better chance we get a full ride based on song of the south before Disney lowers prices. Lol If the plan goes away, I would fully expect the prices to go up, and the quality not to change.

I guess it depends how the demand plays out long-term after covid. They might close restaurants and cut staff to keep demand high by not utilising every table. But some places may reach a point where people just aren't willing to pay the cost anymore.
 

erasure fan1

Well-Known Member
But some places may reach a point where people just aren't willing to pay the cost anymore.
That's the line Disney has been pushing towards for a long time. How much are people willing to pay at Disney. I guess we'll see how it all plays out when things are more normal. I think the cutting of restaurants is a good bet, I just don't see them cutting prices. I forsee when things are more normal, big price increases across the board to make up for what's been lost during covid.
 

carriebeth

Well-Known Member
Is it only “essential” if they bring back FREE DDP? I don’t see that happening for a long time, if ever. And when people paid cash ahead for the DDP, unless you were ordering the most expensive items on the menu at the most expensive restaurants, Disney had it rigged so you would lose money on that thing. We learned that years ago when they offered either free dining or room discount to ALWAYS take the room discount.
Value of free dining depends on the family. With 8 children free dining for 10 blows away any room discount.
 

Armerius

New Member
Hopefully never.
i would like to take the oportunity to ask. does the free dining plan only applies for us residents? or tourist can take this too? being looking for an answer for months already and cant find it.

on my specific case. im from south america. im planning a trip for like 13 days to disneyworld, for the end of 2021. in theory its not posible to take the free dining plan but i heard of some people that could do it using the USA disney webpage. but i believe they ask for proof that you live in the states? not sure thats why im wondering. thanks in advance.
 

dmw

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
The All Stars resorts won’t re-open until POP and AoA get booked out. Why open further Value resorts whilst there are empty rooms elsewhere?

And I suspect until restaurants can open at full capacity and more restaurants re-open (which in turn depends on park capacity increasing significantly) there is little chance of the dining plan returning. The last thing they want is people with the dining plan being unable to use it.
Looks like Disney is opening at least AS Movies earlier than you had thought. Feb 2021 according to the new story this morning.
 

HarperRose

Active Member
i would like to take the oportunity to ask. does the free dining plan only applies for us residents? or tourist can take this too? being looking for an answer for months already and cant find it.

on my specific case. im from south america. im planning a trip for like 13 days to disneyworld, for the end of 2021. in theory its not posible to take the free dining plan but i heard of some people that could do it using the USA disney webpage. but i believe they ask for proof that you live in the states? not sure thats why im wondering. thanks in advance.
Different countries are offered different incentives. UK visitors are typically offered much better deals than US visitors.
 

nickys

Premium Member
Different countries are offered different incentives. UK visitors are typically offered much better deals than US visitors.
But on the other hand:
- If we cancel we forfeit £150 (180) per person.
- The only incentives the U.K. visitors are offered come with package deals, we don’t get room-only discounts.
- With the packages the flights are almost always more expensive than booking direct with the same airline.

There are pros and cons to all deals.
 
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nickys

Premium Member
Looks like Disney is opening at least AS Movies earlier than you had thought. Feb 2021 according to the new story this morning.
Yep. Recent reports have said POP is very busy right now, so bookings are obviously starting to pick up.
 

HarperRose

Active Member
But on the other hand:
- If we cancel we forfeit $150 per person.
- The only incentives the U.K. visitors are offered come with package deals, we don’t get room-only discounts.
- With the packages the flights are almost always more expensive than booking direct with the same airline.

There are pros and cons to all deals.
Before reopening, there was a penalty for cancellation for US visitors, too. That isn't unique to UK visitors.

I am also assuming you are able to book for yourself and are not required to buy a package.
 

nickys

Premium Member
Before reopening, there was a penalty for cancellation for US visitors, too. That isn't unique to UK visitors.

I am also assuming you are able to book for yourself and are not required to buy a package.
Yes we can book a room-only etc but there are never discounts offered, which was my point.

Didn’t realise that about the cancellation. However I believe you can modify a reservation for free? We get charged for that too, used to be £50 per person ($60), not sure if that’s gone up. That applies to any type of booking, except for the Covid-related modifications. It’s back in the t&cs now.
 

NelleBelle

Well-Known Member
I agree with your first part, it is hard to save money on the dining plan now if paying cash, as you say you need a lot of expensive meals to make it worthwhile.

But looking at the offers to the UK the free dining offer for us was a significant saving. I estimated for two of us, over a 14 night trip we would spend £1000 on food. There is no other offer that saves that sort of amount. This year they are offering up to 4 free nights for 2021, that is almost a similar saving, but last trip I paid about £200 a night so the free dining was the bigger saving.
Excellent point. I totally wasn't thinking about UK packages--I can totally see that!
 

Queen of the WDW Scene

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
Excellent point. I totally wasn't thinking about UK packages--I can totally see that!

Its not just UK packages that can benefit from free dining.
For me going as 2 people who split the cost FD always works out to be cheaper than RO discount especially when you intend to get the dining plan either way.
I say that whichever discount works better for you is the best one for you.
 

Seanual757

Well-Known Member
Hopefully we will see it return in the Spring time. I have had 4 trips so far since re-opening and 1 more to go and we miss having the dining plan.
 

Raineman

Well-Known Member
I have heard many times since I have been a member of this forum that some believe that the DDP has negatively affected food price/quality at WDW. It would be interesting, if the data exists, to see the average price of a TS meal each year before the DDP, and the average price of a TS meal each year since the DP was offered. Has the average meal price risen more quickly each year since the DDP was put in place? Everyone has their perception, but data doesn't lie. Food quality is so subjective that it would be hard to definitively determine that food quality has declined, unless a vast majority of visitors believe that is the case from experience.
 

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