2008 Disney Dining Plan Details Revealed!

Below is the PDF document released by Disney detailing the 2008 Disney Dining Plan. For 2008 Disney has said that they will offer the Dining Plan as well as a new DELUXE Dining Plan.

The Dining Plan will cost $37.99/day for those aged 10 and above and $9.99/day for children ages 3-9 (which is a dollar less per day than the 2007 plan.) The DELUXE Dining Plan will cost $69.99 for those aged 10 and above and $19.99 for children ages 3-9.

For the regular Dining Plan in 2008 you’ll receive the following:

  • 2 Meals Per Day: For the regular Dining Plan you’ll receive one table service meal and one quick service meal each day of your stay.
  • 1 Snack Per Day: In addition to the 2 meals you’ll also receive 1 snack every day. A snack includes one of the following: frozen ice cream novelty, popsicle, fruit bar, popcorn scoop (single serving box), single serving grab bag of chips, single piece of whole fruit, 20-oz. bottle of Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite or Dasani water, medium fountain soft drink or juice, 12-oz. coffee, hot chocolate or hot tea.

2008 Disney Dining PlanHere are some of the key differences between the 2007 and 2008 REGULAR Dining Plans:

  • Gratuity No Longer Included: Beginning in 2008, the Disney Dining Plan will no longer include gratuity (tips.) This means you’ll need to bring some cash along with you to leave a tip for your table service meals. For parties of 6 or more people an 18% gratuity will be added to your check automatically.
  • Appetizers No Longer Included with Table Service Meals: In 2008 the table service meal will only include an entree, non-alcoholic beverage and dessert (or full buffet meal if applicable.) This is different from 2007 where you received an appetizer with your meal as well.
  • Wine and Dine Option: For an extra $39.99/day you can add a daily bottle of wine to your package.

Disney has also added a new dining plan for 2007 called the DELUXE Dining Plan. This is a more flexible (and more expensive) option for diners where you’ll receive the following:

  • 3 Meals: On the new Deluxe Dining Plan in 2008 you’ll receive 3 meals each day of your stay. The 3 meals can be any combination of sit down or counter service so you have the choice of eating at any Disney restaurant on the list. If you choose a table service meal that will include one appetizer, one entree, one dessert (lunch and dinner only) and one non-alcoholic beverage OR one Full Buffet. If you choose a counter service meal that will include one entree (or complete combo meal), one dessert (lunch or dinner only), one juice (breakfast only) and one non-alcoholic beverage.
  • 2 Snacks: In addition to the 3 meals you’ll also receive 2 snacks every day. A snack includes one of the following: frozen ice cream novelty, popsicle, fruit bar, popcorn scoop (single serving box), single serving grab bag of chips, single piece of whole fruit, 20-oz. bottle of Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite or Dasani water, medium fountain soft drink or juice, 12-oz. coffee, hot chocolate or hot tea.
  • Wine and Dine Option: For an extra $39.99/day you can add a daily bottle of wine to your package.

For the DELUXE Dining Plan the same rules will apply as the regular plan when it comes to gratuity. It’s not included.

On the surface my initial reaction is that I’m not really happy with the changes in the regular Dining Plan. With the loss of the appetizer on the table service meal and the added expense of paying for gratuity out of my pocket it starts to make more sense to pay-as-you-go. And when it comes to the DELUXE Dining Plan it just seems like a lot of money on a daily basis unless you plan on eating at a lot of table service restaurants. That option could be the better option however I’ll have to play with the numbers a bit more to see what is the best way to go so look for future articles regarding this subject.

Feel free to comment as I’m anxious to see what others have to say about these changes. See ya!

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27 thoughts on “2008 Disney Dining Plan Details Revealed!

  1. November 8, 2007 at 10:42 am

    As an pretty avid Disney traveler, having been to the World 3 times in the last seven years, I am growing more upset over the Dining Plan changes as they continue to apply restrictions. Having been married at the Wilderness Lodge in 02, and even visiting prior in 2000, dining was still based on the flex pass system. A big part of our Disney experience is eating at all of our favorite table service restaurants, and prior to most recently the restrictions were few. We would use our flex passes for table service meals. Now there are some restaurants that dont participate, meals are based on per night now instead of flex tickets per day, there are dress codes, gratuities: most recently are NOT included, and now the dining plans. Having visited last year, we were not disappointed with the counter service meals, however we felt so limited in our choices and we actually ended up paying for a good portion of meals because we couldnt book what we exactly wanted. Im was happy to see that Disney added a Deluxe plan, and now I almost feel obligated to do so, since the original plan now does not include appetizers as well! Whew… just priced a moderate resort 7 day 6 night, 6 day ticket(no hop) for $1795 and added the deluxe dining… the dining brought the package to $3045! I get it, I do… in fact I always felt like Disney was robbing itself with the flex tickets…
    every night was steak and tails and bills of $175… and I think Disney caught on to that… I mean if youve paid for a plan, why not eat the most expensive thing on the menu if you like it! Well, no I am not at all happy with the changes, but I think this is a marker for the new regime, that they are cost concious, looking to trim wherever they can. Then can you blame them? They have to make up the difference between the Million Dreams giveaways somehow!

  2. Speedy
    December 7, 2007 at 11:15 am

    It seems that a lot of folks felt there was a decline in service since a fixed 18% tip was included in the old plan. My wife and I experienced this at the Coral Reef. I thought a better way to handle it, and still keep it in the plan, would have been to cover whatever tip a customer added – up to 18%.

  3. mari
    December 11, 2007 at 7:42 am

    I WENT TO DISNEY SO FAR TWICE 2006,2007 AND NOW IAM GOING AGAIN IN MAY 2008 . I ALWAYS CHOOSE THE DINING PLAN . IN 2006 I PAY FOR IT BUT FOR 2007 DUE TO I WENT IN THE END OF AUG DINING PLAN WAS FREE. NOW DUE TO CHANGES IAM NOT HAPPY. I WILL SAY PAY AS YOU GO ALSO . I REALLY DONT SEE THE 30% OR 40% YOU SAVING UNLESS YOU GO TO THE SIGNATURE RESTAURANTS. THE BEST TIME TO CHOOSE DINING PLAN IS THE END OF AUG . THAT IS THE TIME THEY OFFER IT FOR FREE USAULLY ,UNLESS THAT ALSO CHANGE. IF ITS FREE I WOULDNT MIND PAYING FOR THE GRATUITY ONLY. SO NOW DUE TO CHANGES ON DINING PLAN I REALLY DONT SEE MY PLANS FOR MAY MAYBE FOR AUG IF DINING IS FREE OR IF NOT THEN I WILL GO IN MAY AND NOT ADD THE DINING PLAN IT SUCKS. IAM SO DISAPOINTED.

  4. January 8, 2008 at 9:37 am

    As a comment to speedy. It is indeed true that some of the WDW servers would give poor service to people on the dining plan because they knew that they were gauranteed the gratuity regardless of the service given. But the answer is not to eliminate the gratuity. The answer is to actually manage your restaurant and eliminate the servers who are giving the poor service. I am a server at Walt Disney World and I can tell you that I give the same exceptional service to all of my guests regardless of where they are from (because we know that certain people from other countries and regions of our own do not tip well) what package they are on or whether or not they are cast members. The fact is, that Disney Managers have absolutely no reason to “Aggressively Manage” their respective restaurants, because they are not bonused and are among the lowest paid management staff in the entire hospitality industry. So until Disney gets off of there backside and starts to pay people to Manage their restaurants instead of showing up just to draw a check they will continue to suffer the consequences that they are currently dealing with. Think about this. A crappy server is not going to stop being a crappy server just because you take their automatic gratuity away. But it sure does make being a good server harder when I am now losing money on a daily basis because of a poor decision by my company.

  5. jmg
    January 15, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    It will be my third year taking my kids. I have taken advantage of the Disney Dining Plan. Thats what it was an advantage. At times Iwould look across the table at the GIANT hot fudge sundays that no one could finish and think it was insane at the amount and quailty of food we would get and then walk away. Attimes I would leave money on the table anyway. I felt quilty not leaving any money. Were from New Jersey we pay for everything.

  6. Speedy
    January 24, 2008 at 10:41 am

    Hi Drew, The vast majority of our servers were like you – good service no matter what. I hope they work things out for you. See you in September 08 🙂

  7. Ellen
    February 19, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    Hello readers,

    It is nice to see, Drew, that even the WDW servers agree that the inclusive gratuity should have been left in the current dining plan. My family and I (me, husband and 3 little ones) were on the dining plan when we vacationed in October of 2006, and we have added it to our package for our upcoming trip (october 2008).

    I agree with the rationalle that it was simply too much food as the DDP stood, we certainly could not have eaten all that was “allotted” to us in 2006, and brought many a wrapped carrot cake/brownie/cookie etc back to the hotel with us after each meal, but I think Disney should have made the “meal addon” an OPTION between an appetizer or dessert because quite frankly I think more than half of the population would rather have a salad or cup of soup with their meal than a big dessert at the end (and what about the Diabetic guests?).

    I also really feel that the gratuity should be included as well….simply for the convenience of the program. The MAIN reason people select the plan is because it eliminates the need to bring/spend/budget more money than what you had already planned on and/or paid for when booking your trip. Granted I left an additional tip at each table service restaurant that we ate at (we experienced nothing but OUTSTANDING service at each meal), but it is really nice to know that it is all taken care of. I would happily pay more to know that the tip is included.

    And a price reduction of $1 is really riduclous and clearly nothing more than a method of placating irate guests by stating it is “less expensive”. The elimination of the tip and the appetizer has got to be a minimum price decrease of about $10.

    We have included the dining plan on our upcoming trip, but I don’t really think it will be a significant “money saver”. For the kids it really is a deal, because you honestly can not expect to feed a child at Disney world for less than $10 a day if you are purchasing foods on site. The adults, it probably washes out to break even.

    I would really like to see Disney reconsider the removal of the gratuity – and further making the dessert an OPTION between a dessert or an appetizer. Do you think a petition would get anywhere?

  8. Marcy Barbour
    February 22, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    Our family has used the dining plan since the early 90’s and have found it to be wonderful. I am not happy about the changes, we were planning a trip this year and next year having receintly purchased the Vacation Club Membership. We had planned on purchasing the dining plan for both trips and for all our future trips. That is no longer true. I dislike the changes to the dining plan and so that will amount to 10 of us not purchasing the plan in our future trips. We are planning on renting a car to go shopping for food. We are acutally thinking of selling our membership as it is silly to go on vacation and end up cooking. And from what I hear the service and food are suffering as a result. What a shame. I would have preferred to keep the old plan and just raise the price. We would have paid it as it would have still been a great deal. Hopefully Disney will change back.

  9. Paul Keller
    February 25, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    We just returned from WDW and were quite unhappy with the Dining Plan. We estimate that we probably lost 2 to 4 hundred dollars ( for four people ) of the money we paid up front for the dining plan because we just didn’t eat 37.99 per day per person. Way too much time was spent having to worry about where and when we were going to eat and finding ways to get the most value out of the plan. We should have done more research. We never eat dessert at lunchtime, so the whole counter service dessert inclusion is silly. One place wouldn’t allow me to get a bag of chips with a hot dog … they said. you can have a dessert but not a bag of chips. So, you can an 8.99 counter service meal at one place, but getting a 3.99 hotdog with a 2.59 bag of chips is out of the question? Ridiculous. In the end, it must be stated that this was not a “value” proposition, but more of a way for Disney to benefit by taking more money from us than they would have received had we paid as we went along.

    We’re all very disappointed at Disney this week.

  10. John C Malerk
    March 6, 2008 at 10:05 am

    I really don’t like the new dinner plans. Not really the increase in cost(every thing has gone up its understood ) but, it makes the stay more difficult. Why can’t they offer a 2 counter and 1 table meal per day and maybe not charge quite so much. Simply put, in the parks your on the go ,and don’t always want to worry about a sit down meal where you probably have to schedule in advance. I’m sure the counter meals cost much less and peope want to enjoy the parks not wanting to stop and sit more than once a day. The sit downs may appeal to the seniors, but isn’t Disney for all ages? I went with my wife and our daughter , we in our 40’s my daughter 20’s and plan to go again, but this would be a negative as it is now. Please reconsider for those of us who don’t want to sit down to eat and are more inclined to be on the move enjoying the park hoppers. maybe it could be an option if Park Hoppers are purchesed which are more than the individual passes. What do you think? Thank you!

  11. John G
    March 7, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Very disappointed in that we made a deposit on our trip in September 2007, staying at the Boarwalk Villas, and purchase the basic dining plan. The literature Disney provided at that time stated that gratuties were no longer included, but appetizers were. When we made full payment for our 4/08 trip, we recieved nothing stating that the plan we had purchased changed. When we called DW, they were uncharacteristically unhelpful. At no time did WDW inform us that the package we booked and paid for in full had changed. We only found out about it via this site. The person at WDW was rather short with us, and stated that WDW reserves the right to change packages at any time.

    We weighed the benefits of a basic plan against no plan, and the only deciding factor, since our villa has a kitchen, was convenience. But add a cost of about $30 a day for appetizers for the family, I may change again. Disney BTW did not even offer to refund the &1 a day difference from the old plan, when we booked and paid for, against the reduced rate of the new plan. Not a lot of money, but to not even reflect the new rate is not only atypical Disney, its not right. First and only bad WDW experience, but must say, these types of changes make staying off property, where the food is much more affordable, more appealing.

  12. nancy b
    March 16, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    we (2 adults, 1 teen) are going to wdw easter 2009. we have loved the dining plan in the past. last time 2003. we would like to get it again but our question…. we will be staying 8 nights at beach club but plan 2 days at universal. can we get the dining for only 6 days???

  13. erics72
    March 24, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    My wife and are planning yet another WDW trip for December with her parents and our son (he’ll be 1 – his first trip!) — we’ve never done the dining plan, and are debating between the DDP and the Dining Experience Card, which we’ve used in the past. From reading these posts, I think we’ll be going the route of the Dining Experience Card since we’re typically not big eaters anyway, and also like to have a cocktail with our dinner, so we’ll get a discount on those as well.

  14. anna
    March 29, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    hello!! i too am very upset with the dining change.. we are on a strict budget and alreay booked the trip for summer 2008…. i just found out about the changes,appetizer and tip… i am more upset about the appetizer being taken away, my family eats out alot and we are used to tipping…But we wanted to try different things, actually this makes us want to come back “the delicious food” and of course all of WDW.. please try and change the plan back !!!!!

  15. Kristy
    May 16, 2008 at 11:17 am

    I was just wondering if anyon who had recently gone and used the dining plan was pleasently surprised or still disapointed. Money wise we figured we will still be saving (4 character meals, 3 other sit downs planned), but hear many say not to do it. Also, we have loved in the past bringing home treats from the snack credits, is that still allowed???

  16. May 22, 2008 at 9:05 am

    Hello Everyone….we just got back from 8.5 great days in WDW and will be posting our experience with the Dining Plan soon. We’ll give you our impressions of the good, the bad and the ugly. 🙂 Check back soon.

  17. julie baker
    June 14, 2008 at 9:55 am

    We went twice last year for a total of 24 days and used the dining plan. It was wonderful, we ate at a sit down or signature restauurant every night. We however paid for character meals almost everyday, with two small children this is the way to go to see their favorites. This year we are going for a total of 14 days with 20 people. We decided to do the deluxe dining since we will be staying at Animal Kingdim lodge and figure we will be eating at Bomas every morning if we don’t have a character meal planned. SOOOO, MY BIG QUESTION IS HAS ANYONE DONE THE WINE ADD ON? We have wine with every meal at night and some nights only pay 27$ and other nights a lot more (California Grill, 350$,ooch!!).

  18. Jennifer
    June 17, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    My husband, my toddler and I went last year in May to WDW and we paid for the DDP. Boy did we get our money’s worth! We planned every day and went to the most expensive restaurants that accepted the plan. We knew it was a good time to visit, so we got to take it slow, sit down at alot of table service restaurants, and we got to see every single attraction (the best ones twice). I heard about the changes to the plan this year and I’m upset about the gratuities, but I am paying for the Deluxe DDP and already have all my reservations, so let’s see how it goes in December.

  19. julie thompson
    July 11, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    confusing comments – as if Disney was wrong to change the plan. Obviously the alternative to removing the tip and appetizer would have been higher cost – but that probably wouldn’t make people happy either.

    there was waay too much food with app, entree and desert. we felt sick after most meals eating just half the food. i agree it was fun to try the apps, but we will buy one or two for table and share.

  20. ChrisTina
    August 8, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    I’d like the option of applying the snack credits to the gratuity, if I would like. I don’t need the snacks and usually end up finding something (hotel food court cookies) to take home.

    We made our reservations in early June 2008, and were told verbally, and in writing (downloaded flyers) that the appetizers and desserts were included. Gratuity not included.

  21. Kath
    August 11, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    I just booked a vacation for Christmas, I did this 2 yrs ago in 2006 and the kids LOVED it. Not having a single problem, okay one problem but that was because my children went and they are 24,23 and 8 and they mistook the older girls for under aged and well, lets put it this way, when they were asked to leave the hot tub for not being 16 well, and the older girl is a police officer, after seeing I.D. they were fine, a little too late. Any way, I just booked a trip for this Dec 2008 and after booking, I went to get reservations at our favorite eating spots to be told, NO WE HAVE NO ROOM, or OUR FIRST TABLE IS 9pm. My husband said, no one said anything about the fact everything was booked because of this Dining Plan. We have the Deluxe plan, and I have 3 days that we can not get a table for any meal. I also have tickets to the Very Merry Christmas Party and when I tried to get a table at Magic Kingdom, I was told NOTHING IS OPEN, I SHOULD HAVE BOOKED 6 MONTHS AGO. I explained that I have never had to do that, and they said well, it is different now. I too was not treated a couple of times with the “HAVE A MAGICAL DAY” feeling. My husband was ready to cancel the entire trip today and then he said, you know, we are going, but we are not going to make ourselves crazy. I just hope we are not going to leave with lots of money on a dining card that went to waste.

  22. Jessica Bush
    August 15, 2008 at 5:26 am

    We had the regular dining plan in 2005 when it included gratuities and it was great. There was so much food so we really felt that we got our money’s worth. We have reservations for Dec 2008 and this time we opted for the Deluxe Plan because we like to sit down and take our time with our meals and eat decent foods. We’re not counter service or fast food people. And having 2 snacks per day per person is great because I am diabetic and maintain my blood sugar through diet so I’m required to eat several meals throughout the day. Instead of 3 meals a day, I have about 5 small ones so the two snacks will be perfect for us. So, I’m excited to try this plan. However, I am bummed that it won’t include tips. Guess we’ll be bringing more spending money this year. 🙁

  23. Sherry
    October 14, 2008 at 6:02 am

    We went to WD in 2007 and loved the Dining Plan. It was so convient not to have to take money around or worry about how much to pay. I don’t mind that they took the App off but I am very upset about the gratuity. This was very convient not to worry about money. I would have rather them raised the price of the ticket to cover the cost of the gratuity. 🙁

  24. Allie
    March 27, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    How are tips handled? Are they at your discretion for the amount you think the service was worth (which is how a tip should be) or do they automatically charge your card for a set amount?

  25. Allie
    March 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Sorry wrong email! 2 people travelling.
    How are tips handled? Are they at your discretion for the amount you think the service was worth (which is how a tip should be) or do they automatically charge your card for a set amount?

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