Guests can start booking their Walt Disney World vacation packages for 2018 starting today. The release of the new packages came with an exciting new detail about the Disney Dining Plan: it will include alcoholic and specialty non-alcoholic beverages as part of the plan. While the previous plan only included soft drinks, wine, beer, cocktails, milkshakes, and other specialty beverages are now included with a meal credit.
Read on for more details and to find out if this intoxicating perk is worth the increased price.
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From the Disney Dining Plan:
“Beverages – Guests under 21 can choose (1) non-alcoholic beverage (including specialty beverages where offered). Guests over 21 can choose either one (1) single serving non-alcoholic beverage (including specialty beverages where offered) or one (1) single serving mixed cocktail, beer, or wine (where offered) within their meal entitlement.
A single serving non-alcoholic beverage includes items such as:
- Artisanal Milkshakes
- Fresh Smoothies
- Premium Hot chocolates
- Soda, Coffee, or Tea
A single serving alcoholic beverage includes items such as:
- Beer or Cider
- Wine or Sangria
- Mixed Drinks and Specialty Cocktails
- Most beer, wine and mixed drink beverages included, some exceptions apply.“
This applies to both Quick Service and Table Service meal credits. However, the specialty beverage news isn’t without a catch: The daily price of the Disney Dining plan has increased. The 2018 Quick Service Dining Plan is now $52.49 per day ($4.30 increase), the Disney Dining Plan is now $75.49 per day ($6.14 increase), and the Deluxe Dining Plan is now $116.24 per day ($9.56). Depending on how many alcoholic beverages you plan on ordering, the increased price could be justified. In the Quick Service Dining Plan and the Disney Dining Plan, you get 2 meal credits per day. Alcoholic beverages can easily cost over $7-$10 each (on the low end), and you would get 2 per day for the increased price. With the Deluxe Dining Plan, you get 3 meal credits per day. So if you are only going to order alcoholic beverages with most meals, then the price increase is actually a good deal.
However, if you don’t drink alcohol (or just don’t want to put your kidneys through a gauntlet during your vacation), there are still options that make this deal make sense. Certain restaurants include non-alcholic specialty beverages, like the Sci Fi Dine In’s $6 milkshakes or the Backlot Express’ $8 Padawan Punch. Those pricy concoctions make this deal more palatable for non-drinkers. Your mileage may vary on how good of a deal this ends up being.
There is one group that this is a big win for: those who get the Free Dining promotion. If you are able to snare free dining during Disney’s yearly promotion or through a Unique Offer Code, then having a specialty beverage will taste even sweeter.
What do you think about this change? Does it make you more or less likely to get the Disney Dining Plan? Let me know in the comments below!