Magic Bands, Disney Dining Plan & Reservations 101

Welcome back Wilderness Explorers 🌿

If you haven’t seen my previous posts Disney Trip Report & Disney Resorts and Caribbean Beach Resort – then click the links and check them out.

This post will look at the Disney Dining Plan and hopefully give you some insight on how it works and is it worth including into your trip and budget.

I will also explain the Magic Bands & everything they do whilst in Walt Disney World.

Let’s talk Magic Bands… they are pretty much your window to Walt Disney World. With just a tap they are your hotel room key, ticket to the parks, allows your photo pass pictures to download onto your My Disney Experience app, your credit/debit card (charge to the room) and the keeper of your Dining Plan credits. It’s absolutely amazing that this band around your wrist holds all of the magic to your trip.

Want to buy some Disney merch… tap your band at the till. What buy a snack… tap your band at the till. Want to get into your room… tap the band on the door. AMAZING.

You can customise your band before you get to Disney my accessing the My Disney Experience App/Website – you can choose an array of colours and have your name written on it. If you live in the US they will send it to your home address, if you live outside the US you pick it up when you check into your hotel.


So that brings us on to the Disney Dining Plan. Essentially it is a way to make your trip to Disney World all inclusive for food and beverage. It allows you to pay for your food & drink up front so you don’t have to think about that expense whilst out there. Food is a HUGE part of your Disney Experience with 100s of restaurants, beverages and snacks that are exclusive to Disney World and these packages allow you to experience all of it hassle free.

Like the Disney Resorts there is a tier system in the Dining Plan: Quick Service, Standard Dining Plan and Deluxe Dining Plan.

All of the plans give you a refillable cup that you can use at your hotels for free, picture of cup above.

Quick Service entitles you to 2 Quick Service Meals, 2 Snacks, 1 Non Alcoholic/Alcoholic drink per meal per person, per day.

Standard Dining Plan entitles you to 1 Quick Service, 1 Table Service, 2 snacks and 1 Non Alcoholic/Alcoholic drink per meal per person, per day.

Deluxe Dining Plan entitles you to 3 Table Service, 2 Snacks and 1 Non Alcoholic/Alcoholic drink per meal per person, per day.

*A quick service meal is like counter service (you go up to a counter, order, pay and collect food) think McDonald’s\Five Guys etc.

*A table service is being served at a table by a waitress/waiter.

Click Here to see which restaurants offer which service.

Your Dining Credits are given to you as a total number, for example, if you are staying for 7 nights and are on the standard plan you will be given 7 QS, 7 TS and 14 snack credits that you can use on any day, it doesn’t have to be 1 credit per day.

Some restaurants, known as signature, ask you to use 2 of your Table Service credits as they are more expensive.

All Table Service restaurants allow you to book a reservation 180 days in advance through My Disney Experience.

Screen Shot 2018-06-29 at 15.33.00

If I don’t stress anything else that it would be this, BOOK YOUR RESERVATIONS ON THAT 180 days. Lots of the restaurants get fully booked right away – such as Be Our Guest in Magic Kingdom.

Top Tip – when your booking window opens book Be Our Guest first and search for a reservation in the later part of your holiday as you are more likely to get a reservation.

Before booking our reservations I created an excel spreadsheet to know which park I was going to be on each day, my fast passes and where we would like to eat. Some Disney goers have iron tight plans, others go with none – do it however you want. I like to have a rough plan in order to make the best out of holiday, as there is so much to do. This spreadsheet made made it much easier when going through the booking process online as I already knew where and when I wanted to book. It looked something like this.

Screen Shot 2018-06-29 at 15.31.00

If anyone wants a copy of my spreadsheet template send me an email and I’ll send it over to you.

Dan & I were on the standard Disney Dining Plan – 1 TS, 1 QS and 2 Snacks Per Day. We found this the best one for us, as we wanted to eat in a lot of the Table Service locations – food for us was a huge part of our trip.

We used up all of our Quick Service and Table Service Credits – usually having lunch at a Quick Service Location and Breakfast and Dinner as a Table service. We found that we didn’t use all of Snack Credits, however, we brought lots of packets of sweets as presents for our families.

This Dining Package is brilliant & made our Disney Experience hassle free, more affordable and we didn’t have to factor a food budget into our spending money. The best thing is, if you keep an eye on the Deals with Disney you will get a Dining Plan included into your Holiday for free!!

I will be writing a post on the Quick Service, Table Service and Snacks we ate and what shouldn’t be missed on your trip to Disney!

A x

Have you used a Disney Dining Plan – what was your experience with it?

16 thoughts on “Magic Bands, Disney Dining Plan & Reservations 101

    1. It really is amazing – you just don’t need to worry about anything & a huge part of your expense is already sorted! Yeah DLP only offer boarding options don’t they but they should still bring the Magic Bands over there, they are amazing! I’m going to DLP for the first time in March and can’t wait!!xx

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love your posts so much because all you talk about is Disney and all I want to read about is Disney, so your blog is like my little fix (hope that doesn’t sound weird). This is such a great idea and thank you for sharing this, it was so interesting to read. (p.s. – also love your nails!! ) xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha ah thanks Chlo! I love taking about Disney! There is so much to a Disney Holiday & this is all the info I wish I had when I booked it! I do promise there will be some non Disney content as well but there’s just so much to talk about 😂🤦🏽‍♀️ Thank you hun really appreciate it 😘 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Disney trips definitely have to be fully planned to get the most of your experience! To me, Epcot and Universal are more my speed, but just walking around the Disney World Park was an incredible time (:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so right – you just don’t get the most of it if you don’t! There’s just so much to do. I am with you on Epcot and Universal it’s much more chill, it can be a bit overwhelming at the others! It’s all so magical though!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my gosh! This was so informative. I never knew about those magic bands or the dining credits. Honestly, Disney has never really been on my travel plans list but I think you’ve just convinced me that I must visit.

    Cannot wait to see all of the food you guys devoured there! ♡

    Liked by 1 person

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