Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Disney Dining Plan: Quick Service Q & A.


On the Disney Dining Plan, you're allowed one drink, an entree, and a dessert on the counter service, or quick service, plan.  Pretty straight forward, but most people still have a few questions.  Here are a few of the most common:

Q:  Can you exchange two counter service meals for a table service meal?

A:  No. Disney is pretty strict with what they allow for table service meals. 

Q:  Can you use a table service credit for a counter service meal?

A:  Yes. And no.  Technically, it's not allowed but many cast members will let you use a table service credit at a counter service restaurant.  Be prepared to be told no.  Or yes. 

Q:  Can an adult buy a kids' meal on the plan?

A:  Yes.  And vice-versa.  Counter service credits don't distinguish between the kids' menu and the adults' menu, so by all means, buy whatever meal you like as long as what you order fits into the plan.   This isn't cheating the system, so don't worry about being dishonest here; Disney will verify this if you ask them.  This means that you can get creative with your meals.  Buy one regular adult meal and split it between two smaller kids or buy an adult meal for a child with a bigger appetite than the kids' meal will accomodate.  Edited to add 3/17/10:  This post has generated a lot of hits, email, and even a discussion on one of my favorite message boards (which didn't involve me), so I wanted to add some clarification.  I'm the last person to advocate cheating the system; I get nervous using a fastpass after it's expired.  So I would never suggest someone else do it.  I was able to use child CS credits for adult meals in December after being informed by a CM that this was how the system worked and I also called Disney Dining (twice) in the last few days to verify that Disney doesn't distinguish between adult and kids' meals.  I'm not sure if it's a glitch in the system at this point or what.  I do know that a few people have reported being stopped from buying adult meals with kid meal credits, but overall, most CMs allow it and will even tell you about it.  In my case, I didn't even ask, she just gave me the information.  Bottom line, the system does allow it.  Keep in mind that it could change at any time; if you're worried, call Disney Dining at 407-WDW-DINE.   If I find ou anything new, I'll post it here and elsewhere on the blog.  I'd love to hear about your experiences as well.  UPDATE 7/30/10:  Please check out this post for more on this issue.

Q:  Can I use quick service dining in Downtown Disney?

A:  Yes.  In 2010, the following Downtown Disney counter service restaurants accepted the Dining Plan:  Cookes of Dublin, Earl of Sandwich, FoodQuest (in Disney Quest), and the Wolfgang Puck Express.  Earl of Sandwich and Wolfgang Puck Express in particular serve exceptionally good food.

Q:  Does everyone on the room reservation have to be on the dining plan?

A:  Yes everyone on your room reservation must be on the dining plan unless they are under three-years old.  In fact, they have to be on the same dining plan, so for example, you cannot mix a quick service plan with a regular dining plan.

Q:  Can I purchase the dining plan if I'm staying off Disney property.

A:  No.  Keep in mind that the Downtown Disney hotels on Resort Plaza, Shades of Green, and the Swan/Dolphin hotels are not Disney hotels and do not participate in the dining plan.

Q:  When do I have to add the dining plan?

A:  You can add it when you make your reservation or up to 72-hours in advance of check-in.

Edited to add:  Thanks to Ginger for pointing this out in the comments section:  Animal Kingdom's Picnic in the Park requires an adult counter service credit for each person served on this meal, so you'll need to use adult credits but since Disney doesn't distinguish between adult and kid counter service credits, you can use those kid counter service credits to buy adult meals elsewhere so everything comes out even.

For more on the dining plan, check out Disney's official page here.  For a lot of general questions, including ideas on how to use the dining plan more effectively, Disboards has a very active sub-forum devoted entirely to the dining plan here.  You can also check out the Passporter community dining thread here

21 comments:

Blondie said...

We will actually be using the QSDP in a few weeks when we head down for our shuttle launch trip. Our plan is to only have one day in the parks (DHS). I think that the QSDP will work well, especially for this trip, since we will most likely eat breakfast and dinner at the hotel regardless of how we spend our day!

Chris said...

Blondie, let me know how you like it.

Ginger said...

I do not believe the child and adult table service credits are bundled anymore. Accorting to Passporter, this ended in 2007. Disney seems to make quite a distinction in all of their information...

Anonymous said...

They aren't, Ginger, but the counter service ones still are.



Thanks,

Chris

gingerandmark said...

sorry - I meant they said counter service was no longer bundled! But if you say they are, that would be great news for us as we would like to do the Picnic in the Park at AK. They make such a fuss over it requiring adult credits that I was just going to pack a pb&j for the kids! If it is all the same, then we can just get an extra adult meal for them to share at the picnic and one other day and not get our credits all out of whack!

Anonymous said...

That's pretty strange. We did it all over. WDW I'm December. Let me see what I can find.

Chris said...

Hi, Ginger.

So, this is what happened with us. We used the dining plan for the first time in December and the frist time we used it was for a counter service meal. The cast member explained that the system didn't differentiate between kids and adults on the plan, so we generally got our oldest an adult meal that he shared with the twins. It worked out really well.

I was worried that this was a fluke and that their official policy was to differentiate between the meals, so I called Disney dining yesterday. The cast member I spoke to said there's no difference and that you can use a kids' credit for an adult meal for a counter service meal.

I wonder if there's a difference with the Picnic in the Park? I'll see what I can find and if you find anything out, let me know.

Thanks for your comment! I'm glad I got a solid answer on the quick service issue because I did kind of wonder.

gingerandmark said...

That is great news! Thanks so much!

Chris said...

Ginger, no problem. I just checked and the picnic in the park requires an adult CS credit per meal (meaning however many it serves). So you'll have to use those, but the good news is that you can use those kid credits to buy adult meals, so it all comes out in the wash.

Chris said...

Ginger, just added a "Edited to Add" on the post.

Anonymous said...

I know you cannot use 2 Counter Service (CS) for 1 Table Service (TS)...but can you use 1 Counter Service and pay the difference in cash when at a Table Service restaurant?

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I was worried that this was a fluke and that their official policy was to differentiate between the meals, so I called Disney dining yesterday. The cast member I spoke to said there's no difference and that you can use a kids' credit for an adult meal for a counter service meal.

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Anonymous said...

Does quick dining plan include breakfast, lunch and dinner? All three or just lunch and dinner?

everythingwdw said...

Anon, the quick service plan is 2 quick service meals and 2 snacks per day (per each night you stay in a Disney resort). Also, right now you get a refillable mug, but that might be changing in 2011.

I'll write a post about this soon with all the new details.

Thanks for your commment.

Anonymous said...

Hi... this may be a silly question, but can you call for reservations for the quick-service restaurants?

We're going with the Quick Service Dining Plan, so we can spend more time in the parks, but I haven't seen anything online about possible reservations for these particular places.

I've already done the homework and picked out the best places to go in each park, so that part's done.

everythingwdw said...

Anon, it's not a silly question at all. You can't make reservations for the quick service plan. There's no need really as the lines are rarely so long that they'll disrupt your schedule.

The exception is the busiest times of the year when lines can stretch out the door. In those cases, you might want to try a quick service stand, like the pizza stand in Liberty Square right across from Columbia Harbor House. Or, you could leave the parks briefly and head over to one of the Magic Kingdom monorail resorts. The Polynesian has a really good quick service option and it's easy to get to. It's also a nice break.

Good luck and thanks for reading the blog!

Drew said...

My dad and I got the regular Quick Service plan (2 Quick Service meals per day) but we're wondering if we'd be able to exchange those two meals for one dinner Table Serivce. Is that option still available or was that changed?

I'm not sure if the restaurants we're looking at are part of the dining plan, but that's another question! lol