How Disney’s NEW Dining Promo Card Clues Us in to the Future of the Dining Plan

The future of the Disney Dining Plan still hangs in the air — even over a year after Disney made the announcement that it would be coming back at some point.

The Cheshire Cat Tail is an iconic Magic Kingdom snack

But, Disney just announced a new Dining Promo Card offer that functions differently than the Dining Plan — though both are all about the FOOD. We’ve seen similar promo card offers from Disney in the past, and the offers seem to expand to more guests each time. So, is the Dining Promo Card the future of the Disney Dining Plan?

Disney announced the latest Dining Promo Card in January 2023, and it’s available for guests taking trips to Disney World this summer. Essentially, if you book a minimum 5-night stay at a Disney World Resort with at least 4-days of tickets, you could be eligible to get a Dining Promo Card. But, what is it? 

Let’s talk about the Dining Promo Package!

The Dining Promo Card is basically a gift card that you can use at select Disney World restaurants. The card is included with certain hotel reservations, and if you have a qualifying Disney hotel reservation, you’ll receive the promo card in your email once you check into your reservation. The card’s value depends on your vacation arrival date, how long you’re staying at the hotel, and which hotel you choose.

Disney’s Grand Floridian

Originally, Disney said that the cards were good up to a $750 value, but we’ve since confirmed that they can be OVER $1,000 depending on the vacation package you book! You can read more details about how much you can earn by staying at each type of Disney World hotel here.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen offers like this, though it is the first time we’ve seen it offered to such a wide range of guests — essentially anyone who decides to take advantage of this offer and books a Disney World vacation package (meaning hotel and park tickets) that qualifies can receive a Dining Promo Card.

Full spread from Kona Cafe

In 2021, Disney announced a 50th Anniversary Vacation Package for U.K. residents that included a Disney Dining Credit of up to $950 for trips in 2022. It worked pretty similarly to the current Promo Card deal, where depending on what level resort you stayed at and how long you stayed (at least 2 weeks!), you’d receive a gift card to spend on dining.

Disney’s Riviera Resort

And, back in 2017, we saw a Quick Service Dining Card offer for guests who booked a Disney World vacation package that was included with select stays at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, Four Seasons Disney World Resort, Disney Springs area hotels, and select good neighbor hotels. Guests with a minimum 3-day park ticket received a pre-paid, discounted Quick Service Dining card.

Art of Animation

But what does this mean for the Disney Dining Plan? Well, we still don’t really know. Disney announced that it would come back, but didn’t share what form it might take when it returned, nor have they confirmed that this Dining Promo Card offer is a replacement.

Just as a refresher, the Disney Dining Plan was a pre-purchased plan that could be added to a Disney Vacation Package. You have to be staying at a Disney-owned-and-operated hotel and have tickets to the parks in order to qualify for the plan.

Disney Dining Plan Shirt

The Dining Plan offered a set number of credits for counter-service and table-service restaurant meals, as well as snacks. You would have your dining plan points deducted instead of paying at the restaurant you’re visiting. There are different types of Disney Dining Plans to fit your group’s needs. You can still save money with the Dining Plan, but you had to pay for your meals in advance.

Quick Service Disney Dining Plan Chart

The dining cards are more like a perk you receive for booking a longer stay at a Disney World Resort hotel. The new Dining Promo Cards are emailed to the address of the lead guest on the reservation after check-in. The email will include a barcode that can be scanned at restaurants, and the card may be added to Google or Apple Wallets on your phone. You can either show the email on your mobile device, via a printed copy, or by adding it to your mobile wallet!

The prettiest breakfast plate you ever did see!

The key thing to remember here is that each time we’ve seen a dining promo card offered — the offer has seemingly expanded. First it was a quick service card for certain hotel guests, then an offer for extended stays of U.K. residents, and now the offer is open for Disney World Resort hotels and guests who book a qualifying trip.

Pizzafari Spread

It certainly sounds like we’re living in the future, though whether Dining Promo Cards are the future of the Disney Dining Plan remains unclear. We’ll be keeping an eye out for the latest updates!

To learn more about the Dining Promo Card offer, check out our posts below:

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Will you be taking advantage of the Dining Promo Card offer? Let us know in the comments!

The post How Disney’s NEW Dining Promo Card Clues Us in to the Future of the Dining Plan first appeared on the disney food blog.


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