Hello. At Ocean Florida we use cookies to give you the best possible
experience. By visiting our
site, you agree to our cookie policy Close white logo close

How to Maximise Free Drinking & Dining at Walt Disney World

  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 01 June 2023
  • Revised 18 April 2024
How to Maximise Free Drinking & Dining at Walt Disney World
  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 01 June 2023
  • Revised 18 April 2024
How to Maximise Free Drinking & Dining at Walt Disney World
  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 01 June 2023
  • Revised 18 April 2024
Much to the joy of all Disney dreamers, Walt Disney World invites you to pull up a seat and celebrate the grand return of Free Dining & Drinks. That’s right, for the first time since 2019, this legendary Early Booking Offer is back for another serving. 

Simply book a selected Disney Resort hotel + Ticket package for 5 or more nights in 2025 by 7th  November, and for designated arrivals, you’ll be able to eat and drink at over 90 venues for Disney Quick-Service Meal and Disney Quick-Service Dining Plans and over 170 venues for Disney Dining Plans. Venues span all Disney Resort hotels, Theme Parks, Water Parks, Disney Springs and Disney’s Boardwalk. 

Better yet, this limited-time offer also promises a Disney 14-Day Magic Ticket for the price of 7 days.

Traditionally loved for its huge savings on VIP experiences, this guide will delve into what the Free Dining & Drinks Package entails, and how you can maximise each magical benefit.

Free Dining and Drinks Options

Offered exclusively to guests staying at a Disney Resort hotel, Free Dining & Drinks provides you with a selected number of meals and beverages per night of your stay - along with a snack and a Resort-Refillable Mug for beverages. There are three options to suit your preferences: the Free Quick-Service Meal, the Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan, and the Disney Dining Plan.

The Free Quick-Service Meal includes 1 Quick-Serve meal with 1 alcoholic/non-alcoholic drink per meal per person, per night’s stay at over 90 locations – making this plan ideal for those who want to enjoy quick and casual dining options alongside local Orlando restaurants.

The Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan includes 2 Quick-Service meals per person per night’s stay with 1 non-alcoholic/alcoholic* drink per meal, 1 selected snack, and 1 Refillable Resort Mug per stay at over 90 locations – making it perfect for dining on-the-go.

The Disney Dining Plan includes 1 Quick-Service meal per person per night’s stay with 1 non-alcoholic/alcoholic* drink per meal, 1 Table Service meal, 1 selected snack, and 1 Refillable Resort Mug per stay – making this plan seamless for guests who want a blend of casual and fine dining, with the freedom to slow down or simply grab a quick meal before returning to the magic.

Please note that your Resort-Refillable Mug is designed for unlimited cold drinks refills, tea, and coffee at Disney Resort hotels only. 

How to Maximise Every Meal with Free Dining & Drinks

With huge savings available, here are our top tips to enhance your Disney dining experience by making your meals go further.

Strategic Snacking

Make the most of your daily snack with creative planning. For the Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan and the Disney Dining Plan, you'll receive one valuable snack or drink each night of your stay, redeemable for a wide range of delectable treats ranging from popcorn to ice cream and popsicles. We’d suggest optimising your snack by selecting unique items.

For example, you could snack on a Mickey-shaped pretzel at The Lunching Pad in Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park, or cool off with a refreshing frozen strawberry fruit bar from any ice-cream cart in the Disney parks. After all, no visit to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge would be complete without a frosty confection from the Milk Stand. Here, you can redeem a snack and try the blue Batuu milk Luke Skywalker was seen tasting in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.

Other popular, tasty and filling snacks include a funnel cake at a cart near The American Adventure at Disney’s EPCOT or at Sleepy Hollow in Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park and a Nestlé® Mickey's Premium Ice Cream Sandwich at any ice-cream carts throughout the parks.

Snack on Food not Water

You have the option to select various beverage choices such as bottled water, juice, soda, or hot beverages like tea, coffee, or hot chocolate as a snack. But to maximise the value of your snack, rather select a food item instead and quench your thirst at the water stations available throughout the park.

You can bring a filtered water bottle to refill at these stations, or if you prefer a refreshing icy drink, all Quick-Service locations offer free ice water to guests, so there’s no need to purchase water as a snack. This way, you can enjoy both a snack and a hydrated day at the park.

Roll Over Unused Meals 

If you've had a large lunch and feel too full for your next meal, you can simply let the unused meals carry over to the next day. That's the beauty of Free Dining & Drinks, as it allows you the flexibility to choose when and where you want to eat.

You might decide to save that extra meal for a day filled with delicious dining experiences and magical flavours. And if you're saving your unused meals for a grand Character Dining or Signature Dining experience where you'll redeem 2 Table-Service meals per person, then use this strategy to find a satisfying meal that keeps you fuller for longer.

It's important to note that all unused meals and snacks from Free Dining & Snacks expire at midnight on the day you check out, so you have the freedom to decide how and when you want to utilise these.

Share Quick-Service Meals to Save Unused Meals

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the generous portion sizes at Walt Disney World. That means you could save your unused Table-Service meals for Character Dining or Signature Dining experiences and fill yourself up on Quick-Service favourites that are large enough to share. And remember your plan includes a FREE Resort Refillable Mug with the Quick Service Dining Plan which you can refill from the self-service beverage stations at any Disney Resort hotel.

With this in mind, here’s where you can find the most plentiful Quick-Service meals…

First up, head over to Columbia Harbour House at Disney's Magic Kingdom. Their Trio Platter features portions of fried shrimp, chicken strips, fried fish with hushpuppies, and a large serving of fries. It's a delightful combination that will leave you fully satisfied.

Craving a meat feast? Look no further than Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe in Disney's Magic Kingdom. Their portions are legendary, and you can enjoy a range of beef burgers and chicken sandwiches paired with a side of crispy french fries. A few bites of those loaded buns, and you'll be fuelled up for your next adventure.

If you're in Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, make a beeline for Restaurantosaurus. They serve foot-long hot dogs that are perfect for sharing. Whether you go for the classic all-beef dog or the one loaded with chilli and cheese, accompanied by a side of french fries, this sharing option is sure to quench your cravings.

We also love Satu'li Canteen, located in Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Here you can find wholesome, healthful dishes filled with fresh vegetables and hearty proteins. For selecting your free snack, we recommend the Blueberry Cheesecake with Passion Fruit Curd which is infused with the Na’vi colours and features passion fruit as a connection to the tropical environment of Pandora.

Outside of the theme parks, we recommend Leaning Palms at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. This Quick-Service gem has a little bit of everything. Whether you are in the mood for rice bowls, burgers, pizza, hot dogs, sandwiches, salads, wraps, or plant-based options - you won't go hungry. You can even wet your whistle with a variety of beverages, including a featured ale and wine.

Skip the Salad, Order the Steak

When you're at a Table-Service restaurant, go for the big-ticket items on the menu, like steak, seafood, or any speciality dish, and indulge in milkshakes or apple juice. It might sound obvious but remember that ordering these more substantial items means you'll stay fuller for longer.

This way, when the next meal rolls around, you might just need a snack to keep you going. This clever strategy saves you a Quick-Service meal, which you can put to use for another day.

Eat at Walt Disney World Resort’s More Expensive Restaurants

At first, this advice might seem counter-intuitive. However, even if you are craving a salad, it could be worth dining at an upscale restaurant to get more bang for your buck. For some meals, it’s all about the service and ambience. 

What’s more, Walt Disney World Resort offers some top-notch culinary restaurants that are high-end but not Signature Dining (so you’ll only redeem 1 meal instead of 2).

For example, you can take a seat at Biergarten Restaurant at Disney’s EPCOT, to celebrate Oktoberfest throughout the year with authentic German food and jovial music, Cape May Cafe for New-England-inspired dishes at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, and Liberty Tree Tavern’s speciality roast in Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

Use Table-Service Meals for Character Dining

If you're all about those magical moments with your favourite Disney characters, then Free Dining & Drinks is a game-changer.

Character Dining can be a bit pricey due to the premium experience of meeting your beloved characters without the hassle of waiting in line. But with Free Dining & Drinks, you can use either one or two Table-Service meals per person to meet and greet your beloved Disney characters without spending any extra money.

If you're eager to mingle with Disney's beloved classic characters like Donald Duck, Goofy, and Mickey Mouse, look no further than Tusker House Restaurant in Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park. For 1 Table-Service meal, indulge in delightful Mickey and Simba waffles during breakfast, along with an array of pastries. For lunch and dinner, savour a selection of African-inspired dishes that will leave your taste buds singing with gratitude for choosing this dining experience. 

For young princesses, two delightful choices await. Opting for one Table-Service Meal, you can experience the grandeur of dining within the magnificent Be Our Guest castle, where even The Beast graces the occasion. However, for an enchanting meal amidst Disney royalty, Cinderella's Royal Table is the epitome of magic. For two Table Service Meals, prepare to dine like true royalty. Breakfast treats include a regal banquet featuring Caramel Apple-stuffed French Toast, while lunch and dinner present Grilled Filet Mignon complemented by a decadent Clock Strikes Twelve dark chocolate mousse dessert. Whichever you choose, the magic truly comes to life.

Treat Yourself to Signature Dining

Celebrate your special occasion in style at Walt Disney World. Whether it's a birthday, anniversary, or personal achievement, you can make it truly memorable by using 2 Table-Service meals per person from your Free Drinking & Dining at one of the resort's exquisite Signature Dining restaurants.

For an enchanting and romantic dining experience by the waterfront, look no further than Narcoossee's in Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. This hideaway serves an innovative selection of fresh seafood from both local waters and around the globe as well as sumptuous pasties. Personally, we love the chef’s signature dessert—Almond-Crusted Cheesecake with Lambert Cherry Sauce.

For a truly luxurious fine dining experience, make a dinner reservation at Topolino's Terrace - Flavors of the Riviera, located at Disney's Riviera Resort.

While this is a Character Dining venue at breakfast, in the evening, you’ll enjoy Signature Dining at its finest. This restaurant offers a delightful fusion of French and Italian cuisine, meticulously prepared to please even the most discerning palates.

Feast on melt-in-your-mouth favourites like Filet Mignon or sea scallops while enjoying the picturesque view of a tranquil lake and the mesmerising EPCOT Forever fireworks show in the evening.

Top Tip - Make Dining Reservations in Advance

Walt Disney World restaurants are incredibly popular, and many of them book up quickly, especially the Character Dining Experiences and Signature Dining locations.

To secure your preferred dining options, book reservations at select restaurants throughout Walt Disney World Resort’s four parks, Disney Springs, and Disney Resort hotels on the My Disney Experience App, which allows you to reserve dining times up to 60 days in advance. 

Moreover, by planning ahead, you can maximise your dining experiences and avoid disappointment. What’s more, you should plan your meals around your park days, especially if you want to use your Table-Service meals at restaurants inside the parks.

Ready to put magic back on the menu? Browse our award-winning Walt Disney World Florida Holiday deals for 2024 & 2025 

Terms & Conditions
*View full T&Cs of Free Dining & Drinks here 

© 2024 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Enjoyed This Article?
Now choose what happens next...
Looking to Book
a Holiday?

This button will take you to a short form where we'll ask about your destination and preferences. If you don't like filling in forms simply give us a call on 01708 989 371 and we'll be happy to help you.

Receive Our
Exclusive Offers

Join our email to receive exclusive offers and airline sales direct to your inbox. Unsubscribe anytime (but why would you want to?)