Thomas Cook have released their 2017 Disney Brochure CONFIRMING these changes;
Virgin Holidays Website has also changed their Dining Plan information to reflect the addition of the extra snack and the removal of dessert from the Quick Serivce element
It’s been a week of exciting news for UK fans of Walt Disney World; we’ve just had confirmation that Free Dining packages will be back on offer from the end of April for select 2017 holidays. Whilst this has made me (along with many others) very excited for April 21st to be able to plan, price and book Free Dining packages for next year, there has been some news mixed into this announcement that has lead me to another question; are we going to see changes to the Disney Dining Plans?
Over the years, Disney has been constantly tweaking with the Dining Plans it offers to Walt Disney World Resort Guests. New plans have been added, the choices of restaurants have been expanded upon, and occasionally there have been changes to what is included in each Disney Dining Plan. Whilst some of these changes have been purely financial on Disneys part, a lot of tweaks to the Dining Plans have been made to make the plans more appealing after listening to guest feedback. Most recently, we saw some big changes to the dining plans last May, when guests were given increased flexibility by being allowed to exchange their Quick Service Meal for 3 Snacks.
This year, Walt Disney World have just announced the return of Free Dining for 2017 (bookable from April 21), and with that announced, some intriguing information has been released. UK Tavel Agents (take a look at Virgin Holidays updated information here) are getting information that for 2017, both the Quick Service Dining Plan and the regular Dining Plan will both be getting an extra snack, and will look as follows;
Quick Service Dining Plan
- 2 Quick (counter) Service Meals
- 2 Selected Snacks
- 1 Refillable Resort Mug
Disney Dining Plan
- 1 Quick (counter) Service Meal
- 2 Selected Snacks
- 1 Refillable Resort Mug
Whilst there have been many changes to the Dining Plans over the years, and many have been positive changes, this is the first time that Disney is seemingly adding something extra to both of these plans (it is worth noting that the Deluxe Dining Plan seems to be staying the same). This has led many (including myself!) to question what exactly it is we will be losing from the Dining Plans to balance out the addition of the extra snack?
The Free Dining promotion has only just been announced and we can’t even book a Free Dining Package yet, so there is very little information on what the 2017 Disney Dining Plans will look like. Typically, the make-up of the Dining Plans for the next year are released around May, meaning it could be a while before we get any official confirmation of this change to both the Quick Service and Regular Disney Dining Plans. However, there are many rumours that both of these plans will see the Dessert element of the Quick (counter) Serivce meal dropped, causing a quick serivce meal to now entitle guests to a main meal and a drink.
As a guest who has used the Disney Dining Plan before, having the quick service dessert swapped for an extra snack credit would certainly work to the advantage of my family; we were generally full after our meals and the desserts were often not eaten or saved until later. Having an extra snack to be able to choose a dessert, or something more to your personal taste (or dietary requirement!) at a later stage in the day adds more flexibility to the Dining Plans, along with quite possibly, less waste. Even those who will miss the dessert option with their Quick Serivce Meal will at least be pacified to know they can use their extra snack credit to purchase their sweet treat, so for many this change simply adds more flexibility as opposed to taking too much away from the Dining Plans.
However, these changes may impact the overall value of the Quick Service and Regular Disney Dining Plans in different ways. The Quick Serivce Plan will be losing 2 desserts (one from each quick serivce meal) and will only be gaining one snack in replacement. However, the Disney Dining Plan will be gaining one extra snack and losing only 1 dessert, as it seems the Table Serivce Meal will still include 2 courses for lunch and dinner. To me, it seems like this change will make the regular Dining Plan a much more lucrative option for 2017 holidays.
While it remains to be seen as to whether or not these changes will take place, I do believe that this change will definitely be a positive and beneficial change to the Disney Dining Plans for the majority of guests. It will be exciting to see the exact make-up of the Disney Dining Plans for 2017 when they are released.