Though it may not initially seem like it, Walt Disney World has truly come into its own in recent years as a real food lover’s paradise. If you count yourself as one of the many who love eating their way around the Walt Disney World parks and resorts, there are some big changes taking effect right now you should know about.

For May's dining update, we take a look at the continuing proliferation of alcohol at the Magic Kingdom, a new "free" dining deal that was recently announced, plus changes to character dining and a new opening at Disney Springs!

1. Alcohol now available at more Magic Kingdom dining locations

Image: Disney

Ever since the first drop of alcohol was served inside the Magic Kingdom back in 2012, many predicted that Disney would expand their alcoholic options inside this park some day. And though alcoholic beverages were added to Be Our Guest Restaurant, Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Tony’s Town Square Restaurant and Liberty Tree Tavern, it looks like Disney has expanded the availability of alcohol yet again at the Magic Kingdom, effective this week, with the following locations now serving drinks:

The Plaza Restaurant: This restaurant now serves selection of beers, wines, and cocktails as well as a special house-made Sangria

The Crystal Palace: This dining location will also now serve beer, cider and domestic wines designed to compliment its American cuisine. It also has a mimosa mixed drink available for guests to order. 

Crystal Palace

Image: Disney

This of course brings the total count of locations serving alcohol to 7, which is quite the expansion for a park that was historically dry just half a decade ago. Still, Disney has yet to bring alcoholic drinks to quick service locations or roaming carts, which at least makes alcohol more limited in this park, even if it is now available in more locations than before. Guests also are unable to bring alcohol out of restaurants, which also makes a big difference, preserving at least some measure of this park's formerly dry policy. 

2. Free Dining Plan packages now available for select dates in 2018

 Disney has finally released details about the 2018 version of its free Disney Dining Plan promotion a few weeks ago, which will once again include free Disney Dining plans with select, undiscounted  Magic Your Way packages. As has been the case since last year, guests who book a Value or Moderate resort, will receive the Quick Service Dining Plan, and guests who book a Deluxe or Deluxe Villa resort, will receive the standard Dining Plan. Guests wishing to upgrade to a higher-priced dining plan may do so by paying the difference in price.

This popular deal can be booked now through July 7, 2018 and requires a minimum of 4 nights stay and 4-day tickets with Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus. This deal is valid for the following late summer & winter arrival dates:

  • August 8- 20, 2018 (Disney Visa Cardmembers only)
  • August 20 – 29, 2018
  • November 24 – 27, 2018
  • December 7 – 23, 2018
This offer excludes stays at the Villas at Grand Floridian, Bay Lake Tower, Bungalows at Polynesian Bungalows & Villas, The Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation Resort, campsites, and 3-bedroom villas. Stays must be booked by September 7th to take advantage of this deal. 

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