Disney Dining Plan

Tips and Tricks for Disney Dining Plan

Let’s be honest: everyone wants more.  You are in Target and one shampoo bottle says 33% more, we all want to buy that bottle… It has more – for the same cost – no brainer!  If you are like me and are always looking to get more, but pay the same or less, then this is the perfect post for you!

The Disney Dining Plan is a great offering from Disney.  If you like to eat or try new things, you will love it.  If you like to have most of your trip paid for before you get there, you will love it.  I always try to get the absolute most out of it.  If you have read any of my previous posts, you know it is a game to me to try and get the most out of it.  Here are some tips to help you get the most out of it too!

1. Kids do not have to order a kids meal at a Quick Service Venue.

This is HUGE.  I have two small-ish children (4 and 7).  There are several adult meals with plenty of food for them to split.  We recently went to Katsura Grill in the Japan Pavilion at Epcot.  I ordered the kids the adult Teriyaki Chicken.  It was 2 chicken breasts, rice and a salad.  I then used a snack credit to get them some edamame to also share.  They were very full and we only used 1 QS and 1 snack for the 2 of them.  I got them a lemonade to share and a tap water too.  It was really the perfect amount of food and we “saved” 1 QS credit for later and didn’t waste any food.

2. Pick worthy snacks – Typically over $5

The price range for snack credits is large, in my opinion.  Some could cost $2 and some $7.  Do not waste a snack credit on a $3 bottle of water.  Any venue that has a soda fountain will give you iced tap water for free.  It isn’t worth using a snack credit on a bottle unless you really need/want that Desani water bottle.  See my post on great snack credit uses for more ideas.

3. Eat at a Resort Quick Service

Many reasons for this…  First, you can use your “drink” credit that comes with the meal on a cupcake or other snack.  This is true at almost all quick service venues, but at the resorts you already have your refillable mug, so don’t waste this potential yumminess on another drink.  Second, the Deluxe Resorts usually have great food and pastries.  Contempto Cafe at the Contemporary has a view on the monorail, great sandwiches and amazing cupcakes.  Take your refillable mug and use your (or your kid’s) drink credit on a cupcake.  The kids will think you are the best parent ever and you “saved” a snack credit.  Just because you are not staying at the Contemporary, doesn’t mean you can’t eat there.  You can eat at any resort you desire.

4.  Use Table Service credits on character meals – especially dinner

Character meals are some of the most expensive buffet meals in Disney.  These are incredibly popular and loved by kids and adults alike.  Who doesn’t want Mickey to come say hi to you while you eat a yummy meal?!?  A dinner at Chef Mickey will run you $50-$65/adult or just 1 TS credit.  Another great non-character meal is Ohana.  The food here is amazing and they do fun coconut race for the kids.

5. Use Quick Service/Table Service credits on Lunch or Dinner

There are so many great snacks that can be a breakfast item.  Magic Kingdom has several cinnamon rolls that are to die for and Epcot has the French Pavilion’s bakery (which is open in the morning, even though the world showcase is closed).  These are great options for a quick, easy breakfast and then use your credits on the meals that will cost more.  There are always exceptions.  There are some great character breakfasts I would still use a Table Service credit on and then maybe snack credit my way around Epcot’s world showcase for lunch.

6. Use ALL your credits

If you end up with extra Quick Service credits, these can be converted in to 3 snack credits.  Honestly, this is not a great use/trade off for a QS credit, but it is better than wasting it or getting food you weren’t going to eat.  There are lots of snacks that can be taken home with you.  My personal favorites are the Chip n Dale Snack Co bags, the Goofy Candy Co bags and the rice crispy treats.  These are a great snacks/treats to have on the car ride home or once you get home.  It always makes us remember our trip (and importantly to have not left any credits behind).

7. Have FUN!

This is vacation!  Do not bog yourself down on making sure every possible credit was used to its maximum value.  Do not force yourself to get the steak because it is $5 more than the fish when you would much rather have the fish.  This list is just tips and tricks and not rules.  The Disney Dining Plan allows you to feel like you are always splurging and not have to worry about what you want costing more than what you would normally order.  However, the flip side is don’t get what you don’t really want because it cost the most.  Be sure first and foremost you are happy and having fun.


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As a travel agent with Vacation Ever After, I would love to help find the perfect package to fit your family’s needs, help you make dining reservations, FastPass+ reservations and give you tips and suggestions to make your trip truly magical.  As always, any trip you book with me includes my services for FREE.

Please fill out the contact form below and I will get back to you.  I look forward to working with you!

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