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Disney Dining Plan Hacks

Last Updated on July 26, 2020

Be sure to read the fine print on the menu

There are a handful of quick-service restaurants that call certain plates “a meal” but are considered a snack credit elsewhere – often in the same Park. We aren’t suggesting you look at every menu for every restaurant in each park before you head out… but it wouldn’t hurt.

What counts as a snack?

Snacks are designated by the DDP  symbol on the menu. Most ice creams, pretzels, smoothies, coffee drinks, or “single-serve bakery items” count as snacks.

Like I just mentioned, sometimes something will count as a snack option at one location, but not at another. There are often times when a “side” is designated as a snack, so it will be possible to buy a side of fries or Mac&Cheese as a snack credit and save that QS meal credit for a little later.

Another Disney Dining Hack is to use Snack Credits as light, healthy lunches before/after a large or buffet-style meal. Epcot Festivals immediately come to mind.

Dining Plan Tips Round-Up

Tip #1: Character dining, dinner buffets, and dining show packages are generally the best value for TS credits.

Tip# 2: Signature dining is not the best value for TS credits. It costs 2 TS credits, but the monetary price is not twice as much. Consider paying out of pocket at these restaurants instead.

Tip #3: Keep in mind the value of each credit: on average, $38 for TS, $16 for QS and $5.50 for snack. Choose menu items of equal or great value. At TS restaurants this usually the steak. For snacks, its usually bakery items.

Tip #4: Breakfast is generally not the best value for TS credits, as the meal price is lower than lunch or dinner.

Tip #5: Guests on the Disney Dining Plan receive a refillable mug. If you’re planning on dining at a resort that day, bring your mugs with you! You can fill them up at any resort’s food court, not just the one you’re staying at!

Tip #6: Ask for a side instead of a soda. You can always get free water refills within the parks and drinks tend to cost a lot less than a side or dessert.

Tip #7: If the restaurant serves them, milk shakes and smoothies can usually be used for your included drink with your meal credit, and offer the most value after alcoholic beverages.

Tip #8: Don’t waste snack credits on bottled water. You can get a free cup of ice water at any eatery in the park. And if you bring your own refillable water bottle, you’ll always have something cold to drink.

Tip #9: Use snack credits wisely. They can buy you a French pastry at Epcot, a sundae in the Magic Kingdom, a Starbucks coffee, a Dole Whip, a large gourmet muffin, among other things.  Don’t waste them on a banana or similarly inexpensive items.

Tip #10: If you purchase a Deluxe Dining Plan, use your credits on table service instead of quick service as much as possible.

Tip# 11: Ship groceries to your resort ahead of time, using a service like Amazon Prime or Garden Grocer, and bring them along in your park bag. This helps bridge the gap in the dining plan, as it only provides 2 meals and 2 snacks. What about breakfast? Food delivery and snack credits.

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Disney Dining Plan Plus

If you're on the Disney Dining plan these hacks will show you how to do it like a pro! #disneyworld #disneydiningplan #disney

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