Disney Dining Plan Tips and Tricks

Welcome to the MouseSavers guide to Disney’s Dining Plans at Walt Disney World! We’ve collected all the best tips, tricks and hacks to help you maximize your dining plan credits. The dining plans at Disney World, including the Quick Service Dining Plan and the standard Dining Plan, are very convenient, but not necessarily designed to save money. We’re here to tell you: you can save money with the dining plans, and still have plenty of food at the restaurants you want — IF you plan ahead and use the options carefully.

If you aren’t familiar with what’s included in the Disney Dining Plans, use the links above.

Please note that all information below is subject to change at any time.

Jump to:

Helpful Tips for Making the Most of the Disney Dining Plans

Thanks to Heather G and Small World Vacations for suggestions.

Getting the Most Value for Your Table Service Credits

Children’s Meal Selections

Kids’ selections at some restaurants can be limited. Some table service locations in the theme parks are using a standardized kids’ menu that some feel is not very good. Two things to keep in mind:

Getting the Most Value for Your Quick Service Meal Credits

Disney’s resort food courts tend to have the greatest selection of high-end quick service food selections. If you want a change from the typical burgers and chicken strips, consider these locations:

Kids’ quick service selections can be very limited. At some locations, the only side orders listed for kids are carrot sticks, grapes and applesauce and all the drinks are “healthy” (milk, juice, water), but you can usually substitute french fries and soda if you wish. If your kids don’t like the kids’ meals, here are a couple of ways around that:

If you are on the Quick-Service or regular Disney Dining Plan, you may want to consider sharing quick service meals. For instance, a family of four might try ordering two adult quick service meals and sharing the food, possibly supplementing the meal by paying out of pocket for a few a la carte items (like extra side orders or drinks). If this works for you, you may be able to stretch your quick service meals to cover two meals a day. Some of the best locations for this strategy:

What Can You Get With Snack Credits?

Look for the purple “snack” symbol on the menu (at left), or just ask if something is or is not a snack. As a rule of thumb, most snacks will cost less than $8 (before tax), but Disney has lately expanded the definition of snack considerably, so that price is no longer the primary determining factor. Generally speaking a snack includes any single-serving item that isn’t an entree (i.e. a muffin, pretzel or cookie is a snack, but a sandwich, bowl of mac ‘n’ cheese or hot dog is not), anything that is listed as a “side” at a quick service restaurant, any single-serving non-alcoholic beverage in a regular (not souvenir) cup or any ice-cream novelty or up to two-scoop ice cream creation is a snack. In addition, many small prepackaged food items like small boxes of cookies, pretzels, etc. are snacks. In some cases, optional add-ons (like sauces, toppings or syrups) are included, and in other cases not. Again, ask first if it’s included.

Snacks can be redeemed at quick service, theme park shop, resort shop or snack cart locations. Qualifying locations display a “dining plan” logo on their menus indicating items for which you can use your snack credits.

Among the items usually available with Disney Dining Plan snack credits:

Also, during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, snack credits can be redeemed for most “tasting portions” offered in the booths around World Showcase.

Want more details on Disney dining plans or specifics on meals, snacks or how to use credits? The author and founder of The Disney Food Blog, AJ Wolfe, has written specialized e-Books about everything related to food at Walt Disney World, including a general guide to dining, a guide to the dining plans, the festivals, and guides to the snacks at all of the parks, which are ideal for helping you get the most from your snack credits.

Thanks to Sue Pisaturo of Small World Vacations for updated information.