There’s plenty of reasons why my family considers Walt Disney World the best family vacation spot on earth – and Disney dining is one of the main reasons! With so much to consider including what type of plan works best for your family they all have one thing in common – snack credits! Here’s six simple tips for making the most of your Disney Dining Plan snack credits.
1. Don’t Waste Them on Bottled Water
I love Disney freebies and cups of ice and water are always on the top of the list. Don’t waste snack credits on bottled water – ask for free water anywhere fountain drinks are sold. If you must have bottled water (my husband really dislikes the taste of Florida water), purchase a case of it on Amazon and have it delivered to your resort or head to the grocery store if road tripping and pick one up.
Remember, if you’re at your resort and want a cup of ice or ice water, all you have to do is walk up to the registers and ask for a water glass. You’ll never be refused.
2. Check Out the Snack Credit Options Before You Travel
When I was planning my first family visit to Disney World I spent hours researching snack credits and the DDP. I learned which snacks were the best value, where they were located, size, taste – you name it. I confess, I’m an over-planner but I’d rather know more than enough about everything then too little and be overwhelmed.
The WDW website offers menus for every dining spot and will let you know what’s compatible with the each DDP. Of course, if you want to fly by the seat of your pants and eat whatever, whenever, feel free!
3. Have Leftover Quick Service Credits? Trade Them In for Snack Credits!
We learned this at the end of our vacation a few years ago. If you have unused Quick Service credits, trade them in for snack credits for the trip home. You can use them on things like drinks, desserts, and any other snacks that work with the Disney Dining Plan. In general, it’s three snack credits for one Quick Service meal. You can also use leftover Disney snack credits to take home or eat on the ride home!
4. 2018 Disney Dining Plan Changes
If you’re over 21, on the DDP, and a fan of liquor there’s great news! Disney announced the inclusion of one alcoholic beverage with each meal for all DDP tiers. This change includes beer, wine, and cocktails and other non-alcoholic specialty beverages. And of course, please drink responsibly – even at Walt Disney World.
5. Making the Most of Snack Credits: The Most Expensive Options
I might take some heat for this one, but I’m cool with that. Folks love to do the math to determine if the Disney Dining Plan is cost-effective for them and their family. If you want to get the most value out of your DDP purchase, the number one way is to order the most expensive item on the menu within your Dining Plan perimeters.
Will you be taking advantage of the DDP? Absolutely not. Disney has accounted for the most expensive options on all of their menus and are getting their money’s worth.
6. Free Disney Dining Plan?
Making the most of snack credits is even better when you get the Disney Dining Plan for free, yes?
Yep, Disney occasionally offers free dining plans with package purchase. Depending on which resort you book depends on which free plan you’ll receive. In the past, Value Resorts will receive the Quick Service, Moderate and Deluxe gets the traditional Dining Plan.
Note: I’ve asked to upgrade my plan by paying the difference (going from traditional to deluxe) and have found that it’s cost-effective for my family’s travels. But keep in mind, to receive free dining you’ll have to purchase an entire package that includes park tickets and rack room resort rates – even if you already have theme park tickets or Annual Passes linked to your account!
In a Nutshell
While some may not have time to put in dozens of hours of research into their Disney vacation, it’s my best advice to learn all you can. Disney Dining Plans and their descriptions change yearly and there’s always new ways to make the most of each. If you’re looking to make the most by getting your money’s worth, these five tips will definitely help. They’re my go-to tips when we purchase the DDP and work.