We don’t always use the Disney Dining Plan, but when we do you can be sure I want to get the most bang for my buck. Here are some tips on how to maximize your Disney Dining Plan.
This Disney Dining Plan is all about convenience. It may not be the cheapest option, but knowing exactly how much you’re going to spend on food throughout your trip can help with budget planning.
It also makes it really feel like vacation when you can walk into a restaurant and order the most expensive thing on the menu with no guilt at all. Want dessert? Grab it! A milkshake? Go for it! 18 Mickey Bars? Sure thing!
If you want to say “yes” more on vacation, then look into the Disney Dining Plan. If you’ve made the decision to use it, here are some tips for getting the most out of your Disney Dining Plan.
How to Maximize Your Disney Dining Plan
The #1 mistake people make on the Disney Dining Plan is leaving credits on the table. When some people get to the end of their vacation, they have dozens of snack credits left because there is just so much food on the Disney Dining Plan. The only way to get the most out of the Dining Plan is to eat every entitlement. Right now for the standard Disney Dining Plan, that means each day, each person gets:
- 2 Counter Service Meals (entree, side, and drink – including alcoholic and specialty drinks)
- 2 Snacks
Alcohol and specialty drinks were added to the Disney Dining Plan a few years ago and have really changed the value of the system. As teetotalers, we could never get the full value of the Disney Dining Plan because an alcoholic drink costs $5-$10 on its own. It does also include specialty drinks, which are usually slushes and milkshakes. If you’re looking to make the most of your Dining Plan, grab a glass of wine or a milkshake at lunch and dinner.
Plan for Breakfast
If there’s simply no way to use all of your meal and snack credits, don’t forget about breakfast. You can use snack credits to grab breakfast in the morning. Either pick up a pastry on your way out of the park or stop by the ‘grab and go’ restaurant at your resort and see what they have for a snack credit.
Grab a Mug
A refillable resort mug (one per person, per stay) comes with the Disney Dining Plan. Make sure you pick up your mug on the first day of your trip and use it each day to get the most out of your Disney Dining Plan. You can only fill up your mug at the resorts and the drinks include soda (Coca Cola products), coffee, and hot cocoa.
Get the Steak
There’s no way around it. If you’re trying to maximize your Disney Dining Plan, you’ll be eating a lot of steak. It’s important to go to the right restaurants and eat the most expensive thing at those restaurants to get a good value for your money.
As a comparison, breakfast at Be Our Guest will cost $25.00, making it a fantastic use of a credit, while a meal at Earl of Sandwich will only run you $10.48 our of pocket, meaning you’ll be losing quite a bit of money on the Dining Plan. Aim to spend at least $21 on your counter service meal (including drink and side) and $5 on your snacks to break even.
Grab Snacks to Go
If you come to the end of your trip and still have snack credits left over, don’t let them go to waste. Grab snacks that would travel well as souvenirs. Years ago, my mom brought our whole family chocolate dipped Mickey Rice Crispy treats for Christmas with her leftover snack credits. Get creative and grab something like caramel corn from Karamell Küche in Epcot, fudge, or a caramel apple.
Those are my Top 5 Tips for Maximizing Your Disney Dining Plan. What would you add to this list?
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