The Disney Dining plans at Walt Disney World were introduced in 2005, and ever since that time, the Snack portion of the dining plans seems to be the most mis-understood, and often, the one component of the plan that goes unused. Just what is considered a snack? Where can I buy snacks? What can I do with extra snacks if I don’t use them during my trip? So many questions!
The different Disney Dining Plans receive the following snacks:
- Disney Quick Service Dining Plan: 1 snack per person per night
- Disney Dining Plan: 1 snack per person per night
- Disney Deluxe Dining Plan: 2 snacks per person per night
- Disney Premium Plan: 2 snacks per person per night
- Disney Platinum Plan: 2 snacks per person per night
Please note this is for everyone in your package age three and older. Children under three do not pay anything for the dining plans, but then again, they don’t get anything either. Disney does not distinguish between child and adult snacks, they are all the same. So, if you are a family of four, and you are staying 5 nights with the Disney Dining plan, each person would get 5 snacks to use during your stay, or 20 snacks to spread out for the four of you to use. Snack and other credits can be used anytime between check in and midnight the day you check out.
What is considered a snack?
According to the dining plan brochures, these are some examples of snacks:
- Frozen Ice Cream Novelty, Popsicle or Fruit Bar
- Popcorn Scoop (single-serving box)
- 12 oz. Coffee, Hot Chocolate or Hot Tea
- Single-serving prepackaged Milk or Juice
- Single Piece of Whole Fruit
- Single-serving Bag of Snacks
- 20 oz Bottle of Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite or Dasani Water
- 22 oz Fountain Soft Drink
Anyone think the Disney attorneys had a good look at the wording on that list before it was published? While this is a good starter list, it is pretty generic, and available options go far beyond the standard Bag of Snacks. I love the handmade ice cream sandwiches you can find in the parks and of course a Dole Whip or Citrus Swirl always hits the spot. Snacks are available just about everywhere. The easiest way to determine what is a snack and what is not is to look for the little square purple and white DDP logo, it should be listed at most restaurants, carts and stores next to snack eligible items. Don’t just settle for that Bag of Snacks, go on a search for the best snack you can find.
Where can I buy snacks?
Don’t worry, a good snack is never more than a few feet away. Well, unless you are stuck on Pirates of the Caribbean for 2 hours (no, I don’t still have nightmares about this, why do you ask?). Snacks are available at just about every food cart, store and Quick Service restaurant in the theme parks, Disney resorts and Disney Springs. If an Epcot festival is going on, such as the Food and Wine Festival or the Flower and Garden Festival, you can use your snack credits at the food booths for most of the items. Just look for the little logo, and you are good to go.
What can I do with extra snack credits?
Most stores, including the ones at your home resort and in the parks, offer many packaged items that can be paid for with snack credits, but don’t always have the little logo by them. Just ask what options they have, and choose something that you can take home with you. My favorite is to stop by the Germany Pavilion in Epcot to grab some Gummi Bears, or anywhere that happens to sell fudge is hard to pass up.
What are the best things to buy with my snack credits?
While I am not a proponent of using your dining plan on the most expensive things just to get the best “deal,” in the case of snacks, it makes total sense. Why buy a $1 piece of Whole Fruit when you can get something so much better? Here are a few of my favorite things:
- Cupcakes from Starring Rolls in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. My favorites are the Butterfinger and the Red Velvet cupcakes. Starring Rolls offers other great treats too, all available with a snack credit. Oh, and these are huge, perfect to share!
- Dole Whip. While not necessarily the best deal, it is the best snack on Disney property, and since you can use a snack credit to pay for one, it has to be on this list.
- Anything from the new Boulangerie Patisserie in the France Pavilion in Epcot. Wow. It is really hard to go wrong with any of the options here, just pick something that looks good. You will thank me later.
- Milkshake/Malt from Beaches and Cream, located the Beach and Yacht Club resorts.
- DOH Bar from Cooke’s of Dublin, Downtown Disney. It is a donut coated and deep fried Snickers or Mars bar. Sounds great, tastes absolutely fantastic.
Spend some time before you go looking at menus. All Ears does a very good job of listing most if not all available options from the restaurants, and uses the purple and white DDP logo to indicate snack options for you. While this may make you abnormally hungry, it is worth the effort to scout out some options before you leave home so you aren’t dragging the kids around Epcot looking for the perfect snack.
So, it says “Snack”, but can I make a meal of it?
Absolutely. While we have focused on mostly dessert items, since that is what I use my snack credits for, you could easily make a decent meal of any credits you may need to use. While you aren’t going to be able to walk up and order a Filet from Le Cellier with a snack credit, there are some really good options:
- Croissant Jambon Fromage or Bisque de Homard from Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot. That is a Ham and Cheese Croissant and Lobster Bisque, for you non-francophiles.
- Baked Potato at Liberty Square Market in the Magic Kingdom
- Chili from Casey’s Corner in the Magic Kingdom
The moral of the story is that snack credits are a great asset, and can be used to purchase some of the most delectable items available at Walt Disney World. Use them wisely, it is worth the effort, especially once you bite into that Butterfinger cupcake. Enjoy your planning, and eating!
What are your favorite uses for a snack credit?