- Make sure you choose the right plan
The easiest way to make sure you’re getting the most out of the Disney Dining Plan is to choose the right plan from the start. For instance, if you choose the deluxe plan, which can include multiple table service meals, and then do not end up actually eating all of those meals, you would not be getting a very good value. Similarly, it would not be wise to purchase the quick service dining plan if you still end up eating at table service restaurants that you’re then paying out of pocket for after having already purchased the plan. Before purchasing any dining plan, read up on what each plan offers and think about where and how much you’d want to eat, before deciding which one is right for you.
- Order the more expensive items
This might seem obvious, but ordering the more expensive menu items will add up to a lot of savings with the dining plan over the length of your vacation. This can be a difficult point to prioritize, because really when you’re sitting in a restaurant ordering food, you want to order what you feel like eating, not what is more expensive. I generally order the more expensive entree when it includes some kind of combination of menu items that will allow me to be indecisive without spending any extra money since the dining plan is already paid for (Surf and Turf menu items would be an example of this.)
- Skip soda and water bottles
In my opinion, purchasing water bottles at Walt Disney World is not a good value no matter how you go about purchasing them. Using money, or a snack credit on the dining plan, are both poor values because you can get a cup of filtered water for free from any quick service dining location. Using a snack credit to purchase bottles of soda on the dining plan is also not a good value, because snacks can generally be items that cost up to $5, and soda bottles cost about $2.76. Over the course of a trip, using snack credits on soda and water bottles will end up wasting a lot of your dining plan’s value. Instead, look for snacks that are around $4, or $5, to maximize the value of your snack credits.
- Use snack credits for gifts/souvenirs
If you know you’re not going to end up eating all of the snacks that your dining plan entitles you to, consider using the credits to purchase souvenir type snacks from merchandise locations. Check the candy/popcorn sections of gift shops and look for the Disney Dining Plan logo next to the items. This logo means that you can use snack credits on the merchandise food items. If you’re not using your snack credits in the park, use them on Main Street Popcorn, Goofy’s Candy Company, or Minnie’s Bake Shop items that you can purchase and bring home to enjoy later.
- Choose restaurants wisely
So you’ve decided on which dining plan is right for you, now you just need to choose what restaurants you’ll be eating at. I’d recommend choosing places that are slightly more expensive than what you’d want to pay for out of pocket, but that you’d still enjoy eating at. This will maximize the value of your plan, as you’re eating somewhere more expensive than you otherwise would have. I’d also recommend going somewhere where you’ll enjoy the dessert—and this goes for the quick service options too. Because dessert is included in the dining plan, you’ll want to make sure there’s some dessert on the menu that you’ll at least want to try a taste of, even if you’re really full after you’re meal.
For a no obligation, FREE Quote with new bookings contact our sponsor Magical Vacation Planner by calling: 1(407)442-0289
Or for a free no obligation quote with new bookings you can fill out the form by Clicking HERE!
- Do not use the dining plan for two-credit meals
Any meal that uses two credits on the dining plan is better off being paid for out of pocket. If you purchase the dining plan, but still decide that you want to dine somewhere that would cost two credits, pay for this meal out of pocket and use the remainder of your table service credits either earlier in the day or on different days of your trip. The value is simply not there to be using two dining plan credits on meals that while expensive, are not that much more expensive to make up for the extra credit difference.