“Buy This Not That” – Optimizing Your DDP Snack Credits
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Will you be using the Disney Dining Plan on your next Walt Disney World vacation? I know I will, I have used it a few times and love it – its great to not have to worry about paying out of pocket for meals and snacks!
Speaking of snacks (yum I could go for one right now!), they are a part of every Disney Dining Plan, and allow you to purchase various snack items from restaurants, carts and stands throughout the Theme Parks and Resorts.
How do you know what items you can purchase as a snack on the Dining plan? On the menu boards, look for the above symbol, which will indicate that the item is eligible for a snack credit. Generally, its most snack type items under $5 (with some exceptions of course)
That being said, there are some items that are definitely worth a snack credit, and some that aren’t.
Don’t Waste Your Snack Credits On These:
-Bottled water/soda – These cost around $2.50, and on hot days there is nothing better than the allure of an ice cold sprite or water from a snack cart (even I have fallen prey to this on several occasions!). However, there are alternatives to this (free ones!) – bring a water bottle from home and bring it to the Parks with you, or fill your resort mug (included for free for those on the Dining Plan!) before you leave for the Parks in the morning
-Pieces of fruit – I am ALL FOR being healthy while on vacation, but the apples/bananas/oranges available all over WDW cost around $1.50 each, which is something I would MUCH rather pay for out of pocket than waste a whole snack credit on
-Ice Cream Cones – These generally cost under $3 so they aren’t a great value, and cones get messy in the heat!
-Bags of Chips/Pretzels – The main reason I wouldn’t waste a credit on these is because they are boring, and I can get the same thing at home, when I am on vacation I want something new and different! Plus, they are usually priced around $2.50, so you aren’t getting the most of a Snack Credit if you use it on chips/pretzels
-Muffins/Danish/Bagels – Most are under $3, and the ones I have had haven’t been anything to write home about taste-wise, so I steer clear of these when looking to spend a Snack Credit
Instead, Use Snack Credits For These Items:
-Mickey Bars – While these don’t totally maximize your snack credits (as they only cost around $3), they are delicious and Mickey shaped, so I don’t mind using (a lot of) my snack credits on these!
-Mixed Fruit Salad – This is one of the few healthier items available as a snack credit, so I tend to buy these a lot as a snack
-Boxes of Crackers/cookies – Last month we stayed at POP Century and they had a little section of larger packaged snacks – ritz crackers, nutter butters, bags of mickey cheddar crackers/pretzels – that came in larger quantities that your typical single serve snack. While they aren’t the most exciting items, they are easy to throw in your bag and carry them with you to the Parks, and they can be shared among a few hungry kids (or adults!)
-Cinnamon Roll - Specifically, the ones served at the Main Street Bakery in the Magic Kingdom. These things are huge, gooey, warm piles of sweet doughy goodness – and can easily be split between two people for a snack, or use one as a breakfast item too!
-Ice Cream Sundae – You tend to get more with a sundae than a cone, and they come in a bowl which makes them much easier to eat than a bar/cone as you battle the Florida sun (which can pretty much instantly melt an ice cream cone all over your hand!)
-Other Ice Cream/frozen specialties – things like root beer floats, iced coffees, smoothies, ice cream cookie sandwiches, etc – these are considered “specialties” and therefore cost more than just an ice cream cone, which make them a better use of a credit
-Cake Pop/Piece of Cake/Cheesecake – Cakes and cheesecakes at WDW are usually pretty good and can be a decent use of a credit (especially from actual bakeries like on Main Street and the Boardwalk!) and while the cake pops may look small, they are dense, rich, delicious, and really a great way to use a snack credit!
My general rule of thumb is I like to get as close to the $5 max as possible, so I can make sure I am enjoying a snack that is not only yummy, but that is helping the dining plan pay for itself!
How do YOU like to spend your Disney Dining Plan Snack Credits?
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