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The Five Best Uses for Disney Dining Plan Snack Credits

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UPDATE: Check out our Top 6 Uses for a Disney Dining Plan Snack Credit for 2012 here!

We had a reader question about the best way to use Disney Dining Plan snack credits, and my mind jumped back to the first year I used a Disney Dining Plan. We had no idea what to do with our snack credits, so we ended up buying a whole bunch of bottled water the last two days of the trip just to use them up!

So, believe me, I know the need for good snack credit advice. I opened it up to the Disney Food Blog twitter and facebook crowds last week. Here’s the word from the experts on the best way to use up your Disney Dining Plan snack credits!

1. Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booths

I have to list these first, because they’re just such an incredible deal for a snack credit. For those visiting during Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival (October 1-November 16, 2010), most of the international booths around the World Showcase promenade accept snack credits as payment for their menu items!

Food and Wine Festival Booth Menu

My suggestion? Save all of your snack credits, then “eat around the World” for at least one meal! How far do you think you can get before those credits run out…or you’re stuffed to the gills? :)

Main Street Bakery Cinnamon Roll

2. Bakeries

You know we love our bakeries and cafes here on the Disney Food Blog, and bakeries came up as the most suggested venues for snack credit use in our twitter and facebook polling.

Breakfast is a great time to use your credits at a bakery, because you can often get cereal with milk, or a portion of oatmeal for one credit. Of course, you can also get cinnamon rolls, butterfinger cupcakes, paw print brownies, crepes, school bread

3. The Classics

Other answers that kept coming up over and over again were the classics:

Port Orleans French Quarter Beignets

Dole Whip Floats at Aloha Isle, Mickey Premium ice cream bars, Zebra Domes at the Mara in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, kaki gori in Epcot’s Japan pavilion, beignets at Port Orleans French Quarter resort, caramel and candy apples, popcorn, churros, and, of course, fudge!

Believe it or not, all of these — and more! — can be purchased for one little snack credit. Why miss out on the snacks that have kept people coming back to Disney World over and over again when they won’t cost you any more than a bag of nondescript pretzels?

4. Sunshine Seasons and Other Great Counter-Service Spots

While most counter-service spots don’t offer more than a side of fries for a snack credit, Sunshine Seasons (Epcot)and Anandapur Local Food Cafe (Animal Kingdom) in particular have some great snack credit offerings. From salads and soups to pork egg rolls and chicken fried rice, you could easily piece together some real meals with snack credits at these hot spots.

Homemade Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich

2-12 UPDATE: Cookie sandwiches can still be gotten for a snack credit at Epcot’s Fountain View Cafe, and Dino Bites in Animal Kingdom.

That’s right, the massive chocolate chip cookie sandwiches — the home-made ones, not the “from the freezer” ones — are still available in several of the theme parks for a snack credit.

Eat This, Not That

We also got some vehement responses about what not to do with snack credits! For example, using your snack credits to purchase water or milk seems to be thought of as less than creative in the “value for your money” department. Then again, you might be the type who spends major buckaroos on water and milk throughout your trip, so that choice makes sense for your trip planning. General thinking = snack credits are money, so why use them on something you wouldn’t have bought otherwise? Plan ahead on how you’ll use your snack credits — you won’t be sorry!

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33 Comments

  1. robin says:

    my 2010 mission is to convince my husband we NEED to go to WDW next year (our little gal with be 4yo then). thank you so much, AJ, for posts like these which will be incredibly helpful when i start planning our trip! i cannot wait to try these delectable treats!!!

    btw, i LOVE that you’re starting a newsletter. so awesome. :)

  2. AJ says:

    Robin — I hope you accomplish your mission! If you come for the Food and Wine Fest, I’ll be sure to meet you! (If not, maybe we can meet up in Disneyland someday!) And you must be our first newsletter subscriber! How exciting!!!

  3. robin says:

    i would LOVE to make it out to the food & wine fest! i’m hoping next year?! ;) but YES, next time you’re in cali, we should definitely meet up at DL! oh, what fun that would be!!!

  4. Becca says:

    I shudder when I think of all the snack credits we spend on Diet Coke on our first Dining Plan trip! Great tips here, AJ.

    While I agree that snack credits = money in principle, in my *on holiday* mind it works out that they are an opportunity to go “oh go on, I’ll have a gargantuan, squashy, sugary cinnamon bun for my breakfast”, when I’d never let myself do that in real life… For me, the Dining Plan and its glorious credit system is kinda like DVC – it gives me the guarantee that I get to do something fun without having to think too much about the cost ;)

  5. Tim Weston says:

    Excellent post, AJ! I couldn’t agree more about using snack credits at the Food and Wine Festival or on the cinnamon roll and chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich; those are definitely favorites of mine!

    I also agree about not spending credits on drinks and other lower-priced items. My standard is that if an item costs less than $3.00, I’m not using a snack credit. I’d much rather bring a cooler backpack full of drinks into the park (which I do on almost every trip) than “waste” a snack credit on a bottle of water or soda.

    For those interested, I have the Igloo Maxcold Maxpack cooler; it holds 18 cans of soda and has some room for other items, too.

  6. Dana says:

    I’m so glad to hear that most of the bakery items are still a snack credit. I thought I had read somewhere that Disney was going back to the way they began with only drinks and food cart snacks (ice pops and popcorn and fruit) being worth a snack credit.
    I haven’t been to Disney on the dining plan in almost a year (went to the F&W last year without it—what were we thinking?!?), but am going back in late July with the quick service dining, so this was a good read.

    And last—are you sure Kaki Gori is still a snack credit? That is my FAVORITE snack in all of WDW and I could have sworn last November when I glanced at the menu, I noticed it didn’t have the DDP symbol next to it. If it is still a snack I’m going to be estatic!!!

  7. Kelly says:

    We had the Quick Service Plan (for free!) last year over F&W. We saved all our snack credits (2 per person per day) to snack around the World Showcase. I can’t even begin to imagine the money we saved. We used a rule that we would only use our credits on things that were above $4, paying out of pocket for the rest. Usually, a snack credit is less than $4, so this really worked out well!

    Last August I went down and had the Quick Service Plan (this time we paid for it…boo!) On the last day we had a ton of snacks left and my Mom was joining us for the day. My Mom & brother each got their own meals at Yak & Yeti QS and I got fried rice & egg rolls for 2 snacks. We had enough food to easily feed another person!

  8. Pudge the Fish says:

    Top 5 Uses for My Snack Credits:

    1) Food and Wine Fest Lobster Roll: it’s over $7 if you pay for it, ka-ching

    2) Butterfinger or Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes at Starring Rolls. Say it again, Butterfinger and Chocolate Peanut Butter. I only wish that they were combined into one so I wouldnt have to choose. I’m forever indebted to you for finding these AJ.

    3) Cookies from Goofy’s Candy Company. We usually save up 3 or 4 snack credits so we can walk out of there with a box full of cookies. They must have a stick of butter in each cookie! Love the ones with the monster peanut butter and chocolate chip/wafers perfectly melted inside.

    4) Dole Whip Floats (although I truly miss the strawberry swirls that you once had at Enchanted Grove many moons ago.)

    5) Pop Century Food Court Sundaes. They are like mini “kitchen sinks” from Beaches and Cream. 3 to 4 scoops of ice cream, mass quanities of toppings, several inches of whip cream and a few cherries.

  9. stephanie says:

    My husband and I used our snacks to “eat around the world” at the wine and food fest when we went down 3 years ago for our honeymoon. it was such a cool experience that we’re planning to do the same thing this year when we return! it was so nice to try everything and walk around epcot (my fav of the parks!)

  10. Elisabeth says:

    I ended up using a snack credit on a vanilla latte at Starring Rolls in March, that was fabulous along with the Butterfinger cupcake. I didn’t know until that point that I could use a snack credit on coffee. We use our snack credits on water, but we don’t drink the yucky Dasani…we only drink Smart Water when at the parks for hydration purposes. So while I agree with not using the snack credits on water, I also don’t want to eat all day long with the extra snack credits and if you know you don’t have enough room in your suitcase, why not use them for water and drinks? Seems to be a waste of money to not use them at all (IMO).

  11. Shannon says:

    These are great tips! I’m excited about staying at Port Orleans this summer, and now the dining plan is even more appetizing! Snacks as breakfast make the character meals an even better deal for our family.

  12. SharonC says:

    Five of my girlfriends and I will be in WDW in October to celebrate one’s 40th birthday, and to attend the F&W Festival. I continue to tempt them with the wonderful food photos found on your website. I thought one of them was going to lick the screen when she saw the cinnamon bun from the Main Street Bakery. Thanks for whetting our appetites (pun intended!)

  13. Patty says:

    Thanks this is great news! I’m going in October for the Food and Wine fest and I had thought the snacks were only for drinks, ice cream or pretzels. (not that those aren’t good). I love the idea of “eating around the world” with my snack credits!

  14. Lynne says:

    Just a suggestion for everyone regarding water: You can buy cases of water from Costco.com and have them shipped to your hotel. We aren’t even members, and I think the total, with the fee and shipping was around $8 for a case of 24. We put our names, hotel name and address, and our reservation on the shipping info, and it got to us the day after we got there–no having to pay for water or using snack credits for water!!! We’ll be doing this, again, in September! Obviously, if you have a car, you can find a grocery store but because we use Magic Express, and don’t want to pay for a taxi–or waste the time leaving the grounds, this is what we do!

  15. Eric says:

    I would have to throw my votes behind the bakeries. You can get a good breakfast for one snack credit and, if your like me, a piece of fruit for a dollar. I’d also recommend checking out the confectionery for lots of other goodies beside the fudge. Sunshine Seasons is a new one to me. Looks like I’m gonna go there multiple time for the strawberry shortcake (oh so yummy).

  16. Jason says:

    Wow very helpful to know. I’m currently plotting my October trip with free dining, so i’m going to save those snack credits for eating around the world! Since we’re staying at Yacht Club, i also figured F&W would be a convenient place to stop for midday lunch/snacks even if in our way to MK or MGM.

  17. jim says:

    Our two favorites uses are the beignets and the Dole Whip Floats. Sometimes, if we have leftovers, we go to bakeries and buy some gifts like fudge and cookies.

  18. Ace says:

    AJ they also serve the ice cream cookie sandwiches at the Studios at Hollywood Scoops, but it’s not a snack credit there.

  19. Mark D says:

    AJ, you have to stop putting pictures of that cinnamon roll from the bakery in your posts. They are installing a gutter system at my desk now from all of the drooling I have been doing. I have to try this thing!

  20. Eric says:

    My wife reminded me of the baked potato at Liberty Square Market that she always gets for a snack credit. When we went Feb 09 it was still there for a snack credit and it’s pretty big with cheese and bacon and all the good stuff so it could be a meal.

  21. betsey says:

    ok we just got back 4 days ago and all these great food posts make me want to turn around and go back ;) wish i had known about this blog before we went. one question any one know a good site to get reciipes form

  22. [...] a new thing for Disney} so don’t use your snack credits on water, use them on well… go HERE and feast your [...]

  23. Cathy says:

    Best Snack Credit (IMHO) is the funnel cake at Sleepy Hollow in Liberty Square in Magic Kingdom. It’s warm and topped with confectioner’s sugar. I don’t know if it is a snack credit, but they also make root beer floats and ice cream cookie sandwiches!

  24. Kristin says:

    The first time we were on the dining plan we weren’t sure how to best use the snack credits. We ended up having several left at the end. We came home with 16 snack credits worth of fudge, which I still believe is one of the best uses of the the snack credit (but that was TOO much fudge!)

  25. AJ says:

    Wait, what?! Too much fudge? ;-)

  26. Melinda says:

    We had 5 people on Deluxe Plan and had over 30 snack credits left at the end of our trip. Went to DT Disney and purchased all kinds of candy like cherry sours, bags of nuts, mickey shaped candy, chocolate covered almonds, etc. Took all of this home and passed out to friends. Great idea as gifts.

  27. JoAnn says:

    I was so glad to concierge at Pop Century told me I could use my snack credits at the Food and Wine Festival last year. I used all but one. I’m getting the deluxe plan this year so I’ll be able to sample more delicious food at the festival.

  28. JaySquaredTX says:

    This is EXTREMELY comprehensive list of all snacks available for purchase in WDW with the Dining Plan. It is regularly updated to reflect changes and is organized geographically.

    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2640292

  29. Janice says:

    I used one snack credit to get an order of fried rice at the Yak and Yeti take out. It was a filling meal for me, a middle aged woman who still has a hearty appetite.

  30. AJ says:

    Good one, Janice!! Great idea!

  31. Sarah says:

    I am struggling with the decision to use snack credits for speedy breakfasts or to save them all for food and wine…. I only have 7 credits for 7 days.

  32. AJ says:

    Sarah — I would suggest using them for the Food and Wine Festival — usually the costs are higher on F&W plates than for breakfast.

  33. Syndy says:

    hey AJ, I’m starting to plan my first visit to F&WFestival and i’m trying to decide which meal plan to choose. we had a great time using the standard dining plan in May 2010. it was easy to use & we didn’t waste any meals.
    I was considering the deluxe plan for the F&WFestival because we’ll get more snacks, but also MANY more meals. I’m considering going to every 2credit restaurant to make sure we use them all. but that still leaves many meals unused. i’m guessing we’ll do lunches at the booths & we’re not big breakfast people.
    I can’t decide if it’s better to play more OOP & go with the standard dining plan & save $50 per day.
    i’m a DVC member (we’re using that for the first time also), so I don’t think the free dining plan offer will apply to my group.

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