As always, we want to make sure all of us are getting the best value with our Disney Dining Plan snack credits!
For those who are unfamiliar with the Disney Dining Plan, it’s a way for guests to pre-pay for their dining when visiting Disney World. “Snack credits” are used by guest to purchase items like popcorn, candy, ice cream, and other low-cost treats.
I’ll list my top six choices, then you tell me your experiences. Let’s work together on finding the best snack credit deals!
Note that snack credits are usually accepted for items that are a single serving, and cost $4.50 or less (though some cost as much as $4.99 out of pocket).
A Disney Food Blog staff and reader favorite — bakeries! Not only can you use your snack credit for some incredible treats, but you can also get a pastry for your morning meal. Hey, it’s vacation!
Don’t forget to check out our Disney World Bakery Throw Down to see some of the very best spots to spend those credits.
These are all great deals for one single snack credit.
2. Ice Cream Sundaes and Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches
Recently, I’ve been overwhelmed with what kinds of sundaes you can get for a snack credit in Disney World! Easily costing $4.50 or more out of pocket, these sundaes are awesome deals!
Stop by Storybook Treats in the Magic Kingdom to snag a Cookie Fudge Sundae that you can easily split between two! Other options at Storybook Treats include a Brownie Sundae and a yummy Strawberry Shortcake Sundae!
Another ice creamy treat that’s not-to-be-missed is the homemade ice cream cookie sandwich. You can get these at all four parks, and while the snack credit payment option flip flops from time to time, it is currently a go!
Get these at Sleepy Hollow and Main Street Bakery in the Magic Kingdom, Fountainview Cafe at Epcot, Dino Bites at Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Scoops at Hollywood Studios.
Snack Credit Tip: The ice cream cookie sandwich is mostly made with vanilla ice cream and chocolate chip cookies, but many locations offer specialty ice cream seasonally as well as seasonal cookie options!
3. Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booths
Disney’s Epcot International Food and Wine Festival offers several tasting booths each year with yummy regional menus. These continue to be a tremendous deal for a snack credit. And although Disney has not announced officially that you’ll be able to use your snack credits at the Festival in 2012, we don’t see why the tradition wouldn’t continue.
The Epcot Food and Wine Festival is scheduled for September 28-November 11, 2012, so plan your visit accordingly! Most of the marketplace booths around the World Showcase promenade accept snack credits as payment for their menu items!
In 2011, one of the best values was at the Hops and Barley booth where it cost $7.25 out-of-pocket — one one snack credit — for Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine Lobster dish.
Snack Credit Tip: Save all of your snack credits, then graze around the “World” for a meal or two! Your snack credits may outlast your appetite!
4. The Classics
Classic Disney World treats are also a smart use of your snack credits. These are classics for a reason — everyone loves them, and they only seem to be getting better. Plus, many of them are unique and special to Disney World.
And don’t forget that we can now add Citrus Swirls from the Magic Kingdom to this list!
In addition to the Swirl, now back in the Magic Kingdom after many years AWOL, you also have the option to gobble up those awesome beignets served at Port Orleans French Quarter Resort.
Some of our other favorite classic snacks include: Dole Whip and other Floats at Aloha Isle, Powdered Sugar or Cinnamon Funnel Cakes around the World, Milkshakes at Sunshine Tree Terrace, Mickey Premium ice cream bars, Zebra Domes at the Mara in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, kaki gori in Epcot’s Japan pavilion, caramel and candy apples, cotton candy, nachos, popcorn, churros, and, of course, fudge!
Believe it or not, all of these — and more! — can still be purchased for one snack credit. Don’t miss out on these famous Disney World snacks that have kept guests coming back for more for years.
5. Great Counter-Service Side Items
While most counter-service spots don’t offer more than a side of fries for a snack credit, several have some great side items that you can easily make a meal of.
For example, the Liberty Square Market in the Magic Kingdom offers a baked potato with fixin’s for just one snack credit.
Couple that with a side of chili from Casey’s Corner, and you’ve got a hearty meal!
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. Check out Sunshine Seasons (Epcot) and Anandapur Local Food Cafes (Animal Kingdom) for good deals.
6. Take Home Snacks, Souvenirs, and Gifts
Be creative! Head to Goofy’s Candy Company, your Disney resort gift shop, or the Main Street Confectionery to stock up on take-home gifts.
Whether you grab up goodies for the journey home, as gifts for teachers/classmates/co-workers/neighbors, or as souvenirs to enjoy back in the “real world,” using your snack credits in this way can really stretch your vacation budget (and enjoyment)!
Consider 8 oz. bags of candy, large unicorn lollipops, cotton candy bags, 12″ tubes of pucker powder, rice krispies treats, 5 oz. twirl pops, fudge, plus Chip and Dale snack bags and Tiny Treats bins.
This is a great way to bring a piece of the magic back home with you! (Just be sure it won’t melt on the way back to reality…)
Plan Ahead to Get the Best Value
We think the key to getting the most out of your snack credits is to plan ahead on how to use your snack credits and allow for some spontaneous purchases, too. Some readers also recommend trying to avoid using credits for lower-cost items like soda-pop, water, and milk if you can help it. There are better values to be had. (Of course, if you’re in Disney World during the heat of the summer, sometimes nothing tastes as good as a nice, cold bottle of water!)
Don’t forget to check out our DFB Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-Book and the brand new DFB Mini-Guide to Epcot Snacks e-Book! We’ll help you to find out exactly what snacks you want to save those credits for! Get both for less at our DFB Store!
We want to hear from all of you! I know we didn’t cover every great snack credit option in this post, so tell us your snack credit experiences and help all of us make the most out of our Disney Dining Plan!