One of the age old dilemmas for those of you like myself that have used or are thinking of using the Disney Dining Plan is getting the most value for your money.
Today I will give some helpful hints in maximizing the use of those snack credits. Often the snack credits are overlooked in the list of Dining Plan features, but successful use of the snack credits can make the difference between a getting a “good” deal with the Dining Plan to getting a “great” deal.
There are a couple of different strategies that can be taken to maximize value:
1. The first strategy is to use the snack credits to help eliminate any OOP (out of pocket) food expenditures during your trip.
2. The second strategy is to buy the best snack options the each park has to offer that can be obtained with a snack credit. Best can be defined as highest quality or quantity as the case may be.
Strategy 1 – Minimize Food Expenses
Strategy 1 is pretty straight forward. Any time that you were going to purchase a food item OOP you would see if you could use a Snack Credit for it (like a bottle of water or Diet Coke). This method allows you to avoid overeating and keep you expenses down by using the prepaid credits instead of spending additional money. With this method you are maximizing the value by reducing the total amount of expenditures for food on your trip. This strategy also prevents those who pile up unused snack credits at the end of their trip because they were afraid to use the snack credits on something that wasn’t worth it and end up buying the first items that they see in order to use them up.
This strategy also suggests that you look for breakfast items that you can use snack credits towards instead of paying OOP. All in all this can be a very effective use of the snack credits and reduce your total food expense.
Strategy 2 – Maximize Snack Value
While the first strategy is pretty strait forward and just takes the discipline to buy what you would normally buy, but pay with snack credits where ever possible. The second strategy takes some research and planning to accomplish successfully. Here the idea is to absolutely get the maximum value out of each and every snack credit.
Here are some of my favorite “maximum snack” uses for each of the parks:
Animal Kingdom: Dino Bite Snacks in Dinoland: Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich – these are 6” + diameter fresh baked cookies with 3 scoops of ice cream smashed in between. This is my ultimate snack credit item!
Magic Kingdom: Aloha Isle – Adventureland: The Famous Dole Whip or the Dole Whip Float. These are both excellent snacks for a hot day and a favorite use of the snack credit. Auntie Gravity’s – Tomorrowland: Fruit Smoothies with non-fat yogurt. Main Street Bakery – Main Street: Numerous desserts and bakery items.
Epcot: Boulangerie Patisserie – France: There are a number of Pastry Items in this French bakery that make wonderful dessert and or breakfast items. You can’t go wrong, just make sure that the item you choose has the snack symbol. Also in France you will find the Crepes des Chefs de France where you can get Chocolate or Strawberry Crepes with your snack credit. On the other side of the World Showcase is the Norwegian Bakery: Kringla Bakeri og café- which also has many great fresh baked items that can be obtained with your snack credits.
Hollywood Studios: KRNR – Near Rock-n-Roller Coaster: A variety of smoothies made with non-fat yogurt can be had here.
Disney Resorts: you will also find that in the General Store section of each resort gift shop there are a number of items price at $4.00 and under that can be obtained with your snack credits.
So whether you choose Strategy 1 or 2 or a combination of both, have fun using your snack credits. There is no excuse to have a bunch of them left over at the end of your trip. Go out, use them, and enjoy!
Leave a comment and let me know what your favorite snack “find” is.
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