There are four dining plans offered for guests staying at a Disney Resort. You can choose between the Quick-Service Dining Plan, the Disney Dining Plan, Disney Dining Plan Plus and the Deluxe Dining Plan. The Deluxe Dining Plan gives guests three meal credits per day, coinciding perfectly with three meals a day. The Disney Dining Plan Plus gives you two meals a day to be used at the restaurant style of your choice. The Quick-Service Dining Plan and the Disney Dining Plan provide guests with two meal credits a day. On the Quick-Service Dining Plan, these credits are for quick-service restaurants. On the Disney Dining Plan, guests get a credit for a table service restaurant and a credit for a quick-service restaurant per night of their stay. On both of these plans you’re not given enough meal credits for three meals a day. But on all plans guests receive 2 snack credits per night stay. Now, you may want to use these snack credits for Ice Cream Premium Bars, Dole Whips, Popcorn, cupcakes and other “special treats”. But you CAN use these snack credits for an alternative meal. There are many items on menus found at various locations throughout the parks, resorts and Disney Springs that are snack credits but are as filling as a meal. What you’re looking for is one of the Dining Plan snack icons on the menu. Anything with this picture beside it is considered a Dining Plan snack.
There are a variety of situations you may need or want to use your snack credits for meals versus snacks. If you’re dining at one of the signature restaurants during the course of your Disney vacation you’ll be using two of your table service meal credits for one meal, which means there will be one day you don’t have a table service meal credit. So you can use one of your snack credits as a meal alternative. We typically start our day with breakfast in our room, bringing along cereals, oatmeals and picking up bread so we don’t have to use our dining plan credits for breakfast. But I do love at least one table service breakfast during our vacation, which means we’ll need to use one of our snack credits for lunch or dinner. Speaking of breakfast, if you haven’t brought things with you or don’t want to spend money on breakfast items in your room than snack credits are a perfect breakfast.
Another reason you may want to use some snack credits for meals is to make sure you use them all. Many vacations we’ve ended up with snack credits left over at the end of our vacation and end up spending them on boxed items to bring home with us. With two snack credits for each night of your vacation it’s easy to use one for a meal and still have another in the bank for that special snack you have on your snack goal list.
Now which items can you find out there that are snack credits but can still be used as a meal. Breakfast items are super easy at resort quick-service restaurants: muffins, bagels, pastries, oatmeal and cereals are all considered snack items. Now when you’re at the parks there are some incredible breakfast items that are snack credits: like Elephant Ears at Animal Kingdom, Waffles at Sleepy Hollow in the Magic Kingdom, Lunch Box Tarts from Woody’s Lunch Box at Hollywood Studios, and Croissants and Cinnamon Rolls at Sunshine Season’s in Epcot. Lunch and dinner items will take a bit more research because not every dining location is going to offer snacks that would be comparable for a meal. The basic rule of thumb is if the dining location is a walk up window without any tables and chairs located close by they’ll have items on their menu that are substantial snack items. At Animal Kingdom, there’s the Smiling Crocodile on Discovery Island whose sandwiches are all snack credits. Any of the Starbucks locations found at each of the parks will have muffins and bagels throughout the whole day. Epcot is the easiest one to enjoy snack credit meals because of the festival kiosks. Most of these kiosks items are snack credits and are substantial. You may want to forgo eating any meals on your Epcot day and just graze on festival food items.
At Magic Kingdom, there’s no places to grab a snack credit meal other than the Starbucks found on Main St U.S.A. and Sleepy Hollow’s Waffle.
When you’re on any of the dining plans you really need to be aware of when, what and where you are eating to make sure you don’t run out of meal credits or the opposite, not use them all. So do some planning ahead of time. Make sure you don’t plan on have a Snack Credit supper on your Magic Kingdom day because you’ll be eating Dole Whip and popcorn for dinner.
For more information on dining on the dining plan and dining at Disney World take a look at these previous posts:
Happy Planning, Friends.