10 Snacks You SHOULDN’T Buy With The Disney Dining Plan

by | Mar 4, 2024 | Walt Disney World Food, WDW Blog

Learn more about the best (and worst) value Disney snacks on the Dining Plan for the next time you visit Walt Disney World.

Disney Dining Plans can be a great way to pre-pay for your food in Disney World. But having a dining plan doesn’t mean that you don’t have to think about what you’re ordering. In fact, if you’re not careful, you could end up wasting your money on the dining plan by using your dining credits on the wrong foods. Luckily, this is easy to avoid!

Disney Snacks to Avoid Using Dining Plan Credits

Currently, Disney offers two different dining plan options as part of vacation packages – the Standard Disney Dining Plan and the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan. Each one comes with its own set of dining credits for certain restaurants in Walt Disney World, but they have one thing in common…snacks! For every night of your vacation, each person in your travel party receives one snack credit that can be used at any point during your trip. Use these snack credits wisely, though, and DON’T buy these 10 snacks!

What counts as a snack?

Before we dive into the details, let’s first talk about what exactly counts as a snack on the Disney Dining Plans. According to Disney, snack credits can be used at quick service restaurants, most outdoor carts in the parks, and at select merchandise locations on single-serving items including:

  • Frozen ice cream novelty, popsicle, or fruit bar
  • 2 scoops of hand-scooped ice cream
  • Popcorn scoop (single-serving box)
  • Piece of whole fruit
  • Single-serve bag of snacks
  • 20-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola products, including Dasani water
  • 20-ounce fountain soft drink
  • Single-serve coffee, hot chocolate, hot tea, milk or juice
  • Cup of soup
  • Add on toppings or sauces (e.g. side of cheese dipping sauce)

You can easily identify what qualifies as a snack with your dining plan by looking for the purple and white Disney Dining Plan snack icon on the menu.

So, now that you know what you can redeem a snack credit for in Disney World, let’s get to the 10 snacks that you should avoid! Keep in mind that you shouldn’t let this stop you from getting one of these snacks during your trip, we just suggest that you pay for these with cash rather than use a snack credit since the amount you paid for the snack on the dining plan is more than the actual cost (a.k.a. they’re not a good value).

Soda and Bottled Water

It’s no secret that soda and bottled water aren’t cheap in Disney World, but that doesn’t mean you should redeem your snack credit for the $3.50 hydration! Each quick service and table service meal credit on the dining plan you select entitles you to a drink along with your entree, so grab your soda or bottled water with your meal and opt for free water cups or a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated in between. 

And don’t forget that everyone in your party gets a Rapid Refill Mug that can be refilled with soda, water, coffee, or tea at any Disney World Resort hotel for free throughout your stay. This enables you to save your snack credit for something a bit more expensive and tasty!

Popcorn Bucket Refill

One of the greatest snacking hacks in Disney World is to purchase a popcorn bucket at the beginning of your trip and refill it for half the price of regular popcorn at the parks whenever you run out. Refills are only $2.25 each, so you can satisfy any kiddos (or adults) who tend to grow hungry between meals without breaking the bank. 

disney snacks dining plan

Photo Courtesy of Disney

However, you’ll want to resist the temptation to use your snack credit on the popcorn bucket refills. The cost of a popcorn bucket refill is just too low to justify using a snack credit. 

Individual Pieces of Fresh Fruit

Don’t get us wrong, we admire you for wanting to eat something healthy when you’re in Disney World…but at $2.25, these individual pieces of fruit just aren’t a good use of a snack credit. 

Now, you might be thinking that the cost is still pretty high for a banana, apple, or orange if you’re paying out of pocket, and you’re not wrong! Instead of paying for these with cash, we recommend opting to use your snack credit on the pre-sliced fruit bowls in the grab-and-go section of your Disney hotel’s quick service restaurant since they’re a bit more expensive. Or, if you want to avoid the overpriced fruit, consider ordering grocery delivery to have some fresh fruit on hand.

Bagged Chips 

You’re probably used to snacking on chips at home when you’re hungry mid-day, but you’re in Disney World now – there’s no need to down a bag of Lays Potato Chips! Instead of reaching for the chips that you can eat any other day at home, use your snack credit on something you can only get in Disney World. There are much better snacks in the parks and resorts, plus the chips are pretty cheap so it’s not the best use of your snack credit.

Coffee and Tea

We’ve already mentioned that you can get coffee and tea for free at your Disney World Resort hotel using the Rapid Refill Mugs that you receive with your dining plan, so this is really a no-brainer. Fill up in the morning and hold out until you’re back at your hotel in the afternoon or evening to save your snack credit for something that costs more than just $2-3. 

There is one big exception to this rule though…Starbucks! Yes, you can use your Disney dining plan snack credits here, and you should! Just keep in mind that ANY Starbucks drink costs one snack credit, so go all out and order the Venti or Trenta size.

Pre-Packaged Candy

If you end up with extra snack credits left over at the end of your vacation, it can be tempting to head to the nearest merchandise location and stock up on bags of Goofy’s Candy Co. candy. However, these candy bags aren’t the best use of your snack credits since they’re really just candy that you can find at the grocery store marked up because they have Mickey on them. 

disney snacks dining plan

Photo by Judd Helms

So, plan carefully and be sure that you use your snack credits throughout the entirety of your Disney vacation so that they don’t pile up on your last day!

A Cup of Dole Whip

Now, here’s the thing about Dole Whip…you should definitely get some during your trip and use a snack credit. BUT, instead of opting for a cup of Dole Whip, we suggest ordering a specialty item (like the Pineapple Float or Pineapple Upside-Down Cake) from Aloha Isle in Magic Kingdom instead. These tend to be more expensive (and even tastier!), so you’re getting more bang for your buck.

Plain Pastries or Bakery Items

If you’re using your snack credits wisely, the word “plain” should never enter the equation. While, yes, you can find plain chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and bagels at several quick service and snack locations throughout the parks and resorts, these usually only cost around $3 to $4. So, save your “plain” food snacking for home and opt for Disney’s specialty treats instead. There are almost always seasonal snacks available at select locations throughout the parks and plenty of other signature treats to satisfy your sweet tooth are available year-round.

Add On Toppings or Sauces (e.g. side of cheese dipping sauce)

Cheese dipping sauce, gravy, and other toppings are some of the cheapest add-ons in all of Disney World, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that using a snack credit on these is a bad deal. They usually only cost about a dollar on their own, so save that snack credit for a Dole Whip Float and pay the $1 out of pocket. 

Anything Priced Under $6.50

If you need a general rule to follow, try to aim to use your snack credit on snacks that are priced at $6.50 or above. This is about the cost that you’re pre-paying for a snack as part of your dining plan. So, keeping this in mind will give you the best value for your snack credit and ensure that you’re not losing money in the end. 

Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t snack on something that costs less if you want, you just might want to consider paying out of pocket and saving that snack credit for a higher-value item.

Better Snacks to Buy With Your Snack Credit

So, what snacks should you buy with your dining plan? There are A LOT of great choices, including things like:

  • Pineapple Upside-Down Cake at Aloha Isle
  • Rapunzel Sundae at Storybook Treats
  • Ice Cream Sundae at Plaza Ice Cream Parlor
  • Brownie Sundae at Auntie Gravity’s
  • Gaston’s Cinnamon Roll from Gaston’s Tavern
  • Sweet Cream Cheese Stuffed Pretzel at The Lunching Pad
  • Traditional Poutine at Refreshment Port
  • Seasonal Shakes at Hollywood Scoops
  • Wookiee Cookie from Backlot Express
  • Num Num Cookie at Neighborhood Bakery
  • Blue and Green Milk from the Milk Stand
  • Baked Mac & Cheese dishes at Eight Spoon Cafe.
  • Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches at Dino-Bite Snacks

Some of these cost close to $10, so you might even end up saving money on Disney dining if you use your credits wisely! See more snacks in Magic Kingdom that maximize your dining plan here! And, if you’re looking for more tips on the best ways to use your Disney Dining Plan, be sure to check out 5 restaurants you should avoid here!

Posts by Jenna Saxton

Jenna is a contributing writer at WDW Magazine and stay at home mom. When she's not chasing her toddler around the parks, you can find her out for a run or curled up with a book. She has contributed to multiple Disney and travel blogs including Eat Sleep Cruise, 365 Atlanta Traveler, Disney Food Blog, and AllEars.

Authored by
Jenna Saxton

Jenna is a contributing writer at WDW Magazine and stay at home mom. When she's not chasing her toddler around the parks, you can find her out for a run or curled up with a book. She has contributed to multiple Disney and travel blogs including Eat Sleep Cruise, 365 Atlanta Traveler, Disney Food Blog, and AllEars.
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