Saving Money with the Disney Dining Plan

Hello and welcome back to KatDoesDisney! Today we will be continuing with our discussion about the Disney Dining Plan. We already talked about if it is worth it, so now let’s dive into how you can save money. Here are ways you will be saving money with the Disney Dining Plan!

Overall, the name of the game for the Disney Dining Plan is to always order the most expensive things on the menu! Always. However, here are some of the best tactics to saving money while on the Disney Dining Plan:


1. Maximize Credits by Doing Research

You’ll definitely want to do some research before heading to The World. What do I mean by that? Well, take a look at the Disney dining location menus. First, decide where you want to dine and then see which menu items are the most expensive. Order those items! Since you will only be paying with the Disney Dining Plan credits, you’ll save more eating itesm with the higher price tag.

Also, pay special attention to those snack credits and order things that are way more than what are typically considered “snacks”. Look out for the “DDP” logo on the menu. For example, put those snack credits to good use at one of Epcot’s festivals! The food booth serve up tasty dishes that are actually snack credit eligible! Do not waste a snack credit on simple things, like water!

While we are on the topic of drinks…

2. Drink Up!

Drinks are included in the quick service and table service credits! Guests under 21 can order simple drinks (think soda, water, etc.) or non-alcoholic specialty drinks (such as milkshakes or smoothies). Guests 21 years or older have the option to order alcohol including beer, wine, cider, or a cocktail. Once you add on the cost of these specialty drink options (with or without alcohol), the cost of your meal skyrockets and saves you money! 

Additionally, all guests on the Disney Dining Plan receive resort refillable mugs. If you plan on hanging around your resort hotel on travel days or take midday breaks, be sure to refill those mugs! The amount you’ll save refilling your drink will certainly add up quickly! Side note: you can bring these mugs into the parks, you just can’t refill them for free. 

3. Watch Out for 2 Credit Dining Locations

If you wish to dine at signature table service locations or see a dinner show, be aware that you may need to fork over 2 dining credits! Those 2 credits for 1 meal will certainly hinder your ability at saving money while on the Disney Dining Plan. So pay attention for those 2 credit meals!

Signature Dining Locations:

  • Le Cellier Steakhouse 
  • The Hollywood Brown Derby
  • Tiffins Restaurant
  • California Grill
  • Capa
  • Cinderella’s Royal Table
  • Citricos
  • Flying Fish
  • Il Mulino
  • Jaleo by Jose Andres
  • Jiko- The Cooking Place
  • Monsieur Paul
  • Morimoto Asia
  • Narcoosee’s
  • Paddlefish
  • Shula’s Steakhouse
  • STK Orlando
  • Takumi-Tei
  • Todd English’s bluezoo
  • Topolino’s Terrace
  • Victoria & Albert’s
  • Wulfgang Puck Bar & Grill
  • Yachtsman Steakhouse

Dinner Shows:

Animal Kingdom Date Night Disney World

4. Take Advantage of Free Dining… Maybe….

Every year, on select dates, Disney World offers free dining when you purchase a non-discounted vacation package at one of their resort hotels. This package typically needs to include park hopper tickets to qualify. Depending upon the type of resort you book (value, moderate, deluxe, or deluxe villa), will depend upon the type of Disney Dining Plan you receive. For instance, guests at deluxe or deluxe villa resorts will receive the Regular Disney Dining Plan. Those staying at the value or moderate resorts will receive the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan. 

It is very nice to have the Disney Dining Plan included for free in your vacation package! However… and this may be a big however… receiving the complimentary Dining Plan makes you exempt from another other vacation discount offers. Thus, my tip is to always do the math! It may be that you are saving money by taking the free Disney Dining Plan. Or, you might save more with a different vacation package discount. So do your homework!

I hope these tips help with saving you money on the Disney Dining Plan! Do you have any other tips? If so, share them in the comments below!

Until next time… Cheers!!


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