In this post we cover the best-value snack credit uses on the Disney Dining Plan. Since snack prices at Walt Disney World vary considerably, and snack credits are included in all of the 2018 Disney Dining Plans, even $4 differences in snack prices can add up over the course of an entire vacation. (Last updated April 6, 2018.)
However, snack prices are lower than Table Service meals and Counter Service meals (obviously), so there’s generally less of a difference between high and low snack prices than there is between high and low priced meals. It’s still worth paying attention to snack prices if you want to maximize your total value on the Disney Dining Plan, as some Epcot festivals have $10 “snacks” and other snacks might cost as little as a few dollars.
There are exponentially more snacks available on Disney property than there are other items, so some snacks aren’t always available. It’s not feasible for us to give a totally comprehensive, dollar-for-dollar breakdown, so this is more of a general top 10 than our Table Service and Counter Service credit-value maximizing articles.
This list is updated annually, with the most recent addition being options from the 2018 Epcot International Festival of the Arts (which is now over, but will return again in 2019). In this post, we’ll cover several good value snacks on the Disney Dining Plan, many of which are cult favorites among Walt Disney World fans…
Items that qualify as snacks for the purposes of the Disney Dining Plan are denoted by a little purple and white “DDP” symbol on the restaurant menus across property. Some items that are considered snacks in some locations aren’t considered snacks elsewhere. Make sure to consult the menu before ordering any item you deem a “snack” as Disney may not agree!
1. Epcot Festival Kiosk Snack Portions – If you’re visiting during one of Epcot’s three big annual festivals, read no further than #1 on this list. During the these events, you should be using ALL of your snack credits at the temporary kiosks set up.
The most popular of these is Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival (late August through November), but more the 2018 Epcot International Festival of the Arts actually provided more bang for buck, and the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival has expanded its food offerings in recent years, too. Then there’s the Festival of Holidays, which also has a strong food presence. These events run almost uninterrupted from late August until May, leaving only the summer months without any festivals at Epcot.
To see just how far you can stretch your credits, check out our Epcot Food & Wine Festival Booth Menus post which includes food photos & reviews for every single snack at the event, and also discusses good uses of Disney Dining Plan credits. Normally, if a snack exceeds around $6, it is excluded from snack credit status, making those $8+ items a great use of snack credits! Let’s just hope Disney doesn’t wise up to this wonderful use of snack credits anytime soon, and start excluding these foods from Snack Credit “status.”
2. Dole Whips, Dole Whip Floats, or Citrus Swirls – Ahhh, the legen (wait for it) DAIRY Dole Whip. 😉 We love the Dole Whip so much that we made a “Dole Whip Appreciation” page here on the blog. (The moment you make a blog page “appreciating” a Disney snack is a no-turning-back moment of geekdom.) Of course it was going to make an appearance on this list. While the Dole Whip itself isn’t a great use of a snack credit, the Dole Whip Float, priced just above $4, is a great use of a snack credit.
Likewise, the Citrus Swirl, which returned a couple of years ago after a long absence, itself isn’t actually a great use of a snack credit, but it’s so delicious that it gets a shout-out here. If you want to maximize your value, definitely go for the Dole Whip Float. Kids, if you’re reading this, Dole Whips are a nutritious dining option any time of the day. Trust me, I’m a doctor. (Minor Note: juris doctor–not doctor of medicine.)
3. Ample Hills Creamery – A relatively new addition to Disney’s BoardWalk, Ample Hills has by far the best ice cream at Walt Disney World. While only the small cups and cones are eligible snacks on the Disney Dining Plan, they are still exceptional uses of a snack credit.
My recommendation: Ooey Gooey Butter Cake. The absolute best flavor at Ample Hills. So creamery and sweet, with chunks of soft butter cake to add even more sweetness. (My least favorite flavor is the “exclusive” Sally Sells Seashells Ice Cream, which I found a bit lacking.)
4. Epcot Bakeries – Epcot has two stellar bakeries (and several other good snack stops–just read our Snacking Around the World in Epcot post for other locations) in the World Showcase. Actually, Epcot has 3 of the 5 Top Bakeries at Walt Disney World.
The top 2 are Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie and our #1 bakery, Kringla Bakeri og Kafe. There are about 15 items in each of these bakeries that each exceed $3.75, which, in my mind, qualifies them as reasonably good values. Several other items are above $4, making them excellent values. It doesn’t hurt that just about everything at these bakeries is delicious!
5. “Homemade” Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches – These are not the ice cream sandwiches that you can find at various ice cream carts every 10 feet in Walt Disney World (I really think there might be more of them than there are DVC kiosks!).
These, for lack of a better term, are “homemade” right in front of you with freshly baked cookies and hand scooped ice cream at only a few locations in Walt Disney World, the most popular of which being the Main Street Bakery in the Magic Kingdom. We are big fans of the Christmas and “Birthday Cake” (pictured above) varieties sometimes available at Sleepy Hollow and Electric Umbrella.
6. Zebra Domes – These bad boys can be elusive. Sometimes, you can find them on the Boma buffet at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Sometimes, you can find them for sale at Mara.
If you’re eating at Boma, get them there for “free.” If you’re not eating at Boma, use a snack credit to get them at Mara, where their $4 price makes them a good use of snack credits. That is, assuming you can find this endangered species of snack!
7. Butterfinger Cupcakes – …Or any specialty cupcakes available in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Thanks to exposure on some big-name podcasts, this item has recently become exploded in popularity.
Believe me, it lives up to the hype. It’s so rich and decadent that Sarah and I can barely finish it even when we split it, but it’s soooo good. And priced around $4, it’s an excellent use of a snack credit!
8. Mickey’s Premium Ice Cream Bar – A plain ole ice cream bar that is merely shaped like a Mickey head? Minus the Mickey shape, you could find this anywhere, right? RIGHT?! Wrong. There’s something magic in the…err…milk(?) that they use to make these bad boys, and somehow, this readily available ice cream bar is really something special. Seriously, if you’ve never given it a chance, you owe it to yourself to try this iconic treat. This is one case where an item that is mass-produced and available everywhere really lives up to (and exceeds!) the hype.
9. LeFou’s Brew – This signature beverage of New Fantasyland has already proven quite divisive. Some people love its sweet apple taste, others find it to be an overload of glorified sugar water. We both happen to like it, but it definitely is sugary.
Since this is the signature drink of New Fantasyland, you should at least give it a try (we recommend ordering one cup for your party to split to start, and then ordering more as necessary). For a snack credit, you can get a “normal” cup of LeFou’s Brew, but not the souvenir goblet. Don’t lose too much sleep over not getting the goblet, as the it is poorly made and might not even survive your trip home.
10. Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC (Formerly BabyCakes NYC) – Okay, so this is a place rather than a specific snack. Much like the Butterfinger Cupcake, BabyCakes NYC (I don’t know if I’ll get used to calling it Erin McKenna’s) has become a really popular spot. The original location closed for a while during the transition from Downtown Disney to Disney Springs, but a new bakery is now open.
Serving gluten-free and vegan desserts (fear not, carnivores, most good desserts–besides BBQ Ribs Ice Cream–don’t have meat in them, anyway), this is a really unique spot at Walt Disney World that also has items in the coolers at many Walt Disney World resort hotels, so if you can’t make it to Disney Springs, just look in your hotel’s cooler.
If this list doesn’t activate your sweet tooth, I don’t know what will. This just scratches the surface of value-maximizing snacks (and snacks in general) at Walt Disney World. Remember that while value is important, ordering snacks you enjoy is even more important (which is why you’ll often see us with the cheap School Bread from Norway instead of expensive snacks)!
Hopefully this list helps you get more bang for your buck on the Disney Dining Plan. Check out our Value-Maximizing tips for Counter Service restaurants and Value-Maximizing Tips for Table Service Restaurants to get even more value out of the Disney Dining Plan!
Planning a Disney trip? Read our other Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews and our 101 Delicious Walt Disney World Dining Tips. If you are planning a Walt Disney World trip, make sure to also read our comprehensive Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide to make the most of your experience!
What tips do you have for getting the most out of the Disney Dining Plan? If you have any tips to maximize your value on other Walt Disney World snacks, please share them in the comments!