Getting the Most out of Free Dining

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Getting the Most out of Free Dining

Free dining is back and it is very popular! Using the all new 2013 Magic Your Way Plus Dining Plan you are allotted 1 quick service meal, one table service meal, and one snack per guest per each night of your stay. There is also a Quick Service, Deluxe, Premium, and Platinum Dining Plans for your consideration. Click here to check them out.

If you are one of the lucky people to have booked a trip that takes advantage of free dining this article is for you! Even though you are not paying for your meals, you still want to get a great value. There is no need to waste meal and snack credits or use them frivolously.

Here are some great places to use your credits that will really give you great value!

Snacks: Snacks generally have a dollar value under $4.00 so anything you can find that is priced around 4 bucks is a good value. I like to use snack credits as small meals. For example: at lunch you can get a cup of chili from Roaring Forks at Wilderness Lodge for a shade under four dollars and it truly eats like a meal. Or use your snack credit at breakfast for a bagel at your resort. Cream Cheese, Peanut Butter and other toppings are often available at the condiment bar! Some other great uses of snack credits include: Butterfinger Cupcakes at Starring Roles (you will need to share this!) Dole Whip Floats from Aloha Isle and the very oversized cinnamon buns from Main Street Bakery.

Quick Service Meals: These meals generally ring in under 12 bucks per person, though there are some meals priced higher. A good idea is to forgo the burgers and fries and try something a little heartier. The best value as tested over and over again is at Wolfgang Puck Express in Down Town Disney. Order the Rotisserie Chicken with a Value of almost 15 dollars. It comes with awesome mashed potatoes and a nice dessert. Speaking of desserts, it’s a good idea to save your quick service desserts for snacks later on. For example is you select a cupcake for dessert while dining at your hotel quick service location, you can throw the cupcake into your fridge to enjoy as a midnight snack later on!  Some other great values for quick service dining include meals at the Tangieriene Café and Flametree BBQ where delicious ribs are among the offerings.

Table Service Meals: There are so many choices when it comes to table service meals. Buffets, character meals, signature dining, dinner shows, and more! Signature dining experiences will cost two meal credits per person as will dinner shows so it is best to avoid those if you are trying to stretch your dining dollar. If you are looking for dinner and show without spending two credits try Teppan Edo where the chef will entertain you as he cooks your meal before your eyes. One of the best values on property is dinner at Tutto Italia where entrees such as swordfish, and braised lamb shank will run about 30 dollars a plate! Some other good options include ‘Ohana, and Boma for Buffets and Crystal Palace dinner and Tusker House breakfast for Character Dining!

Those are just some suggestions. Be sure to check out the Chip and Co Guide to Walt Disney World section for more and don’t forget to print out your copy of 100 Disney Foods to eat before you die challenge!

  • Which Disney Dining Plan is Right for Me? (
  • 2013 Disney Dining Plan Details Released (
Getting the Most out of Free Dining


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4 thoughts on “Getting the Most out of Free Dining

  1. Save the dessert and enjoy it later. We like to bring a thermal backpack with icepacks to keep our bottled water cold, so we just put it in there. Don’t forget to ask for a container or foil to wrap it up in.

  2. We’ve learned to save meal credits when we want to enjoy a 2-credit table-service or character experience. We’ll have a CS lunch that day which we will share (2 adults), and then on check-out day, we will share another CS meal for lunch. Sometimes we will dine specifically at the bakery/cafe in the Norway pavilion, or at Tangierene in the Morocco pavilion. You get a lot of food for your money/credit. Sometimes, we’ll take some of the food wrapped, for the ride home. Another great value CS meal is the sushi at Starring Rolls Cafe in Hollywood Studios!

  3. Thanks for the great tips! Another tip on the Quick Service Meals – you can order a LARGE beverage at no extra cost. By default, they will give you the regular size but if you ask for a large, it’s still included in the dining plan.

    Also – when paying, you can just use one of the keys for your family. I noticed several people holding up the lines last time because they’d order for each person, pay then place another order for a different person. We were able to order all of our meals and just swipe one card one time. It was correctly deducted from our balance each time.We’re heading back in December during the free dining promo…can’t wait!!!

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