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The Best & Worst Use Of Your Quick Service Dining Plan Credits

October 11, 2019

If you’re looking for a quick and cheap meal around Walt Disney World, Quick Service Restaurants are going to be your best choice.

But, when you’re paying for a Dining Plan, you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. Because, lets face it…the Dining Plan isn’t cheap!

With 200+ places to eat around Disney, it would be impossible to rate each venue. But, we have a few examples of restaurants you can eat at without worrying you didn’t get what you paid for.

What is the Dining Plan and what does it cost?

Lets get back to basics for a minute, since not everyone knows exactly what the the Dining Plan is.

Simply put, the Dining Plan is a way to pre-pay for your meals before leaving for your Walt Disney World vacation.

They are purchased as a part of your Walt Disney World Vacation Package and are only available to Guests staying at on Walt Disney World property.

Your money is converted into Meal and Snack Credits. So, you will see your meals calculated in terms of credits and not dollars.

The idea of a Dining Plan is to take the stress out of your Disney vacation. Since your meals are already paid for, it’s one less thing to stress out about.

New to 2020, Disney introduced a 4th Dining Plan. We wrote a whole post about each of the 4 Dining Plans. Everything You Need To Know About The Disney Dining Plan. If you have questions about them, you may be able to find the answer in this post.

MagicBands can now be upgraded to Character MagicBands in your Walt Disney World Package

How do you redeem your credits?

Your credits are stored on your MagicBand. When you’re ready to eat, tap your MagicBand at the cash register and enter a pin that you created at check-in. The rest is up to the Cast Member at the cash register.

Meal Plan Tiers

There are 4 Tiers to Disney Dining. There is Quick Service (the the focus of this Post), Disney Dining Plan, Disney Dining Plan Plus, and the Deluxe Dining Plan.

With the Quick Service Dining Plan, you receive 2 Quick Service Meals and 2 snacks per the number of nights on your reservation.

The wording “per night” is only used to calculate how many meals and snacks you receive. It does not mean that you are only allowed to spend that amount of credits per day. You are free to use them however you’d like.

Interested in finding out which table service restaurants and snacks are worth your money? We invite you to check those posts out, as well.

Refillable mugs at Walt Disney World

You also receive one Free Refillable Mug per Guest for free refills at every Resort on Walt Disney World property.

Refillable Mugs are also available for purchase to Guests who are not on the Meal Plan. The last I heard, these mugs were about $20.

Price and Value of the Quick Service Dining Plan

As of 2020, the per night cost of the Quick Service Dining Plan is:

  • $55 / Ages 10+
  • $26 / Ages 3 – 9
  • Free / children under 3

With a per night cost of $55, how do you know whether you’re getting your money’s worth?

Looking around Walt Disney World, you’ll see that eligible snacks cost about $5 a piece

This means that if you want the most “bang for your buck”, we always look for meals that are about $20 per person.

Chili-spiced Crispy Fried Tofu Bowl at Satu'li Canteen in Animal Kingdom

How much food is included in one Quick Service Credit?

One Quick Service credit will get you 1 entree and 1 drink. If you are over the age of 21, you are now able to substitute your non-alcoholic drink for an alcoholic drink with the Meal Plans.

Restaurants with the Worst Value

Just like we did with the other best/worst value posts, we are solely focusing on the cost and not on taste or atmosphere.

Because anyone who has ever eaten at a Disney restaurant will tell you, a cheaper price doesn’t always mean it doesn’t taste as good. In fact, many of my favorite entrees are on the cheaper end.

Green "alien" drink from Woody's Lunch Box in Hollywood Studios
Green

Woody’s Lunch Box

Woody’s Lunch Box opened with Toy Story Land in 2018.

While it’s a hot place to eat, (and I mean that literally…it’s outside and offers little shade) it also one of the worst values on the Dining Plan.

The menu isn’t huge, and the entrees they do offer costs about $10. So, it’s a great value if you are paying out of pocket.

But, if you are looking to use up your Dining Credits, you’re not going to be getting your money’s worth at Woody’s Lunch Box.

Miss Piggy fountain in Hollywood Studios

PizzeRizzo

Located in Hollywood Studios, PizzeRizzo is themed after Rizzo the Rat, from the Muppets.

We’ve never had a bad experience at this restaurant, but it’s been increasingly more unreliable with their hours of operation. Some days they don’t even open at all.

But, if you do catch them open for business, the most expensive items on the menu (pizza, of course) is just $10.99.

It does come with a ceasar salad, so you’re not going to leave hungry. But, thinking price-point only, even when adding in the cost of a drink, you’re not going to make the $20 break-even point you’re looking for.

View of It's A Small World from inside Pinocchio's Village Haus

Pinocchio Village Haus

This Quick Service location is the only place on property that overlooks “It’s a Small World.” They even provide signs to hold up for Guests to see on the ride.

But, as much fun as it is, it’s also a reasonably priced restaurant. That’s great news, if you’re paying out of pocket. But, if you’re on the Dining Plan, it means you’re not going to get your money’s worth here.

Raspberry and lime cream macaron from Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie in the France Pavilion in Epcot

Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie

If we were talking about taste alone, then this little patisserie, in France, wouldn’t even be on the list. I just can’t get enough of the raspberry and lime macaron.

But, as much as it pains me to see it on a worst list, you should never use your dining credits on the entrees here. With the most expensive item costing only $9.50, there’s no way to make up the difference.

Restaurants with the Best Value

Empty dining area in Pizzafari in Animal Kingdom

Pizzafari FamilyStyle Dining

Pizzafari is a bit of a unique restaurant in Animal Kingdom.

You can walk in and order off the menu, like any other Quick Service restaurant. But, you can also make a reservation for family-style dining.

Family-style dining has a set menu, but the food is unlimited. And with unlimited food, there’s no way that you will leave hungry.

And with a price tag of $22.99, it’s a great value for 1 Quick Service Credit.

Interested in seeing what a Family-Style Dining experience is like at a Quick Service restaurant? We’ve written a review all about our experience.

The sign for Be Our Guest in Magic Kingdom

Be Our Guest

Although using Dining credits for breakfast is usually not the best value for your money, breakfast at Be Our Guest is a whole other story.

Not too long ago, dinner was switched to a 2 credit table service experience. But, breakfast and lunch continues to be a Quick Service location.

While it’s not impossible to get your money’s worth at lunch, your best “bang for your buck” lies with the breakfast menu.

Every menu item is $29, before including the cost of your drink. This means that no matter which menu item you choose, you will always get your money’s worth.

Wolfgang Puck Express

Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill is a popular table service location in Disney Springs. But, when you don’t have table service credits to spend, Wolfgang Puck Express is a great option.

They have a large menu, and many of those entrees are $15 or more. Once you add in the cost of your drink, you can feel content in knowing you got your money’s worth.

The Polite Pig

The Polite Pig is also located in Disney Springs. Vegetarians and vegans will have a hard time finding something that is worth the 1 Dining Credit.

But, for the carnivores out there, you will have no problem finding something to eat.

While there are some less expensive items on the menu, a good portion of the menu is worth the 1 Dining Credit.

Are some of your favorites on this list? We’d love to hear from you!

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  • Reply
    Amy Olivieri
    October 16, 2019 at 11:12 am

    I had no idea Pizzafari had a family-style meal that counted as a QS! Also, after doing the math for my trip in January 2019, I determined that the dining plan is most likely worth it to get your value worth IF you always purchase a beverage with your meal. My husband insists on having a flavored drink with his meals, then water in between meals. But, if you just drink water with your meals, you can get the free ice water. So, when people are considering if a Disney Dining Plan is worth it, I think they forget to factor in whether or not they’ll be drinking something other than water. When we have gotten free dining in the past, I would get lemonade or pop or iced tea just because it was included and free. But when I pay out of pocket, I stick with water. Save those calories for dessert, anyway! 😛 Great article, Catherine!

    • Reply
      Catherine
      October 16, 2019 at 11:30 am

      Thanks Amy! I agree. I love the convenience of the meal plan, but only if it makes sense financially. And since pop and lemonade are now up to $3 or more per cup 😳, we ALWAYS get pop or lemonade with our meals. At Disney, it’s $$ over health 😂. We drink more than enough water throughout the day to make up for the occasional sugary drink with meals.
      And while I know the free dining doesn’t work for every family, for us, it’s worth it. We normally travel more than the minimum days and buy park hoppers anyway so the $900+ savings to get the free food is well worth it for my family.

  • Reply
    Disney Vacation Planning For Beginners - Part 2 | Explore With Catherine
    April 20, 2020 at 6:49 pm

    […] already laid out the basics of the Quick Service Dining Plan, Disney Dining Plan, and Snack Credits in a few posts. So, it may be helpful to check those links […]

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