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How To Exchange Disney Dining Credits

Can you exchange Disney dining credits?  Can you trade a quick service credit for a snack?  Can you trade quick service credits for a table service credit? 

The answer is mainly yes and partially no.  Read on to find out what you can and can’t do with your credits to make them work for your family!

There are two camps when it comes to Disney World Dining Plans: the people who love them, and the people who hate them. 

While I can understand the arguments against using a dining plan (some feel it’s too expensive and too much food) – my family falls into the “we love it” camp.  We always get a dining plan as part of our Disney package, and we have never once regretted it.

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Why We Love The Dining Plan

I don’t like worrying about budgeting for food while we’re at Disney World, and the dining plan gives us the ability to relax and just enjoy our time there. I like having it all paid for up front – so that the only extras I’ve got to budget for are the fun souvenirs! 

We love the Disney Dining Plan in particular, because it allows us a sit down meal, a quick serve meal, and two snacks per night of our stay. 

Typically that set up is perfect for us – we enjoy being able to take a break to sit and relax in an air conditioned restaurant, and we alternate between using the sit down credit for lunch and for dinner. 

The quick serve is great for times we want to eat fast and get right back to riding, and the snacks are CLUTCH when it comes to keeping our children happy.  

Why Snacks Are Key

However, there’ve been occasions were we’ve needed (or wanted) more snack credits and less quick serve credits.  My children seem to eat snacks ALL. DAY. LONG.  while we’re in the parks – especially my 13 yr old, who basically cannot be filled. 

Some snacks are big enough to make into a meal, like the Poutine from the Refreshments Port at Epcot.   

Braised Beef Poutine from Epcot at Walt Disney World

Lots of quick service restaurants have some great side items or menu items that qualify as snacks.  For example, Yak & Yeti in Animal Kingdom has fantastic chicken fried rice.  

There are also times when we’re attending a festival (like the Epcot Food and Wine festival) and want to sample lots of special snacks through World Showcase instead of filling up on one quick serve meal.

Also, some of the cool specialty items that you can only find at Disney Parks are usually snack credits.  The famous Blue and Green Milk from Star Wars is only available in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios.  You can use those snack credits to try each flavor

Blue and Green milk available at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in Disney's Hollywood Studios

Basically, anything on a menu at a quick service restaurant, food cart, or stand that has the handy dandy little purple symbol (as pictured below) next to it is eligible to be purchased with a snack credit!  

Disney Dining Plan snack symbol

How to Exchange Disney Dining Credits

So – what do we do?  I’m not about to pay out of pocket for those extra snacks (Lord knows Disney is expensive enough without paying for additional food on top of the dining plan).

It’s pretty simple – we EXCHANGE Disney Dining credits.  

We turn a quick service credit into snack credits!  

Did you know that was even possible?  I feel like this is a little-known fact when it comes to Disney dining- you can actually exchange Disney dining credits and turn those quick serve meals into snack credits.

Here’s how it works:

If you’d like to exchange Disney dining credits for a quick service meal and turn it into a few snacks, simply tell the person at the snack counter that you’d like to exchange it. 

Each quick serve credit equals three snack credits – and the only catch here is that you have to use all three credits AT ONE TIME.  Meaning if you tell the cast member behind that snack counter that you want to use a quick serve credit for your snack, be ready to purchase three.   

If you’re traveling alone, this might not be great for you.  But for a family?  It rocks.  We get all three of our kiddos a snack with one of our quick serve credits. 

It feels like a great exchange to me, especially if you’re using your snack credits wisely and know which snacks give you the best bang for your buck.

Should You Exchange Sit Down Credits?

You can actually do this same trade with sit down credits – but that is NOT a good use of your money.  Those sit down credits were expensive, guys!  Use them for Ohana.  Or California Grill.  Anything besides snacks!

It does NOT work the other way around – you can’t trade three snack credits for a quick serve credit.  You can only trade “down”. 

And you can’t trade a sit down credit for a quick serve, only for snacks, which we have already discussed is a bad idea.  I’m not sure why they don’t allow that (it would make more sense than trading it for snack credits) – but unfortunately they don’t.

So – if you find yourself visiting during the Food and Wine Festival and you really wish you had more snack credits to use and you’ve got quick serve credits remaining – trade those credits in!

Things To Remember

**Side note:  You may occasionally find a snack vendor who doesn’t want you to trade in a quick serve credit for three snacks, perhaps because they’re unsure of the rules or because they aren’t sure how to do it.  And sometimes it may take manager approval to make it happen.  

It’s only happened to me once before, but when it did I just smiled and said thanks anyway and moved on.  So, just be aware that it’s possible you could run into a cast member who isn’t on board with this. 

The chances of that are slim though – every cast member serving snacks at Epcot during the Food and Wine Festival last year had no issue at all trading in the credits for us.

Happy snacking!  Have you ever been able to exchange disney dining credits?  How did it go?  Did you feel it was a good way to maximize your dining plan? Share with us in the comments!

This post was written in collaboration with Bethany Edwards.

 

 

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