Tips or Tricks for stretching DP credits?

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by froggy922, May 9, 2013.

  1. froggy922

    froggy922 Mouseketeer

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    We've never been on the DP but got free QS Dining for our upcoming September vacation at ASMo. Because we want to do some TS and character meals, we have upgraded to the basic DP. I'm wondering if any of you have tips or tricks you use to stretch your credits.
    For example, if we use a CS credit at the hotel food court breakfast, can our beverage be bottled? If so, then I'd just use the refillable mug to drink with my meal :coffee: and use the bottled beverage to take with me to the parks. :drinking1: KWIM? Is this allowed? Since we have never been on the DP, I'm trying to figure out the best way to stretch the credits :) Any tips or tricks you all use and would like to share? TIA
     
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  3. fabulousfive

    fabulousfive DIS Veteran

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    We stretched our dollars on the plan by eating a late breakfast for our TS credit, a snack credit mid-day and a CS at night. We also tried to find the places that had the best, most filling snacks. Epcot is great for that!
     
  4. scanmom

    scanmom DIS Veteran

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    that is what we always do, get a bottled water or soda as our drink, then use our refillable mug to have a drink with our meal, then take our bottled drink into the parks or back to the room to put in the fridge for later.
     
  5. Lauralooneyfordisney

    Lauralooneyfordisney DIS Veteran

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    As long as it is not a buffet, you can share a meal and use 1 credit instead of 2 and with some places where the food amount is huge then that makes sense. You also should use snack credits for the more expensive items that are like $4.99 instead of say $2.99. You can always use a snack credit and get something to have for breakfast the next day too. We did that a lot when we were on DP and got huge muffins, cupcakes, etc..
     
  6. Hopefully

    Hopefully DIS Veteran

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    Using your TS credit for breakfast gives you the least money value for that credit.
    We eat breakfast in the room. We order breakfast food, juice, soda, water, beer wine and snacks from wegoshop.com. We save their delivery fee just on the case of water. We take the water with us to the parks.
    We eat CS at lunch and our TS for a sit down dinner. We use our snack credits in between.
    Good Luck
     
  7. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    The OP is going for free dining though. Which many say isn't free, but whenever I checked out FD back a couple years ago, I always noticed it was the same cost as if I were just going to book the room, so... If you don't otherwise have a room discount, it does end up being free to the person without a room discount. :) I"m just saying that when it's FD time, it's not necessarily that important to maximize every credit.


    And if using a breakfast works for someone, it works for someone. That poster just gave me a new way to think of the dining plan, and I might have to go back and see if it would work using it that way for us. It doesn't work using it any other way! I think it's important to make sure the dining plan doesn't make you eat in a way you don't normally eat, or wouldn't otherwise eat. Otherwise, what's the point? :)
     
  8. HubbDave

    HubbDave Remember, no matter where you go, there you are

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    I would guess that most (not all) people have dinner as their big meal...
    They were looking to stretch their dollar

    Dont forget, free ice water at all beverage service spots
     
  9. catra121

    catra121 DIS Veteran

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    I have personally found that two things really work best for us if trying to stretch the credits.

    1. Use your snack credits and don't look at how much you are "getting" for it. I am always amazed by the people who say they have lots of snack credits left over at the end of the trip. My boyfriend and I would use them for something like a bottle of soda that we would share. It wasn't the best "value" for the snack credit but it saved us money because we didn't have to pay OOP for those. We're not big on snack foods anyway so this just made more sense for us.

    2. Sharing meals works great. We never shared our TS meals...but counter service we might split one in the AM and then again around lunch. Or if we had a TS lunch then a CS split in the AM and one later in the evening. We never went hungry. If you end up not using a CS here or there because you're not hungry, remember you can use any left overs on departure day too.
     
  10. Reddy

    Reddy Scrapbooker

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    anytime we ate at the resort we would get the bottle drinks for later & drink the refill mug at the time - also saved the dessert for breakfast the next morning (yeah, I had Cheesecake for breakfast - works for me)
     
  11. cruise cruise cruise

    cruise cruise cruise <font color=royalblue>Either way we will have FUN!

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    I don't know where you are staying or how many are in your party, but some of our tips (2 adults 2 kids at CBR)
    If eating at the resort food court
    --always get a bottled beverage to take to the parks and fill your mug from the drink station
    --get a dessert that can serve as breakfast (fruit salad, muffin, yogurt)
    --1 large pizza comes with 2 beverages (get bottles of course) and 2 desserts - enough food for the 4 of us and only uses 2 CS credits

    When eating TS- we share at many (non buffet/character) restaurants. We are not ones to eat dessert with every meal, so even if the meal is on the small side for sharing, remember there is still dessert to come
     
  12. 2012bella13

    2012bella13 Mouseketeer

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    We used our credits for lunch & dinner. You always get a dessert to go with your meals, most of the time we had our desserts for breakfast, or if we did not, we used a snack credit. We also got breakfast items to have in the room, like donuts, poptarts, & danish. When we got our meals, we would get something bottled & get a refill for our mug when we was eating at our resort. Some of us only ate one meal a day & snacks. We had credits left over.
     
  13. amomma23

    amomma23 DIS Veteran

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    We always bring our own cereal bars and snacks from home for breakfast. We use the mugs for breakfast beverages on the way to the bus stop so we can head out quickly in the morning and save our credits for lunch and dinner.
     
  14. Marblies

    Marblies DIS Veteran

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    We NEVER bring food with us anymore. CS FD is more food than we can possibly eat (and we are not small eaters), because we have searched out the best bang for the "free" buck.
    1. We often share 2 large CS meals between the 3 of us - ie Flametree BBQ, to stretch our credits to cover 3 meals a day.
    2. If you are a soda drinker, request a large soda or you will get a medium one.
    3. If the food court has small and large OJ bottles- go with large.

    Newly discovered....At Goofy's Candy in DTD you can use a snack point to get a huge choc. dipped, candy coated rice Krispie mickey head instead of a smaller plain one in most food courts for the same sp. These travel really well and we found they were a great way to use leftover sps.
     
  15. brymolmom

    brymolmom DIS Veteran

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    How many people in your party? that is a big part of my 'credit stretching' strategy involves my family of 4.

    Here's what we do:
    1) Bring 1 - 2 boxes cereal in our luggage. Between that and some snack credits (muffins from main st bakery that we split) - This is our breakfast most days.
    2) On arrival and/or night before departure, we eat around the resort pool and get the pizza, 2 drinks and 2 desserts deal for 2 CS credits - this feeds our whole family of 4, 'saving' 2 CS credits.
    3) We like to eat one two credit meal per week-long stay. We usually pay OOP for our son's meal as he usually likes to order from the kids menu. We use his 2 TS credits for CS meals another time.
    4) One day of trip - we like to 'sleep in' and have a late CS meal at the food court....Then use snack credits for our 'ice cream for lunch' day as soon as we get to the park...Then plan an early buffet dinner that night.
    5) We use the drinks from any meals we get at our resort food court for breakfast the next morning - milk for our cereal or OJ - put in the frig and use the next morning.
    6) As a family of 4 at least a couple times during the trip we will split 3 CS meals between us.
    7) DD is picky so if we go to a CS place that isn't her favorite - she might have a 'snack meal' instead (muffin, iced lemonade, fruit) - Great way to use up snack credits and works well for her.

    By doin gthis it gives us enough credits for at least one CS breakfast.
     
  16. pmaurer74

    pmaurer74 DIS Veteran

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    Yes make sure you get a bottled drink too since you have the refillable mug. SHare a CS meal when you can that way you can split breakfast too. Use your CS credits on lunch and dinner and not breakfast. If you have a CS credit left they are worth 3 snacks unofficially.... Do not waste TS credits on lower priced restaurants.
     
  17. NorweJenNY

    NorweJenNY Always expanding my knowledge of the World

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    I second the idea of cheesecake for breakfast! We were often so full at the end of the day while on the DDP, that we couldn't eat all our dessert after dinner - package it up and save it for breakfast! Then we don't waste time waiting on lines for breakfast in the morning -just eat the leftover dessert to fill our tummies and head straight to the parks!

    I so often forget or almost forget to request the large drinks with quick service meals... especially helpful if you're sharing meals to stretch your credits. Write that one down.

    Carrot cake cookies at the Writer's Stop in DHS are HUGE and so filling. One of them could be a snack for two, if not a *meal* for two!

    And eating at Wolfgang Puck Express in DTD is great - first, after you place your order at the counter, they bring it to you with anything else you might need... so it feels kinda like TS for a CS credit. Furthermore, their dinners are easily able to feed two people.
     
  18. fabulousfive

    fabulousfive DIS Veteran

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    Yes for us having a late character breakfast everyday saved us money because it was both breakfast & lunch combined into one! :) It's a way of stretching the meal plan, not necessarily making sure you are spending the most at each meal. And plus, as a side note, with little kids we like to do the big meals early in the day before crankiness and missed naps catch up with us at the end of the day. We feel we're having the happiest sit-down meals that way too!

    We did do one character lunch and that morning we all split two cinnamon rolls and had coffee to tie us over. Another day we were really hungry in Epcot and found you can get croissant sandwiches as a snack in France which may have since changed.

    But overall, we will always stick with a late big brunch to make it count for two meals & keep all happy. :)
     
  19. froggy922

    froggy922 Mouseketeer

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    Wow, everyone has given such good advice, tips, and insight! Thank you for all the responses! I'm taking notes! :)
     
  20. jhryb

    jhryb DIS Veteran

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    Our family always gets the regular Dining Plan and we always have left over snack credits (and sometimes CS credits) that we are desperately trying to use up on our last day (i.e. packing chocolate covered rice crispy Mickey heads in our luggage to take home). We have never worried about "stretching DP credits" because we find that there is so much food that we always have left overs anyways.
    I always get my early morning coffee in my refillable drinking mug. We have an early CS lunch beginning around 11am. If someone is hungry before this time then they can get a fruit or a yogurt snack.
    We have our TS dinner around 6pm.
    The desserts that you get at both your CS and TS meal put us over the fullness threshold.
    This works great for us.
     
  21. Marblies

    Marblies DIS Veteran

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    Be sure to check out the current snack list and make note of items that work as small meals. ie. jalapeno pretzels or chicken fried rice.

    If choosing Wolfgang Puck for CS in DTD, (a good value for credits in my book) be aware that the servers DO expect tips. Most CS will not even accept them, even BOG during lunchtime.
     

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