Can DDP convenience be replicated w credit card on magic bands?

10 of us head to WDW every three years (DVC members), and we’ve always done the standard dining plan. We’re thinking of skipping it this year, but the convenience of it was awesome.

We’re wondering if now that we’ll all have magic bands, can the grandparents just hook up their credit card to all our bands, and tell us to buy our food via the bands to get the same level of convenience?

We are 4 kids (8 - 15), 4 parents, and 2 active grandparents.
Last time we used the DDP I totaled up receipts last time as best I could, and determined that we mostly broke even compared to buying the food OOP. Each adult couple gets a signature dining date night, and the kids eat more QS. Since we have breakfast in our room, we never run out of meals, and usually have many snacks still left on our last day.

Just to make sure that this is clear, the credit card numbers are not associated with the magic bands. What is happening here is that you can authorize that the magic bands can be used to charge WDW purchases (dining, souvenirs, etc.) to the room that they are associated with, and then those charges are paid using the credit card on file for the room. Room charges in total are charged to the credit card when you check out, or when you exceed a set limit which varies based on the resort type.

That being said, yes, you can effectively charge your dining expenses using the magic bands and have them go to the grandparents’ credit card. :slight_smile:

Thank you for the clarification. That makes sense.
Thank goodness for generous grandparents!! :mage: :fairy:

I imagine then, that there is no way to link a gift card to the magic band? I was thinking about skipping the DP as well and just pre-purchasing a gift card for food.

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Not directly, but there is s work-around. If you go to the front desk you can pay off whatever your current room charge balance is using GCs. Just make sure that you do it before you exceed the room limit so the the charges don’t automatically go to your credit card on file. Most people do this every couple of days to be sure.

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great suggestion!

Do you drink alcohol? With that addition this year I think it can impact the value depending on the answer.

6 of the adults drink alcohol occasionally, but 3 of the “adults” are under 15 years old. This later point is what makes the dining plan not necessarily work so well for is this time. And 4 of us are vegetarian, so we’re not getting the expensive steak dinners.

1 character meal, 3 signature dining experiences are our big meals. But all 10 of us stay in 1 3 BR villa, so we either all get the plan or all don’t.

It is DVC sobyou will all be in the same room? If it is more than one room- one room (the one with the fewest occupants) could add the deluxe plan and everyone could share the credits.

Yup, we all have the same room number.

You can absolutely link the grandparents’ credit card to the Magic Bands. In fact, you could link a different credit card to each Magic Band if you wanted to (and of course you also decide which of the Magic Bands have charging privileges). Your itemized room bill will clearly show which Magic Band was used for each charge, so it’s also very easy to split the bill at this stage if you wanted to.

I do not believe that you can link each Magic Band to a different credit card - unless WDW has changed something, there can be only 1 credit card associated with a room, and the Magic Bands are associated with that room reservation. However, as you say you can decide which bands have charging privileges.

EDIT - I did a little research on this, and apparently WDW has improved the system so that when you check in you can put multiple CCs on file and associate each one with a specific individual, so charges on that individual’s MB will go on that card. Live and learn. What you still cannot do is set this up in advance on the reservation in MDE - you need to do this at check-in.

Correct, it needs to be done at checkin. :slight_smile:

And half the time it doesn’t work - you need to be certain it’s properly set up before making any big purchases!

I never understood the “convenience” of the meal plan. if anything I always found it to be more of a pain as I wanted to eak out the “value” of it.

I do get the whole “its already paid for” and love going to All Inclusive’s just for that very reason. But the fact that you have to really fight for your reservations and sometimes you want to do something different - I rather just pay via CC directly or magic band.


I wholeheartedly agree with this! The dining plans were never a good value for my family, as they do not line up with how we like to eat in the first place. I realize that they work out for some people, but I think that if most people did the math (and did not depart from normal eating habits just to “use” the credits) they would find that they would be better off going without a plan. If you really want to “pre-pay”, buy WDW gift cards and use them for your dining expenses.

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There’s simply nothing “convenient” about having to purchase a predefined set of items. “Is that a snack? How many meals do we have left? Does this take one or two credits?”. Convenience is buying what you want, when you want it, without having to jump through hoops. My wife and I did not do a dining plan and payed for everything with our magic bands; it was extremely convenient and worked great. The dining plan is less convenient, and is only worth doing if it saves money. My understanding is that, the vast majority of the time, it does not.


Agree. We tried the Dining Plan the very first year it was offered (the only year it included appetizer, entree and dessert) and it was waaaay too much food, plus it was a pain keeping track of credits and making sure we used them all. On top of that, DH felt like he had to maximize value, so almost felt like he had to order the most expensive thing regardless of whether he fancied it or not… Never done the DDP since - we’ve stuck to TiW ever since. :slight_smile:

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Last trip we had two dinners of “pizza at the pool” - $20 bucks each night - BEAT THAT!!! If I had a meal plan we would have had to do something less convenient.

So to be clear, I just charge to the room but before charges are actually sent to my card, I pay off the charges with my gift card? actually sounds like an amazing idea. still get that convenience and prepaid feeling without being tied to the plan.