How do DisneyWorld Restaurants process credit card transactions?


#1

I have a Costco credit card that rewards me 3% on restaurants and travel purchases, so I typically use that for dining out. However, when I booked pre-paid reservations for Cinderella's Royal Table, the charge was from a generic Disney World merchant account...which earned me the 1% default reward instead.

It got me wondering if this was the exception (since I had to do this reservation over the phone) or if all charges route through a central Disney World merchant?

I have a second card that earns me a flat 2% no matter what, and that's what I'll use most places...but if I have a chance to save a little more with the Costco card, I'd like to do so. And I have the Disney Visa for the restaurants that give a 10% discount...but only a few do that.


#2

lets say you spend $1,000 on meals. Is it really worth the $10 difference. I would just take the one that gives you the best GENERIC reward. If you are onside and charge to the room - then it will just be a generic charge I would think


#3

Interesting... Being a small business owner, I'm sort of facinated by these sorts of things. Certainly Disney is a huge enough company to have their own processors, even it's Visa. They must get awesome rates.

To speak to you question, I'd think that only the non-Disney restaurants (The Boathouse, Rainforest Cafe, Bongos, and many other Disney Springs locations) would fall under the regular restaurant identification.


#4

I would think so as well. My card basically give 2% on everything so I don't really care what it is. Also the spas etc process things differently. So I did take a look at last year's CC statement and the vast majority of restaurants came up as Dining transaction. Obviously anything I charged back to the room came up as a resort item.


#5

If you stay on property and use your Magic Bands, you'll get one charge for everything all together from WDW Resorts.


#6

I'm not planning on using my bands for purchases for the most part. Not sure how much I want to trust that technology.


#7

The processing isn't done on your cc via the band. It just links back to your room. So no sensitive data is transmitted via the band


#8

i love being able to scan my band for everything. It's part of the experience. I also love being able to buy stuff in the parks and have it show up at my hotel and not have to lug it all around.


#9

Since using a Disney Visa card will save me 10% at most souvenir stands, I won't be using the bands for that either.


#10

YES - that is a HUGE perk.


#11

You need to spend $50 to get that 10% off for souvenirs, so keep that in mind. You'll want to group your purchases together.


#12

I have the Costco Citi Visa card that gives 3% back on "restaurant and travel" purchases and 1% back on "all other" purchases.

The OP mentioned that charging the credit card at a Disney park restaurant only qualified for the 1% "all other" purchases ... then, am I correct in assuming that if I linked my Magic Band to my hotel/DME credit card (which would be the Costco Visa card), then all of my purchases made in the parks -- at restaurants, gift shops, etc -- would get charged to the hotel which would fall under the 3% "travel" reward?


#13

When I booked reservations for Cinderella's Royal Table in September, I was precharged and the charge came from "DISNEY RESORTS-WDW 407-828-5630 FL"... but was categorized as "Category: Merchandise - DIRECT MARKETING/DIRECT MARKETERS"...and I got a 1% rebate.

That may be due to the fact that I had to call to make a reservation because I had goofed up in setting my Disney account; they fixed it for me, but they did my initial reservations over the phone. But still, I would have expected that "DISNEY RESORTS" to be be Travel.

I already have a Citibank Double Cash card, so I'm planning to use that for any room charges. (I booked through David's DVC, so our room is already paid for.) I'll probably use the Costco Visa for the first restaurant, then hopefully have time to check it later that day to see how it comes through. But if I have any doubts, I'll use the Double Cash card.


#14

Sorry to revive an old thread but I’m dying to know if the OP (or anyone else) got their answer. I found myself today wondering the same thing since I have the same cards and happened upon this thread from a google search. Thanks!


#15

Thread Revival!

All of the on-site restaurants and snack bars we visited processed the charge as a restaurant, so the Costco Visa earned me a 3% reward. As I mentioned, I booked Cinderella’s over the phone, and the charge for that was a generic charge that went through their marketing department.

I used the Disney Visa at the souvenir stands; we did a lot of time looking, but held our purchases so we could get those charges over $50…and we did use the Disney Visa at the restaurants that gave the discount (Kona Cafe and Hollywood & Vine) instead of the Costco Visa.

I did not use the MagicBands to charge anything, as I didn’t see any advantage to it. It’s not a hassle to me to use a credit card, and I wasn’t about to tell my kids they could scan for what they wanted. And since I didn’t have any room charges, checkout from our room was super quick since there was nothing to review.


#16

Same experience here (we get 4X points at restaurants with AMEX). Restaurants (both TS and QS), snack carts, beverage carts, food booths, even La Cava del Tequila all show up as restaurant charges. Even the fireworks dessert party at Tomorrowland Terrace processed as a restaurant (though FEA did not). Our only prepaid dining experience was Hoop Dee Doo and it was also processed as a restaurant as I recall. The only time we missed out on extra points was at Tokyo Dining, which processed as a department store.


#17

Thanks, guys! Glad to hear.