How to Charge Food

I will not be staying on property. I see that the dining plan is not an option for us. Can you suggest any options to handle paying for food? We’ll bring cash of course, but is there something else for off-siters so we won’t have to keep swiping our card. Thanks

Mobile ordering lets you pay through the MDE app, so that’s an option for the QS places that offer it. I found it really convenient and a good way to avoid long lines on our trip last fall, though that was before it accepted dining plan so might not be quite the time saver it was before.

Disney gift cards?

If you’re from overseas, you would have to buy them when you get there, but it’s easier than paying by cash all the time.

Even if you have the dining plan, you still have to pay cash or card for tips and drinks. The make tiny gift cards that go on a bracelet on your wrist if digging around for your wallet is the hard part. Otherwise, I don’t usually mind swiping my credit card as it’s pretty straight forward. You don’t have to sign at quick service.

I’m planning on doing mobile ordering, but we will only do QS. Hoping to save some time that way also…hoping!

I am not sure here as we have always had the DDP. I know when we buy other items we always charge them to our credit card using our Magic Bands to pay at the location that excepts them. I would imagine that this should also be possible when paying for dinning at TS locations. Anyone know more about this option than It would be nice to hear from you. If it is possible, it would basically be the same as a DDP except instead of deducting from a prepaid plan, you would be adding a charge to your credit card on file.

Charging any purchase (food or merchandise) via Magic Bands only works if you are staying on site. It essentially charges your hotel room, which then charges your credit card you have on file (at the end of your trip, or sooner if you hit a predetermined limit). Mobile food ordering charges your credit card directly, the one that is connected to your MDE account. Anyone, on or off site, can do mobile ordering.

OP is staying off site.


Did you use the credit card on file with MDE or did you have to enter one when ordering online?

I used the credit card linked to my MDE but I think there was the option to change that at time of order if I wanted to.

Thanks. @melcort10, these gift card bracelets, where do you get them?
@mkmuzzy what is OP?

OP means original poster, just the person who started the thread.

OP is original poster (you). Just one of many abbreviations often used in forums. Here’s a popular list of them: Common Disney Abbreviations and Acronyms - AllEars.Net .

I usually take gift cards to pay as it deflates me to see dozens of charges on my statement from WDW. Sadly, I have NEVER put too much on a gift card and ALWAYS spend all of the money I budgeted! They sell those wrist band gift cards at Epcot during festivals, I’d be too afraid I’d lose it though.

If you didn’t want to use a credit card for these purchases, I’d think that gift cards would be even worse because you’d have to be continuously swapping cards and trying to keep track of which ones had a partial balance.

I’d suggest finding a good card that gives you a good reward. If you are a Costco member, the Costco Visa gives you back 3% as a Costco certificate. Citibank has a Double Cash Back card that gives you back 2% of your charges.

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We usually bring cash. Using cards makes it far too easy to go over budget. :slight_smile:

We did, one year, buy up a bunch of Disney Gift cards, which you can find at pretty much any Grocery store or Target, etc, where they sell gift cards. But, in truth, it was more a hassle than just using cash. We had to keep track of which gift cards we had used versus we hadn’t used, and how much was on each. Plus, if you don’t end up spending all the money, you end up with a balance on a gift card you can’t really use. Cash doesn’t have this problem. So the gift card idea we won’t do again.

To me, cash is king. I just make sure I only carry as much in my wallet each day as we plan to spend.

@mikeandkelli, @ryan1

Did you know you can combine all your gift cards onto one, using the online tool? And since you can register, your balance is protected if you lose it.

Seems like that would be a lot easier than managing several different gift cards.

I just wish I could buy the gift card her in the UK. :frowning_face:

I did know this, but it wasn’t really useful to do so. If I was always the one who was spending each and every time, it would have been okay. But we allocated so much to each of our kids, so handed them gift cards that they kept themselves to spend on food/snacks/and souvenirs. Sometimes we would separate, and they could spend how they wanted, knowing that if their money was gone for the next meal, they were out of luck!

As a result, we needed to have 5 gifts cards, minimum. One for my wife and I, and then one for our four kids (this trip my oldest son was in college so didn’t go).

Thanks everyone. The gift cards are too much of an extra step for me, and a recipe for disaster as my little ones lose everything. Old fashioned cash and card seems to be the ticket. I do appreciate the suggestion of mobile ordering for Quick Service. Hopefully in the future, Dining Plans will be extended to all guests.

Thanks again!

I do believe that if you have a MDE account with a credit card attached, You can use your Magic Band to pay for just about everything including your meals. It seems to me that you can either pay up front by buying a DPP and getting charged for things you may not eat or want or you can use your Magic Band to do essentially the same thing but on a direct purchase basis. Yes your Disney bill taken from your credit card on file is going to be huge. When you pay for a DDP you still fork out the same amount or more before you even consider eating the food. You also must make sure you do eat all the food or you are giving Disney a great bonus and believe me they count on that or they would not offer a DDP. Sometimes you can get a free DDP but is it really free? No it is not, you will pay for it by paying rack rates on your room which is probably more than the cost of the DDP.

If you’re on site. The OP isn’t staying on property so even with a magic band, she won’t be able to use it for charging.