I do have to admit, I love the Disney Dining Plan. every time we go, we are served more food than we can possibly eat during our trip. Because of this there are times when we overstuff ourselves just so we do not lose out on the meals and snacks we have already paid for. So I have discovered a way to get around the Disney Dining Plan, but still have the money set aside for all of your meals before leaving for your Walt Disney World vacation.
What we have done is open up a second account just for our Disney vacations and have a debit card for it. Prior to leaving for Disney we calculate the amount of meals we will need and add a little extra for snacks. Then instead of using the dining plan we use the debit card for the account. This way if we do not use all of the credits for meals during our stay we do not lose out. We have the money still in the account and ready to use on our next trip or for something else we need.
If you do not want to open up an entirely separate account you can purchase (sometimes for a small fee) a prepaid American Express, Master Card or Visa to put all of your food money on. From experience the American Express Prepaid Card is one of the more secure and cheapest of them all to get. If you have money left over you can either save the card (but check for expiration dates and additional fees first) or use in on other things you need to pay for.
I hope this helps you find an alternative to purchasing the Disney Dining Plan.
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