This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Disney World is always hatching new ideas on how to have a cute little mouse take just a few more dollars out of your pockets during visits. Usually, the attractions or characters are the hook to get you to buy special dinner packages. But in a bit of a peculiar fashion, right now Disney World is offering you reserved seating to a nighttime show and some bonus food credit during one of its busiest weeks of the year — Dec. 22 – Jan. 2.
$5 in Bonus Food for Getting a Seat at Animal Kingdom Show
In a unique move, Disney World is advertising a $30 package at Animal Kingdom that comes with a $35 gift card valid at the 40+ food carts around the park and reserved seating for the nighttime Rivers of Light spectacular. So, in a sense, they are offering you $5 in extra credit to eat throughout the day and watch the evening show (so don’t waste a FastPass+ reservation on this if you think you can use the credit). Usually, you are paying a bit beyond the cost of food for packages that include special seating or access.
Dubbed Disney’s Animal Kingdom Tasting Sampler, the package needs to be purchased at least a day in advance of your visit. It’s not eligible for use at table service or quick service restaurants, so no Tiffins or Satu’li Canteen this time around (which are both quite good). However, you’ll have over 40 food and beverage carts and kiosks throughout the park at your disposal from 10:30am – 6pm with your $35 credit. And, while the food can be shared amongst a group, you’ll only receive one reserved seat per sampler package purchased, valid for the second Rivers of Light show of the evening.
In Animal Kingdom, the food carts go beyond bottled water and cotton candy. There you will also find curry bowls, Dole Whip, craft beer selections, mac & cheese with pulled pork, apple cider donut holes, Korean beef sliders, beer flights, fried dumplings and a lot more, so you truly can create your own sampler afternoon.
That being said, Rivers of Light is not a difficult FastPass to get if you want reserved seating without paying $30 for $35 in cart food. However, the timing of the FastPass+ can seriously crimp your style since it doesn’t occur until the end of the day. We discuss some basic FastPass+ strategy in our Ultimate Guide to Disney World, but the key to getting the most out of the FastPass+ system is to book your three FastPasses early in the day (but not too early).
That way you can get more than three total passes once you’ve used up your original FastPass+ selections. Grabbing Rivers of Light in advance would mean you can’t get a fourth FastPass until after you enter the show late in the day, making this a strategy worth considering if you want a reserved area for the show and like to snack your way around Animal Kingdom.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Tasting Sampler is cheaper than the Fantasmic dining packages. If you were planning to eat at the kiosks anyway, the Tasting Sampler can be a good way to score Rivers of Light seats and still leave your options open for that last-minute Avatar FastPass+. The Dole Whip you can buy with the sampler is simply pineapple-flavored icing on the cake.
- Visiting Disney World at Christmas
- How to Eat Healthy at Disney World
- Best Restaurants at Disney World
- How to Use Points to Buy Disney Tickets
- 10 Ways to Enjoy an Adult Trip to Disney World
Featured image courtesy of Disney.
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.
Set your own sign-up bonus with the Discover it Miles card. Any rewards you earn in the first year will automatically be matched at the end of the year and you'll earn an unlimited 1.5 miles on all purchases with no annual fee.
- Intro Offer: Discover will match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. That's $700 towards travel!
- Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases all with no annual fee.
- No Blackout Dates – fly any airline, stay at any hotel.
- Redeem your Miles as a statement credit towards travel purchases.
- Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
- Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
- Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
- See Rates & Fees