Dining at Disney can be expensive! Here are some tried and true ways to save some money on the cost of dining during your Disney vacations!
9. Customize a meal
At certain quick-service locations, it’s possible to save money by requesting a custom meal that does not include sides. Say, for example, a meal includes a cheeseburger and french fries, but you know that you won’t eat the fries. You can ask to just order the cheeseburger. Sometimes, they can price items individually, saving you money. It’s always worth asking!
8. Carry in at least one meal a day
Some visitors to Walt Disney World are not aware that Disney permits guests to bring food into their theme parks. Anything food that isn’t in a glass container and will fit inside a cooler no larger than 24 x 15 x 18 inches is permissible. This essentially means that if you’d like to pack every bit of food you’re going to eat for the entire day, you can. But Disney has some pretty spectacular food choices to offer guests, so I would recommend packing one meal per day for your traveling party. Generally breakfast is the easiest thing to bring, as it can consist of easy to carry items like fresh fruit, granola bars, yogurt, bagels, etc.
7. Pack your own snacks
A day of park touring can really work up an appetite, and you’ll probably be looking for snacks between meals. Even if you don’t pack a full meal, you can save money by carrying these snacks into the park with you. Dry cereal, goldfish crackers, granola bars, and peanut butter crackers all make for great between-meal snacks that don’t need to be kept cold.
6. Pack your own drinks
A bottle of water will run you $2.50 in any Disney theme park. A fountain drink will set you back $2.99. You can save a considerable amount of money by simply carrying at least some of your beverages into the parks with you. Bottled water can be frozen in your hotel mini-fridge and will stay cold for hours in your touring backpack, even in the intense heat of a Florida summer.
5. Order only water at restaurants
The cheapest beverage you can purchase at any Disney restaurant is milk for $1.79. Coffee or tea is $2.29. That means that for a family of 4, drink purchases alone will account for a minimum of $8.00 at each meal. Multiply that by 3 meals a day over the course of a 6 day trip and you’ve spent $144 dollars on drinks alone. How do you solve this problem? Order water exclusively. Not a fan of plain water? Check out tip number 4.
4. Bring flavor packets or drops for water
Looking to spruce up your tap water beverage? Try packing one of the many varieties of water flavor packets in your touring bag. There are TONS of different types available today, even a few that will cater to the kids in your family! (Dasani, Propel, and Kool-Aid all make water flavoring drops or packets that are very portable!)
3. Share meals
Many dining establishments at the Walt Disney World Resort offer generous portion sizes. People with small to moderate size appetites may be able to share one entree at many Walt Disney World restaurants if they supplement the meal with an appetizer.
2. Dine on appetizers and desserts
If you purchase 2 or 3 appetizer plates and a dessert or two to share between two or three people, you will likely find that this is plenty of food to satisfy even a hearty appetite. This is a great way to not only save money but also sample some fare at restaurants that may otherwise be out of financial reach.
1. Order off the children’s menu
This may be one of the best kept budget dining secrets! At any counter service restaurant, adults can order a meal from the children’s menu. While the selection at most establishments is fairly limited to your typical “kid-type” fare (ie, burgers, pizza, chicken strips, grilled cheese), the value lies in the fact that these meals typically include TWO side items (like fries and a dessert item with a burger) AND a drink (often times you can choose a milk, juice, small bottle of water, or a fountain drink). And frankly, when it comes to an item like a burger, the portion size is only slightly less than the adult version. If the dessert offering doesn’t interest you, you can always substitute for a different side, usually some type of fruit like grapes or apple slices.
Get more Disney dining tips by planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best price for your vacation, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!
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