When it comes to budgeting for food at Walt Disney World, I know it can be expensive. and when you add in the fact that you have to budget for multiple family members or friends, the cost can really add up. But there are ways to save money of food when you’re visiting. From freebies to taking advantage of in-room amenities to knowing when to dine, here’s how to save money on meals at Disney World.
Look, I’ll be the first to admit that I love dining at Walt Disney World (WDW). And, I’ll also be the first to admit that it can get expensive, especially when you’re staying for multiple days. But, with the right dining hacks, you really can save a ton of money. Here are my best tips on save to save money on meals at Disney World and keep within your budget.
Eat at Quick Service Restaurants
By comparison, a Quick Service (counter service) meal can be up to 1/3 of the cost of a Table Service Meal. If you’re not too concerned about dining with characters or having heartier meals, Quick Service meals are the way to go.
Eat From the Children’s Menu
This, by far, is my top tip for saving money at Disney World Quick Service restaurants. While the kid’s menus are for younger children, I’ve never been asked the age of the person eating a meal when I order from the kid’s menu.
And, if there’s nothing that strikes your fancy from a particular Quick Service menu, ask if it offers an alternate menu.
Eat Breakfast in the Room before You Hit the Parks
This makes so much sense, both monetarily and efficiency-wise. For my family, we eat pretty light in the mornings, so I’ll make sure to bring oatmeal packets and cereal when we visit. I can use the in-room coffee maker to heat up water for the oatmeal and I’ll grab a container of milk from a nearby convenience store and leave it in the fridge.
As for efficiency, eating in the room will allow for more productive time in the park for rides and attractions.
Split Adult Entrees
Here’s another tip for Quick Service restaurants: if you’re not starving, order one meal and split. WDW has no problem with that at all.
Never Pay for Water
My top tip for Walt Disney World freebies: never pay for water! Seriously.
At any counter service restaurant that’s serving fountain drinks, you can ask for as many cups of free ice water as you’d like, as often as you’d like.
Eat From the Appetizer Menu
If you want to dine at Table Service restaurants, but don’t want to be surprised with the bill at the end, order appetizers. First, there’s nothing wrong with eating app only. Second, table service meals tend to be big, and appetizers are a great way to try the cuisine without paying a ton.
Pack Snacks to Eat in the Parks
Instead of paying a premium snacks in the parks when you’re hungry, throw a few in your Disney park bag to enjoy to save some serious cash.
Personally, I choose snacks that won’t melt in the hot, Florida sun, so nix the chocolate. I go for granola bars, dried fruit, trail mix, etc.
And speaking of your park bag, here are 10 new things to pack in your Disney Park Bag.
Purchase a Refillable Mug
If you’re staying at a Walt Disney World Resort, you don’t have to have the Disney Dining Plan to get a refillable mug. It will be good to go for the entire length of your stay and, if you like to enjoy fountain beverages and coffee, you’ll definitely save a bunch.
Take Advantage of In-Room Coffee Maker
If you need that morning caffeine fix, take advantage of the resort in-room coffee maker instead of paying for coffee each day. If you run out, simply call housekeeping and ask for replenishments.
Don’t Stop at Starbucks – Head to Joffrey’s
And if you’re not a fan of in-room coffee and have to have one in the parks, head to a Joffrey’s location instead of Starbucks. Joffrey’s tends to cost less and you’ll be less inclined to go for the fancy beverages.
Take Your Popcorn Bucket into the Park for Refills
If the fam likes popcorn to snack on, purchase a popcorn bucket at any WDW theme park or Disney Springs. Once you’ve finished off a portion, you can head to any popcorn stand and get a refill for $2.00.
Look Out for Free Disney Dining Plan Offers
When the Disney Dining Plan comes back in swing, be on the lookout for free Disney Dining Plan offers. While you’ll be paying the rack rate for your resort room, not having to pay for your meals can be beneficial on your wallet.
Did I miss your favorite way to save money on meals at Disney World? Please leave me a comment below to let me know!