Saving Money on Food at Disney World and Still Eating Like Royalty

More great news about planning affordable Disney family vacations!! Disney has just announced the extension of the FREE DINING package, available most nights between Sept. 29 and Dec. 17. This is an unheard-of great deal for the fall season: Disney has traditionally never offered this package during the fall, but evidently the continued economic problems are the Disney vacationers’ gain! If you have any thoughts at all about planning a Disney vacation in the fall, don’t miss out!

And speaking of dining at Walt Disney World, I recently had the chance to book our advanced dining reservations for our upcoming October trip. October is a great time of year to visit Florida, and it will be our first during the Food and Wine Festival, so I am super excited! Hope to see you there! =)

All this talk of dining reminded me of an article that I wrote for Ezine Articles recently, talking about ways to save money on food while at Disney World. Following is an excerpt:

Let me say that we find visiting Disney World to be a great excuse to eat! Lots of great choices, good quality in most cases, and the fun of trying new things, all entice us to truly enjoy eating while at Disney. Still, it can be very expensive, so we have found some ways to save money while still fully enjoying all the delicious options that Walt Disney World has to offer.

First of all, we signed up for the Disney Visa card, and we use the rewards dollars for our meals. Since we visit about once a year, by the time we go each year we accumulate  a pretty sizable amount of Disney dollars to spend on food. Now, I am not advocating blindly running up a credit card (especially not in this current economic climate) but since we use one card for all of our basic purchases (and pay it off in full each month), it is a strategy that works extremely well for us. In fact, it works so well that in many years, I have paid hardly anything for our food on our Disney vacation at all!

Secondly, we absolutely love the Disney Dining Plan. For those not familiar with how this works, IF you are staying on Disney property, you have the option to choose from several levels of the Disney Dining Plan, and basically pre-pay for most, if not all of your meals. Since there are several choices, each providing a certain number of snacks, counter meals, or table service meals, there are options for just about any budget. As our family enjoys table service meals each night, we choose the Plus Disney Dining Plan, and receive one snack credit, one counter meal (entrée, drink, and dessert), and one table meal (entrée, drink, and dessert) per person, per day. We have found that the snacks generally work well most days for breakfast, and the others are used for lunch and dinner each day. Honestly, it is more food per person than we can usually eat, and often we will get our dessert at dinner “to go” since we are so full! And for this level at least, the cost per day for our family of 3 is usually less than we would have paid for just the dinner itself, so it is a huge cost-saver for us. (Note: The Free Dining package option that Disney currently is offering for the Fall, offers the Plus Dining Plan if you book at a Moderate or Deluxe resort.)

Of course, with all that food we are eating, we are fortunately doing a LOT of walking at all the parks to exercise it off! Saving money on food has been a great way to help us plan a magical discount Disney family vacation each year!

Have a magical day!

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