Thrifty Thursday: Eat This, Not That in the Magic Kingdom

Dining in Disney is a joy, but it can also quickly become one of the most expensive parts of your trip. But, with a couple of quick substitutions, you can save a bundle! Here are a few options for  cost-cutting in the Magic Kingdom. 

Pasta with Meatballs

The Expensive Version
With choice of meatballs or Italian sausage, Tony’s Town Square Spaghetti will set you back $16.99 at lunch or dinner.

The Less-Expensive Version
The penne with meatballs at Pinocchio Village Haus only costs $8.49.

Potential Savings: $8.50

New England Clam Chowder

The Expensive Version
At Liberty Tree Tavern, a lunchtime bowl of New England Clam Chowder costs $6.99.

The Less-Expensive Version
You can get the same chowder at Columbia Harbour House for only $4.49 a bowl.

Potential Savings: $2.50

Meatball Sub

The Expensive Version
At Tony’s Town Square, three meatball sliders, served on focaccia with provolone and arugula, costs $12.49 at lunch time. For your money, you’ll also get housemade chips.

The Less-Expensive Version
Pinocchio Village Haus does it again, with a meatball sub smothered in melted cheese for only $8.49. And this one comes with fries or apple slices.

Potential Savings: $4

Tuna Sandwich

The Expensive Version
At The Plaza, your tuna comes on a croissant with broccoli slaw, homemade chips or French fries for $11.99.

The Less-Expensive Version
The Anchors Aweigh Sandwich served at Columbia Harbour House is served on a toasted multigrain bun with potato chips for $8.99.

Potential Savings: $3

Chicken Parm

The Expensive Version
For $17.99 at lunch or dinner, Tony’s Town Square will serve you chicken and spaghetti topped with marinara sauce and melted mozzarella.

The Less-Expensive Version
Order this at Pinocchio Village Haus and you’ll get essentially the same meal with penne pasta for only $8.79.

Potential Savings: $9.20

Angus Chuck Burger

The Expensive Version
The Plaza serves an Angus burger with cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion. You can also request bacon, mushrooms and onions. For $13.99, this is served with choice of broccoli slaw, homemade chips or French fries.

The Less-Expensive Version
For $9.69, you can get a 1/3 pound Angus burger with cheese, bacon, onion rings and BBQ sauce at Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn. Served with fries or apple slices, your burger includes a trip to the toppings bar, which offers mushrooms, onions and peppers and other condiments.

The Least-Expensive Version
At Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café, your 1/3 pound Angus burger comes topped with bacon and cheese and is served with apple slices or fries for $9.19. Ray’s also has a topping bar, so you can add additional items, like mushrooms, onions and plastic cheese.

Potential Savings: $4.80

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Melissa Sue works in higher education communications in upstate New York, where she lives with her husband Robert, a secondary school teacher, and her cavapoo George (as in King George). Melissa began visiting Disney World when she was six and today owns a piece of the magic at Bay Lake Tower. She blogs at Mouse on the Mind and tweets @msorrellsgalley. She’ll be contributing money-saving tips to The Affordable Mouse.

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8 Responses to Thrifty Thursday: Eat This, Not That in the Magic Kingdom

  1. Pingback: Thrifty Thursday: Eat This, Not That in the Magic Kingdom | DisneyDigest

  2. Christina says:

    LOL Plastic cheese at Cosmic Ray’s 😉

  3. Pingback: Thrifty Thursday: Eat This, Not That Part I | Mouse on the Mind

  4. This is a really great article. I don’t normally do a lot of eating in MK. Basically just snacks or a stop at Casey’s but it’s nice to know there are these other options in the park. I haven’t been to Tony’s since my first trip in 1996, and while I feel I want to give it another try, there are so many reviews that dissaude me from doing do. I would rather make use of my time and ride attractions. haha. Great read!

    • Nancy says:

      Thanks for stopping by Estelle and good luck with your next visit. You should try Tony’s…and be sure to let us know what you thought!

    • Melissa Sue says:

      Thanks, Estelle!!

      If I’m going to have a sit-down in MK, it’s almost always at Liberty Tree Tavern for lunch. Tony’s can’t compete!

      If you do get around to trying Tony’s, I hope you’ll blog about it!!

  5. Jan says:

    We ate at Tony’s for the first time on our last visit in September and have already made reservations there for our next visit this coming September. The prices may be a bit steep but the meal that we got was good. You don’t mind the extra cost if you get value for your buck! Jan

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