Thrifty Thursday: Ten Ways to Save Money on Your Disney Dining

food-2When it comes to planning a Disney vacation, the food part can “eat” up a lot of your budget (pun was totally intended 🙂 ). So with that in mind, let’s chat about some tips, ideas, and strategies that can help you save money on your Disney dining. In no particular order, here are 10 of my favorite ways to reduce your Disney food budget:

  1. Eat some meals in your room. All Disney hotels have, at a minimum, a small refrigerator and the family suites will have a microwave as well. If you are staying in one of the Deluxe Villas, or an off-property villa or vacation home, you will actually have access to a full kitchen. So use your hotel for simple meals: get some milk, juices, and even some lunch meat and cheese to keep in the frig. We have done this and had cereal in the morning before leaving for the parks, and made some sandwiches to bring with us for a quick, easy, and inexpensive lunch. Easy and saves time and money. Win-win!
  2. Bring your own snacks, juices, water etc. Not having to pay park prices on these things will save you a lot of money…plus it is so much more convenient to just grab a bottle from your backpack instead of standing in a long, hot line.
  3. Have some food items delivered to your hotel. Having a case of water and simple snacks and other items can help with #1 and 2. Online sources such as Garden Grocer or make it easy and very cost effective. 
  4. Consider sharing meals, especially if you have little ones who don’t eat much. Disney portions are usually quite large and sharing…whether between 2 kids, or an adult and child…will not leave anyone hungry. This works, by the way, whether you are eating counter service or table service.
  5. Look for buffets, as you will get more for your money! If you are planning table service meals, those buffets offer many choices (and refills) that are perfect for everyone in your family…especially those hungry teens!
  6. Think about having your table service meals for lunch: you will still get a lot of the same delicious food options but at lunch prices rather than dinner prices.
  7. Make the most of your snack credits! If you have the Disney Dining Plan, you will find that there are TONS of great snack options and using snack credits can easily provide food for a simple breakfast or light “in between” meal.  
  8. Consider foregoing table service meals altogether and just eat quick service. Many families find that this is the best way to go with small children, as there are no long waits for food, and the meals tend to be more “kid-friendly”.
  9. Eat some meals away from Disney. While Walt Disney World has a TON of dining options, if you have access to a car, you may find that some non-park restaurants may be less expensive than those you find in the parks.
  10. Look at or other local Florida/Orlando websites for discount coupons for eating establishments.

OK, so there you go, 10 easy ways that you can pare down your food budget on a trip to Disney World. Clearly, all will not apply in all situations, but you should be able to use a few on your vacation, and when it comes to trying to saving money at Disney, every little bit helps!

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This entry was posted in Affordable Disney Vacations, Dining at Walt Disney World, Disney Vacation Planning, Disney Vacation Tips, Saving Money at Disney World, Saving Money on Food, Thrifty Thursday and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Thrifty Thursday: Ten Ways to Save Money on Your Disney Dining

  1. Shepard C Willner says:

    All good ideas for saving scratch at WDW. However, I do have a couple issues with one or more of them: 1. How do you know whether the fridge will actually keep things cold? Does it have a temperature control inside? 2. Doesn’t Amazon require a room location to be provided to the retailer when ordering groceries, or do you simply show the address of the resort, and let the delivery folks find the room? 3. Sometimes I get sick at buffets from too much food, and would rather use the table service available, but I think the idea of taking table service for lunch instead of dinner is a great one.

    • Nancy says:

      The frigs do have moderate temperature controls. Think dorm-type of frig, that is what you can expect. That being said, I have never found it to be a problem with anything being kept cold….or freezing water bottles in the freezer section either. As for deliveries, no room # is not required as all deliveries go to the resort in general and the guest then picks it up once they check in. They do not get delivered to the room. 🙂

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