Disney World is the happiest place on earth, but all that happiness can come with a high price tag if you aren’t careful! Since food will be one of your most significant expenses, it can be worthwhile to find a few ways to save on food at Disney Parks!
Disney is far from your budget-friendly trip for most families, and one of the most expensive parts of the trip cab be food! If you’re looking for cheap food options at Disney then you’re in the right place! Here is how we suggest you save money on food at Disney World.
Choose a Substantial Snack Instead of a Full Meal when Looking for a Cheap Meal Option at Disney
While there are so many great restaurants in Disney, there are also a ton of amazing snacks! If you haven’t been to Disney before, you may be a little overwhelmed by all your food choices and in turn, end up spending more money of food at Disney than you budgeted for. Finding the most affordable food at the Parks isn’t always an easy option, but it’s definitely doable!
Keeping with the “go big or go home” mentality that Disney usually sports in all aspects of their Parks, the portions in Disney can be a bit large. With larger snack portions, snack shacks now make an excellent meal substitute if you’re not super hungry!
Turkey legs and other meals are great snacks that also make a great meal. Have you seen those cute snack goal shirts with the Dole Whips, Mickey Ice Creams, Mickey Mouse shaped Pretzels and more? Not only are they cute shirts to wear around the Parks, but they can represent your actual “snack goals” that can feel more like a meal!
If you want to do a Character Dining Reservation, Go for Breakfast to Save Money at Disney
Character dining meals are going to be way more expensive than other meal options around the park, but if you’re really wanting to do one or have kids that would love the experience, then go during breakfast.
The breakfast buffets or dining options are going to be a safe bet on quality, and they will be much cheaper than lunch and dinner Character Dining Reservations!
If you want to save even more, go for an typically later reservation for breakfast, like 10:30-11 am! Then you can enjoy a late brunch and skip lunch at Disney World altogether!
A Huge Money Saving Tip- Skip the Disney Dining Plan if you are a Light Eater
The Disney Dining Plan can be a great value for you and your family if you feel like you can make use of the amount of food for the price! The reality is that most of us won’t eat nearly enough food to justify the dining plan!
Instead, skip the dining plan and pay out of pocket. This will require a little more restraint, but you will be saving a lot of money down the road, trust me.
If, however, you plan on eating steak and lobster for every meal or things that are equivalent in price point or have heavy eaters in your family, the dining plan can turn into a great value.
If you want to do a Table Service Meal, go during Lunch instead of Dinner
Here’s a real quick BONUS TIP for eating at Cinderella’s Royal Table. You HAVE to make a reservation online 6 months ahead of the day you’re hoping to eat there.
Yup, 6 months. And, you should be waiting for the reservations to open up online each morning (check site to see when that is) because they fill up FAST! It’s best to have a few day options to increase your chances of getting a reservation.
At the very least, try not to limit yourself on dinner vs lunch if this is a MUST do activity, and you should know Cinderella’s Royal Table, isn’t “cheap” either, but it is an amazing experience.
Now, back to our tips for affordable table service meals at Disney World, keep on reading!
Table service meals can be expensive in the Parks, but not out of the question. Lunch is usually going to be cheaper and less crowded than during dinner.
Enjoying a table service lunch is great for many reasons, first and foremost, you can enjoy a nice break from the park! This gives you time to rest and let your feet relax before you head back into the Parks.
Just like with the character meals, you can also opt for a late lunch to still get that dinner dining experience without breaking the bank.
Related: Have you seen how we save money on flights to and from Florida (to visit Disney World)? We rarely pay much for airfare and we’d love to share our secrets. Bonus secret: How to get Disney World Tickets for CHEAP or even FREE!
Share Food with Family from Time to Time to stay budget friendly in Disney
Some restaurants charge a sharing fee or won’t let you share, such as a buffet. However, if you can share food, this is a great way to save money!
Kids portions are way more expensive than they should be, but your kids can get plenty of food from eating off your plate! Then, you don’t have to worry about wasting food or overpaying for uneaten food.
We do this on many occasions and in many places, not just Disney, as our kids don’t ever need as much food as places give out, at least not yet. Plus, there’s more options on the adult menu anyway.
No matter what kind of diet you have, these money-saving tips will help you save money on food while you are at any of the Disney Parks and will help you find cheap food options at Disney World!
Do you have any other Disney vacation money saving tips on how to stay on a budget at Disney? Feel free to share them in the comments below! We’d love for you to share them with the rest of our audience!