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Cheap Eats at Disney World: How to Save Money on Your Disney Food Budget

Disney World is the ultimate vacation destination for young families, but it can be extremely difficult to do Disney on a budget. Getting there and back, paying for accommodation, tickets and all the must-see and must-do Disney World activities can cost a bomb. Check out these handy tips and hacks to save money on food at Disney World.

save money on food at Disney

How to Save Money on Food at Disney World

One of the biggest vacation expenditures is often food and beverages. Having to buy every meal, drink and snack out can run into hundreds of dollars, particularly when tourist spots hike up the prices beyond what’s even reasonable. Disney World like any other holiday destination is in the business of making money so you won’t find any cheap lunch or dinner specials here.

However, there are ways to save money on your food costs at Disney.

Use the Meal Packages

It may seem unlikely, but the food packages Disney offers are actually pretty good value based on both convenience and cost. Typically, with the most popular packages you’ll have access to two sit-down meals and one concession snack. 

There are plenty of restaurants within the park that participate in this offer, and if you plan your meal effectively, then you will find the package to be a great add-on. Purchasing in advance also helps to control your budget so that you don’t spend beyond your means when you get there, or have to choose between another meal or a plushie!

Eat Before You Go

This is an excellent strategy beloved of travellers everywhere. Stock up on food at breakfast, especially if it’s a buffet, then skip lunch.

Even if you don’t have a hotel breakfast lined up, there are hundreds of convenient food outlets in the vicinity of the theme parks, and all of them offer substantial savings compared to what you will find inside Disney. It is difficult to exit the park for a meal but grabbing a bite before you enter is easy enough to plan for.

Eat Later Meals

The way that you structure your mealtimes can also impact how much you will spend on food and beverages. If you can eat a later lunch for instance, you will probably be able to hold off on dinner until your journey back to your accommodation.

This will allow you to dine outside of the park where there are cheaper options. You can also consider subsidizing meals with concession snacks to get your family by until you find an option on the outside. If you plan properly, you will likely only need to have one full meal inside the park, or none at all of you follow the BIG breakfast tip above.

Utilize Children’s Portions

As the average portion size continues to increase in America, we find ourselves leaving more and more on our plates. Use this to your advantage by purchasing kids’ meals for adults. A simple platter of chicken tenders and fries is usually more than enough to tide over the average adult.

Unfortunately, many of the sit-down restaurants have policies against this, but the food court areas do not. Thus, you can beat the system by targeting these outlets for your primary meal.

Like any tourism business, Disney World charges a premium for their food items. While this can be disappointing for first-time visitors, veteran Disney-goers and those armed with our handy tips know there are plenty of ways to find a cheap meal. The key is to know your options and always plan ahead. A little bit of strategy could potentially save you hundreds of dollars on your next Disney vacation.

FAQ about saving money on food at Disney World

How much money should I budget for food at Disney World?

Such a family could generally expect to spend anywhere between $70 to $200 or more for a full day of eating at Disney World, a figure that includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

Can you bring your own food into Disney World?

The Disney World website states that you may bring food and drinks into the park, including all snacks and foods that do not require heating. Guests are required to inform security staff about any food items or picnics they are bringing into the park.

How much is a hot dog at Disney?

It varies depending on which restaurant/vendor your purchase from and what kind you get but the average price is about $10 for a hot dog.

How much is a beer at Disney?

Again, this varies depending on what beer you want and where in the park you get it from but the average cost is $8.25- 10.25 for one beer.

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