The cost of food just kills me on a Disney vacation. Each time we go, I keep my receipts and pour over them once we get home, searching for ways I could have saved money. We’ve covered some ways to save money on food at the parks (Want to Save Money on Food at Walt Disney World? Try These Three Simple Tips) Now here’s three more ways that I have used to save money on vacation at Disney.
4) Eat from the kid’s meal.
There’s no rule at Disney that says you have to order an adult meal when you are at counter service restaurants. Now table service meals, they have age restrictions. So if you’re not starving, and you’re picking up a burger at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, order off the kids menu. This may allow you a little more room for a snack, and you may not get that “full-stomach ache” as you walk 10 miles a day in the sweltering Florida-summer sun. I ate french fries once as my meal, right off my husband’s adult meal, just to save room for a cupcake later. Maybe that’s not the smartest choice nutritionally, but hey, you can go back on your strict diet when you get back home.
Kid’s meals can fill you up to a certain point, and they will be less money than your adult meal. It’s worth a try, especially if you’re not that hungry to begin with.
5) Bring snacks in the parks with you.
Disney has relaxed their no-snacks in the parks rule. As long as they have been searching bags, I have been bringing in snacks, and I’ve never seen snack food dumped out in the trash by Cast Member Security. They were looking for box cutters and switch blades, not granola bars and Capri Sun pouches. I believe if you explain to your kids that this whole Disney vacation is costing you an arm and a leg, and that you will eat at least one snack from home every day to save a little money, most times they understand.
My pre-teen children budget their own money for snacks, because they know Sugar Daddy will only fund so much. We walk the dog and talk about what snack we plan to buy first. Lots of times, they are grateful we didn’t have to stand in line to order a snack to begin with. This gave them more times to ride rides.
But if you want to buy a snack, as we all will at some point, here a great one!
By the way, that t-shirt design in the photo above? Here’s instructions on how to make it yourself.
6. Take your lunch with you.
Ever thought about taking your lunch into the park in your bag? As someone who ate picnic lunches outside the parks in the 70′s because my dad wanted to save money, this isn’t my favorite option. But I see lots of people throwing together sandwiches on Magic Kingdom benches. I say whatever works for you. Eat that sandwich, drink water you got from a fountain, and just be grateful you’re even in a Disney park.
On my next Disney vacation, we are staying off property at an Extended Stay America. I have two things I plan to do, one is more nutritional than the other.
First, I want to pick up some burgers at McDonald’s on my way home from the parks, keep them in the fridge overnight, and tote them in for lunch the next day. No hot fries, no ice-cold Coke, but maybe I can save enough to pick up a key chain with my savings. If you saw the Mouze article on why key chains are one of the best souvenirs you can buy, then you know with their affordable cost, I might can pick up two. Or maybe one of these snacks! I do love Disney snacks.
My second plan is to follow the advice of Mouze Kateerz reader Kathy, who offered this idea, “Rather than picking up McD’s and having the sandwiches cold the next day, why not swing into WalMart or Publix and get a box of Crustables. Take them out of the freezer in the morning and they are ready to eat by hungry time. Prewrapped and ready to go. Add a piece of fruit and a juice box and lunch is served.”
Either way, I’m going to bring some meals in with me.
So there you go, three easy ways to save money on Disney food, and today we offered three more easy ways to save. If you have any smart ways to save more money, let us know in the comments, and maybe we can use your ideas in an upcoming article. At the very least, maybe I’ll try it on my next vacation.
- Important Life Lessons Kids Can Learn from a Disney Vacation
- Two More Important Life Lesson Kids Can Learn from a Disney Vacation
- Lip Smackin’ Disney World Snacks: 5 Yummy Treats You Don’t Want to Miss!