Aside from getting a good deal on a Resort, figuring out a way to maximize your food budget is a top priority for many families.
Disney food is so much more than just burgers and hot dogs, which is why there are so many blogs and videos dedicated to Disney food.
Luckily, there are few easy tips that I use and recommend to others to help them save some money.
These tips work with every budget. So, no matter how much you have to spend, these tips will help you stay within your budget.
Maximize Your Food Budget At Walt Disney World
Skip The Dining Plan
There are so many things I love about the Disney Dining Plans. I don’t have to worry about how much I’m spending each time my family of 4 wants to eat. And using credits is as easy as tapping your MagicBand at the register.
But, I admit that I eat more than I normally would when I have a Dining Plan. I give in to my cravings more than I normally would because I know I have the snack credits to spend.
If I didn’t have the credits to spend, would I really get another treat? Probably not.
Sure, the Dining Plans are convenient. But, if you’re worrying about “getting your money’s worth” more than anything else, the Dining Plans probably aren’t right for your family.
Opt For A “Snack” Instead Of A Meal
Normally, when we think of a snack, we thing of something small to nibble on.
But, some Disney snacks are large enough to be eaten as a meal. And they’re cheaper, as well.
If you’re looking for something to eat for breakfast, Sleepy Hollow, at Magic Kingdom, has a giant Mickey waffle with strawberries and whipped cream for $6.79 (or 1 snack credit on the DDP).
For comparison, Everything Pop at Disney’s Pop Century has pancakes with mixed berry compote, served with bacon and sausage for $12.49 (or 1 Quick Service credit on the DDP).
Sure, the meal at Pop Century comes with an extra side. But, is that small side worth the extra $6?
Splitting meals and snacks is probably the easiest way to maximize your food budget and still get to eat Disney’s delicious food.
Because portion sizes are pretty big, most of the time you’ll still end up with enough food to fill you up.
Quick Service Restaurants are the easiest places to split meals. But, sharing meals are allowed at many of the table service restaurants, as well. Just ask your server if sharing is allowed and they’ll bring you an extra plate.
For obvious reasons, sharing is not allowed at buffets and all-you-care-to-eat family style dining.
Skip Character Dining
As much as I love character dining, it’s not something we do all that often. And that’s because it’s expensive.
The last time we did a character breakfast, we ended up spending close to $100, after tip, for 2 adults.
If you don’t have a large budget, skip character dining and make time to meet the characters in the Parks.
Eat Off Of The Kids Menu
Whether you’re a kid or just a kid at heart, everyone is allowed to eat off of the kids menu.
There may be some exceptions at table service restaurants. In these types of settings, they’ll often bring you an adult sized portion of a kids menu item and charge you an adult price.
But, if you have a small budget, stick to Quick Service restaurants and you’ll have no problem being able to eat off of the kids menu.
Bring Food With You
If you want to save BIG money, you may want to think about bringing food from home or having some delivered to your Resort.
We do eat many meals at Disney. But, we always have some easy-to-grab food on hand. Breakfast is most often eaten in our Resort room with food we had delivered from Amazon Prime Now.
And we always bring a couple snacks to munch on to tide us over until our next meal.
If you have a larger family, or you don’t mind spending a little bit more on a Resort, I recommend the Cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort. You can’t beat a Moderate Resort with a full kitchen! And the money you’d save in food costs more than make up for the upgrade.