Smart Hacks To Save Money Dining At Walt Disney World

Disney travelers know that when it comes to making a pilgrimage to the vacation kingdom, they are going to be shelling out some cash. That's why most are always looking where they can pinch some pennies and save a few dollars. We've got 14 Disney Dining Hacks that will save you money and still be satisfying in the end.


Smart Hacks To Save Money Dining At Walt Disney WorldSmart Hacks To Save Money Dining At Walt Disney World


Target's RedCard, will save 5 percent on all purchases made at the store " including Disney Gift Cards! That means you can get $100 worth of Disney Gift Cards for just $95. It's a great way to budget for your Disney trip, and the gift cards are accepted at restaurants across Disney property.

Table In Wonderland, Annual Passholders, and DVC Members all receive special discounts at restaurants across Walt Disney World.

Are you a Disney Chase Visa or Disney Chase Debit cardholder? Membership has its benefits here as well! Discounted dining at select locations is available, so be sure to ask your server if you qualify.


Charred Strip Steak With Four Cheese MacCharred Strip Steak With Four Cheese Mac


Pack smart by tucking some easy breakfast items, or snacks into your suitcase. You can buy bagels and peanut butter, or pop tarts at the quick service, but their prices are outrageous.

If you don't want to give up the room in your suitcase, consider shipping shelf stable snacks and breakfasts to the resort ahead of your stay. Alternatively, you can opt for a grocery delivery service to bring them to your hotel once you arrive.

Bring a water bottle along with you to carry at the parks and pool. You can fill it up with free, filtered ice water at all of the Disney Quick Service restaurants. This actually saved my family more than $100 one year. Plus, if you just have to have some flavor, you can add single serve lemonade packs to your packed groceries.


Lobster Roll at Contempo CafeLobster Roll at Contempo Cafe


Travel during Disney's annual "Free Dining" incentive, and your package will include one of Disney's meal plans. While I don't find that paying for the dining plan always saves me money, it's always pretty close. But - if you were planning on booking a Disney package to begin with, taking advantage of free dining never hurts. Wouldn't you know - the 2019 Free Dining Packages were released just yesterday!

Work your dining plan to the fullest advantage. If you've chosen the ease of using a Disney Dining Plan, be sure to use those credits to their highest advantage. Filling up your refillable mug every time you leave or arrive back at your resort saves you from spending extra cash at the soda machine.

Snack credits can be used together at your Resort Quick Service to purchase a light breakfast. Bagel and a fruit cup anyone? Plus, with your refillable mug that morning cup of coffee is unlimited.

Fill up on a late buffet breakfast, and then an early dinner to both avoid mealtime crowds and stretch your credits. If you are on the Deluxe plan, this is a great strategy for those days you want to splurge on a signature 2 credit dining experience.


Hop Salt Pretzels With Beer Cheese FondueHop Salt Pretzels With Beer Cheese Fondue


Skip the table service restaurants and explore Disney's Quick Service Restaurants. Yes - some spots are basic burgers and fries, but other offer some of the most amazing Park fare you can imagine. Check out our friends over at the Disney Food Blog to learn where the best spots are.

Snack it up baby! Who needs a full meal when you can snack your way though the Disney Parks? From Dole Whip, to Turkey Legs, and Egg Rolls, and Cupcakes the Disney Parks are amazing places to graze your way through the day. Plus, you'll save precious playtime if you eat while you stroll.

Paying out of pocket? Book your table service meals for breakfast or lunch. Often the same food will have a lower price point.


Waffles with Pecan Praline Syrup from BomaWaffles with Pecan Praline Syrup from Boma


Finally - skip the character meals. Yes I know that they are part of the whole Disney experience, but you can see the Characters in the Parks. I find the food at most Disney Character Buffets pretty mediocre, and for the price they charge I just can't do it. Pick a restaurant without Characters to save money and have a much better meal.

Dining on a Walt Disney World vacation can cost a pretty penny. With careful planning, and use of a few smart hacks, you can still feast without breaking the bank. Do you have any tips for saving money on your travel food budget? Share yours in the comments below!

JeffC wrote on Mon, 06/25/2018 - 16:30:

JeffC's picture

We do alot of these. We bring our own water bottles (and we pick up a case at Target/Walmart/Costco).

We bring or buy cereal and pop tarts for breakfast, we leverage the AP discount where a available, and since we have a car we often will eat lunch or dinner offsite, like Subway or Paneras.

We usually just have 1 or 2 meals in the parks or at DS or the resorts. Everything else is either off-site or bought/brought from outside.

Kristen K. wrote on Mon, 06/25/2018 - 23:42:

Kristen K.'s picture

It's amazing how much you can save, just on skipping soda alone. Layering these ideas can really put the cost of dining into a much more manageable range.

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