Before my trip, the idea of feeding my family of 5 at Disney was giving me nightmares. Since Disney was just a tack-on trip to a month long jaunt in the Florida Keys, we wanted all of the fun, but only half of the price tag. Eat cheap at Disney? Unrealistic, right?
Well, with some planning, we did it…Our total on-site food costs after a 5 night stay at Disney for our family of five was about $150.
How Can You Cut Food Costs on your Next Disney Trip?
Bring Your Own Water
We stopped at a local Walgreens and picked up bottled water for $4/case. We used several cases on our trip, going through an average of 15 bottles each day in the park. Since bottles of water in the park are nearly $4 each, we saved countless money and stayed hydrated.
Eat Breakfast in Your Room at the Resort
We packed cereal, paper bowls, plastic spoons, and milk for the resort room. Our room had a reasonable size refrigerator in it that we used to store the milk and water. Having breakfast in the hotel saved us money, but it also saved us time. We wanted to get to the parks when they opened (and sometimes with Extra Magic Hours that was 7 AM). By eating breakfast in the room, we didn’t need to deal with the crowds getting breakfast.
Pack a Bag of Snacks for Each Day Before You Leave
Before we left for our trip, I packed snacks for each day in the park in a gallon sized bag. We went to COSTCO and chose a wide variety so the kids would not get bored with the choices. Each morning as we prepared to go to the parks, I grabbed one of the bags and stored it in the bottom of our stroller. With snacks on hand, they did not ask for pricy park snacks. We also packed a sandwich for each of us to bring in the cooler to the park.
Sample Your Way Through EPCOT for Dinner One Night
EPCOT’s countries all have interesting foods to try. For dinner one night, we stopped at several of the countries to “try” new foods. We shared an entree as a family at each stop – fish and chips, tacos, egg rolls, pretzels, and more. We all enjoyed a little variety!
Grab a Pizza (or 2) at the Resort
We stayed at Disney’s Art of Animation resort and stopped in one night (late!) after arriving home from the parks. We decided to split a pizza because it was inexpensive (under $15) and large. We were actually surprised at how good it was – it was a deeper dish pizza than we get in Philly and even my picky eaters liked it. I would totally do that again.
Eat Dinner at Quick Service restaurants
Fancy dining is not one of our main goals in going to Disney. We eat at nice places at home that are less crowded, better quality, and less expensive. I know many of my friends of girls feel they need to go to at least one character meal with the princesses because that is an easy place to meet them all.
As a mom of boys, I know my sons don’t particularly want to meet the princesses (I am off the hook for that one!), but they did want to meet characters like Mickey, Goofy, and Chip n’ Dale. All of those characters were easy to meet on the go in the park, so we just did that!
We ate one night at the Pinnochio Village Haus and watched all the riders on Its a Small World. The boys really loved waving to all the guests. We ate another meal at a place in Liberty Square. Both were decent food, and both allowed us to eat, cool off, and then be back on our way.