If you’ve ever been to one of the Disney parks, then you know just how overwhelming it can be to choose a place to eat or decide to spend the money for a Disney Dining Plan. There are quick service, table service, and even buffets available all inside the parks! If you aren’t feeling the food inside the parks, there are hundreds of restaurants spread out across the resorts, boardwalk, Disney Springs, and Downtown Disney.
If you want to know the secret for saving money on Disney World dining, I’m going to share it with you right now.
SECRETS TO SAVING MONEY ON DISNEY DINING
Get Disney Dining plans for free!
It is possible to eat at the Disney theme parks without paying a dime out of pocket! This might sound too good to be true, but trust me, it’s not! Every year, there is a select time period when you can get Disney Dining plans for free when you stay at a qualifying resort. You must stay on site to get this promotion, but if you were looking into the Disney Dining plan, it could be worth it!
Take into consideration how much your family really eats, if you have some big eaters it might make sense to plan your trip around the free dining dates. Our family does not eat a ton so it’s a nice perk but not a deal breaker when we’re booking!
You probably don’t need three meals a day
If you are the type of family who regularly eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day, you may be shocked to find that you won’t need all three meals at the park. Portion sizes are enormous, and some of the meals could easily be split.
We like to something light for breakfast, typically it’s granola bars or fruit that we picked up at the grocery store when we landed in Orlando. For lunch, we sit down for a nice meal and because of the portion size my hubby and I always split a meal. Dinner we either have reservations for a nice meal or grab something easy on the go.
Skip the sides and extras
When it comes to dining at Disney, you don’t have to get all the bells and whistles with every meal. If you are on the Disney Dining plan, many of your meals come with a fountain drink or some other beverage. If you’re not, all of these extras are going to drain your wallet slowly. You don’t have to get a side with every meal, and soda is optional. After walking around in the hot sun, you could probably use a little more water anyway.
Pack your own food and drinks
Food in Disney can be pricey, and even if you can’t afford to lug a cooler with you around the park, you can still pack sandwiches or even just snacks. Bringing your water bottle to refill can also save you a bunch of money! Even if you are on the Disney Dining plan, you could easily lower your plan and save money by bringing at least some of your food into the park.
When we land in Orlando, our first stop is always a grocery store. We grab a couple cases of water, granola bars, and snacks. Just remember that it’s HOT in Orlando so chocolate will melt! Try to pack snacks that are going to stay intact in the heat!
If you don’t eat that many meals a day, skip the dining plan
If you’re someone who skips meals or fasts on occasion, then the dining plan may not be the best option for you.
Vegetarian? Skip the dining plan
Okay so let’s be clear, the dining plan is truly meant for big eaters who have expensive taste. Unfortunately, most vegetarian options are always the cheapest things on the menu. Investing in the dining plan would honestly lead to you losing out on a significant amount of money.
Kid’s under 3 don’t need a dining plan
At buffets, they’ll get their own plate, while at other locations, they’ll have to eat off yours.
You don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars for your Disney vacation, especially when it comes to food! If you follow these tips, you’ll have no trouble with saving on Disney dining.