Food on a Budget in Disney

When my family and I go to Disney we like to spend a little extra money and get the moderate resort and the extra days in the park with the park hopper. Because of that we are often looking to save money in other ways. One of the big ways we save money is with food. Don’t get me wrong, we like to eat when we are at Disney World. We just have a plan and do it Smart!!

If possible I would always suggest traveling during Free Dining times and getting the Dining Plan. If you use the Dining Plan and your kids are into characters, try to hit as many character meals as possible. My kids, age 7 & 4, love to get autographs and pictures with the characters so this saves us time from waiting in line throughout the parks. A great way to get the most for your money is to do brunch with the characters around 11am and use it as your lunch. Then use your quick-service meal for dinner that day. You can also do quick-service for lunch and do Dinner with the characters or at a table-service restaurant.

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One of the ways we like to save money on food is by ordering groceries from www.gardengrocer.com.

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We like to buy breakfast for the room and snacks for the parks during the day. We do not like to use our dining plan meals for breakfast because we feel they are a better value for lunch and dinner. You can get up in the morning and while getting dressed have a bowl of cereal. This not only saves money by not buying an extra meal every day. It also saves time so you do not have to fight the crowds in the hotel food court in the morning. You can just go get on the bus and get to the parks early!!

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Snacks are hard at Disney, when you are buying snacks for a family of 4 in the parks it can get pricey. But if you have ever been in Disney World with young children you know kids can eat constantly. So what do we do to save money and still keep everybody happy? I go to gardengrocer.com and order groceries and have them delivered to the hotel!

I go online before our trip and buy some staple items so that we can snack in the parks without spending a fortune. I pack a small cooler, paper products, and plastic silverware in my suitcase but I buy everything else. Here is what I buy to have for the parks and in the room:

  1. A case of water
  2. Grapes
  3. Bananas
  4. Apples
  5. Almonds
  6. Granola Bars
  7. Snack Bags
  8. Goldfish
  9. ½ Gallon of Milk
  10. 2 boxes of cereal

Buy enough for everyone to have a fruit, granola bar, water and goldfish each day. Then every morning pack a little cooler for the park.

The best thing about GardenGrocer.com is they deliver to most hotels in the Disney area. You can set a date and time for them to deliver your food and they will leave it with the bell hop if you are not there.

There are also times when we go without the meal plan. When we do that, I like to buy a loaf of bread and some peanut butter and jelly and make sandwiches for lunch. Then we can splurge on a nice dinner.

My closing tips for eating cheap in Disney:

  1. Bring your own snacks, whether you order from gardengrocer.com or bring your own with you
  2. Breakfast in the room is a great money and time saver
  3. Share meals when possible, they are huge portions
  4. Bring your own water, water bottles at Disney will cost you an arm and a leg, and refill at water fountains

I hope this is helpful and enjoy your next trip to Disney!!!!

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