Saving money on food at Disney is important. Let’s talk about ways to save when not on the dining plan or Tables in Wonderland Card.
First, HAVE A BIG BREAKFAST BEFORE YOU ARRIVE. You may plan your accommodations based upon if they have kitchen, complimentary breakfast or proximity to quick dining. It is so much better to start with a full belly, trust me you will walk enough to burn it off and be ready for food later in day. Also, you do not want to waste time in the morning once you arrive at the parks looking for something to eat-this is PRIME TIME to get tons of rides and attractions in before the bigger crowds arrive.
Second, bring snacks and drinks with you. Keep in mind-NO GLASS. I have seen people try to bring in a glass jar of jelly, seriously?? Bad idea and security will take it and throw it away when they check your bag. Feel free to bring a PLASTIC jar of jelly with you. Make sandwiches or maybe make them in advance so you have less to worry about in the park. Good snacks are in single serving style- this can mean putting them into snack size zip locks prior to getting to park. Obviously, granola, chips, nuts, cookies, meal bars, etc. are just some of your choices. You can also ask for a cup of ice water at any counter service for FREE.
Third, if you want to try a Table Service, try lunch, generally the price is lower than at dinner-again CHECK FIRST.
Fourth, many of the quick service meals can be split for two people. This is a great way to try different items and keep the price down. Also, at some of the quick service restaurants have a fixins bar, easy way to create your own small salad. Another thing, if you only want burger but not the fries and beverage for the meal-tell them! You can save money and not waste what you do not want anyways.
Fifth, this is just a bit different. When you have the trip planned don’t be afraid to ask family and friends to give you Disney gift certificates for holiday and Birthday gifts. You can thank them when you get back for the great food- these can also be used at the ice cream carts.
Keep in mind that dining tends to be a large expense in your Disney budget. It is important to keep it in mind for your planning $$. I also feel, we need to treat ourselves once in a while, so plan to do that-you deserve it!