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Saving money on food at Walt Disney World

The Plaza Inn at Magic Kingdom is a great option for saving money.
The Plaza Inn at Magic Kingdom is a great option for saving money.
Photo by: Kristen Hoetzel-Go

Dining at Walt Disney World can get expensive, but there are ways to save money. Whether you are on a tight budget or saving money for souvenirs, there are plenty of ways that you can save money on food.

One way is to purchase the Disney Dining Plan. Depending on your families dining habits, this can save you a good bit of money. Everything but your tips are paid for in advance, so there is no worrying about if a particular meal or entrée will fit into your budget.

Another option is to enjoy breakfast in your room, take snacks to the parks and have just one meal a day. Either visit a grocery store or have groceries delivered the day of arrival. Garden Grocer is an excellent and convenient way to have your groceries delivered to your resort. They offer a wide variety of items including snacks, milk, deli meats and cheese, breads, canned goods. If you can think of it, they probably have it. All of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels have mini-fridges in the rooms and microwaves in the food courts. This makes it very easy to have breakfast at the resort without having to purchase food from Disney. Some of the most popular items to have delivered include fresh fruit, granola bars, cereal and bottles of water.

For families that don’t have large appetites, sharing is a great way to get your dollar to stretch. Some of the restaurants offer very large portions, making it possible for sharing and everyone leaving full. Here are some restaurants and menu items that are worth sharing: Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café has a rib and chicken combo, Les Chefs de France’s version of mac and cheese, Tangierine Café has large platters, Via Napoli offers delicious pizzas and Flame Tree Barbecue for ribs. These are just a few of the many options for sharing a meal and leaving feeling full.

One of the best ways is to choose a buffet or family-style restaurant to dine at midday. This way you’ll have need to have one large meal a day and being a late lunch/early dinner. You won’t be starving later in the day. Some excellent restaurants to choose from include Liberty Tree Tavern (family-style) for an early dinner, The Garden Grill (family-style), Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (buffet), Biergarten (buffet), Tusker House (buffet), Boma – Flavors of Africa (buffet) and Chef Mickey’s (buffet). There are so many other restaurants at Walt Disney World that serve their food buffet or all-you-care-to-ear family-style.

Lastly, do your research and find the restaurants with the cheapest menus. There are some wonderful restaurants that are inexpensive in terms of Walt Disney World’s prices. The Plaza Restaurant at Magic Kingdom, The Fountain at Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel, Captain’s Grille at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort and 50’s Prime Time Café at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, to name a few great choices.