How do you save money on food, while at WDW?

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by tcherjen, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. LSUDis

    LSUDis DIS Veteran

    Jan 13, 2005
    We are not big breakfast eaters, so we usually bring what a lot of other people are saying--poptarts, Ritz bits, cheese crackers, etc. and eat while waiting on everyone to get dressed or while walking to the bus stop and waiting.

    Also, none of WDW has Dr. Pepper, so that saves us quite a bit :thumbsup2--I bring diet Dr. P. from home for the room.

    The weather matters, too. If I go in the summer, we all feel too hot to eat much. In the winter, everything goes.

    Cosmic Ray's has a half-chicken/rib plate that can easily be split. Large drinks are huge; get 2 straws and split or pour half into your empty water bottle if you are squeamish about sharing.
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  3. oynk

    oynk Earning My Ears

    Feb 2, 2008
    In the ultimate food saving attempt, one year I brought a small cooler, empty plastic containers and plastic bags. We ate a "nice" dinner every other day and then packed up our left-overs in the containers and asked for cups of ice to fill the plastic bags to take them back to the hotel where they went in the fridge.

    The next night, we had left-overs.

    Crazy, but it did work OK for us.
  4. cecilia

    cecilia Mouseketeer

    Aug 10, 2010
    well for us we have breakfast at qs and then lunch at the park share 1 drink for 2 adults and 2 small kids. dinner is a snack or we have dinner at the park. truth is we do not spend all our time at disney orlando is so big and we even drive to tampa and visit bush gardens . so we only eat at the park maybe 1 or 2 days . each trip we only visit 2 parks a year . we kinda go off the disney resort and eat out in town at chain places like bob evens or mc donalds on I drive
  5. Belle83

    Belle83 DIS Veteran

    Feb 20, 2011
    We don't really go out of our way to save $ on food there. We don't usually eat breakfast, though, so that saves $. I'll bring a couple of granola bars and eat those for breakfast, if anything.

    For our next trip, we're staying at Pop so we're bringing our own mini coffee maker. It was about $15 on amazon, which will be cheaper than buying coffee for both of us at the hotel during the trip.

    My fiancé is bringing a water filter thing that he normally uses for backpacking. It's cheaper than buying water there, and he hates the way the water in FL tastes.
  6. gobo2

    gobo2 Drug Lord/Dance Mom

    Oct 13, 2000
    If you decide to do a TS meal, do it at the end of the timer period for lunch, around 3pm. It's cheaper than dinner.
  7. Jenntx

    Jenntx Mouseketeer

    Jan 1, 2013
    I did the SAME thing! Had to read it three times to understand you meant tired. Made me laugh out loud when I finally got it! :) BTW love your tip about saving money during travel time. Always forget to bring snacks & picnic foods for the drive.

    This is a great thread! I'm getting lots of great ideas. Thanks everyone.
  8. LovesTimone

    LovesTimone DIS Veteran

    Apr 29, 2009
    Have you run the numbers for the DDP, you might come out better. I would check all the options, QSDP, and reg DDP, so that you can maybe get a charcter meal or TS meals. Some times we have found it's a better deal for us, and we like know that dinning is paid for upfront, except for tip and cocktails. Check the menu's ( allears is pretty up todate) and see what you might like, and go from there.

    I would bring breakfast items pop tarts, breakfast bars,or granola, Snacks for the room; chips, cookies, fresh fruit, pudding cups ect.. When DD's were young we would bring cereal and milk and they would have a bowl in the am before heading out,also bread and peanut butter and jelly to make in the rooms at night, we would get back to the resort and all of a suddenly they would be starving.

    Don't forget water, sports drinks, and soda, these items add up quickly, very quickly, 2 bottles of water are about 4.00+ dollars you can buy a whole case for 4.00. You can refill water in the parks for free. Gatorade, crystal light or other packett type mixs that you can add into water on the go, and they don't take up much room, Do put them in a baggie, I had one break open in my bag, what a mess!

    Alot of CS meals can be shared, at Ray's starlight cafe, the offer a 1/2 chicken dinner with mashed potatoes, and a veggie, which is enough food to share, for 2 adults with a extra side dish of mashed potatoes or 1 adult and a child. Again I would really check out the menu offerings, and make a plan on where you think you can share there are pictures here on the board so you can get a better idea of the amount.

    Share a snack - Starring Rolls has huge cupcakes that easliy can be shared by 2 adults.

    Keep something with you to snack on, while in line.
  9. donaldlovesdaisy

    donaldlovesdaisy DIS Veteran

    May 14, 2012
    Wow that seems lot of work I wish I had it in me! Vacation is the one place we don't save money but we usually don't spend a ton on food while we are there. There are four of us so we all get to pick our favorite Disney restaurant and then eat CS the rest of the time. We are not real bg eaters so my DD and I share CS meals and we usually eat fruit or bagels in the room or as we are headed out the door. I think our big expense is water and snacks. We did the DDP once but it was way too much and had tons of CS credits left at the end.
  10. Maggie Lizer

    Maggie Lizer DIS Veteran

    Feb 2, 2012
    For breakfasts, we bring granola bars, protein bars or meal replacement bars.

    We also order a case of water from Walmart (delivered to the resort) and bring some snacks like trail mix, jerky, dried fruit, etc - small, lightweight stuff.

    I don't like soda and am usually satisfied with water at meals. I do splurge on wine or beer at least once a day (so by not getting 2 or 3 sodas, it balances out I suppose).

    And we are not so big on appetizers and desserts at our TS meals. So, ordering just what I actually want to and will eat is one way to save money. Same goes for the CS desserts. I do not like the little cakes in a cup, so I skip them and get stuff like a pastry at France or a Dole Whip later.
  11. stargazertechie

    stargazertechie Toy Story Midway Maniac

    Jun 17, 2009
    I just didn't eat while I was in California :rotfl::rotfl2:

    Ok, but seriously I packed pop tarts, a jar of peanut butter, a box of mini-wheats, a box of cheeerios, and Clif bars in my suitcase. I did not eat at the parks, and I carried snacks with me at all times.

    Also, whatever you spend weekly on groceries at home- subtract that from how much you're spending at the parks. You'd be eating regardless of where you are at, and it takes the sting out.
  12. brertoad

    brertoad DIS Veteran

    Mar 22, 2012
    You can get some great food at Downtown Disney, Cookes of Dublin and Earl of Sandwich both QS, and both are really awesome. Lunch/Dinner for 2 runs us about $20-28 depending on if we get 2 or 3 meal items and 2 sodas, sometimes we get two sandwiches or wraps and split a full salad. Earl of Sandwich has all meal items for $5.99, any hot sandwich or salad. If you bring your own sodas or waters, that saves you at least $5-6 each time you dine at a quick service location.

    For table service, sometimes I order an appetizer as a meal. At Sci-Fi Dine In, I've ordered chicken wings as my meal, well under $15. It's plenty for one person. At other places, I'll just order salad as my meal. For instance, Crews Cup has a really good (appetizer) salad for about $6 and most of the time, that hits the spot.

    Actually there are many places that you can eat on a budget, just depends on what you order.
  13. AlohaAnnie

    AlohaAnnie DIS Veteran

    Jul 10, 2006
    I have done an estimate on what it would cost for our food for our vacation. When I applied the above to my estimate. It was very close. only off by $45 dollars.

    I completely agree with Andyman8!

    But I can't test my estimate until June 2013.

  14. AlohaAnnie

    AlohaAnnie DIS Veteran

    Jul 10, 2006

    I feel this also helps.

    My tips are the same as most here.

    Bring Water bottles, use refillable water bottles or refill your water bottles. We do this. We also bring cases of pop and such. But we drive and bring it with us.

    We are not getting refillable mugs anymore. (we are not on dining plan) We do not eat that much at the CS at our resort and since we bring soda no need to go get some from the lobby every morning or evening. Also, DVC coffee maker in the room or I bring instant packets.

    We share meals whenever possible.

    Our new plan is to snack a bit more. If DD just wants a pretzel and mickey bar for lunch. She is getting it. We are on vacation! With the dining plan we were unable to do this we would end up with left over CS meal credits.

    We also bring breakfast and snack food. We end up buying milk from disney for our cereal and fresh fruit but it saves and it is worth it in the end. My kids love the individual cereals you can buy we never eat this at home.

    So this is our plan, I think it will work out for us.

    Food is also a part of our Disney Vacation. We wouldn't have it any other way.

  15. ExpatDisneyLover

    ExpatDisneyLover DIS Veteran

    Jan 1, 2009
    A lot of these are the same as those already posted -

    If you don't have a car or order from a grocery store you can still save money by buying food at one of the Villa resort shops - like the BW, FW, OKW, SSR, WL, AKL etc. They are more expensive than a regular grocery store - but have a pack of Tom's bagels for around $5, packs of cream cheese, larger bottles of orange juice, milk - I was on a solo trip - bought a pack of bagels, cream cheese, juice and milk and spent about $10 and had breakfast for the whole week.

    Sometimes I take a pack lunch into the parks.

    When I took my mom and we were on the free dining plan we often shared a counter service breakfast - plenty of food for us and good use of credits.

    I use the water fountains and fill my water bottle with cups of ice water from counter service locations - I rarely buy water at the parks.

    I often get a kids meal at counter service locations for lunch - better amount of food for me.

    Lots of counter service locations are ideal for sharing.

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