You're on vacation and surely you do not want to cook just to save money on feeding the family. But there are other ways you can save on food during your Disney vacation and still keep everyone happy, including yourself. Plus, with some planning you can even enjoy many of the more expensive restaurants without diving into your 401k plan. Here are 10 tips which can help cut the cost of dining during your vacation to Disney.
Free FoodLook for signs advertising that kids eat free when accompanied by a parent.
Do the ResearchDecide beforehand on where you plan to eat. Researching menus and prices is worth the time when budgeting for your Disney trip. Combining fun with dining doubles your investment. Avoid spending money on un-fun meals which can be prepared in the microwave in your hotel room.
Pack Your BackpackWhen you visit Disney pretend you are packing a backpack for an overnight camping trip when you head out for the day. Packing store bought salt-free snacks instead of buying a lot of fast food items throughout the day will save you a considerable amount of money. This includes bringing along refillable water bottles. Once the day heats up you will get thirsty. Paying top dollar for refreshments will put a dent in your budget quickly.
Eat Non-Fun Meals InIf your hotel has a kitchenette or microwave and small refrigerator, stocking up on breakfast foods, soups, hotdogs, and other microwavable foods will cut your food costs drastically during your stay.
Avoid Peek Meal TimesPlan on eating a late lunch rather than an early dinner then snack in your hotel room later. Menu prices are less at lunch.
Take the LeftoversLarge portions are normal for most all restaurants. Bring along a lunch bag and have zip lock plastic bags handy to help separate food which can be snacked on later.
Splurge on DessertIf there is a restaurant which is too expensive, but that you would love to go dine in, go for coffee and dessert instead of a full meal.
Purchase a Refillable Disney MugIf you are staying in an All-Star Disney hotel, ask about purchasing the refillable mugs when you arrive. The mugs can be refilled for free during the rest of your stay.
Stand Up MealsBrowsing through Epcot's universal dining options is not only fun, but it offers you a chance to try different foods without going through the more expensive sit-down restaurant experience. It's economical and fun and different than what you always eat at home.
Print Coupons Before You Go
- For coupons at restaurants around the Disney area, browse the offers at Restaurant.com. You can find certificates from up to 50% off your bill.
Along with the coupon book you can now sign up for a "Savings Subscription" which allows you to view and print coupons online. You can subscribe monthly for $3.99 or yearly for $39.99. This will insure you are getting the best selection and most current coupons available and are ideal for vacation planning. To view how it works, go to Entertainment Book and type in the zip code, 92802 to see the valuable coupons available in the Disneyland area. (Zip code - 32830 for Walt Disney)
- There are discussions on Disney forums regarding the advantages of the Pre-Paid Dining Plan. The Disney Dining Plan is sold as an extra to a package deal purchased at a Disney Resort Hotel. Many feel that the pre-paid plans are not worth the savings since it requires that you utilize all vouchers in your plan in order to benefit from it. There are no cash back offers for unused vouchers and if you lose them they are hard to replace. Also, they are only valid inside the theme parks and cannot be used at some of the best restaurants at the Resort.
Enjoy Florida Magazine offers several coupons for many of the attractions and restaurants in the Orlando area.
Orlando Magicard offers a free package of Orlando information from the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau including a Visitors Guide and a free Magicard, with up to $500 in savings.
- At the Orlando Vistor Center you can purchase discount attraction tickets and pick up a free Magicard, which offers discounts at area attractions, hotels, restaurants and shops.
Now get those mouse ears on and go have some fun!