Cheap Eats at Disney

When visiting somewhere like Disney where you are already going to be spending a lot of money between lodging and tickets to enter the park, you probably want to save money anywhere that you can to avoid having too big of a hit on your pocketbook! One of the places that I have found is easiest to cut down on spending at Disney is on food. If you are going to power through a full day at the theme park, you will of course need to eat, but that doesn't mean that you have to spend a fortune! 


Cheap Eats at Disney

Disney on a budget food

I personally believe that the food at Disney from the snacks and sweets to the full meals is definitely part of the experience and something that you can splurge on intentionally while still on a budget! Today I am going to be sharing with you how to enjoy eating at Disney parks on a budget. 

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Here are our top tips for eating cheap at Disney:


1. Supplement with Your Snacks/Beverages

A great way to save on food at Disney is to supplement your eating with your own packed snacks and beverages. Disney allows you to bring food and drink into the park provided that it meets health department guidelines. It can be challenging to pack full meals with you as you walk around the park but I always think it is a good idea to pack some non-perishable snacks such as chips, protein bars, etc, and a refillable water bottle to hold you over between meals at Disney restaurants. 

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2. Never Buy Bottled Water 

If you are looking for water and did not bring a refillable water bottle with you, don’t waste your money on bottled water! You can go to any of the Disney quick service stations and they will provide you with a cup of water at no cost to you. This will save you a ton of money as a bottle of water in Disney parks can run anywhere from $4-$6 per bottle. 

This is my favorite water bottle. I take it with me everywhere and it keeps water cold for hours!

3. Go Grocery Shopping

If you are staying on or near Disney property, a great way to save on eating is to go grocery shopping and keep food in your hotel or VRBO. This way you can take transportation back to your hotel and eat and then return back to the parks for more fun for the rest of the day. Even in the most basic of hotels, you will have a refrigerator and a microwave for quick, easy, and affordable meals. If you don’t have transportation to go to the grocery store yourself, you can always order a delivery service like Instacart that will bring the groceries directly to your hotel or rental!

Looking for more tips on how to make meal planning easy in a vacation rental? Check this out!

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4. Eat Breakfast Before the Parks

Most of the Disney parks open around 9:00 AM on most days so if you get up and ready to go a little early you can grab breakfast either at your hotel or at a quick and cheap fast food stop before going into the parks and save some money by skipping a meal purchased within the parks. 

pro tip: I often travel with oatmeal packets. Add in a few fresh berries or nuts and you have a satisfying but easy morning meal.

5. Share Your Meal 

We have found that often times Disney meals are big enough that you can share with a child or another family member and be full. Sharing meals will split the cost and be big savings in your food budget. 


Some top options for shareable meals include: 

Magic Kingdom

The Trio Platter at Columbia Harbour House 
A Pizza at Tony’s Town Square
The Footlong All Beef Hot Dog at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café

Hollywood Studios

Aunt Liz’s Fried Chicken at the 50’s Prime Time Café
The BBQ Brisket Melt at Woody’s Lunchbox
Pizza and Ceasar Salad at Catalina Eddie’s

Animal Kingdom

The ½ Chicken Entrée at Flame Tree BBQ
The 8 Piece Chicken Breast Nugget Meal with Fries at Restaurantosaurus
The Honey Chicken at Yak & Yeti


The Appetizer Combo for Two at Restaurant Marrakesh
La Cantina de San Angel Taco Trio in Mexico
Rotisserie Chicken at Sunshine Seasons

6. Order Appetizers

Most Disney dining options have a menu that offers a few different entrée options and additionally, there is usually a variety of appetizer-like options that can be a more affordable choice compared to a full meal. Some of my personal favorites include the Cheeseburger Spring Rolls in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom, and the Mickey Pretzel {available at multiple locations}.

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7. Consider the Dining Plan

Disney offers a variety of dining plan options that will offer you the opportunity to enjoy meals within the property, depending on the plan you may be able to enjoy quick service meals, table service meals, or a combination of the two. {Note: The Disney Dining plans are temporarily unavailable for purchase, there is talk that they will return at some point soon}

8. Order a Kid’s Meal

The portions tend to be pretty plentiful at Disney parks and while adults cannot order kid’s meals at the table service dining restaurants, at Quick service, you are free to order any meal of your choice, including kid’s meals. This will save you some money and I can assure you the kid's meal portions will surprise you.

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best budget food tips at disney

9. Purchase a Refillable Souvenir Cup

If you are one that prefers to drink something other than water, purchasing a refillable souvenir cup is the best value for your money. This will allow you to refill your cup as often as every 2 minutes. This is a great way to save money because when you go to purchase your meals you can skip the drink that typically comes with a “combo meal” and use your refillable mug.

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10. Always Choose Quick Service

If you are trying to stay on a budget with your meals, quick service is the way to go! While the table service meals are fantastic, they tend to be on the more expensive side, if you are going to be dining exclusively with Disney I might recommend splurging on a table service meal once or twice during your trip and sticking with quick service the remainder of the time. There are so many great quick-service dining options at each of the Disney parks, here are our top picks:

Disney Springs

The Daily Poutine - Our top menu pick: The Loaded Frites
D-Luxe Burger - Our top menu pick: The Barbecued Burger
4 Rivers Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck - Our top menu pick: The Birria Quesadilla
YeSake Kiosk - Our top menu pick: The Build Your Own Poke Bowl

Magic Kingdom

Columbia Harbour House (Liberty Square) - Our top menu pick: The Lobster Roll or the Trio Platter
Sleepy Hollow (Liberty Square) - Our top menu pick: The Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich
Pinocchio Village Haus (Fantasyland) - Our top menu pick: The Gourmet Cheese Flatbread
The Friar’s Nook (Fantasyland) - Our top menu pick: Bacon Mac n Cheese Dog
Casey’s Corner (Main Street, USA) - Our top menu pick: Walt’s Chili Cheese Footlong Hot Dog
Cosmic Ray’s Starlite Café (Tomorrowland) - Our top menu pick: The Bayou Burger

Animal Kingdom

Pizzafari (Discovery Island) - Our top menu pick: Chicken Parmesan Salad
Harambe Market (Africa) - Our top menu pick: The Ribs & Chicken Bowl
Eight Spoon Café (Discovery Island) - Our top menu pick: Pulled Pork Jelly Doughnut Sandwich
Flame Tree Barbeque (Discovery Island) - Our top menu pick: St. Louis Rib Dinner
Yak & Yeti (Asia) - Our top menu pick: The Korean Fried Chicken Sandwich

Hollywood Studios

Woody’s Lunchbox (Toy Story Land) - Our top menu pick: the “Totchos”
Rosie’s All American Café (Sunset Boulevard) - Our top menu pick: Rosie’s All American Salad
Backlot Express (Echo Lake) - Our top menu pick: Smoked BBQ Pulled Pork Burger
Docking Bay 7 Food & Cargo (Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge) - Our top menu pick: Smoked Kaadu Pork Ribs
Ronto Roasters (Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge) - Our top menu pick: The Ronto Wrap 
PizzeRizzo (Grand Avenue) - Our top menu pick: The Pepperoni and Sausage Pizza or the Antipasto Salad


Kabuki Café (World Showcase) - Our top menu pick: The Spicy Roll and the Chilled Edamame
Sunshine Seasons (World Nature) - Our top menu pick: The Mongolian Beef
Sommerfest (World Showcase) - Our top menu pick: The Jumbo Pretzel and the Pretzel Bread Pudding
Katsura Grill (World Showcase) - Our top menu pick: The Tonkotsu Ramen
Yorkshire County Fish Shop (World Showcase) - Our top menu pick: The Fish and Chips

With all of the other expenses that come with a Disney vacation, you don’t want to have to worry about a huge food bill as well. I hope that these tips and tricks have provided you with some knowledge and advice that will help you to save on your upcoming Disney trip. 

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Do you have any additional cheap eats tips? Feel free to share them with us and our other readers in the comments below, we’re always open to more tips that will save us money!

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