Everyone knows a trip to Disney World isn’t exactly a budget vacation. Add up the cost of your flight, rental car, hotel, and tickets to the park, and you may be surprised to see you’ve already eclipsed the cost of the last few trips you’ve taken. While there isn’t too much you can do about the price of admission, there are some factors of your Disney World vacation you can take control of to get a better handle on your budget – like your meals.
Planning a trip to Disney World and want to keep costs down? Finding a way to limit the amount of money you pay on food can be a great way to make it happen. Here are six tips that should help you spend less on food while you’re there:
BOOK AN AIRBNB.
Give yourself the ability to cook while you’re on vacation by booking an Airbnb or VRBO near Disney property. You can plan a quick trip to the grocery store – or get some food delivered – and stock the fridge with everything you’ll need for the week. Instead of spending an arm and a leg on dinners in the parks, you can head back and whip up a home-cooked meal from the comfort of your vacation rental.
Disney’s policies actually allow guests to bring food into the parks, so use this to your full advantage. While you’ll probably want to splurge on a few meals at in-park restaurants, you can save a significant amount of money by packing some sandwiches, granola bars, fresh fruit, and other snacks to keep your family going throughout the day.
INVEST IN REFILLABLE WATER BOTTLES.
It’s important to stay hydrated when you’re at Disney World, especially during the scorching summer months. Instead of continually spending money on bottled water or seeking out water fountains, bring refillable water bottles into the parks and top them off at water fountains.
ALWAYS EAT BREAKFAST BEFORE YOU ARRIVE.
Don’t wait until you get to the Magic Kingdom to decide you want breakfast. Instead, make it a point to eat breakfast before you arrive. If you book a hotel off of Disney property, find one that includes a continental breakfast buffet and tell everyone to fill up. If you’re staying in one of the Disney hotels and want to keep things cheap, bring a box or two of granola bars or other grab-and-go breakfast treats.
CHOOSE YOUR DISNEY MEALS WISELY.
Even if you’re working to limit the amount of money your family spends on food at Disney, you’re probably going to have at least a few meals at Disney World restaurants and eateries. Instead of opting for the expensive specialty restaurants, look for the family-friendly buffet options. There are a few scattered throughout the parks and the associated resorts, and while some are more expensive than others, you can get a great steal at places like the Trail’s End Restaurant, found at the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.
DON’T SIGN UP FOR THE DISNEY DINING PLAN.
While the Disney Dining Plan makes meals convenient, it’s certainlynot the way to go if you’re concerned about keeping food expenses under control. With the regular option clocking in at $75 per adult for two meals and two snacks per day, you can almost certainly feed your family for less than that.
Keeping meals at a reasonable price is definitely doable when at Disney World – it just requires a bit of planning. With these tips, you should be able to make it happen!