Walt Disney World in Florida is one of the most visited vacation destinations in the world, and with all the preparations for the Magic Kingdom's 50th anniversary, it will become even more popular. There are so many new and exciting additions on the way, including new exhilarating rides, fantastic attractions, entertaining stage shows, fanciful parades, spectacular fireworks extravaganzas, etc. and more uniquely themed Disney Resort Hotels. It takes researching and planning to plan a Disney vacation, and for a lot of guests, a vacation budget is a necessity. One way to save money is to watch for special discounted Hotel and the free Disney Dining Plan, which offers vouchers for all your meals and snacks FREE! The free Disney Plan is limited to certain Resort Hotels and eligible dates. If you are unable to take advantage of the free Disney Dining Plan option, I have some suggestions and tips on how to budget your dining costs. Here they are:
Bring Your Own Snacks--One way to cut down on meal costs is to bring your own groceries. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Ramen noodles, lunchables, fruit and yogurt cups, fresh fruit, juice boxes, sodas, etc. are excellent snack or meal fixins'. If you are renting a condo or other off-property accommodations, a full kitchen will help cut down costs by fixing your own meals. Many of the Disney Hotel Resorts provide full kitchens or refrigerators and microwaves in the rooms. If you have traveled to Orlando by plane, there are several grocery delivery services that you can take advantage of.
2. BYOS/Theme Parks
Bring Your Own Snacks to the Parks--Guests are allowed to bring outside food and non-alcoholic beverages into the parks provided they are not in glass containers and do not require heating, reheating, processing, refrigeration, and do not have pungent odors. Coolers are allowed with certain specifications (cannot be larger than 24" by 15" by 18") and they cannot be pulled behind you. No loose ice in coolers is allowed, but ice in baggies or freezer gel packs are okay. **Most quick service restaurants allow guests to use their indoor or outdoor seating area.**
3. Picnic at the Parks
You can actually enjoy a picnic lunch at several of the theme parks at Walt Disney World. Here are a few choices: Magic Kingdom--Tom Sawyer's Island, the Hub at Main Street, Rapunzel's Village where you can enjoy your picnic on barrels and tables beneath some beautiful shade trees; Epcot's World Showcase, where along the walkway and near many of the pavilions you will find out-of-the-way seating areas with awesome views of World Showcase Lagoon; Animal Kingdom--Flame Tree Barbeque Restaurant has four shaded pavilions with plenty of tables and chairs; Hollywood Studios--Min and Bill's Dockside Diner--in front of this iconic diner are plenty of chairs and tables. **Benches and tables can be found at all of the theme parks and you're welcome to eat at any table at a counter or quick service restaurant, indoors or out.**
4. Quick Service Restaurants
Most of the quick service restaurants offer combo meals which come with side dishes. You can share these plentiful combo meals. You may even want to order a couple of different meal combos and have a smorgasbord, saving money and trying out new menu items. Most of the quick service restaurants also offer individual side dishes, if you're not ready for a full meal. The great thing about quick service and counter service restaurants is the variety of menu choices.