Meal Plans & Priorities
Take a look at your must do dining experiences when making your vacation meal plan. If hitting a Disney buffet, dining in World Showcase at Epcot or taking the kids to a character meal is non-negotiable, take a look at the Disney website to narrow down your options and select the dining experience best suited to your family. It’s easier to pass up pricey park snacks when you can remind yourself of an awesome character meal the family will be enjoying later during vacation.
You know your family best so find ways to save that suit your crew. My family always starts mornings at Disney with a pastry in the hotel room instead of a casual dining breakfast in the resort. This saves around forty dollars per day and allows the family a few extra minutes of sleep in the morning. Because breakfast isn’t a meal priority for us this small scrimp adds up to big vacation savings and really does not feel like a sacrifice.
Dining is one of my favorite ways to save on Disney vacations. Funny enough, dining is also one of my favorite parts of vacationing at Disney. Your family can strike a balance between saving and splurging by only paying for awesome dining experiences and passing on the eats that are only ok. My family’s rule of thumb is to indulge in awesome food at Disney and skip “normal park food” by planning ahead and bringing our own snacks/groceries to fill in the meal holes.
Never buy water in the parks, use a refillable water bottle. Soda fans should stash a few in their park bag to enjoy throughout the day. As far as snacks go, bring your own into the park to save money throughout the day. Breakfast in the hotel room, bringing your own sandwiches for lunch in the park, bringing your own cocktail to the pool or ordering a pizza in your hotel room one night during your vacation are great ways to offset larger dining costs. Saving money on Disney dining doesn’t mean you are a cheapskate, it means you have more to spend on big ticket experiences you will remember like the Spirit of Aloha Polynesian Dinner Show under the stars or a breakfast buffet with Mickey Mouse that your kids will never forget.