Disney Food for Less – How to save money while at WDW


Planning, Budgeting, and Saving for Walt Disney World Vacations are a way of life at the Chip and Co Household. I am constantly looking for ways to save some extra money so I can make yet another trip to our home away from home.

Each time we go to Disney World we learn some type of new tip and trick to saving money at the parks. While many of these tips work if you are not on the Disney Dining Plan there are still some options for you if you are an avid DDP user. So lets take a look at my ways to help you save money while at WDW.

  • First thing I want to mention is water. Did you know you can get water at all Quick Service locations for free? You just walk up there and ask them for a cup of ice water. It is a Florida State law now so save your snack credits/money and just drink water. Bring Mio Water Enhancers to flavor up your water or even Crystal Light packets are small enough to fit in your pockets.
  • We all love Kona Cafe. I for one fell in love with Tonga Toast. But did you know just downstairs in the Polynesian Resort at Captain Cooks you can get Tonga Toast for a lot less. Great to grab when you are in a hurry. The menu is pretty limited and there is no Kona Coffee but still if you didn’t want to do the full table service sit down meal just do the Quick Service alternative.
  • Starring Rolls Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is my favorite snack shop in all of Walt Disney World. I have confirmed this from several sources that if you ask one of the Cast Members behind the counter would it be possible to get a piece of Grapefruit Cake from the Hollywood Brown Derby if they are not to busy they will walk over and grab you a piece. I would be very polite and not get upset if they don’t have the time to do it. I am going to try this on our next trip and let you know how it goes.
  • Every time we have gone to Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory at the Port Orleans Resort it has not been busy. What would make me venture all the way out to this resort you might ask? The Beignets of course! Hot, fresh, and delicious! They are a very inexpensive treat and a good way to start the day.
  • Sleepy Hollow in the Magic Kingdom has a Fruit & Nutella Waffle Sandwich that is super cheap and portable for a snack or for breakfast. To save money we like to grab a few of these and split them as they are quite large. Doing a lighter breakfast means we can stop by and have a snack later that morning. Good way to keep food costs down or to use up those snack credits.
  • Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge is my favorite buffet. I love the fusion of Asian and Indian cuisine. Having good friends who are from South Africa we have tried many of these dishes before ever eating here. One dessert talked about a ton on the C&C site is the Zebra Domes. But how can you get some Zebra Domes without having to get the full buffet at Boma’s? Stop by Mara’s of course! Stop by and pick some up to take back to your room for later. They come in a nice portable box that you can keep in your room for those late night snack attacks.
  • Another trick you can try is go to restaurants that serve a la carte or have a menu you can order from. Split appetizers or find where they serve up a fruit trey and split it. For example at the Grand Floridian Cafe you can easily split several items or meals to save money. This works pretty much anywhere you are ordering from a menu. Unfortunately you can’t share at a buffet unless you have a child under 3.

Well that is all I have for now. These are just some of the tricks I use when I visit Walt Disney World to help us save money. I will be honest we don’t use the Disney Dining Plan. My family and I love the Tables in Wonderland card and pay for our meals out of pocket. We have found since our girls are light eaters it is cheaper for us to do this. Disney gives you such large portion sizes which we have found is easy for us to share. Not everyone can do this but I hope you can use some of the tips I shared on your next WDW vacation…

If you have any Quick Tips let me know in the comment box below.



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Chip C is owner of Chip and Co - Your source for Disney Park News, Planning Tips, Giveaways, and More. When he is not writing about Disney News, or Planning Tips, you will find him counting down the days to his next Disney Vacation. Be sure to follow Chip using one of the buttons to the right -->
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  • Douglas

    I know a lot of think people about the french bakery in the french pavilion for their baked goods, but for a fairly filling snack, we found the cheese plate. My guess is that it had over a half pound of cheese on it for I think it was $6. My wife and I shared it and we walked away satisfied. My only complaint is that we needed more bread (didn’t try to ask for more, but will next time).

    On a completely side note I have to say there is one thing I hate about your site. We just got back from Disney World, it’s something we only do every few years, and nearly ever article I read I have a moment of “I wish I knew that 2 months ago”. So thanks for making me a little sad every day;) Can’t wait to get back and use some of the tips and suggestions.

  • Ryan

    Please let us know about the Grapefruit Cake! I love it but don’t think we will be going to the Brown Derby during our May trip.

  • http://www.chipandco.com Chip

    Thank you! The trek out to POFQ is a pain. I love that I can get them at the parks now!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1313266188 Deb Ragno

    Disney Food Blog posted on Jan. 14 that beignets are available at Tomorrowland Terrance and you get five in an order instead of three like you do at POFQ.