Even after you’ve paid off the big expenses for your Disney World vacation like airfare, hotels, and admission tickets, you’ll find there’s another big budget-buster coming your way: Meals! Instead of handing over your wallet, check out these tips that will save you a handful of money on food and drinks at Disney World.
Trick #1 – Turn Ice into Refreshment
As you walk around Disney World, you’re sure to get parched and will want an icy drink to cool yourself down. But the high price of soft drinks, milkshakes, and other beverages can take a real bite out of your budget.
What’s the solution? Ice!
Before you leave for Disney World, pack a few reusable water bottles with large mouth openings. Before you leave for the parks, fill them with free ice from the hotel.
By the time you’re ready to stop for a drink, the ice should be mostly melted, so you can enjoy some cold refreshing ice water. Not only is this less expensive than purchasing something at the park, it is also a better thirst quencher.
Here’s another advantage to ice-filled water bottles: if you’re planning to picnic in the park, the water bottles do double-duty by keeping your food fresh and chilled until you’re ready to eat.
Simply place the ice-filled bottles between the food items in a small, soft-sided cooler or backpack. That will give you a free, portable ‘mini fridge’ that’s always ready to serve you.
Trick #2 – Water is Free…You Make It Better
You can always get free ice water and even hot water from any counter-service restaurant at the Disney parks. All you have to do is ask. However, if you’re someone who is used to drinking filtered or bottled water, you may not like the taste of Florida water straight from the ‘tap.’
And if you’re traveling with kids, ‘plain vanilla’ water may not satisfy their cravings when it comes to a cold drink. What’s the solution? Flavored drink mixes in packets.
Drink packets are lightweight, sturdy, and easy to tuck into a backpack, a purse, or even a pocket. And to transform free water into a tastes-like-a-million-bucks beverage, all you need to do is bring along any of these nifty water fixes:
• Packets of Sweetened Kool-Aid
• Packets of Crystal Lights
• Lipton Cold Brew Tea Bags
• Packets of Lemon Juice
• Packets of Lemonade
• Packets of Hot Chocolate
When you’re thirsty, just grab some free water, stir in flavoring with a free straw, and you’ve got a great-tasting flavored drink. If you do, you can save $3-$5 off the cost of buying something from a park restaurant.
Considering that you’ll get thirsty often throughout the day (or days) or your visit, you can save quite a bit of money this way.
Trick #3 – BYO Lunch or Dinner
Want to have lunch and dinner in the park, but don’t want to spend a small fortune? It’s not just possible; it’s easy…with a picnic lunch.
The best part of this strategy is that you’ll save a ton of time and energy because you won’t have to wait in tremendously long lines just to grab a little bit of lunch. Just find a quiet spot and sit down and enjoy a picnic in the park.
Disney used to have a policy that prohibited visitors from bringing outside food or drink into the park, although it wasn’t enforced. But things have gotten even better. Disney World has changed its position on this and it is now perfectly acceptable to bring in food and drink to any Walt Disney World theme park.
However, items that are not allowed include:
• Hard-Sided Coolers
• Large Coolers
• Alcoholic Beverages
• Glass Containers
• Straws (only prohibited in the Animal Kingdom)
Bring a picnic blanket or towel for a more comfortable eating experience.
If you’re not keen on the idea of lugging around a backpack filled with picnic supplies all day, you can rent a locker in several areas throughout the Disney World theme parks for $9.
You’ll still save a ton off the cost of buying lunch in the park, and you won’t have to take your food with you everywhere you go.
With all the money you’ll save from these little tricks, you can afford to splurge a little on a big dinner while you’re at Disney World without feeling bad about it!