Bring your own bottled water!
Disney allows it, and you will save a small fortune. The best way is to freeze your water the night before. If you don't mind the taste of the local water all of the counter service restaurants in the theme parks give out FREE ice water!
The Animal Kingdom "Meal Plus" Program
Pizzafari - the pizzas that come in the kids meal are the same size as the ones that are on the adult menu. I recommend buying the kids' meal voucher since you will end up with the same amount of food. If you follow this tip you end up getting one individual size pizza, two full size beverages and an ice cream or popcorn for only $5.99!
Disney Water Parks allowed us to carry in our coolers packed with drinks and food.
Cheapest (and Healthiest) Food Item in the Parks - Fresh Fruit!
Each park has at least one fruit stand. Apples, pears, bananas, and oranges are very inexpensive compared with other snacks at the parks. Some stands also sell baby carrots, watermelon or cantaloupe slices, grapes, strawberries, cut-up pineapple or fruit salad at varying prices. There are three fruit stands in the Magic Kingdom: on Main Street, in Liberty Square and in Mickey's Toontown Fair. MGM has Anaheim Produce on Sunset Blvd. Epcot fruit is available on the lower level of The Land in Future World and at the Outpost between China and Germany in World Showcase. Animal Kingdom offers fruit at Harambe Market in Africa, just outside Kilimanjaro Safaris.
Least Expensive Character "Meal" at Walt Disney World
Every afternoon at 3:00 there is an "Ice Cream Social" at the revolving Garden Grill restaurant in The Land at Epcot. The price is $6.99 plus tax and tip per person. You get to enjoy a delicious ice cream sundae while Mickey and friends visit the tables and interact with the guests. Priority Seating is highly recommended.
Character "Breakfast" at The Contemporary Resort
Eat breakfast at Chef Mickey's at the latest possible time (usually a priority seating around 11:15 AM) on a day when the Magic Kingdom has early entry and so everyone will be ready for lunch by then. The buffet is very substantial, and all drinks -- coffee, milk, juice, etc. -- are included, the kids get their character breakfast at a pretty reasonable price, considering that it is really lunch. This also allows us to take advantage of the lighter crowds in the morning at the Magic Kingdom. Also, because the restaurant is not open for lunch it starts to get quiet as people with earlier seating times leave. Priority Seating is highly recommended.
Character "Dinner" at The Crystal Palace
I've found that making a dinner reservation as early as possible at The Crystal Palace is far better than the breakfast. The restaurant was light, so during our meal we had a character setting at our table almost the whole time. The food selection was good and overall the price was not bad considering we were eating in the park. Priority Seating is highly recommended.
The Best Buffet Deal Trail's End Buffeteria at Ft. Wilderness. Dinner is $15.99 for adults and $6.99 for kids, plus tax and beverage. (Compare this with many of the other buffets at Walt Disney World, which charge around $23.99 for adults.) There is also a "soup and salad bar only" option at dinner for $10.50. Breakfast and lunch are under 9 bucks for adults and under 6 bucks for kids. At breakfast there is a "continental breakfast" option that includes all the cold items, oatmeal, coffee and tea for about $6 per adult.
Pre-arrange Priority Seating Disney's answer to dining reservations, by calling 407-WDW-DINE. On arrival you'll receive the next table available for your party size, thus saving hours of frustration and waiting. – Dial 0 and have the operator connect you to avoid phone chgs.
Portions of food in Disney restaurants can be too much for one person, just order one appetizer or entree between two people, and ask for two plates.
Looking for a smaller portion at the counter-service restaurants do not hesitate to order from the kids' menu. No one will know you're ordering the kids meal for an adult! This is not allowed at full-service restaurants.
You can actually order a child-size soda at counter service restaurants in Walt Disney World, without ordering a kids meal. If you prefer a smaller drink, this can reduce waste and save you a little money -- kids' drinks are usually about $1.00.
If you buy caramel corn (caramel covered popcorn) in the bucket at Sleepy Hollow in the Magic Kingdom (handy before parade viewing in Liberty Square), be sure to bring the container back on your next trip to the Magic Kingdom and you can get it refilled for a reduced price.
If you are a resort guest at any of the resorts in their food court they have boxed lunches that are there for the kids to take to the parks and enjoy. Included are a sandwich fruit dessert chips and a drink all dome Disney style of course! They sell for $4.95 and are a great way to affordably enjoy lunch in the parks. Take in the Disney ambiance sit in the rose garden in front of Cinderella's castle and enjoy lunch!
Roadhouse Grill - Kids 12 and under eat FREE on Tuesdays. No coupon required
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