Tip from the DFB Guide: Three Great Ways to Save on Food at Disney World

Let’s face it — rising food costs are negatively impacting our budgets — and that’s especially true at Walt Disney World!

With years of Disney dining experiences between our “ears” ;-), we’ve learned some cost-saving measures that can truly help. And since we’re all about sharing (unless we’ve got our hands on our favorite school bread), we want to let you in on great ways to save on food during your next Disney vacation.

In our The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 e-Book, we have a whole chapter about budgeting and saving at Disney World. Pick up your copy here for an extra $4 off using code 2013 for a limited time!

The legwork’s already done! Reading our comprehensive DFB Guide will help you find great membership savings, coupons, and more ideas to help you save as much as you can on your trip.

3 Great Ways to Save on Dining at Disney World

Here are just a few of the great ways to save on food when visiting Walt Disney World that we included in the DFB Guide to help you stretch your vacation dollars.

1. Eat breakfast as your biggest meal.
Before heading to your first attraction, feast on a hearty breakfast. Breakfast can not only be exceptionally filling (and can be healthier than lunch or dinner), it’s the least expensive time of day to dine in Disney World! So fill up on breakfast and have a few snacks instead of big lunches and dinners as you go through the day.

Even character meals are less pricey at breakfast!

Eating a big breakfast will fill you up -- and cost less than dining big later in the day!

2. Ask about an “entree-only” price at counter service locations.
Counter Service menus usually include side items, and the prices reflect those extras. Don’t really feel like fries with your cheeseburger? Ask a Cast Member if there’s an entree-only price. You may be able to knock off the extra cost (and calories!) of those fries when you order an entree with no sides!

Go ahead and ask to hold the fries!

3. Dine off-site or at non-Disney owned locations.
It’s no secret that once you enter those purple gates of Walt Disney World that food costs soar. Dining at an off-site location will offer the greatest savings in your dining budget — even if you add the cost of taxi to get there.

Or you can seek out restaurants that are not owned by Disney but still conveniently located on Disney property. While not always a guaranteed slam dunk of savings, these can occasionally offer cheaper options. One great choice is Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney!

What Other Ways Can We Save?

These budget-busting tips are in addition to dozens of other money-saving strategies we list in The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 — like where to get free samples, how to quench your thirst for less, foods you can bring with you, where to get discounts and coupons, when to visit for the best savings, [Read more…]

News! Tables in Wonderland Membership Price Increase

Tables in Wonderland, the Walt Disney World discount dining program, just got costlier! Prices were raised by $25 this week to $125 for Florida Residents and $100 for Annual/Seasonal Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members.

Tables in Wonderland Membership Card

The membership provides a 20% discount on food and beverages (including alcohol) at most restaurants and lounges in Walt Disney World parks and hotels.

Worth The Price?

Even with the price increase, I still think this is a great deal. With 20% off of most of your dining costs in Disney World, the card quickly pays for itself if you dine table-service often, and if you visit Disney World regularly.

Also, the card can be used at several counter service locations as well; check TablesinWonderland.com for an updated list of participating locations.

Note the addition of new restaurants such as Landscape of Flavors Food Court at the Art of Animation Resort and Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom. Be Our Guest Restaurant, however, only [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: April 3, 2011

Welcome to April! I hope the weather is starting to warm up for everyone. The Disney Food Blog team has a couple of fantastic news items to share with you this week on the blog, so stay tuned over the next couple of days! In the meantime, here are a few important pieces of Disney food news…

  • We outlined the 2011 United Way Chef’s Gala to be held in Epcot May 21st.
  • Disney World and Disneyland are offering counter-service discount coupons again! Details here.
  • The chefs at Harvest Bistro at Hilton’s Bonnet Creek are creating comfort food. It’s like mom made – with a twist!

AND…I am excited to announce that the Orlando Sentinel’s Daily Disney Blog gave us a glowing write-up on the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book!! Woo!! Check it out here.

And now, on to the round-up!

A Wedding Cake Blog highlights a Cinderella Castle cake made by the Cake Boss. With the cake pictured in front of the Grand Floridian marina, it looks like guests are staring at the real thing!

Walt Disney World For Grown-Ups demonstrates the reaction most guests display when drinking Beverly at Club Cool. I know you’ve got similar photos in your vacation albums! If not, you’ve got to add this to your next Epcot itinerary ;-)!

StudiosCentral.com takes us on a “MythBusters” analysis of Disney’s Hollywood Studios counter-service restaurants. Since MythBusters is always airing in my house, I loved this unique review! Stop by and see if Matt “Confirmed” or “Busted” the myth that DHS has the worse counter-service restaurants.

WDW Today Podcast has a very food-oriented episode that aired last Sunday and is now up for download! (I was lucky enough to be the guest on the show!!)

Mousejunkies reviews a homemade Disney Dinner party. Food, fun and friends! You’ll recognize many of the tasty creations. Yum!

Main Street Gazette covers one of my favorite places — including some of the best snacks they offer! Head to Starring Rolls Cafe today.

DisneyParks Blog announces new menu items at Disney signature restaurants. Let us know if you’ve sampled any of these tempting creations.

Beer in Florida is hopeful that an upcoming event at the Gaylord Palms will offer better beer. Cheers!

Tables in Wonderland Adds New Restaurants

Tables in Wonderland Membership Card

Tables in Wonderland Membership Card

Just got an email specifying new restaurants being added as of January 2010 to the Tables in Wonderland discount program!

Epcot®: Tokyo Dining Location Only (Not Teppan Edo)

Disney’s BoardWalk Resort: Kouzzina by Cat Cora (formerly Spoodles)

Disney’s Wide World of Sports: ESPN® Sports Cafe

DOWNTOWN DISNEY® Marketplace: Fulton’s Crab House

DOWNTOWN DISNEY® Pleasure Island: Portobello

DOWNTOWN DISNEY® West Side: House of Blues®, Wolfgang Puck® Cafe

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort: Il Mulino New York Trattoria, Kimonos, Shula’s Steak House, Todd English’s bluezoo

For more information about Tables in Wonderland and for a full list of participating restaurants, visit our Tables in Wonderland Reference Page.

Get Discounts on Disney Merch…By Eating! (And Other News)

backlot noticeA few good notices that couldn’t wait until the round-up tomorrow:

Discounts on Disney Stuff When You Eat Counter Service
Hooray! I knew eating burgers and fries would come in handy someday! If you’re headed to Disney World in the next two weeks, your counter service dining receipt might include a coupon for 20% off purchases at stores in the theme parks and Downtown Disney between the hours of 9AM and 12PM! Check out specs on the offer over at DIS.

Guy Fieri and the Food Network Talk Holiday Food at Disneyland
We mentioned it in our Disneyland Candy Canes post, because Guy has a segment on the candy canes in his Disneyland Holiday Foods Special. There’s a lot more to see, however! Set your DVR for Saturday at 9PM. If you miss it, you can catch the special again on Dec. 11th, at 8PM.

Tables In Wonderland Holiday Harvest Dinner
If you’re a Tables in Wonderland member, you can take part in a private Holiday Dinner, followed by the Candlelight Processional and Illuminations. Join other members at the Norway Lounge for a delicious menu of spicy seared tilapia, a medly of winter greens with cranberry vinaigrette, prosciutto and sage wrapped pork tenderloin, and olive oil bruised yukon gold potatoes followed by chocolate ganache brulee or asian apple crumble. Yum!

The event is limited to 80 guests and costs $98 per person. If you’re interested and a Tables in Wonderland Member, email WDW.Tables.In.Wonderland@disney.com with your daytime phone number, home address, and the people in your party — you’ll be notified on a first come, first served basis.

holidaydinner

Stay tuned tomorrow for our regularly scheduled round-up of Disney Food links from around the web! Also, be sure to vote in our “Best Steakhouse” poll in the right-hand sidebar :-D

Latest Disney World Food News and Rumors

Head over to the Diamond Horseshoe for some grum...at least for now

Head over to the Diamond Horseshoe for some grub...at least for now

Too much happening to do individual posts on each! Just wanted to give you a run-down!

News and Reminders:

1. The Tomorrowland Terrace Cafe in the Magic Kingdom is open (and available for online booking) August 16, 23 and 30; and September 6, 13, 20 and 27. Click the link to book online and see sample menu items.

2. DVC members, Annual Passholders, and Tables in Wonderland members can now register in advance and at a discounted rate for 2009 Epcot Food and Wine Festival seminars and culinary demonstrations.

3. Epcot’s Mexico is scheduled to open its Cava del Tequila on August 28th (Friday!).

4. You can book the Magic Kingdom’s Diamond Horseshoe (temporary table-service location) from now through October 3rd. Click the link to book online.

5. 8/27 Update: The Wishes Dessert Party has been extended through November 1st, 2009!

Rumors:

1. I was on the phone with a Tables in Wonderland cast member who mentioned that the discounted Food and Wine Festival seminar registration rates would become available to the general public on Friday, August 28th. Rumor only, folks, but this would be great, as those of us who want to experience several of the seminars can save a bunch of cash!

Tables in Wonderland/DVC/Annual Passholder: 2009 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Discounts

dining
Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival offers Tables in Wonderland, Disney Vacation Club, and Annual Passholder Member discounts:
Members have a special opportunity to purchase discounted advance tickets to the culinary demonstrations and wine/beverage seminars at the Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival, taking place September 25 – November 8, 2009.

Beginning Wednesday, August 26, a limited number of discounted tickets will be available for Members to purchase online in advance of the general public. The discounted rate is $5 a person (regularly $8 a person) while they last. (Events are expected to sell out.) Please note that the discount won’t be available at the event, so advance purchase is required to get the discounted rate. Discounted tickets, if available, may be purchased until 24 hours before the start of any individual session.

The culinary demonstrations and wine/beverage seminars, which last about 45 minutes, let participants learn from featured chefs and wine presenters, pick up a few tips and taste the featured items. Everyone must have a ticket to attend, and attendees must be 21 years of age or older to consume alcoholic beverages.

To register for the culinary demonstrations and wine/beverage seminars at the discounted rate, visit http://www.register123.com/profile/web/index.cfm?PKwebID=0x173908616f

Thanks to Pinvestigator Cody at the Global Disney Pinvestigation Blog for this info (DisneyFoodBlog has to renew its Tables in Wonderland, apparently!).