It’s no secret that we love Disney food. Let’s be real — we love all food. We also love saving money.
So, we’ve discovered a thing or two that may transform the way you eat while visiting the parks. These little hacks help you save time and money so you can have the best trip possible! What’s better than that?
From brunch to toppings bars, there are plenty of simple ways to protect your pocketbook while filling your belly at Disney.
1. Purchase a Tables in Wonderland Discount Card
If you spend a lot of time in Disney World, you may want to look into purchasing a Tables in Wonderland card. Tables in Wonderland is a discounted dining program that costs $150 for Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members and $175 for Florida residents.
The program provides a 20% discount on food and drinks — even alcohol! Sounds great, right? It TOTALLY is, but the catch is you’re only able to purchase a Tables in Wonderland card if you fall into one of the three aforementioned categories. If you’re eligible, we think it’s a great deal. Sometimes it’s even worth it for one person in your party to become an Annual Passholder in order to take advantage of discounts like this. Crunch those numbers, though… .
2. Share Quick-Service Meals
A great way to save money is to share quick-service meals, especially with the little ones. Two or three quick-service meals could be enough to feed a family of two adults and two littles. If people are still hungry, you can always order another meal or grab a few snacks! Snacks are the best part anyway, right?
3. Visit Locations with Toppings Bars
A toppings bar is like a mini buffet for “side items” like pickles, onions, salsa, and cheese. Locations with topping bars offer more for your money because you can load up on sides, adding plenty of yummy extras to your meal for no additional charge!
Adding toppings to your meal is sure to satisfy your appetite for a long period of time! Pecos Bill and Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe are two of the most popular spots with toppings bars in Magic Kingdom. But remember, you can no longer get guac as part of the toppings bar at Pecos Bill.
4. Book a Fireworks Dessert Party
Just about everyone loves fireworks, but what about an array of desserts to go with one of Disney World’s spectacular nighttime shows? We can highly recommend the Frozen Ever After Dessert Party in Epcot. For $79 per adult and $47 per child ages 3-9, guests are entitled to reserved viewing of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth (soon to be replaced by Epcot Forever), a dessert and beverage buffet, AND an evening ride on the super popular (and fastpass tier 1) Frozen Ever After.
These parties are pricey, but they might be right for your family. If you don’t want to wait in the long line for the Frozen Ever After ride and you weren’t able to get a FastPass+ for it, that can be enough of a benefit on its own. Add in unlimited desserts (and alcoholic beverages for those of age), it can really be worth it. These parties may not be the best idea for all groups, but they may very well be great for yours.
5. Take Advantage of Mobile Order
Using Mobile Order can potentially save you SO much time. Mobile Order is a feature of the My Disney Experience app that allows guests to pre-order and pre-pay for their food at participating locations throughout Disney World. ANYONE can use it — it’s not exclusive to special affinity groups.
The best part? Guests using Mobile Order don’t have to wait in the normal line! Instead, they go straight to a designated pick up area to get their food.
You can conveniently pay through the app with your credit card or with your Disney Dining Plan! And then bypass those LONG counter service lines! Talk about a game-changer, right?
6. Enjoy Brunch to Save on Lunch Costs
A hearty brunch or late breakfast will likely hold you over through lunch, and you won’t have to purchase as many meals throughout the day. If you choose to eat a later morning meal and an early dinner, you’ll likely be able to spend less than you would if you ate three meals.
An added benefit of this is that breakfast almost always costs less than lunch or dinner, so you could save some serious cash! So, maybe try eating at 10:30 or 11:00 in the morning and then again at 5:00 in the afternoon.
Brunch seems to be the HOT new topic around Disney World. Check out these awesome brunch reviews: Rise ‘n Shine Southern Brunch at Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ in Disney Springs and Grand Floridian Cafe Brunch. Wine Bar George has even introduced Dole Whip mimosas for brunch.
7. Research Disney World Menus and Our Reviews
We’ve eaten at EVERY Disney restaurant — many multiple times — and pride ourselves on our unbiased reviews of our experiences. Our reviews give insight into food, pricing, and atmosphere so you can make informed dining choices before you go! A few of our most recent reviews include Lunch at Be Our Guest Restaurant and a review of the NEW Jaleo by Chef José Andrés in Disney Springs.
8. Read the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining and Our In-Depth Snack Guides
Our DFB guides are extremely detailed and provide info about each and every food item on property. Is the Pineapple Dole Whip really all it’s cracked up to be? Is Garden Grill worth your money or Disney Dining Plan credit? You can find the answers to those questions and so many more in our DFB guides!
From a FULL CHAPTER detailing all of our personal Disney snack recommendations (spoiler alert — there are A LOT OF SNACKS IN HERE) to comprehensive chapters about Disney dining discounts (some we promise you’ve NEVER heard about), special event tips and secrets, the Disney Dining Plan (breaking it down for you so you can determine whether it’s right for YOUR family), and so much more, our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining is well worth a look.
The best part? It’s got a no-questions-asked, 100% money back guarantee if it’s not for you.
Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!
What other dining tips do you have? How have they transformed the way you eat while visiting Walt Disney World? Let us know in the comments below!