Eating In the Parks Does Not Have to Blow the Budget

tips for saving money on those counter service meals

Disney's Hollywood Studios - Starring Rolls Cafe

When you are traveling to Walt Disney World or Disneyland you always want to spend your money on things that will matter.    Sometimes a great meal is worth it but grabbing a bite in the park in between rides should not have to break the bank.

Come along as I share some of the things we to reduce the cost of dining at counter service locations while in the parks.

Welcome to this month's Blogorail Blue Loop. Today we are sharing our lesser known tips for making the most out of your Disney vacation.

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Order Ice Water

A cup of water is always free at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.   There is no reason for you to have to buy a $$$ bottle of water or bring your own from home.

  • Cup from a Disney Quick Service Location - Ice Water is FREESome of the water does have that ‘Orlando’ taste to it but you quickly learn which locations give the bigger cups and the ones that just taste better.
  • You also don’t have to buy anything to get the water.   You can stop by any counter service location with fountain drinks and ask for a cup of ice water.

My current favorite water spot is Sunshine Seasons in the Land Pavilion in Epcot – you can go up and get refills.

Not only does free water help with costs but it is also great for staving off dehydration – especially on  those hot August days in Orlando.

Order from the Kids Meal

Sshhh don’t tell everyone be anyone can order off the kids menu.

  • Kids meals are smaller and they are perfect for those watching what they eat or just don’t want a heavy meal in-between rides.
  • Kids meals are cheaper and include a drink.   That adds up quickly!
  • Also many kids meals come with items that can be packed away for a snack later (grapes, carrots, cookies, raisins, etc.)

Tips for Saving Money on Food in the Disney Parks

Order Ala Carte

Just because they offer a full meal does not mean you have to order it.  If you want just the hamburger ask the cashier if they offer ala carte items.

Most location do.

Cosmic Rays Menu Board in the Magic Kingdom

Ask About Discounts

This one I always forget about.

Disney does not publish what discounts are offered where.   You also can’t just ask ‘what discounts do you have’.  You have to be specific so if you have any Disney card ask ‘Do you have a XXXX discount?”

  • Discounts include: DVC Member, Disney Visa, Annual Pass, or Tables in Wonderland
  • Many places offer 10-15% off.  There are even a couple with 20% off.  This quickly adds up.

Now it is your turn. What are other tips do you have for saving money on food in the parks?

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Blue | Lesser Known Disney Tips and Tricks Loop:

By |2017-10-12T12:44:09+00:00February 26th, 2013|

About the Author:

Full time working mom making the most out of time with my family through travel, crafts & photography. Owner/designer of Capturing Magical Memories® and co-owner of the Magical Blogorail travel co-operative. In my free time it is all spas, wineries and concierge.


  1. DebiGerhart April 3, 2014 at 9:33 am - Reply

    We are planning a trip for the fall so this is all great information. Thanks so much. With a family of 6, every tip helps.

  2. Scott @ April 3, 2014 at 9:53 am - Reply

    Bring a small backpack with protein snacks (beef sticks, etc.)  That will keep you from buying chips/etc.

  3. CapMagicalMem April 3, 2014 at 11:10 am - Reply

    Scott @ Great tip!! It is true that protein snacks keep you away from those other things.  😉

  4. mommyonlyhs2hds April 3, 2014 at 11:16 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for this! We will be going to DisneyLand soon! I want to save as much as I can!

  5. valmg April 3, 2014 at 11:52 am - Reply

    That’s terrific they don’t mind who orders from the kids menu. Not all restaurants are that way. I don’t eat much since I had Lap band. A children’s meal is arguable a large meal for me. Some restaurants just won’t let me order it, despite the fact I have a card recommending it from the doctor.

  6. KimCroisant April 3, 2014 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    I;m taking your advice and I will order from the kids meal. I never think we can do that, but if you say so, I’m going to. We are taking our first trip to DisneyWorld in summer of 2015.

  7. […] 4 Tips for Saving Money on Food at the Disney Parks – Capturing Magical Memories […]

  8. […] Tips for Saving Money on Counter Service Food  with Capturing Magical Memories […]

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Mary Connor

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