How To Save While Eating At Walt Disney World

{flickr|100|campaign} Theme park tickets and resort hotel rooms at Walt disney world are expensive enough. The last thing you need, as a budget traveler is to also spend premium cost on food if you do not have to. It is however understandable that you want to have very special restaurant dining experiences while on vacation, so take advantage of these tips to get the best of both worlds while visiting WDW. There are a lot more discounts at your disposal than you might think if you put in the time and energy to take advantage of them.
One important fact to make note of is that it is now essential to make reservations at any Disney table-service restaurant. It used to be uncalled for, especially in the off-season, but with the fame of Disney’s “Dining Plan” and the Walt Disney World crowd rise as a whole, it is always full of activity. One lesser known fact is that Disney increases meal prices at several buffets and character meals during busy times. It usually costs around $ 4 more (plus tax/tip) during these periods. While this has been taking place for years, it used to only affect Thanksgiving and Christmas season and only a few restaurants. However in 2008 the price raises grew to include Easter and part of the summer season along with many of the restaurants. Disney will not publish the times of these price increases but here is when they typically occur: 1) The weekend before Thanksgiving through the weekend after Thanksgiving, 2) The middle of December through the beginning of January, 3) Two weeks surrounding Easter, and 4) Late May through mid-July.
Walt Disney World used to have an unenforced policy that no outside food items were allowed into the theme parks. However, you are now entirely permitted to bring any food items that do not require heating. Also, bottled water and soft drinks are accepted. Be careful though because you will not be permitted to bring in hard-sided coolers, large coolers, glass containers, or alcoholic beverages. Furthermore, for some reason no straws are allowed into the Animal Kingdom. If you do not want to bring in your own food, it is challenging to find low-cost options inside. However, the following deals are the best. Inside the Magic Kingdom, go to the Main Street Bake Shop for breakfast including baked goods for $ 2-$ 3. For lunch or dinner, go to Casey’s Corner on Main Street for a large hot dog with cole slaw or fries for about $ 6 or a side of chili for about $ 3. Grab a bowl of clam chowder at Columbia Harbor House for less than $ 5. Two people can split the half rotisserie chicken with mashed potatoes and vegetables at Cosmic Ray’s in Tomorrowland for about $ 9. At Epcot breakfast deals are rare but you can find a bowl of oatmeal at Sunshine Seasons for around $ 2.50. Spoodles Pizza will deliver you with a slice for around $ 4 which is not bad for theme park rates. Disney’s Hollywood Studios has Toluca Legs Turkey Company where you can get a chili dog for $ 5. Finally, at the Animal Kingdom you can enjoy a basket of cheesy bread sticks with marinara sauce for $ 4 and small pizzas for $ 6. These are a few of the best deals you will find at WDW.
Overall, the best tactic while visiting Walt Disney World is to take advantage of the fact that the theme parks now permit you to bring in outside food and beverages. You can pocket a small fortune on daily food by making sandwiches and other easy meals that you buy at the local grocery store and packing them in a cooler the night prior to your theme park visit. You will work up quite an appetite from all the walking so be sure to pack plenty of food, snacks, and lots of water. Spending little on food throughout the day will allow you to splurge on some nice WDW dinners later that night.