A vacation to Disney World can be an expensive undertaking, and can stretch any budget. If you are looking for ways to make every dollar count, then focusing on your food budget is a good way to start.

Disney World dining is expensive. Fortunately, there are things you can do trim this line item and still have a great time on your vacation. Let’s look at some top tips for saving money on food at Disney World.

1 – Don’t Eat Breakfast Out

Let’s start with the most important meal of the day, and one of the biggest money saving tips. Eat breakfast in your hotel room. Even if you eat breakfast at an off-site location, it will surely cost more money that it would if you eat in your room. Not only will you save money, but you will probably choose healthier options. That way you can save your calories and your dollars for other fun!

Food at Disney World is fun, but can be expensive.

Food at Disney World is fun, but can be expensive.

If you love to eat, you might be tempted to stop in a Disney buffets. They can be a fun experience with unlimited food. And, if you want some face time with Disney characters without the typical long lines, a Disney character dining experience is plenty of fun. But since we are focusing on value in this article, beware that Disney buffets are very expensive. You will typically pay between $35 – $50 for a Disney buffet. You can visit one of the many all-you-can-eat locations off Disney property to get a much better deal.

If you are looking for something a bit more on the healthy side, and you don’t have to have lots of meat with your meal, we suggest Sweet Tomatoes at 12561 South Apopka Vineland Road – just across the road from Disney Springs. There are also plenty of Golden Corral locations nearby.

3 – Don’t Buy Snacks On-Site

I certainly can’t argue that a Rice Crispy Treat or a ice cream bar covered in dark chocolate – and shaped as a Mickey Mouse head – is a good time. I enjoy them myself. But again, if we are looking at value, these are expensive snacks at upwards of $4 each. Consider brining your own bottled water, trail mix, fruit, and granola bars. Not only will you save a bunch of money but you will save a bit of time standing in lines at food stands.

4 – Don’t Shop At Your Hotel Gift Shop

All the Disney resort hotels any many off-site hotels as well have a small shop where you can buy not only souvenirs but also food items. This is very convenient, but it is also very expensive. You will certainly pay top dollar for the convenience.

If you have a car, there are plenty of local grocery stores nearby Disney property. You can find a Win Dixie – with a pharmacy – at 11957 South Apopka Vineland Road (not far from Disney Springs). You can find Target Stores on US 192 both west of Disney property at 3200 Rolling Oaks Boulevard and east of Disney property at 4795 West Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway. Finally, if you are looking for organic and natural foods, the nearest Whole Foods in Orlando is located about 20 minutes away, north on I4, at 8003 Turkey Lake Road.

There are also two grocery delivery services that have relationships with Disney: Garden Grocer and WeGoShop. Both allow you to place an order for food and then they deliver it to your Disney Resort. These aren’t exactly cheap options, but they are cheaper than buying food on-site, and they offer a huge variety of options that just aren’t available on Disney property.

Plenty Of Fun And Savings

Remember that you are on vacation. Unless you truly must watch every penny, be sure to have a little fun here and there. However, following these tips will allow you to save money and still enjoy yourself.

What are your best tips for saving money on a Disney World vacation?