Disney World Restaurant Discounts & Coupons

LAST UPDATE: 3/12/24

When you’re visiting Walt Disney World, you’ll probably want to enjoy some special treats and restaurant meals – this is a vacation, after all! But there are many tricks that can help you get Disney World restaurant discounts. There are a lot more Orlando restaurant discounts and coupons out there than you might think!

We update prices whenever we become aware of changes, but prices on this page are always subject to change.

Looking for discounts at a specific restaurant? Use the keyboard shortcut Control + F (for Macs, Command + F) to search for the name on this page.

Advance Dining Reservations

It used to be that you could skip making reservations at most Disney table-service restaurants, particularly in the off-season. If you didn’t have a reservation, you could usually just walk up and put your name on the list. You might have to wait, but you would get seated eventually. Those days are gone!

With the popularity of Disney’s Dining Plans and the general upswing in attendance at Walt Disney World, the table-service locations are constantly busy and many of them do not have same-day walk-up availability. It has become very important to make advance dining reservations if you want to be assured of eating at a full-service location.

Mobile Ordering in the Parks & Resorts

Most Quick Service restaurants in Walt Disney World theme parks and hotels offer mobile ordering. Using the MyDisneyExperience app on your phone, you can place your order and pay using a credit card, debit card or Disney dining plan. Once you have placed your order, you will be given a time range for pick up. Once you arrive at the restaurant, open up the app and tap the “I’m Here, Prepare My Order” button. When your order is ready, you will get a notification on the app. To pick up your order, look for the specially marked pickup spot for mobile orders.

The mobile ordering app is pretty easy to use and means you don’t have to get to the restaurant, stand in line, and then place your order. Instead, you can place your order whenever you want, and then head over to the restaurant during your time range, find a table, and get your food once it’s ready. Unless there is literally no line, we would always choose mobile ordering if it’s available.

Cheap Eats in the Parks & Resorts – Disney World Restaurant Discounts

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Bringing in Outside Food and Drink

Guests are allowed to bring food items, such as snacks or foods that do not require heating, into any Walt Disney World theme park. It is also completely fine to bring in water or soft drinks in cans or plastic bottles.

One note of caution: avoid bringing in anything highly perishable, such as cold cuts. It would be easy to end up with food poisoning!

You absolutely will NOT be allowed to bring in the following: loose or dry ice, large coolers, alcoholic beverages or glass containers (except for small containers like baby food jars). Also, you cannot bring any type of straws (even the little ones attached to juice boxes) into Animal Kingdom or the water parks.

Best Bets

Really inexpensive meals in the theme parks are hard to find, but listed below are some cheap options for real food that will fill you up. Prices below are approximate and subject to change at any time. (We also have some more tips and tricks for saving on food at the theme park restaurants.)

Cheapest (and Healthiest) Food Items in the Parks – Fresh Fruit & Veggies!

Each park has at least one fruit stand. Apples, pears, bananas, and oranges are usually around $2.29, which is very inexpensive compared with other snacks at the parks. At the larger stands you may find watermelon or cantaloupe slices, grapes, strawberries, cut-up pineapple, yogurt, fruit salad, corn on the cob or even baked potatoes at varying prices, with nothing over about $10.

There is a fruit stand in the Magic Kingdom at Liberty Square Market. Disney’s Hollywood Studios has Anaheim Produce on Sunset Blvd. At Epcot, fruit is available at The Land Cart near The Land pavilion. Animal Kingdom offers fruit at Harambe Market in Africa, just outside Kilimanjaro Safaris.

Maximizing Value at Character Breakfasts

Disney’s Character meals can be a lot of fun, and if you are traveling with kids, try to budget for one. However, they are expensive! The least expensive Character meal option is, not surprisingly, breakfast. Prices below are subject to change.

The cost of Character breakfasts on property can vary based on season, but the ones below are the least expensive, about $48/adult and $30/child (age 3-9), plus tax and tip.

For the best (or at least most interesting) character breakfast, we recommend Donald’s Safari Breakfast at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom. In addition to standard American breakfast options, they always have some African foods that are well worth trying. It’s a great way to expand your food horizons while still having plenty of familiar eggs and waffles if you decide your food horizons aren’t feeling so expansive that morning.

The two Princess breakfasts are insanely expensive, but the surroundings are impressively castle-y and at least a photo package is included! The Character breakfasts where you can meet princesses are:

Here’s a way to maximize your dollar when paying for Character breakfasts, shared by MouseSavers.com reader Lisa C:

“One money saving tip we have discovered is to eat breakfast at Chef Mickey’s at the latest possible time (usually a reservation around 10:30 AM) on a day when the Magic Kingdom has early entry and so everyone will be ready for lunch by then. The buffet is very substantial, and all drinks — coffee, milk, juice, etc. — are included, so we drink a bunch and the kids get their character breakfast at a pretty reasonable price, considering that it is really lunch. This also allows us to take advantage of the lighter crowds in the morning at the Magic Kingdom. Also, because the restaurant is not open for lunch it starts to get quiet as people with earlier seating times leave, and ALL of the characters gather together in the waiting area for group photos of just your family, which the servers will gladly take with your camera. This has happened both times we have eaten there, and so I have photos of just my family with Goofy, Minnie, Mickey, Chip and Dale!”

Clearly you could apply a similar strategy to other character breakfast locations (not just Chef Mickey’s) regardless of whether you have access to early entry. As Lisa points out, since the park crowds are lightest first thing in the morning, this strategy has the added advantage of allowing you to enjoy the attractions without long lines — instead of spending prime time eating breakfast!

You’ll probably want to eat something light to keep you going in the morning (for instance, all of the parks have pastry shops offering bagels, sweet rolls, milk and juice; or you can eat a light breakfast in your room). Then book the latest possible reservation for “breakfast” — but consider it lunch!

Least Expensive Character Lunches & Dinners

The least expensive character lunch & dinner, last we checked, is Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom Epcot for $61/adult and $40/child (age 3-9), plus tax and tip. However, most of the rest of the character lunches and dinners only cost $3-$5 more per person. So, we think you are better off choosing a character lunch or dinner based on what characters your child is most interested in seeing and what location works best for your schedule. Or, use the tip above and book the latest possible character breakfast reservation and treat that as your lunch!

Super Cheap Kids’ Meal or Snack

Sometimes our readers’ cleverness just astounds us. Consider this discovery by MouseSavers.com reader Lisa C: “In the resort food courts… you can buy two slices of bread (white or wheat) for $0.69 plus tax” (this was several years ago; it’s probably more now). Peanut butter is about .50, and in some food courts it’s free because there are packets of it with the condiments. Jelly can be obtained for free because it’s a condiment. So for a couple dollars, you can make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Lisa notes, “We have a five-year-old, so this was a godsend and really saved us money over having to buy combo meals all the time.”

Same Item, Lower Price

In a few cases, an expensive table-service restaurant and a nearby counter-service location offer the same food item for two very different prices. At a counter-service location, the item will be typically be presented without any garnish or sides and will be served on a paper plate. Here are some hints (note that prices were correct as of January 2024, but are subject to change at any time):

Thanks to participants on the DIS Restaurants board for ideas.

Tips & Tricks for Saving in the Parks and Resorts

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Take Advantage of Large Portion Sizes to Cut Costs

Many of the entrees and combo meals served at Walt Disney World restaurants include a large amount of food. If you are not big eaters, consider splitting an entree or combo meal between two people and possibly ordering an extra side dish or appetizer to share. We have done this many times and the server always cheerfully complied. In fact, at sit-down restaurants, usually the split entree was brought out on separate plates for us.

Another good option for light eaters at table service restaurants, and one that works well for someone dining alone, is to substitute an appetizer for your entree. For instance, order two appetizers instead of an appetizer and an entree, or order an appetizer instead of an entree, thus leaving yourself room for dessert. Be sure to inquire about the portion size first — some appetizers are substantial and filling, but some aren’t.

If you’re not sure about portion sizes, a good trick at the counter-service restaurants and snack stands is to stand to one side for a minute and watch as people leave with their orders, so you can see how the portions look. If the portions are big and you are not big eaters, consider splitting an entree or combo meal between two people or ordering from the kids’ menu. (No one will even know you’re ordering the kids meal for an adult!) The kids’ meals are an especially good deal because they include a cold beverage (you can usually choose from a small lowfat milk, small lowfat chocolate milk, juice box, small bottled water or small soda; some locations have a more limited selection of beverages, so check the posted menu). The kids’ meals are also often healthier than the adult options. If you need just a little more food, possibly ordering an extra side dish or appetizer to share will be enough.

MouseSavers.com reader Susan R has these observations from June 2012 (last we checked, in January 2024, the kids meal was $7.29 and the adult was $12.79, but the tip is still good):

“We found that, particularly at breakfast, the kids’ meals were a much better deal overall than the adult. For example, at Port Orleans, French Quarter (where we stayed), the kids’ platter had a scoop of scrambled egg and 2 pieces of bacon or sausage (or 1 of each, depending on the person serving), grapes or applesauce and a carton of milk for $4.99. The adult “bounty platter” had the same amount of egg and meat, with the addition of potatoes, a small mickey waffle, and a biscuit (but no fruit or milk) for $8.49. For two adults and a 7-year-old, most mornings we got two kids platters and an order of three beignets to share amongst the three of us – at which point breakfast averaged less than $5/person (and the beignets made it more unique than just bacon and eggs!).”

The policy about adults ordering off the kids’ menu seems to be inconsistent at regular table-service restaurants, but some will allow adults (and/or kids over 9 years old) to order kids’ meals. However, some restaurants will require you to order an “adult portion” of the kids’ menu items and pay accordingly. At Disney’s buffet restaurants, adults (and kids 10 and up) are always required to pay adult prices, regardless of how much or what items they eat. Likewise at all Character meals and dinner shows, adults (and kids 10 and up) must pay adult prices, because you are paying for the entertainment as well as the food.

There is also the “extra bun” trick, which works especially well when you have small kids who don’t eat a lot.

Please note: the “extra bun” trick worked for years, with the extra bun usually costing 79 or 89 cents, but lately some locations have increased the price of a bun to insane levels, with some locations charging as much as $4 (!), so ask the price first.

Don’t Pay For Extras You Don’t Want

In the parks, the counter-service menus often list only complete meals, such as a burger with fries, sandwich with fruit, entree with corn on the cob, pizza with side salad, etc. A little known fact is that you can order anything you want a la carte! If you just want the sandwich, say “sandwich only, please.” Otherwise you may be paying up to $2 for that side item you don’t want.

Note that this really only works if you order in person. With mobile ordering, there’s no option to leave off sides; you will need to find an actual cast member taking orders to get any kind of special order that isn’t in the app.

MouseSavers.com reader Marlene discovered that your receipt must say ONLY next to the item to insure that you are charged correctly at the food court-style counter service locations such as Landscape of Flavors. The cashiers need to see the word ONLY so they don’t charge you for the sides.

Similarly, many of Disney’s burgers are listed as including certain toppings, such as bacon. If you don’t want the toppings, it’s sometimes possible to have them left off, and pay a lower price.

Kids’ meals are normally sold as a package. But MouseSavers.com reader Marlene points out that some quick service locations will sell just the main item (such as the sandwich) in a kids’ meal without the side and drink. “One evening we ordered [a kids’ turkey and cheese] sandwich at the Beach Club Marketplace. There was a misunderstanding – they just made the sandwich – and charged me either $2.50 or $3! I expected to be charged full price [for the kids’ meal]. I didn’t have any idea I could order it without the drink and two sides – but all my son wanted at the time was the sandwich.” So if you don’t want the sides included in the kids’ meals, it’s worth asking.

Dining Plans

Disney offers prepaid Dining Plans at Walt Disney World that can be a good value for some people. However, they are ONLY available when you purchase a Walt Disney World vacation package that includes accommodations at a Disney-owned-and-operated hotel (or with a DVC stay; see below). You must purchase the plan for your entire stay and for each person staying in your hotel room.

Standard packages also include park tickets. If you already have tickets or an annual pass, or would prefer to buy tickets from a discounted source, Disney offers the Annual Passholder package or a ticketless vacation package that has a Dining Plan but no tickets. Ticketless packages used to be reserved for Annual Passholders, but now anyone can get one.

The only exception to the “must buy with a vacation package” rule is that Disney Vacation Club members and their guests, when staying on “points” at a DVC resort, may purchase a Dining Plan as a separate add-on. This is arranged through DVC Member Services, or you can “rent” points from a DVC member.

The Dining Plan option is not available to those booking “room only” reservations or Florida resident room-only discounts.

Dining Outside of Disney

If it won’t spoil the magic for you, consider eating one or more meals at a nearby but non-Disney restaurant such as the ones in Disney Springs or the independent hotels in the Disney Springs resort area. Often these are substantially cheaper than Disney restaurants, but still have attractive theming and great food.

In the section below are a few locations that we personally recommend because they offer very tasty food at an exceptional value, in what is usually a high-priced resort area. Prices below are approximate and subject to change at any time.

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Counter Service / Take-Out

There are some great locations in Disney Springs that offers very reasonably priced takeout food. Since Disney Springs has many places to sit and enjoy the view along the lake, this is a nice option on a day when the weather is pleasant.

Additionally, if you will have a car, consider this option:

Full-Service and Buffet Meals

Be sure to see the printable coupon section for possible discounts at the restaurants below. Note that prices are subject to change at any time.

Email Offers, Rewards Clubs, Discount Codes & Other Restaurant Discounts

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September is Orlando Magical Dining Month

Each year for the entire month of September, and sometimes late August, participating high-end Orlando restaurants feature three-course, prix fixe dinners at an exceptional value. Typically some of the restaurants in Disney Springs and Disney World Swan/Dolphin hotels participate.


Save money at some Disney World-area restaurants by purchasing discounted certificates from Restaurant.com. Most certificates are for a specific amount (usually $25) and you get them at a discounted price (usually $10 or less).

The Orlando/Disney World restaurants offered through Restaurant.com change frequently. Occasionally there are even restaurants that are right on Disney property (typically at Disney Springs or the Disney Springs resort area hotels); you don’t need a car to reach those. If you will have a car, look for restaurants in Lake Buena Vista and Kissimmee, the two closest areas to Walt Disney World. We’ve seen every type of cuisine offered at one time or another — American, Cuban, Japanese, French, even barbecue! (The easiest way to find nearby restaurants is to search zip code 32830, and then narrow your search to within 1 mile or 5 miles of that zip code.)

Email Offers, Rewards Clubs and Discount Codes

Most chain restaurants have online email clubs and joining those can save you money on off-site restaurants in the Disney World area. They often send out great offers, discount codes or coupons. If they ask you to select a “favorite” location, pick the one near Disney World, since some clubs restrict their offers to a particular location. Also, sign up for the club no more than 2 weeks prior to your trip, as many clubs send out a really fantastic introductory offer, but it’s often good for only a short time. There are also some printable coupons that can save you money.

Some of the restaurants below are located in Disney Springs, which is on Disney property and accessible by Disney transportation. Most of the rest are relatively close to Walt Disney World, along the Apopka Vineland Road (Hwy 535) corridor to the east of Hotel Plaza Blvd, where the Disney Springs resort area hotels are located. A few are on International Drive, which is further away. To get to these hotels, you’ll really need to have a car or budget for Lyft or taxis.

We are not necessarily recommending the restaurants below. (Our recommended restaurants are listed above.) We are just letting you know what’s out there!

Birnbaum’s Walt Disney World Guidebook Coupons

Birnbaum’s Walt Disney World 2024 has meal coupons in the back for these Disney Springs restaurants:

Birnbaum’s Walt Disney World 2024 also has meal coupons in the back for these theme park restaurants and locations:

Costco Deals on Restaurant Gift Cards

If you are a Costco member and you plan to eat at one or more restaurants that are part of a chain, it’s always worthwhile to check out the restaurant gift cards available through your local warehouse, which are typically discounted by 20%. Keep in mind that a gift card for a particular restaurant brand in the chain might also be accepted at other restaurant brands owned by the same chain. 

Membership Discounts

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Disney World Annual Passholders

A frequently-changing set of table-service restaurants offer 10%-20% discounts on food and non-alcoholic beverages to Annual Passholders. Check first before you go, or just ask everywhere you eat if they have a discount. The discounts are not available on most major holidays or on days that are blocked out for the particular annual pass.

Disney Visa Cardholders

Disney Visa cardholders can save 10% at select dining locations at Walt Disney World. Some restrictions apply.  You need to request the discount and use a Disney Visa card to pay for the meal.

Disney Vacation Club Members

DVC members and up to 3 guests receive discounts of 10%-20% (10% is more common) at many Walt Disney World restaurants, including many of the Disney Springs and Swan/Dolphin restaurants. Discounts do not apply to alcoholic beverages, tax or gratuities. The discount is not available on July 4, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve. The list of DVC member restaurant discounts is extensive and the amount varies by location; the best way to check current discounts is either on the DVC member website, which offers a printable PDF, or by looking through the Membership Magic booklet, which can be obtained from the front desk or concierge at any DVC resort.

Landry’s Select Club

If you plan to eat at a lot of Landry’s owned restaurants (which at Walt Disney World include two Rainforest Cafes, T-Rex and Yak & Yeti), it may be worth your while to buy a membership in the Landry’s Select Club. There is a one-time fee of $25, but you receive an immediate $25 credit on the card when you register online. Basically this is a rewards card: after you spend $250 (earning 250 points) at Landry’s restaurants, you get a $25 credit on the card that you can use toward your next meal. Points are not earned for the $25 membership enrollment fee, coupons and discounts, and (in some states) alcohol purchases. You also get a $25 credit during your birthday month.

Levy Preferred Loyalty Card

Levy Restaurants operates several Disney Springs restaurants: Paddlefish and Terralina Crafted Italian. You can sign up for their FREE Levy Preferred Loyalty Card online. Then present your loyalty card each time you eat at a participating restaurant. You will receive 1 point for every dollar you spend (gratuity excluded). For every $250 you spend at any of their participating restaurants (not just the Disney Springs locations — they have restaurants around the US), you will receive a $25 reward credit, valid towards your next dining experience.

AAA / CAA Members

A few restaurants offer “show your card and save” discounts for members of the American Automobile Association (AAA) or the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA). Some of them are listed on the AAA or CAA site, but not all. Any restaurant can give guests an AAA or CAA discount if they choose, but to be listed on the website and tourbooks they have to pay a fee. So some restaurants just choose to offer a discount on request, figuring that word of mouth and social media will get the word out. The bottom line is that if you’re a AAA or CAA member, it’s always worth asking if there’s a discount!

AARP Members

Some Landry’s restaurants offer 10% off to AARP members. Landry’s locations at or near Walt Disney World include: Rainforest Cafe, Joe’s Crab Shack, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Landry’s Seafood House, Oceanaire Seafood Room, Yak & Yeti and T-Rex. Thanks to Karen S & Marlene for info.

Denny’s offers 15% off to AARP members. There’s one at Palm Pkwy/535. Thanks to Marlene for info.

D23 Members

D23 Gold members get various dining discounts by presenting their membership card.

Save on Beverages

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Bottled Water

You will need to drink a lot of water when you are at Walt Disney World. It’s very hot and humid for most of the year, and you’ll be walking great distances. This can add up to dehydration all too easily. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t like the taste of the tap water in Orlando. We are among them — we find it musty-tasting and unpleasant, though we will drink it if necessary.

That means you’re stuck with bottled water, which is widely sold throughout the theme parks — for about $3.75 a bottle! So here’s the #1 savings tip for beverages at Walt Disney World: bring in your own water! Disney allows it, and you will save a small fortune. One option is to stop at one of the local supermarkets or drug stores and pick up a case of bottled water after you arrive. Obviously this is no problem if you have a rental car. Most of the limo companies will make a short stop for you, as well. If you will be using a shuttle service, about your only option is to buy the water in your hotel’s shop, which may be slightly cheaper. It’s a good idea to put your bottled water on ice (get some from your hotel’s ice machine) overnight and take it with you into the parks each day.

Want a cheaper and more environmentally friendly solution? Get a reusable bottle that comes with a filter, and fill it from drinking fountains or restroom sinks in the parks. We’ve tried the Rubbermaid and Brita and we liked them both. The prices start at about $16.00, which means one of these will pay for itself in about 4 or 5 uses!

MouseSavers.com reader Thomas M has this hint if you’re in the Magic Kingdom: “In front of Guest Services on Main Street, there are two water fountains. The fountain on the left hand side is filtered much better and tastes much like bottled water. You can often see cast members filling water bottles when on break.”

MouseSavers.com reader Dave H offers this suggestion: “Camelbak hydration packs… come in lots of sizes and styles, some as just a hydration pack, some as backpacks too! You fill them with ice from the hotel in the morning, it melts as the day goes on and you sip ice cold water off the attached tubing all day.”

FREE Ice Water (and How to Make It Drinkable)

If you don’t mind the taste of the local water, reader Jen M points out that “all of the counter service restaurants in the theme parks give out FREE ice water! I discovered this gem while my hubby (and all of the money) was on Buzz Lightyear with my son and I was dying of thirst. I walked into Cosmic Ray’s and asked if it was possible to get a cup of ice water. No problem at all! They even gave me a large cup! From then on, it was ice water for my family – which was not a hardship because we got tired of carbonated drinks quickly! At $2 to $4 a pop [at the time] – that savings added up quickly!”

If you hate the taste of the tap water at Walt Disney World, consider carrying some small packets of sweetened (sugar-free) Kool-Aid, Hawaiian Punch or Crystal Light with you and adding those to your cup of free ice water. Other good options: Lipton or Celestial Seasonings Cold Brew tea bags and Starbucks VIA packets (both the VIA iced coffee mix, which is sweetened, and the regular VIA, which is not sweetened, will dissolve easily in cold water and make very good iced coffee). Thanks to Dwayne O and Marjorie T for ideas.

MouseSavers.com reader Kellie B suggest bringing tea bags or hot cocoa packets into the parks during the colder months. (Starbucks VIA packets would work well, too.) She was able to get FREE hot water at the counter service restaurants in the theme parks.

Refillable Mugs

All of the Disney resorts offer refillable insulated mugs for $21.99+tax for the length of your stay (in practice, that means 14 days, no matter how long your stay is). With these mugs, refills on coffee, sodas (Coca-Cola products), iced tea and hot cocoa are FREE. (Milk and juice are NOT included.) If you drink a lot of coffee, iced tea or soft drinks, this can save you quite a bit of money. These mugs can be refilled at the resorts, but not in the theme parks.

All refillable mugs are RFID tagged, and only current, valid RFID tagged mugs work in the beverage stations. The RFID tagged mugs allow you to refill the mug at any resort hotel beverage station. For the purpose of mug use, “days” are calendar days, not rolling 24-hour periods. If you are staying longer than 14 days, you can re-activate a mug for 14 more days by paying the same fee. You can also bring an RFID mug back on another trip and re-activate it, but you don’t get a discount for doing so.

Note that the paper cups for soda (which are around $4.50) are also RFID tagged, and the machines are programmed to allow up to three servings in a one-hour period per cup. Once you’ve used your three servings or one hour has passed since your initial fill, the soda machines will stop dispensing into that cup. As of this writing, the iced tea, coffee, and hot cocoa machines are not on the RFID system, though the rules are still the same. You’re just on your honor to limit your refills accordingly.

The Disney Water Parks offer refillable mugs that are not on the same system as the resort refillable mugs. The water park mugs are $12.99+tax to purchase initially, which allows refills (at either or both water parks) for that day only. You can bring back a water park mug and reactivate it for an additional day for about $6+tax.

Refillable Drinks in non-RFID cups

The following locations offer self-serve soft drinks in non-RFID cups, so you can go back and get refills without paying extra:

As far as we know, these are the only counter-service restaurants at Disney World that are currently offering self-service sodas. Thanks to Shanda B, Clifton T, Christopher L, Joe M, Debbie C and Paula H for info.

Buy Beverages in Alternate Locations

If you are staying at a Disney resort, it’s cheaper to buy milk in the hotel shops than in the food courts. If you have kids who drink a lot of milk, you may find you’re better off buying milk in the shop and carrying it into the food court with you.

Similarly, when staying at one of the Disney resorts, instead of buying a beer at the pool bar, you can usually buy one for less at the resort shop, though if it’s bottled you’ll have to transfer the contents into a plastic cup or mug because they don’t allow bottles by the pool.

Beer is much cheaper at the Speedway gas stations on Disney property, than in the Disney resort hotel shops. The Disney hotel shops charge $17 plus tax per 6-pack for regular domestic beer (and even more for fancy beers). Speedway charges normal convenience store prices.


Starbucks drinks are available at the Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom; Creature Comforts in Animal Kingdom; the Trolley Car Café in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and at Connections Café in Epcot’s World Celebration. There are also two Starbucks locations in Disney Springs.

Eat Breakfast in Your Hotel

There are several advantages to eating breakfast in your hotel:

Consider bringing or buying a few items so that you can make breakfast in your hotel room. Cold “Continental breakfast” items that require minimal preparation are ideal: individual cups of cold cereal, bakery items (pastries, bread, donuts, bagels), juice boxes, whole fruit (apples, oranges, bananas), boxed milk (white or chocolate) that doesn’t require refrigeration, peanut butter and cheese are all good bets. Other items to consider: instant oatmeal, instant cocoa, fruit cups, applesauce cups and hard-boiled eggs. If you want to bring items from home, we recommend using a small (six-pack sized) collapsible cooler, which can easily be packed in your luggage. If you’re flying, remember that you can’t bring any item that the TSA may consider a “gel” or “liquid” in your carry-on bags, so peanut butter, juice or milk boxes, applesauce cups, frozen gel packs, etc. will have to go in your checked bags.

Your coffee maker can be used for more than coffee. You can run it to make hot water for tea, hot chocolate, etc. Some people even get creative and use the hot water they make in their coffee maker for “instant” items such as hot oatmeal.

You may want to choose a hotel that offers a refrigerator in the room, or inquire whether your hotel will provide one for a small fee. All of Disney’s resort rooms include a refrigerator (a mini-fridge in the hotel rooms and studios; a full-size fridge in the villas).

An inexpensive styrofoam or collapsible insulated vinyl cooler can serve the same purpose. However, in our experience, you will need to fill it twice a day with ice from the hotel’s ice machine, and we wouldn’t trust it with anything perishable for very long. We have put a pint of milk or bottles of water on ice this way. Also, coolers tend to “sweat” heavily because of the high humidity in Florida air. Don’t leave one sitting on the carpet in your room, or you will soak the carpet. It’s better to leave your cooler in the bathtub.

Some hotels — such as many all-suite hotels and the Disney Vacation Club resorts — offer a small microwave. That gives you even more breakfast options, such as hot cereals, and allows you to warm up sweet rolls, etc.

Another option, if you don’t feel like eating in your room, is to look for hotels that offer packages including a free breakfast.

Making Your Own Meals on Vacation – With Minimal Drudgery

Some all-suite hotels and all of the Disney Vacation Club resorts offer microwaves and refrigerators, or even full kitchens, which means you have many “do it yourself” meal options. Making meals at your hotel may not be very relaxing, however, unless you plan ahead to reduce the hassle of shopping, cooking, and cleaning up. It’s your vacation, after all!

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Light Meals Without Cooking

Even if you don’t have kitchen facilities, it’s possible to create some light meals and snacks in your hotel room. If you do not have a kitchen in your room, however, we strongly discourage using any appliance that produces high heat, such as a toaster or tabletop grill. Using such appliances is a serious fire hazard and can endanger you, your family and other guests in the hotel. It can also produce cooking smells that your neighbors (and the people who stay in the room after you) won’t appreciate. Suites that include kitchens have the properly-rated electrical outlets, ventilation systems and most importantly, fire extinguishers! Regular hotel rooms do not.

See the section above for some easy breakfast ideas.

MouseSavers.com reader Teri M from Newton, Kansas shares how she fed six people very inexpensively during a trip to Walt Disney World: “… to save money I packed many non-perishable food items. What we found to be very good was the jar of peanut butter! The hotel we stayed at had free apples at the check-in counter. In the mornings we would spread peanut butter on the apples for a yummy breakfast. I had granola bars, mini packages of cookies and crackers, gum, beef sticks, etc. that were nutritional and easy to pack. It is also a good idea to plan to pack good treats for the plane trip as the airlines do not feed you on the trip anymore and the airports serve very expensive food.”

How to Bring Food With You

If you are thinking about bringing food from home, be aware that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) suggests that you do not put dense food items (such as peanut butter, chocolate bars, etc.) in your checked luggage. It’s not forbidden, but the automated bomb-detection equipment tends to give false positives on such items. Your luggage is much more likely to be opened and searched outside of your presence if you check dense food items. Thanks to Mary S for the reminder.

A better bet is to ship non-perishable food items in advance to your hotel. Amazon.com will happily ship products straight to the hotel, and shipping is generally FREE for orders over $25. If you are an Amazon Prime member, 2-day shipping is always FREE. Most Disney resorts will accept and hold packages for you, but there is a $6 charge per package; if you are staying at a non-Disney hotel (including the Swan & Dolphin and the Disney Springs Resort Area hotels), be sure to call and inquire first. Address the package as follows:

Hold for guest: (write the full name under which you made the reservation)

Check in date: (insert date)

Hotel’s name and address (which will appear on your confirmation form)

Phone: 407-939-5000 (not needed for US Postal Service, just for package companies like FedEx and UPS)

Buying Groceries When You Arrive

Disney’s resort merchandise shops carry a limited selection of groceries at convenience-store prices. Most American basics are available, such as milk, bread, bacon, eggs, cheese, breakfast cereal, coffee, frozen entrees, snacks, desserts, etc. Soft drinks and beer are exceptionally expensive. The selection is bigger in the shops attached to Disney Vacation Club resorts, since DVC villas have full kitchens.

Off-site hotels in the area vary widely in what groceries they offer, but most sell small containers of milk and cold beverages, as well as packaged snack foods.

If you will have a car (or are willing to pay for a taxi), there are plenty of supermarkets near Walt Disney World. Taxis are expensive, so it’s a better deal just to pay the inflated resort prices if you only need a few items.

If you won’t have a car while on vacation — or you just don’t want to spend your vacation in the supermarket — there are two companies we can recommend in the Orlando area that will do your shopping for you and deliver the groceries to your hotel. They are Garden Grocer and WeGoShop. We have used Garden Grocer and have had positive reader reports about WeGoShop. If you plan to buy a substantial number of grocery items during your stay, using one of the shopping services will probably save you money compared with buying food from your hotel’s convenience store.

There are also some newer grocery delivery services available in Orlando that we have not yet had an opportunity to try, but may be worth considering. Instacart delivers groceries and other items to Walt Disney World resorts from several local stores, including Publix. Safeway also offers delivery to Walt Disney World resorts, though of course only of Safeway products. And Amazon Prime Now, available only to members of Amazon Prime, delivers groceries and other popular items. Reviews of these services are somewhat mixed; the experience seems to depend quite a bit on which specific driver you end up getting.

All of the official Disney World and Universal Orlando hotels have refrigerators and freezers in the luggage room, and can accept food deliveries even if you’re not there. If you’re staying at another hotel, call them and make sure they can accept and hold perishable food deliveries. If the hotel can’t hold cold food, you either need to only order non-perishable stuff or you need to ensure that you’re there to meet the delivery when it arrives, and typically the delivery service will only give you a rough estimate of when that will be. Usually, any hotel that has kitchens or kitchenettes with real refrigerators in the room will be set up to handle food delivery. Also keep in mind that if you order liquor, the hotel may not be able to accept the order on your behalf. Check first before ordering beer, wine or spirits.

We have used Garden Grocer several times and been very happy with the service. We chose Garden Grocer over WeGoShop because it has exact products and prices on its website, which we found easier and more convenient. The prices are on the high side of what you’d find in the grocery store. Garden Grocer has a minimum order of $40. There is a $15 delivery fee per order, which is waived if the subtotal of your order is over $200. Tipping the delivery person is at your discretion. 

WeGoShop requires you to submit your own very specific list of items, including sizes and brands. You can also choose which supermarket they’ll use. With WeGoShop you won’t know the exact prices in advance, but they don’t mark the goods up; you pay exactly what the store charges. WeGoShop adds a shopping fee, which starts at $26 for orders of $100 or less and goes up to 14% of the order total for orders over $300 – plus a $3 “fuel surcharge.” There are some additional fees if your order requires shopping at a warehouse store (Costco, for example) or requires them to go to more than one grocery store. A 15% gratuity is added for orders left with bell services. If you’re there to meet the shopper, you can tip at your discretion.

Disney Vacation Club members staying in DVC accommodations can pre-order groceries at least 3 days in advance and have them delivered on the evening they arrive. The selection is limited (it’s the same as what is available in the resort merchandise shops) and expensive, but it’s hard to beat the convenience of this option. A $10 flat-rate service charge applies. The order form can be found on the DVC members website.