Walt Disney World Food Prices Rise — Try These Tricks to Save

Snacking at Walt Disney World got a little more expensive this week — and it just so happens I’ve been in the resort to see it first hand. As of Tuesday, prices on things like drinks, popcorn, and churros all climbed by $.50 to $1 or even more in some cases. Of course, these items weren’t exactly cheap to begin with and the latest increases can really add up over the course of one magic vacation.

This latest round of price hikes got me thinking about a couple of lesser-known tricks you can try at Walt Disney World in order to save a few dollars while eating your way around the Happiest Place on Earth.

Ordering sides

If you look at any Walt Disney World quick-service menu, you’ll notice it’s focused much more on meals that individual items. Because of this, you may not realize that several of the side items featured in these sets can be purchased on their own — and often for fairly decent prices (by Disney standards, that is). For example, while the fish and chips at Epcot’s U.K. pavilion are great, how about a side of just chips for $4 instead? Sounds much more reasonable than a $7 Mickey pretzel in my opinion.

Speaking of Epcot, this tip can also come in handy when exploring the park’s famed International Food & Wine Festival. Over the years, the prices at this popular event have seemingly ramped up while the portion sizes have sneakily shrunk. Luckily, if there’s a Food & Wine dish you want to try but also want something that’s more substantial, you can always make your own meal by visiting one of the park’s quick-service restaurants and ordering sides. This is something I actually did this festival as the Xi’an Pancake with Beef found in China was great but was even better when paired with a $2.50 side of steamed rice from the nearby Lotus Blossom Cafe.

Free (or discounted) water

Fun fact: I pretty much despise the climate in Florida for about 9 to 10 months out of the year. Between the heat and the humidity, I’ve never been as thirsty as I am when I visit here. Especially when you’re out in the sun and walking around theme parks all day, it’s important to stay hydrated — which is part of what makes Disney’s $3.50 bottled water pricing so annoying.

Despite that high price tag, there are ways to get free water while at the resort. First, you’re welcome to bring your own water bottles into the park (along with most other food items) and you can often refill them at the water fountains found throughout the park. If it’s cold water you seek, just stop by any quick service restaurant and ask for a cup. Sadly they’ll likely serve you your free beverage in a tiny cup but it’s certainly better than nothing.

Finally, if you’re an Annual Passholder, you probably already know that Walt Disney World quick-services are very hit or miss when it comes to discounts. Because of this, buying bottled water from there isn’t your best bet. Instead, look for merchandise locations that sell bottled beverages. This way, you can get a nice discount on your drink and help offset these newly-risen prices.

Author

Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com.

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