How I save money on food at Disneyland and Walt Disney World WDW

How I save money on food at Disneyland and Walt Disney World WDW

I’ve leaving tomorrow for Walt Disney World, and while I no longer have to pack for children, I still bring food and other sundries to save us money while we play at the parks. I use my kitchen island to amass my goodies to be sure I don’t forget anything.

I stack the items by like items – electronics, food, serving items, etc. That way I can see at a glance if there’s something missing.  For food, the first thing I pull out is my Rival Hot Pot Express. I’ve had it since the 90’s and our first trip to Disney. It’s perfect for making hot water super fast for instant oatmeal, hot chocolate or cider, and instant soups.  I’ve even used it to heat food directly in it – cans of chili, soup, and the like.  It takes up a little room in the suitcase, but I fill it with other items.  Being able to make breakfast in the room for pennies saves huge amounts over paying for breakfast in the park.  Plus, we can eat while we get ready so no one is starving before they get to the park.

The Rival Hot Pot Express is also great for when we return to the room.  Nights can be cool at the park so that’s when hot drinks are fabulous. I pop in some plastic storage containers that double as serving dishes and should we get a microwave in the room they can also be used as heating dishes.

I love my Rival Hot Pot Express - it's fabulous for travel

I love my Rival Hot Pot Express – it’s fabulous for travel

I bring real silverware and kitchen towels rather than disposable with a little dish soap (double bagged to prevent a disaster). It’s better for the environment and takes up less room in the suitcase. I do bring some gallon and pint Ziploc bags for storing leftovers, wet swimsuits, and emergencies.

I also bring along a Brita Water Bottle with Filter. Cast Members at any walk-up restaurant will fill them for free.  This will save you HUGE amounts of money over bottled water and other drinks.  You’ll pay for you bottle in ONE DAY at the parks if you drink like we do.

For food, I’m a vegetarian and I prefer organic, so I’m bringing my favorite organic candy and snacks along with some organic cereal (milk is available at all resorts), organic instant oatmeal, some Healthy Choice pasta that just requires hot water to make, and a few other items from the cu

GoPicnic – healthy choices for a quick takeaway or packable lunch – a healthy alternative to Lunchables

pboard.  A meal or two eaten at the room saves $10 per person!

The other benefit of taking along food is that when it’s eaten, you have found room in your suitcase for bringing home souvenirs! Also, should an emergency happen, like the tragedy in Japan, we have some food stuffs to tide us through.  We always travel with flashlights and a small first aid kit as well.  You never know when you’ll need it.  The last time we stayed at the Disneyland Grand Californian there was a kitchen fire and we were evacuated.  We had a terrible time finding the exit in the daylight.  without a flashlight at night it would have been impossible.

Here’s my packing list for feeding ourselves at Disney:

  • Rival Hot Pot Express
  • Spoons and Forks (knife if necessary) for everyone (4)
  • plastic storage containers w/lids (washable and microwavable for everyone plus 2) (6)
  • quick drying kitchen towels (2)
  • dish soap (double bagged)
  • Water Bottle with Filter

Our favorite snacks – worthy of space in the suitcase

  • Late July Mini Peanut Butter crackers – individually wrapped so pop them in your day pack to eat in the park.  Organic and delicious. Late July also makes mini cheese sandwiches and the most amazing mini cookies.
  • Pure Fun Organic hard candies – a quick sugar fix to keep you me from those Mickey Mouse ice cream bars!
  • Organic  Instant Oatmeal – quick breakfast or late night snack.
  • Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers – sometimes it’s hard to find vegetarian choices, so these will be my back-up plan.  Just add hot water.  My son might enjoy them as well.
  • GoPicnic – These are the healthy version of a kids meal that I promise, your kids will like!  For about $2.72, you’ll have a complete lunch for yourself or your child that’s not full of horrible chemicals.  “The food in GoPicnic meals contains no trans fats, no high fructose corn syrup , no added MSG, and no artificial colors or flavors and all of the food in GoPicnic meals is individually packaged with full allergen and manufacturing warnings.”  They have vegetarian and gluten-free plus plenty of choices for people who eat meat.  Had I planned ahead better, I’d have more of these to go.  But I didn’t and my local stores don’t carry them. 🙁
GoPicnic - healthy choices for a quick takeaway or packable lunch - a healthy alternative to Lunchables

GoPicnic – healthy choices for a quick takeaway or packable lunch – a healthy alternative to Lunchables

So, how do you save money at  Disney?

  • Walt Disney World on Weight Watchers? There Are Healthy Food Choices Everywhere!