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Cheapest Places to Eat in Disney World

Updated on August 21, 2013
Can you eat like a king (or princess) and still dine cheaply at Disney?
Can you eat like a king (or princess) and still dine cheaply at Disney? | Source

A trip to Walt Disney World is always an exciting prospect. Whether it is your first trip or your twentieth, the magic always seems to be there. But like many world-class destinations, it can stretch your budget.

If you are looking for cheaper options at Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom, go here.

This includes an overview of the menus and types of food offered at each location.

I have dined at all these locations and will tell you the truth about menu items and your best bets.

Here’s how to find the best food and the cheapest price at Magic Kingdom and EPCOT.

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom is the busiest park on Disney property. Luckily it has quick service choices to match many guest preferences and tastes. Here are the best, cheap counter service options at Magic Kingdom.

Where Should You Eat at Magic Kingdom Today?

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Columbia Harbour House

This restaurant offers sandwiches, seafood and salads. There are several vegetarian options including a pretty good vegetarian chili. I recommend the Lighthouse Sandwich. It is a delicious and healthy option.For $8.99 you get a hummus, tomato and broccoli slaw sandwich and potato chips.

The Cucumber Salad is a yummy and healthy side and is priced at $2.99.

Kids’ options ($5.99) include chicken nuggets, tuna sandwich, mac and cheese or peanut butter and jelly.

The most expensive option is the Grilled Salmon that comes with cous cous and steamed broccoli at $10.99.

This restaurant is a great option for healthier eating at a reduced price.

Kids’ choices range from $5.49 to $5.99. All Bays serve peanut butter and jelly, chicken nuggets and turkey sandwich

Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe

A favorite among guests, this place can get very crowded at meal times. There are three different menus to choose from so make sure you get in line in front of the menu options that you are choosing.

  • Bay 1

This bay serves chicken products including a delicious half Rotisserie Chicken for $9.99.

  • Bay 2

This bay serves burgers and hot dogs ranging from $7.59 to $9.99

  • Bay 3

This bay includes sandwiches and a Greek Salad for $7.99

Kids’ choices range from $5.49 to $5.99. All Bays serve peanut butter and jelly, chicken nuggets and turkey sandwich.

Quick Service Plan 2013

If you are choosing to visit based on a package reservation, you will have the option to purchase a dining plan. By far your cheapest option is the Quick Service Dining Plan. This plan gives you two quick service (counter service) meals a day and one snack. The Disney menus throughout the resort will have icons beside food products that are available on your plan. A cast member at the restaurant can also assist you when you order.

Usually the dining plan works out to be cheaper, per individual, per day than buying the food à la carte. However, some people find it to be too much food.

For lunch and dinner each member gets a meal, dessert and drink at any counter service restaurant on property.

2013 cost per day:

Adults: $37.58

Kids (3-9): $14.32

Guests who can participate in the Quick Service Dining Plan include:

  • Those who have bought a Magic Your Way Package and purchased park admission

  • Those who have a Disney Vacation Club membership and are staying at the resort using points

  • Those who are utilizing the Disney Land/Sea Cruise package

Any Quick Service/Counter Service venue on the property will accept the dining plan with the exception of a few food carts. These carts will usually indicate with a sign that they are not accepting dining plan.

Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café

This restaurant has hamburgers, a bbq sandwich, chicken wrap and a vegetable burger. There’s nothing really outstanding here but it is decent. However, the Onion Ring Basket is $3.79 and they are some of the best onion rings on property.

Prices range from a high of $10.59 for the burger to a low of $7.79 for the veggie burger.

Kids’ options include peanut butter and jelly, hamburger and turkey sandwich from $5.49 to $5.99.

Pinocchio Village Haus

This place has flatbreads, salads and a meatball sub. The Mediterranean Salad priced at $8.69 is a delicious and healthier alternative to other quick service offerings. Prices range from a low of $7.99 for a Cheese Flatbread (which is just okay) to $8.99 for a Meatball Sub.

Kids’ choices include peanut butter and jelly, kids’ pizza or mac and cheese, ranging from $5.49 to $5.99.

The cool feature of this restaurant is that there are windows overlooking the It’s A Small World ride from the dining area. If you are lucky enough to get a table by the windows, you can wave to the riders as you’re enjoying your meal.

Tortuga Tavern

If you are around for lunch through early afternoon, this might be a fun option. The restaurant is directly across from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride but is usually only open during lunch and only during busier seasons so check your guide map. It’s a shame because they have unique options such as nachos, burritos and tacos.

The prices make it a very cheap dining experience with a Burrito for $7.59 or a Vegetarian Burrito for $7.09. The highest priced item is a Taco Salad for $8.19.

Kids’ options are peanut butter and jelly or cheese quesadillas for $5.49

You can eat healthy and cheap at Walt Disney World
You can eat healthy and cheap at Walt Disney World | Source

Where Should You Eat At EPCOT Today?

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EPCOT

EPCOT has a lot more unique counter service, but not as many cheap options. Here are some of your best bets for good food at a price that won’t break the bank.

Sunshine Terrace—The Land Food Court

You can’t miss it. This food court is right in front of the entrance to the popular ride Soarin’. You’ll find everything from sandwiches and salads to sushi and grilled items.

There are plenty of vegetarian options. I recommend the Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese Salad for $7.89. Another great option is the Tofu and Vegetable Noodle Bowl for $7.59.

Some of the counter service here can get pricey such as the Slow-Roasted Pork Chop for $12.49. If you’re not super hungry, check out the grab and go section for cheaper sandwiches and pre-made sushi,

Kids’ choices include Chicken Leg with Mashed Potatoes or Rice for $6.99 (at bit expensive for a kid’s meal) and Pizza Pannini for $5.49. Other options include Mac and Cheese, Kid’s Caesar Salad and PBJ ranging from $5.49 to $6.99.

Electric Umbrella

This place has hamburgers, chicken nuggets and a meatball sub. They have recently tried to add healthier options and so there is vegetable flat bread for $8.99.

The restaurant is mostly unremarkable and contains food you can get pretty much anywhere. It works if you are in a pinch. The cheapest option is a Caesar Salad with chicken for $7.99.

Kids options are all $5.99 and include cheeseburger, mac and cheese and chilled chicken wrap.

Eating Internationally

Several of the countries in World Showcase have counter service. They are delicious and give you a chance to try unique counter service food. The options are usually more expensive than regular counter service. There are a few exceptions.

Yorkshire County Fish Shop

Head on over to the window behind the English pub for a real treat. For $8.99 you can get Fish and Chips (or fries as Americans call them). It is a large portion with two pieces of fried fish and fries. This is definitely enough to share with another person.

Boulangerie Patisserie

Hidden behind the main area of France near the Eiffel Tower, this little shop has some delicious, cheap and unique counter service options.

There is a Ham and Cheese Croissant for $4.75. You can get a small Quiche Lorraine for $6.20. There is often a line that goes out the door during peak times but it is well worth the wait.

It is one of my favorite, cheap counter service options on property.

Sommerfest

A limited menu at the counter service in Germany offers Bratwurst of Frankfurters with sauerkraut and a roll for under $7.

Counter service at other countries is available but meals will start at around $10 and up.

Another Way To Eat Cheaply at Walt Disney World Counter Service

Other Tips for Eating Cheaply at Disney

  • One of the ways to save is to avoid buying drinks.

  • Disney allows you to bring coolers into the park as long as they are inspected. Bringing an easy to carry one might be a great way to save on drinks.

  • Go to a sports store before your trip and purchase refillable canteens with a shoulder strap. You can then refill at water fountains throughout the park.

  • You can also purchase water bottle straps at carts around the parks. While expensive initially, it might save you in the long run if you keep refilling the water bottle with tap water.

  • Also, most counter service will give you a cup of tap water, for free, if you request it.

  • You can also pack your own food to take into the park. But if you are traveling from far away or don’t have ready access to a vehicle this may be harder to do.

Trying to figure out how to eat well and cheaply at Walt Disney World can be tough. With a bit of planning you can find cheaper food alternatives, refuel and then enjoy your day at the resort!

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