Whether it’s your first time at Disney or your 50th, you can save money on snacks. Read on for our best tips on how to save money on snacks at Disney Parks – and some free planning printables so you can save time as well as money.
Disney Snack Packing Tips & Tricks
- Plan ahead.
- Best snack ideas for Disney.
- Pack things your kids will actually eat.
- Attend to those with allergies.
- Don’t forget about drinks.
- Breakfast items will give you the most bang for your buck.
- Include some fun snacks as a special treat.
- Download these apps to save on your snack shopping.
- Split up your list.
- Amazon Prime is now available at Disney!
- Start a snack gathering bin ahead of your trip.
- Get the snacks to Disney without spending money.
- Buy large Ziploc bags.
- Use plastic containers to pack snacks for transport.
- Set up a Snack Command Center at the hotel.
- Consider renting a locker if you pack lunch.
Disney Snack Packing Skills You NEED to Save Money at Disney
Disney vacations can be the trip of a lifetime. However, if you’d like to afford it more than once in your lifetime, there are tips and tricks to save money while visiting Mickey Mouse. If you’ve already searched for discount tickets and specials, the next big way to save is on food. (If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, we recommend Undercover Tourist for discount theme park tickets.)
Our family of six saves by planning ahead and bringing our own food for snacks and breakfast. Snacks for everyone add up; we estimate we save roughly $50 a day by bringing our own snacks.
When we head to Walt Disney World, there is a battle plan in place. We eat breakfast before we leave the room. This saves us time, money, and – let’s be realistic – my kids aren’t fit for public spaces until they’ve been fed. Grumpiness runs in the family.
We also are a family of grazers. At any given point during the day, someone is hungry and needs a snack. Add in some food allergies, and finding snacks during the day can become a process.
On the flip side, part of the Disney experience is eating the food! We still eat some meals in Disney restaurants, choosing sit-down ones for lunch some days so we get a break. Then we eat dinners at quick service locations as we split up for evening rides and bedtime. Check out this list of the best snacks at Magic Kingdom so you can plan those splurges.
Once upon a time, the snack-planning process was harder because we had to bring the food with us. Enter Amazon Prime. It is now even easier to save money when packing snacks at Disney. Next time we head there I’ll be sending my snack list straight to my Disney resort via Amazon Prime one day delivery.
Advance planning is the best friend to a Disney vacation budget. Once we know we’re going to Disney, we start discussing meal options. Full disclosure: Dining reservations make me twitchy. With six in our family, I feel like it puts more pressure on us to stay on a schedule and make dining reservations ahead of time. We usually reserve one or two meals for our entire vacation and do walk up or packed food the rest of the time. Also, I highly recommend Yak & Yeti in Animal Kingdom. It is one stop we always work in.
If we hit a free Disney dining deal on our visit, we might consider changing our views. If you’re curious about the dining plans we break all three of them down here.
I like to sketch out our trip on paper by day and slot in meals and snacks so I know how many Disney snacks to buy and pack. Click HERE for a free Disney snack planning worksheet!
Snack Ideas for Disney.
When you’re thinking about snacks to pack for Disney, consider snacks that are easy to eat, that aren’t messy, that are non-perishable and that your kids will actually eat.
- String Cheese
- Pretzels/Chips (Chips that come in a tube like Pringles are best)
- Fruit snacks
- Pop-Tarts/Oatmeal Single Serving Packs/Boxed Cereal
- Baby Carrots
- Peanut butter and jelly (if you don’t want to make them, buy Uncrustables)
- Crackers & Cheese
- Apple Slices (the pre-treated ones)
- Go-Gurts (you can freeze these also)
- Go-Go Squeez or similar fruit sauce packets
- Granola bars
- Raisin packs
- Trail Mix/Nuts/Dried Fruit
- Clementines, Bananas, Apples, Pears, Grapes
- Flour tortillas (These stay fresh longer, pack easier, and squish less than bread.)
- Goldfish or Cheez-It type crackers
- Nilla Wafers/Graham Crackers/Cookie Packs
- Beef jerky
- Baby food pouches for little ones
Think about how you are going to pack the snacks and consider whether you’ll have access to a fridge in your hotel room. If you have access to a fridge, plan to bring some ice packs to freeze and a soft sided small cooler to put your food in to bring into the parks.
Pick Things Your Kids Will Actually Eat.
Attend to Those with Allergies.
Don’t Forget about Drinks.
Breakfast Items Will Give You the Most Bang for Your Buck.
Pick Some Treats You Don’t Normally Buy for a Fun Surprise.
Download These Apps to Save on Your Snack Shopping.
Grocery shopping apps like Ibotta, Checkout 51, and Saving Star offer rebates on specific items and usually include a good number of nonperishable snack items. Also, download the shopping apps for your local grocery stores to watch for deals.
If you shop online, make sure you have Ebates so you can earn cash back. Dosh is another one to download that includes cash back for favorites like Sam’s Club. (That’s one of our 15+ ideas for saving for a family vacation.)
Split Up Your List.
After you’ve made a list of snacks take a look at it. What can you buy now? What is perishable and needs to be bought or ordered when you’re on site? Split the list and start looking for deals on the nonperishable items. Set a calendar reminder or Google Task to order the other items so you don’t forget.
Amazon Prime Now Delivers to Disney!
Oh glorious day! Amazon Prime now delivers to Disney area resorts and Orlando Florida residents. (That means Universal too!) Get a 30 day free Amazon Prime trial here before your vacation. With same day delivery available on orders over $20, Disney food shopping just got WAY easier. Now you may be saying, why so much strategy if I can just Prime everything to my resort? Well, things don’t always deliver on time and I promised to save you money. I am thrilled to have this option for perishable items but will probably continue to hoard and coupon for nonperishables.
Start a Snack Gathering Bin.
Find a Way to Get Your Snacks to Disney Cheap.
Buy Big, then Split into Snack Sizes for Disney.
Use Plastic Containers for Packing Snacks.
Set up a Snack Command Central.
How Can You Make It To-Go?
If you are packing food for a large family, you may want to consider renting a locker at the park. However, there is something to be said for the convenience of always having everything with you. Remember coolers and dry ice along with large strollers are banned at Disney. We’ve always found a backpack and small soft-sided lunch bags with ice packs do the trick.
Planning our snacks for Disney allowed us to save at least $50 a day (those $5 snacks and drinks add up). I put our savings towards the purchase of Memory Maker, which pleased the grandparents in a big way!