I grew up going to Walt Disney World as often as possible, but I usually went with my parents. It wasn’t until I went with friends for the first time that I really paid attention to the prices. Most of the sit-down restaurants start at $15 per entree, but are usually closer to $18 to $20. Tack on a drink, a cup of coffee, a dessert, and tip and you’re looking at a $35 to $40 meal. If you’re taking a weeklong vacation, you’re looking at $280 just for dinner.
If you’re a college student, like me, I’m willing to bet that you can’t afford that. But there are ways to go a little cheaper, without sacrificing taste. If you put a little effort into it, you can get by on less than $25 for the entire day, which is just $175 for the week, for all your meals.
Breakfast: Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich with Chocolate Hazelnut Spread from Sleepy Hollow – $7.49
Located in Liberty Square, Sleepy Hollow is a snack bar with some of the best foods of any of the parks. Although they unfortunately discontinued their savory waffle sandwiches, their sweet sandwiches are delicious.
The Nutella waffle sandwich is a favorite, but, if Nutella is not your thing, give the waffle with strawberries and whipped cream a shot, or their cinnamon funnel cake. Also, definitely go straight there at the park’s opening because there’s always a line.
Lunch: Mac & Cheese with Panko Bread Crumbs from The Friar’s Nook – $8.19
The Friar’s Nook is a quick service located in Fantasyland, with outdoor seating near the Prince Charming Regal Carousel. It’s a quick, comfort food restaurant, with particularly good and filling mac and cheese.
Dinner: Hot Dog Meal from Casey’s Corner – $8.79
Casey’s Corner is a Disney classic. Some of the hot dogs are a little overpriced, but the hot dog meal is a plain hot dog with french fries and $8.79 isn’t too bad a deal. For something a little different, get the corn dog nuggets meal instead. Enjoy your meal on the wooden bleachers in the adjoining room, which plays Disney classic cartoons all day.
Total for the day: $24.47
#SpoonTip: Water bottles can cost $3.00 and up at each park, so always ask for a cup of water instead, which they are required to give you for free.
Breakfast: Chocolate Croissant from Starring Rolls Cafe – $3.49
Every single pastry at Starring Rolls is delicious. A chocolate croissant is a perfectly acceptable breakfast, but I serious doubt anyone would judge you if you wanted to get one of their incredibly overstuffed cupcakes for breakfast. My personal favorites are the Chocolate Butterfinger Cupcake and the Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcake.
Lunch: Fried Green Tomato Sandwich from Rosie’s All-American Cafe – $9.49
Located on Sunset Boulevard, near the Tower of Terror, Rosie’s All-American Cafe has pretty much been a part of Disney’s Hollywood Studios forever. It’s a pretty typical fast food place, but it’s good for a quick bite and the Fried Green Tomato Sandwich is a unique treat.
Dinner: Fairfax Salad from Fairfax Fare – $8.49
Fairfax Fare is another quick bite on Sunset Boulevard, but the Fairfax Salad is a nice, somewhat healthier option. Okay, so it’s not that healthy, but it is delicious. Stuffed with pulled pork, bacon, tortilla strips, cheddar cheese, and a jalapeno ranch dressing, the Fairfax Salad will definitely leave you satisfied.
Total for the day: $21.49
Breakfast: School Bread from Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe – $3.49
School Bread is one of the most popular foods in any of the parks in Walt Disney World and for good reason. Found on the Norway pavilion, it’s a sweet bread roll, stuffed with vanilla custard and covered with a sweet icing and coconut. If that doesn’t sound good to you (although I don’t know how it wouldn’t), the Berry Cream Puff is another great option.
Lunch: Fish and Chips from Yorkshire County Fish Shop – $10.49
Because it’s not a huge portion, I’d recommend trying the Fish and Chips from Yorkshire County Fish Shop for lunch instead of dinner, but you do have to try it at some point. It’s some of the best fish and chips out there.
Dinner: Orange Chicken from Lotus Blossom Cafe – $9.99
To be fair, the food at Lotus Blossom Cafe is more Americanized than it probably should be on the Chinese pavilion. Still, the food is pretty good. And it has a beautiful seating area with a great view.
Total for the day: $23.97
Breakfast: Hot Breakfast Wrap from Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery – $6.79
The Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery is great for a quick bite. The Hot Breakfast Wrap is perfect for an on-the-go breakfast, for when you’re in a rush to get to Expedition Everest and don’t want to waste any time. It’s stuffed with eggs, sausage, spinach, and goat cheese. If you’re looking for something sweet and not in a rush, give the Warm Colossal Cinnamon Roll a shot. It’s meant for two, but you do you.
Lunch: Smoked Cheddar Grits from The Smiling Crocodile – $5.99
The Smiling Crocodile offers fast food that isn’t junk food. It’s a small place and the only real meals there are the grits or a chicken drumstick with potato salad. Both are savory and not very expensive. They aren’t huge portions, but they’re a good size for lunch.
Dinner: Pulled Pork Sandwich from Flame Tree Barbecue – $10.99
You can’t go wrong with anything at the Flame Tree Barbecue. It’s all fresh and filling. There’s comfortable outdoor seating on the water, with gorgeous views of the park. If you should decide that you want to splurge and break the $25, go for the St. Louis Ribs.
Total for the day: $23.77