Last Updated on April 8, 2021 by Heather
Knowing how to budget for your Walt Disney World vacation is extremely important, but there’s one factor that I get wrong for myself time and time again and something that you may want to consider. Exactly how much should I budget for food at Disney World? Today I’m going to help you through figuring this out by sharing some examples of food costs at Disney. That way you can determine how much you want to budget for yourself.
It’s an extremely personal decision honestly, how much do you eat on a regular basis? How much do you want to eat on vacation? This, of course, varies for each and every one of us, but in today’s example, I’m going to give a few averages and consider my family as well. It might be a little less it might be a little bit more but at least we’ll get relatively close.
Back in 2016 on the Disney parks mom vlog page they actually tried to address this question. Disney’s example shows two different options the first one is the less expensive option where you have breakfast at Gaston’s Tavern. Including the cinnamon roll for $4.49 and a coffee for $2.79.
Next up is lunch at Pecos bills with the Southwest salad with chicken for $12.49 and a fountain drink for $3.29. For dinner, they send you to Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café for their 1/2 rotisserie chicken with mashed potatoes and green beans for $14.49 and all-natural lemonade for $3.99 bringing the daily total to $42 per adult.
Option 2 is a more expensive example, it starts with Be Our Guest for breakfast and the Feast Ala Gaston for $24. In addition, you have the souvenir Castle Goblet with a fountain beverage of $15. Lunch is at skipper canteen with the lamb chops for $28 and punchline punch for $4.50.
For dinner, it’s Tony’s Town Square with pasta primavera with shrimp for $28 and iced tea for $2.99. Remember though that Disney is not including the tip or the tax when it comes to lunch or dinner. The daily total for option two is $102.49 cents not including the taxes or tips.
Using Disney’s example, you can expect to utilize a budget of anywhere between $42 a day and $103 a day.
My Personal Examples
I’m going to give you a few more examples of my own. For my first example let’s consider trying to stretch that budget as far as possible. Keep in mind I’m not considering the fact that you can bring breakfast bars to the resorts or bring your own snacks throughout the day at the parks. Just like Disney’s example, I’m not going to add the tip here, but in the end, I will give you a grand total for each meal and the day.
Let’s just pretend you’re buying all your food at Disney. Imagine we start our day at Hollywood studios and for breakfast, we go to Woody’s lunch box and have one of their awesome breakfast bowls. The price of that, plus a cup of water would be $8.49.
Now let’s say it’s one of those days where I’m not too hungry and I’m going throughout my day having a great time. I do some park hopping, go to Epcot and figure out that I’m hungry enough for lunch. So I head on over to Les Halles in Epcot’s France Pavilion which is one of my favorites. Let’s say I get these Jambon Beurre Sandwich and a cup of water for $7.50. Dinner is usually our larger meal as a family at Walt Disney World.
But let’s imagine we’re trying to stretch that budget as far as possible. So if we’re still in Epcot and we’re thinking about dinner, then I’d go to the Yorkshire County fish shop and get the fish and chips for $11.49. Let’s also add in a Victoria sponge cake for $4.29 bringing dinner to $15.78.
That brings our daily total for one person to $31.77.
For some, this can absolutely work. For the purposes of just rounding the numbers and considering price variations between different restaurants let’s say it’s $35 as the minimum budget for food per person per day but you have to know yourself well.
Let’s consider another example where we’re eating just a bit more, but we don’t overdo it. That breakfast bowl at Woody’s lunch box is very filling and it’s delicious so let’s use it as our breakfast for the second example, again that’s $8.49. For lunch, let’s imagine we made our way to the Magic Kingdom and we are at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight café. After looking at the menu I say that I could go for one of their delicious looking Angus bacon cheeseburgers for $16.29.
Let’s say in the mid-afternoon, a few hours before dinner, we’re feeling like a small snack. Well, you can never go wrong with the ever-popular pineapple Dole Whip for $4.99. Now at this point for dinner, I’ll get on the monorail and head to captain cooks in the Polynesian Village Resort and get the Hawaiian flatbread for $11.49.
That gives us a daily total of $41.26 when you’re budgeting and trying to be cautious but not intentionally going for the lowest cost food imaginable.
I know I’ve been focusing on the counter service restaurants in this post, which are great, but I love those full-service sit-down restaurants as well. So let’s consider those in our last example. Let’s say you start your day at Contempo cafe, which I know is still a counter service location, but we’ll get to the table service in a minute. Let’s say you have the bounty platter for $11.99 plus a cup of water.
Then for lunch let’s say we make our way to Animal Kingdom and head on over to a great table service restaurant in the park called Yak and Yeti. So if you get their specialty, the chicken tikka masala for $24.99 and a soda for $3.99. That will total our lunch at $28.98.
For dinner let’s envision we make our way over to Animal Kingdom Lodge, Kidani Village for one of my favorite dinners at Sanaa. We’ll start off with that bread service for $17 and let’s say I’m super hungry and get the grilled New York strip steak as well for $34. That would be $51 for dinner and a daily total of $91.97. If you include tips in the grand total that would make it $106.37 for one day’s worth of food.
So how much do you have to budget for when it comes to the food at Walt Disney World? Well, saying anywhere between $35 and $106 gets us nowhere, but given these examples hopefully, it gives you a better idea of how much you need to budget. Because when it comes to food at Walt Disney World we all love the great food service and atmosphere that they have at those table service restaurants.
However, at the same time, sometimes we’ll switch in between those counter service ones as well so I tend to budget around $50 per person, per day. But with our daughter getting older and her appetite getting bigger, I’m sure that number will go up. Thanks for reading and if you are thinking about planning a Disney vacation anytime soon feel free to reach out to our friends over at the vacationeer.