Disney Dining….. how to enjoy eating at Walt Disney World without spending a fortune!

When my wife and travel to the Walt Disney World Resort we love to have a special dinner or two but we really don’t want to eat a “sit down” meal every night. Sometime we will just eat in our room. In fact, we eat almost every breakfast in our room before heading to the parks. How do we do that, you ask? By buying groceries and having them delivered to us on our arrival day.

We are total fans of our friends at the Garden Grocer. There are other shopping services that you might prefer but we ALWAYS use the Garden Grocer and we have never had a bad experience with them. Every order has been delivered on time and has been perfect in every way!

I just go to their online ordering system, pick out what I would like and pay up front with a credit card and they do all the rest. When our flight hits the ground in Orlando at MCO, I take my Smartphone off airplane mode, I have a text message saying our order had been delivered to bell service at our resort.

When we check into our resort we call bell service and they bring our order to our room for us. It is that easy!

Here’s a little tip…… order early before your trip to receive a discount. This is from their website:  Take advantage of our special savings by ordering in advance, (15 Days= 5%, 30 Days= 7%, 60 Days= 10%) off your subtotal. I always order 60 days in advance!

And here’s a link for your convenience……. https://www.gardengrocer.com/

But this isn’t a commercial for the Garden Grocer….. it’s all about enjoying eating while at Walt Disney World.

My wife and I have grown to love certain counter service locations in each park. While we are in the Magic Kingdom, we like to eat at Pecos Bills. We love the fixings bar!

Some of my friends swear by the Columbia Harbor House but the last two times we’ve eaten there the food was horrible so we have crossed it off our list. Be Our Guest at the Magic Kingdom is also very good but I find it a little more expensive than any other place to eat and you have to allow more time to eat. But I think everyone should try it at least once.

While at Animal Kingdom you can’t beat the Flame Tree BBQ. We actually do not have a favorite counter service at Epcot or Hollywood Studios per say. We just grab a bite wherever we are at the time we are hungry.

One of our favorite places to eat while at Disney’s Hollywood Studio is a hidden gem called Mama Melrose’s. We love to eat a late lunch….. at around 2:00 PM and include the Fantasmic Package with it. We get a great meal and reserved seating to the first Fantasmic Show. We always start out with a Mama’s Margarita while waiting for our food to be prepared.

Here’s what we order…. taken right from their menu.

For me it’s the Charred Strip Steak Five-Cheese Macaroni with Pancetta, Aged Balsamic-Shallot Butter, and a Chianti Wine Reduction….. $32.99

For my wife……Chicken Campanelle Wood-grilled Chicken and Campanelle Pasta tossed in a Four-Cheese Sauce with Broccoflower, Sun-dried Tomatoes, fresh Spinach, and Sweet Onions …..$19.99

The food at Mama Melrose’s is excellent and filing so we do not even eat dinner that evening and we just grab a snack instead. Yep…. it’s usually a Mickey Bar!

Another of our favorite places to eat has become the ESPN Club on the Boardwalk! We make sure to eat there once every trip. I am partial to Buffalo Wings and they are excellent at the ESPN Club! And I love their Philly Cheese Steak sandwich too. We both get one and after eating the wings, we only eat half of the sandwich and take the other half back to our room as a lunch or dinner on our balcony the next day.

For that special event in your life do yourself a favor and get a dining reservation for the Yachtsmen Steakhouse at the Yacht Club! We did and ordered the 32 ounce Porterhouse Steak for two and it was out of this world! It’s a little expensive at $119.00 but it is incredible!

Now if you like a little entertainment while eating dinner, why not take in a dinner show! There are two that you do not need to use a park ticket for that are fun and the food was pretty darn good every time we’ve been to them.

My favorite is the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at the Campgrounds at Fort Wilderness. This show is a silly vaudeville styled musical review that will have you tapping your toe and laughing until your side hurts while you enjoy some fried chicken among other good food.


The other is Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at the Polynesian Village. This is an incredible enchanting luau with Polynesian dancing and an all-you-care-to-enjoy, family-style feast. I love the ribs and roasted chicken!


The last time we were at Walt Disney World we were shocked at the amount that we charged to our credit card through our Magic Bands. Our check out total was $356.72 for our seven night, eight day stay. Add to it our $127.00 Garden Grocer order and you can see we didn’t spend much at all considering everything we did and yes…. it included a few souvenirs for us and some friends and family back home as well. We even gifted a few beers, soda’s and bottled water to a young couple that were just arriving on the morning as we were checking out.

We really enjoy going to Walt Disney World every year but it can be an expensive trip if you try to do everything, eat everything and experience everything on every trip.

Why not do what many of my clients have done and let me help plan your next Walt Disney World trip and find out how to enjoy yourselves without spending a fortune on food and drinks while there. The worst thing that could happen is you might save some money!


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