Traveling to Walt Disney World in the near future without the Disney Dining Plan? There are some great ways to save you some extra money while visiting. Did you know that guests are actually allowed to bring food items into the parks such as snacks or foods that do not require heating? Prepared foods which don't require heating are welcomed since there are no means for visitors to heat food inside the park. The Disney website mentions "snacks or foods that do not require heating" as carry-ins that are allowed in the parks. Pack your food in a small soft sided cooler because Walt Disney World doesn't allow large hard-shelled coolers inside its parks. No coolers bigger than 24 inches by 15 inches by 18 inches are allowed which makes sense because the size of the largest lockers at Walt Disney World are close to the same measurements. This way you can store your days worth of food in a locker so you are not weighed down by it. Make sure to keep waters and juice with you while your food is stored away. You can also always ask for water from the tap as well as ice for free anywhere in the park. Water, juice and soft drinks can be expensive to purchase. Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park doesn't allow coolers at all, unless you need one specifically for medical purposes. Animal Kingdom also prohibits juice boxes in the park, because the plastic straw wrappers on such drinks pose a hazard to the animals. There are some wonderful places to 'Pop a Squat' while eating in all of the parks. Kids will never know the difference of what they are missing dining wise. Tell them they are having an extra special "Disney Picnic". How lucky they will feel to actually picnic in Disney!
When looking to save money on food when dining or eating outside of the parks there are also some great ideas to save additional damage to your wallet. If you are staying in an All Star Resorts you can take advantage of their Large Cheese Pizza for only $13.99 at the food court including 8 large slices which is sure to feed a family of 4. For those of you staying at any WDW resort on property, each and every food court has a microwave and toaster oven available to use making it super easy to toast your bagels you can bring from home (and most food courts even have cream cheese and jams out) hot water available to use for your oatmeal, and a microwave for your popcorn! At night they also have condiments out along with lettuce, tomato, and onion which is a great addition to your sandwiches (pack a cooler for your room if you are driving in). There are also some great affordable buffets outside of WDW such as Golden Corral, which can be a great option if you have a car on property with you.