Food & Recipes

11 Brilliant Food Tips To Make The Most Of Your Next Trip To Disney

A trip to Disney World can be overwhelming. Here's how to ensure that, at the very least, you eat well.

Going to Walt Disney World is a full-blown event. A vacation like no other, a trip to Disney can be fun like you’ve never had, and yet at the same time totally overwhelming!

It’s essential to keep your energy up by snacking and stopping for meals throughout the day. Luckily, Disney has no shortage of delectable goodies and delicious meals to choose from.

Make your vacation a little bit easier with these food-related tips to keep both grownups and little ones very happy.

1. Snag a Reservation

Don’t wait until all the restaurants are booked up. You can make reservations as far as 180 days before your trip. Staying at a Disney property? You can book dining for your entire trip (up to 10 days) with one call to the Disney hotline (407-939-3462).

disney restaurant photo
Flickr | Sam Howzit

2. Persistence Pays Off

If you can’t get the spot you want at your ideal restaurant, keep trying! Download the MyDisneyExperience app to keep an eye on that spot you’ve been trying to nab. As credit cards are required for all reservations, people are more likely to cancel rather than not show up. You may just get a spot at your dream Disney restaurant after all. If all else fails, just show up at the restaurant and see if you can get lucky. Arrive during off-peak hours, like breakfast, during the parade or in between meals.

disney restaurant photo
Flickr | Sam Howzit

3. Save 5 Percent Off Disney Gift Cards With A Target REDcard

After purchasing Disney gift cards with your Target REDcard, which gives you 5 percent off all gift card purchases, you can use these gift cards throughout the park on everything from food to merchandise. Five percent off can really add up when you’re at Disney for a few days.

Target Red Card
Flickr | JeepersMedia

RELATED: Here’s A List Of Disneyland And Disney World Rules To Know Before You Go

4. Don’t Buy The Water

Unsurprisingly, bottled water in the park is expensive. Any restaurant or food stand will give you a cup of water if you ask.

Pepsico Admits That Aquafina Water Comes From Tap
Getty Images | Scott Olson

5. Score Free Soda At Epcot

Taste a world of soda samples at Club Cool. Run by Coca-Cola, you can try drinks like Inca Kola (a Peruvian soda that tastes like bubble gum) or Smart Watermelon from China. You may not quench your thirst but your taste buds will get a run around the globe.

club cool epcot photo
Flickr | inazakira

6. Munch On Free Snacks

Why pay when you can get a freebie? At Magic Kingdom, try the Confectionary, Prairie Outpost and Big Top Treats. At Epcot, treat yourself to the free caramel corn at Karamel-Küche. If you make it to Disney Springs, try Goofy’s Glaciers at Goofy’s Candy Company, or chocolate at Ghirardelli.

goofy glaciers photo
Flickr | JeffChristiansen

RELATED: 12 Things That You Can Get For Free At Disneyland, Because Ticket Prices Are High Enough

7. Check Out The Secret Menu

Yes, even Disney has a secret menu. The food choices are already endless at Disney, but being in on something under-the-radar is always extra fun. Try the delectable ice cream nachos at the Golden Horseshoe or the Citrus Swirl at the Sunshine Terrace. Adults can try Mickey’s Fun Wheel at the Cove Bar, a fruity concoction of rum, vodka and blue curacao topped with soda water and lemon-lime whipped cream.

sunshine terrace citrus swirl photo
Flickr | Sam Howzit

8. Sneak In Early

Want to get ahead of the crowds? Make an 8 a.m. reservation at the restaurants that open before the park does. Hollywood and Vine at Disney Studios, Tusker House at Animal Kingdom and both Akershus Royal Banquet and Garden Grill at Epcot are all options.

tusker house photo
Flickr | hyku

9. Unlimited Refills

The unlimited refill program allows patrons to buy a refillable Disney mug and, for a flat $17.99 fee, drink as much as their heart desires. Coca-Cola is the only brand available at Disney resorts so you’ll be getting all the free Coke products you want, along with coffee, tea and iced tea.

10. Have Some Dole Whip

Dole Whip is a non-dairy pineapple treat that has reached cult status among Disney aficionados. However, you don’t need to go to Adventureland just to get it. You can try it out at Pineapple Lanai at the Polynesian Resort. They even have an additional Pineapple Vanilla Swirl version. (And if you make it to Disneyland, be sure to try the cotton candy version!)

dole whip photo
Flickr | Sam Howzit

RELATED: Make Disney’s Dole Whip At Home With These Two Ingredients

11. Choose The Right Line

When you’re eating at any place with counter service, keep in mind that stations are designed to take orders from both the left and right, as opposed to one side only like many other fast food establishments. If you see one line that is shorter than the other, hop on it.

disney restaurant photo
Flickr | Castles, Capes & Clones

[h/t Delish]

A previous version of this story contained an error regarding Target REDcards… We regret the error.