Updated for 2017!
If you ever took part of your dinner out of a restaurant with you to snack on later, then you just might be a Disney’s Cheapskate Princess! Walt Disney World is a vacation spot known for serving great food, but dining at Disney has a reputation for being rather pricey. The good news is that portions are usually reasonable, and many people feel the portions are actually quite large. When you walk away from your meal, your tummy will be full even if your wallet is significantly lighter.
We asked our Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans if they traveled with Ziplocs to save money on food, and we’re sharing their ideas.
Disney Food Tip #3: Bring Ziploc bags with you to Disney World
Why do You Need Ziplocs?
1. Can you eat it all?
While it’s pretty standard practice that you are not allowed to take unfinished food out of buffet style meals, this is not an issue for counter service meals. You may not be able to finish your counter service meal. Slip a couple small Ziploc bags in your purse or backpack, and have them ready for when the meal is over.
Susan, “We put Goldfish, craisins, dried yogurt snacks, crackers, pretzels, etc. in Ziplocs for snacks. We also use them for leftovers for my 4-year-old daughter-pasta, pizza, anything that you can eat cold or reheat in a microwave. We put the smaller ones in one big bag so you don’t have to search for each individual food.”
2. Can your child eat it all?
Children have little tummies and frequently don’t finish a meal, but then they are hungry twenty minutes later, just about the time you pass a snack cart in the theme parks. Leftovers you have already paid for make perfect snacks for later. Fruit is an option for many Kid’s Meals, and fruit travels great in Ziploc bags. So bag it up in a Ziploc and save it for later.
Melissa, “Everyone carries a few snacks of their own and a bottle of water. I break down containers into snack sized bags. Things like Goldfish crackers, trail-mix, popcorn, almonds, peeled oranges (separated), grapes, raisins, but I don’t pack candy. I cut old wash clothes in half and wet them and everyone has their own wipe-up for sticky hands and mouths.”
3. Can you finish that amazing looking snack?
All the Disney Princesses in training for the next Run Disney event frequently do not finish an entire snack. Bag it up and save it for later. A cupcake might not travel all that well in a bag, but there’s always the option of spooning it out. Of course with these yummy looking chocolate-covered strawberries, there might not be much left to save!
Grayson, “I bought a cupcake once at the Contempt Cafe, and I ate about half. I dropped it into a Ziploc and spooned it out a couple of hours later. It didn’t look pretty by then, but it tasted just fine!
4. Ever thought of bringing your own snacks?
Darren, “We bring Cheetos every trip, and we have several pictures that show my daughter with orange fingers.”
There were rules in place years ago that prohibited guests from bringing food into the theme parks, but now, bringing your own snacks, drinks, and food is not only acceptable, it’s fairly common place.
Beka, “I use Ziplocs to carry Goldfish crackers, Cheerios, and larger gallon sized to hold the smaller bags in one place and to put apple sauce pouches (Go-Go Squeeze) in as well to contain any potential mess. I also pack an extra outfit in them, that way if what they’re wearing gets wet/soiled, I can keep the dirty outfit off of everything else in the bag.“
$3.50 on a drink here and $6.00 for popcorn there adds up after a while, especially when you didn’t even finish your last meal. By bringing in your own snacks in Ziploc bags, or carrying Ziplocs to keep the formerly packaged food fresh and clean, you can save your snack money for a special dessert at the end of your Disney day.
Bonus that doesn’t have to do with food, really…
5. Anything need to stay safe and dry?
Cathleen, “I use Ziplocs not for food, but to protect electronics such as phones, camera, etc.”
Ziplocs are also good for carrying things in your bag that you want to keep separated from everything else, like batteries or memory cards for your camera. They keep valuables dry on splashy rides and rainy days. I frequently carry a gallon Ziploc to keep my camera dry on rides or in sudden thunderstorms that seem to pop up all summer long in Orlando.
Jennifer, “I don’t want to carry anything extra, but I do carry one large Ziploc for phones before water rides.”
Sandra, “In Wat Disney World, I use Ziplocs for everything but food. Phone, charger, mini first aid kit, suntan lotion, anything in my purse or backpack. I want to keep it all dry…”
Bag it up and take it with you. Keep valuables safe and dry. Bring in less expensive food and snacks so you can splurge on dessert later in the day. Ziplocks…they may be the best value in your backpack.
Elizabeth, “Ziplocs are great for the left over food little ones (or big ones) don’t finish and for keeping electronics dry. With little ones there so many things to have on hand to make life easier, so we keep all of our things in our backpack organized with baggies, separate baggies with extra clothes, one with snacks/baby food, another with diapers/wipes, blankie/paci. Keeps all the things separate and easy to access in our backpack and easy for bag checkers too!
For all that money you can save by not wasting food or ruining expensive electronic devices, just think of the yummy desserts just waiting for a splurge.
Several more fans share their words of wisdom…
Rebecca, “I have kids who are famous for uttering those words, ‘I am hungry,’ yet they take two bites and say ‘I am full.’ So into a Ziploc their meal goes, because 30 minutes after leaving, they will be hungry again! Then I pull the Ziploc bag out and hand them their meal to finish! Works every time.“
Clarinda, “I have a Ziploc bag for different categories of items: food, juice boxes, papers, gift cards, etc. At bag check I whip out the Ziploc, slide them to the bag checker with my open empty bag. Several checkers have told me that made their job easier since everything was out and see through.”
Kat, “We bag single serve Koolaid packets for water bottles, which saves money on sodas for three kids.”
Tonya, “I bring large doubled Ziploc bags (one inside the other) for cell phone, charger, camera and extra batteries and SD cards. Then I have quart size Ziplocs filled with potato chips, wheat thins, frosted flakes, beef jerky, gummy bears and medications. This is all for me. At 46 I have developed hypoglycemia, so I always have sugars and salts with me not to mention meds.”
By the way, another smart item to make sure you have in your bag is hand sanitizer.
Nicole, “Anything that will ruin if wet goes in a bag, plus some snacks for the day; trail mix is the typical snack. Sometimes Goldfish but they get squished. We even put our cash in them, so it’s not wet when we try to use it.”
Thanks for stopping by today, and we’ll see you in line for that ice cream, but only after you have finished those left-overs!
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Amanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.
Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast.
We hope we can help save you some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Princess Travel Experts with Destinations in Florida travel, Elizabeth and Erin. You can also e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.