We frogs are always looking for ways to save money at Disneyland and make the trip more affordable. (Saving green is kind of our thing!) If you are smart, you can really save money inside the parks, especially when buying food. Keep in mind that as Disneyland continues to reopen, some of these foods may be temporarily unavailable or just a little harder to find. Also, just like everywhere else in the country, food prices have gone up. But that doesn't stop us from stying to get the most for our money at Disneyland.
While theme parks are not known for having the most affordable food and treats, knowing where and how to find the cheapest Disneyland food and drink can help you stretch your budget and use that money for other valuable things.
You can also find some of the same foods for less money depending on where you buy them in the parks. Whaaat? For real! Let's get hopping!
The Cheapest Food at Disneyland
Many of the snacks and treats at Disneyland are about $5. (Just stay away from the souvenir buckets!) You can find regular popcorn, ice cream, churros, cotton candy and even pineapple Dole Whip at affordable prices. You can also get unique treats such as a Tigger Tail in Critter Country. Other fresh treats made in the parks include fudge and decorated cake pops and marshmallow treats at Pooh Corner, Candy Palace, Bing Bong's Sweet Stuff and Trolley Treats. The iconic Matterhorn Macaroon at Jolly Holiday Bakery Café is a weighty treat that is one of the least expensive foods in the parks!
There are bready treats for about $5 to $6, including a Mickey Mouse pretzel — a must-have treat for us. Did you know you can get the same Mickey pretzel at Refreshment Corner and Bayside Brews at the pretzel carts for less money? And don't forget that Magic Key and Disney Visa discounts apply at restaurant locations for even more savings. In New Orleans Square, we always hop for the affordable fritters at the Royal Street Veranda. The garlic, herb and cheese Tiger Tail at Bengal Barbecue is about $4.
For an adventurous twist, bite into a bao or lumpia from Tropical Hideaway in Adventureland. It's a favorite go-to spot to get a hearty snack that can be had for under $7.
But one of our favorite Disneyland foods under $5 is the Firefly at Refreshment Corner. This often secret menu item is one of the best on-the-go Disneyland foods. It comes in a bag and includes chili, cheese and jalapeños over corn chips. I repeat ... all for under $5! This snack has not returned since Disneyland reopened, but we keep asking about it every time we visit. Froggy fingers crossed for its return!
Some of the cheapest food at Disneyland is also the freshest! There are so many healthy snacks at Disneyland, and that makes it easier to make better dietary decisions too. Corn on the cob, cut fruit, pickles, apple chips, fresh pineapple spears, whole fruits and more are among the cheapest food at Disneyland. You can also get hummus and veggie cups at any of the fruit stands throughout the parks. We love the hummus trio with crisp veggies at Bengal Barbecue and Tropical Imports. The dill pickle is one of our favorite low-calorie and low-cost snacks in the park. Many restaurants sell Power Packs. They include a Dannon Danimals smoothie, a mandarin orange, apple slices, carrots, crackers and a small beverage. Bargain snack for the win!
While it is easy to find treats and starches, protein is a little more challenging to find for a bargain. Our favorite spot for affordable protein is the Bengal Barbecue in Adventureland. The skewers offer a less sugary, affordable treat that will give you some staying power. The Banyan beef skewer is hot and spicy, while the Bengal beef skewer is more sweet. We also like the chicken skewer in a Polynesian sauce and the pork belly — they are all so tasty! You can get bacon-wrapped asparagus or a vegetable skewer (perfect for vegetarians!). The skewers are more of a snack than a meal. However, they will certainly fill you up more than cotton candy without the sugar spike (or the impending crash). Add more skewers to make it a meal.
For breakfast, the in-park Starbucks locations like Fiddler, Fifer & Practical and Market House offer breakfast sandwiches and wraps just over and under $5, as well as other baked goods to start your park morning off with a full tummy. But one of the cheapest on-the-go breakfasts in the Disneyland parks is the breakfast chimichanga (a vegetarian option exists too) at about $6.99. You can find it at Ship to Shore Marketplace across from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Regular chimichangas are back, too!
The majority of the nonalcoholic drinks in the park are about $5. We save money and stay hydrated by drinking free water in the park. Most restaurants have free water upon request. But sometimes, we treat ourselves to a special treat. We love Dole Pineapple juice, flavored frozen lemonade, a Golden Horseshoe Ice Cream Float or some Starbucks. Both Market House and Fiddler, Fifer & Practical sell Starbucks. Most coffees, Frappuccinos, Refreshers, smoothies, espressos, teas and hot chocolates are all about $5.
But let's talk about water. Bring water from home to stay hydrated. Filling stations are a great way to save. When you need more water, you can get free ice water at restaurants with soda fountains. But when you need to purchase water, watch where you buy it. That convenient vending cart will have convenience store prices. Restaurants cost a little less for the same bottle. And then there's Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop in Disney California Adventure. The ice cream may not be cheap, but that same bottle of Dasani water may be a fraction of the price you'd pay anywhere else in the park. Sometimes they have sales on bottled water!
Sometimes, you have to get creative to make your indulgences less expensive. We are great sharers! At the Jolly Holiday Bakery Café, Lily and I often share the Jolly Holiday Combo — she eats the grilled cheese and I eat the tomato soup. We are both happy, and sharing brings our meals down to about $6.45 per person. BTW, the sandwiches at Jolly Holiday Bakery Café make for some of the most affordable meals in the park. (Soups and salads come in at a lower price point at Jolly Holiday Baker Café). For dessert, it's the hefty but affordable Matterhorn Macaroon at $2.99!
If you look at scooped ice cream prices at Gibson Girl or Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream, you’ll see that a double scoop of ice cream is just slightly more than a single scoop. If you’re willing to share or divide the ice cream yourself, you can save a lot of money by getting double the ice cream for a fraction of the price!
If you love drinking a refreshing Mint Julep in New Orleans Square, but one is never enough, there’s a way to get unlimited Mint Julep. Instead of ordering a single Mint Julep at the Mint Julep Bar, you can order your Mint Julep as part of your meal at Café Orleans or Blue Bayou. It’s refillable! Plus, if you haven’t finished your drink when it’s time to go, they’ll give you a to-go cup! Granted, you are probably pairing your drink with a more expensive table-service meal, but if you are going to eat there anyway, then that’s the time to get your Mint Julep fix.
FYI: The popular Monte Cristo Sandwich (which is cheaper at Café Orleans than the Monte Cristo at Blue Bayou) is normally large enough to share. However, it is now a half portion for the same price. But it does come with delicious pommes frites, which you cannot order separately anymore. So keep that in mind and drink all the Mint Julep you can while people watching and enjoying the views at Café Orleans. You won’t feel like you are cheating yourself of your favorite Disneyland treats!
We hope you've enjoyed our look at the cheapest food at Disneyland. If you're pinching pennies, be sure to check out our post on free things to do at Disneyland. If you are visiting this summer, be sure to check out our tips for managing summer crowds and beating the heat (perhaps with one of the frozen treats mentioned above).
Related: How to Save Money at Disneyland