7 Cheap Places to Eat at Disneyland on a Budget and Save Major Dough

Discover the best cheap places to eat at Disneyland on a budget
Surf & Turf” by HarshLight licensed under CC BY 2.0

Where to eat in Disneyland Park is a big decision when you’re on a budget for the day. However, there are some great options for dining both inside and outside of the park.

Be prepared for sticker shock as you glance over menus online and reviews on touring sites. What they don’t want to tell you, usually, is that some of your favorite meals are completely affordable as long as you head to the right destinations!

In this post, the goal is to assure you that you can purchase meals at a reasonable price mark of about $15 per adult or less. While there is the great temptation of featured Disneyland dining at table service restaurants, keep in mind that getting on the attractions and enjoying the day (without breaking the bank) is what will make your day one of your happiest!

Delicious Breakfasts In and Out of Disneyland Parks

While there are awesome options for breakfast inside Disneyland, the prices tend to be “park prices.” To save a little cash before your day even gets started while your in Anaheim, visit either Earl of Sandwich or a Starbucks.

Earl of Sandwich

  • Location: Downtown Disney near Disneyland Hotel (across from walk-in entrance for Downtown Disney)

Cuisine: American, Sandwiches, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Quick Facts: Breakfast is served from opening, 7 AM, to 11 AM daily. If you are looking to take an extra bite on the road, plan on enjoying a brunch so you can order your second meal to-go after 11 AM.

Named for the actual Earl of Sandwich, this delicatessen-style eatery features great seating both indoors and in a covered patio outside. You can’t miss the bright red building with marquee letters (in all caps, of course) spelling out the name of the restaurant. You’ll enjoy paintings of the Early himself, as well as a few of his contemporaries. It’s like being transported to a different era from the moment you step in the door to your first bit into a classic sandwich.

Because the sandwich shop is so close to the walk-in entrance into the park as well as reasonably priced with breakfast sandwiches averaging $6 each, it is the ideal breakfast at the park. You can beat the crowds by getting their before park open. The area is a little quieter since it’s off the beaten path. And the food is delicious and filling! Plus, for Annual Passholders, you can get a nice little discount outside of the parks.

Breakfast menu features include traditional egg ‘n’ cheese sandwiches with an array of meats. If you want to pick up lunch (or dinner) to-go, check out their daytime menu.


Locations: Throughout Downtown Disney and the parks

  • Fidler, Fifer & Practical Cafe (Buena Vista Street, DCA) 
  • Market House (Main Street, USA, Disneyland Park)
  • Starbucks (central Downtown Disney, across from the tram pick-up)
  • Starbucks West (Downtown Disney, near Earl of Sandwich and across from the walk-in entrance)

Cuisine: American, Coffee, Tea, Specialty Beverages, Pastries, Boxed Meals, Sandwiches/Wraps, Breakfast, Lunch

Quick Facts: You may have your favorite barista near your home, but the magic of Disney is contagious! Join one of four Starbucks locations for your favorite coffee beverage and quick-pick breakfast item before you get into the park or just after arriving.

Whether you drink coffee first thing in the morning or after you’ve been up for a while (or even if you don’t drink coffee at all but love sweet drinks), Starbucks is a staple of American fare. In California, it’s like a lifeline with the coffee house on nearly every other block in big cities! Naturally, Anaheim would not be any different, and Disneyland Resort features four options for a favorite coffee shop, each with its own flair.

Starting in Downtown Disney, you encounter two Starbucks options. Both have mobile ordering through the Starbucks mobile app. Starbucks West (Downtown Disney West II for mobile ordering on the Starbucks app) is a more traditional pick-up-and-go setting with no seating inside or outdoors. It is the perfect grab-and-go option for your favorite drinks and treats on your way into the park.

Starbucks at central Downtown Disney (Downtown Disney Store for mobile ordering on the Starbucks app) is a more atmospheric coffee house with a unique layout for purchasing your favorite California souvenir mugs, ordering quickly with a cashier, picking up at a separate bar, and enjoying your breakfast in-house.

There are seating options both indoors (large comfortable booths that even have an interactive TV in one spot) and outdoors on traditionally styled Starbucks metal chairs, benches, and tables. You can also try Starbucks Reserve coffees at this location if you’re looking to kill time — be sure to check with an employee about these opportunities.

This location is closer to the tram drop-off and pick-up and neighbors World of Disney so you can start your day off right by gearing up in your favorite Disney ensemble!

Once you move into the parks, the Disney magic takes over a social classic!

In Disneyland Park, take a stroll down Main Street, USA, after opening and pop in at Market House for a classic coffee beverage and bite to eat in a turn-of-the-century-era coffee house. Designed to match the rest of Main Street, this establishment is furnished in Victorian decor with dark wood-paneled walls and red velvet chairs with tables featuring claws at the base. 

Enjoy both indoor and outdoor seating options that transport you back in time over espresso! Don’t forget to pick up your exclusive Disneyland Starbucks souvenirs — seasonal and limited time offerings may be available.

Across the esplanade and through the gates of Disney California Adventure, you can find a similar establishment that features the Starbucks menu. This is called Fidler, Fifer & Practical Cafe at the end of Buena Vista Street. Be sure to take a curve to the right as if you were heading to Soarin’ Around the World when you come to the roundabout. Disney infused this Starbucks rendition with the flair of the 1920s. 

The name of the cafe is reflective of a the classic short The Three Little Pigs (1933), who include two music lovers and a hard worker. Walt was inspired by a flapper group called The Silver Lake Sisters (Dottie, Dolly, and Ethel). As you dine-in at this lovely little shop, you can learn about the musical trio and listen to songs from them and the era. 

Enjoy looking at black-and-white photos of the group hanging on the walls above big booths or admire the stained glass throughout. Be sure to catch the musical motif in any selfies! If you prefer outdoor seating, there are some options right next to the windows of the cafe.

From there, you have great views of Cathay Circle and the fountain in the center of the roundabout. You will take your “everyday” coffee experience to a whole new world when you enjoy your Starbucks favorites at this establishment.

Best Low-Cost Lunch and Dinners at Disneyland

Getting food on-the-go can be tedious when you are looking for a bigger meal at a good value. Luckily, there are quick service vendors all around DLR! Here are the top four across both parks.

Alien Pizza Planet

  • Location: Tomorrowland, Disneyland Park (head toward Space Mountain)

Cuisine: American, Italian, Pizza, Pasta, Salad, Lunch, Dinner

Quick Facts: Named for the favorite dining establishment in Toy Story, this planetary escape features kid-friendly food, healthy dining options, and seasonal specialties while transporting you to a whole other galaxy.

When that hankering for a slice of pizza hits you after screaming your lungs out on Space Mountain or fighting the battles of the galaxy on Star Tours, head toward Alien Pizza Planet. Enjoy delicious fare while exploring a new galaxy and memorabilia of martians past.

As soon as you walk through the automatic doors of this quick service dining establishment, you will notice historical elements of Tomorrowland (talk about déjà vu). Built on the original location of the Mission to Mars attraction (circa 1975) where Guests took “flights” to our neighboring red planet, the site of Pizza Planet is aptly names. 

Plus, the history goes deeper! Prior to the Mars ride, Guests took a Rocket to the Moon where they could “lift off” into space like astronauts of the day. You and your crew can read all about the history of the location just by looking around at original Tomorrowland posters featuring the rides of yesterday.

Though the history is pretty amazing, the food is what will really thrill the whole family. Reasonably priced (about $15 or less per adult) for large portion sizes, you can choose from seasonal pastas, salads, pizzas, and kids’ and toddler meals. If you all want one big pizza, you can order one of those, too! Don’t forget your Alien Ice (a specialty Slush drink)! For the whole menu, click here. 

Also important when eating with the whole family is seating, and at Alien Pizza Planet, there is plenty of it. Choose from indoor arrangements to outdoor tables or even a pseudo-outdoor area along the walkway to Space Mountain (across from the entrance to the Tomorrowland Theater). Enjoy comfortable, cushioned seats and clean tables for these palatable plates!

Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta/Paradise Garden Grill

  • Location: right next to each other at Paradise Gardens Park, Disney California Adventure (head toward Jumpin’ Jellyfish)

Cuisine: Italian, Pizza, Pasta, Salad, Snacks, Beverages/Asian, Vegetarian, Beverages

Quick Facts: This duo makes up an entire side of Pixar Pier and was part of the original Paradise Pier, so they feature California-inspired dishes. Though you may be eating classics from ethnic cuisines, you’ll notice a distinct Cali flare in their preparation, like bursts of citrus, barbecue, and vegetables.

This great two-for-one cuisine option is truly a hub for great food and entertainment. Located at the far side of the World of Color lagoon, these quick service establishments are easy to access at any point during your day. Plus, the seating area is large and spacious with arrangeable chairs and tables throughout.

Enjoy your meal in a turn-of-the-century California boardwalk setting with parlor-esque metal chairs, tables and benches along with the musical samples from Silly Swing Symphonies, instrumental renditions of Disney classics, and, as available, live music ranging from swing bands to mariachis!

Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta features Italian favorites (twisted with California flair) in an easy grab-and-go setting. Each of the three food stations features a single type of dish with flavor varieties listed. If you need customization, just ask a Cast Member behind the food counter! 

Plus, there are plentiful drink stations that typically feature both hot and cold beverages in addition to souvenir sippers. It is truly one of the easiest ways to purchase your seasonal or special event souvenir at a food location. If you need a specific kids’ meal, check at the pizza and pasta stations to get their favorite slice or spaghetti.

For those who prefer vegetarian and healthy-appealing cuisines from the carbo-load that is pizza and pasta, Paradise Garden Grill is just at the other side of the facility. Whereas Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta features indoor grab-and-go accommodations, Paradise Garden Grill has Guests order with a cashier and pick up the prepared food from the window. 

Selections include pork bánh mì and vegan orange tempeh with stir-fried vegetables and rice. Kids can get an Uncrustables PB&J with applesauce, carrots, and milk or water. You can also get the featured souvenir sipper with a (usually) shorter wait than more populous vendors throughout the parks.

View the full menu at Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta here. View the full menu at Paradise Garden Grill here. Both eateries are reasonably priced (about $15 or less per adult) for large portion sizes; of note, some specialty options may be more expensive. Additionally, Paradise Garden Grill accepts Mobile Orders, so you can get delicious food to-go!

Of note, the area of Paradise Gardens Park tends to feature character visits during seasonal events in addition to extra vendors. If you are visiting around the holidays, definitely stop in for seasonal delights.

Dining Area at Pacific Wharf 

Location: Pacific Wharf, DCA (when heading toward Pixar Pier, take the wooden bridge to the left; when heading toward Cars Land, walk past the entrance sign and take the second right where you’ll see The Bakery Tour)

  • Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill
  • Lucky Fortune Cookery
  • Pacific Wharf Café
  • Pacific Wharf Distribution Co.
  • Rita’s Baja Blenders

Cuisine: Mexican, Asian, America, Soup, Adult Beverages

Quick Facts: Pacific Wharf takes you into the heart of San Francisco, CA with appeals to the beautiful waterfront and variety of cuisines. Considered a cultural hub of California, the city inspires this delightful eating area that has plentiful seating and food options. Plus, you might even catch a parade passing by across the lagoon!

Coming from either direction (over the wooden bridge or past The Bakery Tour), you are sure to notice this hidden gem and its amazing options. Be sure to grab a table early under one of the colorful umbrellas in the central hub of Pacific Wharf. Or, if you’re feeling more nautical, head toward the side of Pacific Wharf Café or the umbrellas along Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill for picturesque waterfront views while you dine. 

You may also be treated to live music on the Wharf stage during seasonal events! While all of the eateries in this area are quick service, your tastebuds will thank you for choosing flavorful food inspired by California!

Explore south-of-the-border tastes at Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill. Your menu options include traditional tacos and guacamole with chips as well as more authentic pork al pastor and spicy citrus chicken. Health-conscious Guests can feast on salad or “bowl” options. The kids’ menu includes the option of a plain cheese quesadilla or a smaller taco or bowl plate. Toddlers are given the delicious option of chicken and rice. 

Adults can even delight themselves with an adult beverage of choice, including seasonal margaritas and Mexican beers. Immediate dining options are available under the covered portion of the establishment (look for the fiesta-colored chairs). Order style is cashier-to-window, so be prepared to have at least one member of your party pick up trays while another finds seating.

If you’re looking for a lighter cuisine, Lucky Fortune Cookery features made-to-order rice bowls. Pick from a variety of menu options, including chicken, beef, or tofu bowls with choice of sauce (mild to spicy with different flairs of inspiration). 

You can also pick your favorite sides, like chicken and vegetable potstickers. Sapporo beer is featured for adults; however, for those who prefer a sweeter pairing with their meal, there is Lucky Fortune Tea with passion fruit and mango!

Additionally, this is a great option for those in need of meals that are gluten, wheat, egg, fish, shellfish, milk and soy allergy-friendly. Because meals are highly customizable, Lucky Fortune Cookery can work to suit any need in your party! 

Pacific Wharf Café may be one of the most popular locations in both parks. Featuring Boudin Bakery sourdough bread bowls filled with San Francisco-favorite clam chowder, you’ll feel like your at Fisherman’s Wharf itself!

The full menu features seasonal soups and salads or even a delicious bread bowl of mac’n’cheese (you have to ask for it as a “special order” since it is not on the posted menu — read more about this perk here). Adult beverage options include California brews. 

Don’t forget to pick up a delicious cookie treat for dessert! And, if you’re up for an extra bite of yummy bread, check out The Bakery Tour hosted by Boudin. You’ll learn how they make the classic bread and how Disney is able to maintain a perfected recipe!

Seating is also available along the tour route just past the entrance. Most tables are four-seaters, so if you have a larger party, consider heading to the outdoor area with umbrellas or the waterfront view next to the Café. 

For adult beverage lovers, the Pacific Wharf Distribution Co. (look for the cart that says Karl Strauss Handcrafted Beers toward the Radiator Springs path) and Rita’s Baja Blenders are perfect places to visit. At the beer cart, select from flavored pretzels and California brews. It’s a taste of the state you will never forget, especially if you have been looking for rarer gems in the brew world. 

Rita’s features delightful, fruity margaritas (one even features Grand Marnier) and a sangria option. Don’t forget to ask about their feature flavor! Kids can even feel like little adults with a non-alcoholic slushie option! See Rita’s menu here.

The biggest perk: you can Mobile Order from several of these eateries! Note that alcohol may be excluded from the Mobile Order option. Pacific Wharf is ideal for parties who have a variety of tastes or who are large enough to not want everyone standing in line.

Be sure to download the Disneyland App to make your Mobile Order experience magical. All establishments are reasonably priced (about $15 or less per adult) for large portion sizes

Red Rose Taverne

  • Location: Fantasyland, Disneyland Park (just past Pinocchio’s Daring Journey with the door facing Casey Jr. Circus Train)

Cuisine: American, Sandwiches, Flatbreads, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Desserts

Quick Facts: Formerly linked to Pinocchio, the Red Rose Taverne got a makeover prior to the release of the live-action Beauty and The Beast film. You can now join the motley crew of Gaston in this hunting-cabin furnished eatery while enjoying the best songs from your favorite dishware and household items!

Be their guest at the Red Rose Taverne any time of day. However, if you’re looking for one of the best lunch or dinner meals, try their selection of hot burgers and sandwiches, including an delicious vegetarian sandwich featuring roasted cauliflower.

You can also pick from flatbreads or salads. If you’re feeling daring, enjoy the French classic of beef poutine! Check out their lunch and dinner menu here. Breakfast options are also available; check with a Cast Member for the cut-off time.

The best features at the Taverne include the inspired decor. With seating options indoors and outdoors, you can select your choice of Gaston’s favorite hunting scenes or Belle’s garden picks as your dining companions.

Be transported to the little provincial town where Belle grew up as you dine on American and French classics. You’ll also be serenaded by instrumental and original renditions of your favorite songs, including Lumiere’s “Be Our Guest” throughout your experience!

Don’t forget to splurge on desserts! Truly, try the Grey Stuff Gâteau — it’s delicious and features Red Velvet cake with white chocolate mousse and raspberry flavors. You may even indulge on a villainous delight in Gaston’s Famous Brew, highlighting fruity notes from his travels as a soldier.

Lastly, this eatery is highly accommodating of those with food allergies. Choose options that are gluten/wheat-free, egg allergy-friendly, fish and shellfish allergy-free, lactose-free, nut-free, and soy allergy-friendly. Red Rose Taverne is a great option for the great atmosphere, enjoyable music, and mouth-watering food that meets everyone’s needs!

Character Dining Experience

If you are looking for a catch-all experience that is moderately priced (for Disneyland) where you and the kids can meet beloved characters and enjoy a hearty meal, a character dining experience is ideal! While there are hotel-restaurant options, the best in-park encounter is at Plaza Inn.

The Plaza Inn Disneyland character breakfast is fun for the whole family! 

  • Location: Main Street, USA, Disneyland Park

Cuisine: American, Comfort Foods, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Quick Facts: A Disneyland Original designed by Lillian Disney, the queen of the Magic Kingdom herself, Plaza Inn features Victorian-era furnishings and thematic pieces. Join the Plaza Inn Cast Members for special events like birthday celebrations and character greetings!

Whether you’re a kid at heart or an actual youngster, Plaza Inn has delicious food options ranging from pot roast to marinara pasta. Their signature dish is the Specialty Chicken, featuring three big pieces of fried chicken alongside mixed veggies, mashed potatoes, and a buttermilk biscuit. Kids can even get a kid-sized meal of chicken to enjoy! For a full menu, click through here.

If you choose to dine early, you can join Minnie and her pals for “Minnie & Friends – Breakfast in the Park.” Feast on an all-you-can-eat buffet starring your morning favorites. Pick from Mickey-shaped waffles, French toast, biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, made-to-order omelets, sausage and bacon, breakfast potatoes, pastries and breads, an array of fruit, and hot or cold cereals. It’s truly a meal for all, and possibly a meal to last all morning and afternoon!

Of course, there is the matter of Minnie’s visit! While you fill your tummy, don’t forget to keep an eye open for visits from your favorite Disney characters, including Minnie Mouse.

This breakfast is the only in-park character dining experience in Disneyland Park, and it will soon become your family’s favorite. Additional perks include getting character autographs (don’t forget a pen and booklet!), spectacular views of Sleeping Beauty Castle, and souvenir photos.

Don’t forget to make reservations to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience. You can book online ahead of time (select your date, time, and party size in the “Check Availability” box on the right side of the screen), via the Disneyland App, or via phone at 714-781-DINE (714-781-3463). Note that you may be required to submit credit card information and that a deposit may be taken if you miss your reservations – be sure to read the fine print in all agreements.

Snack Vendors as Meal Options

If you aren’t typically a big eater and prefer a cheaper, on-the-go alternatives for meals, utilizing the numerous carts and quick-service vendors throughout the parks is a great option. Note that these experiences are not going to necessarily be themed, nor do they often correlate with character meet-and-greets.

Nonetheless, you can regularly pick up seasonal and special event treats while hustling from attraction to attraction when you opt to go for snacks in Disneyland!

Disneyland Park

  • Bengal Barbecue (meat and vegetable skewers)
  • Churro Carts
  • Daisy’s Diner (pizza, specialty/seasonal desserts)
  • Edelweiss Snacks (classics, turkey leg, chimichanga)
  • Fruit Carts
  • Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor (desserts)
  • Lemonade Carts
  • Maurice’s Treats (specialty bread twists and pastries, beverages)
  • Mint Julep (specialty drinks, beignets)
  • Pluto’s Dog House (hot dogs)
  • Popcorn Carts
  • Pretzel Carts
  • Refreshment Corner/Corner Cafe (hot dogs, seasonal offerings, beverages)
  • Tiki Juice Bar (Dole Whip, beverages)
  • Tropical Imports (healthy snacks, beverages)
  • Troubadour Tavern (pretzels, baked potatoes, turkey legs)
  • Turkey Leg Carts

Disney California Adventure

  • Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats (desserts)
  • Angry Dogs (hot dogs)
  • Award Wieners (hot dogs, vegetarian, beverages)
  • Bayside Brews (adult beverages, pretzels)
  • Churro Carts
  • Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream (desserts)
  • Corn Dog Castle (hot dogs)
  • Cozy Cone Motel (unique “cone” snacks, beverages, desserts)
  • Fairfax Market (healthy snacks, beverages)
  • Festive Foods Marketplace (seasonal kiosks)
  • Fillmore’s Taste-In (healthy snacks, beverages)
  • Fruit Carts
  • Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop (desserts)
  • Jack-Jack Cookie Num Nums (desserts)
  • Lemonade Carts
  • Mendocino Terrace (adult beverages, cold cuts, cheese)
  • Popcorn Carts
  • Poultry Palace (chicken drumsticks, turkey legs, corn on the cob)
  • Pretzel Carts
  • Schmoozies! (smoothies, coffees, beverages, desserts)
  • Señor Buzz Churros (specialty churros, beverages)
  • Studio Catering Co. (nachos, tacos, beverages)
  • Turkey Leg Carts

Bringing Your Own Food and Drinks

So long as you stay within the restrictions Disneyland has set forth to ensure the safety of all Guests, you are welcome to bring your own meals and snacks into the parks!

Know that you are going to be subject to search prior to stepping into a tram or Downtown Disney. There are many prohibited items, so be sure you read the Park Rules ahead of time. Here are the specific food- and beverage-related regulations summarized:

Disney reserves the right to disallow any item they find to be in violation of park regulations or that presents a threat to Guests and Cast Members.

Alcohol is not permitted in the park. Labeled or unlabeled products may be determined to be alcoholic beverages and will not be allowed to pass through security.

Coolers, along with all other bags, may have wheels but are not permitted to be larger than 24”Lx15”Wx18”H. Be sure to check your measurements before your visit. Plus, your bags cannot be pushed or pulled in a trailer-like fashion (everything needs to be pushed or carried separately).

Metal knives will not be allowed, so plan on having pre-cut foods, finger foods, or plastic butter knives for meals.

Glass containers are not permitted unless for small baby food jars. You will want to be sure baby food is labeled to ensure it is allowed through security.

Do not bring food for the animals in the park (and don’t contribute to their Disney-based diet intentionally).

Finding places to dine should not be hard as there are many public options in both parks. Avoid eating inside established restaurant facilities as this is frowned upon and may result in your removal from that premises. If all else fails, Disneyland even features a picnic area just outside the gates to Disneyland Park for you to dine. 


There are numerous places where you can dine cheaply throughout Disneyland Resort. When possible, bring your own snacks and meals. If you drink a lot of water (which you should), bring a reusable water bottle and fill up at water fountains. Turn to usual staples like Starbucks for your favorite coffee and quick bites. 

Use snack vendors for easy, simple fillers throughout the day. When you decide to have a sit-down meal, try a Quick Service establishment over one with table service to save a little more cash. Ultimately, be sure you are making the Happiest Place on Earth your happiest place!

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