Budget: When You’re Not Hungry for a Meal

I run into this problem in the parks sometimes: I’m not hungry enough for a full meal but other members of my group are ready to eat. Sometimes I find my appetite somewhat suppressed while I’m touring the parks. It’s either the walking, the general excitement of being there, or the thought of how much the food costs, but whatever the reason, I can’t quite get excited to order a full entrée for myself.

If you look at the menus in the parks, you might get the idea that options for smaller, snack-sized items are very limited, and usually consist mainly of desserts. Never fear, though! Disney has programmed many more options into the cash registers than they’ll ever show you on the menu, which they keep as streamlined as possible and focused on the entrées and sides the average guest is most likely to want.

If you see an item you’d like available as a side, ask if it can be purchased separately. One of my favorite snacks in the parks is an item that isn’t available on its own unless you ask for it: the noodle side at the Asian-themed station at Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons. And here it is:

Noodle side at Sunshine Seasons, with receipt for pricing info

Noodle side at Sunshine Seasons, with receipt for pricing info

I actually purchased two noodle sides that day (I was fairly hungry, but not quite hungry enough for a meal, and my daughter was ravenously hungry and needed to eat RIGHT NOW, PLEASE.) The plate pictured is only one of the two sides I bought. But look at the price! $3.98 for both plates of the noodle side! I grabbed up some chopsticks and went to work while my daughter demolished her mac and cheese. Both of us were happy, and I didn’t overspend on food that I wasn’t hungry enough to eat or enjoy. So if you’re not hungry enough for an entree, you don’t want a Dole Whip or a Mickey’s Premium Bar (blasphemy, I know!) then it can’t hurt to ask about your off-the-menu options at the quick service locations in the parks. Maybe your favorite side is available at a fraction of the cost of an entree.


About Kathy

I'm a lifetime Disney Parks fan who recently (and coincidentally) found herself relocated to Central Florida. These are our adventures visiting the many attractions and exhibits that are all too easy to overlook in favor of the headliner and super-headliner attractions.
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