PDA

View Full Version : Dining at WDW on a budget


coastiewifern
01-08-2009, 12:33 PM
There probably is a thread some out there on this topic.
I am looking for tips on how to cut dining costs when visiting WDW. We will be staying at Shades of Green so we are not eligible for DDP. We will have a fridge in the room and coffee pot. Last time we ate breakfast in the room everyday. Packed snacks for the park. Packed about 1/2 of our lunches (we all got sick of pb&j everyday) and ate dinner in the park every night.

ashrae9216
01-08-2009, 12:43 PM
We got lunch combo meals and spilt them. There is plenty of food, especially if you eat where they have those places where you can put mushrooms, lettuce, and onions on your burger.. I eat half a burger and a side of mushrooms :)

paulasillars
01-08-2009, 01:33 PM
I'd vote for splitting meals too. I usually share with my Mum as the servings are very big. We have done the occassional table service and shared 2 mains between the 3 of us.

maggiew
01-08-2009, 01:50 PM
I like to get the kids meals (I do have kids, so its legit!) at EPCOT so we can sample from various countries. We will get maybe one meal at several places and all share. We will get kids meal at Mexico and Japan. Adult meal at FIsh & Chips place. That will be shared between me and my 2 girls. DH usually gets an adult meal at Morocco. We may share an order of egg rolls or something in China. Of course dessert in France! This may be over our 2 days in EPCOT.

We almost always split meals at table service. We mainly go to order off the menu places so we can split. We may get 3 adult meals for the 4 of us to share. Or sometimes even 2 meals and younger DD might get an appetizer if one strikes her fancy.


Maggie

here757
01-08-2009, 02:36 PM
I like to get the kids meals (I do have kids, so its legit!) at EPCOT so we can sample from various countries. We will get maybe one meal at several places and all share. We will get kids meal at Mexico and Japan. Adult meal at FIsh & Chips place. That will be shared between me and my 2 girls. DH usually gets an adult meal at Morocco. We may share an order of egg rolls or something in China. Of course dessert in France! This may be over our 2 days in EPCOT.

We almost always split meals at table service. We mainly go to order off the menu places so we can split. We may get 3 adult meals for the 4 of us to share. Or sometimes even 2 meals and younger DD might get an appetizer if one strikes her fancy.


Maggie

legit?! lol
i had gastric bypass and we split meals all the time! i got a doctors note LOL .i have dietary restrictions .
i have ordered the double cheeseburger and paid for an extra bun. i think it will cost a little bit more then what i paid but soo o worth it.
we grazed all day on the snacks we brought.
chips. granola bars. apples. i didnt think of pbj's.

on the nights we were not at the world we ventured out into town. i found a taco bell and the kids got mcdonalds.
theres a bookbag out there called a camel. pack it with ice and water. the bag stays kinda cold. perhaps sandwitches can be stored in there.
we stayed at sog too. wonderful times! :dance3:

rumrunnergirl
01-08-2009, 08:15 PM
Are you driving or flying?

If driving, you can do a bit more. We bring a plastic storage tub filled with food, snacks, little Tupperware containers, bowls, plates and plastic silverware. For breakfast, we have cereal & milk, pop tarts or toast in the room (we bring our toaster oven too).

For lunch, I make sandwiches, then pack the Tupperware with chips, pretzel sticks, cheetos, snack bars, etc. Anything you don't want to get mushed in your backpack - put it in a plastic container. Pringles work great - they come in their own can, LOL. We bring frozen juice boxes and frozen water bottles. Cheese sticks, pudding/applesauce/jello cups, apples, oranges.

For dinner, we will share meals - maybe 2 adult meals and 1 kid meals, or 1 adult and 1 kid meal - depending on how hungry we are.

If you aren't into PB&J - you can do tortillas, lunch meat or even a salad mix (tuna, egg, chicken) if you keep it cold. Apple slices or carrot/celery sticks & peanut butter. Slim Jims. Hot dogs wrapped in foil to keep warm (my DH has a little sterno cooktop that he packs in his lunch box, LOL) - so I'd do those in the room, wrap 'em and pack 'em. Lunchables.

here757
01-08-2009, 08:28 PM
shades of green doesnt allow you to bring the cook tops. so if you plan to bring one.. dont tell them LOL
i love the hotdog idea. i bet that would work in my sons lunches too.

rumrunnergirl
01-08-2009, 08:33 PM
It's not really a cook top - it's a little thing that unfolds, about 6" square, and you put the sterno can underneath it. It's not a hot plate either. Kinda hard to describe.

But I don't want anyone to burn down their room, LOL.

here757
01-08-2009, 08:37 PM
yea i know what they are my folks used them when they camped..LOL
this resort doesnt allow smoking :) cant say im upset about it ..
its a great resort all the same. military ran

Donnainnj
01-08-2009, 08:40 PM
If you do want any table service meals, look at the menu's and you can find the best deals. Usually lunch meals will be less then dinner, so we have done our sit-downs for lunch when not on the meal plan. I know the Plaza is a reasonable ts, by Disney standards, and Kona Cafe is better priced at lunch then dinner. I have also read that the food at SOG is cheaper then Disney's. We went to Chefs de France for lunch our last trip and really enjoyed it. The best part of the meal was the soup/bisque, we could have probably each gotten that and a few appies to share (between the 5 of us) and been happy. (maybe a dessert or two would be nice to:rolleyes1 ) We also enjoyed lunch at Tusker house, not real cheap($20 adult 10+), but was very good and saved us quite a bit from what dinner would have cost there. It is also nice to have a nice airconditioned rest in the middle of the day. We also do breakfast in the rooms most days. For counter service, if you want a really nice meal (that would be plenty to share for most people) try Wolfgang Puck Express at DTD. They give you really large portions, and the meals are more like a sit-downs. Also I believe you can get free ice water in the parks at any place with a soda fountain.
Donna

pooh2001
01-08-2009, 09:50 PM
We have always had breakfast in our room. We have done 2 tuna dinners with fruit and chips in the room.

We ate in Chef Mickeys for breakfast (very filling meal) and took a couple pieces of fruit with us on our way out.

Popcorn is a cheap snack.

Do more buffets to fill up - and do late breakfasts (for lunch) or late lunches (for early dinner) - less expensive.

mayjay
01-08-2009, 10:19 PM
We'd split meals too, especially b/w the kids.

Also we had breakfast at CP one day and took some bananas in our bag. They came in handy later on.

We kept snacks and things in our room and brought them with us.

A few times, we had a "big" sit down lunch and then ate something light back at the hotel (off site) for dinner.

Have fun

Mickey527
01-09-2009, 04:50 AM
Shades of Green has fantastic restaraunts with tons of food. My sister is military but we have never stayed there because she stays with me at my DVC. but we always make it a point to go over for dinner at the all you can eat place there.
I know they have an all you can eat bfst and dinner. Check out the prices. I woluld suggest that you go for the bfst. as late in the morning as you possibly can. Eat your fill, grab an apple for snack later and toss it in your bag. I wouldn't suggest taking more from the food bar, I have seen suggestions about bringing plastic bags and packing food. That is beyond frugal. But an apple or banana is different, as long as it is one...
Bfst should hold you over till dinner, it always did for my boys.
then have a meal at the parks, there are plenty of places where you get so much you can share. My favorites are MK:the 1/2 chicken meal at Copsmic Rays, Epcot: again, the chicken but Morocco. Never eat at AK so can't suggest anything there, and the only place I have ever eaten at DS is at Hollywood and Vine. I usually leave those two parks for something outside the parks.
My family has never found a pizza that isn't edible so they love CiCi's. They are not far away so even if you don't have a car you can take a quick taxi ride there. If you are a walker, they are not that far away, but I have never been able to leave and walk back, too full...And kill me, but I always take a brownie to go, they are the undercooked kind, gooey and great later on.
We also can't go a trip without Earl of Sandwich. It costs about $5 for one of the best Roast Beef sandwiches you can find anywhere. they have other kinds but nothing can beat the Roast Beef.
If you hav a car there are plenty of other places around.
and the cooktop with Sterno idea.... BAD!! I would never bring something like sterno to burn in the room. Imagine if the smoke detector was a heat detector too. You would get sprayed and in BIG trouble. If you have to bring something to heat your food, get an electric heating element but I would not even try this, way too cheap for me.
there are plenty of foods that take just hot water. Heat the water in the coffee pot and make ramen noodles, etc....

karliebug
01-09-2009, 04:59 AM
Order ice water with your meals instead of soda. That saves my family about $12 per meal! If you don't like Florida water, bring those little mis in crystal light packets. Split counter service meals. Oh, and my favorite= one day we eat ice cream sundaes for lunch. we are on vacation,after all.

torinsmom
01-09-2009, 05:13 AM
Too bad you don't have a microwave; you could do all kinds of things(micro mac n cheese, pizza pockets, popcorn, etc) but at least you have a fridge. You could being things like milk/cereal, pop tarts and oatmeal(use hot water from coffee maker) for breakfast. For lunch, I would suggest bringing sandwiches for a few days and sharing meals other days. Remember, you can buy items a la carte; you don' need to buy the combos. Or buy kids meals; they could care less if you are an adult at the CS restuarants.

The biggest savings I had was by bringing those little drink powder tubes with us. All the kiosks and restaurants(TS and CS) will give you free cups of ice water on request. With drinks being at least $2 each, the 8 of us saved so much money! I was surprised that except for one kiosk, we got regular size Disney cups with lids. I just opened, put in the powder, closed the lid and shook well. We were able to stay really hydrated, since we weren't thinking about $ "wasted". I didn't want to carry a water bottle around since 1)they might spill and 2)I like my drinks very cold.

Marsha

rumrunnergirl
01-09-2009, 05:25 AM
and the cooktop with Sterno idea.... BAD!! I would never bring something like sterno to burn in the room. Imagine if the smoke detector was a heat detector too.

It doesn't really do that, I guess you've never seen one. They are really small and don't produce much heat.

I think the suggestions to steal fruit to eat later is a horrible dea. Heck, why not just bring a zip lock baggie and fill it with food from the buffet? LOL

Todd&Copper
01-09-2009, 06:23 AM
I agree with the person who said to order water instead of soda with meals.
I'd also say, don't bother getting the full appetizer-meal-dessert. It is too much food and the appetizer and dessert easily add at least $10 per person to the bill.
The fancy alcohol drinks are very pricy, too, so if you order one, make it last.

A buffet *can* be a deal if you are big eaters. Otherwise, maybe plan for just a few TS meals and do CS the rest of the time. Also, a CS meal from someplace like Sunshine Seasons or Flametree can easily be split between 2 people.

wifey1220
01-09-2009, 07:35 AM
Every time we have gone to disney we have had free dining. So food was not a budget concern. This year we are going in nov and no free dining. I thought about taking my george foreman grill. I could make hot dogs and grill cheeses on that. Do you guys think the george foreman is safe to use inthe room?

coastiewifern
01-09-2009, 07:53 AM
I love the idea of getting the flavor packets for the water. I never knew you could get a free cup of ice water. We always bring out camelback full of cold water to drink during the day. I cannot remember if our room has a microwave or not. I'll have to check on that.

BabyTigger99
01-09-2009, 09:26 AM
Every time we have gone to disney we have had free dining. So food was not a budget concern. This year we are going in nov and no free dining. I thought about taking my george foreman grill. I could make hot dogs and grill cheeses on that. Do you guys think the george foreman is safe to use inthe room?

Your neighbors may not appreciate the smells.....

Miffy
01-09-2009, 09:37 AM
So many great suggestions here already.

We, too, eat breakfast in the room. We have a gardengrocer delivery of bottled water and some other essentials (essential to us!), so we rarely get stuck having to buy bottled water in the parks. We also bring our own snacks with us.

The ice water they serve at WDW restaurants is filtered and, unlike the tap water in Orlando, tastes fine...and it's free.

DH and I are also fans of splitting entrees, which can be HUGE at WDW. Another thing we often do is order only appetizers, which can cut down on the cost of the meal as well as be the appropriate--instead of the overindulgent (for us--I'm not commenting on anyone else)--amount of food needed.

Our last trip this past May, we kept track of how much money we spent on food at WDW and the daily average for the 2 of us was $50--far less than the $80/day the dining plan would have cost for 2 adults, so the dining plan is not necessarily a great money-saver. It depends on what and how much you'd be eating.

here757
01-09-2009, 02:35 PM
popcorn:: shades of green doesnt allow any type of cooking items.
no sterno. no forman. no grills at all .
they said its a fire hazard.. i can see that. also might wanna be they want you to purchase meals from the resturants onsite.

MnMomW3Boys
01-10-2009, 02:08 PM
What great ideas...as most said we also eat in our room in the morning, and then we take snacks for the day goldfish, granola bars, and bottled water. We also split meals as our kids are too excited to actually sit down and eat much of anything. Have a wonderful trip.