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View Full Version : 8 days, 3 adults, Budget $400 - doable?


twinklebug
06-13-2009, 01:14 PM
My kids are 12, 15 and then there's myself. We'll be in a DVC studio, so a lot of eating will be in room utilizing the kitchenette. Done it before... could live that way the entire time if we had to... but... it's vacation...

We want to do LeCellier for Dinner, Chef Mickeys for Breakfast, Trails End for Dinner before a campfire one night and miscellaneous counter services and drinks as needed. We may get the TIW card, not sure if it'll help that much even though the plan is to return for two more weeks within the year.

Dining out bills even when I know the price in advance typically shock me once I add on tax & 20% tip. Using the menus and prices at allears, my guesstimate is that the dining bill will be about $400 for the week (not including stocking the room) - am I way off?

cammie810
06-13-2009, 01:24 PM
Wow! That seems a little low to me. I went a few years ago with my two children who were 7 and 10 at the time. We spent approx $1000.00 for the week. We ate out about once a day (usually for lunch) and the rest of the meals were in the room.

Robert P
06-13-2009, 01:32 PM
$400 seems low to me as well. I hope you are successful, but that's $50 per day spread across 3 guests. I would have to budget more than $400, even considering your meals in the room.

twinklebug
06-13-2009, 01:35 PM
Thanks Cammie810 & Robert P, Over the last two trips I just threw all our expenses on the room key and it's so easy to loose track of how much we spend on food that way. To control spending I was going to toss the amt we need on a pre-paid card. Second guessing myself on this approach though as I don't want to have to keep a running balance in my head (too easy to miss something)

You are probably right - I'm most likely way under. Those counter services add up fast.

OurDogCisco
06-13-2009, 01:56 PM
Have you looked at the online menus? They have prices and might give you a better idea on how to budget your trip. I think, $400 would be doable if you ate off-site but onsite I think, it is a bit unrealistic. We are going for 8 nights at the end of June/July and our garden grocer bill is $100. This will give us 5 breakfasts, couple sandwiches, bottled water, beer and some snacks like hummus and crackers, fruit, milk. This is for a family of 4: 2 adults and 2 kids. I still think after that we'll spend more than $1000 for the week eating one sitdown and one counter service per day.

Nikisha421
06-13-2009, 03:02 PM
Doing the dining plan for three adults for eight days would be 959.76 plus tax so maybe that may seem like a lot but it would probably work out to what you would spend on the food that you are going to stock in the room and then the snacks and dining out...just my opinion

djp0630
06-13-2009, 03:14 PM
Well, I think you should check out the allears.net website to price out the meals. I estimate that the 3 of you at Le Cellier for dinner is about $150. So $400 seems low.

chell
06-13-2009, 03:17 PM
Are you planning on sharing any meals? Is anyone a light eater?

twinklebug
06-13-2009, 04:04 PM
Doing the dining plan for three adults for eight days would be 959.76 plus tax

We eat light & won't come close to that. Cash is our best friend & in the summer months it healthier to eat lighter & drink more water. Seems silly to pay for food we don't need... however... you bring up an excellent point here: This will be a split stay and I can organize our meals into one of the stays. I have CM, LC and even Boma booked for the 1st half, TE is fairly easy to get into. so.... I might consider going with the DP for those first 4 nights :goodvibes

I estimate that the 3 of you at Le Cellier for dinner is about $150. I did check allears & my guess was for the 3 of us, without appetizers, desert, steak etc. the cost would be about $100. Still, I did say I'm horrible with predicting costs even iwth the menu in front of me didn't I? :rotfl: I'll go with your 150.

We are going for 8 nights at the end of June/July and our garden grocer bill is $100. This will give us 5 breakfasts, couple sandwiches, bottled water, beer and some snacks like hummus and crackers, fruit, milk. This is for a family of 4: 2 adults and 2 kids. I still think after that we'll spend more than $1000 for the week eating one sitdown and one counter service per day. I need to get my shopping list together... hm - thinking ours will be about the same. My kids will shoot me if I schedule a sit-down everyday. They'd rather hang at the pool & grab fruit, chip, soup or a sandwich from the room.

Are you planning on sharing any meals? Is anyone a light eater?
Yup & yup. I encourage us to share our meals (hint: ask for extra plates and divvy up the food beforehand so germaphobics can't complain (DD)) however buffets are an every-man-for-himself affair and the bill will be the same (plus a drink or two). DS loves Trails End so it's a must do.

I also forgot to mention I have $100 in gift cards for RFC so we'll have a mid-day sit-down over there as a break from the heat of AK. I know that $100 will pay for 2 meals with us if we chose to go twice. If, like I mentioned above, I go with the DDP on nights 1-4 I'll save these for when we move over to AKV. RFC is right around the corner there too. ;)

Thanks for all the input and help folks! This is setting my brain straight.

chell
06-13-2009, 05:00 PM
Can the RFC gift card be used at T-Rex? Aren't they owned by the same people? If so, that would throw a little more variety in the mix.

Cosmic Ray's has a good option with the 1/2 Chicken and BBQ Rib Combination served with Mashed Potatoes and a seasonal vegetable for only $13.99. Sunshine Seasons has Half Rotisserie Chicken with two sides for $9.99.

My husband and I shared a double cheese burger as well.

Another great item to share is at Yak & Yeti at the Animal Kingdom - Baby Back Ribs - slow-roasted ribs, hoisin BBQ sauce, chicken fried rice, sweet chili slaw $23.99. That dish is a little more expensive but it is AMAZING!!! The portion is large.

If you can tell me some of the stuff you would be interested in eating I could try to come up with a rough for you that would include tax and tips.

luckytobeme88
06-13-2009, 05:07 PM
My kids are 12, 15 and then there's myself. We'll be in a DVC studio, so a lot of eating will be in room utilizing the kitchenette. Done it before... could live that way the entire time if we had to... but... it's vacation...

We want to do LeCellier for Dinner, Chef Mickeys for Breakfast, Trails End for Dinner before a campfire one night and miscellaneous counter services and drinks as needed. We may get the TIW card, not sure if it'll help that much even though the plan is to return for two more weeks within the year.

Dining out bills even when I know the price in advance typically shock me once I add on tax & 20% tip. Using the menus and prices at allears, my guesstimate is that the dining bill will be about $400 for the week (not including stocking the room) - am I way off?

I think you are WAY off. I am thinking it will take at least $25 to feed an adult per day. Unless you are eating breakfast in the villa and make your own lunch for the park. If you want to add some of the TS meals in your budget, then it is going to blow your budget.

francie57
06-13-2009, 05:11 PM
Have you considered doing the quick service meal plan (2 CS meals, a snack, and a refillable mug). You would not have the tips to pay, you would be able to get water during the day and have the mug refilled for more fluids during the day. We have stayed in a studio before and it is good for breakfast but after awhile quick food in a microwave would wear thin with me.

J3nn78
06-13-2009, 07:08 PM
Way under budget

Here are my calculations for just your meals you listed

Le Cellier example
app- soup-$6.99
filet or strip-$34.99
desert-mousse-$6.99
drink-non alc- $2.99
Total pp about $52
Times 3 = $156
Plus tax ($10) and gratuity ($30)

Le Cellier would be about $200

Chef Mickeys
$22.99 * 3= $69
Tax $4.50
Grat $14

Total $87

Trails End
$20.99 * 3 = $63
Tax $4.10
Grat $12

Total about $80

So I think in just your three restaurants you are looking at about $375

trappednabox
06-13-2009, 09:20 PM
also seems a little low to me, for our party of 3, counter services were about $40 to $45 each depending on where we went, not to mention the prices for TS meals. I was so happy we used to dining plan

twinklebug
06-13-2009, 11:18 PM
Way under budget

Here are my calculations for just your meals you listed

Le Cellier example
app- soup-$6.99
filet or strip-$34.99
desert-mousse-$6.99
drink-non alc- $2.99
Total pp about $52
Times 3 = $156
Plus tax ($10) and gratuity ($30)

Le Cellier would be about $200

Chef Mickeys
$22.99 * 3= $69
Tax $4.50
Grat $14

Total $87

Trails End
$20.99 * 3 = $63
Tax $4.10
Grat $12

Total about $80

So I think in just your three restaurants you are looking at about $375

Excellent example. I got similar numbers for TE & CM, but I went back and looked - our Le Cellier reservation is for 1:30 pm ... so lunch. Sorry. We also don't order appetizers, and only the kids get drinks and dessert - I stick to H20 in the summer in lieu of either. My total there is coming up as $81.31 including 7.5% tax & 20% tip. (salad & sandwiches - both reported as being 'very good' by the CMs we know, smoothies for the kids as well as a chocolate moose each if they have room.) There's no way we can eat heavy with the weather being 90+ out. I just can't fathom buying a steak each (not to mention the kids won't touch it! LOL)

So the running total I have is at 251.51 for the three meals - not including TIW card if I choose to get it... which it looks like I'll be a fool not to considering we'll be returning.

So that would leave me with $150 for the other days of CS or snacks not including the RFC Gift card. Hm. I'm pretty comfortable with it. If we want food above & beyond this we head back to kitchenette. This will be a pretty cool test.

Crystal_27
06-14-2009, 06:19 AM
I think that you are way too low. When we go to Disney (2 adults, 1 child), we've found that we pay an average of $90 per TS meal and $30 per CS meal for the three of us. Of course, meals like LeCellier will run us more like $120 or so. I guess in theory you could only order an entree and skip any appetizer and desserts with your TS meals, but I still believe that for 8 days you'll have depleted your budet well before the half way mark. Still, since you are staying at a villa, you do have a *lot* more flexibility, and I'm sure that if you see that you're running low on funds, you do have the option of just eating in for the rest of the trip. Good luck!! :goodvibes

Nikisha421
06-14-2009, 06:47 AM
I think you should do whatever you like but when you get back you should create an updated thread so we can see how it actually worked...you maybe right, because only you know you and only you knows how to spend and value your own money...have a great trip...

Thekidsmom
06-14-2009, 08:33 AM
Don't forget about seasonal pricing. This is from allearsnet.com


Seasonal Pricing Returns May 24 - July 12, 2009 at these locations: 1900 Park Fare, Akershus, Biergarten, Boma, Cape May Café, Chef Mickey’s, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Crystal Palace, Garden Grill, Hollywood and Vine, Liberty Tree Tavern (dinner only), ‘Ohana, Trails End, Tusker House. Prices will increase $4 for ages 10 and above and $2 for those 3-9.

robinb
06-14-2009, 09:11 AM
So the running total I have is at 251.51 for the three meals - not including TIW card if I choose to get it... which it looks like I'll be a fool not to considering we'll be returning.I would say that it you are planning to go back to WDW for two more weeks, the TiW card is a no-brainer. The TiW break-even point (for annual passholders) is $375 and you're at about $200 pre-tax/tip ($66 LC, $69 CM, $63 TE). It also appears that you can still use it over at AK at Pizzabarfi and Flametree.

Let's get back on-topic ... If I'm reading correctly, you'll be at WDW for 7 nights/8 days. That's 21 meals (depending when you arrive and leave) but I'll go with 21. I assume that you will eat breakfast in your room or nibble on granola bars or something like that. Now we're down to 14 meals for 3 people or 42 meals total. Your 9 meals are budgeted above at $250. Plus you have 6 more meals budgeted at RFC on your gift card (you said 2 meals twice, but I assume that you are sharing). You're down to 27 meals for $150.

According to my calculations here: http://personalpages.tds.net/~rb/DIS/MYW%20Dining/2009/DisneyDiningRanking2009.htm a CS meal costs an average of $13.75. Since that includes a drink (at about $2.25) and dessert (at about $2.50) you can deduct $4.75 from that if you don't get drinks and desserts so it's about $9 per CS meal on average. So ... that's about 16 meals in your $150. That leaves you 9 more meals to eat back in the room ... that's just 3 lunches!

So ... If you don't get drinks and if you don't get drinks and desserts at CS restaurants and you eat 3 more meals back at the resort YOU CAN DO IT :banana:.

ETA: Your Chef Mickey's breakfast will be more expensive than you planned because of Disney's "Holiday Pricing BS". It will be $4 more per person :(.

MickeyNicki
06-14-2009, 09:20 AM
I think that seems a bit low too....unless the kids do not eat that much and you eat breakfast in the room and pack a lunch or something.

We just came back last week, there was a lot of people in the parks with huge coolers and insulated bags that brought there lunch...seems more and more people are doing that lately

chell
06-14-2009, 10:55 AM
Another way to save some money at CS is to order one large drink and share it.

I agree with RobinB that you can do it!

Disney-Kim
06-14-2009, 11:23 AM
I am not sure if it was mentioned but you should check out allears.net and look in the restaurant section...there are menus for every restaurant...and I would get an idea of what your family will order.

I really think $400 is really really low...even for counter service.

6 FULL days in the parks and even if you only eat 1 table service....here is the approx amt

coke $2.50
adult drink $6.00
appetizer/salad $6.00
entree average $25
dessert $6.00

that is at least $40 per person for a table service restaurant....and that is ordering chicken or pasta...not beef. JMHO...:confused3

do your homework and pick what restaurants you really want to eat at and budget for those.

We spent 6 FULL days at the parks and there are just 2 of us and we spent $750 for our trip on food. We ate a combo of TS/CS and ate whatever we wanted and had adult drinks with every dinner. We did pretty well...but that was for 2 of us...I am not sure if we could have gotten anywhere near the $400 unless we at TS only....and they are not that cheap either.

just have a backup plan or increase yoru budget. and read the menus...it really really helps. :goodvibes

one of my best money saving tips is to buy bottled water and pop for the room and take them with you to the park. We would take 3 bottled waters every day in our back pack. this really helps. We ate donuts and chips in the room and didnt' eat out for breakfast but maybe twice the whole trip and that was at the food court...which is still $20.

OurDogCisco
06-14-2009, 12:07 PM
Okay... now that I know you have RFC gift certificate that makes a little more sense. So, does your $400 include your grocery bill? When I figure food budget for my trip it includes everything. So, your actual budget is $550 not $400 if you include RFC gc. I agree with Robin it can be done but it would be ordering minimal stuff. No sodas, desserts, appetizers, etc... My kids are always starving on vacation and they eat a lot more than they do at home with all our walking. In fact, on our next trip, I'm bringing the pedometer to find out how much we walk. Anyways... it can be done if you are prepared for no FUN food or drinks. And, since your kids really like sandwiches you can do that for several meals. When I order groceries I try to make sure it can be used over several different meals. For example, I got cream cheese (whipped) to be used on bagels for breakfast, on plain bagels with salami for sandwiches & to be used in eggs for egg scamble that can be eaten plain or on a bagel. This way I'm not buying a container of cream cheese to use once or twice. You'll have to report back on how your trip went...

chell
06-14-2009, 12:13 PM
OurDogCisco she said stocking their room was not included in the $400.

djm99
06-14-2009, 01:19 PM
$400 just doesn't seem realistic to me. That's all I'm taking with me, but we added dining to our package. In 2007 I budgeted in $80 a day for my family and we only did Counter service meals, ate breakfast in our rooms, and ordered groceries from Garden Grocer. I would say $400 would be okay (but pushing it) for a weekend maybe.