View Full Version : $40/day food discussion

06-16-2011, 04:03 PM
I just listened to the DISboards show today where they discussed the $40/day thread. I think the crew was a little harsh on the topic. Yes, a peanut butter cupcake is not breakfast in our opinion either, but I didn't see anything wrong with most of the other things mentioned.

After each of our trips, I always total up our food spending and post it in my trip report. We consistently average about $20/person/day for all food during our trip. Granted, we do stay offsite, eat breakfast in our condo and eat some other meals offsite, so we aren't always paying Disney prices, but I have no doubt that even if we were on site 24/7, we could manage to eat fine for $40/day (double what we currently spend). For families that either want or need to trim costs in order to make their trip a reality, it is certainly doable.

06-16-2011, 04:47 PM
The other day, we were going to DTD and there was a family having a picnic out by the road.

They were under a shade tree and had a blanket and a cooler and while it wasnt the most picturesque spot in the world, it looked inviting and reminded me of the way I grew up.

I remember a cold day that my family visited Universal Studios. We had packed lunch and soft drinks in a cooler and left the park to sit between our minivan and another car to stay out of the wind.

There is nothing wrong with cutting costs. There is nothing wrong with tracking your spending.

My issue with this was that someone was proposing that they ate for under $40 per day and considered a cupcake breakfast.

That would be akin to saying I had lunch for under $3.00. I bought a bag of chips and got a glass of ice water for lunch.

It's true, but it's not really lunch.

06-16-2011, 04:53 PM
Isnt a cupcake really just like a muffin? I often will have a muffin for breakfast and I think a lot of people just grab something light for breakfast.

06-16-2011, 04:58 PM
I agree about the cupcake or muffin for breakfast. That isn't a meal. I also agree with Julie that some of the things mentioned just wouldn't be enough to satisfy many people. Maybe I misread the crew's tone, and if so I apologize, but it sounded like you were all kind of dismissive of the concept. Sorry if I misinterpreted.

06-16-2011, 05:03 PM
Isnt a cupcake really just like a muffin? I often will have a muffin for breakfast and I think a lot of people just grab something light for breakfast.

Ha ha....I totally used this as a FB status once. I'd just eaten a delicious chocolate chip muffin for breakfast and wrote:

"When does it stop being a muffin and become a cupcake?"

The consensus was when there's frosting involved. :laughing:

06-16-2011, 05:06 PM
For me personally, I could easily do $40 a day for food at WDW. I am not much of a foodie though. Yes, I enjoy a good meal, but other things at WDW are more of a priority for me over dining. I'm pretty much just as happy having lunch on the patio at Casey's or at Earl of Sandwhich as I am at eating at Crystal Palace or Prime Time Cafe. So $40 is totally doable for me. My sister on the other hand would eat TS for every meal if she could. She's kinda weird about food...it's more of an experience for her and she'd never be able to manage on $40 a day...well, without complaining about it the whole time that is. :laughing:

On a side note...when I was a kid, we always packed a lunch in a cooler when we went to Geauga Lake Amusement Park. At the time you could leave your cooler on a picnic table and no one would bother it. We'd all meet at our table at a certain time and have lunch. Ham sandwhiches, potato salad, watermelon....Yum! I never thought a thing about it. At least Disney still allows you to bring food and drinks into the park. When we went to Kings Island last year you weren't even allowed to bring in a bottle of water!

06-16-2011, 05:37 PM
Isnt a cupcake really just like a muffin?

"When does it stop being a muffin and become a cupcake?"

I'm reminded of the classic Bill Cosby routine about chocolate cake for breakfast.


06-16-2011, 06:23 PM
When I was growing up, we lived about 20 miles from Disneyland. So we would go there *at least* once a year, some times more frequently. But there were 9 of us. Mom & Dad were pretty frugal (plus we kept kosher). Back then, they actually had a picnic area just outside the front gates of Disneyland. Nothing fancy, but it was enclosed by fences & greenery, and nicely shaded. There were lockers where you could leave your lunches, and then we'd come back out at lunch time, chow down, then head back into the parks. Worked pretty well for us. I don't know that we'd've managed to go there as often if my folks would have had to buy us all food in the park.


06-16-2011, 09:30 PM
My problem didn't lie with the cupcake for breakfast. It was the oatmeal! :crazy2: I just cannot eat oatmeal...it was my punishment as a child for back talking. Bleh. :sick:

06-16-2011, 09:41 PM
Last December on on my fifth day, I was getting a very slow start to the day. I got to Hollywood Studios around 10:30. Got a Red Velvet Cupcake at Starring Roles. (Rolls?) Ate while waiting for Beauty and the Beast to start.

Yes, I had a cupcake for breakfast!

Several hours later, I had a very surprisingly good salad for lunch at Backlot Express (the place near Indiana Jones).

Sometimes, you gotta be flexible!

06-16-2011, 09:47 PM
I think it was a great experiment. Oh any yes I would eat a cupcake for breakfast, but I've also been know to eat ice cream for breakfast. It's milk right??
The $40 a day thing wouldn't be for me though. We don't do a ton the rest of the year so vacation I go all out. We pretty much always purchase the dxdp so we can eat at place like Narcoosees and get lobster or eat our weight in sushi at Cali grill.
However, John did make a good point that the dining plan does seem like a bargain now.
Unless you are light eaters, I think it would be alot of work to do Disney on $40 a day.

06-16-2011, 09:51 PM
I think it was a great experiment. Oh any yes I would eat a cupcake for breakfast, but I've also been know to eat ice cream for breakfast. It's milk right??


The cupcake had peanut butter...They just swapped toast out for cake. Seems like a fair trade. :confused3

06-16-2011, 11:51 PM
My problem didn't lie with the cupcake for breakfast. It was the oatmeal! :crazy2: I just cannot eat oatmeal...it was my punishment as a child for back talking. Bleh. :sick:Now, see, I would totally do the oatmeal. I just don't have time at home to ever make oatmeal, so to go out for breakfast, and have a really great bowl of oatmeal is a big treat for me!


06-17-2011, 10:06 AM
Well... for me personally (on my own) at Disney... here is a sample day.

$5-6 for Brekky (Resteraunt near my hotel instead of hotels yuck brekfast... damn good resteraunt though, and cheap! Only about $4 for the meal and $1 for drink, the meal is 2 eggs, 2 meat items, and 2 darn good pancakes. Basically my buffet choices on a plate.)

Food at a park...

$10 for a hotdog/chicken nuggets and drink meal if I can find them (VERY picky eater. hate complex foods with sauces. Bring on a good hotdog and fries any day.)
Or just a couple of $ for a portion of fries and a sweet snack.

Drinks: $10 for drinks all day. (I prefer Soda to free water.)


$10-15ish at a same resteraunt I had breakfast at (they do the best fried chicken ever.)

Which is about $40, depending on how much I drink. That is just for me. The fact I eat simple food helps, I wouldn't eat most of the $20 meals if you paid me. (I know, I am very picky.)

If I ate at the hotel breakfast (ok-ish, but I get spoiled at the resteraunt I visit, being English :)) and drink only Ice water or less soda, or bring drinks in, I could easily get that down to 30 or even 20 dollars.

06-17-2011, 10:54 AM
I've been thinking about this topic as well. We are a family that could literally have a milk + donut for the little one and coffee + muffin for the adults. Add a side of fruit and we'd be all set! Breakfast for us at home never includes meat or eggs, so something small would be considered a meal for us.

I'm not sure if it's been pointed out, but the Disney dining plan doesn't include breakfast either. The plan was discussed on the podcast as being able to get you more "real" meals, but it only covers 1 CS meal, 1 TS meal, and 1 snack. So unless you wanted to skimp on lunch, you wouldn't get a full breakfast included in the dining plan price. The cost is $45.99-47.99 for adults depending on season. So even at more than $40 a day you don't get 3 real meals.

I thought it was a really interesting thread, though, so I'm glad it was discussed!

06-17-2011, 07:06 PM
As I said, we always average right around $20/person/day for all food, snacks and drinks. We stay offsite so DDP isn't an option, but even if we stayed onsite, no way would we spend $46/person for the plan, more than double what we general spend on food.

We're quite happy with juice and cereal with milk for breakfast.
Lunch will be counter service in the parks or hotels
Dinner will be either another counter service, an offsite casual table service like Olive Garden or Chinese food, an offsite buffet like Sweet Tomatoes (our favorite place) or occasionally a meal prepared in our condo/house.

Unlike most amusement parks, Disney has excellent counter service options with food that rivals that of many sit down restaurants but at a fraction of the price. At places like Sunshine Season Food Court in Epcot or Artist's Palette at Saratoga Springs or Wolfgang Puck Express at DTD, you can get a very good meal for about $10/person.

Claudia Kellenberger
06-18-2011, 01:13 AM
If you and your kids only have a cupcake or a muffin for breakfast at WDW, you and your family will be hot, cranky, and very tired, within just a couple of hours. Who would want that?!?

My Mom is now in her 80's, and now she thinks a good hot breakfast is a Pop Tart and coffee. :confused3 I get together with my Mom on Saturdays for shopping and dinner. Sometimes while shopping at one of our discount stores she starts feeling disoriented, faint, and shaky. These are the days she only had sweets for breakfast. I keep trying to tell her about proteins for breakfast - meaning an egg with a small piece of meat.
It really DOES make a difference in how she feels.

Now ... a lot of people underestimate just how much walking exercise you will get walking around a place as huge as WDW. You will NEED a lot more than just a sweet breakfast to get you through just a few hours of Disney World. You will need the proteins of eggs and some meat. I think peanut butter would be good too, but NOT in the form of peanut butter cup CANDY.

So I would advise, if you really want breakfast in a hurry at WDW, choose a place where you can get an egg, sausage, or ham, with cheese on a sandwich to go. Top it off with coffee / tea / or juice, and you will be good to go!

:yay: :banana: