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LegoMom3
08-31-2004, 06:05 PM
We are taking our first trip with our 3 boys in a few weeks (!!!!!). While we will only be at WDW for 3 days, that amounts to almost 9 meals (x 5 people!). We are renting a fridge for our room at All-Star Movies and plan to have breakfast there before heading out to the parks. Lunch will likely be in the parks, unless we head back for an afternoon rest, and dinner is a toss-up. We are only looking at food-court/counter service type places (absolutely no $$ in the budget for sit-down or character meals).
I am wondering how you WDW w/kids 'vets' have handled your food budget? Any and all ideas welcome!::yes::

Thanks,
Maria

mad4themouse
08-31-2004, 06:16 PM
Make lunch your big meal of the day, eaten in the park. Then when you return to your room in the evening, make sandwiches and cup-of-soup, using the coffeemaker to heat the water. Add some carrot sticks, a few cookies & a glass of milk and you should be okay for dinner.

Amirah95
08-31-2004, 07:01 PM
I agree with Mad4...make your biggest meal lunch. We even do this and we stay offsite with a kitchen. It saves money and who wants to cook after a long day anyway. :)

LMC
08-31-2004, 07:22 PM
I would recommend eating a nice lunch in the parks at counter service as well. It is just too hard, especially w/ kids, to leave the park and then return. Especially when WDW has cut their operating hours back due to the season. Take in some drinks and snacks in a small soft sided cooler to have late in the afternoon to hold everyone over for dinner after you get back to the resort after park closing. If you leave at closing, it could take a while to catch the transportation with the droves of people, so plan on about 1 hour for your return to your resort at closing time.

LegoMom3
08-31-2004, 07:50 PM
Thanks for the thoughts on the time to get back to the resort after closing!...Would never have thought to bring a snack for that trek! But it's a great idea (for me too!!:tongue: )

I know WDW "official" stance is no outside food in the parks, but I've also heard that people do it all the time. Do they pretty much let that one slide? I would hope so, esp. if it's just drinks and snacks for the little ones.

LMC
08-31-2004, 09:20 PM
There was a discussion on whether or not you can bring food in a couple of weeks ago (well one discussion). I have taken drinks and some type of food in on EVERY trip to WDW. We use a backpack/cooler combination so they are not very big. the top is used for dry goods and the cooler on bottom is used for our drinks and sandwiches (yes! they will let you in w/ sandwiches) or snacks. The first couple of trips we went VERY thrifty but have learned to enjoy our entire trip and now we eat out more often. We usually go in value season, which means shorter park hours, so we now, usually eat b'fast before we go in the park, counter service lunch, and carry snacks and drinks. Then we do dinner in our camper when we get back; yes, we have the luxury of having a kitchen with us! If you have young ones in strollers, then you can put your stuff in the stroller or on top of the canopy if it is a rental stroller.

2minnies
08-31-2004, 09:28 PM
Don't forget the servings are usually very large and you can share meals between kids or even adults.

LMC
08-31-2004, 09:53 PM
I have never noticed large servings, of course we usually eat at Peco's Bills and DD and I split a meal but the guys eat one each. At MGM, pizza planet gives you a ton of food; I bought 4 pizza meals when we went and had to throw away two pizzas!!!:eek: That about killed me! But I didn't have any ziplocs!:p

sconnell
09-01-2004, 10:21 AM
At Peco's Bills we (DH a big eater, myself, and DD) get a Double Burger Meal, extra bun, two drinks and a kids meal. LegoMom3, if you didn't already know the extra bun trick, I know it sounds weird, but you just get two hamburgers that way! You do pay for the bun and what is the difference in splitting a burger and not getting the extra bun? It really does work and the CM kinda smiles when you order, "like hum, somebody did their homework." I load up on "fixin's" and we always have more than enough fries.
Here are some tips that I have picked up. HTH!
DO make lunch your biggest meal.
DON'T wait until you are starving to eat, you will over order, and probably end up waiting in a longer line.
DO take a few snacks and sippy cups or sports bottles. (Ordering a large drink is only a few cents more and the rest can be poured into bottles for easier carrying or splitting drinks.)
DON'T load down with snacks. You will want some of the snacks that WDW offers. That is part of the fun!
DO remember to have fun and let loose a little with the money (not too much or it won't be worth it.)
Have fun! How old are your boys?

tink2dw
09-01-2004, 11:46 AM
The rented WDW resort friges are tiny!! I don't think you could get a gallon of milk in one. Might want to rethink the $10. aday and invest in a plug in ice chest from walmart.

LegoMom3
09-01-2004, 12:00 PM
Boys all have birthdays coming up soon this fall, and will be 8, 5 and 3. Even the 3 yr. old likes watching our vacation planner DVD and seeing all the sights. "Can we ride that?!" he exclaims as he points to the tv!! And he is old/tall enough to do all in MK except the "mountains."

Back to snacks: the bun idea is great! Guess the CMs are used to it! I've heard from many sources to pack ziploc bags and extra bottles. And yes we will most certainly get some park snacks as well! ;)

On the fridge: is it smaller than your standard hotel room/dorm fridge (the little square ones with a tiny ice box area)? We only need to put some small things in there (cheese, sm. jelly jar, maybe a quart of milk, etc.), and will only be at WDW for 3 days.

LMC
09-01-2004, 12:16 PM
My kids are about the same age! (9,6,3) 3 yo loves the video too!
He has not been to wdw w/ us since he was a baby (made a few trips w/o him!) but I am so looking forward to taking them back in January; he will be 4 then and I know he will have an absolute blast. Won't be able to ride alot because he is only about 37" tall but we will still make it fun. We don't stay at WDW resorts because we stay at FW (fort wilderness); is the ice free at the resorts? We have to pay about $2 per bag at FW. If you have free ice, then I would just take a hard sided cooler and keep it loaded with ice. Think about it, those who go primitave camping have to keep food cold on ice, so if you keep it loaded everything should be ok and not spoil.