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View Full Version : How much do you typically spend in 1 day at Disney?


lovin'Mickey
03-31-2005, 07:56 AM
Last year I budgeted $300 a day, this year my hubby thinks this is a crazy amount. He wants to only budget $200 per day.... i think this is impossiable! I have a 7,6, and 2 1/2 year old. We are staying on site and will be eating out for every meal except breakfast in the hotel room. Any great tips on saving to help me fall into this budget? Our hotel is already paid for so this is just for food and spending money.

CMKN
03-31-2005, 08:11 AM
lovin'Mickey - what type of appetite does your family have? With my girls and I, we like to have a big breakfast, skip lunch and have a snack (churros, turkey legs, mickey bars, etc), and then most of the time do a buffet dinner. We can usually get away with $100 for food (excluding breakfast) and snacks for a family of three (me32, dd13, and dd9). You have younger children, who of course will need to eat more so one suggestion would be to "split" double hamburgers with the extra bun.

As far as souvies are concerned, my girls "earn" their spending monies throught out the year with chores and grades, and you would be amazed how frugal they become when it's their money and not mine so that is not a problem for us!

newholidayx2
03-31-2005, 12:43 PM
after going through our meal budget Im planning on $90 on average for DS13 & myself - anything extra will go to next days envelope - this should be enough for shopping too

CEDmom
03-31-2005, 01:18 PM
$300 seems like a lot of money for lunch and dinner along with a few souvenirs. I don't think it would be too hard to scale that back. First off I'd set a limit up front for your older kids to spend on souvenirs - maybe $50. Once it's gone that's it. We've done this with our 5 yo and she's becoming a very discriminating shopper because of it. Then I'd probably go for later sitdown lunches and throw in a morning snack and light dinner. That would definitely keep down costs and give everyone a mid-day break. Also if your older kids aren't big eaters I'd order 1 kids meal for them to split - you can always order more if they're still hungry. Even the kids meals at WDW are huge.

happybratpack
03-31-2005, 01:53 PM
The days we don't have PS meals planned we spend about $60 a day...but we usually share at least one meal and snack during the day. This is counter service at the parks/resorts. We're always surprised how much less we eat than we planned, after the last trip we came back with 12 Q&C Vouchers we didn't use.

califred
03-31-2005, 02:27 PM
If you think you'll spend that much on food you shoulld consider the dining plan 35/day for adults and 11 or so for kids and the meals can be used by anyone in the party

SnowyPrincesses:)
03-31-2005, 07:39 PM
I would remember that meal sharing is allowed. In regards to your husband... if you can afford to budget $300.00 a day I say go ahead. There are lots of ways to save money on food and things while you are there. Then you will have overbudgeted and its easy to say... 'Well, you know honey we actually saved $***.** that we figured we'd have spent so now we can------ (you fill in the blank here but a suggestion is another Disney vacation sooner than you would have planned.) But that's just my logic LOL :rotfl:

MrsPete
03-31-2005, 07:45 PM
We budget $120 per day for our family of four, and often we don't spend it all.

powellrj
03-31-2005, 11:08 PM
we budget $150 a day and we are HUGE eaters and usually have teenagers with us!

chrisn
04-01-2005, 10:52 AM
3 adults (DD-17) and one child (DS-7). I budget $200 per day. We always do one sitdown, one counter service then usually BF in the condo. It is more than enough for food, snacks and suviniers and my kids get a lot of suviniers! $200 can easily be done. I agree with your DH.

Soupermom
04-01-2005, 11:08 AM
My family of 4 (DH, DD10, DS7 and DM) did just fine with a budget of $60/day last June. We ate breakfast in the hotel room and then shared meals/snacks. Some days we spent less. This was enough for lunch, dinners and snacks. My kids had $40 each to spend the whole week on souvies. I think they each bought two things the end of the week. Man, for $300/day I'd be staying at the WL! No way we'd eat that much food, spend that much ($300)on merchandise in one day!!!!

lovin'Mickey
04-01-2005, 11:11 AM
Do they charge you extra to have your kids share meals?

EsmeraldaX
04-01-2005, 11:37 AM
For two adults, we spend probably $100 combined for food, souveniers on average. Usually way less than that on most days; occasionally we go over. $100 would be if we had 3 full meals.

eeyore0062
04-01-2005, 11:41 AM
Not counting the room, we usually budget about $150 per day. Whatever isn't spent is carried over to the next day. By the end, we usually have enough for that great dinner we want to splurge on, or that "must have" souvenier. This budget has always worked, and we usually have money left over. Our family consists of DH, DD (10) and me.

Soupermom
04-01-2005, 11:47 AM
As far as kids sharing meals, I can't speak for every restaurant as we usually ate counter service...but, we had no problem sharing adult/kid meals. Usually two adult meals would feed the four of us, or one adult and two kids meals. Depends where you eat. AK had a great "meal deal" offer at several places where you basically get a free drink and snack later in the day. Not sure if they still have this or not. We did bring a few water/gatorade bottles in at the start of the day, but it was REALLY hot when we went. WE drank lots. If we went when it was cooler I'm guessing we'd spend less on water, more on food! :goodvibes

Princess Glenda
04-01-2005, 11:51 AM
Our family of 4 budgets $150 a day for meals, snacks, and souvenirs. You should easily be able to stick to a $200 a day budget. Have a great time planning and GOING!!

Mom to Will and Finn
04-03-2005, 05:16 PM
If you eat breakfast in your room and if you eat only counter service with few snacks, I'd say you could eat on about $75 a day, possibly even less. We went in October 03 and I was scared about the cost of food and was determined to eat only counter service, thinking it really didn't matter as long as it was edible. It actually (except for Pizza Planet) was way better than just being edible. We enjoyed all our counter service meals. If you'd like sit down restaurant service, it would be considerably more.

Souvenirs are what always get us, but even being liberal, I'd say we spend maybe $75 a day and most likely not that much at all.

I think $300 a day is a lot of money to budget for per day. If you have it and want fine dining experiences, then I say go ahead and budget that much, but if it will put a big, uncomfortable dent in your savings/living expenses/etc, then you can do it for way less.

crazelion
04-03-2005, 05:43 PM
300.00 dollars would cover me and mom food budget for the week. But we eat breakfeast and dinner.
We take snacks with us.

I say cut down to 100.00 a day for a family of four.

sskem96
04-03-2005, 07:28 PM
We are budgeting $100/day for food for the 4 of us. We are eating b-fast in the room, so just buying milk from the food ct. We have a PS for CRT one day, but $30 of that was pd. at the time of the reservation, so it won't cost too much. The only other PS we have is for the Fantasmic dinner package at Hollywood and Vine, which will be about $80 with tax and tip. We might end up doing a couple more character meals toward the end of our trip if we're ahead on the budget.

emmalgin
04-03-2005, 07:39 PM
This argument (or post) goes around and around. Disney is not cheap and when on vacation we want to eat well. WDW is particularly expensive for anything that is not counter service or fast food.

What can you eat in a cramped room for breakfast that does not have you hungry later? Does no one drink? All teatotallers on this board?

Stay offsite where breakfast is included or you have a full kitchen and you can keep prices down. Take lunch to the park and splurge on dinner.

Mom to Will and Finn
04-03-2005, 07:45 PM
This argument (or post) goes around and around. Disney is not cheap and when on vacation we want to eat well. WDW is particularly expensive for anything that is not counter service or fast food.

What can you eat in a cramped room for breakfast that does not have you hungry later? Does no one drink? All teatotallers on this board?

Stay offsite where breakfast is included or you have a full kitchen and you can keep prices down. Take lunch to the park and splurge on dinner.

We have bagels and cream cheese, cereal, poptarts, fruit, etc in our room and we're never hungry until lunch time.

We do drink alcohol on occassion, but it's easy to pass it by. I don't think I had one drink last time we went. Dh may have had a beer, but I don't think so. For us, it's not important or especially enjoyable. Like I said, though, we do splurge on souvenirs.

I absolutely do not recommend staying off site. We kept prices down just fine staying on site. In fact, we spent a lot less than we thought we would. We're not used to eating out a lot, so even (most of) the counter service meals were a treat for us.

jadejazzkayla
04-03-2005, 08:20 PM
$135. a day for 2 adults, 1 teenager and 1 8yr old. snacks, lunch, dinner and spending money. 5 days this past november. we didn't have a "budget". that is just what we spent.

Forevryoung
04-03-2005, 11:12 PM
I was budgeting $250 for the week (cash) and then I have a cc which I dont mind using for a bigger souvenier. Then again, I wont be paying for breakfast and most dinners. Should I increase that to $300 to be safe?

calie_j
04-04-2005, 08:22 AM
I went over our food budget and our daily budget for food including tax & tip is $190. Some days are less (low of 149), some are more (high of 247). We plan to eat good since this is a trip in a lifetime. That would leave us $70 for souveniers on a 200/day budget. We have a family of 4 with a 14yr old we have to pay adult price for at buffets/character meals. I could do it alot cheaper then this if I needed to. We don't need alot of souveniers so I'll probably just do a weekly budget of $100/person and keep that out of the daily budget.

Calie :goodvibes

amwhitaker
04-04-2005, 12:35 PM
The easiest way to evaluate how much you might spend is to go and look at the menus (http://www.wdwig.com./din/dining.htm) at the All Ears website and get an idea of the dollar amount on meals.

tracy51
04-04-2005, 01:28 PM
Our trip will be for 8 days and right now I have a bit over $800 as our food budget (2 adults & 11 yr old). The first and last days are travel days so its not really 8 full days we need to eat on-site. I put our souvenirs in a separate budget - along with snacks. That right now is about $500 for the trip but this is the 'flexible' area of the budget. We can do less sovenirs & snacks or do more depending on how much extra money we save.

As someone pointed out, it really depends on how you want to eat while you're there? Do you consider dining as a big part of your vacation experience? Or do you just want to get some food in you? For us, eating some place nice every day is not our priority. For others it might be. It's time consuming but the best thing to do is spend some time looking at the menus on allearsnet.com. Figure out roughly how many sit down meals you want to do and how many counter service meals. This will also give you an idea of what PS's you need to make. Once you get an idea what the menus are like and the price ranges you'll have a better idea what you'll typically spend eating. I also budget a bit over for every meal to be safe.

laura001
04-04-2005, 01:38 PM
We are a family of 5 and budget $200.00/ day and eat our breakfast in the room, bring some snacks with us and our water for the day. We always eat one big sit down meal, the other meal being counter service or perhaps pizza in our room later etc. Budgeting this way always leaves us enough to do one night at hoop dee doo or the like which for 5 runs us almost 300...
Hope this helps
:flower: :cool1: :flower:

emmalgin
04-05-2005, 02:25 PM
does no one drink or go out (ie. Pleasure Island)? Our park days 2 weeks ago (March 21, 23) included breakfast at our timeshare and I made subs and brought drinks. At the park we bought some ice cream.

I also think Disney frowns on food in the room (why do you think there are no fridges) and yes bringing to park as I did. Know people do bring but that is not what I posted.

Offsite dinners were cheap as we had brother & sister in-law and their younger kids. But we made margarita's and drinks at our timeshare. However if I wasn't such a cheapskate and we did any character meals or something like Hoop-de-doo (don't get me started) at $50/person the price skyrockets.

Food & sometimes drink (why are All Inclusives so popular) to me is a huge part of the vacation experience. Particularly bad sweet tooth.

laura001
04-05-2005, 03:40 PM
Some of the rooms do have a fridge. We are staying in POR and we will have a fridge in our room. We bring our own drinks and or alcohol drinks, but that doesn't mean that we don't still buy some in the parks or have a glass of wine etc with dinner. Usually my hubby and I go out one night for dinner by ourselves and then to Pleasure Island...just be careful (speaking from experience) not to have too many marguerita's and the shooters that they sell on the the street! Pleasure Island is a blast!
Oh, one more thing....Hoop dee doo is expensive but was definately one of the highlights of our last trip and we hope we can do it again in a couple of weeks when we go.

EthansMom
04-05-2005, 04:10 PM
does no one drink or go out (ie. Pleasure Island)? Our park days 2 weeks ago (March 21, 23) included breakfast at our timeshare and I made subs and brought drinks. At the park we bought some ice cream.

I also think Disney frowns on food in the room (why do you think there are no fridges) and yes bringing to park as I did. Know people do bring but that is not what I posted.

Offsite dinners were cheap as we had brother & sister in-law and their younger kids. But we made margarita's and drinks at our timeshare. However if I wasn't such a cheapskate and we did any character meals or something like Hoop-de-doo (don't get me started) at $50/person the price skyrockets.

Food & sometimes drink (why are All Inclusives so popular) to me is a huge part of the vacation experience. Particularly bad sweet tooth.


We love to eat and drink at WDW. We eat a nice breakfast at the hotel or pick up something from Main Street Bakery, usually have a decent sit-down lunch, and will do character meals for a couple of dinners. Using the 20% discount from DDE, we'll run about $125 per day for two adults and one child (plus the baby who just eats off our plates), including the occasional snack.

$125/day includes the occasional beer for DH, dessert (usually we share a large dessert), etc. We don't eat breakfast in the room, but we do make DH his Starbucks coffee every morning and do have Soy milk for the kids. WDW moderates do include coffeemakers and refridgerators now.

We've stayed offsite and eaten offsite. It would take us longer to drive to/from an off-site restaurant than it was worth. Some people are off-site folks and some are on-site folks. We're on-site folks.

Regarding the OP's original question, in addition to the $125/day to feed 2 adults and one child, I also budget $100/adult and $50/child for souvenirs (usually 1 t-shirt/sweatshirt per person and 1 toy per child).