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Old 07-28-2012, 08:09 PM   #1
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Is Nearby Dining as Expensive?

Disney restaurants are extremely expensive, and I see that next year the dining plan goes up again. Are the restaurants off-property but close by as expensive? $35.00/person or more for a buffet is a lot.
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Old 07-28-2012, 08:15 PM   #2
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I don't know how close you mean but restaurants on I-drive are SO much cheaper than on-site, I would expect the restaurants just outside the WDW property are as good a value too.

You're in Disney, everything from the room rates, ticket prices and food are hugely inflated.
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Old 07-28-2012, 08:22 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mom2six View Post
Are the restaurants off-property but close by as expensive?
They aren't, however most of the ones really close to WDW are either fast food or chain restaurants. Which, let's face it, means they're on par with most of the WDW restaurants in terms of the food, just much cheaper. OTOH, if you want a really nice place, like Citricos, it'll be a bit of a drive.
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:34 AM   #4
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We eat breakfast at Perkins right on 535 just outside of Hotel Blvd. It's a really good breakfast and not overpriced

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Old 07-31-2012, 09:11 PM   #5
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We stay in the Formosa Gardens area off 192 and there are plenty of the big name franchise/chain restaurants to choose from with the same pricing you get at home. You'll find the same in the Lake Buena Vista area.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:45 PM   #6
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The offsite restaurants have normal prices, the same as you'd find at home. Yes, there are a lot of chains, which we're not fans of, but at least you know what to expect and can get a decent meal for a decent price. There are also some places that are chains but may be unfamiliar to you. Our favorite by far is Sweet Tomatoes. I think the buffet is $10/person and we always leave stuffed and happy. There is one at Crossroads, one on I-Drive and I think a new one on 192.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:18 PM   #7
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We, too, are eating off site this year, opting out of the Dining Plan. Always found we ate too much and lost alot of park time in the restaurants.
When eating off site last year, my wife and I often shared meals at lunch and dinner, as portions are generally large. You can definitely save money eating outside of Disney, esp if you are not big breakfast eaters. Take a visit to Target and stock up on snacks/juices/etc. to reduce spending at the parks. Many great restaurants within a 10 minute drive from Disney (esp. Bahama Breeze, Sweet Tomatoes, Chevy's, Houlihans) offer online discounts if you sign up with them ahead of time. Most restaurants are $10-$20/entree and have their menus online. Find other ways to trim the budget by: sharing/skipping appetizers, sharing a pop (free refills) and water, no alcohol (buy bevies at Target and drink at the resort), share/skip dessert at restaurants, make meals at your resort if you have a kitchen. Don't get me wrong, we will still spoil ourselves and eat at a Disney restaurant that we absolutely love.

Enjoy and hope this helps!

2008 - off site (Summer Bay Resort)
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Last edited by brooklindaddy; 08-01-2012 at 11:26 PM. Reason: add on a few extra details
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:31 AM   #8
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Keep in mind aside from Lake Buena Vista and I-Drive where everything is catered to tourists (and with prices to match) there is "Restaurant Row" which is Sand Lake Road in Dr. Phillips. It's a more residential area, but still very close to Disney and I-Drive. There's a variety of restaurants there with some being more high-end and others more budget friendly. Here's a link to Urbanspoon reviews for the area.
Restaurant Row - Urbanspoon
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