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Old 10-06-2012, 07:49 PM   #16

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Share meals. We find the portions to be big. For the 5 of us, we can easily share 3 CSs and still have leftovers. Some serve bigger portions than others though. Flame Tree BBQ, Cosmic Rays, and Yak and Yeti all serve huge portions.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:51 PM   #17
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we are planning to get our own snacks, water bottles and the crystal light/mio flavorings. If you can get to a grocery store Publix has a bunch of BOGOs every week that usually involve all kinds of snacks.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:56 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by bigbabyblues View Post
We sometimes split counter service meals. The chicken and rib combo with mashed potatoes and green beans at Cosmic Ray's comes to mind, just too much food for me. There are other meals we have shared, but nothing comes to mind.

This meal really is delicious but keep in mind that for its price of $14.19 you are able to buy 2 separate meals for a couple of dollars more.

You can also order a meal without fries and save I think about $2
Ice water is free at all cs locations
A large pizza at your resort is only 13.99 and more than enough for 2 people (8 slices)
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:56 AM   #19
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You didn't say how long you were staying so this might not apply, but this is what we do. After checking in, we take the MK bus to MK, but then take the ferry to the TTC. We catch the Lynx bus #56 (2.00$) to the Publix grocery store at Xentury city, across the street from Walgreens, about a 15 minute ride, and stock up on bacon, eggs, bread, beans, weiniers, buns, produce, and whatever we think we will need. A $2.00 ride back to TTC , ferry and bus back to our resort. We cook in the microwave in the food court. My rule is only 1 meal a day in the restaurants.
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:03 AM   #20
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Pack a sandwich maker. You can make everything from omelette and French toast to sandwiches and dessert.
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:24 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Marionnette View Post
Toasting your bagels means that you have to head over to the food court to make breakfast. Either eat the bagels cold or choose a different breakfast.

If by "free water", you mean water from the drinking fountains, then bringing Crystal Light of any "to go" mix in is a good idea. I wouldn't waste time standing in line at a CS place just to get a cup of free ice water when I only had a day or two to spend in the parks.

Splitting meals works sometimes but it really depends on who is splitting the meal with whom. It's better to know that any combo meal can also be ordered a la carte. So if you want an extra side of cole slaw or french fries, just order those instead of buying an entire combo meal to get enough to eat.

Kids' meals aren't just for kids. If you have a small appetite and like what's on the kiddie menu at a CS location, just order it. At TS locations, ask if they have adult portions of the kids' menu items if that appeals to you.

Keep a couple of energy bars or protein bars in your backpack or purse to tide you over between meals. It's healthier than most of the snacks and also cheaper.

The CS meals at the resorts are usually better and cheaper than they are in the parks. You will get more for your dollar there.

Best CS for the money (IMO):
Tangierine Cafe and Sunshine Seasons in Epcot
Flame Tree BBQ in AK
Columbia Harbour House in MK
Nothing in HS, although one could argue that Starring Rolls does pretty good breakfast pastries.
Actually, I found that the kid's turkey sandwich meal at Rosie's was a perfect meal for me. It included french fries (or carrots), applesauce (or a cookie)and a soda (or a small bottle of water, milk or an apple juice box). It was plenty of food for $5.99 which was cheaper than a single sandwich from the adult menu. It was also healthier.

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Old 10-07-2012, 03:03 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by bianca View Post
Pack a sandwich maker. You can make everything from omelette and French toast to sandwiches and dessert.
Technically you are not allowed to bring appliances from home and use them in your room. I don't know if anyone has ever done so and gotten in trouble for it, but technically it is a no-no. Disney does have microwaves and toasters in the food courts that guests are free to use.

We usually do quick breakfasts in the room. Love that all resorts have fridges now! Cereal, bagels, granola bars, cold pop tarts all work. The trip we stayed in a Family Suite we could do microwave bacon too. We also share meals. Always start out buying less than you think you need. Three of us could easily share 2 servings of chicken nuggets. And maybe we are weird, but we have no problem sharing drinks either.
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Old 10-07-2012, 03:49 PM   #23
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We like to eat breakfast in our room, cereal, poptart, breakfast bar, doughnut etc., Peanuts, packs of peanut butter or cheese crakers, & variety of cereal bars are easy to carry into parks for lunch or snacks. We ususally take a bottled water with us, too. Then enjoy dinner somewhere in the parks or venture outside and eat a nice dinner outside disney. Eating in your room, taking your snacks inside the parks, eating counterservice meals inside park, and eating outside Disney can save alot. I personally would rather eat light for breakfast and lunch and then eat a nice dinner somewhere. We are not use to three big meals at home anyways.
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:00 PM   #24
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we bring cereal, granola bars, and oatmeal packets and eat breakfast in the room. it not only saves money, but is a great way to get an early start and beat the crowd. if we drive we bring fruit, too, and freeze a jug of milk, use it to keep the cooler cold, and by the time we get there it is defrosted. I also bring peanut butter, jelly, bread and lunch bags = we make sandwhiches to eat when we are hungry so when we get our one restaurant meal per day we can do it at an off time and avoid crowds. We also bring candy bars, nothing stops the cranckies like a snickers!
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:54 PM   #25
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Another good budget idea is if you are going to eat a meal in a sit down restaurant, is to make it a lunch meal. Sometimes if we are going to spend the whole day in the park, we will each lunch at like 2-2:30 and make that the big meal of the day. The lunch prices are a litter cheaper than dinner and if we are hungry later we can just get a snack or Mickey Bar treat! (or something like that) Or you can bring your snacks too.
I also find with things like popcorn my DH and I will just get one and we are usually satisfied. ( I would rather have to buy a 2nd one if we are still hungry, than buy two up front and not finish)
The Sunshine food court in the Land in Epcot is great.. sometimes you can get sides of things like Pasta salad.. sometimes that is more than enough.
At downtown Disney we also like Wolfgang Pucks (the one near the Christmas store).. the meals are great and really reasonable. the flat breads are great and can be shared.
Hope this helps!
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:58 PM   #26
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If you are going to be in the Downtown Disney area in the evening you may want to check out Bongo's. They have a walk up window where you can order empenadas. My DH and I have had many nice meals there. We order our empenadas and sit nearby and watch the crowds go by.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:38 AM   #27
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You can buy a complete loaf of bread at the food court. It isn't listed on the boards. You have to ask the server where they sell bacon and eggs. She will ask if you want white or wheat. I found it cost about 15 cents more than at Publix, so it's a pretty good deal.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:42 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by DisGeebs View Post
Another good budget idea is if you are going to eat a meal in a sit down restaurant, is to make it a lunch meal.
This used to be true but it isn't the case in all restaurants now. I blame the dining plan for the change. Just check the menus on allears.net to see which ones have different menus and pricing for lunch and dinner. Sometimes, you're better off eating at dinner time so that you're not walking around a steaming theme park with a full stomach or avoiding the thrill rides because you literally don't want to lose your lunch!
Opinions, suggestions and comments are based on my own experience and should not be regarded as the absolute and only possible outcome of any situation.
Your mileage may (and probably will) vary.

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Old 10-08-2012, 04:44 PM   #29
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You can also buy an "extra bun" at some (?most , ?all) counter service locations. It's typically listed on a button right on the register. For example, we got a chicken nugget meal with sides at Cosmic Rays in MK, but turned it into 2 chicken sandwiches. At that location, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. are available at a condiments bar. As previously stated, you can also order without the sides, but we do like to split those.

Another nice choice is the "plain" rice at Asian counter service locations (have done in AK, as well as several locations in Epcot). Again, a button on the register, but not listed on the menu. We like plain rice as much or more than the other flavored varieties. If you buy one "meal" (such as Sweet and Sour chicken, or whatever), and then buy a side of white/plain rice, it easily serves 2, and is a lower fat choice.

Sharing entrees can not only save money - it allows for trying sides and additional dishes. We have a family of 4, and like to get 2-3 different entrees, and whatever number of a variety of sides to have enough for everyone. We get to try more things this way.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:15 PM   #30
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Others have already chimed in, but I'll add my .02 cents just so you can see how much you can save by bringing or buying your own food.

Our total cost for food during our most recent 8-day visit was $263.00 for 2 adults.

We brought items like nuts, granola bars, and licorice with us that are cheap at Costco, but expensive at regular stores.

We had Wegoshop deliver the rest of our groceries. If we had our own car (or a rental) we would have shopped at Walmart or Publix.

Our meals consisted of:
Breakfast: Bagels and cream cheese. Coffee or soft drinks with our refillable mugs (price included in total).

Lunch and snacks: Brought into the parks in our backpacks. Water with powdered drink mix, pb&j sandwiches, goldfish crackers, cookies, granola bars, nuts and dried fruit.

Dinner: We ate in our room. We have a hot pot that we bring, so we were able to have soup or pasta with dinner rolls. Dessert was cookies or chips and dip.

We did buy a few snacks in the parks, I got one Dole Whip and my husband got lefse a couple of times. The cost for these is also included in the amount listed above.

We always bring things we know we'll crave and enjoy eating, so bringing our own food never feels like much of a sacrifice.

Also, you mentioned that you are only planning on 2 park days? If you do 3 or more, the extra days are very cheap. Be sure to check into other ticket options that will only cost a few dollars more, but give you more time in the parks.
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