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Old 01-31-2013, 12:31 PM   #1
OurLittleFamily
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Less expensive dinner options

Any suggestions for your favorite less expensive dinner options?

We just got back from a week long trip and want to try to cut down our food budget a little for the next two trips. We will be going for a week in January 2014 and a week in October 2014. We will not be on a dining plan. It will be DH, myself and DD (who will be 2, turning 3 during our October trip. We will likely do a character meal or two for her birthday trip)

We're not big foodies and don't need to try all the hot spot restuarants, but would like a few decent sit down dinners. I'm sure we'll try Tutto Italia or Via Napoli one night. We're going to have cereal in our room for breakfast and PBJ, etc for most lunches (with some lunches in the parks) We've been to Disney and I've looked over lots of menus so I know general price points but just looking for some recommendations for lower priced options.

Any dinner suggestions at parks, resorts, or Downtown Disney area? Any places where you don't need reservations? We have no problem making them if we have to, but we also like to just go with the flow of the day, especially since we'll be traveling with other families, and not worry about being somewhere at a specific time.

While we're familiar with Disney, we're not big on dining so I don't know all the ins and outs, tips and tricks associated with dining at Disney so any help is appreciated!

Last edited by OurLittleFamily; 01-31-2013 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:41 PM   #2
suffieldhockeymom
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The buffets are free for kids under 3. We made out like bandits eating at them when my kids were younger. We would eat a late lunch and skip dinner most days. Chefs de France is fun and inexpensive. If you time it right you get a visit from Chef Remy during lunch. We also like the Prime Time Cafe at DHS.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:42 PM   #3
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Cheaper options:

MK: The Plaza

DTD: Earl of Sandwich (this is QS, not TS)

HS: Blah! Skip it.

Epcot: Bakery in France. Delish and HUGE sandwiches, decadent pastries, at a reasonable price!
You can find prices for everything here: wdwinfo

In epcot you might consider Chefs/France, its fairly inexpensive. As well as Via Napoli. Pizza's are amazing!

As for going to restaurants without ADRs, Jan generally isnt a crazy month crowd-wise. All I can tell you is, once you know where you want to eat, you have the option of either a) walking up. OR b) at the beginning of the day (or days before) ask either concierge at your resort OR guest services at the park to book a restaurant for you. They can search and book whatever you like.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:50 PM   #4
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Rose and CRown in Epcot is cheaper, as is Yak and Yeti (TS) at AK. THe resort hotels are also priced lower, in general ,than the in park restaurants (with the exception of the biggies..."Ohana, Chef Mickey's , etc.)
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:50 PM   #5
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MK: The Plaza is a great less expensive option.
Epcot: I love Kringla Bakery in Norway, the sandwiches are great, I also like the French Bakery. Both are quick service though.
HS- Sci Fi isn't that expensive if you do lunch. It has good burgers.
AK- Tusker House is a bit expensive (all of the character meals are). It is a good one to splurge on.

We don't get the dining plan anymore. One tip I have is eat lunch or breakfast as you sit down meal rather than dinner and do a cheper dinner. It is much less expensive that way. It is what we do. We might go to Via Napoli for lunch and then have quick service dinner or pizza back at the hotel. We also always do at least one character breakfast.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:15 PM   #6
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MK: The Plaza is a great option

Epcot: Splitting a pizza is delicious and affordable

HS: The portions at 50s Prime Time are huge. The Sampling can definitely feed two adults for lunch.

AK: We love Yak and Yeti
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:21 PM   #7
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Doing a buffet will be good, since your DD will be free. Do a late lunch buffet. I think the last time for lunch is around 2:15 pm. This way you can play the lunch price and it will keep you full for longer into the night. Aslo like some said DTD Earl of Sandwich is great! Great sandwiches at a great price.


We are taking my DS this year and he will be 2.5. We have booked a few buffets since this is gonna be a big money saver for us. He can eat alot when he wants to. I know that we wont be doing them for awhile after he turns 3. I just cant pay that kind of money for him not to eat that much.

Hope this helps!
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:25 PM   #8
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I haven't eaten there myself, but I've heard that Trail's End at Fort Wilderness is a good deal with tasty food. It runs under $30 per adult and under $15 per child... pretty cheap as far as the Disney buffets go!
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:50 PM   #9
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You didn't say, I don't believe, whether you will have a car. If you will have a car, then having a few meals off-property gives you a lot of options and can save some money, even at sit-down restaurants.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:05 PM   #10
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We enjoyed Boatwrights at POR. It's less expensive than most TS and the food was tasty. There's a link in my signature that has a review if you are interested.
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:16 PM   #11
OurLittleFamily
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Thanks for all of the suggestions. This is a great starting point. The buffets always look pricey on paper but I do suppose it's a good deal if our DD can eat free!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JanB View Post
You didn't say, I don't believe, whether you will have a car. If you will have a car, then having a few meals off-property gives you a lot of options and can save some money, even at sit-down restaurants.
No, we won't have a car so going too far isn't the best option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tndisneyfan View Post
We enjoyed Boatwrights at POR. It's less expensive than most TS and the food was tasty. There's a link in my signature that has a review if you are interested.
This is great to know! We are staying at POR so that's convenient. We stayed there this last trip as well but didn't try it, so maybe we will next time.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:09 PM   #12
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1. Wolf gang Puck express in DTD. It is a must for us when we are there. the portions are huge, so you can spilt or share with the little one.

2. Via Napoli in EPCOT ( pizza to split and a salad is all you need).

3. Liberty Tavern or Plaza in MK.

4. If you want to try a resort TS, like Kona, Captain's Grille, Wave or GF Cafe try having a big late lunch. Then bring snacks or PB & J with you to snack on later.

5.HS- I would leave for dinner or try 50's prime time which is not overboard in price (but hey it is disney so more then what you would expect$) and it is a great family fun atmosphere.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tndisneyfan View Post
We enjoyed Boatwrights at POR. It's less expensive than most TS and the food was tasty. There's a link in my signature that has a review if you are interested.
While Boatwrights food was good. DS got the beef tenderloin and had to go into the lounge for nachos after. Lol Granted he subbed for fries and the mac n cheese would have been more filling. But something like $28 for 2, 1/2 dollar size pieces of beef is not inexpensive. OTOH DH got the prime rib and it was a decent size for the price. Desserts were just OK. We stay at Riverside a lot. But Boatwrights is not one of our favs.
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:08 AM   #14
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One tip I read about in preparation for our first trip with children in 2007 was to do the breakfast buffets, but take the last reservation of the morning, usually around 11:00. The price is cheaper and you can really fill up for the rest of the day. Our kids love Chef Mickey's and 1900 Park Fare.

The resort food courts are also a nice option. I hear Art of Animation has a great one. We enjoyed Port Orleans French Quarter. The Dolphin as an interesting buffeteria concept with lots of good choices.

But as far as a table service dinner, you will pay a premium.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:40 AM   #15
missycj96
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We like resort cs - for ex there is chicken, ribs and pot roast cs at pofq. Walking by the sassagoula and through the resort after dinner is nice. Also the contempo cafe at contemporary has good salads plus hot sandwiches. Another favorite is the take out window at fort wilderness - take the boat there. We had fried chicken . I think its called the giddyap and go. Once your there try the wagon ride
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