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Old 05-05-2013, 06:57 PM   #1
tinksgilrs251520
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Dinning and the Fort and parks

How many people actually leave the parks to come back and eat there site? Just wondering we are there for 14 nights and only doing 6 park days and was wondering if you guys leave the parks to come back and eat and then go back or do you eat lunch and dinner or do you stay in the parks to eat trying to cut back on dinning costs .... I always went during free dinning but doing something different this year looking for the best tips out there... this is my first time camping at the Fort.....
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:36 PM   #2
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This is what our family is hoping to do in Sept. I am planning to bring my bread maker and a crockpot for dinners. I thought snacks/sandwiches to bring into parks in case we don't feel like leaving for lunch. We love those parks, so hard to leave!

We have 3 table service meals planned for our 10 day trip: Ohana, Tusker House breakfast, and San Angel Inn. That way, we still get to feel like we are splurging a little and getting to eat out, without totally breaking the bank! We also like Trails End buffet at the Fort. We may cancel Ohana and do that one night.

So, to answer your question, I think it's a great idea. Just make sure to plan out your menu and shop accordingly. If you don't have a definite plan for what you're going to eat, it's really easy to give in and buy expensive counter service hamburgers when you're all tired out from the parks and don't know what to fix.
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:54 PM   #3
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We don't cook while we are at FW (my time off ), but there are many people who do enjoy grilling, etc. It's all a matter of what you would like to do. Unless you have a way to go get groceries it is better to bring as much with you as possible. There is a limited amount at the Meadows and Settlement and they are expensive.

If this is your first time at FW you will love it. It 'is' time consuming to leave parks to cook, then go back again. If I were planning a lunch, I think I would have lots of sandwich makings, but again you need to plan according to your families wants/needs.
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:22 AM   #4
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On our trip to the Fort we mixed it up. We usually ate lunch in the park and dinner at the camper. We would have probably done all the meals at the camper, but we had our 18 y/o niece with us and wanted her to experience some of the character dining.
Personally I like to cook. I bought a camper with an outdoor kitchen just for that purpose. Cooking your own meals is usually healthier (I'm a nurse) plus it can save loads on the expenses for trips. Some people, as NorthofMouse pointed out, like to not cook and leave that work to others while on vacation (which is the way my wife looks at it).
I believe on future trips we will mainly do our own cooking, allowing for one or two in park meals for the kids to meet and greet. We have agreed that should Disney offer free dining at a resort during a planned vacation we would probably opt out of FW and take the resort, depending on savings and seasonal events. Either way has its ups and downs, these are just some of my thoughts.

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Old 05-06-2013, 01:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinksgilrs251520 View Post
How many people actually leave the parks to come back and eat there site? Just wondering we are there for 14 nights and only doing 6 park days and was wondering if you guys leave the parks to come back and eat and then go back or do you eat lunch and dinner or do you stay in the parks to eat trying to cut back on dinning costs .... I always went during free dinning but doing something different this year looking for the best tips out there... this is my first time camping at the Fort.....
We do, but I also mix it up like Tiggerdad. I keep breakfast items, we usually grab something and eat that on our way to the parks (unless it is a non-park day and then we will often resort hop and do a 'brunch' after sleeping in or I will make the traditional good smelling breakfast that wakes the campground up...ahh, bacon!). We seldom eat dinner in a park unless it is a special occasion, but we will eat lunch in the park. Lunch is usually the time we look forward to a sit-down in a/c and relax a while and to be honest, I am not doing the dining plan so lunch is a more affordable way to eat at some of the table service places we like. I have found that the only time we eat lunch at the campground is if we go back early for a mid-day rest.

Our breaks are usually late afternoon, so that's when we come back for dinner, which I usually have cooking in the crockpot or at the least prepped in advance to make our work at camp easier (the day before we leave, I prep all my veggies, marinades, meats, soups, etc. and seal them in a vacuum sealed bag. I freeze a good portion of it all and our meals consist of how things defrost...fish, chicken, beef, usually in that order). Since we park hop, after dinner a lot of times we will go over to whichever park has EMH and usually get a treat of some kind, which I don't feel so guilty about because A. I am not spending money on 3 meals plus snacks, and B. I know that everyone had a healthy meal at camp.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:07 PM   #6
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This will be my first time to visit Disney World as a vegan, so I'm trying to figure out how I will manage eating while I'm there. I mention this because I much prefer eating what I prepare for myself and my family rather than eating at a restaurant or even take-out. It's not easy to find the kind of food that is best for me in most restaurants, and fast-food pretty much makes me sick.

So, I guess that means that I will have to plan on coming prepared to leave the parks to make a meal, and also to possibly take a soft-sided cooler to the parks for snacks. I actually enjoy the respite of being away from the hectic pace of the parks during the day, and the campground is a very peaceful place to relax and enjoy a meal with the family.

I think there is a thread somewhere here with recipes for the campground that others here enjoy. If not, check on Pinterest for some ideas for camping food.
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:45 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by sweet maxine
This will be my first time to visit Disney World as a vegan, so I'm trying to figure out how I will manage eating while I'm there. I mention this because I much prefer eating what I prepare for myself and my family rather than eating at a restaurant or even take-out. It's not easy to find the kind of food that is best for me in most restaurants, and fast-food pretty much makes me sick.

So, I guess that means that I will have to plan on coming prepared to leave the parks to make a meal, and also to possibly take a soft-sided cooler to the parks for snacks. I actually enjoy the respite of being away from the hectic pace of the parks during the day, and the campground is a very peaceful place to relax and enjoy a meal with the family.
You definitely know best what you can handle, but I find dining at Disney with special dietary needs to be amazing. I have been with my diabetic father and he was well taken care of food wise, as well as my milk allergic daughter. On the trip we took with my parents she was a milk allergic vegetarian, the chefs didn't even bat an eye at the challenge! We've also been when she had five food allergies. I feel like most of the restaurants at Disney World can handle almost anything, especially with advanced notice.

On that note, I can see how coming back can be an excellent respite from the crowds and heat in the parks!
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinksgilrs251520 View Post
How many people actually leave the parks to come back and eat there site? Just wondering we are there for 14 nights and only doing 6 park days and was wondering if you guys leave the parks to come back and eat and then go back or do you eat lunch and dinner or do you stay in the parks to eat trying to cut back on dinning costs .... I always went during free dinning but doing something different this year looking for the best tips out there... this is my first time camping at the Fort.....
tink,

I have a family of 5 and we normally pack a soft sided cooler for one meal in a park and rent a locker to stash it in. Sometimes we eat it for lunch and sometimes we eat if for dinner. The other meal is usually a counter service meal although last time at DHS we splurged on a table service.

You won't have five people - it sounds like it will just be two of you so it may not be that big a deal. The locker is $5-7 (can't remember) and the counter service meals (some of them) aren't bad. Conversely, only a few table service meals are worth it to me and then usually at lunch time.

We've never travelled back to the Fort for a meal then went back to a park. We usually go in the spring and it's not the way we tour. I've never been when the parks were open till, say, midnight or later. Then I might leave and come back at say 6pm.

We don't do annual passes and don't buy many multi-days on our passes (usually 2-3 days per trip) so our park days are precious and we try to maximize our time there. So it depends on how you plan to tour.

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Old 05-07-2013, 09:10 PM   #9
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We eat breakfast then go to the parks. We come back to the camper and eat around 2:00 in the afternoon. We have dogs that need to be walked. Relax a while and then go back for another shift. It does take about an hour travel time. I pre cooked some meals and froze them so they would cook quick. I had a cooler full of frozen meals.
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