Eating on a budget..is this realistic?

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by cttjones, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. cttjones

    cttjones Mouseketeer

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    Ok so we are planning a budget Disney trip for 8 people. 5 adults (one is 12) and 3 kids. We are NOT doing dining plan, mostly because of cost. We would still like to be able to eat some sit down meals, but will be going counter service a lot. I will be bringing water in, and we will probably get snacks when we go back to the hotel mid-day. We will be eating breakfast in our rooms before we leave each day. I have a few thoughts so far, tell me what you think.

    $115 Beaches and Cream + Counter Service$ 60 (HOTEL)= $175 at Epcot
    $150 Prime Time + Toy Story Pizza Planet $80= $230 Hollywood Studios
    $150 Trails End (all you can eat) + $60 McDonaldÂ’s = $210 Magic Kingdom

    I have not completed all the meal ideas yet, so any lesser expensive places you can think of would be great. I am TRYING to keep my budget to $1200 for 6 days for all 8 of us.
     
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  3. Belle4mygrl

    Belle4mygrl DIS Veteran

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    So far it looks like me you would spend the same amount on DP plus you get a snack.

    Drink alot of water-no cokes or bring Crystal Lite or Koolaid single packs to make drinks. Share double burger meals to cut cost.

    **ETA** OOPS I did not see the THREE kids. I think all counter services are around the same price for burgers, chicken meals. We went to DW last Thanksgiving and did not do the DP. We ended up spending $1200 on food for 6 days no snacks. Brought ours from home. We should have done the DP.
     
  4. DisneyCrazyX5

    DisneyCrazyX5 <font color=red>Do you know any cats?<br><font col

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    I would check out the Quick service DP (2 quick service meals a day, a snack and a refillable mug) and then add one nice sit down meal (like Prime time)
     
  5. mom2aredhead

    mom2aredhead DIS Veteran

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    If you're going next year, have you looked into the quick service dining plan?

    It's 2 CS meals, 2 snacks and a refillable mug. We found it pretty easy to use snacks for breakfast (muffin, yogurt, cereal, fruit), then you could grab a CS lunch and CS dinner. Or a few days use the CS for breakfast and lunch, then do a sit-down dinner.
    When we were at the resort, we'd get the drinks that came with the CS meal, but save them to drink later in the parks, and use our refillable mugs whenever possible. Ditto for the desserts that came with the meals - we saved them to have as snacks (if they were packaged in a way that we could) and I don't think we paid for one drink or snack OOP the whole trip (not counting "adult beverages ;) )
    It's $30 per adult, but only $9 for kids. May be worth looking into...
     
  6. dalt01

    dalt01 DIS Veteran

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    the amounts you listed wont hold up. trust me. and you will find yourself hovering over people saying dont get this or that, or you must order the least expensive platter or no dessert. we are annual visitors and believe me you will be better off with the DDP. be careful about the QSDP as it will eliminate your sit downs completely.
     
  7. Pumbaa_

    Pumbaa_ >Hakuna Matata!< Moderator

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    Where are you staying? Good food court options?

    For Trails End, are you doing breakfast lunch or dinner? (I only ask because the lunch option changed, it is no longer hot, it is salad bar, sandwich fisins, soup and chili - no ribs or chicken :()

    For CS, even though it is not listed, you can order without french fries. You can also order a double burger and buy an extra bun.

    Lunches are usually less than dinners too

    Have fun planning, you can stay under budget!!
     
  8. dalt01

    dalt01 DIS Veteran

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    sorry, but if i had to resort to breaking down a burger i would just stay home because........wow...........
     
  9. mom2aredhead

    mom2aredhead DIS Veteran

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    Unless they plan to do only a few TS either way, then they would just pay OOP for them.
    I've done trips with and without the DDP and I have to say that by the end of the week, there are a few TS meals that I'd just as soon skip to spend more time in the parks except that I've already paid for them as part of DDP. I would probably save the same amount of $$ buying the QS plan and paying OOP for the 3 TS meals we really enjoyed as I would buying the regular DDP, eating TS just because it's pre-paid, and not using 3 or 4 of our snack and CS entitlements which is what ends up happening every single time. But that's my family, we're 3 people - 2A, 1C. If I had 3 teenagers to feed, I'd probably feel differently.
    The ONLY time I think it has worked really well for us is the last trip because it was during the Food and Wine Festival, so we snacked around the festival and ate a few more CS meals than normal to try some of the different things offered.
    Somewhere around here was a spreadsheet where you could pop in the number of people, the price of what you assumed each one would order, and it calculated for you whether DDP, DxDDP, or OOP would be the best option. I don't know if it included the QS plan or not.
    You could definitely give yourself a headache trying to figure it all out. :headache:
     
  10. SGMCO

    SGMCO Vintage Style is Sweet--Rumbleseat Fashions

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    Before the DP we used to pay OOP for meals and eat mostly CS (this gets old fast) we would spend at least $100.00 per day for 3 persons.
    Add in one sit down meal and that would be another $100.00 added to that day.
    Food is expensive at WDW and can add up real quick.
    DP is worth it because you know how much things will actually cost without any hidden expenses
    Plus being on the dining plan you can choose anything you want to eat on a menu instead
    of trying to find the cheapest thing, which I find to be relaxing and enjoyable.
     
  11. dalt01

    dalt01 DIS Veteran

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    you hit the nail right on the head, no reaching in your pocket at the end of the day and wondering where it all went and then trying to make it up the next day.
     
  12. *pixie*dust*

    *pixie*dust* DIS Veteran

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    I think you have underestimated the cost for 8 at the TS restaurants. I agree with others that the dining plan may work for your group.
     
  13. Pumbaa_

    Pumbaa_ >Hakuna Matata!< Moderator

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    sometimes people need budget tips and this is one. Glad that you are not in a position where you are trying to do a budget trip, but many are. Nothing wrong with it :confused3
     
  14. Tricia1972

    Tricia1972 <font color=green>I love late night snacks<br><fon Moderator

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    We were a party of 7 (5 Adults, 1 Child, 1 Infant) at Disney for 8 days in March 2008. We easily stayed under your budgetd $1,200 without the DDP. We didn't skimp either. For TS we ate at Jiko (most had the fillet, I had chicken because I couldn't eat beef), LeCellier (mostly fillet - chicken for me), Beaches and Cream and Crystal Palace.

    For CS we ate only what we were hungry for and we're a good group to share things. (For example we ordered more than what we could eat at Pecos Bill's - four adult meals one child - total $46 with tax)

    I think that you can do well without the DDP, and can be well under your budgeted $1,200 - without feeling deprived. I know we didn't feel deprived.
     
  15. dalt01

    dalt01 DIS Veteran

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    Pumbaa, i think what i was trying to say was if i was sitting at home figuring up my trip and to make it work i had to split up double cheeseburgers to make sure we got enough to eat then i probobly have no business going in the first place. i am not saying these folks are in that situation but anyone who is needs to rethink their plans.
     
  16. Kevenswife2

    Kevenswife2 <font color=blue>Much easier for me to say, "NO!"<

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    Also, don't forget to add tips to your sitdown totals. I think they atuomatically add an 18% gratuity onto a group of 8 or more. Even with the dining plan you still have to add gratuity.

    *If you're not on the dining plan you still pay the 18% gratuity BUT you can split meals. (You can split meals on the dining plan too, but it's a hassle and you have to watch ending up with a lot of unused credits at the end of your vacation. That's wasted money!)

    My group:Me, DH, and DD10 (A Disney Adult). I personally don't think the dining plan is that great when you have a child that's considered an adult because she's 10. She eats like a kid and would much rather have had the kid's menu instead of the adult menu. We threw away so much food because it was just too much for her to eat. I don't know about your 12 year old but you might run into this too.

    I've been looking into the Quick Service plan for our upcoming trip and don't find it to be a big savings. In fact, it would cost us more per day than out of pocket. 2 QS meals= $20 + 2 snacks=$8. That's $28, the plan is $29.99. (Of course, some days would be higher and some lower) You do get a refillable mug, but it just doesn't work out for us. And again, DD10 would rather eat a $5 kids meal than the adult items.

    You might want to go to allearsnet.com and check out the dining section. There's menus and prices to give you an idea as to what it'll cost you to eat at different places. Then you can see if the dining plans will help you or not.

    Another cost saver we do is split meals. Some adult meals are enough for DD10 and me. And some kids meals are enough for me. At $5.00 you can't beat that (drink included). I pay that for a kids meal at McDonalds!

    Being a stay at home mother (with a Disney obsession) I have to make every trip a budget trip. But I'd much rather split a cheese-burger at Disney than eat a whole meal at my local McDonalds!
     
  17. caroline1851

    caroline1851 DIS Veteran

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    I think you should consider the ddp. It would cost you $1320 (that includes tax, which you would have to pay if you were paying oop) plus it includes a snack per day per person. Snacks (and drinks) can really add up when they're $3-$4 each often.

    We were on the ddp, but i was shocked at how much the tab was if we weren't. Our family was just dh, me, ds6 and dd2 (who shared with ds most of the time or ate free at a buffet). For example, we had dinner at Maya Grill and the tab was $100-that was just for 2 adults and 1 kid.

    I had checked out all the menus in advance, but things just start to add up so fast, it's just so much more expensive than expected. Plus, what's nice about the ddp (especially if you're on a budget) is that you don't stress about whether you're ordering the most expensive item on the menu or the cheapest.

    Also, I found it was so nice to have an adr each day. It was great to know that we had a nice place to sit down, relax and enjoy service and a great meal. I found the lines for CS were super long and then you have to hunt for a seat, etc

    Go with the ddp! so worth it!!!
     
  18. Pumbaa_

    Pumbaa_ >Hakuna Matata!< Moderator

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    Exactly!:thumbsup2
     
  19. sharadoc

    sharadoc Visit WDW since '86, driving since '94.

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    Hi. We plan to eat on a budget on a 10 day trip, too. We're trying to determine DDP vs. out of pocket. We know we want character meals, and the rest will be CS. If you wanted to stick with strictly CS, then you'd be fine without the plan, but as soon as you start adding in some table services, you are really stuck.

    Take the time to honestly go through the CS menus and add up a hypothetical meal for each day. I know there are things like 1/2 chicken meals that we plan to split, but generally I think each CS is going to cost $8 per person OOP.

    Anyway, good luck. I didn't help a bit, but I'm trying to pass along my planning process.:goodvibes
     
  20. caroline1851

    caroline1851 DIS Veteran

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    I thought before i went also that a typcial cs meal for my family of 4 (dd2, ds6, me and dh) would be around $30-35. It just always turned out to be SOOOOOO much more. It seemed every cs we had was around $45-50 (except the really horrible ABC commissary). Maybe because dessert (which oftne we took with us and never ended up eating) was included in the ddp....that makes a difference, i'm sure. Beverages were so much more expensive than i expected.

    Overall, the food was just SO MUCH more expensive than expected. We got $800 worth of food for $604 that the meal plan cost.
     
  21. cttjones

    cttjones Mouseketeer

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    I was hoping that we could stay around $200 per day by trying to eat creatively on some meals. This truely is a BUDGET trip b/c DH and I are paying for the trip. My Sister and kids would not be able to go if we didn't pay, and since it will be their first time I was really hoping to work in a few table service meals. Ugh!

    Ok so I am repricing with DP again and checking on the counter service meal plan as well.
     

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