How do you save money on food, while at WDW?

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by tcherjen, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. tcherjen

    tcherjen DIS Veteran

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    Thinking about staying for a week, maybe less. I figured it was going to cost about $15 ppp, per meal. So around 1400 for the week.
     
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  3. Legendteri

    Legendteri Mouseketeer

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    We brought in a lot of our own food. Every night we packed our cooler with drinks, snacks and lunches for the kids. We still bought snacks in the parks, but the snacks were special one of a kind items and not soda or french fries.
     
  4. disbound09

    disbound09 Mouseketeer DVC Gold

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    We always stay at DCV because you can eat breakfast break for lunch and splurge and prebook our dining options. Throw in a few counter service so it not always headed back to room We even had our food delivered to our room. Total cost was close to renting a hotel room and much more room for boys to relax.
     
  5. maiapapaya

    maiapapaya Totally DIS-tracted!

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    Unfortunately that $15 pp probably won't cover any TS (other than for kids). DH and I often share our CS meals. We find they are usually more than enough food for one person. We share drinks too.

    We have also brought breakfast type foods to eat in the room, eg. granola bars, cereal, drink boxes, etc.
     
  6. tcherjen

    tcherjen DIS Veteran

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    When we go to the beach over the summer, I have snacks and meals for the room. Since POR does not have a microwave in the room I am guessing lots of eating out. I will defintely pack snacks for DD6 to eat in the park, she is picky.:thumbsup2
     
  7. KittyyKattyy

    KittyyKattyy **Mythical Beast**

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    We used the dining plan and bought rice krispie treats for breakfast. (Don't I have a wonderful Aunt :lmao:)
     
  8. tcherjen

    tcherjen DIS Veteran

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    No, that's per person, per meal. So I figured 3 meals a day, give or take. :) I am going to get so snacks for the room too. I like the idea of the granola bars and such.
     
  9. andyman8

    andyman8 DIS Veteran<br><a href="http://www.disboards.com/s

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    Here's how I allot money for meals:

    QS: $15 per person, per meal
    TS: $25 per person, per meal
    Buffet/Character Meal/Family-Style: $35 per person, per meal
    Signature: $55 per person, per meal

    These include an entree, tip, beverage, and a shared appetizer or dessert. Obviously, you can get the exact buffet, dinner shows, and pre-paid meal prices in advance from sites like allears.net. Don't forget the tip for those, though.
     
  10. Good Morning Dewdrop

    Good Morning Dewdrop Have Courage & Be Kind

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    ditto this PP

    If you have a car you can pick up snacks and breakfast type food to have in the room (that's what we do)

    We carry canned sodas or drink the free water from CS locations (there it's filtered and tastes pretty good - don't drink out of the water fountains - ick). Dh, DD (age 13 now) and myself always split 2 CS meals and it's plenty of food. So we average around $20 / meal (not per person) for lunch and dinner (we eat breakfast in the room). I budget $50 / day for food so we have some wiggle room in terms of actual meal cost and some $$ for snacks.
     
  11. Time Traveler

    Time Traveler the best around

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    If you have your own transportation, you'll definitely want to go to a nearby grocery store to pick up some snacks. Reusable water bottles and drink mixes are highly recommended.

    Another thing is watch where you eat; some places are much better deals than others. Two of my favorite places to eat at are Earl of Sandwich (at Downtown Disney) and Boulangerie P√Ętisserie (at EPCOT). They both serve excellent food at very reasonable prices.
     
  12. Marionnette

    Marionnette <font color=deeppink>Wishing On A Star<br><font co

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    You will probably be able to eat breakfast and lunch/dinner at CS location for $15/person or less. You will not be able to eat at a TS location for that amount. Between the meal, tax and tips, you're going to spend about double that amount per adult.
     
  13. MomofKatie

    MomofKatie Dairy World? Fairy World! OH, DARN IT!!

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    Eat breakfasts in your hotel room with food from home- Pop Tarts, granola bars, instant grits, etc.

    Share meals- portions at WDW can be quite large.

    Limit snacks to one per person per day (or less if not a big deal)- bring additional snacks into the parks with you.

    DON'T PAY $$$ FOR BOTTLED WATER!! This is a huge money waster. Every CS restaurant offers FREE large cups of ice water just for the asking. And it is nice filtered water- doesn't have that FL tap water smell/taste.

    If you have to have bottled water, bring your own into the parks.

    Try to eat at least a few meals off site- much less expensive than WDW.

    We mostly eat one big meal per day at a non-busy time (like 10-11am or 3-4pm), then supplement with snacks.

    After all those suggestions, however- don't make yourself feel like you are taking all the fun out of the vacation. Budget in some $$ to blow on Mickey bars, candy, cocktails, or whatever. If you feel like you are scrimping and sacrificing too much just to save a little $$, you will be unhappy.
     
  14. lroger01

    lroger01 Touring the parks one Mickey bar at a time!

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    When you do eat out, only buy enough food so everyone is satisfied. It might mean getting 3 meals for 4 people and serving them family style. The goal is to buy only enough food to feed everyone with no left overs. You can always buy more if needed or have a share-able snack (like popcorn) later. The main goal is to not through out food.

    If looking at prices will give you less of a vacation consider just getting the Quick Service Dining Plan. You can have it all paid for before you leave. It is so nice to look at the menu board and get what you WANT to eat and not just what is the cheapest. Even if it costs a little more than what you might have spent ala carte, not having to watch the food pennies makes for an easier vacation for everyone. I've heard of some people though that feel compelled to always order the most expensive thing to get their money's worth. If that's you, then I'd skip it.

    You can still do a character meal or two out of pocket if you want.
     
  15. GusGusGirl

    GusGusGirl Earning My Ears

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    We eat breakfast in the room, eat some meals off-site (we stay off-site), carry refillable water bottles into the parks, and share snacks. Splitting meals doesn't work well for us, but I'll sometimes buy a meal off the kids menu at CS locations.
     
  16. waldiddy

    waldiddy Mouseketeer

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    On one of our best trips ever to WDW, we stayed a week in a cheapo motel that was ~$26 a night, 1 mile from WDW. We had a cooler in our room for breakfast foods and coldcut meals which was our dinner. Our big meal of the day was a lunchtime table-service meal in the park. At the time, our kids were pretty small, and the prices then weren't nearly as high as now. For example, I think Chefs de France was $60 after the tip for the 4 of us (this was 2001).

    Like many others have suggested, we'd also bring in small snacks for during the day. The CS meals will also be plenty ... just one can sometimes feed two adults.

    That was a really magical trip, and thinking back on it makes me wish our kids were 5 years old again.
     
  17. katt789

    katt789 DIS Veteran

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    Bring in your own "breakfast" type foods, especially if you have a lot of lite morning eaters! I'll bring in say;
    -Clif/Luna or some form of protein/meal replacement bars, apples, even like, meal replacement shakes or something, some kind or carb, etc. Eat it in the hotel while you get ready and it saves both money and time!

    Lunches & dinners are a bit harder, you can bring in your food, sandwiches & such, but there's always the temptation of other Disney foods.

    My biggest suggestion is: sharing! Or try the kids meals. Portions are generally huge down there, and you can very easily split a QS meal between 2 people.
     
  18. Marionnette

    Marionnette <font color=deeppink>Wishing On A Star<br><font co

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    Just to add my money-saving ideas:
    • Eat 2 meals instead of 3 - a late breakfast and an early dinner.
    • Skip desserts.
    • Get a filtered water bottle instead of buying beverages
    • Do appetizers as an entree.
    • Forget the character meals if you want to save money on food.
    • Anything in a combo meal can ordered as a single item instead.
    If you have an AP, are a FL resident or own DVC, you can get the Tables in Wonderland card for dining discounts.
    If you have a Disney Visa, check the list of perks for dining discounts.
    Sometimes you can find Groupons or Restaurant.com offers for discount dining at the DtD and S/D restaurants.
     
  19. tcherjen

    tcherjen DIS Veteran

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    Can you order a kid's meal if you aren't a kid? We were going to do quick service meals, not into the table meals. Her request is that we eat at T-rex cafe. Thinking of ordering a sharing app there and going somewhere else for dinner. I couldn't believe it was $16 for a hamburger. :)
     
  20. Chellymouse

    Chellymouse DIS Veteran

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    Do NOT eat there! The food is horrible, the service is worse and it's so loud in that place that you can't hear your own family at your table! My DNephew begged to eat there and he was really disappointed! DH and I had a salad, a burger and 2 cokes and our bill (with our DVC discount) with tip was $50. Stay far, far away from there!

    OP: There are 2 grocery delivery services for WDW.....gardengrocer.com and wegoshop.com. We prefer garden grocer because we can pre-pay everything and we don't have to be present when they deliver. We purchase all of our drinks (water, soda, gatorade, ect) snacks and sometimes breakfast foods. Disney does allow you to bring a soft side cooler into the parks. Many people also order lunch meats, ect and eat their lunches in the parks as well. $15 per person is not going to get you much food.
     
  21. Time Traveler

    Time Traveler the best around

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    You may want to look into Sanaa; it's a restaurant at Kidani Village which offers views of *real* animals. The food is excellent and it's a bit more reasonably priced considering the quality of the food.
     

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