Dining on a Budget! Help!

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by Heather Felker, May 8, 2018.

  1. Heather Felker

    Heather Felker Earning My Ears

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    This will be my first time to Disney as an adult, and would love some tips on the cheapest way to dine at Disney! We will be staying in a studio at AKV. Two adults, two kids. TIA!
     
  2. MaryLovesPoohBear

    MaryLovesPoohBear DIS Veteran

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    If you can, we pack breakfast. Nothing fancy, but something that we can munch on while we get ready for the day.

    We also carry snacks with us into the park. That way we aren't spending so much on food while we are there.
     
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  4. Heather Felker

    Heather Felker Earning My Ears

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    Thanks for the tip!
     
  5. kymom99

    kymom99 DIS Veteran

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    Will you have a car? Your roomshould gave a microwave so some simple groceries could save you a fortune.
     
  6. Heather Felker

    Heather Felker Earning My Ears

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    We will not have a car...
     
  7. Louie7080

    Louie7080 Mouseketeer

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    We eat one Disney meal a day, might be a sit down or might be counter service and my daughter usually get a Mickey bar or other snack sold by Disney, I myself forgo the snacks because I don't really like them much and try to eat healthy even when on vacation. I bring in the other food we eat and that includes hard boiled eggs, fresh fruit, dried fruit, cold cuts, cheese, nuts or nut bars, chips, gatorade.... I go to more extremes than most maybe to save on food so I carry a lot around with me while in the parks and get groceries either by a rental or uber/lyft. If we eat at a buffet I try to schedule it so that we will be on the very hungry side. Some say that this isn't a way to vacation, but we all have different budgets and priorities. I don't have a big budget and visiting the parks is a high priority.
     
  8. Heather Felker

    Heather Felker Earning My Ears

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    That was helpful, thanks!
     
  9. kymom99

    kymom99 DIS Veteran

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    These are good ideas. These days its fairly easy to get food delivered to your room or to get a ride to a grocery. You shouldn't feel deprived if you plan one special meal a day. To me, counter service is special. Doesn't have to be table service. Get what you really want for that meal and enjoy it. Get some foods for the room for breakfast. To me it is much easier to just eat something simple while getting ready in the morning. Saves time and money. Take along a mid morning snack and eat a later lunch in the parks. Then maybe head back to the room for an afternoon break and eat something simple there as your dinner. Use your microwave to cook up something. Maybe buy a snack later at the parks or at Disney springs. You could budget for a nice dinner at a sit down restaurant, but personally, we can enjoy our trip just as much by skipping those. Just depends on how you feel about it. You can look at the menus on allears to get an idea about prices.
     
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  10. happily single

    happily single Left foot first!

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    Always, always, always bring water/drinks into the park. I’ve used Garden Grocer and Amazon Now. There are also other delivery services. I like allears.net for menus/pricing to help me plan
     
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  11. QueenIsabella

    QueenIsabella DIS Veteran

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    If you're going in the summer--freeze your water bottles if possible. This works best if you freeze a couple inches of water in the bottom overnight, then top off with water in the morning.

    I also bring snacks with me, even if it's not a super budget trip. Inevitably, one of my four kids gets hungry while we're standing in line. A package or two of peanut butter crackers is great to tide us over until the next planned meal/snack. You could also use dry cereal, granola bars, or trail mix. Believe me--hungry, cranky kids are no bargain!
     
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  12. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    No need to bring water in with you. You can get filtered ice water for free at any QS place anywhere in WDW. It's a wonderful perk.
     
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  13. Antaniasmom

    Antaniasmom DISNEY FANATIC !!!

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    I thought about foregoing packing waters next time we go..however, having the convenience of being ANYWHERE in the park and being able to reach in your bag for a cold drink instead of having to stop what you're doing and search, is priceless! I'll just keep bringing large backpack w/ collapsible cooler, works like a charm for us.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2018
  14. Marionnette

    Marionnette Children see magic because they look for it

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    There are lockers at the front of each park. You can rent one for a fee. The CMs will not store your cooler for you.
     
  15. Jen0630

    Jen0630 Earning My Ears

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    We do character dining for breakfast vs. dinner to save a little money. Speaking of which - we haven't done Chef Micky yet. Wondering if breakfast or brunch is better?
     
  16. Antaniasmom

    Antaniasmom DISNEY FANATIC !!!

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    That was my mistake about cooler storage. Watched a bunch of youtube videos, I think maybe it was purchases that they would store for you. My bad
     
  17. kymom99

    kymom99 DIS Veteran

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    Yes and it's a long hike up to the front of the park to get those things. And coolers must be a certain size with no wheels. As hot as it gets, water won't stay cold very long, cooler or not. Cs water is very convenient.
     
  18. kymom99

    kymom99 DIS Veteran

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    Make a reservation for late morning. Go to the park and ride some rides while it's still cooler and relatively less crowded. Then take the monorail over to chef mickeys for a late breakfast/early lunch.
     
  19. Marionnette

    Marionnette Children see magic because they look for it

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    It's often faster to walk over to the CR from the MK. No pushing a stroller up the monorail ramp. No waiting for the monorail to arrive. No getting stuck between stations. It only takes about 10 minutes from park exit to CR entrance to walk.
     
  20. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    Yep, exactly. That's why we use a very large soft sided cooler bag and stick it in an umbrella stroller. We park it somewhere in stroller parking near where we plan to eat and leave it there. That way we don't have to hike back to the front of the park. We then grab QS water and we're all set. Easy peasy.
     
  21. Antaniasmom

    Antaniasmom DISNEY FANATIC !!!

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    Actually if you're brave like us, I have a large backpack and i put a velcroed lunch bag inside that fits 2 of those bottle grooved ice packs stacked. You can keep at least 6 bottles of water cold almost all day that way. I have done this 3 times in late June, works like a charm ☺ it's a little heavy but as day goes by its not bad...plus little more of a workout
     

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