I want to "over budget" on meals...can you help?


Mar 26, 2001
Hi...I have 3 growing boys (13, 10 and 4) plus myself and DH. I really want to "over budget" so I don't "stress" everytime the kids ask for a cold drink or snack. Plus, I want everyone to feel comfortable ordering what they want from the menus without feeling a "strict" budget. I would rather come home with a little extra then scrimping on food because I didn't budget enough. This being said, we are also not big eaters...especially in the heat. We are planning one nice meal (character or nice restaurant), 2 "small" counter service meals...and of course some snacks and plenty of cold drinks. Would you say $200 would be plenty? Any help you have would be great! :DThanks!
if you are saying $200 a day then I think that would be a good number...but not over budgeting..I would prob go up to $250 to be really comfortable on your money.
we budget $100 a day for 2 adults and we usually get lunch/dinner everyday with at least one sit down nice meal each day...plus snacks and waters..
good luck :D

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If you have an idea of the restaurants you are going to eat at check out the menus on Deb Will's site at www.wdwig.com The menus also have the cost of items. This may help you get a better idea of how much to budget for your family.
Have a great trip!
We also have a family of 5 (sons are 6, 13 and 17) and we budget $200 a day for food and souvenirs. Most days this includes one sit-down and one counter service meal plus snacks. Some days are more than that (we can easily drop $150 on a sit-down dinner), but some are less. We make many of our sit-down reservations for lunch -- at Teppanyaki, for instance, it is $40-$50 cheaper than dinner. We also eat breakfast in our room almost every day, take water bottles to the parks and carry a "starter" snack for each kid in our fanny packs every day.
Hi Goofy'sFriend,
When we went in 99, I budgeted $180.00 a day for my family of 4, Me, my husband, Son 14, and daughter 11. We went to a a character breakfast nearly everyday, and we enjoyed them alot. Alot of people say that they are to expensive and while they are expensive I found that it worked to our advantage, here is what we did. My Hubby was the first one ready to go, so while the rest of us were getting ready he would go to Captain Cooks (at the Poly) and grab 4 bagels and fill up our mugs. A quick and cheap someting to get our day going. We would go do Early Entry and then go to our character breakfast. I booked my PS for the latest seating possible (usually around 10:30) and it turned into a brunch, which means we did not eat a lunch. For us it worked out great. The kids would have an ice cream in the afternoon and then dinner around 5:30 or 6:00. For dinner we usually did a sit down, with the most expensive being at the Steakhouse in Japan.
I would think that $200 would be about right for you considering that your little one is only 4. If you want to overbudget I would add $50.00 a day. Hope this helps...and Enjoy your trip..DawnNJ


"Pooh Loves Honey and I Love Pooh"

April 75, June 80, October 86, July 99, Hoping to get back soon, maybe 2002!!!!
Thanks everyone! This is helping alot! DawnNJ, did you eat much at Capt. Hook's...besides the bagels? We are staying at the Polynesian too and wondering if this is a good place for some meals when we're too tired for other things. :)
Hi Goofy'sFriend,
No sorry I didn't really eat anything from Captain Cooks except the bagels. I was always in there refilling my mug though. My kids had hamburgers and fries though one day, they are not at home to ask how it was, but it looked ok. They have all kinds of food and snacks there. Sort of like a cafeteria. After 5 nights at the Poly we then went over to the BC for 6 nights and while the BC has Beaches and Cream, there was always a 15 minute wait there and it is not really like a convience snack and fast food place. Plus Captain Cooks is open 24 hours a day and Beaches and Cream closed at 11pm. We would get back from the parks sometimes later then that and your only choice was room service. Needless to say we missed Captain Cooks.
Here is a link for the menu at Captain Cooks, it shows what they cook there, but they have much more then that. Also he is a link for a website with restaurant reviews that I found most helpful in planning my trip.

Captain Cooks Menu

Disney resturant reviews


"Pooh Loves Honey and I Love Pooh"

April 75, June 80, October 86, July 99, Hoping to get back soon, maybe 2002!!!!
We were there in Feb. for 10 days and I budgeted
$150.00 a day for myself, DH and DS who is 13.

We came home with $20.00, talk about a close call!

We did eat a sit-down meal every night, a couple of character breakfasts, and generally a counter lunch...such as Beaches and Cream. Don't underestimate the cost of counter lunches they ran $30-$60 too, By the time you get your meal, drinks and ice cream etc.

Plus we were always thirsty.

Capt'n Cooks - we ate the pizza, chicken fingers, salads and burgers there quite often and everything was very tasty.
The refillable mugs are well worth the money, even if you just refill in the morning, and during the evening.

The suggestion of looking at the menu's on Deb Wills site will give you more of an idea of what you will spend.

This is the most we ever spent on food on our yearly visit. We did try a lot of new, delicious restaurants!

Have fun!

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For our crew of four Myself, DW, DS 14, DD 11 we plan 2 sit down meals a day at $20.00 per person and another $40.00 a day for snacks.

Soda was $2.50 as was ice cream. So for use each snack was $10.00.

So our budget is $200. per day.

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This might help, one of the best deals we found was the snack bar at Poly, even if not staying there, it has AC, cable-disney, and unlimited refills, and was like real quiet, great place to recharge your batteries, also if you stay onsite, we find the Pizza Delivery to be the deal, order
Dominos or PH and go swim til he comes,I have not stayed onsite at Disney so I'm assuming they deliver there..
I have done the math and with a family, I definately think concierge might be worth it, depending on the difference in price. You do not indicate your room rate. However, with concierge it includes a fridge in the room -- so there is $10 right there. It includes a good continental breakfast every morning -- So I figured that is $30 right there, minimum. Then they include lots of the "extras" bottled waters and juices. Evening service has lots of food that sometimes can take the place of the meal. WIne in the poly concierge was the same they had in O'Hana for $7.75 a glass! Free at the concierge. So with a big family like yours, if you do the numbers, concierge might more than pay for itself. Then you just budget for lunch and only a few nice dinners.
O.K. now I'm worried....we are leaving in 9 days and I budgeted $150.00 for food for the six of us. The kids are 3,5,7,9. We have never been to wdw. We are planning a cereal breakfast in the a.m....we have PS each day for lunch about 11a....and counter service for dinner. How much do I need to up my bidget to? I figured the kids would be eating kids meals....am I way off?
No matter where you eat in DW most of the kids meals are around $5.00, including drinks. My DD ALWAYS ordered chicken fingers(thought she would turn into one after a week!) at every sit down resturant. So times 4 kids...that's $20 right there per day for dinner! I think you should be OK if you keep the snacking down to a minimum, as drinks and ice cream in DW are $2 to $3 each!!!
ann0511, if I were you, I would go to http://www.wdwig.com and look at the menus for the PS's you have. Cereal in the room will save you a TREMENDOUS amount of money on breakfast. It has been my experience that a kid's meal at most of the sit down restaurants run between $4.95 and $6.95 (except for character meals, which are usually $8.95 - $9.95 for the kids). Depending on the counter service you go to, it can add up quickly. But you can get a great idea of costs by going to the above link and checking out the menu area.

Have a great time!!
Pack more food including sodas/water in backpack,
we've evewn done subway and took inside for grownups, buy the kids their meal....
This is the reason I asked the question on "over budgeting". The first time we went to WDW, we couldn't believe the prices for food and how FAST it adds up. We would go back to the hotel at night and could not believe what we spent that day. We are not big eaters and don't stop for snacks every hour. Just be prepared, you probably will have to up your budget a bit. Last time we came home with a balance on the credit card and I don't want to do that again...so I'm trying to over budget and come home with some. I agree, use Deb Will's site for getting an idea on prices. Good luck and have fun! :)


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