Is $65 a day enough for a family of 4 to eat in WDW?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by NvrBnToWDW, Sep 30, 2004.

  1. NvrBnToWDW

    NvrBnToWDW Mouseketeer

    Sep 8, 2004
    Okay, I'm thinking this will be enough. $65 a day for eating while we're at WDW. That's more than I pay for groceries in a week
    ($40-$50)! I'm feeding DH, DS (9), DS (11) and myself.
    Here's a sample plan:

    Breakfast in room (oatmeal bars, pop-tarts or cereal)

    Lunch@ Ronald's Fun House (in DTD):
    1-Dbl Quarter Pounder w/cheese meal $6.49
    1-6 pc. Happy Meal $3.99
    2-Dbl Cheeseburger Happy Meals $3.69 x 2
    * Super-size DH $0.59
    Total w/tax-------------------------------------------------------$19.65

    Dessert@ Ghirardelli's (in DTD):
    1-Banana Split $6.50
    1-Choc. Shake $4.50
    1-Kid's S'more Sundae $4.50
    Total w/tax-------------------------------------------------------$16.51

    Dinner@ "World Premiere" (All-Star Movies)
    1-Nachos Supreme $6.59
    1-Kid's Meal $3.99
    1-Cheese Pizza $4.79
    1-Chic. Strip (minus fries) $4.59
    Total w/tax--------------------------------------------------------$21.26

    TOTAL FOR DAY = $57.42

    We're not very big on breakfast, so we're just gonna eat in our room. And we plan on buying a refillable mug from the hotel for in-room eating and drinking water in the parks. We might occasionally buy a frozen lemonade or something like that in the parks.

    pirate: :earsgirl: :earsboy: :earsboy:
  2. Lollipop Mom

    Lollipop Mom DIS Veteran

    Nov 13, 2003
    it depends on where you plan on dining. You wouldn't be able to do a bunch of sit down dinging on that budget, it would have to be counter service. I put everything we spent into a spreadsheet for our last trip and for 9 days in "the world" we averaged $107/day for our family of 4 (myself, DH, DS 3 and DS 2). That included 3 character breakfasts (2 of them with late morning PSs so we had breakfast in our room and considered the late PS "brunch"), 2 sit down lunches (1 of them DH and I shared what we got using a VKL voucher and DSs had kids meals), 3 sit down dinners (one being Rainforest Cafe at AK with 2 child and 1 adult VKL vouchers), all of our snacks and 2 refillable mugs at WL. DS 2 ate free at the character breakfasts and 2 of the sit down dinners. We had a couple of breakfasts in the room and 1 lunch that we ate leftovers in the room from a dinner the night before. Other than the meals listed, we ate counter service for lunch and dinner and had breakfasts in the room.
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  4. epcotfan


    Jun 6, 2001
    I don't think it is enough. For a family of 4 I would budget a minimum of $100.00 a day. I just came back from WDW with my mother and two cousins (11 and 12 years) and fast food meals were averaging about $50.00 for the 4 of us (without dessert). At least if you don't spend that much money a day you will have extra to bring home. You also want to have some leeway with impulse snacks or drinks.
  5. zurgswife

    zurgswife WDW is my Shangrala...and I'm is bett

    Jan 9, 2000
    Our trip in July I was able to feed my family of 6 2 adults (12, 11, 10, 7) for around $75 a it is very doable if you don't eat at sit down restaurants....but there isn't much variety in your dinning optons...:):)
  6. my3kids

    my3kids <font color=blue>Helpful Cruise Board regular!<br>

    Oct 16, 2000
    Is the McD in DTD the same price as McDonald's on the "outside?" Are you sure you'll want to travel outside the park every day for lunch. Fast food in the parks is a lot more convenient, and a lot more expensive.
  7. callahanjulie10

    callahanjulie10 DIS Veteran

    Jul 30, 2000
    What I would do is order vouchers. For about $67 a day you could have 1 sitdown and 1 counter service a day. Of course, this would be sharing vouchers. 2 Quick & Casuals for your counter service and 1 adult VK and 1 child VK which will allow you to dine in a sitdown which in my opinion is one of the things that will really make your Disney trip more relaxing and enjoyable.
    The adult VK will let you get an appieizer, entree, dessert, drink, tax and tip. The child's will allow for an adult appetizer, child's meal, adult dessert, drink, tax, and tip. We usually eat breakfast in our room, eat a nice sit down meal at lunch (this allows us to take a nice AC break for about an hour, hour and a half to just rest and relax and talk about what we liked so far and what we want to do the rest of the day), then we usually do the Q & C's for our evening meal. I can't go to WDW without vouchers anymore! I love having my food paid for in advance.
  8. LisaRay

    LisaRay DIS Veteran

    Oct 11, 2000
    Well I think that you can do it. On our last trip in Jan. we had a meal budget of $70 a day. It was me, DH, DD11, DS4. We ate breakfast in our room every day. And then I put $70 in an envelope for each day and when we didn't spend it all we would stick the extra in the next day envelope. There were 2 evenings we spent $10.00 more than we should have because we all had mickey bars. But usually snacks were $5.00 because we would pick something that could be shared or we would each get a candy treat for the candy store.

    On our next trip we will be budgeting for 8 days and have a food budget for $550. Which is about $69.00 a day which is will be of course rounding to $70 a day.
    And we are eating :
    1st day: food offsite while at outlets $15
    D chef mickeys $75

    2nd day B... room
  9. LisaRay

    LisaRay DIS Veteran

    Oct 11, 2000
    OOPS i hit wrong button ... sorry.. :rolleyes:

    2nd day breakfast was in room
    lunch and dinner fast food in parks at both mgm and epcot $50

    3rd day is
    L.... crystal palace $70
    D pop century pizza $20

    4th day b..... room
    L.....trails end $40
    D..... pop century $30

    5th day
    L....sandwiches from cooler at water park
    D....pepper market using vouchers $40

    6th day
    L....sandwiches from cooler at water park
    D....Rainforest cafe vouchers $65

    7th day b... room
    L...AK lunch vouchers for some and alacarte for others$25
    D... Beaches and Cream vouchers $35

    8th day
    L fast food $25
    D fast food $40 no set plans for today since it is the last day and we will fly out.

    Grand total for that is $530 and I have $550 for food. As you will see somedays are over the $70 a day but some are under and it all works out. Some days we eat better than others. And we enjoyed Pop Century's food court so I have 2 meals there. We also have 2 days at the water parks since we haven't been to them in years and have many free water park days left on old passes.
    Sorry this was so long and that i ended up making 2 posts by accident!!;)
  10. EsmeraldaX

    EsmeraldaX DIS Veteran

    Aug 7, 2003
    We are just two adults and we budget about $75 a day just for the two of us. Some days we go over that/ some days we go under. For instance, we had one meal last trip where the bill came to around $85 after we included tip. That was in Marrakesh in Epcot's World Showcase. It's our favorite and we splurge there and get whatever we want (including a mixed drink each). But we also ate earlier that day in the counter service place in the American pavillion for under $20.

    That is for lunch and dinner in moderately priced sit down resteraunts and quick snacks throughout the day. We eat light breakfast in our room, as we are not really big morning eaters.

    I suppose that could be done , very tightly at counter service resteraunts, but don't forget to budget in money for extra drinks and snacks throughout the day.
  11. patsal

    patsal <font color=FF3399>I've discovered I don't need to

    Jul 10, 2001
    Because I can't predict what my children will eat, and I refuse to be that regimented on vacation, I doubt that I could keep it at $60 per day for my family of 4. From experience though, I have been able to do counter service lunches at the parks for $30 or less for the four of us--2 combo meals with sodas, 2 extra glasses fo ice water and one extra order of fries--it works well and no food goes to waste. With a teeneage son, this does not work everytime, but can help me to stretch the budget. I can usually do a whole vacation on $100 per day average, but when DS turned 12 that put a wrench in my average. I add 24 per day to that and am usually ok--those full price character meals kill the budget, but not fair to dd to remove them just because DS costs more.

    Good luck! :wave2:
  12. sperk99

    sperk99 Mouseketeer

    Nov 17, 2003
    I would try the Q&C vouchers...they are enough food for 2 adults!

    MARCIAKAZ Proud to be called Disney Geek by my kids!

    Jun 29, 2004
    We went for the first time last August, family of 5. I did a lot of research beforehand about meals and budgeting...and spent a lot of time studying these boards :D I want to share my experience with you, but I know it's just my experience and wouldn't necessarily be the same for you.

    I discovered two things: First, I was more willing to pay for convenience than I thought. For instance, your sample plan...leaving from wherever you are to go to Downtown Disney for lunch "wastes" a lot of time. I say waste, because that's what it felt like to us. We spent from opening to closing at the parks (and this was during peak season when the parks were open later) and still didn't feel like we had enough time to spend! It was better for us to just eat near where we were at the time, or to plan to be in the area of where we wanted to eat. Also, it's quite a bit of extra walking (which you'll have plenty of already) to come and go in and out of the parks to and from transportation, etc... SO, it was another benefit to just get your food and sit down for a bit. Second, even though I had preplanned so much and thought I knew what we'd be spending, it sometimes cost more than I expected. Probably partly because I had a hard time enforcing the budget I had planned :eek: Like, DS-14, "c'mon Mom, I'm REAAAALLLLY starving...yes, I'll eat the whole double bacon cheeseburger AND the fries" or like, DH "I've GOT to have funnel cake", ME "but we just ate lunch an hour ago", DH "but it's funnel cake!". Anyway, you get the idea.

    Bottom line, I think $65 is a little too tight...$75 would give you some "wiggle room", and less stress. Meal sharing and using vouchers for some meals, as suggested by others, will help. Oh, one more thing: Earl of Sandwich in DTD is yummy, something different to eat than regular counter service/fast food fare, and cheaper than a lot of the other WDW meal options. :D
  14. NvrBnToWDW

    NvrBnToWDW Mouseketeer

    Sep 8, 2004
    I think there might have been a misunderstanding in my original thread. We don't plan to leave the parks and go to DTD for lunch. This is just a sample of our first day, because we will not be in the park on that day, we will be shopping in DTD. When we are in the parks we will eat mostly fast food with the exception of Sci-Fi @ MGM and Trail's End another day. My sons are not interested in any character breakfasts and one of my sons doesn't eat meat, will only eat chicken or pizza. And nobody is courageous enough to try foods from other countries. So we will stick to the fast food for most of the week.

    I'm thinking $70 a day sounds a lot better than $65.

    pirate: :earsgirl: :earsboy: :earsboy:
  15. traycie2201

    traycie2201 FUBAR'S BABE

    Aug 24, 2003
    There are also extra ways to save money, go to the ghiradelli web site sign up as a us resident and they e mail you buy one get one free vouchers to use on a certain date, it is near one of my familys birthday when we visit and we also got sent a second birthday buy one get one free voucher, if you and hubby sign up you'll be able to get 4 sundaes for the price of 2 at least once on your visit :-)
  16. lUVTOGO

    lUVTOGO Born To Run

    Jan 17, 2002
    I thought that the prices in DTD McDonalds were a lot more expensive than a "regular" Mcdonalds.
  17. cstraub

    cstraub DIS Veteran

    Sep 12, 2004
    I have seen soooo many people pig out in WDW. Really most people order way more than they need. Skip the soda and have free water. You and your DH can share a meal or the kids could share a meal with either one of you.

    It is very doable! Depending how much you need to meet your budget you can pack snacks and order maybe a sandwich each for lunch and eat a full dinner in the park. I would steer clear of sit down restraunts. There are plenty of "fast food" type restraunts with many kinds of food.

    I can easliy have breakfast in the room, a small lunch (like fries, a sandwich ect..), and then have a $10 dinner to split with my husband. Food servings at WDW are outrageous! There is almost always enough for two when you order a full meal.

    I think people get out of control when they feel hugry and order to their hearts content only to throw away a lot of food. I can't stress enough what a waist drinks are. I also don't think dessert is needed. I'm not saying never order these things but you don't need them everyday.

    You could also bring some of your own dessert (chocolate coins, large amusement park suckers, candy necklaces ect...). If you don't want your kids to know you are watching money so closley buy WDW bags off of ebay and put the desserts and snacks in them.

    I would rather spend my money elsewhere than on overpriced food, drinks and snacks. It's the principal of it. $250 for a diet coke when I could buy two two liters at home.

    I hope this helps!! Have fun on your trip!!
  18. NC Jennifer

    NC Jennifer Earning My Ears

    Sep 23, 2004
    Don't forget... you will be doing SOOO much walking that you may get hungrier than usual. I usually don't eat much at all, but find myself eating more when we are at WDW because we are on our feet and walking all day.

    I would recommend eating a heartier breakfast in your room, something more substantial than a pop-tart. Most counter service in the parks is at least $7/person, and that is without a drink.
  19. Luv2Roam

    Luv2Roam DIS Veteran

    Jun 3, 2000
    Counter service is not necessarily cheap. As an example last Friday I ate in The Land at the BBQ section for dinner. Just under $10 for a BBQ sandwich, fries, drink.
    Of course that is much less than a sit down dinner.
    With drinking WDW water there is always that "it's in the water" debate. Some people it affects. Some it does not. When drinking WDW water it would gradulally start affecting me throughout the week. Near the end of the week I would have digestive problems.
    I just wanted to throw this out as something to consider when cutting back on drinking expenses and opting for free fountain water.
    Sometimes if we want a light lunch DH and I buy a counter service meal and split it.
  20. disneysteve

    disneysteve DIS meet junkie

    Sep 29, 2002
    On our last trip in November, we were 3 adults and 1 child. Our food spending for 9 days (including travel days) averaged just under $17/person/day, or $68/day total for all meals, snacks and beverages. So you can definitely do it.

    Here are my top hints to stay on budget:

    1. Drink water - tap, not bottled.
    2. SHARE - most meals at Disney, including counter service, are big enough to share. For example, one order of fries is enough for at least 2 people so at a place like Cosmic Rays, have one person get the burger and fries and another get just the burger. You save a dollar or two and still have plenty of food. At sit-down restaurants, 3 entrees should be plenty for 4 people. In fact, if you can agree on what you want, 2 appetizers and 2 entrees is enough for 4 people.
    3. Eat offsite when you can, but don't screw up your day just to save a couple of bucks.
    4. Bring some snacks into the parks with you. Visit an offsite supermarket to buy snacks. DON'T buy them in the parks or at the Disney hotel shops.

    Don't be discouraged by all the folks who say you need $100 or $150 or more per day. We've done it more than once on $75 or less.
  21. cstraub

    cstraub DIS Veteran

    Sep 12, 2004
    If you think the water will be a problem bring in your own bottled water.

    Also, I do think the WDW tap water tastes funny as do many other people. One thing I read recently was to bring sugar free kool aid packets and add that to the water. I will be trying this trick in Dec.

    I can always stand to lose a couple of pounds. Great opp when walking and distracted. No need to pig out!! Most people have fat to burn!:) LOL

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