Off site Restaurants good for bringing lunch into the park?

Christine

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 31, 1999
I would have agreed with you 5 years ago but man lately the food has been a real issue with our family. Maybe we are picking the wrong places to eat....The portions remain large but quality is a different story.
I haven't noticed that; however, I generally don't do things like hamburgers, hot dogs, etc because I've thought they've always been bad.

I was pretty impressed with the counter service offerings (Santuli Cafe was a winner) as long as I sort of get "odd" things. I think Columbia Harbor House always does a nice job with sandwiches too and that's remained the same. The items I think have not fared well, again, are burgers, hot dogs, some of the BBQ stuff, and pizza.
 

LovesTimone

Christmas Day 2017
Joined
Apr 29, 2009
I suggest you use Insta-cart from Publix... and have it delivered to your resort...

Here's a list of suggestion

Deli meat, and cheese
Cheese sticks or baby bells
raw veggie carrots, celery
Peanut butter, jelly, bread
Crackers
chips, and dip
Cookies, muffins, granola bars
bag of apples or oranges
pickles, olives
small container of mayo and mustard..
Cereal and milk,
Juice and juice packs, or boxes

Rotisserie Chicken with sides - our friends always have this their first night pool side...
They also order pizza and Chinese food for delivery...

If you go this route you will need a cooler...and fridge to keep everything cold in... plus make sure to bring your own paper plates, bowls, and plastic forks , knife and spoons to eat with and make sandwiches with... Ziploc's, chip clips, napkins or paper towels... As well as some type of cooler for the parks...

Also have you thought about meal sharing?

As well as ordering appetizers for meals instead of whole entree's... we did this with our DD's and found that it was less expensive, and no waste...
you can order a large appetizer platter, and share it... DH and I do this all the time... I helped our friends with their trip, party of 7 - (all adults eater's) and they really like the options of the appetizers, and sharing... they got to try alot more things, they would order the largest 1 or 2 appetizer platters, then a salad or a couple of side salads... or extra chicken fingers, and then share dessert... For instance...

Rainforest Cafe... They ordered 2 awesome appetizer at 19.99 each = 40.00 - 1 beef lava nachos = 17.99 - 1 Volcanic Cobb Salad =19.50 - and the Volcano for dessert ( which is a huge portion) =16.99... they ordered water... so 95.00 bucks... plus tax and tip... so 120.00ish for 7 people for dinner, plus the experience of eating at Rainforest, and relaxing and having someone else wait on you, and sitting in the air-conditioning... totally worth it...

This type of dinning, does take some work ahead of time... very doable... you just have to spend the time looking and planning the option for your family...

So you could combine... a mixture of eating in room, and food delivery, as well as eating in the parks...

No matter how you decide... Have a magical trip...
 
  • katyjeka

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2003
    Yeah, it's really terrible having to contribute to someone earning a living wage and not getting stiffed by a large party.
    We never split our party but I think a $50 tip for someone to bring drinks is a bit much. If they are getting $50 for each party of 6 they are making a pretty good living. I can understand it when the meal is not a buffet but at a buffet I'm doing half the work.
    Our last meal at Columbia House was not as good as previous years. The quality just was not there. Maybe we hit it on a bad day but I don't believe we will hurry back.
     

    maxiesmom

    The Mean Squinty Eye Works
    Joined
    Jul 6, 2004
    We never split our party but I think a $50 tip for someone to bring drinks is a bit much. If they are getting $50 for each party of 6 they are making a pretty good living. I can understand it when the meal is not a buffet but at a buffet I'm doing half the work.
    Our last meal at Columbia House was not as good as previous years. The quality just was not there. Maybe we hit it on a bad day but I don't believe we will hurry back.
    I know at least for my family, we keep the wait staff hopping at buffets. They refill drinks, and keep the table clear of dirty plates. My nephew can and often does drink 4 or more glasses of water per meal.

    Most of us know how tipping works. If you find the cost too much, then find somewhere else to eat. Don't stiff the wait staff to try and prove a point.
     

    katyjeka

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2003
    We have never stiffed our wait staff and I take offense to this. I know we don't have to eat at a sit down if we don't want to pay the price but we do. That doesn't mean I can't voice a complaint. We don't keep our servers as busy as my daughters and I only go up once. We do the buffets for the character interaction not the food. I was a server while in college and I know how hard they work but man I would have did a dance if I received a $50 tip for bringing water and clearing plates. Don't accuse me of stiffing anyone as a large portion of our vacation money has went to tips for over twenty years!!!
     

    QueenIsabella

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2016
    I think the objection isn't to tipping generally, it's to a MANDATORY, 18% tip for a buffet. I'm old enough to remember when tips were 10%, then they went up to 15%, now restaurants are pushing for 20%. I don't mind paying that for stellar service, regardless of the "fanciness" of the restaurant--if you bring my husband lots of drinks and sweep up after my toddler, I'm grateful, and will reflect my gratitude in the tip. 18% for a buffet server at an already overpriced (IMHO) buffet is a tough pill for me to swallow. Crystal Palace, to use an example, runs ~$50pp, for mediocre food. For our family of 6 Disney adults, that's $300 plus tax with a $54 tip. So, we don't eat there.
     
  • LovesTimone

    Christmas Day 2017
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2009
    Being a past server and bartender... and having a DD that is a server now...

    It's not the server fault or nor do they have anything to do with, or any control of..... what the restaurant charges for a meals, drinks, dessert, or cocktails .... buffet, sit down, fancy or not so fancy... Nor do they have any control of the quality of food you are served... and again they don't control how the meal is prepared, or how fast it comes out...

    The folks that have all the control make a salary ... not 5.23 cent a hour... and on that they have to tip out the bus boy, or food runner, or bartender or in some instance all three.... The server is the one who takes your order, bring and keep up with your drinks and food, and cleans up after your family, they are the face of the restaurant...

    So why is it that you want to take food off of their table, your not proving any point.... to the restaurant... the server is the one that suffers... So don't take it out on them, Take care of them they take care of you and your family... providing amazing service, the whole time with a smile on their face...

    They are just like you trying to make a living, and taking care of their families...
     

    Klayfish

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2016
    Being a past server and bartender... and having a DD that is a server now...

    It's not the server fault or nor do they have anything to do with, or any control of..... what the restaurant charges for a meals, drinks, dessert, or cocktails .... buffet, sit down, fancy or not so fancy... Nor do they have any control of the quality of food you are served... and again they don't control how the meal is prepared, or how fast it comes out...

    The folks that have all the control make a salary ... not 5.23 cent a hour... and on that they have to tip out the bus boy, or food runner, or bartender or in some instance all three.... The server is the one who takes your order, bring and keep up with your drinks and food, and cleans up after your family, they are the face of the restaurant...

    So why is it that you want to take food off of their table, your not proving any point.... to the restaurant... the server is the one that suffers... So don't take it out on them, Take care of them they take care of you and your family... providing amazing service, the whole time with a smile on their face...

    They are just like you trying to make a living, and taking care of their families...
    Yes, amen to that. It's been 25 years since I was a server and 20+ years since I did any job where part of my salary was tips, but I still remember. Unless the server specifically was rude, etc...I always leave a more than "customary" tip for them. Exactly as LovesTimone said, they can't control so many things that people get upset about at restaurants. In fact, they're usually the ones busting their humps trying to get the problems resolved.
     

    QueenIsabella

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2016
    Being a past server and bartender... and having a DD that is a server now...

    It's not the server fault or nor do they have anything to do with, or any control of..... what the restaurant charges for a meals, drinks, dessert, or cocktails .... buffet, sit down, fancy or not so fancy... Nor do they have any control of the quality of food you are served... and again they don't control how the meal is prepared, or how fast it comes out...

    The folks that have all the control make a salary ... not 5.23 cent a hour... and on that they have to tip out the bus boy, or food runner, or bartender or in some instance all three.... The server is the one who takes your order, bring and keep up with your drinks and food, and cleans up after your family, they are the face of the restaurant...

    So why is it that you want to take food off of their table, your not proving any point.... to the restaurant... the server is the one that suffers... So don't take it out on them, Take care of them they take care of you and your family... providing amazing service, the whole time with a smile on their face...

    They are just like you trying to make a living, and taking care of their families...
    Well, I was specifically talking about buffets. And as it happens, we vote with our feet and eat elsewhere--my kids prefer my cooking to restaurant food. Doesn't make for as fun a vacation for me, but it sure does save money. The rare times we do eat out, we tip 15-20%. I'm not trying to prove a point to anyone (except maybe Disney--we simply don't go there anymore). I think a mandatory tip for a party of 6 is bogus. You're entitled to disagree.
     

    Disneyliscious

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 15, 2009
    I dunno...the auto-grat for 6+ ppl always seemed to me to be what it is. How much would you consider reasonable to tip if left to yourselves?

    I'm a cheapskate but tend to conform to local expectations in situations like this. So always tip 18% at Disney whether I am a group of 2 or a group of 10.
    I'm not opposed to 15-20% tips but the option on how much should be MINE, not that of the establishments. I recently ate locally and tipped $15 on a $50 bill. That's 30% but it was MY choice, not the restaurants. I also recently ate locally and had an $80 bill and tipped $5 because it was the lousiest service I had ever had in my life (sooooo many things wrong, incorrect billing, food never brought out that we ordered, no ice in drinks, no drink refills, etc). The point is - I tip based on service and I will tip generously for great service but I'm not ever going to be forced to tip X amount for service that is good or bad.

    I understand that your paying for character interaction at the buffets but paying a $50 tip for someone to bring you a drink is a bit steep.
    Agreed. And places like 'Ohana there isn't even any character interaction for dinner and its still a $60 pp meal. Insane.

    I am not sure how a quick service restaurant ends up being $200-500 a meal. If you are willing to bring in Subway than you should be willing to do quick service which could be done for 10-15 a person which is 80-120 a meal not 200-500.
    Quick service restaruants would easily be $200 for our group of 8. We don't share meals (I have big eaters in my group). My 26 year old son eats 2 burgers (he only eats once or twice a day but eats big meals) so that is 2 CS meals just for him alone. My BF can also eat 2 burgers so there we go again. We'd absolutely spend $200 at a counter service meal and $500 at a TS.

    By the time you bring in food you could easily have paid for counter service.
    Not with my group. Not even close.

    Bringing in food and trying to keep it cold is a hassle. And then you either need to carry a cooler around (no pulling a rolling cooler) or rent a locker (more money spent).
    Perhaps its a hassle to you but to us its not a hassle at all. We already have a double stroller and soft sided cooler so we take 5 minutes to put sandwiches/ice packs/drinks in the cooler and toss it under the stroller until lunch time. We don't even have to touch it until we're ready to eat. No hassle at all. We've never rented a locker in 30 years of visiting Disney so no money spent there either.

    Using Subway as the example someone else used......

    6 foot long subs @ $7/each is $42.
    6 pack of bottled drinks/water is $4
    1 big bag of chips is $2
    6 apples, oranges, or cuties is $3

    Total: $51+ tax for our group to eat versus $160-$200 for counter service in the parks. That amount of savings is DEFINITELY worth my time in packing a cooler over. If we did that for only one meal per day over 5 days thats at least a $525-$725 savings.
     
  • Disneyliscious

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 15, 2009
    Yeah, it's really terrible having to contribute to someone earning a living wage and not getting stiffed by a large party.
    Who is stiffing anyone? Did someone say they don't tip at all? I must have missed that.

    Most of us know how tipping works. If you find the cost too much, then find somewhere else to eat. Don't stiff the wait staff to try and prove a point.
    And that's EXACTLY what this thread is about - finding somewhere else to eat! Hence the thread title.

    It's not the server fault or nor do they have anything to do with, or any control of..... what the restaurant charges for a meals, drinks, dessert, or cocktails .... buffet, sit down, fancy or not so fancy... Nor do they have any control of the quality of food you are served... and again they don't control how the meal is prepared, or how fast it comes out...
    I'm old enough to understand a server is not at fault for everything and wise enough to know they can communicate any issues to me that they are not in control of. Poor communication about whats going on and why the issues are happening (if out of the servers control) are absolutely part of "service".

    So why is it that you want to take food off of their table, your not proving any point.... to the restaurant... the server is the one that suffers... So don't take it out on them, Take care of them they take care of you and your family... providing amazing service, the whole time with a smile on their face...
    Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. We all have a CHOICE on where we work. A person doesn't have to work at Disney if the gratuity is so bad. The hospitality industry has been short on workers for decades. Every server that comes to your table is choosing to work that job. It's a job that can easily be replaced or obtained elsewhere. I'm not taking anything away from anyone. I tip very well when I get great service but its my decision on how much that tip will be and not the restaurant. I was a server for years myself so I know how it works.

    It takes no more work to serve two tables of 4 than it does 1 table of 8. The exact same amount of service will be required for every seat in the restaurant regardless of how they are grouped together. So until they start requiring mandatory 18-20% tips for EVERY table, regardless of party size, I'll either split up or we'll eat elsewhere.
     

    LovesTimone

    Christmas Day 2017
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2009
    Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. We all have a CHOICE on where we work. A person doesn't have to work at Disney if the gratuity is so bad. The hospitality industry has been short on workers for decades. Every server that comes to your table is choosing to work that job. It's a job that can easily be replaced or obtained elsewhere. I'm not taking anything away from anyone. I tip very well when I get great service but its my decision on how much that tip will be and not the restaurant. I was a server for years myself so I know how it works.

    It takes no more work to serve two tables of 4 than it does 1 table of 8. The exact same amount of service will be required for every seat in the restaurant regardless of how they are grouped together. So until they start requiring mandatory 18-20% tips for EVERY table, regardless of party size, I'll either split up or we'll eat elsewhere.
    [/QUOTE]


    I agree that they are choosing to work there... they are not choosing to be treated like less because of the work that they do... no matter what job you do you should be treated with respect... I don't know what kind of work you do, how would like if someone just decided that you should not get your whole pay check.. cause they felt you were overpaid, or that your boss made them mad,... and you the person that they had to deal with....

    As a previous server... you should know it does take more work on a larger party...

    1) not only do you have a larger party, you still have your other tables as well...
    2) There are things like timing, greeting, drinks, adult beverages, appetizers, entree's dessert and bring the check...
    3) there are more moving part with a large party especially if they want to separate check... who's gonna pay for the appetizers, or dessert - that were for the table...

    When splitting up then truly split up...
    1) requesting to be sat next to each other and getting mad when they can not accommodate you.. demanding to sit next to each other which we see all the time...
    2) do not stick all the kids at one table, for one server to deal with... and all the adults at the other table... who are paying the bill... then the kids are sitting there, this is something we see all the time, then the parents are yelling at one of the kids to take " little bobby to the bathroom" and the kids are running all over the place,
    3) stay at your table... none of this moving around, or yelling at the kids at the other table...Or at the other adults at the other table...
    4) don't try to borrow your neighbors chair... and don't just grab and sit the rest of your party at the table next to you...
    5) don't try and split the bill between the 2 tables...
     

    katyjeka

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2003
    I've been on the boards for awhile now and anytime I post a comment that may be negative the Disney fans attack. I've learned to be okay with this. In OUR OPINION the food at WDW is less about quality and more about quantity. My only point was to help someone who asked for a subway close to the parks. Its a fair question and a easy way to get kids to eat somewhat healthy while on vacation. If someone chooses to bring food into the park, great! I have a husband who will not but I don't fault someone trying to save a little money or simply has been disappointed by Disney food to many times. Tipping should be fair and not based on overpriced meals. The same meal at any chain restaurant would be half the cost. I agree with above, I doubt every table tips 18% for their table of 5 or less. Now I know SOME will but I'm sure its not common. Disney meals are overpriced and many tables will get up leaving a $20 tip and feel its fair.(The tip for a meal for 4 at a lot of sit downs would be close to $50) Happy Travels everyone...
     

    maxiesmom

    The Mean Squinty Eye Works
    Joined
    Jul 6, 2004
    We have never stiffed our wait staff and I take offense to this. I know we don't have to eat at a sit down if we don't want to pay the price but we do. That doesn't mean I can't voice a complaint. We don't keep our servers as busy as my daughters and I only go up once. We do the buffets for the character interaction not the food. I was a server while in college and I know how hard they work but man I would have did a dance if I received a $50 tip for bringing water and clearing plates. Don't accuse me of stiffing anyone as a large portion of our vacation money has went to tips for over twenty years!!!
    I'm sorry if you thought I was accusing you of stiffing the wait staff. That wasn't my intention. That was a general comment, not meant to be directed at you.


    But I have to add seeing more of your posts that what is fair is to tip what is expected. You (in general) shouldn't be eating someplace, deciding the food is overpriced, and not tip what the norm is. Anyone who throws a $20 down and calls it good, If that isn't at least 18%, is indeed stiffing the wait staff.
     

    maxiesmom

    The Mean Squinty Eye Works
    Joined
    Jul 6, 2004
    I think the objection isn't to tipping generally, it's to a MANDATORY, 18% tip for a buffet. I'm old enough to remember when tips were 10%, then they went up to 15%, now restaurants are pushing for 20%. I don't mind paying that for stellar service, regardless of the "fanciness" of the restaurant--if you bring my husband lots of drinks and sweep up after my toddler, I'm grateful, and will reflect my gratitude in the tip. 18% for a buffet server at an already overpriced (IMHO) buffet is a tough pill for me to swallow. Crystal Palace, to use an example, runs ~$50pp, for mediocre food. For our family of 6 Disney adults, that's $300 plus tax with a $54 tip. So, we don't eat there.

    And there you go! Exactly the right thing to do if you don't see the value in any restaurant.
     

    Disneyliscious

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 15, 2009
    I agree that they are choosing to work there... they are not choosing to be treated like less because of the work that they do... no matter what job you do you should be treated with respect... I don't know what kind of work you do, how would like if someone just decided that you should not get your whole pay check.. cause they felt you were overpaid, or that your boss made them mad,... and you the person that they had to deal with....
    Well, I'm not their employer. Disney is. Therefore, their paycheck comes from Disney, not me. A tip is just that - a tip. It is not and should not be "expected". It is earned by providing superior service. I'm not sure why you'd think we'd ever disrespect a server. That isn't even part of the discussion.

    As a previous server... you should know it does take more work on a larger party...

    1) not only do you have a larger party, you still have your other tables as well...
    2) There are things like timing, greeting, drinks, adult beverages, appetizers, entree's dessert and bring the check...
    3) there are more moving part with a large party especially if they want to separate check... who's gonna pay for the appetizers, or dessert - that were for the table...
    1) You will have the same amount of bodies to wait on regardless of if you have 1 table of 100 or 50 tables of 2.
    2) See #1
    3) See #1


    When splitting up then truly split up...
    1) requesting to be sat next to each other and getting mad when they can not accommodate you.. demanding to sit next to each other which we see all the time...
    2) do not stick all the kids at one table, for one server to deal with... and all the adults at the other table... who are paying the bill... then the kids are sitting there, this is something we see all the time, then the parents are yelling at one of the kids to take " little bobby to the bathroom" and the kids are running all over the place,
    3) stay at your table... none of this moving around, or yelling at the kids at the other table...Or at the other adults at the other table...
    4) don't try to borrow your neighbors chair... and don't just grab and sit the rest of your party at the table next to you...
    5) don't try and split the bill between the 2 tables...
    We've never done any of those things. Why do you even bring them up? All I said is that we split our group up. We have never one sat next to each other (and never asked to). We have 2 children in our group. They stay at the same table. Splitting them up would cause messes at both tables which would be more work. Makes no sense. Like, I seriously don't even know why you bring these things up when they have not been mentioned or implied during any of this thread. Why would we split the bill? Table 1 pays for their table on one check and tips based on service. Table 2 pays for their bill on one check and tips based on service. Your concern (and demands) are a bit much for a complete stranger. If Disney has a problem with us, I'm sure they'll let us know.

    But I have to add seeing more of your posts that what is fair is to tip what is expected. You (in general) shouldn't be eating someplace, deciding the food is overpriced, and not tip what the norm is. Anyone who throws a $20 down and calls it good, If that isn't at least 18%, is indeed stiffing the wait staff.
    Again, that is exactly what this thread is about. I really wish we could all stay on topic instead of focusing on WHY I'm wanting to bring in outside food.
     

    LovesTimone

    Christmas Day 2017
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2009
    We've never done any of those things. Why do you even bring them up? All I said is that we split our group up. We have never one sat next to each other (and never asked to). We have 2 children in our group. They stay at the same table. Splitting them up would cause messes at both tables which would be more work. Makes no sense. Like, I seriously don't even know why you bring these things up when they have not been mentioned or implied during any of this thread. Why would we split the bill? Table 1 pays for their table on one check and tips based on service. Table 2 pays for their bill on one check and tips based on service. Your concern (and demands) are a bit much for a complete stranger. If Disney has a problem with us, I'm sure they'll let us know.

    I am not saying that you personally did this, more of a point out into the abyss.... We see this behavior all the time, and have witnessed it first hand. My family and I have been in the cross hairs, off a family putting all kid's at one table... then the parents yelling across us, to parent their kids.... we even had a family that took our table, at Crystal Palace, once they seat us and we all needed the restroom, we had put our backpack's down, as well as jackets, and apparently they could not accommodate this family sitting next to each other... so the mother just took over our table, piling our belongings up on the booth seat... Who does this... when the server, and hostess confronted, her.... she was like we want to sit together without having the tip added to our bill... I was in just in disbelief... So we had to wait until another table opened up to seated...Our server brought us all out cupcakes which was so nice, and not expected and it was a really nice gesture, as well the floor manager apologized...and yes we tipped her over the 20%... So I guess I have a sore spot for this...
     

    Disneyliscious

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 15, 2009

    I imagine I'd have a sore spot after that experience too. Thanks for explaining.

    I've never experienced something like that but we don't eat on property much unless its a CS place so I guess I just haven't noticed since I haven't been around it. Maybe its different cultures who don't know the customs here or what we deem as "being respectful and courteous." I don't know. I'd imagine I'm one of those who would have "accidentally" spilled my drink/food all down that woman's back as I passed by her if she moved my belongings.
     

    LovesTimone

    Christmas Day 2017
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2009
    I imagine I'd have a sore spot after that experience too. Thanks for explaining.

    I've never experienced something like that but we don't eat on property much unless its a CS place so I guess I just haven't noticed since I haven't been around it. Maybe its different cultures who don't know the customs here or what we deem as "being respectful and courteous." I don't know. I'd imagine I'm one of those who would have "accidentally" spilled my drink/food all down that woman's back as I passed by her if she moved my belongings.

    :worship: :rotfl2:
     


    Connect

    Disney News and Updates

    Get Daily Email Updates


    Top