Off site Restaurants good for bringing lunch into the park?

NYCgrrl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 13, 2017
Since you want to bring your lunch with you for whatever reason have you tried checking out various camping forums? Lots of easy to make sandwiches and salad recipes available that take minimum effort and ingredients yet give maximum taste and control of food quality and quantity. You can also google terms like “picnic meals”.
 

Deb & Bill

DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention
Joined
Mar 20, 2000
...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.
When you pack that cooler to take to the parks, make sure you don't use loose ice in the cooler or you will be asked to remove it before you enter the park. You'll need blue ice or bagged ice.
 

DLgal

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
I think you are overestimating the cost of CS and underestimating the cost of something like Subway right outside the parks (prices are often inflated in tourist areas).

I find most WDW CS meals to easily be enough for 2 people. Heck, I got the tuna sandwich at Columbia Harbor House last month and could not finish it! It was HUGE, and cost $11.19. Came with a ton of chips. Split that and it's under $6/person. You could feed 8 people with 4 of those sandwiches for under $50 and you save the hassle of spending time picking up food and figuring out a way to keep it cool and food safe in the ridiculous Florida heat.
 
  • PracticallyPerfectLOL

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 25, 2019
    When staying off property, I would run in publix and get veggie subs, and a pack of something from the bakery..like sugar cookies. We do not eat meat or cheese so unsure how those would hold up. If you have access to a freezer, I love to buy/wash/freeze grapes and blueberries. They thaw out quickly as the day goes but we just eat them late morning as a snack while they are still cold.

    Do y'all have experience camping and/or hiking? If not, Pinterest has a lot of great ideas & tips for quick meals that are easy to pack.
     

    Disneyliscious

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 15, 2009
    Since you want to bring your lunch with you for whatever reason have you tried checking out various camping forums? Lots of easy to make sandwiches and salad recipes available that take minimum effort and ingredients yet give maximum taste and control of food quality and quantity. You can also google terms like “picnic meals”.
    I'm not sure where the disconnect is between the title of this thread and the answers being given (that's not aimed at you specifically, i'm just noticing a trend of answers about packing lunches and that's not what I was asking).

    I am looking for restaurant suggestions. I have packed many lunches for Disney. I don't need suggestions on what to pack. We were just wanting to bring in subs from Subway or something similar in our cooler for lunch one day as a convenience thing. I do appreciate your suggestions though.

    When you pack that cooler to take to the parks, make sure you don't use loose ice in the cooler or you will be asked to remove it before you enter the park. You'll need blue ice or bagged ice.
    I'm pretty Disney savvy and keep up with things like this. Thanks.

    I think you are overestimating the cost of CS and underestimating the cost of something like Subway right outside the parks (prices are often inflated in tourist areas).

    I find most WDW CS meals to easily be enough for 2 people. Heck, I got the tuna sandwich at Columbia Harbor House last month and could not finish it! It was HUGE, and cost $11.19. Came with a ton of chips. Split that and it's under $6/person. You could feed 8 people with 4 of those sandwiches for under $50 and you save the hassle of spending time picking up food and figuring out a way to keep it cool and food safe in the ridiculous Florida heat.
    You may think I am, but I know my family and I'm not overestimating anything. As i have previously stated, my group are big eaters. Dinosaurs. For at least 2 of our group they each eat 2 burgers so we have to buy 2 meals each for them. Sharing is not an option. For my group, counter service is much more expensive than bringing in food from outside.

    Do y'all have experience camping and/or hiking? If not, Pinterest has a lot of great ideas & tips for quick meals that are easy to pack.
    We don't camp or hike. However, I am also not on here looking on recommendations for foods to pack while camping/hiking/or at the parks.

    As a reminder to anyone contributing to the thread......

    I am looking for RESTAURANT SUGGESTIONS FROM OUTSIDE THE PARKS which have food suitable to place in a cooler to be eaten for lunch inside a park. Thanks :-)
     

    Farro

    Another day, another confused selfie.
    Joined
    Jun 19, 2016
    I am looking for RESTAURANT SUGGESTIONS FROM OUTSIDE THE PARKS which have food suitable to place in a cooler to be eaten for lunch inside a park. Thanks :-)
    I don't mean this sarcastically, but why don't you just google it at this point. Google Maps has everything you need. You can see what's around and go to the restaurants website to see if you like it.
     

    NYCgrrl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2017
    I don't mean this sarcastically, but why don't you just google it at this point. Google Maps has everything you need. You can see what's around and go to the restaurants website to see if you like it.
    Another useful site could be Yelp. Just google : “sandwich shops near Walt Disney World” and a list of the top ten spots will show up within the yelp listing.

    HTH.
     
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  • QueenIsabella

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2016
    Okay, I get what you're looking for. BUT...

    Still, you should give consideration to Publix. Not only do they have a large selection of pre-made "meal" foods--sandwiches, wraps, salads--but they make really delicious subs. I can only eat half of one for a meal, but DS22 (and your big eaters) could eat the whole thing. You pick your toppings, just like Subway, and you can order online to have subs ready at a certain time. You can pick either Publix brand deli meats, or Boar's Head. I'm fond of their garlic pickles and deli dressing. Every week, they have a different sub on sale, usually for $5.99 for a whole one. My kids' favorite is the chicken tender sub--4 huge tenders, each kid likes it a different way. WE happen to have a Publix within walking distance, not a week goes by without one kid or other begging for their subs. The only thing I don't recommend is their multi-grain rolls--I found them to be tasteless and difficult to chew.
     

    PracticallyPerfectLOL

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 25, 2019
    I think of Publix the same as subway when it comes to deli but I get you on the other things.

    Check out the Orlando Hotels & Attractions board here on DIS boards. A few posts with reaturants close to Disney. That gives you a good starting point on what is close & reviews. Then check out menus.
     
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    karen4546

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 3, 2012
    adults can order kids meals at counter service. no questions asked. and the kids meals usually include a drink. I know at the Mara at AKL you can get a kids meal cheeseburger and fries, and extra side from the designated cooler AND a small milk or bottled water. All this for around $7 or $8 dollars. I have ordered kids meals many times and they are plenty for an adult. the loaded fries at FlameTree BBQ are a meal all by themselves and they are around $5. Most adult meals will feed 2 adults or 3 littles. There is a family meal in AK that has pizza, salad etc that is reasonably priced. the snacks are shareable. buy a popcorn bucket for low price refills. There really is no need to carry in food that you can't keep cold with the new ice restrictions. I guess you could get jerky? Look up tips on eating at WDW without the dining plan and there are several great suggestions. I wouldn't bother with bringing food into a park when there are so many options.
     

    Disneyliscious

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 15, 2009
    I don't mean this sarcastically, but why don't you just google it at this point. Google Maps has everything you need. You can see what's around and go to the restaurants website to see if you like it.
    Probably the same reason there are hundreds of thousands of questions and comments on the restaurant board asking for suggestions? Just because a place shows up on a map doesn't mean its recommended. Also, given the complexity of Disney, just because it shows up on a map doesn't mean its easy to get to/in/around from a time perspective.

    Okay, I get what you're looking for. BUT...

    Still, you should give consideration to Publix. Not only do they have a large selection of pre-made "meal" foods--sandwiches, wraps, salads--but they make really delicious subs. I can only eat half of one for a meal, but DS22 (and your big eaters) could eat the whole thing. You pick your toppings, just like Subway, and you can order online to have subs ready at a certain time.
    This! Thank you! The Publix deli is a great suggestion. Exactly what I was looking for but hadn't crossed my mind yet.

    There really is no need to carry in food that you can't keep cold with the new ice restrictions.
    Why can't I keep food cold lol? The new ice restrictions don't have anything to do with whether or not I can keep food cold. There are plenty of options other than loose ice.

    I wouldn't bother with bringing food into a park when there are so many options.
    Great! That's not what our plans are though. Thanks.


    The snippiness some of you may sense in my comments is because so many people are not reading the OP or even the thread title for that matter. It's frustrating to be alerted to come here and see even MORE posts that have nothing to do with what I'm asking. Like, I don't know how many times I have to reiterate what I'm asking. It's a simple question and I do greatly appreciate those of you who provided some help. To everyone else, I don't need to be convinced to eat in the parks, I dont need to be told how cheap park food is, I don't need to know how/what to pack in a cooler to take lunch in the parks, I don't need to be told about sharing meals (this tells me you haven't read my comments at ALL). I was honestly here just looking for some simple answers regarding a few recommended restaurants that are close to Disney that we could grab something at the night before or morning of and easily take into the parks. That's all. Surely some of you can understand my frustrations.

    Thanks again to those who provided helpful information. I've def got some new options to work with now.
     
  • Farro

    Another day, another confused selfie.
    Joined
    Jun 19, 2016
    Probably the same reason there are hundreds of thousands of questions and comments on the restaurant board asking for suggestions? Just because a place shows up on a map doesn't mean its recommended. Also, given the complexity of Disney, just because it shows up on a map doesn't mean its easy to get to/in/around from a time perspective.



    This! Thank you! The Publix deli is a great suggestion. Exactly what I was looking for but hadn't crossed my mind yet.



    Why can't I keep food cold lol? The new ice restrictions don't have anything to do with whether or not I can keep food cold. There are plenty of options other than loose ice.



    Great! That's not what our plans are though. Thanks.


    The snippiness some of you may sense in my comments is because so many people are not reading the OP or even the thread title for that matter. It's frustrating to be alerted to come here and see even MORE posts that have nothing to do with what I'm asking. Like, I don't know how many times I have to reiterate what I'm asking. It's a simple question and I do greatly appreciate those of you who provided some help. To everyone else, I don't need to be convinced to eat in the parks, I dont need to be told how cheap park food is, I don't need to know how/what to pack in a cooler to take lunch in the parks, I don't need to be told about sharing meals (this tells me you haven't read my comments at ALL). I was honestly here just looking for some simple answers regarding a few recommended restaurants that are close to Disney that we could grab something at the night before or morning of and easily take into the parks. That's all. Surely some of you can understand my frustrations.

    Thanks again to those who provided helpful information. I've def got some new options to work with now.
    I said to google because you didn't seem happy with the answers you were getting and google maps has great info with reviews.

    It appears you still aren't happy, sorry you found my answer less than helpful.

    Enjoy your trip!
     

    karen4546

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 3, 2012
    Probably the same reason there are hundreds of thousands of questions and comments on the restaurant board asking for suggestions? Just because a place shows up on a map doesn't mean its recommended. Also, given the complexity of Disney, just because it shows up on a map doesn't mean its easy to get to/in/around from a time perspective.



    This! Thank you! The Publix deli is a great suggestion. Exactly what I was looking for but hadn't crossed my mind yet.



    Why can't I keep food cold lol? The new ice restrictions don't have anything to do with whether or not I can keep food cold. There are plenty of options other than loose ice.



    Great! That's not what our plans are though. Thanks.


    The snippiness some of you may sense in my comments is because so many people are not reading the OP or even the thread title for that matter. It's frustrating to be alerted to come here and see even MORE posts that have nothing to do with what I'm asking. Like, I don't know how many times I have to reiterate what I'm asking. It's a simple question and I do greatly appreciate those of you who provided some help. To everyone else, I don't need to be convinced to eat in the parks, I dont need to be told how cheap park food is, I don't need to know how/what to pack in a cooler to take lunch in the parks, I don't need to be told about sharing meals (this tells me you haven't read my comments at ALL). I was honestly here just looking for some simple answers regarding a few recommended restaurants that are close to Disney that we could grab something at the night before or morning of and easily take into the parks. That's all. Surely some of you can understand my frustrations.

    Thanks again to those who provided helpful information. I've def got some new options to work with now.
    sorry, i was just trying to be helpful. never once was i rude to you, i only mentioned the ice because it can't be "loose" ice. enjoy your trip.
     

    LovesTimone

    Christmas Day 2017
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2009
    Okay, I get what you're looking for. BUT...

    Still, you should give consideration to Publix. Not only do they have a large selection of pre-made "meal" foods--sandwiches, wraps, salads--but they make really delicious subs. I can only eat half of one for a meal, but DS22 (and your big eaters) could eat the whole thing. You pick your toppings, just like Subway, and you can order online to have subs ready at a certain time. You can pick either Publix brand deli meats, or Boar's Head. I'm fond of their garlic pickles and deli dressing. Every week, they have a different sub on sale, usually for $5.99 for a whole one. My kids' favorite is the chicken tender sub--4 huge tenders, each kid likes it a different way. WE happen to have a Publix within walking distance, not a week goes by without one kid or other begging for their subs. The only thing I don't recommend is their multi-grain rolls--I found them to be tasteless and difficult to chew.

    Publix subs are the best... and you don't have to double the meat and cheese... and they have boars head pickles they are so good.... and if you are ordering other things from insta-cart you can have it all delivered... just ask for the condiments to be on the side, so you will get a baggie, with tomatoes, lettuce, and pickles, and packets of mayo or mustard... so the bread doesn't get soggy. I love the wraps personally, I really don't want or need alot of bread... They also have alot of ready made sides, and some have a salad and olive bar... with a bunch of really great choice's... I agree on the chicken tender subs.... really really good...
     

    NYCgrrl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2017
    OK. Back to my laptop which somehow is easier for me to navigate than my smaller devices. This is what I found via Yelp but was unable to C+P before:


    Why am I recommending this website in response to your search? Because you've the ability to see what others have enjoyed, oftentimes view pics, and pull up the complete menus.

    Again, HTH and enjoy your upcoming vacation.
     

    hertamaniac

    Give me 95 degrees everyday
    Joined
    Feb 9, 2017
    WAWAs are spread throughout Orlando (and there is one near SeaWorld on I-Drive). Subs are frequently $5 and, in my opinion, are far better than Subway. That's the route I would go. The soups are delicious too.
     

    NYCgrrl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2017
    WAWAs are spread throughout Orlando (and there is one near SeaWorld on I-Drive). Subs are frequently $5 and, in my opinion, are far better than Subway. That's the route I would go. The soups are delicious too.
    Once upon a time I really enjoyed eating at Subways but once they started serving questionable in quality cold cuts and skimpy amts at that, it lost any appeal for me.
     

    Tys Nanny

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 26, 2013
    I strongly recommend NOT ordering the Cuban sandwiches from Publix. We became addicted, and good ones are difficult to find in NJ. 😜
     

    NYCgrrl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2017
    I strongly recommend NOT ordering the Cuban sandwiches from Publix. We became addicted, and good ones are difficult to find in NJ. 😜
    Just a heads up for you! There's an old school place in West New York off the Palisades that still serves a credible cubano complete with Cuban/Spanish bread as opposed to Italian or French. The man rents a car with friends and stocks up for various sport games. I'll admit I don't watch sports on TV but I do eat the food;). No pulled pork (sooo wrong!) and the right shape and amount of pickles too. Think it's called La Pola.
     

    LSUmiss

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2014
    I'll give you a quick example. We eat at Joe's Crab Shack and our meal for the 6 of us is usually $140 and we tip $28. The only restaurant in Orlando that we've paid almost as much as WDW is at the Melting Pot. WDW snacks are usually so big that our family is able to share so the price is not bad. We also snack around Epcot a couple times each trip and think its one of the most cost effective ways to eat at WDW. We are able to try a lot of different foods and the portions are big enough to share. 18% is a fair tip(although we usually just round up to 20)unless the meal price is inflated which I'm sorry they are at Disney. 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. We do it every year but still think its a little unfair. I have no problem paying the tip in a regular sit down meal but I feel the buffets are a different story. Our last time at Crystal Palace we saw our server less than 5 minutes. I wish my dh made $10 a minute!!! If someone chooses to leave the grounds to save money on food, more power to them. If it were up to me I'd probably do the same thing. I just can't convince my better half who hates to drive on vacation. Happy Travels
    Around here, the places we eat are about $30-$40 person on average including entree, non alcoholic drinks & appetizers. The places we eat in WDW are about the same except the quality of some the places aren’t as good like the buffets, but they have the character trade off.
     


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