What do you guys budget for food?

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by bagheeramom, Jul 24, 2003.

  1. bagheeramom

    bagheeramom Mouseketeer

    Jul 11, 2003
    What should I expect to realistically spend on food per day for a family of 6 (2 parents, 4 girls ages 1-11).

    We are staying on site, with no transporation.
  2. jel0511

    jel0511 DIS Veteran

    Jan 30, 2001
    The minimum I'd plan on is $150 per day. That will just get you meals in the food courts or counter service places, plus maybe a snack. If you plan on full-service restaurants, then you'll have to budget more. A character dinner is $23.99 per adult and $9.99 per child ages 3-9, for example. I'd come up with where you would like to eat and then visit www.wdwig.com and check out the restaurants section. There is a list of virtually EVERY menu from the WDW restaurants, so you can get an idea on how much it will cost to eat at a particular restaurant. That way, you'll have a better idea on how much you'll need.
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  4. >>^..^<<

    >>^..^<< Flat Cat

    Jan 2, 2003
    6 people huh?

    What types of foods do you like?... I mean, is toast, cereal and juice okay for breakfast or do you like full breakfasts with eggs, etc?

    Will you be doing sit down meals, character meals? or just counter service? Do you have alcohol a dinner? (wine, margaritas etc?)

  5. susy

    susy Guest

    We budget around $100 a day for DH, myself, and my DS (age 5). That will get us breakfast in the food court, counter service lunch and a sit-down dinner. The biggest WASTE of money is the breakfast in the food court! This trip we are bringing cereal , parmalat milk boxes, orange juice boxes. We are also bringing the usual water, juice boxes, fruit, snacks for the room. You can save by eating breakast in the room and maybe doing a nice breakfast one day. It would actually be the "cheapest" of the character meals (instead of lunch or dinner)and I would definitely do this with a big family if you plan on dining with the characters. After eating these huge breakfasts you won't be hungry for lunch, so you can probably have a snack around 2 and then a counter service dinner. One sit-down meal is all we do a day and it really isn't necessary, if it's not in your budget. Most of the counter service restaurants have lot of healthy food and variety! You can also share meals and order from the kids' menu. DH and I can always share sandwiches for lunch, etc. The $100 day budget is based on each of us getting our own complete meal, though, so it could be less. * Make sure you take antibacterial gel or wipes to use BEFORE you eat anything. Think of all the hand railings/bars etc you will have touched by lunchtime!

    See menus at wdwig.com- you can figure out how much you'll spend!
  6. ducklite

    ducklite <font color=teal>Take the Poly, it's fabulous!<br>

    Aug 17, 2000
    I agree, a mimimum of $150 a day.

    We are DH, DS-17, and myself. We generally budget between $100-200 a day, depending on the time of year, where we're staying, and how many meals DS will eat with us vs. grab a burger and fries ont eh run in the evening.

    Luckily your kids can alls till order off the kids menus. but if they get bored with taht, amny of the restaurants will prepare a "half portion" off the adults menu for half the price. In all honesty for younger ones, they will probably be able to split a kids meal--there's a lot of food there.

    At buffets you'll pay kids price for all kids ages 3 -12, and adult prices after that, so if your kids are light eaters, you might want to think twice about buffets.

  7. Harambe

    Harambe I miss Tapestry of Dreams!

    Mar 30, 2003
    Okay - jumping on the 150.00 band wagon! That's what we use, for four of us (but you have that little one who can probably "share" with all of you, right?). We only make one PS per day (meaning one $$$ meal) and do counter service for the other meals.

    Believe me, I don't "cook" at all during WDW vacations (cooking means opening a granola bar in our room!!!), but if you are willing - you can save a ton of money. Buy the refillable mugs from your resort and send hubby down in the morning to get a couple of coffees and sodas for the kids, and have snacks in your room that you bring from home. Then go to kiosks in the parks for lunch. This will allow you to really enjoy the big money dinner!

    Have fun!
  8. lmhall2000

    lmhall2000 May the road rise to meet you....May God hold you

    Aug 11, 2002
    always budget $100-$150 a day for our family of five- (ages 4-8 and we parents a wee bit older) If you're using a towncar- ask for the 30 minute grocery stop-stock up on breakfast food you can eat in your room- many will get a $3 styrofoam cooler and fill it with ice for fruit/milk etc. Then we take snacks with us to the park- healthy ones- carrot sticks, raisins, etc.- and plan on having one big meal out at a restaurant and maybe one counter service for the other meal or make sandwiches back at the hotel. If you were planning on eating all your meals out count on $75 for a dinner out, $30-40 for counter service, and $20-25 for breakfast (bagels and such at the resort). Have a great time- and don't feel shy about plate sharing- sometimes the portions are very big and it allows you to try more things if you and dh or the children share plates and order dessert as well..

  9. Dogslider

    Dogslider <font color=teal>Don't mind me, I'm a little slow,

    Feb 16, 2000
    we budget 200.00 a day for myself, DH and DS(12). We almost never eat breakfast out, just not early eaters. But, we never share meals either. If I tried to share with either one of them, I would end up very hungry through the whole trip

  10. Disneymoon04

    Disneymoon04 <font color=FF99CC>First stop, Adventurers Club to

    Jul 12, 2003
    For us (2 adults) we are budgeting $150 a day. We'll eat cheap at the resort for breakfast, then have a sit down lunch and dinner. It also allows for drinks, alcohol, mickey bars, dole whips, beaver tails and all the other yummy stuff I read about on this board! :p
  11. dvc guy

    dvc guy DIS Veteran

    Jul 25, 2002
    I agree with DOGSLIDER you should plan on 200 per day if you are going to be on site. Along with meals you must factor in snacks, water/soda during the day. With 5 people you can drop 10 dollars on drinks, without popcorn or ice cream.

    We are DVC members and save a fortune by having breakfast in the room, bagel, cold cereal, stc. We make lunch and grab a drink for each of us.
    With all that we still spend 100 on food , between a nice sitdown dinner and drinks/snacks
  12. MHopkins2

    MHopkins2 <font color=purple>Stop spinning your ring...I'm d

    Jul 20, 2001
    Weeeeell.... Let me put it this way: the food is VERY near the top of my list of best things about WDW. My budget is around $100/day - on a solo trip - and I sometimes exceed the budget. *blush*

    So maybe I'm not the best person from whom to take advice??? :p

    MOMTOMOOTOO <font color=blue>The people in Shop Rite would not

    Jan 9, 2001
    We budget $150.00 for 5 of us. (well actually 4 because the baby is part parakeet) and most of the time is more than enough.
    We usually have 2 meals a day with a snack in between. We have gone over that amount plenty of times, but always knew in advance when I booked the PS what we could anticiapte in terms of price.

    You could certainly do it for less with some planning.
    And for me planning is just as much fun.

    Good Luck and good eating!

  14. zurgswife

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

    Jan 9, 2000
    I think $150 is doable with 2 adults and 4 young kids....with breakfast in the room you could probably manage for less....

    My friend took his 4 kids and himself and managed 1 week on $600 including 1 character meal.....The key with small kids and counter service is that they share a meal...Until just recently the 6 in my family 2 adults and 4 kids (11, 10, 9, 6) split 3 meals and a extra drink and fry...we always had food leftover...

    Good Luck...If you can get the grocery stop do it and get breakfast stuff to eat in the room...
  15. Alice28

    Alice28 DIS Veteran<br><font color=blue>I'm Doombah Fricki

    Jun 6, 2002
    We seemed to spend about $85-100 per day for our family of 4; our boys would often split a meal, and at the buffets we were lucky cause our younger son was under 3
    (20 months to be exact- older son was 5) so he was free. I looked through my receipts and I swear every counter service meal was approx. $27.00. Sometimes the boys got their own, but usually they would split a pizza or chicken strips and we would give them some of our food as well. Sit down meals were about $60-70, but often either my parents or my MIL picked up the tab so fortunately we didn't pay for too many of those! We stopped and got milk/cereal/fruit/yogurt at the grocery store on the way & every day we ate breakfast in the room- that saved quite a bit of $$. We also got the refillable mugs for morning coffee and evening sodas. I am going with my Mom in a couple of months and I am budgeting $320 for food for 6 nights..I doubt I will spend that much, but we have couple pricier restaurants on our list like California Grill, Whispering Canyon & Cape May Cafe. Have fun with your 4 kids!!!!!! :)
  16. disneysteve

    disneysteve DIS meet junkie

    Sep 29, 2002
    Ok, I'll admit I'm a bit shocked by some of the responses here - $200/day for 3 people with no breakfast?! I'd be curious to know how you manage to spend that much. I assume that involves a nice sit-down dinner each nite and maybe some drinks (which can really run up the tab quickly).

    We certainly come in on the budget end. On our last trip in November, we averaged $18/person/day for myself, my wife and my 7 yo daughter. We ate breakfast in our room each day - cereal, pop tarts, juice, coffee, etc., that was bought at the supermarket (we stayed offsite). Lunch was usually counter service. Dinner was a mix of counter service, casual sit-down (like Beaches + Cream) or buffet (Boma, specifically). We did have a few meals offsite during the week. We also brought some snack food into the park with us, but still got some of our Disney favorites like Dole Whip, cookies on Main Street, caramel apples in MGM, ice cream, etc.

    As you can see from all the responses, there is a wide range of what you can spend on food. Always safer to budget more and have surplus than to come up short, though.

  17. Dogslider

    Dogslider <font color=teal>Don't mind me, I'm a little slow,

    Feb 16, 2000

    You're right about this. With budgeting 200.00 a day we almost always have a surplus at the end of the trip. No, sorry to say that doesn't include any adult drinks with our meals. I does include sit down dinners (Shula's, Ohana etc..) most nights and several sit down lunches.

    We are pretty umm...frugal (epecially me) throughout the year. My take on it is, all year long I work full time, for the most part make adult-like responsible decisions when it comes to money and saving for the future. When we take our vacation (which I save for all year) all that thinking goes out the window and for a week or two, we refuse to worry about spending too much. That is exactly why I budget so high, so their are no guilty feelings, because there is not much chance that we will go over the budgeted amount.

    We always come home with extra money that starts our saving account for the next trip.


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