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Saving money on food while staying on Disney property


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#1 bless9ings

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 03:52 PM

I am looking to ask all you experienced people who have gone on this trip to Disney:

 

I am looking for ways to save money on food. 

 

Does anyone buy food?  Do you eat meals in your room besides breakfast?  Ideas of food to eat? 

 

Where is the closest and least expensive place to buy food off site?

 

How much does milk usually cost at the resort?

 

Where are the least expensive places to go out to eat?

 

Is there a close by Little Caesars?

 

Thanks.  Looking for ways to save money on food, but staying on site!  :rolleyes:


Edited by bless9ings, 27 February 2014 - 03:54 PM.


#2 Vonni Preston Anderson

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 04:07 PM

We always bring snacks in a large ziploc bag like fruit roll ups, raisins, bananas, pretzels, etc. we also bring in waters, just a few, and juice boxes. Even the counter service meals are fairly large so we split them between two or three of us, depending on how hungry we are. There are lots of restaurants within driving distance of the resort. You name it, it's down there! If you need some details on what is large enough to split, let me know if there's any specific foods that y'all don't like, I can detail you a list of yummy stuff! We go down to Disney World about twice a year so I know a fair amount!
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#3 Dianna

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 04:09 PM

Tammy, I'm posting Kimberly's post from Facebook (she's having trouble accessing the forum from her iPad):

 

"Take in your own food, water etc. Rent a locker and take a soft cooler. Spend money only on what you want to but like favorite snacks, one meal, etc. Take in the pouches you can add to water to flavor. You can get free water and ice at quick services. Sorry would post but your link won't open on my iPad.

 

Soft sided, no wheels, must fit in lockers so research the park your going too and size you want to get. No wagons, no glass, no silverware.

 

Use ice from vending machines at hotels, freeze gogurts, water bottles, etc..."



#4 hawaiianatheart

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 04:21 PM

We always take in our own lunch (sandwiches), snacks (usually a salty & a sweet) & refillable water bottles. If kids (or you) don't like water then take flavor packets. A lot lighter and cheaper. Sometimes we'll take in 2 sandwiches (1 for lunch & 1 for dinner) on those long days. We've even taken in buns and a container of BBQ chicken. Most of the food carts sell fruits if you want a fresh, healthy snack without lugging it around. We typically allowed for 1 ice cream type snack a day (especially nice if you go during hotter times of the year). They run about $3 each so if you have a large family that may be out of the budget.
 

We stay off-site so I take a crock pot and make dinner up in advance to be waiting on us as soon as we get in. Last year I even took pre-made meals with us so that I didn't have to think too much about cooking. Think of things that freeze well for travelling purposes. I made Santa Fe chicken for burritos, BBQ Chicken (my kids will live on these 2 things alone) and another dish so that all I had to do was fix veggies. :) Oh, I guess this is only if you are driving. Sorry - I live in GA. 

There is a CiCi's nearby but I can not say I'd recommend it. In all fairness it has been 3 yrs since I was last at CiCi's down there. Many FF restaurants in the area and even Walmart's Deli is open later than you typically see *at home*. 


Edited by hawaiianatheart, 27 February 2014 - 04:24 PM.

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#5 annefields

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 04:23 PM

We've not done this.  We simply eat at the parks and try to do the character meals when possible but friends of ours did the dining plan for only half their party and they said it was plenty of food for all of them.  At Disneyland they will only allow one bottle of water per person to carry in but not sure about WDW.


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#6 Ellen English Pillar

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 04:35 PM

Are you staying at the Swan/Dolphin or somewhere else onsite? There are many shopping options nearby but honestly the Disney property is so immense that it depends where you are staying as to what is closest! We usually do cereal bars/waffles for breakfast and bring in granola bars and other snacks. As long as you can carry it and it isn't glass or alcohol, you can bring it in. My mom once brought an open bag of microwave popcorn she was munching on into Epcot and the only comment she got was the security guard saying that now she wanted to get some popcorn on her break! If you don't want to haul waters around any counter service will give you complementary ice water without blinking an eye.
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#7 Joanne Braddy

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 05:04 PM

There is a grocery place that will bring food into you, as well in case your flying. I stay in condos just off site, but when we stayed at the on site accommodations we had a fridge. Well I make freezer meals, usually once a month and I can just pop them in the microwave or in the crockpot. So we carried a crockpot and there was a microwave in our room. If you put it in the crockpot on the way out the door and plan to be home at 6 or so. On the late nights we would have a crockpot breakfast or a quick in room one. Also depending on kids' ages, the sit down meals are sometimes very big. Perfect to split for two little ones. Someone also recently told me the Ohana has a buffet line. I asked about it due to my daughter and I following a strict diet and me being concerned about eating options. I vaguely beleive I saw a few microwaves at the "fast" food type places in the lobby. I only remeber this because a nice young lady was warming a baby bottle in it.

Edited by Joanne Braddy, 27 February 2014 - 05:07 PM.

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#8 Stephanie Schultz

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 05:45 PM

We drive there and depending on where we stay we will take a mini fridge and coffee maker with us. I use the coffee maker to heat water for oatmeal and for coffee. We keep milk and water in the fridge. I bring snacks that my kids like for the parks and flavor packets to put in our water if the kids want juice. We normally eat lunch and dinner at the park. The food isn't too expensive for how much you get. I can usually share a lunch with my husband and then we drink our own water. We will get the kids their own meal and if they don't eat much, (which happens a lot) my husband or whoever didn't feel like they had enough would eat it. It all works out and we are usually stuffed with 1 adult meal and 2 kids meals. Read on Disney's website what they allow in the parks. They do go through all your bags so be prepared for that. I bring a small soft cooler for my water that I bring frozen from home and 1 backpack that I can easily carry with me when we go on rides. Sometimes a towel or two that I keep in the stroller for water rides or just to use as a sun shade when a child falls asleep in the stroller.
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#9 bless9ings

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 07:54 PM

Ellen English Pillar,

 

How do you do waffles?

 

We are planning to stay at the Dolphin.  We usually have done the free dining in the past.  We like to splurge and dine in the parks for two meals, but we would like to stay an extra week off site and I was thinking it would be nice to cut back how much money we spend in the parks for food, to stay an extra week.  We have always done breakfast in the room, unless we booked a character breakfast in the past.  It's been a real treat to dine out in the parks, but I would really like to stay an extra week, so something has to give!  :(



#10 bless9ings

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 07:56 PM

Joanne Braddy,

 

Do you bring a crockpot and microwave to the room on property?



#11 Joanne Braddy

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 02:53 PM

I typically carry the crockpot and a microwave is in our room. We are staying at the condos this go round so I know I will have a oven, microwave and full fridge. I follow websites like once a month mom, and get my meals planned out. Seeing as this visit it will just be me and my daughter I would make the meals solely for 2 people. If it was the whole family I would make them for everyone. The crockpot meals seem to be the easiest. They are usually in ziplock bags, you just pour them in the crockpot on your way out the door, turn it on low and go. Microwave you would usually need to bring a big bowl or plate. I hope that helps. Also I have heard that if you do the character lunches or breakfasts, you get a large portion of food for basically what you would pay at the "fast" food resturants. I have only done one character breakfast and I do remember them bringing extra helpings to my kids of pancakes and such if they wanted more.



#12 Dianna

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 04:05 PM

I'm not sure if I'm misunderstanding, but Disney character meals are usually very expensive - much more than what you would pay at a fast food restaurant.

 

Warmly,

Dianna



#13 Janey Hathcock

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 09:17 PM

One thing I am doing this year is I bought a Britta water pitcher. We drink a Lot of water and I will use this instead of bottled which is expensive and doesn't taste all that good. And I don't have to lug cases of water around. We will also share meals as my DD is vegetarian.
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