This will be my daughter Mackenzie's first time going to Disney in Florida. We saved and saved for this trip. I found a FANTASTIC deal on the non stop flight there and back for $76.33 and we got a 4 star hotel for $31.00 a night. Passes for Disney were a huge chunk out of our money, but again I found a fantastic deal on those. 6 days of passes for 215.00. We are super, super excited about this trip.
The reason I am writing to all of you is to ask for cheaper ways to eat while we are there besides packing our lunches. Maybe some of you know of little places that you maybe have been while you were there or just thriftier ways to get our meals and we do need to get those little souvenirs. : ) We are going when it will be the hottest, but again that saved us money. We leave at the end of August.
The counter service type restaurants inside the parks will have the cheapest food although still can be expensive, but portions are usually generous so you can share. My biggest advice is have some water bottles or some sort of sports bottle for each family member that you can refill with water. Drinks in the parks are very high and you don't want to be drinking sweet stuff all day anyway. If one of you carries a backpack, fill it with some cereal bars, fruit, etc. to snack on. If your hotel provides a complimentary breakfast, eat big so that you can snack for lunch and then have a nice dinner.
I grew up with four brothers and my parents took us to Cedar Point every year. One thing we did was in the middle of the day we got our hands stamped and went to the hotel to swim and cool off. If you have a younger one, he may need a nap. While we were there, we had cold meat sandwiches and whatever snacks my mom brought on the trip or bought at the grocery there. We all enjoyed the break and cooling off in the pool. We went back to the park refreshed and ready to finish out the day till closing time!!
Sounds like everyone has some great ideas! My best advice, eat breakfast in your room before you leave (pig out!), take bottles of water and snacks for the day, and eat a nice chain place for dinner. Tell your daughter she can have one "yummy" at the parks, like an ice cream as a treat, that will be expensive enough. I can't agree more to get that fridge in the hotel room. Worth every penny! (And I remember lots of drinking fountains in the parks!)
In Disney, the cheapest way to eat for mine was to find the vendor selling the BBQ turkey drumsticks! My kids love them! And it was the cheapest for us. But if you can, take a cooler for your vehicle for later in the day. You will be amazed how much just simple drinks cost. So pack it with your own drinks and ice and each day after leaving the park if no one wants a big meal, just go thru a drive thru and get the .99 cent hamburgers and french fries, go find a park or even back to the motel and have a picnic. We learned the hard way that a meal for 4 every evening was costing us over $50 at the restaurants close to the park. And kids didn't have eat it... no place to take the leftovers... a big waste. But even Subway or anything similar is cheaper then name brand restaurants. It won't hurt kids and you to live on half-junk food for a few days... mine think thats one of the best parts of the trip.
But always remember its cheaper away from the main attractions, so take a few back roads and see if you can find small diners , etc.
But as for eating inside Disney, try to limit it to just one meal (lunch) to keep the costs down. I can't remember the names or I would tell you the best ones. Maybe someone out there thats been recently will know~
Have fun! and start stocking up now on granola type bars for the drive there for snacks!
We are going to Disney World with my son for the first time, too!! I am also looking for these types of tips, so thanks for posting this.
If possible, could you give some insight into how you found such inexpensive flights and lodging?
Food at the hotels can be very, very expensive. Breakfast for 2 adults and two toddlers would run us $20! Next time I will be renting a fridge with the room. On our last trip, I brought a gift card for TGI Friday that I earned with points on my credit card.
Also, you can bring your own un-opened bottles of water into the parks. If you freeze them before hand, you will have cold water to drink all day. Otherwise, the water in the parks is very expensive!
You should check out these web sites...
DO NOT EAT AT DISNEY RESTAURANTS!
We went a couple of years ago and found that at the cheapest restaurant where we had hamburgers and fries, the price was double what we would have paid at McDonalds or Burger King.
Also, a warning on rides: The spaceship ride at Epcot is awesome, but if you have any kind of high blood pressure, a tendency toward motion sickness, etc., DO NOT RIDE THAT! I have both and I was sick all day long. Every other ride that I could have normally handled just made it worse. They have warning signs posted. I ignored them. DON'T - They know what they're talking about!
Don't get me wrong - it is a great place to go and my husband and the kids and I had a lot of fun and a wonderful time. That spaceship ride (though it was probably the neatest ride there) made me so sick I had to go sit somewhere where it was quiet for about an hour or so afterwards, and still even people walking by made me sick.
At your motel/room have "instant soups, instant spuds, powdered Tang orange drink" anything that can be nutritious and instant... canned chicken, tuna,
cheese can be kept in the hotels refrigerator and serve all of these with crackers. Bring a bowl with a lid to cover some of the canned left overs for later.
The room will have a micro there, so use it. IF you do not bring extra throw away paper plates, cups, etc. your hotel should have all of that for when it serves its breakfast in the mornings...ask them for some.
Good luck and know now that it is very, very, very expensive to eat anywhere is the Walt Disney Parks!
Eat before going...bring potatoe chips & snacks to eat while there AND have a good time!
AND know now that I do not even recall seeing a water fountain within any of the parks SO carry a travel cup with you the decreases in size and then get your water out of the bathroom sinks to drink that is within the park. I beleive the folding/expandable travel cups can be purchased at the $1 store. I carry one with me in my purse at all times when we travel and with children in tow it is a life saver when they are thristy. When there is only water for them to drink and no other choices it is amazing how they do not get thristy at all, ha!
How did you get the fantastic deals on flight and the 4 star hotel?
We are looking to go in january
I live about 20 minutes from the Disney parks. We go to the parks once a year. We always bring in water bottles and snacks.Sometimes we even bring in sandwiches. It really is expensive to eat at the parks. If you can, get your hand stamped and go off property to eat. There are a ton of resturants on Hwy 192, there are buffet resturants, Dennys, Red Lobster, McDonalds, etc.
Would you be so kind as to share the name of the 4 star hotel for $31. per night that your booked? I would probably go there as I have relatives that live near there & we visit about 3 to 4 times a year.
Have a great time & thank you.
When my husband and I go to Cedar Point (hi Jillian...awesome park, isn't it?) we eat a decent breakfast beforehand and then at the park we get something cold to drink and snacks once or twice during the day. We then stop on the way home someplace for dinner. (We do eat dinner at the park on occasion - it's just the 2 of us, and we eat out a lot, but I know it can be cost prohibitive for families.)
We took our grandkids a few years ago. We had a fridge and microwave in the room, so I brought hot chocolate, instant coffee, cup of soup, those pasta dishes in bowls, etc. Every night we frooze water in bottles and made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches which they carried in their backpack with snacks the next day. We found a local grocery store nearby where I purchased salad in a bag, salad dressing, hot dogs, anything that could be microwaved for supper. The supermaret also sold cooked chicken - fried and roasted that we had with the salad. Hope this helps. By the way, 4 of us flew from NY, stayed for 10 days and went to Disney, Sea World, Universal Stuios and some water park in Orlando for under $1,000. We were on the go everyday.
I have heard about the turkey legs, too.
There is a McDonald's in Orlando that the kids will love--two stories--games galore--prizes, too. Google Orlando McDonald's food coupons and you will get some good coupons to use there, too.
Another idea, buy an Entertainment Book for the Orlando area--you can do this on the internet. It's worth the money.
visit Deb Wills site on the internet. it has advice on everything
also check out Frommers book on Disney and if you can get a copy the Passporter book.
Have you heard about the Restaurant web site? It's an amazing way to save on meals during your trip. For $3 you can actually purchase $10 dollars of food. And for just $10 you can purchase $25 in food. You won't believe how many restaurants in the Orlando area already participate in this program. Just go to the site, find the restaurants you want to eat at, and pick up the discounts before you go. It's that simple!
Click this link now and you will go right to the Florida section of the Restaurant web site. Then just click on Orlando/Orange County to see all the restaurants you can choose from. Just one more way that I save on my trips to Orlando -- how's that for cool?
Restaurant.com -- Eat. Drink. Save Money.
sorry the link didn't work
click on Orlando/Orange County
Add your voice! Click below to comment. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!