Inexpensive food ideas?


We have never budgeted for food before, but for our next trip, I would like to. The four of us can make an entire meal of two turkey legs, and we always eat breakfast in the room before we head out to the parks. I would liek to know about some places to get very reasonably priced food at the parks - I suppose the CAntina is pretty cheap outside of Mexico. And I hear Earl of Sandwich is good food and good prices at Marketplace. Any other suggestions? I’d like to avoid the burger stands, is possible. I don’t really like that kind of food very much!
What about The Land? Or the Plaza? Or Flame Tree? Or the MGM Commissary? Any place else?


You can get a list of WDW menues, complete with prices, at The menues are generally pretty up to date.

But inexpensive food and Disney don’t go well together. Which is why the dining plan is such a good deal.


Yeah… Our dad isn’t even letting us have a single character meal on our trip…


[I]Dear Dr. Cavey,
After plunking down a ton of money for WDW, our nine kids are now demanding we feed them on the trip. Any suggestions on how to do this?

A Broke Parent[/I]

Dear Broke,
I have noted that children are one of the second most ungrateful group of people. Recently, my own children voiced their disatisfactiobn with re-wrapping last year’s Christmas presents, switching tags, and redistributing them back into the household. Despite their lack of financial contribution to the household, my preschoolers demand new gifts.

The most ungrateful group of people, of course, are the Amish, but I digress.

Recent changes in the law require “fit” parents to feed their children on a regular basis. While it is unclear whether or not these laws will hold up under court challenges, the basic consensus is a child should be feed a minimum of three times a day (four times if you live in North Dakota).

How much you feed a child at each meal depends on two key things: 1. How much the child eats, and 2. How big you want the child to grow. The second factor is most important. Scientific research has show that, just as a goldfish will grow to the size of its aquarium, a child will grow proportionately to the amount you feed it. If you’d like your children to be on the smallish size, measure portions carefully. If you are hoping for a NBA star, then heap the portions on.

As far as feeding children at WDW, value is key. And your best bet is the all-you-can-eat buffet. Saving money is easy here, if you know what to do.

Now, you CAN go the amatuerish route and take in empty purses/bags to fill up for a later meal. To be sure, you can take a lot of food out with this plan. However, most people on vacation fail to take into account how the food is to be reheated later.

The best way to take full advantage of “bait 'n switch” techniques. This begins with you, your spouse, and your oldest child sitting down to a delicious buffet. You and your spouse will want to slow down and take your time with this meal, as you will be there a while. However, it is important that your eldest gulp down as much food as he can stomach in a short amount of time. After a few minutes, your full child should excuse himself from the table to “use the restroom.” Momentarily, your child will return to the table to continue eating. However, only the most atuned eye will notice this child is not the same one who left moments earlier. It is, in fact, your second eldest child. And the cycle continues so that roughly 90 minutes after first entering the restaurant, your youngest child is completing her meal. Now when the waiter appears with the bill, you are paying for 2 adults and one child.

Good luck and enjoy your meal!

~Dr. Cavey


Hey! He stole that tip from me!


Oh…that was good. And how refreshing to read ingenious ideas on how to eat more after a full day of eating.


Oh now, be thankful that you are going to WDW. You’ll see the characters in the parks…be happy :wink:


I’ll give you the serious answer since caver is giving you the silly one…lol Your question was how much to budget per day for food right? Budget $50 per day per person for lunch and dinner if you don’t intend to eat at the high priced places. That will cover a turkey leg or the like and a counter service meal for dinner per person easily. Budget seperately for food for the room for breakfast.


I made two reservations – one is at a Good Neighbor Hotel, and the other is completely offsite, but cheaper. I waited so long to book this trip that I am lucky to find rooms in Orlando at all! And WDW is really very booked – we need two rooms, and the $$$ was out of control at this late date to stay onsite.
So: Can I buy the dining plan if I am staying at a Good Neighbor Hotel???


Great one Cavey!!! I am still laughing!! I could not get away with that with our boys, they are growing by the minute, and eating like locust!!! They would just go ahead and mug the old man to eat!!


Bummer! No dining plan if your at a Good Neighbor hotel!!! Rats…

(guess it is bread crusts for the kids!) LOL


You can only get the dinig plan as part of a package. I know it wasn’t even an option for me as I’m staying at the Swan. It’s Disney owned hotels only.