Tag Archives: snacks
Our readers have Dining questions all the time. When is the best time to eat? Quick Service or Table Service? Dining Plan or No? Ask ten people how they eat when they are at Walt Disney World and you will get twelve different answers! It all depends on how you like to do things at the parks. I’m going to give you a rundown of how we plan our meals at Walt Disney World with two kids.
1. Disney Dining Plan: We always do the Disney Dining Plan (especially when it’s free). There are debates on whether you are saving money, but we like the convenience. I like being able to budget most of my expenses ahead of time. Children under 3 are not required to purchase a Dining Plan, so they can eat off of your plate. There is so much food, this is never an issue.
2. Plan your Advance Dining Reservations. Yup, we love to eat at Disney and have our favorite places to go. So after consulting TouringPlans.com for their crowd calendar, we decide which days we will be at which park. Then we map out our Advance Dinning Reservations (ADR’s). With the dining plan you get one Table Service, one Quick Service and one Snack per person, per night of stay. You can use in any order or combination and we do!
3. Bang for Your Buck: If you are using the Disney Dining Plan, get the most out of your money. Plan character meals, which are often very expensive. Check out the menu’s ahead of time and make sure you go somewhere special, that you might not go to otherwise. If you are looking to do Le Cellier for a romantic evening, or Cinderella’s Royal Table for your Princess, plan on 2 Table Service Credits.
What is a Garden Grocer and why are we so in love with it? Garden Grocer is a local supermarket outside the Disney World properties in Orlando. There are many grocery stores in the area that will make your deliveries but Garden Grocer does the best job by far!
5 Reasons why we love Garden Grocer:
- Online ordering. It’s so much easier to peruse the selections online than try to explain something over the phone. Their system is very user-friendly and their selection complete. Coming from “up North” some of the brands were unfamiliar, but they had everything I was looking for.
- Delivery. Right to your Disney Resort or place off property. With a delivery to our Disney Resort we didn’t even need to be in our room. Your groceries are left with luggage/bell services and the cold items in refrigerated storage. At most of the moderate or deluxe grade resorts you may have the groceries then delivered by bell services upon your return. Otherwise you can pick them up at the luggage rooms. Check with your resort ahead of time if you think there may be an issue.
- Selection. Garden Grocer has a huge selection of products. They have baby items, snacks and even alcoholic beverages. The online ordering section is divided into “aisles” just like your grocery store at home. My favorite section…”Park Essentials”.
- Savings. Buying these same items are a fortune at Disney’s gift shops. If all you want is a half-gallon of milk you can go into any Disney gift shop and get one. We even found we were able to use snack credits for boxes of crackers and cookies. However, if you are looking to save on snacks to bring to the park or have breakfast items on hand you will not save any money by going to the food courts.
- Time. We don’t rent a car while at Disney. If we did, the LAST thing we would want to do is running to the grocery store. We would rather be relaxing by our resort pool or enjoying the parks. You are on vacation, for a small delivery fee and a little planning ahead you really can enjoy it!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom may not be open as long as many of the other parks but they do pack in as much as they can in the hours that is available. While walking around I know I get hungry. We often get asked from fans, Are there many Quick Service choices for Dining in Disney’s Animal Kingdom? My answer would be, most definitely, and it’s some of the best food I’ve found in the Walt Disney World Parks.
Here is a rundown of what you can find throughout the park for snacks, a quick bite or a full meal. There are carts scattered all over the park, with often one item and beverages being the only options. Also a great choice are kiosks with no seating provided, but with plenty available nearby, usually 3 or more choices with beverages. Lastly there are full Quick Service plazas with dining, restroom facilities and plenty of indoor/outdoor seating.
Why include the carts and kiosks? Well, sometimes snacking around the Animal Kingdom is the best way. There are tons of nooks to grab a table and enjoy your surroundings.
- The Beastly Kiosk-Offers corn dogs, chips and beverage choices. Perfect if you are looking for quick eats as you enter the park.
- Safari Coffee-One of several kiosks near the tree of life. Perfect for an early morning stop, Safari Coffee offers coffee, espresso beverages, breakfast pastry and cupcakes. Seating is available nearby.
- Safari Ice Cream, Popcorn and Pretzels-Three kiosks located right before the entrance to Africa. Here you will find hand scooped ice cream, popcorn and stuffed pretzels. All serve water and soft drinks. The popcorn kiosk also serves beer.
- Flame Tree Barbecue- A Full Quick Service option near the road towards Dinoland, USA. The menu consists of house-smoked specialties; including ribs, pork and chicken. Salads and beverages are available. Seating is an outdoor, partially covered pavillion with amazing views of Everest.
- Pizzafari-Also a Full Quick Service option on the path towards Camp Mickey and Minnie. Both breakfast aand lunch are served here. Another benefit is indoor (aka air-conditioned) and outdoor seating. Breakfast options include Eggs, French Toast, Frittatas and Fresh Fruit. Lunch offers Pizza, Sandwiches and Salads.
So you’ve decided that flying to Disney is the way to go. I live in the Northeast, so our flight is short, but in my opinion necessary. My parents were all about the road trip, but with two young boys, I’m all about getting there quickly. So I’m going to share a few of my tips for a successful flying experience with the family. Disclaimer: I make no guarantees here. Flying these days can be rough. But try a few of these ideas to ease the pain.
- Picking Your Flight: Pick a time that works for you. If you are not morning people, don’t stress yourself out by trying to get a 6am flight. Direct flights are not always financially feasible, but if it’s a matter of a small amount, definitely go that way! Spend less on your souvenirs when you get to Disney. Obviously we are all traveling from different parts of the country, but we try to take a late morning flight which gets us in mid afternoon. For many families, travelling during nap time works out well. If your kid is easily distracted this is not a good plan. Then you are left with a napless, cranky child.
- Discounted Flights: Many times if you go to your home airport there will be smaller companies that fly out of there to Orlando. For example Chip has Frontier and Allegiant air that fly out of Greensboro with direct flights to Orlando. Tickets usually run $49 each way. Just check the individual airline website for details as many of these companies will not show up on Expedia or some of the other travel sites.
- Bagging It: We travel with a backpack with several pockets and use bags within the bag. By that I mean using Ziploc bags, pencil cases, makeup bags, etc to compartmentalize your items. Dollar Stores are a great place to find little bags. Keep all like items together for easy access during the security check in and flight.
- Travel Insurance: If you are travelling during Hurricane Season or during the winter months, I strongly recommend this. On the three trips I’ve purchased insurance, I’ve had to use it twice. The company that works with Disney will handle all your flight rebooking and the cost.
- Entertainment: Purchase some small entertaining toys, books or games that will be new to your children. Or put some of their favorites away for a while and reintroduce them. It could be as simple as a Matchbox car! Download apps, movies or tv shows they haven’t seen before if you travel with a IPad or similar device. Disney shows of course! Coloring books with the “magical markers” are a big hit with this family.
- Preparation: If this is their first flight, talk with your children about the process. Books are always great tools. Especially inform them that they will walk through security on their own. Practicing and play acting your flying scenario can be fun family time.
Most of us have a budget but Disney World can be a budget buster. My daughter and I have annual passes so we go as often as we can. Over the past few years I have learned a lot of money saving tips. Hopefully some of these can help you.
A huge one for me is getting a free cup of ice water in any quick service location that has a soda fountain. If the taste of the water bothers you then you can bring along some of those little flavored packets or Chip uses Mio. There are few locations that will only give you a cup of ice so in that case I just find the nearest water fountain. That can save you a lot of money especially when it’s hot out, which is most of the time here in Central Florida.
Disney World food prices can be a little expensive. So here are some tips that can help you save money on your next visit to Disney.
- You can get a kids meal at a quick service location and if you are not a big eater that will be just fine for lunch or dinner or if you are a big eater that can be a good snack for you. Quick service locations do not ask the ages of the child. You can get a kids meal without the plastic box and save $1.50
- The Plaza restaurant in the Magic Kingdom is a sit down restaurant, reservations are strongly recommended, their prices are reasonable, by Disney standards. There menu is limited but the selections they do have are all good and food portions are large enough to share.
- Casey’s Corner is quick service restaurant, on main street, they serve mainly hot dogs and fries. The portion sizes are large so if you are not a big eater you can share a hot dog between 2 people. As a bonus they also have UNLIMITED CHEESE Sauce for nachos and hot dogs!!!
- In Liberty Square, there is a food kiosk that sells mainly healthy snacks, along with some chips. They have these huge pickles, but they are big enough for 2 people. So put that with free cups of ice water and you have a snack for 2 people for less than $10.00.
- If you have a sweet tooth you can get a cupcake at The Confectionery or The Main Street Bakery. I know they are a little pricey but they are very good and they are huge so 2 people can split one. They also have many other tasty treats.
- Try getting a Waffle Sand which from Sleepy Hollow. They have a sweet and spicy chicken waffle and a ham, prosciutto, and Swiss cheese waffle, both for $6.99; and a Nutella and fresh fruit waffle for $5.59
- Another trick that works anywhere is using a company like Garden Grocer to order snacks and bring them with you to the parks.
With the money you save you can buy those Mickey ears you have been eying all day. What are some tips and tricks you use to save money on food at Walt Disney World? We would love to hear them in the comment box below.
Sunshine is Disney fanatic. You will find her counting the days until she gets to go back to Disney, while annoying her daughter with everything Disney.
- Your Preschooler won’t Remember their Disney Vacation… Or Will They??? (chipandco.com)
- Squirrel holds up Monorail at Disney World for 45 mins (chipandco.com)