We've all got to eat, right? And we all know when you are on vacation, food costs a bit more. But how much does it got to eat at Disney for a day?
There are some variables, and it really depends on if you are a quick service diner, like to sit table service, or if you are a snack and go kinda person. Prices are also going to be much higher if you are doing character dining. Depending on where you choose to eat is going to determine your price.
But...how vague is that? You already know that, right? So how about a breakdown for you.
Let's pretend that you are spending three days at Disney World. One day for Magic Kingdom, one day for Hollywood Studios, and one day for Animal Kingdom.
I'm going to present three days worth of meals. Of course, you can mix and match, but this gives you an idea of the general costs. No two days are going to be the same, this is just pure research. Each comes with a pretend scenario.
For our purposes, we will assume that these are adult meal, and that there are no alcoholic drinks bought. If you enjoy those, awesome! But budget, because you know they aren't cheap! We will also assume that there are no character meals. Each meal is bought from a Disney owned place. We will also assume two snacks a day, but no dessert at meals. We are also not buying drinks except for at meals, but plan for those too, if you buy them outside of mealtimes.
Create these sample menus for yourself, mased on what you enjoy eating. The prices will guide, but you might also see how you can cut back a little. Disney generally has generous portions. Perhaps you want to skip a salad or bread. Maybe at lunch you drink water.
This also allows you to see snacks and meals come in all different price ranges. And...quick service isn't just burgers or chicken fingers!
Day One Magic Kingdom
With so much to do at Magic Kingdom, you plan to get an early start. Therefore, you are going to be grabbing a bite to eat from the resort grab and go while waiting for resort transportation. You'll eat a quick service lunch, and splurge on a nice dinner.
Breakfast - Pastry and a coffee from grab and go
Lunch - Cosmic Ray's
$10.99 Greek salad with chicken strips
$3.99 fountain drink
$7.19 Mickey Pretzel
Dinner - Tony's Town Square
$11 Garlic bread for the table
$36 Butcher's Steak
$3.99 fountain drink
$5.99 Dole Whip
Day One Total for Food: $88.13 (Does not include dinner's gratuity)
Day Two: Hollywood Studios
You got up that morning with plenty of time to spare, so you pop into your resort for breakfast. You'll drab a sit down lunch, but plan to do a quick dinner, so you don't miss the nighttime spectacular!
Breakfast- Resort food court
$10.99 Ham and cheese omelet
$4.99 Orange juice
Lunch- Sci-fi Dine-in
$18.00 Over roasted turkey sandwich
$3.99 fountain drink
Dinner- Backlot Express
$11.99 Cuban Sandwich
$3.99 fountain drink
$6.79 Funnel cake
Day Two Total for Food: $66.24 (Does not include lunch's gratuity)
Day Three: Animal Kingdom
It's another grab and go on the way to Animal Kingdom! Lunch is your favorite spot, and sitting next to the river to watch the wildlife. Dinner is a second quick service stop, as there is really only one Disney owned sit down there, but that's okay, you've a long line to stand in for Flight of Passage and don't want to waste time.
$6.99 Breakfast bagel
$3.99 apple juice
Lunch: Flametree BBQ
$15.69 Chicken and ribs combo
$3.99 fountain drink
$4.99 Soft serve
Dinner: Satu'li Canteen
$12.79 Cheeseburger pods
$3.99 fountain drink
$9.29 Buffalo chicken chips
Day Three Total for Food: $61.72
One thing I find really interesting is that you'll leave each of these meals full. You might not even want a snack or if you do, maybe you'll split one. Also, none of these meals are boring. They aren't standard theme park fare. In fact... my stomach is growling just reading these menus!
Using these sample menus, you can easily see that a day of quick service, plus two snacks will run around $60. Depending on the location AND the item ordered, around $70 or so (without gratuity) for sit down, per person. Take those numbers from your own sample menus, and use that to guide how much you'll need to plan for meals!
If you have an upcoming Disney vacation, you might have noticed that instead of loads of choices in the MagicBand selection it's...well...a little lacking the magic.
So, what should you do?
Just like everyone else, Disney is struggling with supply issues. It's noticeable in their food, their merchandise in Park, and also the MagicBands.
Before you sit down in your My Disney Experience and start to panic, let me reassure you. You'll be able to get something. And, changes are really good it's something that you will like! But...there are a few tricks to that, and I'm going to explain them.
First, let's talk about HOW you get a MagicBand, and what it does, for those of you new to Disney's MagicBands.
What it is
A MagicBand is like a key and your credit card. If staying at a Disney resort, it acts as your room key. When you make a purchase, with your pin, you can just automagically (no typo there!) have your room or card billed.
This band used to get you into the Fastpass Lanes, now, it's for the Lightening Lanes.
How much are they? Are they free?
MagicBands used to be free when you had a Disney package. They now are not. You are given a pre arrival discount though, and there are a LOT more designs to choose from. A plain band is $10, and they go up from there, generally in incriments of $5. So, $10, $15, $20, etc.
Now, do you NEED a MagicBand? Nope! You are perfectly fine without one. A lot of stuff can be done on your phone. But I'm going to be honest with you. I was super grateful I had my phone on my when I stepped outside my resort room and the door slammed behind me and I was alone. I opened my app, clicked to open my door and....I turned my phone this way. I jiggled it that way. I adjusted the brightness. I wiggled it, and started to get frustrated. Just as I was about to manifest into a Disney villain, CLICK. It opened. Boy that was frustrating. And it took a long time too! What if I had someone I had to get to quickly?
How do you get one of these magical devices?
You can get MagicBands one of four places, and each has it's benefits or pitfalls.
1. Reuse one of your old MagicBands. You can reuse a MagicBand that was assigned to you on a previous trip.
2. You can buy one on ShopDisney. Their collection is very, very small though. As in, last time I checked, two band styles.
3. You can buy a band at a Disney Park or Resort. There is going to be a larger selection in person, but there's no discount on the price.
4. You can purchase before your trip, through My Disney Experience. This can be tricky. Let me explain.
Purchasing MagicBands Through My Disney Experience
Since there are thousands of people trying to buy MagicBands for their trip the same time as you are, it can be hard to get the style band you want.
At any given time, I found between twenty and forty different MagicBand styles. Huge difference, huh?
See that sparkly rose gold one up there? I really had wanted the silver. Or the solid raspberry. But I waited too long...and couldn't get it.
As a matter of fact, I had to check every day for two weeks before we were able to get bands that each of us liked. Yikes! Even still, when we got our young's MagicBand in, it was supposed to be an orange-y coral color with Chewbacca on it. That thing is pinkish! Luckily, he didn't care, maybe because I talked up the cool picture, but remember, the color may vary slightly!
There are a few things to know, and these tips will help you do the trick: Getting the MagicBands you want.
1. Check the site when the bands restock in the morning!
The MagicBands restock in the morning! That's your go time! Channel that inner "Gotta get my fastpass or dining reservation" attitude, set your clock, and get ready!
If you can't do that, then...
2. Check several times throughout the day.
That's right! It's quite possible that someone had been dithering about their band, a trip got canceled, or some other thing and the band you want reappears. That's actually how I got my sparkly rose gold one! That one was my choice #3, which leads into...
3. Know ahead of time what you might like.
Have a few favorites in mind. It's best if everyone in your party can have two of three band ideas that they like. Then, once you know what's a yes, and you see at least one for each person, you can grab the perfect MagicBand set!
4. Pounce on it when you see it
Seriously. Don't think ohhh I'll wait...nope. If there's a band everyone in your party will like, snag it while they have it.
5. Don't give up
If you can't get just what you want the first try, or ten, just keep swimming. You'll find a fun band you like eventually, I promise! That might mean you wait and get one in person but there are still many MagicBands out there for sale!
Hopefully these tips helped a little to assist you in getting JUST the perfect MagicBands to make your Disney vacation extra magical!
I admit, I'm an absolute sucker for Mickey shaped items, so when ShopDisney got these fantastic foam soap dispensers in...I bought two. I mean, the kids need one too, right?!
This little beauty is sitting in out downstairs half bath, ready to delight each user, giving a little puff of Disney magic!
Of course, it wouldn't be as great if you couldn't refill it, and I have, successfully many times, and it still works beautifully. This does take the foaming soap refill, and like many of you, I've made my own with liquid soap, but I have not done that with this bottle. I don't want to risk damaging it, so I've only used the foaming soap refill.
There is a little trick though to get the perfect Mickey shape. Do you see the little white bits on the side of the soap pump? Touch your hand to those. If you do, you get a perfect Mickey head each time. Otherwise, it looks a bit off. It's still Mickey, but only Mickey-ish.
These are available for $20 from Disney, and if you happen to be going to the Parks this year, maybe you can snag the 50th anniversary themed one too! I know I'm going to try!
Though $20 is a lot for a bathroom soap dispenser, I have to be honest, the joy it brings with each handwash is priceless! And if you have young kids who might squeeze gobs and gobs on...or skips washing, this is perfect because it gives the right amount, and makes washing up fun!
Easter is coming! But so is our Disney trip. As much as I LOVE hiding a riot of colors in our yard and watching the kids run around, each year it's a bit of a struggle to stuff those eggs. My kids aren't really into candy, and food allergies complicate things at times. We've done stickers, coins, small trinkets...but so much of it just lays around.
This year, I wanted to do some fun surprises, but also help toward their Disney savings, so I quickly created some Mickey Money! I'm sharing the printable with you.
Print it on colored paper if you like, or color it! Assign each kid a particular color and you can use this for Easter eggs, chore rewards, or anything else! Hey...I'm not above a bribe if need be.
I realized belatedly, that these print out kind of big, so I'm going to show you how to make these smaller. You'll simply choose to print off two pages per page printed. Here's how:
I hope you enjoy this fun little printable! I'm hiding fifteen of each of these for my kids, which they can trade in for the $15 gift cards I picked up at the Disney Outlet.
You can easily find $25 gift cards at Target too, or maybe you just want to let your kids collect, and you'll reward at vacation time! Either way, less junky stuff laying around, and more Disney moola!
You can click below to find the file. You can also click here, to access my other fun, free printables. (Like an awesome stroller sign, or packing list!)
I hope you have as much as I will passing these out to my kids!
If you'd rather be rope dropping than taking time to linger over breakfast, you aren't alone! But, the fact of the matter is people have to eat. Even if you aren't a huge breakfast eater, chances are someone else in your party is, and you really do need a little fuel to keep you going!
You could grab something at the park once there, and many do, but just as many would rather watch their dollars, and breakfast in the room or while waiting in the transportation line.
These ideas are all perfect for those staying in a value resort. There's a fridge, but no microwave except for in the food court. If you are are in a room with a microwave or a small kitchen, then you have a LOT more options!
Chances are you already know how easy a few of these are, but there could be some surprises! I've got a list of 25 for you! Chose one or combine a few for a fast, easy breakfast and spend your money on more important things! Like souvenirs!
1. Cold cereal (You can buy milk from a resort food court or have delivered!)
2. Thawed breakfast sandwiches (heat in the food court microwave)
3. No-cook overnight oatmeal
4. Pastries (donuts, honeybuns, etc)
5. Yogurt and granola
6. Fresh fruit and cheese
7. Granola bars
8. English muffins and jam
9. Fruit cups / Applesauce
10. Precooked bacon or sausage
11. Bagels and cream cheese or avacado
13. String cheese
14. Cottage cheese
15. Graham crackers
16. Crusty loaf, cheese, and olives or pesto
17. Biscuits and apple butter
18. Instant breakfast shakes
19. Dried fruit
20. Beef jerky or meat sticks
21. Instant oatmeal (using water from the well washed coffee maker)
22. Crackers and sunbutter
23. Smoothies (there are several refrigerated brands)
24. Bread with cheese, tomatoes, and avadaco
25. Last night's leftovers!
While there are so many more things you can do, maybe some of these will give you ideas for your next trip. We always pack breakfasts, (budget, time, and food allergies!) but I actually really love doing that, because my kids and I are not huge eaters first thing in the morning. By tossing some of these into our park bags, we end up having a snack when we are hungry, but save a ton of time and money!