Orlando - Disney ideas?

Discussion in 'Other U.S. Destinations' started by agape2travel, Feb 11, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. agape2travel
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    agape2travel Silver Member

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    My wife and I have a March trip to Orlando/Disney (Delta Airlines - staying @ Disney's All Star Sports Hotel - taking my daughter & son-in-law). I'm looking for frugal tips on food while in Orlando. Any ideas on feeding a family?
     
  2. Pizzaman
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    Are you renting a car? There are a couple of grocery stores on/nearby the Disney complex. While I don't mind paying the price for convenience, if you're on a budget, you'll definitely want to shop outside of your hotel for groceries.
     
  3. agape2travel
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    At the moment we are not planning on renting a car but could do so if needed. Would you recommend a car just for groceries, meals, etc.?
     
  4. Pizzaman
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    How much of your trip do you plan on spending at Disney vs. around Orlando? The food at Disney is not necessarily cheap. There are a number of dining plans you can purchase which will save a bunch of cash, but my recollection is that you need to purchase them for everyone in your party.

    Another way to save a bit of cash at Disney is to buy gift cards at Sam's Club. A $100 gift card is $99, but you also get a $10 Disney store card. So, you essentially use the $100 card to buy food, and the $10 card to buy souvenirs.
     
  5. agape2travel
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    We will check on this the next time we are at Sam's Club. Was this a holiday special or is it still being offered?
     
  6. Pizzaman
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    I purchased some about two weeks ago. How long are you going for, and how much of your time will be spent at Disney vs. elsewhere?
     
  7. safetymom
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    There are several companies that will deliver groceries to your Disney resort. Garden Grocer and WeGoShop are two of them. If you want to eat in the parks you could eat a late lunch since the prices typically are more during dinner for the same items manyt imes.

    If you don't have the dining plan but you bought tickets you might want to add it on for everyone.

    If you are taking a limo many companies will allow a 30 min grocery stop. You might want to pack some cereal or breakfast items and buy the milk in the gift shop. You can also use the microwave or toaster oven in the food court to prepare any items you brought with you.
     
  8. safetymom
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    I would also look on www.restaurant .com for restaurant certificates. I have bought them when you could get a $25 certificate for $2. You wouldn't be able to use them in the parks but you could use them at Downtown Disney, Swan/Dolphin. Look for the restaurants near Disney. They are a great deal.
     
  9. safetymom
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    You can also rent a car from National/Alamo on Disney property for a day if you want to go shopping. They have a shuttle that will pick you up at your resort and take you to the rental location near Magic Kingdom. When you are done and returning the car they will take you back to your resort.
     
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  10. ACEDAD
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    If you are staying for 2-3 days, a car isn't really needed. If you are going to spend a week there, I would highly recommend a car. Disney can tend to lose a bit of the magic after a few days unless you can get away and recharge a bit. There are several restaurants and a little grocery near the gate on Hwy 535.
     
  11. safetymom
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    I wouldn't recommend Goodings in the Crossroads Shopping Center on 535. Dingy, dirty and very overpriced even for the Disney area.

    I hope you are using Disney's free roundtrip transportation from the airport if you flying.
     
  12. aitchly
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    aitchly Silver Member

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    It also depends where you are staying. If that place has a kitchen and fridge, the rent for a day (or taxi or creative use of Disney transportation) makes more sense.
     
  13. Mundivaganti
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    I have used cabs to get from Disney World to grocery store. You can call a local taxi company and ask the dispatcher about the cost of getting to a supermarket, and compare that to car rental. It has been a few years, but as I recall the cost was about $6 each way. Seeing that a can of Coke in the vending machine was $3 it was a good deal cabbing to the store. Most of the supermarkets in that area cater to tourists and have large sections of deli foods and ready to eat items (rotisserie meats, chicken wings, salads) not to mention toys, pool toys, hats, sunglasses, and all the other stuff families on holiday might want to buy.
     
  14. safetymom
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    At the Disney resorts they have taxi cabs sitting in the parking lot. You can also go to the Hess gas stations on property where they have good pricing on beverages and snack items, bottled water.
     
  15. agape2travel
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    We are staying for 1 week. We are planning to spend the week doing the various Disney parks. We are checking into the car rental idea and the grocery delivery idea. Thanks!
     
  16. Pizzaman
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    If you're planing to be in the park all week, the dining plans are supposed to be a very good value. Also, if you take magical express from the airport (free shuttle), just hop in a cab when you get there and stock up on groceries.
     
  17. agape2travel
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    Lots of great tips! Thanks!
     
  18. bea61
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    The cheapest snacks in the parks are from the fruit stands. You can easily grab an apple, orange or banana for small price. Also, instead of soda, ask for a small cup of water when you purchase meals. You have to buy bottled water, but, as I recall, there is no charge for a cup of water. You can also refill the cup at water fountains. Bring your own small packets of lemonade mix if you want to add flavor. If you're looking for ordinary restaurants, take the in-park transport, boat or bus, to Downtown Disney. Both Rainforest Cafe and McDonalds are priced as they would be off property.
     
  19. TRHiker

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    My experience (somewhat dated now) was that most of the bottled water sold was bottled tap water (I don't remember if Dasani (Coke) or AquaFina (Pepsi)). Since it was a short visit, I did have a rental car so I was able to get out and and get better water and snacks.

    Also, at that time, National had a rental location in the park, which I think there was some pick-up or drop-off service with the park hotels. Maybe you don't need to keep a rental car the entire time, so you could rent one for a day and drop at the WDW location and reverse the process on the way back to the airport. Though I tell you, if you want to go to other hotels for a change of pace for dinner, it can really be time consuming to connect using the bus system unless it has really improved, so maybe try to do that on a day where you have a rental car.
     
  20. safetymom
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    The water sold is Dasani. There is no McDonalds at Downtown Disney any longer. The only McDonalds on property is over by the All Star resorts.
     
  21. tomv
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    The food available for purchase at the parks is generally overpriced and the quality is hit and miss. Having said that, I've had some outstanding meals at the countries section of Epcot. A quick suggestion would be to try the take out window at Great Britain if you like fish and chips! Other than that packing sandwiches and snacks from the grocery store works great. Also while at Disney we often have a pizza delivered to our room from Giordano's pizza. Great Chicago deep dish pizza!
     
  22. misman
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    I picked up a piece of advice on one of the disney sites (may be disboards.com, but don't recall) that I'll piece on. OK... actually three pieces of advice.

    1. Make lunch your main meal in the parks; it is generally cheaper
    2. The turkey legs, though still rather expensive, can feed two for lunch
    3. If you want burger, get a double and ask for a 2nd bun. The cost of the double + extra bun is less than two burgers!
    I also found the food at the Epcot World Showcase to be good, varied, and not too crazy.

    However, Disney (anywhere) is not a place to go on a budget!
     
  23. safetymom
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    The dining plans can really help if you are trying to save money on your trip. They aren't for everyone but it does help with the budget if you know in advance how much your food will cost.
     

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