Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Disney World Planning Part 3

I’ve told y’all why we chose to stay within the resort here and all about how we planned out which parks we’ll go to on what days using the emh’s here.  Now I’m going to tell you all about dining.

When you go on vacation you know that you have to eat out at least 3 times a day as well as grab any snacks and drinks your family may want while out and about.  Eating can get expensive, but here is our plans.  Keep in mind that we are driving to Disney and if your flying for your vacation some of these things may not be doable.

  • We plan on taking breakfast items so that we don’t have to eat that meal out.  We aren’t big breakfast eaters so I know that wasting money on a meal that early isn’t worth it.  At most all the resorts you can get a mini fridge in your room for an extra charge {I think it’s about $10}.  So having milk and juice boxes isn’t going to be hard.  Or if you don’t want to pay the extra money you can always carry a big cooler and keep it iced up with the ice from the hotel.  Poptarts, Gogurt, cereal bars, Honey Buns, Doughnut Sticks and fresh fruit.  These are all quick and easy things for breakfast that you can take with you or eat on the go if you wanted too.  
  • We also plan on taking granola bars, cheese/peanut butter crackers, small bags of chips, fruit juice gummies, rice krispy treats, fig newtons, bottles of water, Capri Sun’s, etc.  This is for our “take into the park bag”.  We have a soft sided cooler {coolers are allowed in the parks at Disney within size, check their website for size restrictions} and will carry it with us hooked on Kelsie’s stroller that we’ll pack it full of snacks. If you don’t have a stroller you could always stash some of this stuff in a backpack type bag.  After all, being out all day is going to take it’s toll on us and we are going to be hungry from time to time between meals so this will be the perfect money saver.  It will keep us from buying all those extra drinks that will get wasted and all those bags of popcorn or other foods that will go uneaten.  I have read on numerous sites that you can get free ice water from any food stand.  Just ask!  Of course with this I also read that not everybody likes Orlando’s water.  So it’s up to you.  However, if your big on saving the planet and not taking water bottles, you could always buy one of the newer reusable water bottles that comes with replaceable filters.  I saw one at Target for about $6.00 or so.  Totally worth it, I think. 
  • As far as lunch and dinner goes….We talked about it and chose to eat out “expensive” one time and do quick service or at the hotel the rest of the time.  All of your resorts will have restaurants or a cafeteria that have all sorts of food to choose from. {keep in mind that some restaurants at your resort will be busy and reservations may be needed to assure that you’ll get a seat at a reasonable time} Grabbing lunch or dinner there is a great choice when your heading back to the hotel at a meal time anyways.  For the times we’re in the parks during meal times I made a list of all the quick service restaurants and their locations according to the parks they are in.  This way when we are hungry we can choose a place to eat from my list and make our way in the direction that it’s located.  This will also save us time.  We will know exactly where the restaurant we are headed is at.
  • Dining plan.  Should you or shouldn’t you get it?  Well first off know that not everybody that goes to Disney is entitled to it.  Read about it thoroughly to decide.  There are a couple of different options and no prices are listed on their site.  It’s something you will have to enquire about.  However, we decided against it.  They say that it can save you money, which could be true.  But you should think about your families eating habits, how much you eat, how often etc and then decide if it’s right for you.
  • Reservations.  Ok, this is big.  Zack and I weren’t going to make reservations because we hadn’t planned on doing a character dinning experience. {if you want to dine with characters, make a reservation as soon as you have your vacation dates!!} My girls have met all the characters they wanted to meet and if we were eating and them walking around visiting I don’t think they’d eat all their meal.  Therefore it would be a waste on our parts as far as the meal goes.  20 minutes after we leave, they’d be hungry.  But after we had chosen our one expensive restaurant to eat at we decided that it might be a good idea to make a reservation.  This is only because we didn’t want to get there to eat and find out that we would have to wait 4 hours for a table.  4 hours may be exaggerating a little, but then again I don’t really know.  We chose to eat at
  • Le Cellier Steakhouse at Epcot.  This place, if you have done your research is one of the most sought after places to dine.  And after trying, and I mean checking a couple of times a day everyday for 4 days the dates we were going to be in Disney there was finally one opening to eat there.  I am assuming there had been a cancellation.  So we took it.  So I highly recommend that you choose where you want to eat at and then make your reservations to eat there.  Again as soon as you have your vacation dates ready!!  Now keep in mind the time it’s going to take you to get from Point A to your restaurant.  We aren’t even going to be in Epcot on the day of our reservation.  So we are choosing to drive to the parks that day.  This will save us bus and monorail time.  If you do not have this option just make sure to give yourself plenty of time.  If it were me I would make sure to leave whatever park at least an hour and a half prior to your reservation time.  But you may want to leave earlier than that.  Or make sure to have your reservation at a restaurant in the park your going to be at that day.

**This is one tip that helped us out when choosing our expensive meal.  If you are on Facebook then you should “Like” Walt Disney World.  I have seen on more than one occasion where the question is ask to the fans “what’s your favorite place to eat at while in the parks?”.  This really helped us in deciding on where to eat as far as our expensive meal.  There are a lot of restaurants within Disney and to be honest, just scanning over the menus, I can’t decide where I really want to go.  They all sound great.  So using other peoples opinions as my guide helped us tremendously. 

You can view all of the menus for the restaurants on Disney’s website.  {except for quick service} Just click on the individual parks and then dining from the sidebar, you will get the location inside the park as well as the menu {if offered}.

I am working on one more Disney World Planning Post before we leave on our trip.  This one is regarding useful websites that I have found.  There are SO many Disney websites out there that cover everything you could ever imagine regarding Disney planning.  The planning you have read here are how my family and I have planned.  Some sites are terrific others not so great, so I went on the hunt when doing our Disney planning and have a list for y’all!  I’ll share that next time.

Then when we return from Disney I’ll give you anymore advice that I may have picked up while there!

1 comment:

Kelli @ RTSM said...

Oooh! I'm jealous of you going to Le Cellier! I've read a ton of good things about it! We did the meal plan last time we went and I LOVED it! I'm not sure how much money it saved us, but I loved not having to worry about how much stuff cost and the fact that everything is paid for upfront makes me feel better too:) We are doing the meal plan again in August and luckily we are going at a time when they were running the free meal plan special!!