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  • On Mar 20, 2010
    Marvella Asked

    Kaylene, we are a family of 7 and this is our first trip. I bookd our rooms outside of the park and am wondering what is the best way to go about when it comes to our dining expenses? We booked for the week of Thanksgiving. Any suggestions?

    Hi Marvella, With a family of 7 myself, I understand the need to budget well for a Disney vacation. To be honest with you, we only stay on Disney property. We've found it saves our family money in several ways: From the airport, take the complimentary Magical Express shuttle. This eliminates the need for a rental car, since there's transportation on-site to Parks, etc. In addition, you're eligible for the Disney Dining Plan. With this, we've saved a considerable amount of money. Children 3-9 are currently only $11.99 per day (this includes a table service, quick service meal & snack). We eat breakfast in our room-often using snack credits for pastries. We also order grocery delivery  to our Resort so we have breakfast items on hand. You'll fit in 2 connecting, standard view rooms in a Value Resort for rates similar to many area hotels off-site. In addition, you're able to participate in "Extra Magic Hours" & are immersed in the magic 24/7. I just wanted to share how we make the most of our Disney money, but I can definitely offer you some tips for dining expenses when staying off-site too.

    First, unless you are enjoying a morning character buffet, I'd recommend eating breakfast in your room (pick up some pastries, fresh fruit, donuts, etc...or bring Nutrigrain & granola bars in your suitcases). You can plan on approx. $10 per person for quick service meals (kids menus are slightly less). For table service meals, I suggest that you visit www.allears.net . Click "Dining" at top, then "Menus" on left. You can see prices & plan your budget that way. I would recommend that you do book some buffets and eat them around "brunch" time (you'll fill up that way and not need lunch).

    Be sure to call 407-WDW-DINE to make your reservations. You can do so up to 180 days prior to arrival, and many places fill up quickly (especially during Holiday weeks).

    Have a great vacation and please let me know if I can help further.

    Kaylene
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Meet the Panelist: Kaylene, Massachusetts

I'm a blessed Mom of five fabulous kids, a Disney Vacation Club member, and an Annual Passholder. I've stayed in every Disney Resort on property, and I've traveled to Walt Disney World Resort with infants, toddlers, tweens, teens, grandparents, and on countless multi-generational family vacations! Learn More About Kaylene

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