Mother, Son, Giraffe, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Animal Kingdom, Savannah
  • On Jun 24, 2015
    Sharon from IL Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    I cannot afford the dining plan. We are a party of ten, staying for six days. How can I effectively budget what it might cost for food. Very important, can adults order off of the childrens menu? Do they allow for people to split meals.

    Greetings Sharon!
    What a great question. Luckily I have named myself "Queen of Disney Dining Budgeting!"  Every trip I create a spreadsheet that includes which parks we will be visiting everyday and where I plan to dine for each meal. Then I add a column for each adult and each child. Once I have determined where I will be dining I visit to view the menus and make an educated guess as to what my traveling party will choose. That website is typically very accurate and includes prices and a description of the food items.  In order to have a true picture I always add in tax and anticipated tip. This may seem like a lot of work, but for me it is fun! It is always interesting to see how good I am at guessing what others will choose. Using this method I have been able to come very close to our actual expenditures each trip.

    Here are a few other tips to help you plan.
    1. We typically plan our meal times so that a very light breakfast can work for us (a piece of fruit or a granola bar). Often we have lunch early (11:00 or so), a snack around 3:00, and dinner at 7:00. 
    2. In my experience, at Quick Service locations you can order anything on the menu.
    3. At Table Service locations it is unusual for an adult to be allowed to order off the children's menu. However, as long as it isn't a buffet or family style you should be able to share meals.
    4. Give children a budget for snacks. There are many tempting carts of goodies and a budget can help children understand that you won't be stopping for every single Mickey Bar, Dole Whip, or Churro.

    Have fun planning! And, if you have more questions come on back to the Disney Parks Moms Panel- we love to help!
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Meet the Panelist: Anne, Iowa

I’m Anne, a native Iowan, wife, mother, and grandmother. For me, a major part of the fun of a Disney trip is the planning. I have traveled to the Disney Parks in multiple stages of my life, including as a daughter, sister, aunt, mother and grandmother.  One of my favorite things to do is to travel with multi-generational groups. I am thrilled to be able to help other Disney guests plan their adventures. Learn More About Anne

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