Family grabbing snacks from cart
  • On Mar 12, 2022
    Sheila from IA Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    My daughter is going down with her school to Disney World. We are trying to figure out how much to send with her to cover her lunches for 5 days and spending money. The school has breakfast and dinner covered plus everything the kids will be doing.

    Hiya Sheila,

    Welcome to planDisney! As someone whose trips revolve around what I’m going to eat, I was super excited to see your question. Going on a Walt Disney World Vacation for a school trip sounds like a blast. I love that you are already thinking ahead about lunches, snacks, and spending money. These tend to get underestimated when Guests plan trips, and if you aren’t prepared, your daughter could end up with a “rumbly in her tumbly” mid-trip.

    To estimate the costs of food and snacks, I like to use the Walt Disney World Dining website. I can filter by location, service type (quick service, table service, buffet, etc.), price range, cuisine, and even Guest rating. To start, look at your daughter’s trip itinerary and see which Theme Park she is visiting each day. From there take a look at the menus and posted prices for the offerings specific to Theme Park she is visiting. Since her breakfast and dinners will most likely be at table service restaurants, I recommend quick service lunch. Your daughter will be spending most of the day riding attractions and experiencing the other magical experiences; quick service dining allows her the ease of grabbing a full meal without having to set aside an extended time to eat. She and her friends can still sit at a table to eat, but they won’t have to worry about having a reservation. Have your daughter look at the options for quick service, and then budget for the most expensive option to be safe (don’t forget to include dessert and soft drinks in your estimate). You can also do the same for snacks (DOLE Whip, Mickey Pretzels, etc.)! Pro tip: Plan for at least one table service lunch towards the end of the trip. A welcome stop at a full-service location can be incredible when travel fatigue sets in.

    Just one special note for EPCOT; depending on when your daughter visits there may be a Festival event occurring (International Flower and Garden runs from March 2-July 4). During Festivals most Guests enjoy nibbling on the small bites available at the Festival booths rather than traditional quick service locations. If your daughter is visiting during a Festival, I recommend looking up prices and offerings for the Festival eats and using that information to budget for EPCOT.

    As far as shopping, you can always look at shopDisney to get a sense of the prices of popular souvenirs such as spirit jerseys and Mickey Ears. All of the options online may not be available in the Theme Parks, but it can help you think ahead on prices of items your daughter might gravitate towards. After you’ve estimated all of the different prices for food and shopping, I would recommend purchasing a Disney Gift Card with the total balance on it. Cash cannot easily be misplaced and is hard to recoup if it is lost. With a Disney Gift Card, you can register the card, and if it is lost, you can retrieve the balance of the lost card. Even better, should your daughter accidentally run out of money, you can refill her Disney Gift Card from the comfort of your own home.

    Sheila, I really hope this was helpful. I could talk about how to budget and spend for hours on end! If you have any more questions, I would be more than happy to answer them for you.

    I hope your daughter has the Most Magical Time at the Most Magical Place on Earth!

    Happy Planning,

    Ashley F.
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Meet the Panelist: Ashley, Texas

Hey Y'all! I’m Ashley and I live in Texas. My family and I love trying out the yummy snacks (DOLE Whip anyone!) and taking full advantage of our resort days. When we are not piloting the Millennium Falcon, exploring Kilimanjaro Safaris, or watching fireworks, you can find me planning our next adventure to Walt Disney World! I am so excited that you are planning a trip, and I look forward to helping you dig a little deeper and find the magic in all of the wonders of Walt Disney World Resort. Learn More About Ashley

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