• On Nov 2, 2020
    David from TX Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    I am planning a 5 day WDW park visit with 5 adults and 2 children. I am trying to estimate how much cash I should bring for miscellaneous meals and incidentals. Do you have any good rules of thumb to go by?

    Hi David,

    Thank you for stopping by planDisney with your question about budgeting for dining.  As a person who frequently travels with 6 or 7 family members in my party, I can relate to your question!

    The amount you want to budget for meals can vary greatly by what type of meals you have planned and the appetite of each person in your party.  Counter service meals and snacks are more economical than restaurants which require reservations.  So my advice is to first determine what kind of dining your party is most interested in doing - reservation style Table Service restaurants or walk-up Quick Service restaurants. 

    Next, I suggest planning a midday meal at the location or theme park which you will be visiting for the majority of your day.  After you have decided those two things then take a look at the available Walt Disney World Restaurants for your selected location.  Use the top filter to select the location you will be spending the majority of your day.  For example, if you plan on visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park for a day then use the top filter to select that location.  If you plan on dining in a quick service restaurant (no reservation required), then use the middle filter under "Dining Experience" to select that option.  You will see all available offerings at that point.  From there you can narrow down your restaurant choices and view the menus and current pricing.  This can be a time saving hack for large groups if you can determine what each person would like before you arrive at the theme park.  One of my favorite quick service restaurants in Disney's Animal Kingdom is Satu'li Canteen.  I just adore their bowls and their Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse!  Here is a link to their current menu:  Satu'li Canteen Lunch and Dinner Menu.  You can find almost all menus within each restaurant's listing to help you with your budgeting and planning.

    Did you know that many Quick Service restaurants, including at your Disney Resort hotel, now offer Mobile Food & Beverage Ordering?  This has changed the way my family dines on vacation and saved us so much time.  In fact, with the ease of mobile food and beverage ordering, I find my family dines more often at quick service locations than ever before.

    If you choose to dine at some Table Service (reservations required) restaurants, please be advised that prior reservations are highly recommended.  You can make reservations at the same page that I linked earlier for Walt Disney World Restaurants.  You should select the filter under "Dining Experience" to be "Reservations Accepted" to view those types of available restaurants.

    I hope this helps with the planning of your dining budget David!  If you have any further vacation planning questions please stop by and see us again.  We are always happy to help you plan your next Magical adventure.

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Meet the Panelist: Brenda, Missouri

I fell in love with Walt Disney World on my very first visit, which took place during my honeymoon. Since then we have added 4 "mouseketeers" to our family and have come to appreciate what a great value a Walt Disney World vacation can be on a budget. As a Physical Therapist and a mom of a large family, I would love to help you plan your next magical trip! Learn More About Brenda

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