Mom And Daughter Magic Kingdom Cinderella's Castle
  • On Jul 6, 2013
    Jennifer from MA Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    We are taking our daughter to Disney for her 12th birthday this August for which we have already booked. We are not doing a Dining plan. What are we looking at for budget management? Any tips?

    Hi, Jennifer!  It is so tough to give someone a food budget, because we all are really very personal with what will and won't work in terms of dining experiences.  

    My best recommendation is to visit the Dining and Menus section of the website allears.net.  You will get a very accurate description not only of the food available at each dining location, but you'll also get a pretty good idea of what things will cost.

    If I go with just my immediate family, we are not big breakfast eaters.  We might grab a granola bar, skip any type of formal breakfast, and eat an early, big lunch.  I like to do table service for lunch, both because it's a  nice time during the day to take a break, and because if you are doing character meals or buffets, they are slightly less expensive than dinner for a similar experience.  Dinner for us is then often much lighter - quick service salads or we share sandwiches.  That way, there's room for a DoleWhip or funnel cake!

    For everyone over the age of nine, I budget about $50 per person, per day.  That usually covers me across the vacation for some nicer sit down meals, more quick service meals, plus extra snacks and drinks.  For the kids, $30 usually covers everything each day.

    Keep in mind, I might not spend all $50 on one day, but will use the extra money another night at a signature dining experience, where we spend a little more.  If I end up with money at the end of the trip, we buy a little something extra - a Disney Gift Card to save for our next trip!

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Meet the Panelist: Anna, New Jersey

My name is Anna and I am a wife, mother to three daughters and a son-in-law, and earning my Grandmom ears. I'm a law student and former teacher. I have planned vacations for all sorts celebrations, but really enjoy DVC vacations, helping military families, and assisting those with special dietary needs.    Learn More About Anna

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