Author Topic: $200 Dinner At Disney  (Read 11108 times)

Khaetra

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$200 Dinner At Disney
« on: February 24, 2018, 10:41:24 AM »
I have been to Disney, many times in fact.  The nice thing is they allow you to bring food and drinks in and you can bypass the $13 hot dog and fries or any of the other offerings (although I have a weak spot for Dole Whips).  I don't do character meals or sit-down meals when I've gone (I find the food edible, but nothing amazing or really worth the price), but I know many who do and they are willing to spend this.

http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/be-our-guest-beauty-and-the-beast-restaurant-makeover

sparkytheop

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2018, 11:14:37 AM »
The price ($55 for adults, $35 for kids under 10) seem on par with most three-course-meal offerings I've seen in tourist areas, but it is more expensive than the lower priced meals you can find elsewhere in the park.  It does say at the end of the video that kid's meals (and desserts) are still available, so I'm guessing those would be cheaper.

Our three-course dinner in actual France was more expensive at a fancy restaurant, but I'd have a hard time buying a three-course meal for a picky five-year-old and would just choose not to go if that was the case (unless the kid's meal is much cheaper).  As the "lucky" parent of a non-picky child with an expensive palette, I had the opposite problem and would set the price limit for any meals he wanted to try.

I'm the type who makes my own food for 90% of the meals, but will splurge on that last 10%.  I don't order drinks though, so I always get a shock seeing the bills for people who do!

Khaetra

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2018, 03:14:09 PM »
I got lucky with my son, who is an adventurous eater and if we did eat at a buffet at the parks he would grab a bit of everything.  I cringe when I hear of parents spending oodles on those dinners, only to have their kids eat one nugget and a bite of mac and cheese.  I know it's for the experience of eating with characters or eating in the castle, but good grief it's expensive.


MayDay

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2018, 10:34:48 AM »
We did Disney last summer, and mostly packed our own food in, eating two counter service meals. Those two meals were ok but not spectacular.

H and I went out for one evening (my parents babysat) and went to a sit-down place. The Japanese place in Epcot. We thought it was way over priced and mediocre at best. I was confused going in because some people have about the nicer restaurants and others say they aren't great. I feel like the ravers must be used to going out at Applebee's or something.

My dad took my daughter to a princess breakfast and she did love it, but holy $$$$$. And as soon as we got home from the trip she threw away all her princess souvenir junk because she is a minimalist. Oh well.

Never again will we go to Disney but I'm glad we did it once.

talltexan

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2018, 07:13:53 AM »
The lunch menu at Beast's castle is much more reasonable. At least two things I've eaten there were among the most amazing things I've ever tasted.

MountainFlower

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2018, 11:13:13 AM »
We just got back from Disneyland.  Thankfully my kids couldn't care less about characters; they are 8 and 10.  It really doesn't have to be expensive, that's for sure. 

If you get a package from Costco, they often include a character meal.    We didn't do that, but it's an option for people looking for it. 

We had a sit-down lunch at Rainforest Cafe for 4 for around $65 including tip.  Crazy to think of spending $55 per adult/$35 per kid.  Yikes!!

I packed sandwiches in my backpack both days along with a bunch of frozen and cold water.  Not only was it cheaper, it was more convenient to just plop down at a table and eat.  However, my packed food was eaten by my bottomless pit family by 11, so we still bought quite a bit of food. 

We did eat counter service at a couple of places and I was surprised that it was pretty good and not crazy expensive.  In another sense, it also fulfilled  a dream of mine of eating at Flo's V8 Cafe from the movie Cars.  I love that movie and it was so much fun to feel like we were really there in Radiator Springs.  That's pure Disney magic and why you go I suppose.  However, my husband polished off a 1/4 roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and veggies for $12.50 at Flo's, which was totally hearty and reasonable if you ask me. 

charis

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2018, 11:31:04 AM »
We did 4 or 5 character buffet meals (over two trips) when our youngest still ate for free and we travel hacked the rest of the vacation.  Some of the food was very good (Norway breakfast and an African restaurant) and the rest was ok, but the meals also served several purposes - saving time (no lines for characters), early park entry, an air conditioned meal during the hot part of the day, etc.  Under these very specific circumstances, it was totally worth it.

chouchouu

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2018, 03:28:46 PM »
We went to Disney Paris when the kids were 3 and again at 4 (twins)

It's much cheaper than the US parks, about 40 euros for an off season ticket. I packed a lunch the first time but we ate it all and ended up having a meal in the evening which was 50 euros for a fast food type place. It was pretty dismal.  The next year I bought baguettes from outside the park for a few euros plus packed extra food to last the whole day. We only had an ice cream in the park because I wanted to try this infamous dole whip. It was OK.  Usually when we go somewhere I pack a themed bento box to make it fun, so zoo themed at the zoo, Disney themed at disney etc. The kids look forward to it and I can whip something up from the tools I have.

I like dining at bistros in Paris,  good price, delicious food and the house wine is always excellent. Perfect place for eating with the kids.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2018, 03:48:07 PM »
Yeah, you can spend as much at Disney as you want.  Between Character Breakfasts, Dessert Parties, Bibbity Boppity Boutique, table service meals, on-property accommodations, and souvenirs, you can spend an absolute fortune.

We just got back from WDW in Florida a few weeks ago, having done none of those :)  We packed a lunch in most days.  Generally, the food at the counter-service places is nothing to get excited about.  There are a few exceptions IMO:  Pecos Bill (Magic Kingdom), the food court in The Land (EPCOT), FlameTree BBW (Animal Kingdom).

fuzzy math

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2018, 04:56:08 PM »
I got lucky with my son, who is an adventurous eater and if we did eat at a buffet at the parks he would grab a bit of everything.  I cringe when I hear of parents spending oodles on those dinners, only to have their kids eat one nugget and a bite of mac and cheese.  I know it's for the experience of eating with characters or eating in the castle, but good grief it's expensive.

At the princess meal (Ariel's grotto in California adventure), they cut my daughter's hot dog like an octopus and it disturbed her to the point she wouldn't eat it. that was a $30 hot dog lol. Oh well. They had great desserts and the princess show they put on was fabulous. Now that my kiddos are a bit older, I can't imagine paying a lot for a character experience.

robartsd

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2018, 05:05:09 PM »
We only had an ice cream in the park because I wanted to try this infamous dole whip. It was OK.
My sisters rave about Dole Whip. My mom's reaction is similar to yours, but mom has to get her Micky Bars. Me - I haven't been to a Disney park since I was young enough to be scared of the characters (I don't remember the experience, but this is what I've been told).

MayDay

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2018, 07:45:31 PM »
We only had an ice cream in the park because I wanted to try this infamous dole whip. It was OK.
My sisters rave about Dole Whip. My mom's reaction is similar to yours, but mom has to get her Micky Bars. Me - I haven't been to a Disney park since I was young enough to be scared of the characters (I don't remember the experience, but this is what I've been told).

I loved the Dole Whip, and the boozy one was even better.

I could eat those all day long.

Just Joe

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2018, 07:50:22 AM »
Anyone make some version of these at home?

mm1970

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2018, 12:36:40 PM »
We just got back from Disneyland.  Thankfully my kids couldn't care less about characters; they are 8 and 10.  It really doesn't have to be expensive, that's for sure. 

If you get a package from Costco, they often include a character meal.    We didn't do that, but it's an option for people looking for it. 

We had a sit-down lunch at Rainforest Cafe for 4 for around $65 including tip.  Crazy to think of spending $55 per adult/$35 per kid.  Yikes!!

I packed sandwiches in my backpack both days along with a bunch of frozen and cold water.  Not only was it cheaper, it was more convenient to just plop down at a table and eat.  However, my packed food was eaten by my bottomless pit family by 11, so we still bought quite a bit of food. 

We did eat counter service at a couple of places and I was surprised that it was pretty good and not crazy expensive.  In another sense, it also fulfilled  a dream of mine of eating at Flo's V8 Cafe from the movie Cars.  I love that movie and it was so much fun to feel like we were really there in Radiator Springs.  That's pure Disney magic and why you go I suppose.  However, my husband polished off a 1/4 roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and veggies for $12.50 at Flo's, which was totally hearty and reasonable if you ask me.

Oh I did not need to know that.  Googles Disneyland packages...

StarBright

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2018, 12:43:06 PM »
We did 4 or 5 character buffet meals (over two trips) when our youngest still ate for free and we travel hacked the rest of the vacation.  Some of the food was very good (Norway breakfast and an African restaurant) and the rest was ok, but the meals also served several purposes - saving time (no lines for characters), early park entry, an air conditioned meal during the hot part of the day, etc.  Under these very specific circumstances, it was totally worth it.

The African character breakfast is excellent (as far as super expensive character breakfasts go). I like that it offers the typical stuff for non adventurous eaters and then a lot of really interesting African dishes. If I had to pick one place for a big group - that is the one I would choose as being likely to make the most people happy.

I'm a red panda

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2018, 12:44:57 PM »
Anyone make some version of these at home?

You can buy Dole Whip soft serve mix on amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/Dole-Soft-Serve-Pineapple-Pound/dp/B01666JBFG/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1519760675&sr=8-1&keywords=dole+whip

Expensive, but less than a trip to Disney

Just Joe

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2018, 12:59:18 PM »
I guess that requires a soft serve machine... ;)

talltexan

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2018, 01:48:44 PM »
I much prefer character lunches or dinners to character breakfasts. The 8 am to 10 am hours are good times to be in the theme parks, when lines are short. Don't Waste that time on a meal.

LiveLean

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2018, 02:25:27 PM »
You lost me at "I have been to Disney many times." Are you sure you're in the right place?

Khaetra

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2018, 05:03:05 AM »
You lost me at "I have been to Disney many times." Are you sure you're in the right place?

Back in the early 2000's, after 9/11, all the parks offered huge deals for Florida residents.  4 day tickets for $99 (even got tickets for Universal, free for head-of-household which was my ex at the time and any extra tickets were $25 pp), which made for great day trips (I only live about an hour away).  I haven't been in years, but the Florida resident pass they offer in the Spring is still a pretty good deal if you wanted to hit the parks.  I choose to spend my vacation money elsewhere nowadays though and for much less than the Mouse wants.

Seradoc

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2018, 07:33:32 AM »
The most expensive meals at Disney are far more than $200.

http://www.victoria-alberts.com/

I'm a red panda

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2018, 07:54:11 AM »
I guess that requires a soft serve machine... ;)

Lots of people have home ice cream makers, whether they are hand churned or electric.
But there is a way to do it with a stand mixer and dry ice.

farmecologist

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2018, 08:27:56 AM »
The fact of the matter is that Disney exists to turn you over and shake every last cent loose they can from you.  And they have this down to an art.   I don't blame Disney at all for offering these expensive meals.   The crazy thing is...they are nearly always booked!  The profits that Disney restaurants must bring in boggles my feeble mind. 

It is our job as mustachians to fight this and 'work the system' as much as we can by either bringing in our own food or selectively use the counter service restaurants.   :-)

BTW - there are some pretty decent counter service restaurants....the flame tree BBQ in the Animal Kingdom comes to mind.  However, even these can get expensive awfully quick.

And oh yes...as someone mentioned...the Dole whips a must-get!


« Last Edit: February 28, 2018, 08:30:12 AM by farmecologist »

Just Joe

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2018, 09:32:22 AM »
I guess that requires a soft serve machine... ;)

Lots of people have home ice cream makers, whether they are hand churned or electric.
But there is a way to do it with a stand mixer and dry ice.

We have both. i need to study up then. Never thought about using them that way. ;)

As for BBQ - there is great BBQ all over the south. Big cities and small. My favorite is a non-assuming metal building along a country highway.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2018, 09:36:57 AM by Just Joe »

peabody58

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2018, 04:57:02 PM »
WDW is our happy place and as DVC Time Share owners, we go frequently.  It is our vacation.  I'm still frugal at heart, but we do enjoy the occasional splurge on meals when we are on vacation.  And yes, for our 30th anniversary we ate at V&A's - one of the best meals we have ever experienced.  The great thing about WDW is that you can control your food costs while still enjoying the resort/parks.  So our 'investment' in Disney since 1990 with kids vacations till now with just wife and me has paid dividends as we are still married, FIRE's at age 57 (3 yrs ago) and lots of good times to look forward to.  Last time I checked, divorce and mal-adjusted kids is a lot more expensive than an occasional '$200' meal.  Coincidence?   ummmm

charis

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #25 on: March 02, 2018, 11:46:52 AM »
WDW is our happy place and as DVC Time Share owners, we go frequently.  It is our vacation.  I'm still frugal at heart, but we do enjoy the occasional splurge on meals when we are on vacation.  And yes, for our 30th anniversary we ate at V&A's - one of the best meals we have ever experienced.  The great thing about WDW is that you can control your food costs while still enjoying the resort/parks.  So our 'investment' in Disney since 1990 with kids vacations till now with just wife and me has paid dividends as we are still married, FIRE's at age 57 (3 yrs ago) and lots of good times to look forward to.  Last time I checked, divorce and mal-adjusted kids is a lot more expensive than an occasional '$200' meal.  Coincidence?   ummmm

Surely you are not suggesting that $200 meals (occasionally) and Disney vacations prevent divorce and maladjusted children?  There are thousands of different kinds of vacations/family activities and celebratory meals (as well as an outcome of a happy marriage and well adjusted children) that don't require Disney or splurging. 

peabody58

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2018, 12:43:13 PM »
... Last time I checked, divorce and mal-adjusted kids is a lot more expensive than an occasional '$200' meal.  Coincidence?   ummmm

Surely you are not suggesting that $200 meals (occasionally) and Disney vacations prevent divorce and maladjusted children?  There are thousands of different kinds of vacations/family activities and celebratory meals (as well as an outcome of a happy marriage and well adjusted children) that don't require Disney or splurging.

In retrospect I should have qualified that for my personal situation.  No offense intended.  We feel blessed that we have stayed married (36 yrs now} through all the rough times, and do attribute some of that fortitude to our vacationing choices, even the non-mustacheion splurges.  Thank you for your candor.  Now I need to go book my Fast Passes.....

charis

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #27 on: March 02, 2018, 01:14:59 PM »
... Last time I checked, divorce and mal-adjusted kids is a lot more expensive than an occasional '$200' meal.  Coincidence?   ummmm

Surely you are not suggesting that $200 meals (occasionally) and Disney vacations prevent divorce and maladjusted children?  There are thousands of different kinds of vacations/family activities and celebratory meals (as well as an outcome of a happy marriage and well adjusted children) that don't require Disney or splurging.

In retrospect I should have qualified that for my personal situation.  No offense intended.  We feel blessed that we have stayed married (36 yrs now} through all the rough times, and do attribute some of that fortitude to our vacationing choices, even the non-mustacheion splurges.  Thank you for your candor.  Now I need to go book my Fast Passes.....

Thanks for clarifying and congratulations on your many years of marriage.  I completely agree that vacationing is a great bonding experience and may indeed correlate to happier families.  We take week-long vacations twice a year and additional weekend trips.  Heck, I'm planning a trip to Orlando right now (with one Disney park day and one day at Universal).  But I don't believe that it extends necessarily to the choice, type, and/or cost of the vacations.  My children liked Disney, but they are as enthusiastic, sometimes more, about our other vacations and talk about them for months before and after, whether it's driving to the very rustic family cabin, staying in a fancy hotel, or flying across the country. 

Just Joe

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #28 on: March 04, 2018, 10:20:43 AM »
Our kids seem to talk the most about the vacations we've taken that have involved renting a condo and then making up the rest as we go along. The excitement of the amusement park is seldom mentioned as much as the beach trip or crawling through a museum ship or exploring the Spanish fort.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2018, 10:57:48 AM »
We went on a Disney World vacation once, but we did it our way. That means we used the free Disney transportation from the airport and around the parks instead of renting a car, we stayed in the cheapest "resort" they offered, and got a room with a small kitchenette, so we could pack our own food for nearly all our meals. That saved us a bundle compared to what most other people pay.

We didn't buy any souvenirs, because we had plenty of photos and that's fine for us for preserving memories.

Disney is definitely not a Mustachian vacation destination, but we did our best with the situation.

farmecologist

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #30 on: March 05, 2018, 08:32:54 AM »
Our kids seem to talk the most about the vacations we've taken that have involved renting a condo and then making up the rest as we go along. The excitement of the amusement park is seldom mentioned as much as the beach trip or crawling through a museum ship or exploring the Spanish fort.

I love these types of "adventure" vacations too.  My son and I take a "guy trip" every year that always involves a long road trip and much hiking ( usually day hiking ), some camping, etc...  We like the Yellowstone area and southern Utah area the best.  Toying with a jaunt into Canada this year ( Banff, Jasper, etc.. ).  For these types of trips the journey is just as much fun as the destination(s).

However, we also like the theme parks...because we know we will have a good time.   My wife & daughter always seem to end up at WDW when they go on a "mother/daughter" trip...they just love the place.   

« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 08:37:05 AM by farmecologist »

farmecologist

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #31 on: March 05, 2018, 08:36:17 AM »
We went on a Disney World vacation once, but we did it our way. That means we used the free Disney transportation from the airport and around the parks instead of renting a car, we stayed in the cheapest "resort" they offered, and got a room with a small kitchenette, so we could pack our own food for nearly all our meals. That saved us a bundle compared to what most other people pay.

We didn't buy any souvenirs, because we had plenty of photos and that's fine for us for preserving memories.

Disney is definitely not a Mustachian vacation destination, but we did our best with the situation.

This is exactly the way we do WDW.  We never rent a car while we are there....the "magic express" works great!  Only difference is we don't pack our own food.  I couldn't find a room w/kitchenette that was reasonably priced.  Figured eating counter service vs. getting a better room would be a wash.   However, maybe I missed the "cheap" rooms with kitchenettes.





charis

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #32 on: March 05, 2018, 09:37:21 AM »
We went on a Disney World vacation once, but we did it our way. That means we used the free Disney transportation from the airport and around the parks instead of renting a car, we stayed in the cheapest "resort" they offered, and got a room with a small kitchenette, so we could pack our own food for nearly all our meals. That saved us a bundle compared to what most other people pay.

We didn't buy any souvenirs, because we had plenty of photos and that's fine for us for preserving memories.

Disney is definitely not a Mustachian vacation destination, but we did our best with the situation.

This is exactly the way we do WDW.  We never rent a car while we are there....the "magic express" works great!  Only difference is we don't pack our own food.  I couldn't find a room w/kitchenette that was reasonably priced.  Figured eating counter service vs. getting a better room would be a wash.   However, maybe I missed the "cheap" rooms with kitchenettes.

I found that renting a car was very inexpensive in Orlando, it enabled us to save money by hitting the grocery store and cheap off-restaurants (we always go to the waffle house), and was basically invaluable for the convenience, esp. with small children.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #33 on: March 05, 2018, 09:38:57 AM »
This is exactly the way we do WDW.  We never rent a car while we are there....the "magic express" works great!  Only difference is we don't pack our own food.  I couldn't find a room w/kitchenette that was reasonably priced.  Figured eating counter service vs. getting a better room would be a wash.   However, maybe I missed the "cheap" rooms with kitchenettes.
It's a tradeoff.  If you stay "on-property" (at a Disney resort) you don't have to rent a car, nor do you have to pay $20/day for parking, but your accommodations are more expensive, and it's harder to pack in food.

We stayed just off-property at a timeshare resort (Wyndham Bonnet Creek)--paid about $200/night for a two-bedroom condo with a full kitchen.  It was the economical choice for us, since 1) we're a big family (8) and staying on-property would have been absurdly expensive, and 2) we drove down there, so no need to rent a car.  Back when there were only 7 of us, we could (just barely) fit into a suite at Art of Animation, *and* we got free quick service dining.

Just Joe

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #34 on: March 05, 2018, 11:28:27 AM »
Our kids seem to talk the most about the vacations we've taken that have involved renting a condo and then making up the rest as we go along. The excitement of the amusement park is seldom mentioned as much as the beach trip or crawling through a museum ship or exploring the Spanish fort.

I love these types of "adventure" vacations too.  My son and I take a "guy trip" every year that always involves a long road trip and much hiking ( usually day hiking ), some camping, etc...  We like the Yellowstone area and southern Utah area the best.  Toying with a jaunt into Canada this year ( Banff, Jasper, etc.. ).  For these types of trips the journey is just as much fun as the destination(s).

However, we also like the theme parks...because we know we will have a good time.   My wife & daughter always seem to end up at WDW when they go on a "mother/daughter" trip...they just love the place.

We enjoy the amusement parks too but for whatever reason they don't talk about those experiences with the same frequency. Our eldest has asked for their birthday this year that we go do "stuff" - hiking, maybe a little tourist stuff or visit a cave. Sounds fine to me. Later this year was a request to do some sort of bicycle trip - prob visit one of the mtn bike destinations.

merula

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #35 on: March 06, 2018, 07:25:10 AM »
This is exactly the way we do WDW.  We never rent a car while we are there....the "magic express" works great!  Only difference is we don't pack our own food.  I couldn't find a room w/kitchenette that was reasonably priced.  Figured eating counter service vs. getting a better room would be a wash.   However, maybe I missed the "cheap" rooms with kitchenettes.

Depends on how many people you have. The Family Suites at Value resorts are ~$250-$300 and sleep 6. Not a great price on its own, but if you would need two hotel rooms anyway, it makes sense. Relative to renting a house or suite-style hotel nearby plus rental car and parking fees, it's probably a wash.

One thing to consider overall is that Disney will often offer a promotion for "free" dining plans with a hotel reservation, so many people are not paying "list price". These plans were designed to get people out of the quick-service lines and into the emptier sit-down restaurants, where they would take their time eating and not be waiting in line for rides. To that end, they've been very effective.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #36 on: March 06, 2018, 07:48:16 AM »
One thing to consider overall is that Disney will often offer a promotion for "free" dining plans with a hotel reservation, so many people are not paying "list price". These plans were designed to get people out of the quick-service lines and into the emptier sit-down restaurants, where they would take their time eating and not be waiting in line for rides. To that end, they've been very effective.
Sadly, the era of Free Dining has ended.  DW keeps pretty close tabs on it--while Disney used to offer Free Dining to those staying on-property, that offer is now very rare.

fattest_foot

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #37 on: March 06, 2018, 08:51:16 AM »
We did eat counter service at a couple of places and I was surprised that it was pretty good and not crazy expensive.  In another sense, it also fulfilled  a dream of mine of eating at Flo's V8 Cafe from the movie Cars.  I love that movie and it was so much fun to feel like we were really there in Radiator Springs.  That's pure Disney magic and why you go I suppose.  However, my husband polished off a 1/4 roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and veggies for $12.50 at Flo's, which was totally hearty and reasonable if you ask me.

I think Flo's at DCA, and Plaza Inn at Disneyland are two of the better values for eating in the park.

Plaza Inn, especially, where you can get a fried chicken plate for about $18, but it has enough food that you can share it between two adults.

merula

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #38 on: March 06, 2018, 11:09:57 AM »
One thing to consider overall is that Disney will often offer a promotion for "free" dining plans with a hotel reservation, so many people are not paying "list price". These plans were designed to get people out of the quick-service lines and into the emptier sit-down restaurants, where they would take their time eating and not be waiting in line for rides. To that end, they've been very effective.
Sadly, the era of Free Dining has ended.  DW keeps pretty close tabs on it--while Disney used to offer Free Dining to those staying on-property, that offer is now very rare.

It appears it's still around, though I don't know how often it's offered relative to past years. http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2018/02/05/possible-details-and-dates-for-the-2018-disney-world-free-dining-offer-draft/

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #39 on: March 06, 2018, 02:52:53 PM »
This is exactly the way we do WDW.  We never rent a car while we are there....the "magic express" works great!  Only difference is we don't pack our own food.  I couldn't find a room w/kitchenette that was reasonably priced.  Figured eating counter service vs. getting a better room would be a wash.   However, maybe I missed the "cheap" rooms with kitchenettes.
It's a tradeoff.  If you stay "on-property" (at a Disney resort) you don't have to rent a car, nor do you have to pay $20/day for parking, but your accommodations are more expensive, and it's harder to pack in food.

We stayed just off-property at a timeshare resort (Wyndham Bonnet Creek)--paid about $200/night for a two-bedroom condo with a full kitchen.  It was the economical choice for us, since 1) we're a big family (8) and staying on-property would have been absurdly expensive, and 2) we drove down there, so no need to rent a car.  Back when there were only 7 of us, we could (just barely) fit into a suite at Art of Animation, *and* we got free quick service dining.

We just called Uber/Lyft for a ride to the grocery store, stocked up, and had everything we needed for meals for the entire time we were there. We were able to get all the benefits of being on-property without the expensive meals or cost of a rental car. Uber/Lyft is super cheap because the drivers don't mind earning poverty wages.

Dicey

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #40 on: March 07, 2018, 10:07:52 AM »
I grew up in SoCal and Disney only cost an arm back then, not a leg. I visited there dozens of times as a kid and young adult, but I haven't been inside the park decades. About ten years ago, on a business trip, we all went to the House of Blues and then ambled through Downtown Disney. Itch scratched, little money spent. DH and I even honeymooned in Orlando for a week and happily managed to avoid WDW completely.

What I don't get about the whole restaurant thing is what it costs in lost park time while you're sitting on your duff eating a fancy meal. That's one of the many reasons wizard Disney markets multi-day passes. You're there for so long, you don't mind if a meal kills an hour or more, thrice daily. Dunno, a person can eat a fancy meal any time, without paying an astronomical cover charge.

And forget McDonald's marketing. Disney is an order of magnitude more insidious.  You're a bad parent if you not take your kids to Disney. Talk about creating FOMO! God, even the sorry-ass Turpins took their kids there, dressing alike snd posing for pictures to prove what a big, happy family they were.

chouchouu

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #41 on: March 07, 2018, 02:58:06 PM »
We only had an ice cream in the park because I wanted to try this infamous dole whip. It was OK.
My sisters rave about Dole Whip. My mom's reaction is similar to yours, but mom has to get her Micky Bars. Me - I haven't been to a Disney park since I was young enough to be scared of the characters (I don't remember the experience, but this is what I've been told).

Perhaps the US ones are better, could be different ice cream or something.

robartsd

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #42 on: March 08, 2018, 10:25:27 AM »
My sisters rave about Dole Whip. My mom's reaction is similar to yours, but mom has to get her Micky Bars. Me - I haven't been to a Disney park since I was young enough to be scared of the characters (I don't remember the experience, but this is what I've been told).

Perhaps the US ones are better, could be different ice cream or something.
Mom and sisters got Dole Whip at the same time. I think some people just aren't as impressed by them as others; however, I don't think anyone I know has gone to any non-US Disney park, so the Dole Whip may be different in other countries.

saguaro

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #43 on: March 08, 2018, 11:51:59 AM »
And forget McDonald's marketing. Disney is an order of magnitude more insidious.  You're a bad parent if you not take your kids to Disney. Talk about creating FOMO! God, even the sorry-ass Turpins took their kids there, dressing alike snd posing for pictures to prove what a big, happy family they were.

Even my parents, who weren't that big on taking us to amusement parks, finally caved on going to WDW.....when I was 18, my sisters 16 and 14.  At the time, all there was was the Magic Kingdom and River Country, Epcot opened a couple of years later.  Wanted to hit River Country instead of Magic Kingdom as I felt was I was too old to really enjoy it.  Youngest sister loved it but 16 yo sister and I felt we were too old for it.   We just went on Space Mountain over and over.

Been back to Orlando a number of times but haven't checked out WDW since.  Even there there's a lot more there now, DH and I haven't felt like we really want to spend the $$$$ and the time. 

talltexan

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #44 on: March 12, 2018, 02:33:25 PM »
I thought we could have used more discussion on "Disney World is expensive, but so are divorces" discussion:

My spouse grew up with Disney World. Her family was accustomed to frequent visits there, and her parents bought into DVC while she was still in school, before we were really even dating. Yes, I would like to cut our lifestyle in some ways, but approaching the idea of reducing our spending on trips to Disney World--particularly when that was built into her life before were got married--would make it very hard to persuade her to adopt other Mustachian ideas.

This experience also comes with a benefit: my in-laws are far better at getting value out of WDW per unit time and unit of $$$ than most other people.

Approaching a spouse about living a low-expense lifestyle is difficult. Doing it in a way that makes it sound like the spouse has to sacrifice is practically impossible. Much better yield can be obtained by focusing on parts of the disney experience that can be optimized and going from there, something that was already going on in that family.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #45 on: March 12, 2018, 02:49:13 PM »
There's something to be said for having an "indulgence" budget but living a frugal life otherwise: it makes it easier to compromise with a spouse who values that particular luxury and who may be less committed to Mustachianism. I'm talking about building a luxury into the family budget, accepting that other expenses will have to be scaled back as a result, and getting full value for each dollar of luxury spending. I'm not a fan of theme parks myself but acknowledge that some folks get as much of a thrill from them as I do from a well executed dinner party.

For many of us, the desired luxury is an early retirement. But that's not a universal goal. For some people it's travel, sports tourism, concerts, books, or education in conjunction with FI and eventual retirement. The important thing is to not sacrifice financial stability or accrue debt by going off the rails spending on multiple luxuries, vices, and indulgences. For me, a $200 dinner anywhere would be hard for me to enjoy if I were the one paying for it.

StarBright

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #46 on: March 12, 2018, 08:22:18 PM »
I thought we could have used more discussion on "Disney World is expensive, but so are divorces" discussion:

My spouse grew up with Disney World. Her family was accustomed to frequent visits there, and her parents bought into DVC while she was still in school, before we were really even dating. Yes, I would like to cut our lifestyle in some ways, but approaching the idea of reducing our spending on trips to Disney World--particularly when that was built into her life before were got married--would make it very hard to persuade her to adopt other Mustachian ideas.

This experience also comes with a benefit: my in-laws are far better at getting value out of WDW per unit time and unit of $$$ than most other people.

Approaching a spouse about living a low-expense lifestyle is difficult. Doing it in a way that makes it sound like the spouse has to sacrifice is practically impossible. Much better yield can be obtained by focusing on parts of the disney experience that can be optimized and going from there, something that was already going on in that family.

And you probably get to use DVC at totally discounted rates- right?! We are actually planning a trip to DVC Hilton Head this summer on my parents' points - due to some snafus with cancellations they were going to lose some points and we are happy to take them!

Just Joe

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #47 on: March 13, 2018, 08:26:25 AM »
This adult Disney fascination is something I didn't recognize existed until the MMM discussions. What an education. A friend was telling me that their university has a Disney club even.

To me it was a source of movies that a person might watch a few times and then moves on as they outgrow cartoons and make-believe.

Whatever makes a person happy. A better more peaceful fascination than what we see on the evening news (geopolitics and its uglier fallout).
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 11:47:08 AM by Just Joe »

Khaetra

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #48 on: March 13, 2018, 09:17:11 AM »
This Disney fascination is something I didn't recognize existed until the MMM discussions. What an education. A friend was telling me that their university has a Disney club even.

To me it was a source of movies that a person might watch a few times and then moves on as they outgrow cartoons and make-believe.

Whatever makes a person happy. A better more peaceful fascination than what we see on the evening news (geopolitics and its uglier fallout).

As an adult (who still acts as a 12yo sometimes ;) ) I still enjoy certain aspects of Disney Resorts/Theme Parks.  They really do an excellent job at immersing you into the 'magic', but just at a very steep cost and food is most of it.  I don't go anymore, as I can get more vacation elsewhere for much less (plus I can avoid screaming kids) but there are many child-less couples who go every year and enjoy the heck out of it.

PoutineLover

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Re: $200 Dinner At Disney
« Reply #49 on: March 13, 2018, 10:09:00 AM »
I don't really understand the appeal of Disney. I never saw many Disney movies as a child and my family didn't have a tv, so I guess I never bought into the hype. I know a couple who got engaged there, and my reaction was like.. isn't that for kids? But each to their own.
My parents took me there once when I was a kid because my dad went to a conference nearby. We roadtripped there, we were allowed to choose one souvenir, and we got autograph books to fill up. Don't remember the food, but it was definitely not 200 character meals. It was fun, but not somewhere I'd ever visit again, even when I have kids. It is pretty smart marketing on Disney's part to create this whole world based on their movies with devotees who go back year over year, I'll give them that.