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  1. #1

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    Help me save money on food please

    I will be there for a week and I don't want to spend a ton of money on park food. I am staying across the street so I don't have any problems eating in the room. It is supposed to be a suite. I'm thinking it has a small refrigerator with minimal freezer space. I plan on going to costco but I think I can only survive on so much frozen pizza, cheese wheels and burgers any tips on how to have some fresh foods or tasty items not tempting me to spend like mad to stay away from frozen.

  2. #2

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    Re: Help me save money on food please

    Well, as unhealthy as it may be to recommend this to you, there is a McDonalds on Harbor Blvd. in between Disney Way and the Santa Ana Freeway. Inexpensive cheap meals right there, although not one of the healthiest places to eat either. There's also a 7-11 and Del Taco near the intersection of Katella Ave. and Haster St. Those are the only cheap food options I can think of outside the park.

    Inside the park, meals can be very expensive. For me if I want to save, I always get a cheap breakfast at the River Belle Terrace at New orleans Square/Adventureland area. For under $15 I can have an okay breakfast. Then for lunch I would eat at Coke Corner. One of those hot dogs that range from $8.99 to $11.99 if I recall and a drink (Price I forgot on that one). That's always the best option because you get shade and entertainment (Pianist and the parade if you grab a good spot and hold it there). There are also the Turkey Legs sold at the park for less than $10. Believe me when I saw one leg will fill you up.

    Other than that I can't really help you much else. As of now I haven't eaten outside the Disney gates (Even counting Downtown Disney). And I tend to have a bit more...expensive taste. I don't know, but to me the food at places like Carnation Cafe, Carthay Circle Theater, Cafe Orleans, etc. tastes better than the other cheaper alternatives. Wish I could help out more but that's all I got.



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  3. #3

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    Re: Help me save money on food please

    You can bring food to the park with you, as well. They don't prevent you from doing so - they only request that you eat it at the picnic area provided in the Esplanade. It is not courteous to take up a table inside the park that guests eating at the establishment will want to use.

    When we go, we often bring 3 snacks (granola/fruit and nut bars, fresh fruit and veggies) and a sandwich or two. PB and J normally. If you have a small cooler for things that need to stay chilled, you can store it in one of their locker locations.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Help me save money on food please

    I think you're going to waste money at Costco. You won't have enough variety. Per item you'll spend more but overall I think you'll save going to Target, Wal-Mart or the like.

    This TR is all about saving money on food! Two of us ate lunch, dinner & snacks in the park for 4 days (one meal outside park & one on plane) for $37.50 a day!

    We did it! 5/19-22

    *bring refillable water bottle, fill it with ice in hotel, add store brand "crystal light" 1/2 packet per large bottle. Refill's are easiest at Boardwalk Pizza in DCA and Rancho del Zocalo in DL.

    *bring a breakfast bar

    *eat meals, not snacks

    *I hope you're traveling with a companion, it saves money to share meals rather than getting snacks. If not, I'd say it's still doable. Maybe eat breakfast as was suggested and then one snack in between (we brought left over movie theater popcorn (from the refill) & crackers and peanut butter & soda). Then a nice dinner later in the day.

    *Don't eat too many "cheap" sweet treats like churros, dole whip, ice cream, popcorn, cotton candy. Those were the things that cost a lot and don't fill you up.

    It was a lot of fun for us to do this "tight budget" for food trip. It was educational too. We realize how much money we've wasted and weight we've waisted by eating our own meals in DLR. We're definitely sharing again next time. We might up our budget to $40/day and use our savings for a treat of clothing or something.

    anaheimoc.org has coupons for Pizza Press, McDonald's & Subway maybe others too.

  5. #5

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    Re: Help me save money on food please

    One of the other readers hit the nail on the head. There is a Costco just a bit north of Disneyland on Harbor. Look it up online. My last vacation before going overseas to work was a frugal one. Just enough money for tickets, rooms and a very small budget for food. Use the Costco food court and your membership. The food court has pizza, dogs, soft serve yougurt, chicken and trurkey wraps and very inexpensive. Here's what we did:

    Prepared cooked taco meat ahead of time and froze it in zip-loc bag. Prepared meat-loaf and mashed potatoes and froze it in zip log bags.

    Left from Nevada midday and stopped at Costco before going to hotel. Picked up a couple roasted chickens $4.99, a family sized ceasar salad $8.99,a liter sized container of potato salad, a bag of cheese bagels, a package of quality ham and cheese slices. A big box of granola bars and some other packaged snaks, two cases of bottled water. I purchased about 12 1-liter white and chocolate milk at Walmart before we left Nevada all cold stuff stored in big ice-chest.

    All the cold stuff gets put in a big ice-cooler.

    Dinner nite one was roasted chicken, ceasar salad and potato salad.

    Next morning we had breakfast at Embassy Suites food court. I don't really like all the screaming fussy kids and parents but at about $20.00 per person eating out the extra $40.00 for this type of room pays off when you have 4 or more in your family.

    Like another writer said they won't stop you bringing in sandwhiches, snacks, water in bottles, granpola bars and such.

    So we breakfast at the hotel, lunch is picnic style in the park with bagel sandwhiches, granola bars, snacks throughout the day, and very cold iced down water from my 'Dad" pack. Everyone eats well and it doesn't cost $100 like it would if we ate inside the park restaraunts and allows the little guys to eat when they're hungry. I hate the long lines and frustrated underpaid food service employees anyway.

    Dinner, by midafternoon it's getting hot, parents and little-ones are getting irritable, and thelines are getting long and sweaty so its at this time I like to take the family out of the pary, go to the room or even to the beach for a few hours, then head to the Costco Food court for whatever everybody wants to eat. This usually ends up being a big combo of pizza, dogs, soft-serve yougurt and chicken wraps for the adults. I think I spent about $20.00 last time on this dinner.

    The next few days were spent in So Cal in San Diego. Stayed at the Embassy Suites near Lego land and had breakfast at the hotel, lunch at Costco food-court in San Diego, and we had tacos the third nite with a quick run to the grocery store for shells and veggies. Just heated up the meat in the microwave in the room.

    I never counted it all up but I know the food budget was very cost effective this way. I had no other coice since I'm a divorcee and I write HUGE support checks every month. Learned the hard way about stretching a dollar. I hope this helps you. have fun!

  6. #6

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    Re: Help me save money on food please

    One thing about getting food for your freezer in the room - (we ran into this at the DVC room in Animal Kingdom resort in WDW) Find out how big the fridge and freezer actually are. We ordered food to be delivered to the resort (we came with 2 grandkids) and found, once the food arrived, it was too big to fit into the freezer. We wasted close to $100 in food, delivery, tip, etc.

    Also, if you have a young one in your group and want to do a character meal, try the Paraside Pier dining room. They have characters at every meal and it is a LOT cheaper than the larger ones like Goofys Kitchen, etc.

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  7. #7

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    Re: Help me save money on food please

    Just bring a large cooler with you and fill it with ice once a day. But if you can afford a week at Disneyland don't skip on the awesome food that can be had in the park.

  8. #8

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    Re: Help me save money on food please

    We have stayed at Disney's All-Star Sports Resort hotel before but always had a room in the buildings furthest away from the food court because those were the most affordable. We were pleasantly surprised when our room was the first building on the first floor facing the main pool! I love Disney All Star Sports it is the perfect place to stay.
    Last edited by diane21; 05-26-2013 at 09:07 AM.

  9. #9

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    Re: Help me save money on food please

    Eating healthy does not mean you buy stuff from Costco and store it in your in-room refrigerator. Can you cook in your room? If you're unsure, then there are still cheaper options.

    First, Disneyland does have healthy food on their menu. You can look for salads. Don't go to the counter service restaurants. Go to the fast casual cafeteria restaurants. The selection of foods is very good. Try to share the large portions because you can't finish unless you're a good eater.

    Second, do visit a local supermarket. Buy whatever you like to eat, but since you're vacation, don't buy too much. Plan on cooking on occasion to save money.

    Third, rely on prepared ready-to-eat foods. Buy some cold takeouts like sandwiches. Bring the sandwiches and drinks to the park and yes, Disneyland will let you bring them in. Security will look through your bags for glass containers, but they won't stop you from bringing food in plastic or paper into the park.

    Fourth, the food is reasonably priced if you don't buy the most expensive items. Beware that drinks, cookies, popcorn, pastry are all extremely expensive in the park. They are also the easiest to bring into the park from the outside. I usually pop my microwave popcorn and store them in a ziplock bag. Best to do this in the morning or they get stale. Bring your own cookies and pastry in the baggies.

    The only time I think you shouldn't bother bringing food is the evening. The parks are too busy and it is dark. Either eat before heading to the park or eat in the park.

  10. #10

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    Re: Help me save money on food please

    Mother's Market is a few minutes away if you seek healthy alternatives.

  11. #11

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    Re: Help me save money on food please

    First of all call your Hotel and ask if they have free breakfast. Also ask if it is American or Continental. American is best, it usually means at they have at least eggs or waffles. Continental is usually sweet rolls, cereal, fake juice and coffee. If you have a car there is a Target, and two Walmarts within driving distance. The Walmart on S.Anaheim and Ball Rd. is a grocery only store.There is also a Big Lots across the street from the Walmart, you can get snack food there as well. Also check out the online coupons for the Earl of Sandwich and Jamba Juice. It has been stated before, but bring your own drinks and snacks in the park with you, a little cinnamon cereal in your backpack will take care of that craving for a churro.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Help me save money on food please

    Keep in mind, too, that food at Disneyland is more expensive than elsewhere, but not astronomical or outrageous for what you get. In recent years, there's been a shift away from hot dogs and French fries to the extent that now, you can get really quality sandwiches with chips for less than $9.00 (no more than you'd spend on a footlong sandwich combo at any Subway). Not only is it good, but you get to eat at the charming Jolly Holiday Bakery, which is an experience in and of itself.

    My favorite place to eat at the resort is Paradise Garden Grill, which serves a "build-your-own" style shish-kebob skewer that's huge and filling, served with rice pilaf, cucumber salad, and pita bread for less than $12 - and honestly, it's almost too much food to finish.

    Flo's V8 Cafe in Cars land will get you a full diner-style meal with choice of two sides for $12 as well. (I'm partial to the Coca-Cola BBQ pork loin with baked beans and "radiator" pasta salad).

    The point is, for about what you'd spend at an Applebee's or a Chili's, you get a really quality, good-sized meal AND the experience of eating in a really unique and incredibly crafted setting. I certainly 100% agree with making continental breakfast a priority in hotel shopping (I never stay in a hotel without it - it's a jump start for the day and saves you an expensive breakfast elsewhere) and with bringing snack bars and bottled water. But also, scan through the menus at the above posted links and explore other restaurant options and you'll be likely to find a place or two for a special meal from an inexpensive counter-service location. You definitely wouldn't want to go to Disneyland and skip the dining part of the experience altogether.
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  13. #13

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    Re: Help me save money on food please

    Thank you all. Great tips. Tons of healthy options provided as well as saving money in the park. You guys are great. I am leaving early Monday the 27th. So excited. I am also trying to find a great route to take besides 5 all the way but that post has not come up( waiting for mod approval ). I read 210 to 57 is that a great route to take? Where will I see the 210?

  14. #14

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    Re: Help me save money on food please

    For breakfast, I suggest eating breakfast at your hotel.

    For lunch and dinner, there are several options depending on which park you will be at. At Disneyland, you can eat at the Village Haus or the Carnation Café. At California Adventure, you can eat at the Pacific Wharf Café. You can also just eat corn dogs, which are delicious and only cost $6. If you plan on watching the World of Color, I suggest you reserve a World of Color Picnic deal. It's $15 but it nets you the perfect view of World of Color. You can choose from an Asian meal, an American meal, or a Mediterranean meal.


  15. #15

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    Re: Help me save money on food please

    Ok so here is our plan for our three day trip
    Day one
    Breakfast: Muffins and juice / milk while in car waiting forparking to open.
    Lunch: Sandwich’s and Gatorade at picnic area
    Snacks: Beef jerky, Kind bars,
    Dinner: In Park
    Day two:
    Breakfast: Muffins and juice / milk while in car waiting forparking to open.
    Lunch: Sandwich’s and Gatorade at picnic area
    Snacks: Beef jerky, Kind bars,
    Dinner: In Park
    Day three:
    Breakfast: Muffins and juice / milk while in car waiting forparking to open.
    Lunch: Sandwich’s and Gatorade at picnic area
    Snacks: Beef jerky, Kind bars,
    Dinner: In Park
    One of those dinners will be a big nice dinner somewherelike Cathy circle or big thunder some where it is usually more expensive (thatreminds me we need to make our reservations NOW)

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