Dining Budget

I am trying to plan a Dining Budget.
I did a room only reservation - PORS 6/22-29. Myself, DS (12), DD (7) and my SIL
I got the tickets through Undercover Tourist, so no dining plan.
So far my ARs and tentative dining plans are:
6/22 Arrival - Go to Downtown Disney - AR at Raglan Rd. for dinner.
6/23 AK - Eat counter service at Flametree and not sure yet on dinner, maybe something simple or another counter service. might consider an AR for dinner at AK or different place since we got Park Hopper. Any suggestions?
6/24 EC - counter service for lunch; AR for dinner at Teppan Edo
6/25 HS - Mama Melrose Fantasmic Lunch AR; counter service dinner
6/26 MK - BOG AR Lunch; AR dinner at Liberty Tree
6/27 - we will go to Universal Studios for the day and eat lunch there, maybe dinner too
6/28 MK - counter service/quick lunch; AR character dinner at CP
6/29 check out - Late Character Breakfast AR at Chef Mickey’s

I plan to bring our Yeti cooler, and keep breakfast and snack supplies in the room.

I’d like to budget for one or two snacks per person in the parks per day.

I’m am a newbie, first time at Disney (except 1984 when I was 13) with my kids!


Welcome! What I do to figure out my budget is look at all the menus for the restaurants, and figure out what every member of your party is likely to order. The menus with prices are on this app/website, also allears.net has every menu too. While you may not be able to predict exactly, it will give you a ballpark figure. Remember to also add in drinks, tax, and tip if at a table service restaurants. Snacks tend to be around $4-$5 each. Sodas are about $3 each, as is bottled water. It adds up quickly! The character meals will be your most expensive meals, as your DS will be an adult charge. We like Yak & Yeti for table service at Animal Kingdom, or we head to the Poly and eat at Ohana.

Thank you for that helpful info Wahoohokie! It is much appreciated!

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You are welcome! Feel free to ask more questions if you need to.

The only suggestion I would add would to be to purchase Disney gift cards at a discount with Target red card or at a wholesale ( Costco and Sam’s sometimes have them). And use cards to pay for food. The savings aren’t huge but anything is better than nothing. I would do the same thing for souvenirs, but give each child cards with x amount of money to spend and when it’s gone it’s gone. Keep asking questions and have fun planning

Thanks jec4289. I am planning on getting those for souvenirs for the kids. Great way to reign in the asking for things if they have a set amount for the trip. I am glad to hear that I can buy them at Target with the Redcard. At least that’s 5% off right? That’s great! I also will check our Lowe’s Foods because they do gas rewards starting at 10cents off/$100 spent and up. They have lots of gift cards. Not sure if they have Disney ones or not.
Great ideas!
What about mousekeeping? What is the average or typical tips for that? Are there other tips as well besides the dining ones that I should consider?

Try this tool, I think it will give you an idea.


I tend to tip $5 daily to mousekeeping.

Food budget- always overestimate! I tend to work from the premise that all
Of us will order the most expensive menu item at any venue. I’d ballpark $20 per person for CS and $75 per for table service. Snacks can vary but I work off of $15 daily.

Also, baggage handlers and parking valets are likely to expect a tip.

Happy planning!

Great tip - and if you use Ebates, you can also get a few more bucks back when purchasing cards online from Target or similar.

You are welcome. For mousekeeping I believe that it is 1 or 2 dollars a day per person left daily as the mousekeepers change. I generally leave 2 to 3 dollars but I am solo. Last day I leave 5. A nice pre trip project is to have the kids design mousekeeping envelopes. The only other tips I can think of would be if you drove - valet and then anybody who handles your luggage in your presence. No tipping at cs but 18% at ts and buffets. these of course are only a guideline and you can do whatever you feel is best.

You are right and a genius. I keep forgetting ebates for the everyday things!

I would suggest for your evening meal at AK you might take the bus to AKL and have dinner at Sanaa, if you think the food would be to everyone’s liking. It’s always raved about on here, plus you can check out the different evening activities there. It’s an amazing resort.

Also if your kids aren’t already set on it. You might consider changing from Chef Mickey’s to 'Ohana. CM tends to be really loud and hectic and the food only gets mediocre reviews. 'Ohana is less expensive and a bit more relaxed. Plus they serve your food family style at your table which means you don’t have to rush to get food so that you don’t miss a character coming by your table.

The idea of looking at each menu is a great one. That’s how we planned. A lot of the restaurants entree’s are priced similarly to one another so it doesn’t need to be exact but gives you a good idea. Food is super expensive at Disney so getting used to the sticker shock now and being prepared means no worrying about it on your trip. Also if snacks will include any adult beverages for the grown ups in the group plan a bit extra. Grown up drinks can range from $6 - $15 depending on what and where you get it.

As for mousekeeping it’s a generally accepted rule that $1 a day per person in the room is sufficient. Some leave a bit more or less but somewhere in that range. We actually don’t like them to come in every day (weird personal tic), so we left a larger tip at the end for the one that cleaned up our room.

$75 per person?!? You’re an expensive date lol

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Yeah, I’ve heard that :slight_smile:

I do like to know I’m covered for eventualities - better to head home with extra cash in my pocket than to be out of money!

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That is true! We actually did end up spending almost $300 less than I had budgeted for food. Mostly on snacks because we were always too full from eating Table Service to enjoy them. This time around though we’re doing way less ADR’s and more snacks!

Thanks everyone as this is so helpful for me - a Disney newbie!
I keep hearing about these ebates. Other than the Target Recard Debit card and the gas rewards I mentioned at my local grocer, what other ebates are there? Is this a website? I’m always up for other ways to save ahead!

The other thing I do is get my flexible spending payout from dependent day care pretax savings all at once just before our trip so that is another somewhat way to save money for the trip and get my payout when I need it rather than each month. This forces me to budget through the months.

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ebates is a website. They partner with a lot of other sites to offer cashback. You start from the ebates site and then link through to the vendor. The only caution is that sometimes using a coupon on the linked site can invalidate the cashback.

Thank you for this thread!!! I was planning on getting the gift cards from our Giant Eagle (I don’t know if this is a region-only thing?) It’s a store that offers money off gas, particular discounts for gift cards. BUT, I think the 5% and ebates from target would give me a bigger savings!!! I didn’t even know that target sells gift cards for Disney… I’m ashamed :wink:

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These days nearly every department or grocery store sells walls of gift cards. Don’t be ashamed. You joined touringplans which is the only smart thing you need to do! lol

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I am a regular shopper at Target, a redcard holder and ebates member (although I forget to use ebates as much as I should) so it’s more like a feeling of “why didn’t I think of this plan earlier?” rather than shame :slight_smile: That is a brilliant idea. I just calculated it will only be $10 more of a savings than the gas discount for our vehicle, but $10 is worth the extra effort