Planning a Disney vacation in 31 days – Day 22 – Eating in your room.


Today, we are going to be talking about eating in your room to save money. Eating in your room is a good way to save money and can be a healthy alternative to eating out.

We have done different things when it comes to eating in your room. For us the easiest meals to eat in our rooms are breakfast and dinner, because we are at the parks all day long.

So what are some things that you can eat in your room? These ideas are meant for rooms that don’t have a kitchen. To heat water you have to use your coffee pot, but without the coffee. We have heated the water for years like this and it has worked out very well.

Breakfast ideas:

  • Yogurt
  • Oatmeal
  • fruit
  • pasteries
  • donuts
  • bagels and cream cheese or butter
  • cereal with milk

Dinner ideas:

  • Sandwiches
  • salads
  • cup of soups
  • fruit
  • Cheese and crackers
  • tuna or chicken salad on crackers

There are other possibilities, but this has been what works well for us. Eating in our room has helped us keep our expenses down and is somewhat healthy.

Note: We usually got to the store when we get down to Orlando to get some things for our meals because I don’t want to haul all of this with us.


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Planning a Disney vacation in 31 days – Day 21 – Eating off of Disney property.


Today, we are going to continue to talk about where to eat, except we are going to talk about eating off of Disney property.

If you are staying off of Disney property, you have seen some of what there is to eat while you drove around the area. It seems like all the major roads have places to eat on them. The choices are innumerable, so you have lots of choices. You have fast food to sit down restaurants. Any thing you would want to eat, you can find.

Even if you are staying on Disney property, you might want to consider going off of Disney property to get something to eat. Sure you have to travel to get it, but it might be cheaper. Sometimes  you are craving something that you just can’t find on property, so you have to go off.

For our family, we try to get something off of property when we go out somewhere. Or sometimes we will just go pick up tacos or pizza for a quick dinner. We found a Dominos pizza years ago and now we go pick up a couple of the 2 toping pizzas for $5.99 and bring them back to our room for pizza and a movie in our room. It is a tradition in our family to have pizza and a movie on Saturday night, so we like to continue this while we are on vacation but it might not be on a Saturday.

We also found a Chick-fil-A near a Wal-Mart that we like to go to, so we stop there to have lunch. Chick-fil-A is a special treat for our family and we like to go there when we are on vacation.

If you want to save a little bit of money or are just wanting something that you can’t get at Disney, try going off and getting something.

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Planning a Disney vacation in 31 days – Day 20 – Eating on Disney property.


Today, we are going to be discussing eating on Disney property.

Some people associate going to Walt Disney World with food. Food is an important aspect of going to Disney because you have to eat. I think most people think food is expensive at Disney and it can be, but it can also be a good option for budget friendly people if you watch what you are doing. I know I always assumed that it was expensive to eat at Disney (that’s what I was always told by my mom), and it can be. If you think about it and plan and look at your options you can find some good options.

Mickey waffle

Mickey waffle.

When you eat on Disney property, you have several options at where to eat. You can eat at:

  • The resorts
  • The parks
  • Disney Springs

Each place has advantages and disadvantages, but one thing is for sure is that you will remember your experience.

When you eat at Disney, there are many options to choose from.

You can eat at:

  • A Character Meal
  • Quick Service Meals
  • Sit down restaurants
  • Dinner Shows
  • Fine Dinning
  • Buffets
  • Snack carts

When we first started going to Disney, we always brought our own food and only ate off of Disney property, but now we eat on property sometimes. We especially like to eat quick service meals in the parks to save time.

So what is so special about eating on Disney property?

Well we have found that the food is good and usually is something that we are interested in doing or trying. Like there are character meals on property. If you go to a character meal, you get your meal and a chance to interact with some of the Disney characters, such as Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and even some princesses. The trick to saving some money on these meals is to go during breakfast or going to lunch or dinner at some of the less expensive restaurants. Like one time I took our daughter to Akershus to meet the princesses instead of going to Cinderella Castle to meet them.

Meeting Cinderella

Meeting Cinderella at Akershus.

How to save money eating at Walt Disney World.

  1. Eat meals out at breakfast. It is cheaper at breakfast time.
  2. Eat quick service meals. There are many quick service meal spots all over Walt Disney World so you can find something you will like.
  3. Share meals. We usually eat quick service meals for lunch at the parks and we share 3 meals between 5 people. Sometimes we don’t but most of the time we do. At least once during our trip we get hamburgers with fries and we will get 3 adult meals and share. We find that when we are at the parks, we don’t eat as much so this is just enough to satisfy.
  4. Buy snacks. Sometimes you can go to a snack cart and buy something that you can eat as a meal, such as going and getting a turkey leg or getting egg rolls.

I am all for saving money, but sometimes it is better to just splurge a little. You are on vacation, so go ahead and do something special.





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Planning a Disney vacation in 31 days – Day 19 – What are you going to eat?


The time has come to discuss what you are going to eat while on vacation at Walt Disney World? Walt Disney World has many restaurants to choose from, actually hundreds of places to eat if you choose to eat on Disney property. Then there are a lot more places to eat off of Disney property. There are so many choices, you might set your head spinning because of it.

So what are some of your choices when it comes to eating at Walt Disney World?

  1. You can eat on Disney property. There are restaurants at the parks, resorts, and Disney Springs. Every restaurant is different and some are sit down and others are fast quick service places.
  2. You can eat off of Disney property. There are hundreds of places to eat off of Disney property. You can find just about any place you want to eat at. There is all the fast food places, pizza places, sit down restaurants, as well as buffets. The choice is endless.
  3. You can eat in your room. There are grocery stores where you can buy your food and eat in your room. You can even bring some of it with you if you wanted.
  4. You can do a combination of all 3. When we go to Walt Disney World, we usually do a combination of all 3 of these ideas, because we want to experience some of the Disney food and we want to save money.

Over the next few days, we are going to cover these topics of where to eat. So come join us.

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Wordless Wednesday – Wild Turkey

wild turkey

Wild Turkey at the Shades of Green.

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Planning a Disney vacation in 31 days – Day 18 – How we travel to Disney.

planning-a-disney-vacation-in-31-daysWelcome to Day 18 of planning a Disney vacation in 31 days. Today, we are talking about how we travel to Disney.

For our family, we always drive. We live about 575 miles from Disney World and it is about a 10 hour drive with stops along the way. This is an easy day’s drive. For us we very rarely fly so we drive everywhere and we are not afraid to take a road trip that will take several days to get to our destination. We have traveled a lot further than this 575 miles.

When we make this trip we always leave bright and early in the morning, ideally before 5 or shortly after. This has always been our practice when leaving home no matter where we are going. Leaving this early has been a lifesaver when the kids were little, since they would sleep for several hours in the car before they woke up. This would give us several hours of just going non stop under our belt.

We always pack most of the vehicle we are driving the night before. This allows us to just pack the few items we couldn’t pack in the morning right before we leave.

Packed and ready to go.

Packed and ready to go.

When we are on the road, we stop and get coffee and maybe some breakfast if we didn’t pack anything for breakfast after about 3 hours on the road. Again this is timed by when the kids start to wake up. (Now most of the kids don’t sleep so it is not as important to stop after 3 hours.)

We continue only stopping for gas and rest areas till we start to get hungry for lunch, then we stop for lunch. Usually we bring our sandwiches with us and eat at a rest area. This provides a much needed break and allows everyone to stretch their legs and maybe run around a little bit.

Then it is back on the road again. We usually get to where we are staying about 4 pm their time. When we arrive, we check in and we used to go get our discount tickets. But now we preorder them so that we can get fast passes.

After that we would unload and get settled into our room. Then after that we would explore the resort and get some dinner. Then get ready for our first day at the parks.

This is just how we get from home to Disney. When we leave, we do the opposite of what we do going, except for that we usually don’t leave the area till about 10 or 11 in the morning and get home late.

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Planning a Disney vacation in 31 days – Day 17 – How to get to Disney.

planning-a-disney-vacation-in-31-daysNow that you have decided on when you are going to Disney and where you are going to stay, now is the time to figure out how you are going to get to Disney.

I personally feel this step is a personal decision. Some people have preferences on how they travel. Some people like to fly others prefer to drive or some even take the train or bus. This decision is up to you. I will not sit here and tell you what to do except to look at the options and decide for yourself. Everyone has to decide what is best for you and your situation.

For our family, we always drive because it is cheaper for 5 of us just to drive the 10 hours it takes to get to Walt Disney World.

When deciding on how to get to Disney, some things to look at are:

  • The cost of fees if there is any for flights.
  • The cost of a rental car after you fly into Orlando. (If you need a rental car.)
  • If we drive, do we need a hotel for 1 night for the drive down and back home?
  • Are there any tolls that we need to pay? How much?
  • How much gas will we need?

Again the choice is yours and yours alone to make.

Tomorrow, I will tell you how we get to Disney. See you real soon.


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Planning a Disney vacation in 31 days – Day 16 – Places to stay off Disney property.

planning-a-disney-vacation-in-31-daysToday we will be discussing different options for staying off Disney property.

There are so many options for staying off of Disney property that it could set your mind spinning. There is different types of lodging as well as different areas to stay in. So what are your options?

You can stay at:

  • Hotel/motels
  • Condos
  • Houses
  • Campgrounds

Each of these options are great and require a little bit of planning and research. I will not recommend any places to stay such as hotels because everyone’s preference is different. Like one time we took the recommendation from someone and we hated the hotel, but then a few years later family members stayed at the same hotel and loved it. So I won’t be recommending any hotels or areas over the next.

When it comes to hotels in the Orlando area, you have the gamete from national chains to local mom and pop places. Just do your research on the place.

There are tons of condos in the area as well. Just because you don’t own a time share doesn’t mean you can’t rent one for a week. There are several companies that you can rent from. Another family member rented from someone a few times and loved it.

Just as you can rent a condo for a week, you can actually rent houses. Some even have your own pool. That sounds really cool, especially if you have extended family going with you.

If camping is your thing, there is also campgrounds in the area. Some of them even have cabins that you can rent.

When you stay off site remember to figure in the cost of parking when you go to the theme parks. Parking at Disney World is $20 a day.

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Planning a Disney vacation in 31 days – Day 15 – Non-Disney owned and operated resorts.


Welcome to day 15 of planning a Disney vacation in 31 days. Today we are going to talk about resorts that are on Disney property but are not owned and operated by Disney.

Just because these resorts are on Disney property, don’t assume that you will get all the benefits of staying on Disney property. Like you might not access to the Magical Express from the airport and free parking at the parks. Be sure and check with the resort to see what benefits you can take advantage of.

Since these resorts are on Disney property, you are obviously close to all the action, but you might save some money by staying at these resorts.

Resorts that are on Disney property that are not owned and operated by Disney.

Epcot Area:

  • Swan – You can book this on the Disney website though.
  • Dolphin – You can book this on the Disney website though.

Magic Kingdom Area:

  • Shades of Green

    The Shades of Green

    The Shades of Green

Disney Springs Area:

  • B Resort and Spa
  • Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel
  • Buena Vista Palace
  • Double Tree Suites by Hilton Lake Buena Vista
  • Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista
  • Holiday Inn Orlando Disney Springs Area
  • Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista
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Planning a Disney vacation in 31 days – Day 14 – Disney owned and operated resorts.


Welcome to day 14 of Planning a Disney vacation in 31 days. Today we are going to talk about Disney owned and operated resorts.

Disney resorts are categorized into 3 categories: Value, Moderate and Deluxe. You also have the choice of camping in the campground if you wish to camp while on vacation. Now if camping is your thing, you might want to consider this option as you can have up to 10 people in a spot at the campgrounds.

What is the difference between all of these categories?

Well price and amenities of course, but price is the big picture. Value of course is the cheapest option and Deluxe is the most expensive. Value has the smallest rooms and Deluxe are bigger than the rest on property. Of course the moderate resorts are right in the middle for price and room size.

Fort Wilderness Cabins

Fort Wilderness Cabins

What are the Resorts that are Disney owned and operated?

Value Resorts:

  • All-Star Movies
  • All-Star Music
  • All-Star Sports
  • Art of Animation
  • Pop Century

Moderate Resorts:

  • Caribbean Beach
  • Coronado Springs
  • Fort Wilderness Cabins
  • Port Orleans

Deluxe Resorts:

  • Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Beach Club
  • Boardwalk Inn
  • Contemporary
  • Grand Floridian
  • Old Key West
  • Polynesian
  • Saratoga Springs
  • Wilderness Lodge
  • Yacht Club


  • Fort Wilderness

As you can see there are many options if you want to stay at Disney owned and operated resorts and remember you get benefits for staying on property.

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