Thrifty Thursday: Saving Time & Dollars on Meals at Disney!

I’m so excited!  Our countdown has begun!  We actually mark the calendar with countdown starting at 90 days, as of this writing, we are 51 days till we arrive back at Disney World for the week after Thanksgiving!  What a great time to be at Disney!  I know we will go to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party as it is tradition for us which brings to mind how to save nickels and dimes to pay for our party tickets. 

First things first, deciding where we are dining so reservations can be made well in advance.  It is a great idea to make dining reservations as much in advance as possible to insure a table at our favorites!  Disney restaurants have gotten so busy that some reservations must be made 6 months in advance!  Be sure to keep your calendar updated with your reservations because Disney World restaurants will soon be requiring a credit card guarantee for reservations to reduce last-minute cancellations and no-shows.  The cancellation fee is $10 per person if reservations are not cancelled more than 24 hours before the reserved time.

One of our “not to miss” restaurants is Beaches & Cream, technically not in the parks.  It is located between Yacht and Beach Club resorts, walking distance from Epcot and Hollywood Studios.   This little 50s ice cream shop has the most wonderful double cheeseburger I’ve ever eaten!  Since it is a double cheeseburger, hubby and I usually order one and split it.  The first time we decided to split 11 years ago, we were pleasantly surprised when our meal was served.  The burger had been split and put on two plates with our own onion rings on each plate!  We have ordered the same way each time since and always had the same presentation with a smile!  We are met with the same smile and service when we order a No-Way Jose’ with two spoons.  The double cheeseburger platter is about $13.00, including the side of onion rings or fries, and the No-Way Jose’ dessert is $8.49, but splitting the meal between the two of us keeps this fun no reservation meal less than $25.00, plus tax and tip.  A big money saver for dessert if you have a larger group would be the kitchen sink dessert!  It looks fun, but no way could just hubby and I eat all that so we will wait till we have grandkids back with us!  Here is the menu for Beaches & Cream. 

We have split meals in several other Disney restaurants to save dollars since the portions are typically very generous.  Splitting the entrees has been very successful and pleasant for us with the exception of one restaurant.  Le Cellier has been a favorite lunch spot for us because the food has been “melt-in-your-mouth” divine.  We have split entrees in the past; however, our last meal at Le Cellier was a big disappointment both in quantity and quality. 

 We ordered soup for both of us and one entrée and asked our server to bring us an extra plate. When the entrée’ arrived it was not enough to feed even one person much less split between the two of us.  Instead of the large chicken breast we have gotten in the past, the chicken was a very small chicken leg.  We deduced that splitting at Le Cellier is no longer welcomed and will result in scant servings in what is normally very generous portions.  Here is the Le Cellier Menu.

I haven’t personally eaten at Port Orleans Riverside yet, but have read and heard enough reviews to say we are going there in November to check it out!  The deal of the day is Port Orleans Riverside Mill’s (PORM) Build-your-own-pasta for $10.99!  My ears perked up on this one since I happen to love pasta and the portions are generous to be split!  PORM offers a variety of sauces (Alfredo, marinara, pesto), various types of pasta including spaghetti, penne, and fettuccine.  Some of the ingredients and toppings include chicken, shrimp, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, Kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and prosciutto.  Not only does this appeal to my taste buds but promotes some healthy eating in the midst of lots of junk food.  Check out the Port Orleans Riverside Mill Menu. 

Last but not least money-saving idea is to plan your big dining-out meals as your mid-day meal.  Most of sit-down restaurants and even some of the casual ones offer the same great food for less on their lunch menu!

Till next time! Leigh Anne Haygood

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Leigh Anne, originally from Mississippi, lives in North Alabama with her husband and a menagerie of furry kids (FIDS), including dogs, cats, exotic birds, fish and a lionhead rabbit. Figment, her African Grey parrot, is named after Disney’s small purple dragon, Figment. She works as a motivational speaker and pastoral counselor. In 1974, Leigh Anne marched with the Enka High Marching Band in the Magic Kingdom daytime parade. Leigh Anne fell in love with Disney while on her Disney honeymoon with her husband in 2002. They have made an annual trip back to Disney to celebrate their anniversary every year since. Since they own a piece of the mouse with their Disney Vacation Club (DVC), some years they go twice! She also plans to be the grandmother that introduces all her grandchildren to Disney World first. She has a great start ~ 2 out of 3 so far! As a DVC member married to the best Disney shopper in the world, Leigh Anne has lots of experience in finding the most frugal way to have the most fun in the parks and resorts! Leigh Anne admits to being spoiled as a DVC member but is always on the lookout to keep their WDW vacations fun and frugal! She blogs at Queen of Hysteria and tweets @la_haygood

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