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Cheap Eats at Disney World

Walt Disney World: What are the places that give you the best "bang for your buck"?

From Anthony Murphy
Posted March 9, 2010 at 11:16 AM
So with all these planning/saving money discussions, I was wondering: Is there some good food deals at Disney World?

Now I am not talking about the meal plan, but rather places to eat at Disney World that are
1.Good
2.Affordable
3.Best Bang for your buck

I know my eateries at Disney pretty well, but I just wanted to hear your ideas.

I will start with Earl of Sandwich which is really good and a steal!


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Don Neal
Posted March 9, 2010 at 2:57 PM
Agree on Earl of Sandwhich! I always feel like I got out of there paying less than the quality of the food deserved. Cheap for me at Disney is $10 or less a person. So anything in the $45-60 range for our family of five.

I use the menu with pricing at Allears.net to plan all my trips. It's a great tool to judge cost. I built a meal planning sheet and plugged all the numbers in and "wha-lah" I know what it's going to cost me for the week. :)

Flame Tree BBQ @ Animal Kingdom is pretty inexpensive for what you get. They have ribs, chicken, and other nice items. My family of five can eat there for around $50-55.

We are going to try Pizza Planet this year @ DHS. I've never eaten there but their prices look reasonable.

I enjoy El Pirata y El Perico. The taco bar or taco salad is decent for the price. We get out of there for around $50-55 as well.

Cosmic Ray's @ Magic Kingdom costs us a little more but I really enjoy eating there as well.

Don't have any recommendations yet for Epcot. Last year was our first time there.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted March 9, 2010 at 3:21 PM
Yeah, I just was curious of what people's "bang for the buck" place. I think my family has gone for such a long time that we just go to places automatically.

Not sure about this one, but we always thought Columbia Harbour House was the best at MK.

As for EPCOT, most of the counter service places actually give you some of the goodness of the main table service. Here are some of my favs:

Catina De San Angel (Mexico)
Lotus Blossom Cafe (China)
Germany (can't remember the name)
Fish and Chips Stand (UK)

The German Table Service (actually Buffet) is a real good deal since its all you can eat. Lots of variety and good German Beer! Good for Lunch

Flame Tree BBQ is my find too at AK.

Backlot Express (by Indy) is probably my fav at DHS for "Cheap Eats"


Please understand, that this discussion is looking for the food that is "worth it" at WDW. Like mentioned, a good example is the Earl of Sandwich.

From James Rao
Posted March 9, 2010 at 9:14 PM
Doesn't the Starring Rolls Cafe use the Brown Derby kitchen for its sandwiches? They are expensive, but big enough for two, so they should qualify.

I also like Yakitori House (Epcot - Japan). It is cheap, good, and filling.

The Taco Salad at Pecos Bill's or El Pirata Y El Perico is worthwhile for the $$.

Trail's End is decent tasting, fairly cheap, and quite filling for a Disney buffet, but I am not a huge fan of buffets.

For desserts, the Garbage Pail at Blizzard Beach/Typhoon Lagoon is plenty for two, or three, really.

From Tony Duda
Posted March 9, 2010 at 10:10 PM
I also think the Backlot Express at DHS is a good value and you can refill your soft drinks as long as you are still eating. Back before Christmas, I actually ate both lunch and dinner at the Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station in the MK and felt both were good values. I had a wrap at lunch and the chicken noodle bowl for dinner. It was the first time that it was open when I was there and now it's closed again for remodeling for the dessert party.

From Dan Babbitt
Posted March 9, 2010 at 10:18 PM
Don if I were you I would change your restaurant from Pizza Planet to the Backlot Express or even Toluca Legs Turkey Co. The pizza in Disney isnt good I found.

Remember every sit down restaurants at Disney have cheaper prices at lunch with only small changes to the menu. For example the prices at Coral Reef are $5-$10 or even more cheaper with only the small changes maybe less sea food and more beef on the menu there.

Also heres a tip. If you have a park hopper go to EPCOT for the firt half of the day then with the cheaper lunch prices leave the park at International Gateway. between the UK and France pavillions, and eat at the ESPN Club. Its basically the same menu with cheaper prices! Then afterwords either walk off the meal and go to DHS, or take a boat there or go right back to EPCOT.

From James Rao
Posted March 10, 2010 at 4:24 AM
^^Agreed on ESPN Club: good food, large quantities, and decent prices. Can be very crowded during major sporting events, but otherwise, it is a great place to go for a bite.

From Amanda Jenkins
Posted March 10, 2010 at 11:08 AM
I recommend hitting up some of the deluxe resorts quick service eateries. There are some menu items that you can't find within the parks and gives you a chance to check out the resorts. It's easier at the monorail resorts eateries (save for the Grand Floridian) since most are right inside the drop off areas. Highly recommend Contempo Cafe never had a bad meal there. Also hit up the areas along the Boardwalk, just a short walk from Epcot.

Sorry for the messed up typing, I have to type with one hand, due to sugery on the other.

From Don Neal
Posted March 10, 2010 at 6:25 AM
Thanks for the tip Dan. I will look into Backlot Express as an alternate.

Also good to know about the launch from Epcot to ESPN Club. I didn't even know that was there. :)

From Phil B.
Posted March 10, 2010 at 7:03 AM
As a general rule of thumb, I avoid pizza like the plague if I'm not in the Tri-State area. I had pretty decent pizza in Philly once, but that has been the exception. I have a morbid curiosity to try out Pizza Planet, but just as a sampling, I wouldn't make it a point to sacrifice one of the big three there without knowing what to expect first. The Pizzeria being built in Epcot has me intrigued though, as that park always seems to get the food right. A well made Florida pizza will be something to behold. I say try before you commit fully, and then fall back on the Backlot Express.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted March 10, 2010 at 8:49 AM
Phil, I agree with you on the pizza, especially in FL (sorry guys). However, the Pizza at Wolfgang Puck's is actually pretty good and I will bet that the new Pizza place at Italy will be something like that.

ESPN Club is just great all around because they have a pretty big menu and I have used it after the parks to share an appitizer with my friends and family while knocking back a couple of brews.

From Deborah Davis
Posted March 10, 2010 at 9:26 AM
We used to save a little money by having a big, late breakfast (between 10:30 - 11 AM), skipping lunch, then hitting an all-you-can-eat buffet for an early dinner (4:30-5 PM). These buffets aren't cheap, but if you save $50 by skipping lunch, it's easier to afford.

From Don Neal
Posted March 10, 2010 at 12:00 PM
That's a nice idea Deborah. We always rent a condo for the week when we go to Orlando so we normally eat breakfast at the condo to save some cash. We'll schedule 1 or 2 nice breakfasts on a trip but not everyday. This year we are doing the O'Hana character breakfast at the Polynesian.

I hadn't thought about eating breakfast later and skipping lunch though. I'll have to consider that.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted March 10, 2010 at 1:45 PM
Don, we do that in our DVC resort rooms!

Mayan Grill (I think thats what its called) at Cordinando Springs has a great Breakfast Buffett

From Phil B.
Posted March 10, 2010 at 2:16 PM
The Myan Grille Breakfast Buffet is off the charts. Ate there only once on my last trip in August '09 and to say I was stuffed at the end was an understatement. This was the only day of the trip that I skipped lunch and dinner as a result, and that was a day that saw me trucking around for 12 hours at the Magic Kingdom. Yeah, money well spent indeen!

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