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Cooking meals at condo while at Disney, Orlando food


PeterPan
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Say my friend in her ECV was tired or my ds wanted to swim and we just went back to the condo mid-day. It says 11 miles, and it's in Reunion, sorta south. I'm planning 20 minutes. If we went back and decided just to eat at the condo to save $$$ but didn't want to spend tons of time, what would be really smart? I tend to be kinda boring, like a box of mixed greens and some veges for a salad and plain chicken.

 

It says there's a Publix nearby. What does Publix carry that would turn into quick, kinda cheap, easy meals? Do they carry organic? I really prefer organic salad if I can find it. 

 

And is that crazy to leave the park? I hate to, like in my enthusiasm, but I think ds would do better with partial days. He'll want to swim some, and we literally have a pool and hot tub right outside the door of the condo. For real!  :thumbup:

 

And would it be better to plan to swim, eat, and go BACK to the parks, or is it better to just call it done for the day? Like is there something psychological where going back to the parks is actually weird? My friend hasn't seen any of the fireworks, where ds and I have seen them all.  Ok, I'm saying that. I was planning on a definite early depart the 2nd MK day, so only making one day of fireworks there (the early day, 8pm). I have one day each at AK, Epcot, and HS, and then I have a flex day to choose from those for our last day, sniff. I'm thinking the Epcot day would be a good one to go home, eat dinner, swim, and return. I LOVE Epcot at night, but y'all said the boozing around F&W after 4 was pretty bad. So we could leave at 4, go swim and eat, and return at 7. Would that be crazy?

 

The HS day is long, because I was thinking VIP for Fantasmic. I hate to go home that day because then you're locked in to coming back to a park where maybe we would have been almost done had we stayed. And actually, ds did a whole day there and was fine. So let's assume he'll be fine with a whole day at HS. :D

 

So the days when we could cook

 

-MK --cook but return for fireworks

-Epcot--cook but return for Illum

-MK--cook, don't return

 

So that's 3 of the 6. That would save us some $$. Thing is, if we stay at Epcot we'd probably eat Tangierine Cafe, which might interest her. The MK dinner was just gonna be Columbia House (no great loss). Now you know what I could do is make a more interesting ressie out of the park, still cheap, and then go back in. Columbia House just isn't worth the money, but if we did Kona Cafe or something interesting, that would be worth the money. 

 

And actually, I had an option I found for dinner on that MK leave early, don't return day. I found some Fish and Chips places. There was one called The Fish and Chips Shop and another The British Chippy. Ever eaten at either of those? The British Chippy looked better per reviews. Like it actually looked really good. I figured we might need to eat there a little more.  :thumbup:

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Here's the actual flow, because probably none of that made sense.

 

Day 1--arrive, Animal Kingdom, dinner at Satuli Canteen

Day 2--lunch at Be Our Guest, dinner at Columbia House or at condo

Day 3--Epcot Food & Wine booths, dinner at Tangierine Cafe

Day 4--something cheap at HS like Fairfax Fare, then Mama Melrose for VIP Fantasmic

Day 5--Be Our Guest lunch again, leave early, The British Chippy for dinner

Day 6--lunch and supper in Titusville

Day 7--flex day, tentatively have a Sci-Fi Diner ressie but don't know if we'll want to go back for a 2nd day at HS. 

 

I didn't pay for park hoppers for my friend or ds. I know, I know.

 

So you can see the flow where day 1 obviously we'll eat on property. Day 2 we could eat on property or at condo, but it's the logical day to do the MK fireworks. Day 3 would be the logical day to see Illuminations, or we could save it for day 7. So either eat at condo and return or eat at condo and give up or eat at park and stay. Day 4 eat for VP. Day 5, leave early. Day 6 away. Day 7, undecided.

 

So the most we could cook would be 3, if we wanted to save the $$ and if it was sensible.

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My ideas for quick, easy meals are as soon as returning from park put on a pot of water to boil for pasta - either ravioli or plain pasta, and nuke some frozen meatballs, open a fav jar of sauce.

Or pan fry a ham slice, get deli tater salad/coleslaw,

Tear apart a rotisserie chicken or cook up some hamburger and season it for burritos. Pop open a can of refried beans.

 

Does the place come with pots and pans?

 

 

Edited by JFSinIL
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How long it would take you to get to your car in the parking lot in WDW and then drive to the property is an unknown...  The property may be giving the distance to that park in Air Miles.  Check that out on Google Maps or Waze.

 

We were in a Timeshare (Summer Bay Orlando) in Clermont, which is S.W.  It had a fully equipped kitchen. My wife was not planning to cook on our/her vacation, but she ending up cooking our Breakfasts 6 of the 7 mornings we were there.  That saved money. More importantly, it allowed us to get to the parks much earlier, which is extremely important. The Publix Supermarket that is adjacent to Summer Bay Orlando was extremely well equipped.  We also bought things in the Publix to eat for a Snack  after we returned to our temporary "home" at night.  And, Snacks to take with us to the parks.  We ate Lunch in the Parks. 

 

Enjoy your trip!

 

ETA:  We had planned a Full Day at Epcot. My wife and I had been there years ago and enjoyed it. This time, it was hot and no shade and we left very early (after getting an amazingly close in parking spot) and took the WDW buses to the other 3 parks that day and returned at night to get our car at Epcot. 

 

Park Hopper tickets are highly recommended by our family! We used them 2 of the 4 days we were in WDW. The other 2 days, we were in the same park, all day.

Edited by Lanny
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That is SUCH a good point about using the park hoppers to escape the heat in Epcot, hmm. I'll have to see. It's another $70 and her budget is tight. :(  Yup, planning on breakfast at the condo. Yes a full kitchen.

 

I hadn't thought about pasta, hmm! And that's kinda fun, because I can take it with us. Well that wouldn't be the sauce, but still. Ooo, frozen turkey meatballs in sauce would be yummy and easy and good with salad. That's where we're at less than the cost of one person's meal and we've fed everyone. That's good.

 

We could do omelets, yum. We'll probably need to buy eggs anyway. 

 

Yes, it was 11 miles on google maps. Sometimes roads take longer to drive, so google was saying 20 minutes. I should check it right now. It's funny, because the books swear I-4 is so bad (and it may be), but when you're used to another big city it just looks like city traffic. We never got into anything horrible. Of course I was actively scheduling us around it, but still.

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We were not planning to buy Park Hoppers but we let the Ticket Seller (she was from Colombia) Upsell us on that  and that was a good investment.  My wife said there were smells of Urine near the main attraction near the entrance to Epcot the day we were there (that was the last week of April 2016).  We had the most horrible Lunch in Orlando in Epcot.  Things vary with restaurants, so we can overlook that.  We were in the Mexican or Chinese Pavilion and my wife wanted to walk to the American Pavilion, but it was hot (mid 80s) and all concrete and no shade and too far to walk that day. We left Epcot then and went to the 3 other parks and went back for our rental car when the parks closed. 

 

Another thing you might do, if you want to change parks on a Park Hopper ticket is to get your car and drive there and if you show them you paid for parking earlier that day you get into the parking lot free, but probably will be a long way from the park entrance.

 

I had a backpack and was "randomly" pulled for security inspection a number of times when entering the parks, which made me feel good about their Security.

 

In one of the WDW parks we waited a LONG time to get to one particular ride. Probably about 90 minutes.  We spoke with the people ahead of us (dancers from Bolivia) quite a bit there.  The Fast Pass booth is something you should go to immediately after entering the parks, and try not to waste your Fast Passes on attractions with short wait times.

 

A couple of times, I went with DD in the Single Rider line. I remember once being told, "we will need to separate you" and replying, "that's fine, separate us".  That saved quite a bit of time on those attractions.

 

We enjoyed Animal Kingdom and rode one of the rides, where you are on like a boat, a number of times and got drenched. My wife had the rental car papers in her purse and they got very wet but fortunately when we turned in the car, they didn't ask for the papers...

 

The Fireworks in WDW are truly spectacular and must not be missed.

 

How long it will take you to go back to your property, after you leave the park entrance, depends on how long it takes you to get to your car in the parking lot and then the traffic.  

 

ETA: One should use the restroom before getting into long lines for attractions.  One morning, DD and I boarded the ride (a coaster in WDW) and then they shut it down. They had opened one of 2 trains and were going to put the other train into operation. They had to inspect the track before doing that. We sat in the car for approximately 10 or 15 minutes, while they got the other train online.

 

We REALLY enjoyed Universal Orlando and wish we had spend more time there and less time in WDW.  

Edited by Lanny
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Eleven miles from Disney can be a 1 hour drive in Orlando traffic. You are just going to have to try it to see if it is worth a midday break.

 

+1   It depends on many factors.   We took the free shuttle bus, from our Timeshare in Clermont, the day we went to Universal Orlando, and that was perfect, we had the entire day in UO, but their schedules to the different WDW parks were not good and we drove each day.  It never occurred to us to go all the way back to Clermont to our Timeshare to eat Lunch.   I think depending on the park we went to, it was approximately 30 minutes each way. Possibly a little more.  But that's from the parking lot of the Timeshare to the entrance of the parking lot in the Park and then you need to get to the  park entrance. I think it could easily be one hour or more, each way,  when you leave the park entrance to go to your car in the parking lot, until you can park near your timeshare unit..  Depends on the traffic, where your car is in the WDW parking lot,  etc.

 

ETA: We were on a very limited budget and tried to keep what we paid for Lunches to minimum prices. The worst Lunch we ate was in Epcot. The best Lunches we had were in an Outlet Mall in Orlando (we bought in the Crocks store) and in Kennedy Space Center. Lots of wholesome food at low cost.  My wife made a good Breakfast each morning, not as much as we eat at home, but plenty to fuel us, we brought some snacks we bought in the Publix, we bought fruit and drinks and were not hungry in the parks and ate Lunches in the parks and then after we got "home" I seem to recall my wife fixing something light, so we wouldn't go to bed hungry.

 

 We never used the Washer and Dryer because we didn't get back there until 1030 or 11 at night.

 

If they have free shuttle buses where you are staying, check out their schedules. We did that the day we went to Universal Orlando and that saved us 15 or 20 dollars in parking fee. DD applied that savings to the Harry Potter things she bought in their gift shops...

Edited by Lanny
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We have a big family, so meals at Disney are a HUGE thing for us.  We only eat there a few times each trip, which means we are packing snacks and eating at our hotel most of the time.  I am pretty good with quick easy meals.  We stay at Bonnet Creek, so it's very close and has a full kitchen as well as nice grills.  I make up a menu and a grocery list before we even get there.  There are grocery stores and a Wal-Mart super-center closeby, so the first day we arrive we go and stock up.  I also take my crock pot with me (yes, seriously).   We eat all breakfasts in the condo- eggs, toast, cereal, bananas, yogurt, instant oatmeal- we try to eat quite a bit for breakfast before we leave, and take a snack for mid-morning if we have an early morning planned.  We come back to the condo for lunch- sandiwches, left-overs, ect., and then try to eat a big meal around 5PM before heading back into the parks for a nice evening if we are doing fireworks- I'll often pack another snack, too.  We pick our few days to eat in the parks, and we pick the places we eat.  IT's often best to eat at Animal Kingdom b/c it closes early sometimes (now not sure due to the new attractions).  We sort of plan our days according to park open and close, and if we do rope-drop, we are gone before noon.  I don't like to be in the parks in the afternoon- toohot and too crowded, so we leave and go back to eat.  A few things I do quite a bit that leave lots of left-overs:

 

In crockpot get a big turkey breast and put it on before you leave- I just take a few bullion cubes, and mix some seasoning in a ziplock baggie before we leave home- it will be ready by 6PM.  Get in and put frozen pre-cooked rolls in to heat, and mac and cheese, corn on the cob and maybe a can of green beans if you dn't want to make a salad.  You've got a big, full meal right there!  It also makes gravey ;)  We will eat this one night, and then have turkey sandwiches or heat it up for dinner several more days, it will feed us at least 3 meals, somtimes more (we are a big family, though).  For this meal, at Wal-Mart get:

 

Mac-n-cheese

Frozen Turkey Breast

Frozen rolls

Corn on the Cob (peel when you get back to the condo and keep in fridge, but ready to heat)

Can of green beans or salad mix

 

Tacos- I prefer to bring my own meat from home, but you can get some at Wal-Mart, this is quick, takes 20 minutes to cook the meat, salad stuff from the other meal, bring a small baggie of taco seasoning from home.  You will need to also get:

 

1 lb ground beef

Tomato

Grated cheese

lettuce

some sort of salad dressing- I will just get one kind of dressing and use it on this and regular salad

tortillia

 

Soup- if it's going to not be too hot, you could do soup in the crockpot- cook extra ground beef, a bag of frozen mixed veggies, and a can of tomatoes, bring seasoning from home- it won't taste quite the same as when you add all your ingredients from home, but it's close enough.  Grilled cheese or rolls to complete the meal.  You will need to get:

 

1lb ground beef

Small-ish bag of frozen veggies

1 can tomatoes

Sliced cheese and bread OR another bag of frozen rolls

 

There should be left-overs for other days lunches.  We can also make quesadillas, salad with turkey in it, ect.  You can get ind. mayo from somewhere like Chik Fil A on the way down, so save that to use on sandwiches (we are a big family, so I just buy a small jar).  I've also made tuna sandwiches- they are easy to throw together.  For snacks, we need to eat a lot of fresh veggies, so also on my list are:

 

grapes

apples

strawberries

bananas 

carrots

broccoli

celery

 

Ranch dressing ;)

 

I will get the veggies ready beforehand, so we have them ready to eat.  If we aren't getting big tomoatoes for sandwiches, I'll get cherry tomatoes, too.  If we plan a few evenings in, I'll get stuff to grill- either hambergers or steaks.  We will spend about $300 on groceries for the week, but we will eat most meals with that.  We have a family of 7- one quick service meal at Disney is easily $60+, and a sit down meal is twice that!  We also do not eat much on the road, we travel 18 hours, and stop at the roadside parks to picnic along the way, so I will usually have our normal condiments as well as a few plastic containers for the fruit and veggies.  My kids need real, big meals.  If we eat fast food more than once every few days, they get to feeling sick.  

 

 

 

 

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Publix Greenwise brand is organic.

Awesome, perfect. 

 

Eleven miles from Disney can be a 1 hour drive in Orlando traffic. You are just going to have to try it to see if it is worth a midday break.

 

Yeah, I was afraid of that. My friend is a super early bird, so I'm not worried about it in the morning. I think I've given up on it for mid-day. She said she could flex her budget. 

 

Lanny, we'll have a rental car. Now they have all the fastpasses in an app. You select them months ahead of time, for real. If you're staying off-property, you can select them 30 days ahead. Then, after you use them, you pull up the app on your phone and get some more. :D  Yeah, I hyper-research the food. I'm kinda picky apparently or at least not very random. It's fun seeing what I can get at different pricepoints. Apparently turkey legs and pork shanks are the deal of the century. Not sure I'm gonna eat one, but I'm looking into it. :D

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I was just on I-4 on my way from ATL to the beach. It is a mess.

 

Do you literally mean it was messy with hurricaine clutter and debris, or do you mean it was heavy with traffic?

 

There's a back route that skips the highway. Google maps says World Drive and Old Lake Wilson Rd. I assume those would be 2 lanes and have busses, maybe stoplights. But if I-4 is terrible, it should work, yes?

 

Adding: Google maps usually shows in yellow or red where there is traffic. Everyone who has google maps installed and their locator pinging is giving Google that data. So google automatically makes routes based on traffic. Like right now the traffic is a nominal issue on the route options I would have.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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I looked on TugBBS.org  That's the Wyndham Reunion in Kissimmee.  That is a Timeshare Resort.  That's closer than where we stayed in Clermont (in Summer Bay Orlando), however, I do not think you are going to get from the Entrance of any Park in WDW or in UO, in 20 minutes, to the parking area of your unit. Double or triple the 20 minutes and it will probably be closer to what you would actually experience.  

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If you know how to use Waze I think it is much more accurate, because there are huge numbers of people updating it. However, it is more complicated than Google Maps, so I uninstalled it from my phone. If it was something I used frequently I would take the time to learn how to use Waze properly.  

 

We always rent from Dollar.  They are in the Terminal building in MCO and their cars are in the Parking Garage, across the street from the terminal building, which is very convenient.    :hurray:

 

Note: If you rent from Dollar, do not spend extra to request a specific model.  I wasted 5 or 10 dollars (I forget how much it was) because I was hoping for a Toyota Corolla.  Ha.. When it was our turn at the Dollar counter, I mentioned to the lady that I would like a Toyota Corolla. She told me just to pick out any  car in the Intermediate car lane...   

 

Additionally, unless you are planning to get on and off the toll roads a million times, tell the rental car agent you do not want to pay for the thing that allows you to zoom through the toll booths. That saves probably 4 or 5 dollars a day?  I looked into buying one of those sticker things in the Publix near our Timeshare, but decided against it.  The only time I got caught unexpectedly was when we were on the way back to MCO to return the car.  I stopped just before the airport, to fill up the gas tank.  Surprise, when I got back onto the toll road, guess what, there was a toll booth, unattended.  Fortunately, I threw a bunch of change into the machine and it let us pass.

 

We pick a light color car.  We ended up choosing a Chevy, which is a long way from a Toyota Corolla, but it was fine.  If you can go during October or April, I believe those are the best months for travel in the USA.

 

There may be some Drink things you can buy in the parks and get free refills. I think that is the case in Universal Orlando and it may also be true in WDW.  We ate a lot of Fresh Fruit in UO.  

 

I remember something about Smoked Turkey Legs. from our previous trip there. My wife's OB-GYN told her to eat one for him in WDW. Probably that was in Magic Kingdom but possibly in Epcot.  She looked at it and it was NOT thoroughly cooked. She was pregnant. She gave it to me to eat. I hope the one you buy is well cooked!

 

ENJOY YOUR TRIP!

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I saw a listing for Wyndham Reunion, from the company we rented from, magicalholidays, which is the eBay name for SkyAuction.com     It says "just 15 minutes from WDW".  It doesn't say if that is in a Helicopter...

 

Sounds like a very nice place!  ENJOY YOUR TRIP!

 

 

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Publix is a fabulous supermarket.

 

Their subs are very, very good, with Publix brand meat or Boars Head options. My kids consider them a treat.

 

Their rotisserie chicken is good. They sell some sort of organic salad in a box...Salad Girl? Super easy. All the regular refrigerated salad dressings--Tessamae, Naturally Fresh, etc.

 

They also have newish meals in a bag designed to compete with HelloFresh. Just grab and go, ready to cook, sort of stuff. I have not bought those yet.

 

They will steam shrimp for you in the store will you wait, too.

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Say my friend in her ECV was tired or my ds wanted to swim and we just went back to the condo mid-day. It says 11 miles, and it's in Reunion, sorta south. I'm planning 20 minutes. If we went back and decided just to eat at the condo to save $$$ but didn't want to spend tons of time, what would be really smart? I tend to be kinda boring, like a box of mixed greens and some veges for a salad and plain chicken.

 

It says there's a Publix nearby. What does Publix carry that would turn into quick, kinda cheap, easy meals? Do they carry organic? I really prefer organic salad if I can find it.

 

And is that crazy to leave the park? I hate to, like in my enthusiasm, but I think ds would do better with partial days. He'll want to swim some, and we literally have a pool and hot tub right outside the door of the condo. For real! [emoji106]

 

And would it be better to plan to swim, eat, and go BACK to the parks, or is it better to just call it done for the day? Like is there something psychological where going back to the parks is actually weird? My friend hasn't seen any of the fireworks, where ds and I have seen them all. Ok, I'm saying that. I was planning on a definite early depart the 2nd MK day, so only making one day of fireworks there (the early day, 8pm). I have one day each at AK, Epcot, and HS, and then I have a flex day to choose from those for our last day, sniff. I'm thinking the Epcot day would be a good one to go home, eat dinner, swim, and return. I LOVE Epcot at night, but y'all said the boozing around F&W after 4 was pretty bad. So we could leave at 4, go swim and eat, and return at 7. Would that be crazy?

 

The HS day is long, because I was thinking VIP for Fantasmic. I hate to go home that day because then you're locked in to coming back to a park where maybe we would have been almost done had we stayed. And actually, ds did a whole day there and was fine. So let's assume he'll be fine with a whole day at HS. :D

 

So the days when we could cook

 

-MK --cook but return for fireworks

-Epcot--cook but return for Illum

-MK--cook, don't return

 

So that's 3 of the 6. That would save us some $$. Thing is, if we stay at Epcot we'd probably eat Tangierine Cafe, which might interest her. The MK dinner was just gonna be Columbia House (no great loss). Now you know what I could do is make a more interesting ressie out of the park, still cheap, and then go back in. Columbia House just isn't worth the money, but if we did Kona Cafe or something interesting, that would be worth the money.

 

And actually, I had an option I found for dinner on that MK leave early, don't return day. I found some Fish and Chips places. There was one called The Fish and Chips Shop and another The British Chippy. Ever eaten at either of those? The British Chippy looked better per reviews. Like it actually looked really good. I figured we might need to eat there a little more. [emoji106]

Publix is a fantastic grocery store! Yes to organic stuff, and if you eat meat, they have the Boar's head subs that are really good.
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Yes, it was 11 miles on google maps. Sometimes roads take longer to drive, so google was saying 20 minutes. I should check it right now. It's funny, because the books swear I-4 is so bad (and it may be), but when you're used to another big city it just looks like city traffic. We never got into anything horrible. Of course I was actively scheduling us around it, but still.

 

You need to add in the time from when you leave the gates to getting to your car, and getting out of the parking lot. And then the reverse when you come back. Do you have to pay the parking fee again when you come back? We've never left during the day, so I'm not sure.

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Hmm, this Publix thing is sounding good!!   :drool5:

 

Lanny, Google bought Waze. I use both, but now that google has the tech to show traffic I only use Waze when I want a breakdown of what is causing it. I went with Alamo for our rental and got it through Costco for a better price. I don't have to go to the counter even unless I want to add an extra driver, and the extra driver is free. Yeah, I think now with the tolls they automatically have the device on the car. If you use it, you get billed. If you don't use it, they don't bill you. 

 

We were just there in January, but each trip is a little different. That time we stayed at Shades of Green, right on property. It was gorgeous. This trip is without Dad, so we're staying off-property.

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If you want Publix subs, download the Publix app and you can order them to be ready when you get to the store. You can customize them and everything. I do that every Sunday for lunch. Saves me time in the deli line. In fact, I'm visiting my folks in Florida right now, and just ordered subs for lunch tomorrow.

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Publix subs are a big thing in Florida. Chicken tender subs in particular. They also have hot deli food and both rotisserie and fried chicken. And bowls of cut fruit, pre made salads and sides, etc. and yes they carry organic items.

We got chicken tender subs for lunch yesterday. They had to fry some tenders for us because it was during the lunch rush. So warm chicken....perfection. Seriously so good.

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In addition to great subs, Publix also  has take and bake pizzas.  It also has great chicken, and an $11.99 (or thereabouts) meal deal where you get a cut up rotisserie or fried chicken, two sides (choices are macaroni salad, potato salad, baked beans, coleslaw), 4 Hawaiian rolls, and sometimes a half gallon of tea or lemonade (sometimes drink is included, sometimes not).

 

The first time we went to Disney one kid was almost 5 and the other was 18 months old.  We got to the park first thing in the AM, and stayed until about noon.  We went back to the hotel (in Lake Buena VIsta, so very close to the parks) to eat/have toddler take a nap, and then went out again around 4.  It worked out perfectly.

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I probably won't be a whole lot of help, but we rarely go back after leaving, it is just too much of a hassle for us.

 

We eat breakfast at condo, carry a lunch with us, leave around 7pm and have late dinner at condo.

 

OR

 

We eat a mid-morning large breakfast/brunch in condo, go in a little later (10 or 11) take snacks, and eat a very late lunch around 4pm that is more like dinner and have snacks later if we want them.

 

I would rather carry in a few sandwiches and chips and drink mixers for water (powdered) and have that for one meal than go in and out of the parks.

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We haven't been in years, but seriously, we LOVED leaving around 3 or so, resting at the condo, and then going back just after 6/6:30 (eating dinner at the condo). We vividly remember coming back to the park, refreshed and ready to roll, and encountering family after family with tired, worn-out littles who were crying, fussing--just DONE, and their families were trying so hard to hold it together. 

BUT--we were staying pretty close, in a very nice apartment-style place (maybe a timeshare?). 

Hope you find what works for you. 

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Even if someone is staying in a Disney property, on WDW, it can take quite awhile to get from a WDW park to the property. It depends on which park one is in and which property one is in. Sometimes (frequently according to the Unofficial Guide to WDW 2016 book we have), it can take less time to get to a property off-site.

 

One thing I think is important is that the property will often say it is 15 or 20 minutes to WDW, but that is not to a particular park, that is to the entrance of WDW, and WDW is a huge place. And was that at 3 A.M. or 7 A.M. ?

 

As DawnM wrote, once you leave WDW, you probably won't return the same day. The Tickets are very expensive for each day, so most people want to maximize the number of hours they can be inside the parks and the number of attractions on their list of attractions that they can ride that day.  

Edited by Lanny
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Here's the actual flow, because probably none of that made sense.

 

Day 1--arrive, Animal Kingdom, dinner at Satuli Canteen

Day 2--lunch at Be Our Guest, dinner at Columbia House or at condo

Day 3--Epcot Food & Wine booths, dinner at Tangierine Cafe

Day 4--something cheap at HS like Fairfax Fare, then Mama Melrose for VIP Fantasmic

Day 5--Be Our Guest lunch again, leave early, The British Chippy for dinner

Day 6--lunch and supper in Titusville

Day 7--flex day, tentatively have a Sci-Fi Diner ressie but don't know if we'll want to go back for a 2nd day at HS.

 

I didn't pay for park hoppers for my friend or ds. I know, I know.

 

So you can see the flow where day 1 obviously we'll eat on property. Day 2 we could eat on property or at condo, but it's the logical day to do the MK fireworks. Day 3 would be the logical day to see Illuminations, or we could save it for day 7. So either eat at condo and return or eat at condo and give up or eat at park and stay. Day 4 eat for VP. Day 5, leave early. Day 6 away. Day 7, undecided.

 

So the most we could cook would be 3, if we wanted to save the $$ and if it was sensible.

Ok well I don’t know that I can address everything, but first off, the Mama Melrose with VIP seating for Fantasmic will be a lunch. You can go as late as maybe 4 p.m., but I highly doubt you’d need a full lunch at lunchtime and then a meal there. You have to order from a specific menu when you are dining with the VIP shows. They include appetizers, entrees and desserts. I would plan on a mid-morning snack somewhere and my Mama Melrose around 3-4 for an early supper then a snack while watching Fantasmic.

 

I would probably not leave the MK in the middle of the day with plans to return. What I’d likely do is make one of the MK days a bit longer into the early evening then leave and be done, and then the other day if you want to do the same, or leave maybe a bit earlier. I just think the leaving and returning, unless you’re wanting to see nighttime entertainment, is a lot of wasted time. I’d just stay the couple extra hours while I’m there and be done with it. Go back to your condo, swim, chill, have dinner, etc., and get to bed early so you’ll be ready to hit the parks and be there before opening the next day!

 

Now, I could be a little more helpful if I knew when you were going. Crowd levels and holiday party schedules would also affect what I’d recommend.

 

I’d forego park hoppers if you’re already unsure of how tired your friend and son will be. You have enough days to visit all the parks, and you’re talking about leaving parks early; why spend the extra money? If it’s hot, it’s going to be hot at every park. Yeah, AK has a bit more shade, but the other 3 are equally miserable in the hot weather. I’d just plan on seeing attractions that are indoors during the hottest parts of the day.

Edited by StaceyinLA
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ADR for Mama Melrose's is 4:30.

 

That's a really good point on the park hoppers. Makes me feel better about it, because you're right I'm not planning on it.

 

Yup, I'm assuming we're gonna be wicked hot. :D  Nope, not hitting the parties. If it were just me, I would, definitely. We think ds would get overwhelmed. He doesn't do anything with characters anyway, like nothing. 

 

Do you think adults like meeting the characters or does it just vary with the adult? I've been trying to decide if I should make the effort to do some character meets for my friend. Ds won't do them at all. I guess she would know if she'd want to. I'll just ask her, lol.

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You need to add in the time from when you leave the gates to getting to your car, and getting out of the parking lot. And then the reverse when you come back. Do you have to pay the parking fee again when you come back? We've never left during the day, so I'm not sure.

 

No.  Guard the receipt for when you paid to park the first time that day in WDW.   If you then move your car to another WDW parking lot, when you enter, show them the parking receipt. You pay once for the day. Do not lose your receipt...

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Shhh, but I changed my tix to an annual pass. No more parking fees for me. :D  I'm getting more family in Florida, and I need to take my dad down for trips. I'm at the break even point just with this trip. I'm taking my dad down for the Christmas party and to see Epcot, maybe do the drones at Disney Springs. I'm totally psyched. Sometimes it's torturous helping people have fun. :D

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I respectfully disagree with Stacey, regarding the Park Hopper tickets. We had 4 days for WDW. Our plan was to spend one day in each park. On 2 of the days, that was how it went. We were in one park for an entire day and probably part of the night and did not use the Park Hopper feature. . However, one day we were thankful we had the Park Hopper, because we left the first park and went to another park. I don't remember which park or why.  Possibly it was to go back to try and find something DD wished that she'd purchased when we were there the first time.  

 

The day we were in EPCOT it was simply a no-go for us.  We had planned to be there for the entire day, my wife and I having spent an entire day there, years ago, and had good memories of EPCOT. That was the day we were in all 4 of the parks...

 

For us, having purchased the 4 day Park Hopper was a good investment. If we had stuck with the original plans, one day in each of 4 parks, we would have wasted some money.

 

Based on that, I think it's unlikely we would return to EPCOT. Better to spend our money in Universal Orlando...  Another day, we might have enjoyed EPCOT, but the Urine smell, the heat, which was much worse than in MK or AK or HS, I think they have more Concrete in EPCOT and less shade? and the worst Lunch we ate in FL was in EPCOT.  

 

ETA: In the first paragraph I wrote that one day we left one park and went to another park.  I do remember that on one of the 2 days that we did use the Park Hopper feature, we went back to MK.  The first park we visited was MK and that day, the Train that goes around MK was not operating.  My wife had memories of riding the train in MK.  So, we went back to MK another day and the Train was running and we rode it and saw the Light Parade (which is now in Disneyland?).

Edited by Lanny
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  • 2 weeks later...

Well we're back!  :D  I'm able to update you and say park hoppers were not necessary this time. The heat was so hard on poor ds, who has autism, until it cooled off the last couple days and went into THUNDERSTORM mode (which is MONSOON to Ohioans, hello), he could only tolerate 6 hours a day in the parks. 

 

The shoes were too small, but we rented a stroller. That got him out of the heat a bit better and let him watch his $20 (outrageously overpriced but totally necessary to help him calm down) spinner sprayer fan gig.

 

The condo was AMAZING, absolutely amazing. We were, yes, you may die now, less than 10 minutes from the entrance of AK and Hollywood Studies. We took back roads, and it was just a nothing being off-property. The traffic also I found to be over-hyped. I guess I'm jaded because we're so used to bad traffic around here. 

 

We ate the subs from Publix, and they were definitely fun. We bought a couple ahead to have leftovers in the frig, hehe. We also got precut fruit, etc., making breakfasts and snacks easy.

 

I can see why y'all have news stories about water, hehe. I couldn't believe how many kinds there were! We picked one (Z...) and it seemed fine.

 

The Epcot Food & Wine was crazy fine. We saw no drunks. Somebody had said drunks after 4pm. We were there on a Monday and it was really family-oriented, no issues at all, just tasty. You could smell it here and there, but nothing nasty or to shield your kids from. There were lots of kids there too. There was a few *happy* adults, hehe, but they kept it on the fun side of happy. I mean, if people wanna drink beer at Biergarten and then RUN around Epcot to make a Soarin pass that they think is going to expire but won't when the ride is almost walk-on, hey, who am I to say? They got some exercise.  :lol:  That wasn't me but a very friendly, happy group. And they made it, so they were still happy.

 

Biergarten was fun again. The Korma Chicken at the India booth was DELISH. The bubble tea was grotesque, utterly grotesque. It was bland, flavorless, a sensory nightmare.

 

Pandora was astonishing. The Satuli Canteen food is quite good, especially for the price, and we ate their twice. Rode Flight of Passage, loved, loved. Navi River is relaxing, but it's not worth hours in line, mercy. I felt bad for people doing it without a FP.

 

Hit Dinosaur at closing and got to ride it over and over, hehe.

 

All in all had an exceptionally magical time!   :hurray:

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