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By D’land Diva

A few years ago, there was a great show on the Food Network called “$40 a Day with Rachael Ray.” I loved this show because it was about budget minded folk, such as myself. There were several rules in which the host followed, but the basic premise was eating well on $40 a day in well known cities.

As a frequent Disneyland visitor, I pondered if I could spend just $40 a day on dining in the park. Make no mistake, this would be a challenge for an adult eating three meals a day and in need of at least one snack in addition to that. After researching the menus in the park, as well as online at AllEars and Disneyland, I believe I have come up with a few menu ideas for this challenge.

First, there are some rules I established:

1) $40 a day is for three meals and at least one snack for an adult.

2) Kids meals do not count as meals. The kids meals at Disneyland are very small, by the way, unlike Walt Disney World.

3) I can take advantage of the free water cups that you can get at restaurants. The key here is to ask for a cup of water and not just water. They will charge you for a water bottle if you just ask for water.

4) No sharing meals. I am going to assume that an adult will be hungry after walking around all day in the park and will need to refuel.

5) No bringing in outside food. As a Disneyland regular, I bring in outside food all the time. I recognize, however, that the average visitor does not bring in food or drink into the park.

As always, prices and menu items are subject to change. I rounded up when uneven numbers came up because I would rather plan on spending too much, than too little!

So, let’s get started!

Menu #1

Breakfast: Tomorrowland Terrace
                 Breakfast Burrito and Coffee $9.50

Lunch: Daisy’s Diner
           Cheese Pizza, Sliced Apples and Water $7.80

Snack: Golden Horseshoe
            Root Beer Float $4.60

Dinner: Rancho del Zocalo
            Soft Tacos Monterrey, Rice and Beans $10
            Coke $3
         
Daily Total= $34.90
Add Tax (Assuming there is a 10% tax, yes, this is too high and some places tax is included in the price)
Total with Tax= $38.39

Menu #2
Breakfast: River Belle Terrace
Mickey Mouse Pancakes $7
Water

Snack: Main Street Fruit Cart
Dill Pickle $2.80

Lunch: Pluto’s Dog House
Hot Dog Basket with Apple Slices or Chips $6
Coke $3

Snack: Royal Street Veranda
A Trio of Fritters $3.70

Dinner: Village Haus
BLT Flat Bread Pizza $8.50
Coke $3

Daily Total=$34
Add Tax (Assuming there is a 10% tax, yes, this is too high and some places tax is included in the price)
Total with Tax= $37.40

Menu #3
Breakfast: Carnation Cafe
Ham and Cheese Omelet, Breakfast Potatoes and Fruit $10
Tip: $1.50 (15% tip)
Water

Lunch: Hungry Bear Restaurant
Fried Green Tomato Sandwich with Sweet Potato Fries $8.50
Coke $3

Snack: Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor
Double Scoop of Ice Cream on a Cone $3.70

Dinner: Red Rockett’s Pizza Port
Planetary Pizza Salad $9
Water

Daily total: $35.70
Add Tax (Assuming there is a 10% tax, yes, this is too high and some places tax is included in the price)
Total with Tax: $39.27

Menu #4
Breakfast: Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe
Pastry $3.50
Tall Latte $3.50

Snack: Tiki Juice Bar
Dole Whip $3.50

Lunch: Daisy’s Diner
Cheese Pizza with Sliced Apples $7.80
Coke $3

Snack: Popcorn from a Cart $4

Dinner: Rancho del Zocalo
Red Chile Enchilada Platter with Rice and Beans $9.50
Water

Daily Total: $34.80
Add Tax (Assuming there is a 10% tax, yes, this is too high and some places tax is included in the price)
Total with Tax: $38.28

Menu #5
Breakfast: River Belle Terrace
Mark Twain Platter (Eggs, Potatoes, Bacon or Sausage and a Biscuit) $8
Coffee $2.80

Lunch: Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe
Angus Roast Beef Salad $9
Water

Snack: Mickey Ice Cream Bar from Cart $4

Dinner: Royal Street Veranda
Clam Chowder in a Bread Bowl $9.30
Coke $3

Daily Total: $36.10
Add Tax (Assuming there is a 10% tax, yes, this is too high and some places tax is included in the price)
Total with Tax: $39.71

Menu #6
Breakfast: Jolly Holiday Bakery
Pastry $3.50
Water

Snack: Main Street Fruit Cart
Trail Mix $3.70

Lunch: Village Haus Restaurant
1.4 Pound Cheeseburger with Fruit or Fries $9
Coke $3

Snack: Tiki Juice Bar
Dole Whip $3.30

Dinner: Corn Dog Wagon
Hand Dipped Corn Dog with Chips $6.20
Coke $3

Snack: Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor
One Scoop of Ice Cream on a Cone $3.70

Daily Total: $35.40
Add Tax (Assuming there is a 10% tax, yes, this is too high and some places tax is included in the price)
Total with Tax: $38.94

Menu #7
Breakfast: Carnation Cafe
Fruit Parfait with Berries, Banana, Yogurt and Granola $6
Hot Tea $3
Tip: $1.35 (15% tip)

Lunch: Red Rockett’s Pizza Port
Slice of Mega Pepperoni Pizza $6.50
Coke $3

Snack: Mint Julep Bar
Mint Julep $3
Mickey Shaped Beignets $4

Dinner: Harbour Galley
BBQ Chicken Baked Potato $6.40
Water

Snack: Main Street Fruit Cart
Dill Pickle $2.80

Daily Total: $36.05
Add Tax (Assuming there is a 10% tax, yes, this is too high and some places tax in included in the price)
Total with Tax: $39.66

Menu #8
Breakfast: Tomorrowland Terrace
Breakfast Platter $6.50
Water

Lunch: French Market
Four Cheese Pasta and Vegetable Gratin $13
Water

Snack: Golden Horseshoe
Golden Horseshoe Ice Cream Float $4.60

Dinner: Hungry Bear Restaurant
Fried Green Tomato Sandwich with Sweet Potato Fries or Zesty Slaw $8.50
Coke $3

Daily Total: $35.60
Add Tax (Assuming there is a 10% tax, yes, this is high and some places tax is included in the price)
Total with Tax: $39.16

Menu #9
Breakfast: Jolly Holiday Bakery
Pastry $3.50
Espresso $2.50

Lunch: Pluto’s Dog House
Hot Dog with Apples or Chips $6
Juice $1.80

Snack: Coca-Cola Refreshment Corner
Mickey Mouse Pretzel $3.50

Dinner: Cafe Orleans
Main Street Cheeseburger with Fruit or Seasoned Fries $12
Chocolate-Cherry Coke $3.20
Tip: $2.28 (15% tip)

Daily Total: $34.78
Add Tax (Assuming there is a 10% tax, yes, this is high and some places tax is included in the price)
Total with Tax: $38.26

Menu #10
Breakfast: River Belle Terrace
The Steamboat- Pancakes, Bacon or Sausage and Eggs $8
Water

Snack: Popcorn from a Cart $4

Lunch: Stage Door Cafe
Hand Dipped Corn Dog with Apples or Chips $7.20
Coke $3

Snack: Mint Julep Bar
Mickey Shaped Beignets $4
Water

Dinner: Harbor Galley
Steak Gumbo in a Bread Bowl $9.30
Water

Daily Total: $35.50
Add Tax (Assuming there is a 10% tax, yes, this is high and some places tax is included in the price)
Total with Tax: $39.05

         

As a Disneyland Annual Passholder for over fifteen years, it is clear that I love to be in the parks! I am a huge fan of all things Disney, but mostly the Muppets and Flynn Rider. On many weekends you can find me sipping a Mint Julep in New Orleans Square at Disneyland with my Disney loving husband and my two Disney loving children plotting which ride to go on next. I am Editor and Co-Director of the Tips from the Disney Diva site.