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-By Darlin’ Diva

I love a good challenge, don’t you?  The best kind of all is a fun Disney-related one!  One of our readers (Hello, there!) recently requested another series of articles on dining at Disney World on $40 a day (or less).  Well, I jumped right on that idea and immediately volunteered to cover the breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options in the Magic Kingdom.  Disney food can be expensive, but it is absolutely possible to have an awesome day of riding rides, meeting characters, seeing parades AND eating in a way that’s easy on the budget.

I’ve put together five days’ worth of meals for a variety of tastes and diets and I’m super excited to share them with you.  Ready?  Let’s go!

1. Meat Lovers’ Hearty Fare

  • Breakfast:  If you subscribe to the old adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you’re going to love this one!  We’ll kick our day off at Sleepy Hollow and fuel up on the Ham & Cheese Omelet Waffle Sandwich ($7.49) “Prosciutto, Cheese, Egg, and Gourmet Tomato on a warm golden Waffle”.  We’ll enjoy a free cup of ice water with that to make sure we start the day well-hydrated in the Florida heat.RM-Gaston's-Pork-Shank-and-Lefou's-Brew
  • Lunch:  It’s almost going to blow our budget, but there’s no more delicious or savory hunk of meaty goodness in all the World than the Roasted Pork Shank at Gaston’s Tavern.  Sure, it’s $9.79, but it’s a meal all by itself.  Add a LeFou’s Brew ($4.49) and we’ll be ready for anything!
  • Snack:  Popcorn ($3.50).  It’s available in a variety of locations – due to our budget we’ll have to forgo the fancy popcorn bucket, but who wants to lug that thing around all day anyway.  Again, we’ll need a free cup of ice water to stay hydrated.
  • Dinner:  Casey’s Corner on Main Street USA.  The Barbeque Slaw Dog is sure to please because it’s “Topped with Pulled Pork, Coleslaw, and Barbecue Sauce. Served with Apple Slices or French Fries.”  We’d want to choose the apple slices, wouldn’t we?  But we should opt for the fries instead.  I mean who ever heard of “a dog and apple slices”?  Nah – A dog and fries for us meat lovers! ($9.99).  We’ll wash that down with an Odwalla All-Natural lemonade ($2.99)  Total for the day?  $38.25

2. Calories are No Object

  • Breakfast:  It’s going to be a late one, but that’s okay since we’ll get to experience some great early morning attractions first thing!  Then, as soon as Gaston’s Tavern opens at 11:00, we’ll be sitting down with a whopping huge (and I mean humungo!) cinnamon roll and free cup of water ($4.19)!RM-Gaston's-Tavern-Cinnamon-Roll
  • Lunch:  We’ll be soaking up the incredible atmosphere and magical Disney details in Be Our Guest!  The Braised Pork (Coq Au Vin Style) is absolutely delicious!  Described as “Eight Hour Slow-cooked Pork with Mushrooms, Onions, Carrots and Bacon served with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans Jardiniere” – I’ve had this dish and firmly attest to it’s scrumptiousness! ($12.99)  We’re drinking water so we can have dessert!  The Master’s Cupcake “Chocolate Sponge Cake topped with Lumiere’s special “Grey Stuff””  ($4.19) is the perfect way to top off this meal!RM-Churro
  • Snack:  Churro!  It’s not too sweet, a little crunchy, a little chewy, cinnamon-sugar-dusted, portable snack perfection!  Available in a few locations, but my personal favorite is the churro cart in Frontierland. ($4.00)
  • Dinner:  Let’s enjoy some awesome Tomorrowland lounge-singing action with Cosmic Ray in his Starlight Café!  We can chow down on the 1/3-pound Angus Bacon Cheeseburger ($10.69) with choice of Apple Slices, Green Beans, or French Fries and be ready for Wishes and the Main Street Electrical Parade!  If we have water (again, I know), we will come in at a very respectable $36.06 for the day!

3. Sweet Tooth Satisfaction

  • Breakfast:  Sugar rush to kick the day off right – Auntie Gravity’s in Tomorrowland has just what we need.  Assorted muffins ($2.99) and a Strawberry Banana Smoothie ($4.49).  Now we’re ready for Space Mountain!
  • Lunch: Sleepy Hollow in Liberty Square is calling our name!  The Nutella and Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich will more that satisfy our appetite ($6.69) and with “fruit” as part of our meal, we can pretend it’s good for us, too!  Milk, plain or chocolate, will be the perfect beverage to go with that waffle. ($2.59)IMG_3537
  • Snack:  Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar.  ‘Nuf said. ($4.00)
  • Dinner:  The Plaza Restaurant has a Cheese Steak Sandwich ($12.99) “Shaved Beef grilled with Onions, Mushrooms, Red Peppers, and White American Cheese served on a Hoagie Roll with choice of Broccoli Slaw, Homemade Chips, or French Fries” which will be the perfect way to get to dessert!  For a measly $4.99 we can take our pick!  Will we have the Ice Cream Float “with Vanilla Ice Cream and Coca-Cola®, Diet Coke®, Sprite® or Barq’s® Root Beer”?  Or a Creamy Hand-Dipped Milk Shake? Take you pick and enjoy!  This day tallies up at $38.74.

4. Healthy and Delicious

  • Breakfast:  We’ll head straight to Tomorrowland and enjoy a piece of fruit ($1.69) and a bowl of cereal with milk ($3.69) at Auntie Gravity’s.  While we’re digesting, we might as well take a quick Tomorrowland tour on the PeopleMover!
  • Lunch:  Liberty Tree Tavern in Liberty Square serves a wonderful meal called The Vegetarian Proclamation ($12.99).  Packed full of flavor (and vegetables) “Roasted Seasonal Vegetables Sandwich, fresh Greens, and Tomatoes topped with a Tangy Vegan Mayonnaise Spread with fresh Fruit or Sweet Potato Fries” sounds satisfying and guilt-free!  A nice glass of iced tea will be perfect with our meal. ($2.99)
  • Snack: Hummus and Chips at Gaston’s Tavern. ($4.39)  The hummus is perfect with the pretzel chips served with it – filling and so tasty!  We should time this with one of Gaston’s appearances in the courtyard outside the restaurant!  He’s a not-to-be-missed character for our family.RM-Pecos-Bill's
  • Dinner:  We’ll enjoy our evening meal in Frontierland at Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn.  The Vegetable Burger ($9.99) comes with a choice of corn on the cob, apple slices, or fries.  Water for a beverage and for the day $35.74 is pretty darned awesome!

5. Darlin’ Diva’s Faves

  • Breakfast:  I don’t need a lot first thing in the morning – I’d rather wait until I’ve hit some attractions post-rope-drop before eating.  I usually pick something kind of light and think the Cheshire Café in Fantasyland is a great place to grab a morning meal.  A muffin ($2.99) and piece of fruit ($1.69) is just right.
  • Lunch:  Tradition for our family, but also a fantastic place for a midday meal, the Columbia Harbor House in Liberty Square has great food, great service, and amply seating (try the second floor for a window seat with a view).  I highly recommend the Anchors Aweigh (tuna salad) Sandwich ($9.49).  An iced tea lemonade slush ($3.99) is both beverage and dessert.RM-Columbia-Harbor-House-Tuna-Sandwich
  • Snack:  At the popcorn and ice cream cart in Storybook Circus, you can find and purchase magical morsels of utter tastiness called glazed almonds.  Seriously.  Yum. ($4.75)
  • Dinner:  Being half German, the Grilled Reuben at The Plaza Restaurant is just the think to top of a great Magic Kingdom day!  For $12.49, I can enjoy “Thinly Sliced Corned Beef on Grilled Marble Rye with Sauerkraut, Swiss, and Thousand Island Dressing with choice of Broccoli Slaw, Homemade Chips, or French Fries”.  The price is so right, I can have a soft drink ($2.99) with that, bringing the total for the day to $38.39.

There you go!  See?  It can be done.  Which day would you choose for the $40 a day challenge?