Recommended restaurants for family POP

buistk

Member
Our family (2 adults and 2 children ages 9 & 11 who are small for their age and light eaters) will be at Disney for 4 days and POP for food. We will be going to the following parks: AK, EP, HS and will have one day off at the resort. I'm thinking we will probably go to 2 TS and the rest QS. Based on what I've read on the forum, buffet's are probably not for us as we'd have to pay adult price for our 11 yr old who is a light eater. Are there any recommendations on which ones to try? The list of restaurants is very overwhelming! How do you save money/ get a good value for food when not on the dining plan?
 

Micah008

Moderator
Staff member
Our family (2 adults and 2 children ages 9 & 11 who are small for their age and light eaters)
...
How do you save money/ get a good value for food when not on the dining plan?
Our children are the exact same ages, and also light eaters. To get a good value we share meals (adults share and kids share, so normally only order 2 or 3 meals). We eat at QS more often than TS, not order soda. You can also save a lot by not getting alcohol... but we don't always follow that rule.

Are there any recommendations on which ones to try? The list of restaurants is very overwhelming!
This is very personal... depending on your likes... but some of our favorites:

AK: Flame Tree BBQ, Satuli Canteen
EP: Sunshine Seasons, many World Showcase QS options.
HS: Nothing stands out, we typically eat here as few meals as we can. But, looking forward to trying Docking Bay 7.
MK: Pecos Bills
Near Resort: Pop Century is good, and walk to Art of Animation too. If you want you can even get to Riviera easily, which supposedly has a great QS at Primo Piatto. Other good ones at resorts if you want to branch out.
 

hizouse

Member
Ordering kids meals is one way to save a bit; at QS anyone can order one, and on our last trip I ordered several. I especially like to do this at places like Electric Umbrella and Backlot Express that have self-serve drink stations. (It also helped that I knew my youngest kid was not likely to finish her kids meal and that I would get to eat some of hers as well). Note that you can usually substitute for the sides that come standard with kids meals. There is another recent thread here saying that servers generally let anyone order kids meals at TS also.

Flame Tree BBQ, noted by Micah above, is great for sharing meals, pretty good value in terms of quantity and quality for price, but it is more expensive than normal if you don't want to share and everyone wants their own meal.

Casey's Corner in MK can be a decent value when sharing a foot-long hot dog if you can get agreement on the toppings. A few snacks at Sleepy Hollow can also be a cheaper meal.

The toppings bar at Pecos Bill helps stretch a kids meal or can turn a side order of chips into basic vegetarian nachos. Cosmic Ray's and Restaurantosaurus also have toppings bars, but I don't have any experience with them.

For TS in parks, decent values (relative to other Disney restaurants, anyway) are Prime Time 50s and Sci-Fi Dine-in in DHS and Via Napoli in Epcot. For Via Napoli especially, remember that the applicable comparison is the cost of other nearby restaurants and not your local Pizza Hut.

The biggest way to save is to bring your own food or order it from Amazon or a grocery-delivery service. We will probably be getting some bagels, a couple boxes of cereals, fruit, milk, granola bars for our next trip.
 

mehor

Member
For what its worth, I don't consider my family light eaters and we often buy 2 meals among 3 adults and are satisfied. In Epcot, we tend to buy 1 QS entree/ snack in a couple different countries and "eat our way around the world". For MK, we like Columbia Harbor House but part of the appeal may be the AC and the quiet. AK, we will eat Yak & Yeti. I haven't found a favorite QS in HS either- my daughter likes 50's Prime time so we go there occasionally for our TS.

How do you save money/ get a good value for food when not on the dining plan?
More for time than money but we buy individual bags of pretzels, bottles of OJ and bagels through grocery delivery. Waiting for rope drop goes quickly when we are eating our breakfast. The pretzels are for my husband who inevitably gets hungry before the others are ready to break. When we do buy a $5.00 snack, its because we really want it and there's minimal guilt. We also bring water bottles full of ice and squirty flavor iced tea to mask the Orlando water taste.
 

Mrs Darling

Well-known member
We're not big fans of fries so (if we're not sharing a meal) we often ask for the entree with no side, and it's several $ cheaper and much healthier. We don't rely on kids meals often because we find the selection really boring at QS. Only my youngest usually wants that, so we more often split an adult meal, especially if we can sub something else for fries. We love the snacks at WDW so that leaves us room (both in $ and calories) for extra snacks as a splurge
 
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