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Challenge accepted

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As recently mentioned, I listen to many podcasts, including the Enchanted Tiki Talk Podcast.  Their most recent episode, #18 $40 Disney Dollars a Day at Downtown Disney (Walt Disney World) led to this exchange on Twitter:


Well. Game on.  The rules are simple. I am  spending the day at Disneyland Park and have $40 cash for meals. If I go over, I can’t eat. If I have money left over, it can go towards the souvenir fund.  I must eat three times: a SNACK, a COUNTER SERVICE meal and a TABLE SERVICE meal.  Table Service must include a 20% tip.  Since I’m not an annual passport holder, no discounts are applied to my meals.  I am eating breakfast that I packed in my suitcase in my hotel room before I leave for the park (yum, instant oatmeal and Via coffee). In my backpack is sunscreen, water bottle, and other supplies I may need during the day. All set? Then here we go!  NOTE: An earlier version of this post contained some math errors, the tip as been adjusted in the Table Service and a new snack was purchased to accomplish the goal.

Lunch will be my COUNTER SERVICE. In Frontierland we’ll enter the Golden Horseshoe and order the Chili in a bread bowl, topped with cheddar cheese.  This nice hearty meal will be filling, and the bread bowl will hold me over for a long while.  Using the water bottle from the hotel room, this meal will set me back $9.59.


Saving out snack for later in the evening with fireworks, dinner will be TABLE SERVICE in New Orleans Square at Café Orleans.  Time now for one of my favorite park meals, regardless of the budget. Battered and fried to a light golden brown, the Monte Cristo sandwich is stacked with slices of ham, turkey and Swiss cheese, the topped with powdered sugar and served with a berry puree that compliments the flavors of the sandwich.  This delectable treat will set me back $17.99 and is a bargain for the taste.  I’ll spend another $3.49 on a Coca-Cola.  After a 20% (rounded up), I’ll be out $25.78.


Following dinner and a few more rides, its time to get ready for fireworks, with the best viewings being on Main Street USA.  Before I pick my spot, I’m ready for my SNACK that needs to be easy to eat while walking and waiting.  Off to the Candy Palace on Main Street for a freshly dipped Chocolate covered Pretzel Stick rolled in Cashews.  Using one hand for the crunchy pretzel and the other for the refilled water bottle, its a $4.59 treat perfect for standing and watching the show in the sky.


There we have it. A hearty lunch, one of the best dinners in the park (with tip), and a portable snack. Victory! I come in at 39.96 and have four cents to put into the souvenir fund.  If I do well in Disney California Adventure, maybe I can get a pressed penny!


I thank you for taking the time to read this today. I ask you would please leave comments.  You may contact me directly on Twitter @Quest4VaultDisn, and you may also subscribe to be alerted by email when new postings are published. Quest for Vault Disney is now on Facebook. Please visit Have a great rest of your day. See ya real soon…



  1. disneywithme says:

    All thoughts on the Monte Cristo aside, that chili bowl actually looks *amazing*. I suppose because I have a weakness for bread and cheese (two of my favourite creations). 🙂 Actually I could happily have this meal on a daily basis I think, for at least 3-4 days! Nicely played, my friend. 😀

  2. I’m getting a lot of feedback on the Disney $40 a Day post, which is going to be a series. I’m using as my resource, they list every menu for every restaurant, including snack carts, with prices last verified on 1/28/14. Great resource if anyone else wants to try their own $40 and share the results.

  3. Had a go at this Jesse!
    Counter Service
    Hungry bear
    Fried Green Tomato Sandwich $8.29
    Apple juice $1.29

    Table Service
    Cafe Orleans
    Chicken Gumbo Crepe $18.49
    Glass of free iced water
    Tip $2.80

    Tiki Juice Bar
    Dole Whip Float $5.19

    Total spend $36.06

  4. This sounds like fun ,planning it all out! Definitely will help us paln a food budget!

  5. […] and easy to get to while waiting in line as well.  Remember, I have shown its possible to eat at Disney for $40 a day, and now you see my trump card that makes it possible.  Not all Disney meals are filling, snacking […]

  6. […] “About” page, but he covers characters, company history, and even the infamous “Dining on $40 a Day” challenge made popular by (among others) Enchanted Tiki Talk […]

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