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An End of Trip Challenge

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Following a day at Disneyland, and a day at Disney California Adventure, and spending (barely) less than $40 a day on meals, its time to wrap up a trip to the Disneyland Resort.  When I travel to Disneyland, I typically drive, and I check out of my hotel the day AFTER my last day in the parks, so I can rest, recover, pack and not feel rushed to return home.  I also spend at least part of the day at Downtown Disney, enjoying some leisurely shopping, and of course, eating.

Are there enough shops to make a day at Downtown Disney a full day? Add in the time to eat, and explore World of Disney and the LEGO store, not to mention Build-A-Bear, Disney Vault 28, and the live music, the answer is yes, a day at Downtown Disney is possible.


But is it possible to have a snack, a counter service meal and a table service meal (with a 20% tip) for less than $40 a day for one person? With no annual pass discount, having breakfast at the hotel before arriving, and bringing a water bottle, let’s find out.

I’ll begin with my counter service, and select on of the newest additions to Anaheim, Earl of Sandwich. All of the sandwiches cost $6.99; but are served a la carte. I’ll grab one that will remind of Thanksgiving leftovers, one of my times of the year.  The Holiday Turkey contains turkey, gravy, stuffing and cranberries. With all the carbs from the stuffing and bread, I’ll skip chips and but try the Earl Grey Lemonade for $1.99


Dinner will be at Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria. As the name implies, pizza is the main fare here, and large family size pizzas at that.  However, they do also have Italian entrees, which is what I am having.  I’m spend $18 on my favorite, Gnocchi, which is served at Naples with fava beans, sausage ragu and Percorina romano. I’ll add another $4 to my bill and have a side of spinach sautéed in olive oil with a bit of garlic. Yes mom, spinach.


I recently suggested eating lunch at a table service in order to save money; that works well inside the parks.  Outside of the parks, in Downtown Disney, most restaurants will charge the same price for both meals, so its better to pick a time that works well for you and your family.

Shopping and meals done, it is time to pick up a snack and begin the journey to the car, wrapping up the trip and start planning the next one.  As my hands are full of shopping bags, I need something easy to carry, and the California Churro Cart will perfectly fit the bill.  Plus, a churro is necessary at Disneyland. This cart is unique though, as the cinnamon-sugar coated fried dough sticks are filled with fruit flavors.  Though I’m tempted by the Pineapple Whip filled churro, I’ll instead pick up the Toasted Coconut churro instead for $3.75.


So now our day at Downtown Disney is over. Is our $40 budget also over? After a sugary snack, an Italian meal (with tip) and a lunchtime sandwich, we came in at $39.23.  If we add in the ten cents left over from the previous days, I think we have enough to get a pressed penny for a souvenir!


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. Love reading these… How about a food off? Let’s take this to WDW and the same $40 challenge. I will even let you choose the park!

  2. Scott says:

    please work on your grammar and spelling.

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