What We Spend On Food at Walt Disney World and How to Save – CM117

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Eating good food at Disneyland and Disney World is all part of the experience and something we look forward to! Have you ever wondered how much money you need to budget for your family to eat at Disney World? Steph is sharing exactly what she budgeted for food on her week long Disney World vacation with her family of five: where they ate, what they ate, how much they actually spent, what groceries she had delivered from Amazon Prime Now (directly to her Disney World resort), and how it all compares to the Disney Dining Plan. Heather is also sharing some of her favorite food budget saving places to eat. We end the show with a quick run through of how we save money on food at Disneyland. For us, food is part of the memories, so you won't find us packing our lunches in (but that will certainly save you money, if that's what you want to do). Real budget and money saving tips for real families that want to eat at Disney.

  • DisTripPlanner – a guide to help you budget for food in Disney World based on your group size, ages, eating habits, and restaurants you will be eating at while you are in Disney World.
  • HelloReceipts app for iOS and available via email on other devices

Panel

Steph (Capturingmagic_ on Twitter and Instagram) and ModernPhotoSolutions on Instagram and Facebook
Heather (I Love Characters. heatherw25 on Twitter and Instagramilovecharacters on FB)
Tanya (everymagicmoment.com. TanyaH666 on Twitter and Instagram)

 

>>>>>>READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT<<<<<<

 

Steph:
Hey everyone, Welcome to Capturing Magic. I'm Steph Clay, and I'm, here today with Heather Winfield who can be found at heatherw.com/character and heatherw25 on social media. Hi, Heather.

Heather:
Hi.

Steph:
And then Tanya Higman, who can be found at everymagicmoment.com and tanyah666 on social media.

Tanya:
Yep.

Steph:
Okay. We're on day two of our binge recording, and we're on episode three or four, so we might be getting a little bit punchy, but episode three or four of today is-

Tanya:
Yeah. Yeah.

Steph:
Today's session, as I mentioned ina previous podcast, we're changing how we do things. We've always binge recorded as our schedules will allow because it proves to be difficult to get all three of us together when one of us isn't Disneying, and so we just record a whole bunch of episodes and we were drip releasing those, but now we're just going to release them all at once and you all can binge listen until you're sick to death of us and may never ever listen again.

Tanya:
Too many, too many.

Steph:
Uh-huh (affirmative). Uh-huh (affirmative). Okay. So, this episode, we are talking about what we spend on food at Disney, and some budget savings tips and tricks, and this is … Here's the story behind this. When we had … It had been several years in between Disney trips for us and I was trying to figure out how much money to budget for food, and I could not find anything that was good, solid information on what to plan for food. I knew what the Disney dining plan cost, but I was fair certain that I could feed our family for less than the, I think it was $60 a day at that time. It's a lot more … For the middle line meal plan-

Tanya:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Steph:
I think at that time, it was like $60 per person per day and I figured that I could do it for less. And so I couldn't find any information. I wanted … What I really was hoping for was someone to tell me where they ate, how much they spent, and how much food they got, because I didn't feel like I needed a desert and an appetizer, and a main course for every person in our group, every single meal, and that's what you get with the Disney dining plan.

Tanya:
Yeah, that's a lot of food for-

Steph:
That's a lot.

Tanya:
And it's taking a lot of time out of your day to get your money's worth.

Steph:
Yes. Yes. And there are blogs out there that have gone through and figured out how to maximize what you're getting for the Disney dining plan, what to order, what restaurant, so that you're getting the most expensive dish, bla, bla, bla. I do not want to have to worry about that either.

Tanya:
Yeah, it's too much work.

Steph:
Yes, and we did … Back in 2006 when we went, we did get free dining that trip and that's the only time that we've done the dining plan, ever. It was great to have that. I loved it, but it seems like it's getting more and more and more expensive. They just had a price increase

Heather:
Yeah.

Steph:
And didn't it go up to about $70 per person per day, for the-?

Heather:
Yeah. For 2018, it's … I have it right here. It was $75.49.

Steph:
That's a lot.

Heather:
It went up, yeah. It went up like 8.84% from the previous year, and every year it keeps going up, and I, when we first started going, we'd get the dining plan, and we had the free dining plan 2008, I think. And then I think we got it one more year and that was it, because they … When we first started doing it, they would include an appetizer, and … Because my mom likes to get appetizers, but she doesn't like to get desert. Then they got rid of the appetizer, and they included tip when they first had it, and so I feel like it was $30 when we first … So, it's like you just never-

Tanya:
That was probably worth it.

Heather:
Yeah.

Steph:
Yeah.

Tanya:
Yeah, that was-

Steph:
If they were $50, maybe, but I eat a lot, and I like to eat, and I don't eat $75 of damn food.

Heather:
Yeah, again, when we first went, and maybe for some people when it's if they go once every few years, or whatever, you want to eat somewhere everyday, and that's not the way I do it now. Maybe I'll have a sit down meal, maybe two. You can do the character meal, or something, but I don't really do sit down meals every day, and the quick service, all the ways that it is now. So, I've been hearing that it's been going because it's expensive and everything, and it hasn't been doing as well and that's why they, for 2018, they added … You get a special drink or alcohol. So, they added that this time.

Steph:
Well, if alcohol's involved-

Heather:
Yeah, but, yeah, I don't know. That's going to be difficult for some [crosstalk [00:05:16].

Steph:
Especially if you're a family of four or five, A, that's expensive per day and if you have those middle range kids that are picky and don't eat as much.

Tanya:
Yes.

Heather:
[crosstalk [00:05:28].

Steph:
Hi, hello, me.

Heather:
Yeah. I'm standing either in a line, or even just I was getting on an elevator this trip and you're always hearing people like, “Well, if I get this and I can use this for the snack, or if I put, or if we don't do this and we get two snacks out of … Like this whole thing.” And it's always just interesting so much and you're always there's somebody there that doesn't know how it works, and then they have to explain the whole thing. This is included, this is not included. It's just like-

Tanya:
It's too much work.

Heather:
… and this. Yeah.

Steph:
So, Heather, I did as little bit of Googling, and in 2009, the price of the Disney dining plan was $39 for the standard dining plan.

Heather:
Yeah, and that was-

Steph:
$39.99

Heather:
Yeah, so I think that was the last year we had it. The first time it was 2007. So, that was supposed to be our once in a lifetime trip.

Tanya:
And is the standard one … Is it two quick service and a sit down, or is it just two quick service, or three quick service?

Steph:
No, it's one quick, one table, one … Well, back then one snack. Yeah.

Heather:
And then, I don't even know what it is now, but I think it's something like that. You get two snacks. They have a thing too, because now they have the quick service plan, which they didn't have when I was back there.

Steph:
Yes.

Heather:
But, they have it and you can also take it and if you don't want to use the quick service, you can convert those into snacks-

Steph:
To two snacks, yes.

Heather:
And yeah, so, that's … The quick service is going up to $52.49, which seems like a lot to me for quick service. But, I don't know. I know people do it and they like it and it's fine but whatever.

Steph:
Because even if you eat … Even if you by yourself eat two quick service meals a day, it's under $20 each time for one person.

Tanya:
Yes.

Steph:
It's not $50 for one person.

Tanya:
No. No.

Steph:
It doesn't seem like a good deal to me, and that snack is not worth an extra $20.

Tanya:
No.

Heather:
With everything now that you have to get like your fast passes … You have to book your fast passes like 60 days out. If you're going to be a dining plan, you have to be doing a lot of reservations.

Tanya:
Yeah.

Heather:
Things have to overlap. There's as lot of I need to be here, I need to be there. I need to do a lot of stuff, which again, for some people that's fine. That's what they want to do, but it's just … It's not where my mindset is now when I go to Disney.

Tanya:
There's not enough wiggle room in there anymore.

Heather:
Yeah.

Tanya:
Things change. Things happen.

Steph:
And I will second that. So, here's we usually do Disney. We actually do usually do one table service meal a day and we started doing that back when we had the dining plan. It works out better that way, especially when you're in the studios where the counter service food is so bad.

Tanya:
Yeah.

Steph:
Just bad.

Heather:
Yeah, you texted me, and you're like, “Where do you eat at the Hollywood Studios?”

Tanya:
I don't.

Heather:
I'm like, “Well, you can eat at the park.”

Steph:
I know. I know.

Heather:
I feel like the Brown Derby … I liked their lounge. Probably every time I've been there since it opened, that's where I go. I go there and I get my Cobb salad, and I'm good.

Steph:
Yeah. And I'll tell you what we ended up doing that day. But, and I did find out that kids can go into the lounge. I didn't think that they could. I just figured out that well, most bars kids can't go into.

Tanya:
Yeah.

Steph:
Most lounges kids can't go into, but Disney, it's different.

Heather:
Well, at Disney, they let you.

Steph:
Yes.

Heather:
Pretty much the only place I think is Trader Sam's. They don't let you in after eight.

Steph:
Yeah, it's usually after a certain time, they won't let kids in.

Heather:
Yeah. But everywhere else at Disney, the bars and stuff, you'll always just see a baby at the bar, and it's just like, okay.

Steph:
Hello? Yeah, so I have this tool that's really helpful for people. If you're wondering if the dining plan is going to be good for you or not, it's called distripplanner.com. Have you heard of that site, Heather?

Heather:
No, I don't think I have.

Steph:
Okay. I love it. I love it a lot and I've been using it for the last several years since we've started going more frequently, but probably since about 2013, or so. To figure out if the dining plan is a good deal for me, and every single time it reinforces in my mind that no it's not a good deal for me. So, you go to their site, and it's the Disney dining calculator, and you tell us about your trip. You tell them when you're going, how many adults, how many children, and then you select your dining preferences. So, you put in usually how many appetizers you order per table per meal, how many deserts, how many snacks per person, per day you'll be eating, and then refillable mugs if you'll be getting those, because the refillable mugs are now included in the dining plan as well, or at least they were. They didn't change that did they?

Heather:
Yeah. I don't think so. I didn't see anybody complaining about that.

Steph:
Okay.

Heather:
Everybody was all talking about the added alcohol [crosstalk [00:10:25].

Steph:
The added alcohol, which for people that drink alcohol, that's great. For those of us that don't I don't want to pay … I don't want to subsidize everybody else's alcohol.

Heather:
Well, I know it's also special-

Steph:
I need you to fund my drinking problems [crosstalk [00:10:38].

Heather:
It's also special milkshakes, or smoothies and stuff. So, you have that, but I was reading-

Steph:
Still, we don't order those with every meal either.

Heather:
No, you don't do that every meal, and I saw somebody say that every time they have some kind of special thing like tat, it adds extra time to the table, so now you're going to be waiting even longer because everybody is going to be getting these kinds of things.

Steph:
That's true. That's true. That's true. So then, the next thing that you do on this calculator, is you go through each meal, each meal of each day, and put in which restaurant you're going to be eating at. They have it in a drop down menu that you can select from. They have all of the counter service, and all of the table service restaurants in Disney World, the resorts. They don't have Disney Springs, but they do have the hotels, you know [inaudible [00:11:26], stuff like that, because we always eat there. And so, before we left, I did that, and based on our reservations and stuff that we had … Let me tell you, we don't usually … Sometimes we'll order appetizers, sometimes we'll order desert. Sometimes we'll order both. We do not order one per person though. We'll usually order something and we'll share it. Sometimes two deserts, sometimes three, and just share them amongst all of us.

So, I had selected … Let's see if this was the actual, the real, okay. So, before we left I had selected for our first day lunch was counter service, Yak and Yeti, dinner was Boma. The next day, lunch was Liberty Tree Tavern, and dinner was Pinocchio Village House. The third day, which was June 7th, was Lotus Blossom Cafe. My kids love that place in China, love it. And then I put La Cantina [inaudible [00:12:28], I don't know how to say it. I don't speak Spanish.

Heather:
Yeah.

Steph:
And I sounded like I just swore right there. I did not swear. This is a Disney podcast. But, I don't know how to say that. We usually will just eat counter service places in Epcot, because the food is so good there and there are so many options that we … So, I just picked that one because it was one that I knew my kids liked. And then on the 8th, I had Be our Guest restaurant, and again, Pinocchio Village House, which my husband ended up hating, and we will never eat there again. But, okay, that's a different story. And then, on the 9th, 50's Primetime Café, Backwater Express, again Hollywood Studios, I do not like any of the counter service food there, and then on the tenth, we had Yak and Yeti, counter service. Both times it was Yak and Yeti counter service, and then Flametree Barbecue for dinner. It came up saying using no plan at all based on the things that I gave them, it estimated that I would spend $1,504.42, and-

Tanya:
Wow.

Steph:
Yeah, and using the quick service dining plan, it would have cost me $1,739.95, and I would have had an additional five quick service entitlements leftover based on the restaurants that I chose. Doing the standard Disney dining plan, that would have cost me $2,093 and change and I would have 20 credits leftover.

Tanya:
Oh, my gosh.

Steph:
Or no, I would have been over. Sorry, I would have been over 20 credits. So, I would have …. Because not all of the restaurants that I selected are on the Disney dining plan. And so I would have been over.

Tanya:
Yeah. That's crazy.

Steph:
For quick service, I would have been over quick service credits by 20, and I would have had 10 table service credits leftover, which they don't let you convert is my understanding.

Tanya:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Steph:
And then, so then the deluxe dining plan, which we would never do, because that's two table service meals a day anyway. There's your price differences. Now, I went back, after we got back, and plugged in what I actually, where we actually ate, and then I ‘ll tell you what it projected the price to be, how much we would spend on food, and then I'll tell you what we actually spent so that you can plan. Again, we have a family of five, and so it's my husband and me, and then I have 17-year old son that eats like crazy because he's growing two inches a month, I swear, and then-

Tanya:
Your son is 17 already?

Steph:
Yes.

Tanya:
I'm like, “What?”

Steph:
And he's almost six feet. Can you believe that?

Tanya:
My gosh, I can't believe he's that old already.

Steph:
I know. Yeah. Me either, he's going to graduate this year. I'm having a really … I can't even believe he's that old. Yeah, and then I have my daughter, 21, that is not a huge eater, and then my youngest daughter, who doesn't eat anything, pretty much. She'll eat fruit, pasta, and grilled cheese. When we're at Disney, I think that's what she ate the whole time we were there-

Tanya:
That's funny.

Steph:
… was grilled cheese and fruit. So at least we have the fruit thing going for her.

Tanya:
Yeah.

Steph:
So, where we ended up eating, our first night there, we went straight to Animal Kingdom, and so we ate at the Satu'li Canteen. We grabbed some dinner there, which is in Pandora. The food is amazing, totally recommend it. We talked about that before. The next day, we were at Animal Kingdom again. We did Satu'li Canteen again, and then Boma that night. And then the next day we were at Magic Kingdom, and we ended up changing our reservations and dropped Liberty Tree Tavern, and we picked up Plaza Restaurant. Plaza Restaurant, I think, is a great bargain for a table service restaurant. It has, yeah, it has great food, really great foods, and the prices are about the same as a counter service.

Heather:
And they got rid of the ADR's there, right?

Steph:
I made a reservation in the app.

Heather:
For lunch or dinner?

Steph:
For lunch.

Heather:
Okay. I think it's for dinner that they took it away from.

Steph:
Okay.

Heather:
I think they did at some point because they had … Sorry, I'm completely drawing us off what we're talking about [inaudible [00:17:04].

Steph:
Okay. We'll go on. And then, for dinner that night, we did Pinocchio Village House. And then the next day, we picked up Garden Grill. That was a sentimental thing. We ate there about 10 years ago, 11 years ago when we are at Disney. That was our first Disney World trip as our family, as it is now, 11 years ago. And every time we've been to Disney since, my kids have asked me, are we going to eat at that one restaurant that goes around in a circle? So, I just decided to surprise them and they were thrilled. They were actually super excited to be able to eat there, and the food is similar to Liberty Tree Tavern, which is why I hadn't reserved it before, but since we dropped Liberty Three the day before, I went ahead and I was able to add that. It worked out great. So, we ate there. We ate lunch, just so you know, because I think that they have different pricing and stuff. And then we did dinner at Lotus Blossom Café.

The next day, we were at Magic Kingdom. We ended up going to Disney Springs. We ate lunch at the Earl of Sandwich, and then Be our Guest at dinner. So, on this calculator I put in no restaurant for breakfast and lunch since there's not an Earl of Sandwich for lunch. And then, the 9th, we did lunch at 50's Primetime Café, which we ended up … Half of us did that, and then my youngest and I went over and got the Banshee and ate at the Satu'li Canteen. And then, we ended up doing dinner at Brown Derby, because I was not going to do counter service in Hollywood Studios. But, we actually ate at Brown Derby, very, very affordably, and this is how we did it, partially because everybody had had a big lunch earlier in the day except for my daughter and I, and so, my son was the only one that got a regular meal because he can because he can put away that much food.

Tanya:
Yeah, boys.

Steph:
I know. So, he got a regular pasta dish. That's his staple favorite thing, pasta. And then, I don't remember what my husband got. I think he got an appetizer for his main course. My youngest one, I think she was able to find a grilled cheese. We ordered an appetizer, we ordered a desert and then my daughter and I each got the appetizer portions of the salads, which is the perfect size I think.

Tanya:
Yeah.

Steph:
… for that, because it's a half order of the regular, and the salad is really good and that's what they're famous for.

Heather:
The Cobb salad there-

Steph:
Yes.

Heather:
… I think I could just eat that for the rest of my life, that's definitely one of my favorite things.

Steph:
It's good. It's really good, and that's what we got was the appetizer of the Cobb salad. But anyway, I figured dinner there was only like $60 for the Brown Derby. That's not bad for a family of five? Hello.

Tanya:
Yeah.

Steph:
Not bad at all. Okay, the 10th, we ate breakfast at Satu'li Canteen. We did counter service Yak and Yeti, and then we were out of there, and we were done. This calculator predicted that I would spend $1,939.32 out of pocket. And then just to give you a frame of reference, it said using the quick service, I would be at $2,722 for that. I ended up paying, because I kept track of everything … I had this really cool app. Let me tell you what app it is, because I love tracking stuff like this. It's fun for me. It's called Hello Receipts, and you can just scan your receipt, and it actually goes through and extracts all of the information, where you spent that money, how much you spent, everything, and so you don't even have to enter anything. You just scan the receipt and you're good to go.

Heather:
That's really cool.

Tanya:
What's it called again?

Steph:
Hello Receipts.

Tanya:
Hello Receipts.

Heather:
Now we're both writing down that name.

Steph:
Yeah, and you can also export a report. So, I can … I've downloaded a report that summarizes everything, where I spent money, and then it also has copies of all of the receipts in there if I wanted to.

Tanya:
Most of the time, I don't want to know how much I spent, but-

Steph:
For me, it's really good. I like to have that information, because then when I'm planning my next trip, I can be like, “Now how much money did we spend on food?”.

Tanya:
Yeah. Yeah.

Steph:
Yeah.

Tanya:
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I get it.

Steph:
Yes. Because for me, and I'll editorialize right here for a minute, and I know that you girls feel the same way that I do. Food for me is a big part of the memories and the experience, and especially at Disney with the themed restaurants and all of those fun things going on, and I know that we could bring food in, bring PB and J, and whatever, and save a lot more money, and that's totally a tip if that's what you want to do, but for me, a part of the big experience is eating at the restaurants, and so I want to be able to do that. And so, I just budget it in so that nobody gets upset, and nobody feels like we're spending too much money on food because it was already budgeted in.

Tanya:
Yeah. I'd rather cut something else than have to skrimp on food. I'll not go into the park one day and just so I can … If that saves me on a park ticket and I'll just spend my day at Downtown Disney, that way I can eat there, stuff like that.

Steph:
Yes. Yeah. I totally agree. Yeah, I've been with people before that really … They're really upset about how much money food costs at Disney and it's just a lot easier if you just budget it in and say this is part of the experience. It's far more enjoyable. I promise.

Tanya:
Yeah, than having to worry about it.

Steph:
Yeah, and feel like you're being jipped, because guess what? Food at Disney is expensive. That's the way it is. But, you'll enjoy it a lot more if you can just budget it in and enjoy the experience and do some fun and memorable things and that's … When I asked my kids what they remember, there isn't a time where they don't talk about some meal that we had at some restaurant.

Tanya:
Yeah. Yeah.

Steph:
Just like that with the Garden Grill. “You know that one restaurant that goes around in a circle?” For years, they've been asking to go back. It's a good memory for our family. So, yeah, okay. I'm done with my editorial, off my soap box. Okay. So, what I actually ended up spending … I got to find it in my notes, was $1,300.38. So, I actually spent $600 less than-

Tanya:
Than what they projected.

Steph:
… than what they even, projected. And so, I definitely …If you're trying to figure out how much money to budget, definitely go put all your stuff in there, and I would go by it. I normally budget as a rule of thumb, and this is what I tell people, $50 per person, per day for food, and that allows us to be able to either do one day where we're doing all table service, and then the next day we're going to splurge and go to Boma. Boma's more expensive. It was one of the more expensive meals that we did, and-

Tanya:
It's so good.

Steph:
It's so good, and it's a good memory for our family too. That's the one place that everyone wants to go and the food is so good. But, it is more expensive, and so that's how we'll adjust things and move things around so that we can have some of those other experiences, but as a rule of thumb, it's $50 per person, per day. That includes snacks too, so that … I learned early on as my kids were growing, I guess not early on enough enough, because there were sometimes when people were grumpy … I won't name names, but some people would get grumpy about people being hungry and needing snacks during the middle of the day, and we would take snacks with us, but you can only eat so many granola bars before you need some sustenance.

Tanya:
Yeah. Yeah.

Steph:
And so, really just budgeting that in has saved so many conflicts in our family, and made our Disney experience so much more enjoyable for everybody. So, that's my rule of thumb, but this turned out to be … After I did the math, it turned out that we spent about $46 per person, per day on food. I think $1,300 to feed a family of five at Disney for a week, not bad.

Tanya:
Yeah, that's cheap.

Steph:
Yeah.

Tanya:
Especially because you guys do a sit down meal every day.

Steph:
Yes. Yep, and there was one day that we did two because I was not going to eat counter service at Hollywood Studios. I was super hangry, and I feel really bad for my poor husband because everyone in my family surfers from hangriness except for him. He suffers from our hangriness because we're all mean and ornery.

Tanya:
Yeah, I get like that for sure.

Steph:
Yes. I was beyond that point. I'm like, “I don't care where we eat, but I'm not eating at counter service, and so he went and talked to the nice lady in Brown Derby, and was like, “I have some hangry people in my group. Is there anyway you can get us in?” And she laughed and laughed and she got us in, so it worked out good.

Tanya:
That's so funny.

Steph:
Yeah. Okay, Amazon Prime now, I did order … I did place an Amazon Prime Now order. If you're not familiar with Amazon Prime Now, it is grocery delivery through Amazon and they'll deliver it within two hours of when you place the order. So, I placed … And you can schedule delivery ahead of time. I placed the order the day before we left to go down there, and had it scheduled to be delivered to the Caribbean Beach Resort. I think it was going to be … The time that we landed … We landed at seven at night, and I think that's when I scheduled it to be delivered, and Bell services will take all of that stuff for you. They'll put the cold stuff in the fridge and keep it there for you, and then when you get there, they will deliver it to your room for you.

Tanya:
That's awesome.

Steph:
Yeah, and there are fridges in the room. So, I did want to give a rundown, and I'm sorry of this is too much information for people. But, I did want to give a rundown of what we ordered ahead of time. This is something I was curious about before we left and I actually did research to find out what are people ordering on Amazon Prime Now. Will it work? Will I be able to get the groceries delivered? And it worked fabulously, perfectly. I was so glad that I did it.

So, I ordered two eight counts of Gatorade, and I ordered some batteries because I had ordered handheld fans for everybody, so that we can survive the heat. So, I got extra batteries for those. And then, some organic milk, the produce, one thing to note with Amazon Prime, is that a lot of the produce is organic only. That's your only option.

Tanya:
It lasts longer.

Steph:
It does last longer and it tastes-

Tanya:
The milk lasts longer, I should say.

Steph:
The milk is so much better tasting too.

Tanya:
Yeah, we don't drink much milk here at home, so I always get organic milk because it's good for a month and a half-

Steph:
Yeah.

Tanya:
… as opposed to a week and a half.

Steph:
Yeah.

Tanya:
We don't go through it fast enough, so I always get organic milk. It does taste better.

Steph:
It does taste better. I totally agree. So, it's fine with me. Okay. And then I got two boxes of these Nature Valley biscuit blueberry breakfast biscuits that my family thinks are the bomb, and I got some Laughing Cow cheese. I got one … What was the quantity on that. One 24 count of Nestle water, 16 ounce. Frosted Mini Wheats. See, the milk and my cereal was for my teenage boy, that's all they eat is cold cereal. And then I got two … The most important thing in the order, two 12 -packs of diet Mountain Dew. Mama's not going without her diet Mountain Dew, and then two eight counts of Powerade, and a thing of bagels for my oldest daughter. So, we had all of that. We went through all of the Powerade, Gatorade, and water that we had. I wish that I would have ordered maybe one more, one or two more-

Tanya:
Drinks are … It's smart to order drinks.

Steph:
Yes.

Tanya:
For sure.

Steph:
And we, every morning, we went into the park, each of us with a Powerade, or a bottle of water-

Tanya:
Yeah.

Steph:
… and then my son actually was a trooper and he volunteered to carry a bottle of water for everybody. So, we all walked into the park with water, or Powerade, or something in our hand, and then-

Tanya:
You had a backup?

Steph:
Yes, wasn't that nice of him?

Tanya:
Yeah. Geez, that's heavy.

Steph:
Yes. I know, and I'm like you really don't need to do that. We can get free water cups, because that's a tip. You can get free water, at any-

Tanya:
I always just refill my bottle that I'm carrying too.

Steph:
Yes, and you can do that too, and he's like “Oh, no.” He really wanted to be able to serve our family and take care of us that way. So, okay buddy.

Tanya:
All right, then.

Steph:
Yep, have at it. So, that's our total. That's everything that we spent. So, if you add those two together, it's just over $1,500. Is that right? Is my math right?

Heather:
Yeah.

Tanya:
And that's still even cheaper.

Steph:
Yeah, it is. So, I felt like we did really well because I think that that's something that you can, like I said, budget in and be able to experience some of those things and-

Tanya:
Yeah, especially because, especially breakfast items, because you know there's … I am not a breakfast person. I am more likely never even going to be up in time for breakfast. So, it's like having … A lot of the times, Heather and I will grab a croissant on the way out of the park so we have it for in the morning, that sort of the thing, because I'm also not, even though we do it every now and then, not a full meal at breakfast person. I like breakfast food, but a lot of the time, I'm just like, “I literally just woke up, and I just can't eat a full meal right now.”

Steph:
Yeah.

Tanya:
So, getting breakfast, snack items, like on the go items, is always smart.

Steph:
Yes, and I did bring with me … Have you guys heard of the G2G Power Bars?

Tanya:
No.

Steph:
Okay. I love them. They're protein bars. You have to order them. You can get them through Amazon, but they're not Amazon Prime. They're not shipped and sold by Amazon. They're shipped and sold by the company, and I wish I knew what G2G stands for, but they're all natural power bars, and they're gluten free as well. They're so good, and so I brought a couple of boxes of those with me, and that's what I had for breakfast almost every morning.

Tanya:
Yeah. I'm obsessed with the Fiber One lemon bars.

Steph:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Tanya:
I literally had two of those in the last hour. Those are so … They're not very big, but they're a perfect little tide me over sort of thing.

Steph:
Yes. Yeah. So, it works out great. I do love breakfast. I'm a big breakfast person, but I don't want to take the time and my family, when we're at Disney World … When I had little kids and we would go to Disney World, totally, we could make it to Rope Drop. It was great. The older my kids get, the harder it is and we didn't make it to the parks. We only made it to the parks one day before 10 or 11.

Tanya:
Yeah, especially if you're actually up in time for breakfast, you want to rope drop, and you want to go on those rides-

Steph:
Yes.

Tanya:
… and then by the time you finish doing that stuff, it's now almost lunchtime.

Steph:
Yes.

Tanya:
You've already missed breakfast because you wanted to run and run and get that stuff before the crowds get there.

Steph:
Yeah.

Tanya:
So, you missed breakfast altogether anyway.

Steph:
Yeah, I would rather do a breakfast on the go. When I'm at Disney, I'd rather do a breakfast on the go, and then an early lunch.

Tanya:
Yeah.

Steph:
Or sometimes you can even get a [10:55] breakfast reservation. That works out great too.

Tanya:
Yeah. Yeah, the very last breakfast reservation.

Steph:
Uh-huh (affirmative). Uh-huh (affirmative). Yeah.

Heather:
Yeah, if you go to Crystal Palace and you get that, you'll get both their lunch and that's it.

Steph:
Awesome.

Heather:
[crosstalk [00:33:16] accept it, and then yeah.

Tanya:
They put out the lunch, yeah.

Heather:
Yeah, and they don't kick you out or anything, so, yeah.

Steph:
That's awesome. That's awesome. Okay. So, there you have it. There's helping you budget from my perspective, for a family of five eating at Disney World. Heather, I know that you've talked before about some of the ways that you save money. You and I have talked about it before. Do you remember them? You were the one who introduced me to that restaurant that's in, I think, the Boardwalk, or where you can get really good hamburgers.

Heather:
Beaches and Cream?

Steph:
Yes, Beaches and Cream.

Heather:
Yeah.

Steph:
Thank you. That's another really affordable table service restaurant that has counter service prices, I think.

Heather:
Yeah, they're really good, and there's another … At this one in [inaudible [00:34:10], they have a fountain, which is the same kind of thing, because now, Beaches and Cream, they take, you have to have an ADR.

Steph:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Heather:
So, it's hard to sit there to get a walkup thing.

Steph:
Oh, okay.

Heather:
So, yeah. So, you can do that too. I remember a person was saying so many things just seem like second nature. So, they don't even think about it until you remind me like, oh, yeah. That's-

Steph:
[inaudible [00:34:38]. Yes. I know. I know. But, I know that there are things that you do when you're eating in the parks. Do you … So, you don't normally do table service, or do you have a rule of thumb for that?

Heather:
Well, I do … Yeah, because a lot of times if I go a solo trip, I'm not going to have table service, so I don't really do that as much and then other times, I'll have maybe one or two. If I do a race, I like to have a meal, a nice meal after the half, and like we were talking about with breakfast, I'll usually do some kind of breakfast. I love The Wave, and that's, I think, a good … They're not expensive, and so I love their breakfast. That's actually the only reservation I have for this coming trip, at least so far, is The Wave breakfast, and you get … It's a buffet, but you also, and they don't really tell you this, but you can get, in addition to that, they'll make you an egg any way you want, so you can get an omelet, or two eggs any way you … So, I thought whatever, and that's included in your-

Steph:
Buffet, buffet.

Heather:
Buffet.

Steph:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Heather:
And they also have, they just started … I think a week or so ago, they have bottomless mimosas.

Steph:
Woo Hoo.

Heather:
Yeah, so I may try that because usually I'll go there as my post-10K breakfast before the half, so I wouldn't drink anyway. But, that's a thing they just started. So, that's pretty cool.

Tanya:
Switch it to after the half.

Steph:
Yeah. Yeah.

Tanya:
Go on.

Heather:
And now they have these sweet potato pancakes that are the most amazing things.

Steph:
Ooh, yum.

Heather:
I've ordered that there, so that's a really nice. It's a buffet, but then you get all this extra stuff also, and it's affordable and they take … A lot of these places too, when I go, especially at Disneyland, they'll ask you, are you an annual pass holder, but they don't do it at Disney World.

Tanya:
No, they don't.

Heather:
I don't know. So, I ask, “Do you have an AP discount? Do you have a Disney Visa discount?” So, it's easier if you're at DVC, you'd ask all that stuff, and a lot of these restaurants are now starting to have annual pass discounts. A lot of them will give the Disney Visa card, that they have it. So, they have both of them, so you get 10% off in addition to, I think it's … I don't know how much it is, but it's a cheaper meal I think than some of the other sit downs. It's always been good, and it's not crowded either.

Steph:
Yeah.

Heather:
And then you're at the Contemporary so you can walk right over to the Magic Kingdom.

Steph:
Yes. That's what I was going to say. It's at the Contemporary. So, you could even, if it were me, I'd probably Uber over there, because other wise you have to do transportation hopping. So, I would Uber over there.

Heather:
Well, you can take … Yeah, I would Uber. That's what I've done, because usually, for some reason lately, I'm always running late for a meal. So, I would Uber it anyway. But, you can take to the Magic Kingdom, the bus or whatever, and you can just walk right over. It's a fivish minute walk. It's really-

Steph:
It's easy, and then the line for security right there, nothing.

Heather:
Oh, I know. They changed the way … Did we even talk about that how they changed the whole security thing at the magic Kingdom?

Steph:
We haven't.

Heather:
It is so much better now-

Steph:
Yes, it is.

Heather:
… because they have everything separate. So, if you're getting on the monorail, you go through security first and then you just walk right in. It's so open. The security, if you're walking over from the Contemporary has its own security. It's so much nicer. I'm so glad they did that.

Steph:
Yes. Yeah. Me too. I like it a lot. It makes things so much easier and better. Yeah, and that's a great idea too, a great tip too about the annual passes. I totally forgot to include that. Some of our meals did include an annual pass discount. If they offered it, we took them up on it. So, keep that in mind, that if you don't have an annual pass, your meals might be a little bit more expensive than ours, and that could be where some of the difference came in too from the calculator to what I actually paid.

Tanya:
Yeah.

Heather:
Yeah, and some of them even have 20% off.

Steph:
Yes.

Heather:
So, that's nice.

Steph:
I think we got 20% off at Boma.

Heather:
I think it is 20%. I think a lot of the places, yeah, have been 20 … I want to go to Boma. I love Boma. I go there almost every trip. My mom's always like, it's so far out of the way if we're not at Animal Kingdom.

Steph:
It is far out of the way, worth the trip though I think, totally worth the trip.

Heather:
Yeah, have you done breakfast there?

Steph:
No, I haven't and I told my husband, he, yeah.

Heather:
It's really good.

Steph:
We need to try it. He didn't even know that they had breakfast. So, we need to try it.

Heather:
Yeah, we did that, I think, in February, and it was because I had for me, an early flight. So, I had time pretty much just for breakfast and so we went there and it was really good.

Steph:
Yeah, I need to try it.

Heather:
And breakfast is always cheaper than dinner.

Steph:
Yes. If you were, yes.

Heather:
And they have a lot of the same … Boma had some of their lunch stuff or whatever out even though it was … And it was funny because they didn't have Zebra Domes, but my boyfriend was like can we have Zebra Domes and he brought us some.

Steph:
Oh, nice. Nice. Yes, and lunches at table services is always less expensive than dinner too. And so, we found that that's a great way to break up the day a little bit, is to make reservations at a table service in the middle of the day and then it's going to be less expensive, and a lot of times, Boma and Garden grill it's the same. Well, Boma doesn't do lunch, but Garden Grill, it's the same menu for lunch and dinner.

Heather:
I'll tell you that [inaudible [00:40:39] is not cheaper for lunch.

Steph:
Yes. That's true. That is true.

Heather:
Because I hadn't been there in a couple of years, maybe we got a reservation for … It was like two. So, like, okay, I hadn't been there. That used to be actually one of my favorite places to go, and I looked at the menu, and I think I almost fell off my chair. I'm like, [inaudible [00:41:04]. It was like $50 or something for the steak, or the filet that I normally get, and I got it because that's what I wanted, and it was nothing else on the menu I wanted to get. But, yeah. They did not have separate prices for lunch that you could budget that in if you're planning to go there. But, if you're doing a dining plan, I guess it's usually … It's sometimes less. I don't know. I haven't gone there in a while, maybe not. It's still table, I guess.

Steph:
Yeah, it's two table service credits if you're on the dining plan. Okay. With Tiffins, let's talk about the package.

Heather:
Oh, yes. See, I would have forgotten all these things if you didn't remind me. It's good. Tiffins is a new restaurant, and it's right outside Pandora. So, it's just right before you walk in there, and they have … They also have a lounge there, which I really like, but their food actually is expensive. There's a whole thing on Twitter where they joke about they have wings and they're $10, and there's two of them or something.

Steph:
Yeah, it's expensive.

Heather:
Yeah, the food at the lounge, the Snowman Lounge is expensive, is expensive. So, if you're trying to be cheaper, don't get that. But, the Tiffins has a special thing for lunch and I think it's two entrees and then they also give you noodles and bread and I think it's $27, I think it is. I haven't done in quite a bit. But, it is a really good deal, because you get to sample, and it's not like a tiny little bit of food. I didn't even, finish what I got, and everything there is delicious there. I've had lunch there, I think it's three times now. I've had dinner there and it was really good, but I actually liked the lunch better because you get a couple of different things and it was way cheaper. And everything is really good there. So, I totally recommend going. But, the funny thing is because I want to try the place in Pandora, but it's also like, Tiffins-

Steph:
Yeah.

Heather:
… are you kidding me? I'm trying to decide, I like Tiffins lunch and usually you can walk up to it. I don't know if it's going to be like that now that Pandora's right there so maybe more people will know about it. But before, they used to have actually somebody standing outside, not their restaurant, but more toward the walkway, and be like, hey, hey, hey, come in. But, now that Pandora's there, people probably know more, but I don't know if it's still crowded. But, it's one of those ones that you could walk up, because it's one of the things that I, again, since I don't plan on it, I do a lot of walk ups if I can. And there's still, even though you think you have to make so many reservations, you can still get walk ups to a lot of places.

Steph:
Yeah, not usually at Be our Guest, and not usually-

Heather:
Well, you can get … I've gotten the last minute to breakfast there, although I do not recommend breakfast there. That is not a good deal for the money. Have you eaten breakfast there?

Steph:
I haven't. Mm-hmm (negative).

Heather:
Okay. That is not a good deal for the money, I think of any of the … It's beautiful inside, but it's not for me, anymore … It's gone, I've found, downhill since it opened. But, the breakfast, they don't give you that much and it was so expensive and we got … They had a kids' meal of French toast and so my mom and I thought, oh, yeah, we'll share that in addition to our thing and it was like half of a half of a French toast. It was the kids' thing. It was not as good deal for the money. So, that's an opposite tip.

Steph:
Yes. Yes. I think walkup reservations a lot of times depend on what time of year you're going too. I've had a more difficult time and probably breakfast versus the other meals too.

Heather:
But, it's also … I'm usually asking for one or two-

Steph:
Yes, I'm looking for five.

Heather:
… and you're asking for five. So, it's definitely harder for a family-

Steph:
Yes. Yes. For sure.

Heather:
… will they like me?

Steph:
For sure. Okay, I wanted to mention the dining packages for Rivers of Light.

Heather:
I just want to mention too that the other place, I think maybe that's where you were thinking of that, the lounge at the Yacht Club-

Steph:
No, I was thinking of Tiffins and-

Heather:
The Cruise Club.

Steph:
Yeah.

Heather:
No, but I mean we were talking about Beaches and Cream.

Steph:
Oh, okay.

Heather:
You're thinking of the burger, there's … It's Cruise Cup, and it's in the Yacht Club, and it's right nextdoor to the Yachtsman. That's a good one that you can get a walkup too, and there is a good price and their food is always really good too. So, that's …Actually when I'm [inaudible [00:45:57] sometimes, I will go over there to eat.

Steph:
Okay. Okay. So, okay, that's good to know. Yeah. Okay, Tiffins, they have a Rivers of Light dining package. If doing Rivers of Light is something you're interested in, my husband and I did this when we were there in April. I wouldn't spend this much for my kids. Tiffins is a nice restaurant and it's expensive. The food is very expensive. But it is very, very good too, and we did … So, we did the Rivers of Light package because we knew that we wanted to see that and it's $67 per adult and with that you each get an appetizer, an entrée, and a desert, and then they also bring you bread and all of that good stuff. It includes your drink. But I don't think it includes alcoholic beverages. Let's see. No. That does not include that, and then you get reserved seating tickets to get into the reserved seating for Rivers of Light. They also gave us, and I don't know if this was just a special thing that they were doing. They also gave us one of those Lily light up popcorn buckets-

Tanya:
Cute.

Heather:
Woo.

Steph:
… that are like 20 bucks normally-

Tanya:
Yeah.

Steph:
… in the park, and it was … So, they gave us that for free and we could go fill it up.

Tanya:
I like when you get a little perk. That's always [inaudible [00:47:19]-

Steph:
Yes.

Tanya:
A little gift.

Steph:
It was a little surprise that we didn't know we were getting and it made us feel so special and my husband looked adorable packing that glow light up lily around the park because they have this strap so you can wear it like a-

Tanya:
Like a purse.

Steph:
Yes, like a purse. I was trying to think of the style of purse, but I … Messenger bag, like [crosstalk [00:47:44].

Tanya:
Like a cross the body purse.

Steph:
Yeah. Yes.

Tanya:
Yeah.

Steph:
So, he was wearing it around, and then we were able to get it filled with popcorn for the show for just a dollar fifty, because you get the refill price, since you already have the bucket, which I thought was … It was fun.

Tanya:
I love popcorn. Disney popcorn is so good.

Steph:
Yeah. So, once again, for a special treat, if you wanted to, it's a way to be able to experience things for less expensive. We ended up ordering the Wagyu beef and I'm going to go flip over to the Tiffins menu real quick and see how much it was because that was the most expensive thing-

Heather:
Yes, and that's even one of the things on the lunch that you can pick from-

Steph:
Yeah.

Heather:
… because I know I got that, yeah. It's really good.

Steph:
$53. So, the Wagyu beef is $53 and then we got our appetizer and our desert on top of that. It was so good.

Heather:
Yeah. Yeah. It's really good.

Steph:
Yeah. Okay. Those are all the tips I have. Do you have anymore, Heather?

Heather:
No, [crosstalk [00:48:49].

Steph:
What about for Disneyland?

Tanya:
I was just going to say I have maybe two tips, maybe.

Steph:
Okay.

Tanya:
Maybe this is [crosstalk [00:48:55].

Steph:
I've got a couple too. Yeah, I've got a couple too.

Tanya:
I was just going to say to eat in lounges, like I love Carthay Circle, but don't always have a reservation if they … Most Disneyland restaurants, you can walk up to. It's usually not an issue, but if I don't have a reservation, or I am just by myself, and I don't want to have a sit down meal, I love the lounge at Carthay Circle. They have good appetizers, and it's quick in and out, and you still get the ambience of being in Carthay circle.

Steph:
Yeah.

Tanya:
There's a couple different lounges for restaurants. I was also going to say that I know Pizza Port does it. I'm not sure if Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta does. They probably do. You can buy a whole pizza for your family.

Steph:
Oh.

Tanya:
You don't have to buy it by the slice. You can order a whole pizza, and they'll make you a whole pizza.

Steph:
That's nice.

Tanya:
Yeah, if you like the-

Steph:
Yeah. Café Orleans has a very similar menu to Blue Bayou without the price tag.

Tanya:
Yes. Yes.

Steph:
A lot of Blue Bayou-

Tanya:
I like it better than Blue Bayou.

Steph:
I do too actually. I do. A lot of Blue Bayou, you're paying for the atmosphere, and that's a really fun to experience for a special occasion or, yeah.

Tanya:
But it's not necessary all the time.

Steph:
It's not necessary, but you can get really good food at Café Orleans for a fraction of the price.

Tanya:
Yeah.

Steph:
Carnation Café I love and I feel like it has very similar prices to counter service restaurants-

Tanya:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Steph:
… but again, it's the table service so it's the higher quality of food. Bengal Barbecue, you can do that for a meal. It's one of my favorites. I know it's yours too, Tanya.

Tanya:
Yeah. Yeah. I like that.

Heather:
It's kind of expensive though, isn't it?

Tanya:
It depends. It can get very expensive depending on how much you eat.

Steph:
Yeah, how hungry you all are, I guess.

Tanya:
Because very rarely anyone goes there and gets just one skewer, like you're looking at two or three usually depending on … So, if you're getting it as a one skewer snack, it's a little pricey for a snack.

Heather:
Oh, see I didn't think it is for a snack. I think it's more pricey for a meal, because you got to eat more.

Tanya:
True. How much are the skewers now? Are they 10 bucks a piece?

Steph:
No. Are they?

Tanya:
Yeah. I don't … I'm going to look right now.

Steph:
Yeah, look. Let me know. Let me know.

Tanya:
Because we used to eat there all the time when I was little, and I think that was the reason we stopped eating there because it got a little expensive.

Steph:
Yeah.

Tanya:
… especially because we want to try everything, you know?

Steph:
Yes. Yes.

Tanya:
But, that one just depends, but the quality is good and I like them.

Steph:
Yeah, I do too. I do too. The Plaza that we talked about their fried chicken before is definitely big enough that you can share for sure.

Tanya:
Okay. I don't remember them being this cheapo.

Steph:
I'm like $10?

Tanya:
Yeah, now they're $5 a piece.

Steph:
I thought they were about five.

Tanya:
I could have sworn they were way more expensive than that. I'm going to start eating there more.

Steph:
Yes.

Tanya:
Didn't you feel, Heather the last time we went there that we spent a lot of money there?

Heather:
Yeah. That's why [crosstalk [00:52:02].

Steph:
Were you doing it as a meal though, as a full meal?

Tanya:
We each had what, two skewers?

Steph:
Really?

Heather:
Yeah.

Steph:
And then your drink.

Tanya:
And I felt like I spent way more … But, we also got the bread.

Steph:
Oh, and then if you add a drink on top of that, I'm sure that you felt like you spent a lot and weren't maybe full.

Tanya:
Yeah. Yeah. Maybe that's what it is.

Steph:
Okay.

Tanya:
Never mind. They're not that expensive guys.

Steph:
Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah, those are my tips because I like to have good quality food, and so I'll give up a counter service to eat at a similar priced table service any day of the week.

Heather:
Did you mention the Jolly Holiday Bakery? I love it there.

Steph:
Ooh, no. I love it there too.

Tanya:
Yeah, I love it there too.

Steph:
And they have good food.

Heather:
Yeah.

Steph:
Yeah.

Tanya:
Really good food.

Steph:
And really good food.

Tanya:
Their Jolly Holiday Combo is worth it every time.

Heather:
Yeah. Yeah.

Steph:
Also, for kids' meals, you don't have to get, or any of them, where it's a combo, you don't have to get the combo, especially at Disney World. You can break it down and we often split … My daughter and I split because food portions, especially in the US these days can be big.

Tanya:
Yeah, quite large.

Steph:
Yeah, and so we'll often split and that saves money and really I don't want to waste food and that's the lecture my kids always get anytime we go to Disney. Don't order more than you can eat. Only order what you can eat, and they do a really good job. And so we just try to make sure that we're sharing. If we're not that hungry, that we gage ourselves and what we're feeling, but yeah, there's a lot of … And you don't have to get the combo. A lot of times, restaurants, you can order sides of specific things. Like I said, my youngest loves fruit. So, if there wasn't grilled cheese, we ordered a side of fruit and that's what she had for her meal.

Tanya:
So funny.

Steph:
Yeah, I know. Okay, those are my tips. Oh, with the corn dog cart in Disneyland, I don't like the chips and they sell it as a meal. You don't have to get the meal. You don't have to get the chips and you don't have to get the drink.

Tanya:
You don't have to get the chips?

Steph:
No, you can just get a corn dog because I'll often just get a corn dog there and then go over to the Coke corner to get a diet cherry Coke.

Tanya:
Yeah.

Steph:
So, yeah.

Tanya:
My other tip is to go to the Corn Dog Castle in DCA as opposed to the one in the Magic Kingdom because the line's always way too long. The one at Disneyland is always so long.

Steph:
Yeah, it's the truth. Usually [crosstalk [00:54:38]. Yeah, and they're the same right?

Tanya:
Yeah, they're exactly the same, and actually there's more options at Corn Dog Castle, because you can get cheese on a stick, and stuff there too.

Steph:
Yes, that's true. So, good. Okay. That's all I got for you.

Tanya:
Yeah, I think there's not that many money-saving food tips for Disneyland.

Steph:
Not as many and I don't try … I do the same budget for Disneyland as I do for Disney World, and I can usually spend $40 to $50 per person per day.

Tanya:
And that's pushing it at Disneyland. It's hard to spend that much at Disneyland. There's not nearly as many places to eat as far as sit down restaurants.

Steph:
Right. There's lots of really good snacks. Like, Holy cow, I could eat so many of those macaroons from Jolly Holiday. Oh.

Tanya:
Yeah, Disneyland is definitely … If you can fill upon snacks, man go for it.

Steph:
Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Let's remind our listeners where to find us Tanya.

Tanya:
You can find me at everymagicmoment.com and tanyah666 on all social media.

Steph:
And Heather.

Heather:
My character site's heatherw.com/character and on social media, I'm heatherw25 and on Facebook it's ilovecharacters.

Steph:
And we're also at capturingmagic_ on Instagram and we're at capturingmagicme on Facebook and you can also find me at modernphotosolutions.com. Thank you for being here with us. Thank you for listening and spending part of your day with us. We appreciate it. We'll see you next time on capturing magic.

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