DiningWalt Disney World (FL)

Epcot Meals On Just $20 A Day

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This is the second in our series of meal plans to survive all day in a Walt Disney World park for just $20 a day. I decided to cover the parks in the order they opened, but I knew Epcot would be my biggest challenge. That’s because the food at Epcot is incredible! Especially back in the World Showcase where exotic little treats are hiding in each land! With that in mind I embarked to see if I could make it on just $20.

One thing to note is Epcot has a huge advantage: Club Cool! This is a free beverage station where you can try different sodas from all over the world. In order to make it on $20 a day you have to give up ordering soda and replace it with free ice water Breakfastoffered at most counter service restaurants. Club Cool gives you a little taste of what you’re missing plus it’s fun to try all the different flavors. (Except Beverly!!)

For breakfast I needed something quick that would not interfere with my morning Touring Plan. I find that for Epcot if I make it for rope drop I’m able to relax and have some breakfast after getting on Test Track and Soarin’. It just happens that Sunshine Seasons, one of the best quick service restaurants on property, is right beside Soarin’. They have a wide variety of hot items, baked goods, cereals, fruits, and more (see breakfast menu). But being on a budget I opted for a bagel and cream cheese for a pretty reasonable $2.98 after taxBalance after breakfast: $17.02

LunchI have a confession to make before lunch… I love Chinese food. I love it so much it’s hard to walk by the offerings in the China pavilion. Maybe there is more unusual and interesting food available, but if I’m at Epcot it is a safe bet at some point you will find me there. With that in mind it shouldn’t be surprising that for lunch I headed to the Lotus Blossom Cafe. For $9.05 after tax I received a heaping portion of orange chicken with steamed rice (check out the rest of the menu). Though the portions are large they are stingy with their ice water. For some reason they only use tiny cups when handing it out. Be sure to order two if you decide to dine at this location. Balance after lunch: $7.97

DinnerFor dinner I thought long and hard about what to get with the meager funds I had left. A croissant sandwich in France? A frankfurter in Germany? Then it hit me! I’d gone all the way around the world after lunch but I ended up right next door in Norway. The Kringla Bakeri og Cafe is very well known for their pastries but did you know they have amazing (and affordable) sandwiches (see the menu)? For $7.45 after tax I was able to get a ham and apple sandwich. It doesn’t sound especially appealing does it? I assure you this sandwich is genius with the rich cheeses and salty ham combined with sweet, crisp apple. Not to mention this sandwich it huge! Be sure to get it toasted so that cheese gets all melty and wonderful. Balance after dinner: $.52

School BreadSo there you have it! You can absolutely survive on $20 a day in Epcot. But if I’m being entirely honest, my story didn’t end there. I certainly couldn’t go into Norway without getting a piece of School Bread! It may have put me a few dollars over budget, but nobody should let a couple dollars stand between them and School Bread! If you haven’t ever tried it, imagine the best custard donut you’ve ever had, but lighter and covered in toasted coconut. Heavenly!

So what would you have ordered if you had $20 and one day in Epcot? Remember if you want to plan your meals, visit our Touring Plans Menus. Do you have any advice as I attempt to survive the Disney Hollywood Studios on just $20? Please let us know in the comments below.

My Other Disney World “Meals on Just $20 a Day” Posts:


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Daisy Lauren

I'm just about the biggest Touring Plans fan ever and still pinching myself that they let me be part of the team! I love sharing all things Disney with you and always appreciate your ideas and feedback at: daisylauren@touringplans.com or @dizdaisylauren on twitter Above everything else THANK YOU for reading and commenting!

20 thoughts on “Epcot Meals On Just $20 A Day

  • Kristina Murphy

    Another great post, love it! I’d say, perhaps doing the $20/day would work best during Food and Wine or Flower and Garden!

    For DHS…I’d say you MUST include one of their magical snacks like their cupcakes or carrot cake cookie, hehe 😀

  • DisneyDad

    Daisy, this series is so useful and fun to read! Thank you.

    • Daisy Lauren

      Thank you very, very much. 🙂

  • Janet Sala

    I LOVE that ham and apple sandwich in Norway! I get it heated up. My husband and I will split one for a warm, savory snack.

    • Daisy Lauren

      You’re a better wife than I am. Nobody touches my sandwich!! LOL!

  • Thanks for the tip about the sandwich from Norway. It sounds great. I’ll also have to try the school bread.

    I agree that Sunshine Seasons is one of the best bets for counter service at any park.

    Finally, I agree to avoid the “Beverly” soda from Italy at Club Cool at all costs. I’m torn when it comes to what I wish they would do with it. Part of me wants to see something new, and part of me (the evil part) enjoys hanging around and watching other guests’ reactions when they try it for the first time.

    • Daisy Lauren

      Haha – I knew someone would comment about Beverly! 😉

      I’ve often wondered about using it for cooking. I bet that tart flavor would be nice used that way.

  • This was a great article. With the admission cost to Disney World having risen recently, it’s good to know where else we can save.

    Can you post the link to your first article in this series of “surviving the parks by spending only $20 a day on food” (mentioned in your first sentence? Thanks!

  • Cathy Mawhinney

    You made some great choices. But I think I’d be digging into the fountains for change to get dessert 🙂

  • You ate some of my favorite meals in Epcot! I love the orange chicken that ham sandwich and school bread. I like to eat at the Tangierine cafe in Epcot also. Huge amounts of food that are easy to share.

  • My husband and I were on the “free” dining plan last year and saved a bunch of counter service and snack credits to eat/share something in every country in Epcot. By the end we were eating one bite and tossing the rest we were so full, but it was fun! If I were eating at Epcot with $20 each, I think I’d still share to get more variety, and I’d probably get the fish and chips at Yorkshire for one meal – $8.99 for two pieces of fish and fries – decent deal and pretty good.

  • Hollywood studios cheap eating tip:

    Eat food from the Hess gas station just outside of DHS. It’s actually pretty good. Same goes for Magic Kingdom. That one has a quizno’s that’s actually regularly priced.

    But as for food inside the park, the best way to make the food budget go further is the “splitting it” technique and the self service fountain soda. And order everything WITHOUT fries even though it’s not advertised as a possibility. Half the time they forget and give you the fries anyway. It save a couple bucks each time. Or if you like the fries, filling up on the side french fries on items shared is good too.

    There’s self service fountain soda stations in both EPCOT and DHS (make it a little treasure hunt to find them!!!)

    (And I’m not talking the stingy and gross Club cool.) Also, taking MIO or some kind of syrup flavoring along is good if you want to flavor water into something with more flavor.

    It shouldn’t be too hard to figure out: To save money you must not order as much food. So, you need to find things that offer more amount of food for the same or less money. Usually the trade off is quality.

  • In defense of Beverly – it’s not intended to be a soda. It’s intended to be a non-alcoholic aperitif, something like a cocktail or glass of wine before dinner. Try it keeping that in mind, and ALWAYS sample the Beverly first. Once you’ve started drinking the sweet stuff, stay away from Beverly. But I love Beverly. I go to Club Cool just for Beverly.

    As for eating on $20 a day, I suggest packing stuff like granola bars and dried fruit in your luggage and eating breakfast before you leave your hotel. Even if you count the cost of your granola into your $20 daily budget (and I wouldn’t), it will give you a little more flexibility inside the park du jour.

  • You know, I’m not really in favor of this topic if you’re not a frequent visitor. Those who attend a few times a year, yeah, I can see this. If you only get to visit once every few years, you can really lose some of the magic if you are trying to “budget” yourself. You’ll get so caught up in, “no, I can’t have that or I’ll go over my $20” that you will start to feel like you are depriving yourself. Doesn’t exactly make for a “magical” day. I’m not in favor of constant splurging, or going way over the top as far as spending goes, but hey, if it’s only once every 5 years or so, why would you want to bring a real life thing like sticking to a budget into the mix?

  • Mark D.

    If you like Chinese food, you should check out the Lucky Combo over at the Joy of Tea stand. You get a Pork Bun, a Chicken Pocket, and an Egg Roll, with your choice of a Soft Drink and and Ice Cream for $9.98 (plus tax).

    Switch your dinner to Ham and Cheese croissant from France and if my math is correct you’ll have enough to upgrade your breakfast to a warm cinnamon roll if you like.


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