Eating in the Magic Kingdom for $14.99 and Under!

Food is one of the most expensive items (after accommodations and park passes) added to any Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Contributor Julia has compiled her money saving tips for eating in each park for a bargain – be sure to check back next week for Eating in Epcot for $14.99 and Under.

budget eating magic kingdom

Here are some ways Julia beats the high cost of food when visiting the Magic Kingdom:

I often order kid’s meals at quick service locations. They are more than enough food and much less expensive! Don’t forget – some snack or desert items are HUGE and can be a special treat to have desert for lunch!

For some reason, some items cost more in one location than another and I don’t know why. If an item is on the list, it is at the cheaper location (Turkey leg in MK is currently $10.99 but in EPCOT is $11.75 and in AK it’s $14.50 w/chips! Cheese sauce is $1.00 in MK and HS but only $.75 in Epcot). This seems to be the case with some alcoholic drinks too. TIP: EPCOT is the priciest of parks when it comes to food and drinks, but also has some items/drinks you can’t find in other parks.

Information is accurate as of August, 2017.

Tortuga Tavern

  • Turkey Leg ($11)

Be Our Guest – Lunch 

  • (Kids meal) Grilled Shrimp with Broccoli and Peach Applesauce ($8.49) and you can add the Master’s Cupcake (Chocolate Sponge Cake topped w/Grey Stuff for $4.99 and still be under $14.99!

Be Our Guest – Dinner

  • (Kids meals) – each are served with Seasonal Vegetables and choice of one (1) Beverage and one (1) Dessert for $10.

Pinocchio Village Haus

  • Penne Pasta with Marinara served with choice of Fountain Beverage ($7.29)
  • Pepperoni Flatbread (Kids’ meal) includes Dannon Danimals Smoothie, GoGo squeeZ Applesauce, and choice of small Lowfat Milk or small Dasani Water ($7.49)

Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe

  • Beef Nachos (Kids’ meal) – served with GoGo squeeZe Applesauce, Carrots and a choice of 1% Mickey Milk, Small Dasani® Bottled Water, or 100% Apple Juice ($6.49)

Westward Ho

  • Breakfast Sandwich – Bacon, Egg, Cheddar, and Pepper Jack served on a Multi-grain Croissant ($6.49)

Columbia Harbour House (definitely the best bang for your buck!) 

  • Land and Sea Trio (Fried Shrimp, Breaded Chicken, and Battered Fish with Coleslaw, served with choice of Steamed Fresh Vegetables, Apple Slices, or French Fries) ($13.99)
  • Combination Platter (choose two – Fried Shrimp, Battered Fish, or Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets, served with Coleslaw and choice of Steamed Fresh Vegetables, Apple Slices, or French Fries) ($12.49)
  • Original Plates (choose one – Fried Shrimp, Battered Fish, or Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets, served with Coleslaw and a choice of Steamed Fresh Vegetables, Apple Slices or French Fries) ($10.99)
  • Vegetarian Chili ($6.49)
  • Chicken Breast Nuggets and Fish (Kids’ meal) – (choose one – Fried Shrimp, Battered Fish, or Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets, served with Coleslaw and a choice of Steamed Fresh Vegetables, Apple Slices or French Fries) ($7.19)

Liberty Square Market

  • Wide variety of fruit, yogurt, turkey leg, pretzel, chips, hot dog, cookies, trail mix – perfect for a light lunch! ($2 – $11)

Sleepy Hollow

  • Breakfast Egg and Cheese Waffle Served until noon ($8.99)
  • Sweet and Spicey Chicken Waffle Sandwich ($8.99)
  • Pretzel Dog with house made chips ($9.49)
  • Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich served with Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread ($7.99)
  • Funnel Cake topped with strawberries and whipped topping ($7.79)
  • Baked Potato Served with Butter, Sour Cream and Cheese ($3.99)

Plaza Ice Cream

  • Doughnut Sundae – Glazed Doughnut with Cinnamon-Apple Topping, one scoop of Hand-made Ice Cream, topped with Whipped Cream, Chocolate Chips, Peanut Butter Chips, Hot Fudge Topping, Milk Chocolate Mickey Ears and a Cherry ($5.99)

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe

  • 1/2 Rotisserie Chicken – Slow-roasted Rotisserie Chicken served with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans ($14.49)
  • Kids’ Salad with Turkey (Kids’ meal) – served with Carrot Sticks, GoGo squeeZ and choice of small low-fat Milk or small Dasani Water ($7.19)

Tomorrowland Terrace

  • Pulled Pork Bahn Mi – Hoagie Roll filled with Asian Pulled Pork topped with Pickled Vegetables and a spicy Sriracha Aïoli served with Apple Slices or House-made Chips ($11.29)
  • Rocky Road Brownie ($4.59)

What are your money saving tips when it comes to food at WDW?

Julia and her son are frequent visitors to Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line. She admins a great Facebook group for Disney lovers that you can find HERE

You might also find 50 Great Tips for Doing Disney on a Budget helpful for planning a trip to WDW.

5 Disney Drink Additions For Your Must-Sip Disney List

Lauren from Motherhood and Beyond is one of my favorite bloggers! I enjoy everything she writes about, but my favorite thing she does is the “Disney Drink of the Day” series. Each time she publishes a new drink of the day, I always try to share it with my readers so I was thrilled when she agreed to put together a list of her top 5 Disney Drinks for me to include on An Open Suitcase. I know you will enjoy her list too!

Disney Must Try Drinks

I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with Janice during a couple of trips to Walt Disney World Resort. While we could laugh and chat about Disney, blogging and our families for hours, we both also love eating and drinking our way “around the World.” She knows how much I love a good Disney cocktail and is always happy to help me do a little “research” so our visits usually include that, too.

I haven’t even scratched the surface of what delicious concoctions are available around the property and every trip brings new delights, but I have had the opportunity to try quite a few. Often I’m asked if I have a favorite and it’s so hard to choose. I can’t pick just one, but I have narrowed down the top five. These are the ones I find myself repeating when I can and definitely should be added to your Must Do Disney list.

Sicilian Sunset – Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria

Perhaps it’s the pizza, but I always find myself craving this restaurant, the arancini, the margherita pizza and this drink! The smell, the flavors and the atmosphere are all incredible. The Sicilian Sunset is fresh, fruity and a wonderful apertif.

S’mores Shake – Beaches & Cream Soda Shop

Beaches & Cream Soda Shop has long been a favorite of my family, so you can imagine my excitement when they added adult milkshakes to the menu. While the S’mores Shake continues to be one of my must dos, you really can’t go wrong with any flavor!

Night Blossom – Pongu Pongu

With a name that translates to “Party, Party” in Navi, you know you are going to find some delicious options at this location. The Night Blossom is actually non-alcoholic, but worthy enough on its own to be added to the list. If beer is more your thing, I also really like Hawkes’ Grog Ale. For a real treat add a Pongu Lumpia to indulge on while you tour Pandora – The World of Avatar! 

Forever Young – The Wave Lounge

I don’t know if it’s because the name of this drink is the way a Walt Disney World Resort vacation makes me feel, or if it’s because it’s really a great drink, but this is always one of my favorites. The Wave Lounge is also a fun place to visit.

Magical Star Cocktail – Various Locations

It was really hard choosing which cocktail to add to the final spot. There were so many contenders: the Grey Goose slush, the margaritas from La Cava, the bloody mary options or watermelon mimosa from Dawa Bar, or a flight from The Hollywood Brown Derby. Again, only choosing 5 is HARD! After much consideration and debating myself more than I’d like to admit, I went with the Magical Star Cocktail. Not only are you able to find this drink at many locations throughout the parks and resorts, but the fruity flavor, fun color and distinctive glow cube, really distinguishes this as the quintessential Disney cocktail.

Do you have some favorites you would like to add to the list?

5 Best Camping Spots In California

Camping California

Camping can sometimes take a bit of work – work like the buying perfect camping gear, unpacking, pitching the tent, unrolling sleeping bags, setting up chairs and arranging all the other things that you may need. At the end of the day, if the camping spot you choose is not a good one, it can be very dissatisfying and ruin the experience.

If you are interested in camping in California, there are a number of quality camping spots to choose from. Following are the 5 best camping spots in California:

Kirby Cove Campground

Being one of the most popular camping spots in California, Kirby Cove Campground is very hard to reserve. Camping here, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the stunning views of San Francisco and the famous Golden Gate Bridge. There are 5 big camping sites in the campground. Kirby Cove Campground is so popular that you need to reserve a few months in advance.

It is important to pack warm layers even in summer as the area can be cool, windy and foggy. Camping in Kirby Cove Campground cost $25 per night. The site is open from April through November. You can expect to have all the facilities you may need in the beautiful campsites in Kirby Cove.

Jumbo Rocks Campground

Located in Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks Campground is a great off the grid location for camping. This is a great place to enjoy the sandy spots amid the rocks and experience stunning sunsets. Hiking the Skull Rock Nature trail and beholding skilled climbers attempting the rock faces are very popular activities for campers here. In 2016 alone, the campground received over 2.5 million record visitors. So, you can expect to see plenty of company in your camping adventure in Jumbo Rocks Campground. You need to pay $25 for parking for a week plus $15 per night for staying in the campground.

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a great place to enjoy crystal blue waters. It boasts of miles of shorelines with spectacular views. Swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking and even scuba diving are some popular activities here. And hiking is part of the adventure as always. There are over 250 campsites in the area and you can explore at least a few to have an unforgettable camping experience. May to September is the best time to camp here. You need to pay $35 to $45 per night plus fee for your camping in the park.

Jalama Beach County Park

If you are a hard-core beach camper, you are going to love Jalama Beach Country Park. It’s a very remote place as it is over 14 miles away from the city center. Apart from enjoying the beach 24/7, you can expect to enjoy a clam environment, kiddie water parks and some amazing hotels. There are great quality restaurants and on-site shops for all your needs. You can get access Wi-Fi as well. There is a $25-$30 charge for each night’s stay.

El Capitán Canyon

Camping California

If you like “glamping” (glamorous camping), this is a place you will love. You will enjoy living in dense forest with stunning views of the ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains. Camping in the El Capitán Canyon is like staying in a safari lodge. There are plenty of opportunities for experiencing local foods and wines. Campers love tasting the local wine, enjoying barbecues with Saturday night live music, and Swedish and hot rock massages available on-site. The cost of staying in safari tents is high as it ranges from $145 to $170.

Motorcycle Camping

Motorcycle camping has become very popular among campers. You can expect to reach the campsites quickly and comfortably as well as explore all the nearby locations in the area when you have your own motorcycle with you. Make sure you have all the necessary motorcycle camping gear to enjoy an unforgettable camping experience. Keeping parts on hand is always a good idea – When you have necessary Harley Davison parts or oem motorcycle parts on hand, you can use them in case of an emergency. Make sure you have all the necessary motorcycle camping gear to enjoy an unforgettable camping experience.

5 Absolute Musts When Visiting Switzerland

Visit Switzerland

Breathtaking scenery? Check. Cultural immersion? Check. Food trip? Check. The great outdoors? Check.

Whatever your reason for traveling may be, there’s a long list of to do’s that anyone can tick off their bucket list with a visit to Switzerland. Despite the country being relatively small as compared to other destinations in Europe, Switzerland has just as much, if not more, to offer as a destination. Boasting of the perfect balance between picturesque landscapes, urban cities, and off-the-beaten track excursions, the challenge is actually figuring out where to go because every city and town seems to be an excellent location.

With one of the best transportation systems you can ever find in any country, it’s fairly easy to make a stop at these locations when you find yourself heading over to Switzerland:


The city, the lake, and the mountains – three things that make the city of Lucerne a must-see for anyone traveling through central Switzerland. Dubbed as Switzerland’s “city of delights”, Lucerne feels like an ancient town telling of the country’s history: the medieval Chapel Bridge regarded as one of the oldest wooden bridges in Europe, the Jesuit church that is Switzerland’s first sacral Baroque building, and Old Town, which sits on the bank of Reuss and preserves many old burgher’s houses and town squares. At the same time, Lucerne is home to cutting-edge and modern designs such as that of KKL, otherwise known as the Culture and Convention Centre, which is a concert hall and art gallery.

While sightseeing around Lucerne is a cultural immersion on its own, visitors cannot pass on what nature has to offer in the areas surrounding Lucerne. Whether it’s a relaxing steamship cruise on Lake Lucerne or a cableway trip to Pilatus, one of the most legendary places in Central Switzerland, excursions into the nearby mountains and Lake Lucerne is a must.


Any time you look up information on Switzerland, you will surely come across the Matterhorn, one of the world’s most famous and beautiful mountains, which is one of the best reasons to make a trip to Zermatt. Located at the foot of the Matterhorn at an altitude of 1,600 meters, the car-free town of Zermatt lies in the middle of a ski region that covers 54 mountain railways and 360 kilometers of pistes – groomed and maintained for every skill level of skiers and snowboarders.

Heading to Zermatt via the Glacier Express, which runs from Brig, to Visp, Täsch, and on to Zermatt, offers views of the Monte Rosa range, and passes a number of quaint attractions like chalets, villages, and gardens. Once at the town, visitors can choose any activity from walking, cycling, mountaineering, and, of course, skiing and snowboarding. A cog railway also brings you up to an altitude of 3,089 meters to Gornergrat for a magnificent panorama of the Swiss alps. Zermatt is also home to luxury hotels, world-class spas, and excellent shopping, which makes this town great for both adventure-seekers and family vacationers.


Another favorite for mountain-lovers headed to Switzerland is Grindelwald – a quaint town tucked within the heart of the Bernese Alps, surrounded by lush foliage and surrounded by the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau mountains. While relatively at a lower altitude than Zermatt, Grindelwald is still a fantastic destination for skiing, boasting of the largest ski resort in the Jungfrau region and the world-famous Lauberhorn World Cup piste near Wengen. There are 300 kilometers of walking trails around Grindelwald as well, offering some of the most beautiful hiking trips in the region.

Key events also take place in Grindelwald, such as the World Snow Festival in January where artists from all over the world construct snow figures and sculptures, and the Spring Mountain Festival in June or July held on the Männlichen that is a burst of culture with dances in traditional costumes, folk music, and flag throwers.


Probably one of the most popular destinations in Switzerland is also the country’s largest city. Zurich is a metropolitan city that sits by the waters of the splendid Limmet river. While perceived as an upscale banking city famous for its thriving corporate industry, high-end shopping, and fancy chocolates, Zurich does not fall behind in splendor with exquisite views of the snowcapped Alps, walking streets leading to over 50 museums and more than 100 art galleries, and the Niederdorf, a section of town where flamboyant nightlife comes alive.

Not to be missed is the thriving food scene in Zurich. While dining out tends to be pricey, foodies can spend days scouring the many gastronomic experiences in the city, from traditional dishes in the century-old Kronenhalle and regional cuisine in the upscale Razzia, to the more eclectic and zany restaurants found in Zurich West.

Visit Switzerland


No trip to Switzerland can be complete without a visit to its capital city, Bern. While most capital cities are characterized by hectic and hurried lifestyles, Bern has successfully retained its medieval flair, most often described as a tranquil city filled with museums, churches, and historic buildings. Perhaps the most distinct landmark in the city is the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with cobbled streets, limestone buildings, the iconic Clock Tower, and six kilometers of independent shops and is considered as the longest covered shopping promenade in the world. And because Switzerland is all about nature, Old Town is also surrounded by the turquoise water of the Aare River, which becomes a summer destination for swimming and boating activities.

Being the seat of government, a trip to Bern needs a trip to the House of Parliament, looming above the city and open to visitors when the Parliament is not sitting. Fronting this building is the Parliament Square, which holds a traditional weekly market and serves as a communal space for residents and visitors to spend the day just taking in the beauty and peace of the city.
Hopefully, you have enough time to fit every destination listed here into your itinerary because taking a trip to these cities and towns pretty much gives you a full experience of what it means to live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. If you’re not that lucky, traveling to any of these destinations will surely make your visit to Switzerland worth every penny.


About Roger:

Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. Roger is the founder of Expert World Travel – A place to get tips, tricks, advice and reviews on everything related to travel. He has visited over 40 countries and is currently living in Switzerland, which enables him to get around Europe easily and often. His site talks about all things travel, but mostly about travel gear, as he goes through a lot of it (buying, breaking, trying). His tips and tricks and destinations are always a great source of information. If you have a specific request or question, don’t be shy. You can pop over to his contact page and send him a message! You can also connect with him on Twitter @RogerWillTravel


The Manitou Incline ~ Is It the Stairway to Heaven?

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The Manitou Incline looks like a stairway to heaven. It is located near Colorado Springs, Colorado, and is a popular hiking trail. With 2000 ft. of elevation in a one mile trail for advanced hikers, it is not for the faint of heart. My Sister and her family climbed up the incline then she told me about it. She said,” I was climbing almost straight up”.
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The history of The Manitou Incline is amazing.  The Manitou Incline was originally built as a cable car to carry materials to build pipelines on Pikes Peak- America’s Mountain. The trail is what remains of a narrow gauge railway whose tracks washed out during a rock slide in 1990.  After the pipelines were finished, it was turned into a tourist attraction. The Incline is famous for its sweeping views and steep grade, with an average grade of 45% and as steep as 68% in places, making it a fitness challenge for locals in the Colorado Springs area. Do not let the top fool you there is 300 more feet to go before reaching the real top. After reaching the summit you walk down a trail called Barr Trail. No one is allowed to go down the Manitou Incline.
More information about the Manitou Incline:
  • Length: 1 mile, but climbs 2,000 vertical feet.
  • Duration: Under 30 minutes to over an hour or more depending on your fitness level and pace.
  • Trail Difficulty: Difficult
  • Recommended for: Physically active, not ADA accessible
  • Cost: Free
  • Parking:  Parking is recommended within parking lots along Manitou Avenue- Then hike up Ruxton Avenue. Parking is limited and difficult to find along Ruxton. It is highly recommended to take the free shuttle service during the dates of May 18 – Sept. 24.
  • Dogs: No dogs allowed on the Incline
  • Hours of use: Dawn-Dusk, no night use permitted; Beginning October 31, 2016 Hours of Operation will be: April 1- October 31: 6am-8pm and November 1March 31: 6am-6pm
 Please be advised. It can take first responders up to 3-4 hours to get to you if you have a medical issue.
Do you have what it takes to climb the Manitou Incline?