Friday, May 9, 2008

Destination Disney: Disney On A Budget

Jennifer at Snapshot is hosting this super fun carnival to share our tips and tricks for making the most of a trip to Disney World. Previous posts have been about Disney magic and tips for planning. This week we share about how to "do Disney" on a budget.

Disney World is an expensive vacation, no doubt about it. But there are ways to save money. First off, be prepared. Work out a budget before you go, knowing just how much you have to spend on each category: transportation, lodging, tickets, food and souvenirs.
  • We always drive so I have no advice on other transportation methods.
  • For lodging the best savings are at a value resort. Our favorite is the Pop Century, as it is the newest one.
  • For tickets we save by buying seasonal passes. If you are planning on going to Disney more than once in a calendar year (say March of this year and Feb of next) compare the costs of buying annual passes vs other tickets. Also check AAA for special deals on tickets.
  • Check for menus and prices at the parks and resorts. This way you will have a clear feel for how much food is going to cost. We always save by eating breakfast in our rooms (except our last day there, when we go to a character breakfast!) We also bring our own bottled water ( $2 or more a pop in the parks) and snacks. Even if you aren't driving you can find less expensive snacks and grocery items at the resorts, or grocery stores around Downtown Disney and in Kissimmee.
  • Shop for souvenirs on your last day. This way, the kids (and adults lol) will have had a chance to see everything Disney has to offer, and won't blow the budget on the first item they fall in love with. We also stress to the kids that their items should be ones they can only get from Disney World...nothing we could just pick up from Wal-Mart or something. There is a difference between a shirt that has Mickey on it and one that has the Magic Kingdom or Epcot Logo.

If you are staying at a resort on property, one way to save $ and get a neat souvenir is to get the refillable mugs. They are about $12 but you can fill them with soft drinks for your entire stay, and they are now good at all resorts...neat if you are staying at one but eating at another (something we love to do!) We have acquired quite a collection of mugs over the years and they are cool reminders of our trips.

Just a side note, Travel Channel ran a series on Disney World called Season of Disney. Last month they aired an episode called Disney on a Dime. Didn't really have any tips we didn't know about already, but still neat to watch. Here's the link to a list of the tips they offered.

I probably have more tips and tricks for the budget, but it's getting late and my brain is tired lol. Be sure and visit Snapshot for more ideas.

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