- July 26, 2007 at 9:08 pm #241736
I, too, am planning a trip to WDW for a family of 5, and have found
both Mousesavers.com & Mousebuzz.com to be great sources for tips.
below is a post i made to mousebuzz.com forums a while back, when i
started looking up how to do wdw affordably.
i’ve found some useful tips, and wanted to share my own.
first, we can’t afford to do this unless we live on a shoestring budget
over the next year (less so if we do it in 2 years instead of 1). We’re
planning to stay at ASM, because it’s cheaper.
I have a friend who works for Disney who has a coupon for half off the
room, so hopefully we’ll get the room half off, but we’re not counting
on it. We’re budgeting full price in. We’re also going past peak time
by a week at the very end of April (whether that is 2007 or 08 is yet
to be determined).
That makes the room around $10-20 cheaper per night.
We’ll probably only be staying 4 nights, 5 days, but that saves us
anywhere from $40-80 right there.
I plan to bring a cooler along with plenty to drink, and lots of
snacks. I’m going to bring a half gallon of milk, as well as disposable
bowls & plasti-wear, and have a cereal breakfest in the hotel room. Not
only is it cheaper, but it’s much faster than going through the motions
of getting into the food court or a restaurant, waiting in line,
ordering the food, sitting down, getting 3 kids and yourselves fed,
So, for us, it’s time conveinent and cheaper to just down a quick
breakfast in the room. I also liked the idea of bringing an air bed I
read about, because with 3 kids, getting a suite is expensive, and
splitting us between 2 rooms is unneccessary, so I’d prefer to use 1
room. If we can get it half off, though, I would do the family suites
Snacks- into the back pack each day, and we plan to allow each kid 1
disney bought nice snack each day at the park- ice cream, or cotton
candy, or whatever. But otherwise snacks will come from the backpack-
dry cereal, granola bars, fruit snacks, etc.
Ziploc baggies- pack a box. You can use them to store left over chips
from a meal, or fries, or even a wet t-shirt.
Poncho’s- Dollar Tree, one for each, plus some super tiny tuck away
umbrella’s for mom & dad. Pack several poncho’s, as they might tear,
but are far more affordable than $10 each at the park.
Coffee Pot- I can make all sorts of stuff in it, including soup for a
lunch in the room. I also loved the previously posted idea of a
sandwich maker, which we have.
Souviners- for the kids birthday’s & Christmas (we have 1 Christmas
baby, 1 January baby, and our oldest will have her birthday while at
Disney), the kids will get Disney Dollars. I also want to purchase
plain white t-shirts with Mickey on the front before hand, and tye dye
them for a unique and one of a kind souviner. We can wear them while
we’re there, too.
I also intend to shop local places, like Wal-Mart for
some smaller things, and pack a few things to give the kids each day at
the end of the day. The kids will each have their own Disney Dollars to
spend, and have time set aside near the end of the trip to buy their
Glow-Necklaces- these are great at night, and Dollar Tree sells them 2/
$1, so I’ll buy several packs before hand, and they can have one each
We plan to eat Lunch at the park, and dinner will be snacks, with a
late dinner in our room.
Our biggest price saver will be renting a van and driving, instead of
flying. I’m figuring that the cost of gas to get there and back, plus
food on the way (we’ll stop in North Carolina and stay over night each
way with my FIL, instead of renting a hotel), and the cost of the
rental, we’ll spend close to $1000 on the trip down and back. But the
cost to fly 5 of us from mi to fl was over $2000 every time I spec it
So, driving will save us over $1000, and allow us to pack stuff we
wouldn’t be able to otherwise pack. I’m planning to take the middle
section of seats out of the van, and have stuff packed there, along
with make shift tables for the kids out of tubs. 😉
For anyone else driving along 1-75, there is a book written by parents
of little kids called Surviving 1-75: A parent’s guide. It has tips
about parks, off road attractions, etc, for the drive down.
A few other things I found, after that post- get the Disney Dining
Plan!!! It’s roughly $35 a day per person. BUT- it includes 1 snack, 1
counter service meal, and 1 sit down meal per person, per day, as well
as drinks and dessert at the two meals.
If you plan to eat in the parks
at all, this is going to be WELL worth the cost.
Because there are 5 of you, your hotel options are limited to a few
places. Before you ask, yes, Disney is strict about how many are in the
room. The cheapest way to go with 5 in a room is Port Orleans,
The rooms have 2 double beds, and a trundle bed, and are set
specifically to fit 5 people. That’s the cheapest route. Then, after
that, you only have suites available for 5.
All Star Music Family
Suites are the cheapest suites, but are still more expensive than the
rooms at Port Orleans Riverside. The major difference is that the asm-
fs’s have a kitchenette, and two bathrooms. the rooms are basically two
regular rooms put together. one room has 1 bed, a tv, dresser, and
The other room is set up like a living room, with a sofa
sleeper, a chair that folds out like the sofa sleeper, and an ottoman
which also folds out like a bed. You can sleep 6 people in there. The
kitchenette has a microwave, coffeemaker, minifridge, and a sink.
looks like it also comes with an assortment of coffees in the pictures.
Here are pictures of the Family Suites at ASM-
http://www.wdwinfo.com/Photos/All-Star- … /index.htm
The Family Suites start out at $169/night.
I can’t find any pictures of the actual rooms at POR, but I know I’ve
seen them before. They look like a standard size hotel room, then they
have the trundle pull out under the bed closest to the door. There was
also a small round table with 2 chairs in the rooms. They start out at