- April 10, 2007 at 12:55 pm #240247
I took my 2 children (DS-15 & DD -9) last May for 12 nights and 13 days but I saved up for it for 5 years or so. But some of the savings I did was packed a suitcase with cereals, granola bars, oatmeal, tea bags, snack crackers, chips, cookies etc. and bagels we ate breakfast in our room each morning.
I bought 3 rubbermaid insulated drink holders with straps at the Dollar Store that we filled each morning before leaving our room with iced tea and ice. We took a backpack with the camera, crackers, peanut butter and put the drinks on the scooter I had to rent. Buy all your film and batteries before you leave home i stored them in a ziplock baggies in the backpack.
once the food is gone then you have an empty suitcase to bring your souvenirs home in. we stayed on site and it was nice to have our purchases sent back to the room so we didn’t have to lug them around all day.
i printed off journal pages with disney themes for each of us to write about our day and printed off an autograph book for dd to take with a big fat sharpie marker for the characters to sign. i also bought and saved disney shirts here at home and laid out one daily for the children to wear at disney.
at downtown disney on the next to last day i went to the christmas shop and let the children pick out a special ornament. then we picked out ones for loved ones and had their family names and the year put on them. i shipped them all back home but christmas was done in june!
we bought boxes of 4 ornaments and divided them up to 4 different families so it was quite frugal.
The first night we got in we went to a luau dinner show and that was our most expensive meal but we knew we would be tired from getting up so early to drive to our airport and didn’t want to waste a park ticket for just a few hours.
All in all I spent less than $4,000 and that included airfare, room, meals and purchases. It was a lifetime experience that probably won’t be repeated so I feel it was money well spent. Oh, for 3 years prior to leaving relatives would get the children Disney Dollars for birthdays and Christmas so they each had their own “money” to spend on whatever they wanted.
If I were rich I would go every year!
- July 29, 2012 at 12:39 am #432308
fyi, now florida has legoland too! it’s about an hour from disney located in lakeland! and right now, i believe they have a special where you can bring the kids for free!
- August 7, 2012 at 12:45 pm #432351
I use SkyAuction.com for a condo. I pay $250 for a 7 night stay in a two bedroom, including taxes.
I also typically get Y.E.S. tickets.
If you have a school age child, you can get them. They are about 1/2 price of regular tickets.
Our typical WDW vacation is $800 for tickets (although they have gone up a bit and I am budgeting $1000)
$250 for two bedroom condo
Regular grocery budget as we eat mostly our own food (I have a cooler backpack we take to the parks)
- December 29, 2013 at 2:03 pm #446572
I am trying to save to take my grandchildren to Disney later this year. I just wanted to say “THANKS” for the helpful information!!!
- March 31, 2014 at 1:03 am #452835
Staying at the Disney resort itself can be done for less than you think, especially if you go in the off season (begins towards the end of August). There are a lot of advantages to buying one of the resort packages. They include park hopper tickets for the days that you are there.
If you buy anything in the park, they deliver it to your room so that you do not have to carry it around with you. There is constant transportation, which is a bigger deal. You can also get into the park earlier than the other visitors.
I believe it is a full hour sooner.
Another really great thing is that the resorts have pretty good breakfasts, and there are meal plans. Your meal plan goes right on the room key, so you don’t need to wear a bracelet or anything. It is good in the parks, and also at some locations in Downtown Disney.
Depending on which resort you stay in, there are various free forms of transportation to Downtown Disney. For instance, if you stay in Port Orleans, there are ferry boats that take you down the river to get there. You can also pay for anything in the park with your room key instead of carrying around your actual credit/debit cards.
There are several pricing levels. I believe Port Orleans, Pop Culture, and the Pirates of the Caribbean themed ones are the more economic choices. I have stayed at Port Orleans.
Even though it was a less expensive one, the accommodations were still nice.
Be careful with other deals. We stayed at Lake Buena Vista Palace. It was not a Disney hotel, but it was on the grounds.
It was beautiful on the outside, but the inside had mold issues, and we had a bad experience with housekeeping throwing out my daughter’s clothes. We had good experiences at The Castle and The Renascence (both off grounds), but they were a little pricier and not on park grounds.
Be sure to pack things like sunblock, lip balm, sunglasses, camera batteries, and band-aids. They cost a fortune in the park.