Disney World on a budget

IMG_1009Spring break and Summer is coming up, have you planned your vacation yet? Have you thought about going to Disney World? Or have you thought no way that’s too expensive? Well I’m here to say that going to Disney World is more affordable than you think. It can be overwhelming and its hard to forget about seeing all the dollar signs that keep adding up but it is possible to go on an affordable trip, just stick with a budget.  I planned a family of three vacation for 12 days to the beach, Sea World and of course DISNEY WORLD all for 2k! Yes $2,000 is a lot of money to us so we had to make it work and not go over budget meaning to cut every corner their was to cut without missing out on fun. Its the most magical and greatest experience in your life watching your child explore Disney World.  Watching my three year old daughter run and hug her favorite princess was priceless. Disney offers a free DVD that gives you a complete tour of their 4 parks and resorts, also planning tips on how to save, but I would like to share a few tips that helped me stay within my budget.

Accommodations~ Sure their are many great perks staying in Disney Resorts but you can find great and better deals that work for your family staying off site.Theirs always going to be Pros and Cons so just write them down and go from there. Check out vrbo.com for a condo or house. We found a wonderful 2 br/2ba full equip condo at 3 star cypress point resort through AAA and it was $300 for the week! It was also 10 minutes from the Disney World Parks. Go off season! There are fabulous deals off season. Take kids out of school (yes I just said that) that is if their grades are good, they don’t already have a lot of absentees and don’t need high school credits. It’s a very educational trip, just talk to your child’s principle and all the educational opportunities that Epcot and Animal Kingdom has to offer. Epcot is entirely dedicated to education.

Shop outside of park~Your child will eyeball every souvenir but be prepared those are pricey. I hit Dollar Tree before going and loaded up on so many Disney character items. I brought a back pack into Disney and hid them from my daughter so that when she got bored waiting in line or at night when hundreds of kids were running around with glow in the dark sticks, jewelry,stickers and bubbles I was able to whip it out and she was just as happy.  Things I bought include Minnie Mouse autograph book (at Disney World they cost $8-$20 ) pens, glow sticks were a huge hit at night (in park run $11-$25), candy and suckers (in park a sucker will run $2.50-$6), Be prepared for everything, I even bought ponchos at dollar tree because at park they were $7 (pop up showers happen just about every day). We visited Orlando Walmart and they had such great deals on many character stuff , I bought my daughter Minnie Mouse ears there which were $3.50 vs buying them at park because they were $13-$25. Also buy your souvenirs there including shirts. There is a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique where little girls dress up in whopping $65 dresses plus additional for accessories~ we brought ours from home left over from Halloween. Bring your own stroller, even if you fly in just go buy one cheap umbrella stroller at Walmart and give it away your last day because renting them will cost you $15 a day,  double strollers $31 a day. Coolers and glass is not permitted in the park but food and drinks are. Eat a good breakfast before you go and pack lots of granola bars, fruit, nuts, crackers, and bring in with you. I also bought brita filter water bottle that I could fill up anywhere. We did bring in one of those color bags that only hold a few things and so we put put our stuff in there and they had no problem with it. Saved us so much money because snacks there are so pricy.

Be prepared~ Before you go, prioritize and study the map. Make sure your family sits down and goes over what is the most important to see and do to them. Down load Disney Worlds app called My Disney Experience  (wifi is free while in parks), this app will tell you anything you need to know such as wait times, map, showtimes, dining, and ticket. Get to the park when it first opens and head to the back of the park. If your late you can still do this just pick up fast passes along the way. Use your time wisely. Definitely use the fast pass it will save you alot of time. Your not going to see every little thing in one day because these parks are so big. Don’t over do it. While I enjoyed it I stayed a little stressed because I was trying to be superwoman and see every little thing, I rushed and rushed and walked probably 10 miles a day trying to make sure we saw everything. Don’t go for cute, wear comfortable shoes because you will walk A LOT!!!! Save the indoor shows and rides for when the sun is at its hottest or when it rains. While you study the map, make sure you stop by guest customer service because they give celebration buttons which make for a special keepsake. Also Club cool at Epcot offers free unlimited samples of international soft drinks from around the world. There is not much free at Disney but those are a couple I have found.

You all know I love to ramble and this was not in great order but I sure hope it helped you. Have fun on your Disney Trip. I would love to hear how you and your family save on your trip?

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