Friday, June 17, 2011

DD – Tips & Tricks to do Disney on a Budget

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One of my readers asked me for

Tips & Tricks to do
Disney on a Budget

And I thought it was an appropriate topic for
this week’s Destination Disney.

So, if you could please share with us some of the things you do when you are planning your Disney vacation – things to keep costs down and not break the bank – I’m sure we’d all appreciate it.

Next week’s topic will be to share some of the ways you save money for your Disney trips – just a head’s up so you don’t share those ideas this week. :)

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For my family, here are some of the things we do – or have done – to save money and really do Disney on a budget - - -

  • We plan to visit in the off-season
    When is the off-season?  Almost any Disney-related website or Planning Guide will include this information. If you’re not sure where to start to find it, check out my list of Suggested Disney Resources
  • We use the points from our Disney Visa to pay for things like resort accommodations, park tickets, meals, and souvenirs.
    (More on this next week!)
  • If visiting with friends, we save lots of money staying off-site and renting from Florida Dream Homes.
    (On our trip in January 2009, we shared a 4-bedroom, 2 bathroom home with a private pool.  We ended up paying $50 per night – since we shared the home with friends.  That’s less than the cost of a nice hotel – AND we had 2 living rooms and a kitchen, so we were able to cook some of our meals and eat in.)
  • Though we’ve never actually tried this, we’ve been discussing the Disney Dining Plan since our last visit.  We’d definitely like to try it next time. 
    I’m sure others will have more details on this option.
  • We drive.
    Yes, even with the cost of gas going up, and having to do a hotel night on the way down and the way back, it’s still proven more cost-effective than flying (and renting a car).
  • We use MyPoints gift certificates for our meals.
    (More on this next week also.)
  • We buy big(ger) multi-day park passes and splurge for the no-expiration option.
    If you’re planning a return visit, this has proven to be very worth it for us.  A 10-day ticket is just a few dollars more than a 5-day (and you’re locked into a price this way, rather than being at the mercy of Disney’s rising prices).
  • We carry in our own snacks and drinks.
    While most amusement parks don’t allow this, Disney does – and I love them for it.  And, if you ask at the counter service restaurants, they will GIVE you ice water – no questions asked.  Last time, I carried in the Kool-Aid mixes to make Kool-Aid for the kids using the Disney ice water – they were thrilled!

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Please post your tips on your blog, then come back here and link up below (please use a DIRECT LINK to your post, not just a link to your blog).

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3 comments:

The World of Deej said...

Thanks for sharing your tips. We are fairly local, but still seeking to save we take our own food for breakfast down with us. Cutting one meal out of our expenses adds up over time, given how often we go, even if it is just the two of us...

Leann @ MontessoriTidbits said...

We go to Disney world during the off-season, when they offer the free dining plan if you stay at one of the resorts. Cost is about $75/night to stay at one of the budget resorts, but that includes a quick service and NICE dinner, plus snacks for each person... so, for $25 more than you paid at FL dream homes (of course, there's not a kitchen :-( ), my whole family gets to eat 2 great meals per day. For breakfast, we usually eat in the room, and save our snack credits for water and dole whips in the park.

We also fly, but then again, we are a family of 3. Disney picks us up from the airport, including luggage, and drops us off at our hotel. (The luggage gets placed in our room, while we're playing at the parks.) Then they also take us back to the airport, and check in our luggage for us when it's time for us to leave.

We're going in a few months... I already can't wait! Thanks for making me excited!

Naomi said...

OOOOOOO!!! I love this topic! Off to write....
I'll be back, soon!

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