Let’s cut to the chase….a trip to Disney can burn quite a hole in the pocket. But with your elite planning, you can make the most of it by spending wisely! There are things that I think are WELL worth the money, but first let’s look at how to save. If you have friends talking Disney, don’t forget to share these tips their way!
$ Avoid peak seasons if at all possible. You will simply get much more for your hard earned money at various other times of the year.
$ Meals…cost….so….much….I’d advise to do an at home breakfast and a packed lunch. You are allowed to bring in as many snacks as you like; don’t underestimate how hungry you will be with all of that walking! There are a few snacks that I do consider splurging on (Mickey ice cream, Mickey caramel apple yummmm….look for those in Fantasyland, and for whatever reason bags of Goofy candy are soooo delicious).
$ Please oh please do not buy water at Disney. Option A (good for the stroller folks) is to bring in water (or any non alcoholic drink) in small coolers. You can refill these at water fountains through out the park. Option B (for backpack wearers) is to bring in one drink per person (can be refilled) or ask for a free cup of water at any restaurant counter!
$ Limit souvenirs. A lot of sites will tell you to buy souvenirs from home to “pass out” to family members at the park to save money. I just don’t buy that….literally or figuratively. I think it’s important to get 1, maybe 2 quality souvenirs and call it a day. My oldest two have a Simba and Nala stuffed lions from their first visit, my third has a Mrs. Jumbo and Baby Dumbo stuffed animal, and our fourth has a baby Mickey in a baby blanket. It just wouldn’t be the same if I had picked them up a stuffed Mickey at Kohls. But those are the ONLY souvenirs that we’ve shelled out for.
$ Night souvenirs are your call. Once that sun goes down, the Disney cast are out hawking their goods like no other. They ARE expensive but I will say they are high quality. But on the flip side you can just as easily bring in some glow sticks from the dollar store! Which also can help you to identify your stroller at night if needed 😉 Word to the wise, between spray water bottles and bubbles during the day and light ups at night – temptations are everywhere for those kiddos! Prep the kids in advance by letting them know what they are/are not allowed to purchase. Bonus if it’s with their own money!
$ Skip Park Hopping. I think there is a great allure to Park Hopping but the reality is there is SO MUCH to do in each park that you’re going to have a hard time justifying the hop.
And on the flip side, JUST SAY YES to these splurges:
♥ Character meals – worth every penny!
♥ Deluxe hotels IF you plan on spending some down time days at the hotel
♥ Buy a nice autograph book in advance. We love this one! It’s nicer than the ones in the park and a great family keepsake.
♥ Holiday events such as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Christmas Party are definitely worth it if you can travel at that time of year.
See you next week to get you ready for Mother’s Day!