Well, we have made it to the final day of the 31 day challenge. I have truly enjoyed sharing how to plan a Disney vacation with you. It has been a lot of fun talking about one of my favorite subjects. My family thinks that I live in Disney mode most of the time. I even see Mickey shapes everywhere and I will point them out. I guess I am just a Disney fanatic and that is OK.
I truly believe that everyone has to take a trip to Walt Disney World at least once in their lifetime. But I also think that you don’t have to break the bank to take that trip. There are ways to save money on your trip and ways to save that money you will need to take that trip. All you have to do is plan.
I hope you have a good time planning your trip to Walt Disney World, whenever that trip may be.
Posted in Planning
Tagged 31 days
Today as part of our 31 day series, we will be discussing ways to save money on your Disney trip.
Here are some ways to save money:
- Look for any discounts that you may qualify for.
- If you are a larger family, check into some of the offsite options. It just make more sense to stay off site than pay a larger resort fee for a larger room. Most Disney rooms allow up to 4 guests in a room. So if you have a larger party, you will have to have a larger room or get 2 regular rooms.
- Bring some of your food with you. Even if you just bring some water and snacks, you will save some money.
- If you have a small child who uses a stroller, consider bringing a stroller with you. You will save a lot of money and have access to your stroller and just not at the parks.
- Have a plan. When you are at Walt Disney World it is imperative that you have a plan. You will see a lot more if you have a plan and not just wonder aimlessly.
- If you want to eat at restaurants, be sure and make reservations. Especially if you want to eat at some of the more popular ones.
- Make sure you make fastpass selections. This will be helpful during the busier times of the year and when trying to do some of the more popular attractions.
There are many more ways to save money out there, you just have to be creative and think. Also reading some of the different Disney websites, you can learn a lot of stuff on how to save money.
Today, we are going to talk about the importance of having a travel notebook.
I actually made one a few years ago and it helped keep our stuff organized and in one place. After the first one, I decided I needed to do this for our regular travels as well. In fact it was a lifesaver on a trip we took last year.
My Disney travel book is a simple 3 ring binder that I have divided into sections.
My book is divided into the following sections:
- A Calendar. This is so that I can write in it what days we are doing what.
- Travel stuff. This is where I put car rental information.
- Resort info. Any thing to do with our resort or hotels goes into this section.
- Attraction info. Prices and what not gets listed here.
If there is anything else we need I just add it to the binder.
Now I told you my book is simple because we don’t usually get advanced dinning reservations and we stay at one park and work around the park as we go. Because of this we don’t need space for a lot of things like that. But if that is how you go to Walt Disney World, be sure and add that to your book.
Today as part of 31 day series, I am going to be discussing souvenirs. It seems like every where you go at Disney, you can find souvenirs. If you go to an attraction, you most likely will be going through a gift shop to exit. Seeing all the different things you can buy will set your head spinning. If you can dream it, you most likely can buy it.
Over the years, we have always let the kids get a souvenir or two. When we let the kids decide what they want, they have a good idea of what they want because we don’t allow them to just buy the first thing they see. We have them look around so they can see what there is to buy. Don’t worry if you don’t get the item one place, they most likely have that same item somewhere else on property.
Buying things on property can be expensive, but if you are looking for some cheaper options there are a couple of options to get your souvenirs.
What exactly are your options?
- Buy them at Walt Disney World.
- Buy them at Wal-Mart or some other store in the Orlando area. Wal-Mart has a good selection of Disney themed stuff and it is located right at the front of the store.
- Buy them before hand and bring them with you. Sometimes you can find things before you leave that could be used as souvenirs and all you have to do is pack them and bring them with you.
We have done all 3 of these things in the past, but now we usually just go to Wal-Mart and get some things such as T-shirts and pins when we get down there. We also buy something special, usually an ornament or something we all will enjoy at Walt-Disney World while we are there.
For us we don’t need to buy everything so we are content on what we do get. Our thought is that it has to have a use or some meaning for us to buy it.
Remember you don’t have to buy all those souvenirs every time you go to Disney, even though they would like it if you did.
For some people a trip to Walt Disney World would not be complete without dressing their child up as a princess or pirate. Then there are some people go to Walt Disney World with matching shirts for all the family members. I have admired these people for years, but we have only dressed our daughter up once as a princess and only 2 of our family members wore the same shirt. Unfortunately our daughter is now past the dress up years, but we have talked about our family wearing those matching shirts. We just haven’t gotten around to being that creative before a trip. Maybe sometime we will.
For some of you, you may be asking why would we all want matching shirts? Well sometimes you are going to Disney for a special occasion like on your honeymoon or a family reunion. But sometimes it is just a family trip and that’s OK. Now to me those matching shirts or matching theme shirts would be so cool when you have family pictures taken at the parks by the photo pass photographers. So in your planning, you might want to think about what you are going to wear and see if you can either make or buy some matching shirts for everyone.
OK, now for the dress up clothes. Kids are able to dress up as characters at Disney and especially for little girls this is a good option. Girls love to dress up as a princess and go meet their favorite princess. Our daughter did this and loved it. I wished we had did this every trip we made, but we didn’t. You can go to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and get the royal treatment or you could just get a dress from the Disney store or even Wal-Mart for your child to use while at the parks. The later option is better on your pocket, but I suspect the first option would create wonderful memories. The choice is yours.
So would you dress your child up and or wear matching shirts to the parks?
Posted in Planning
Tagged 31 days
Today, we are going to talk about autograph books. If you have ever been to Disney, you know that when you meet the different characters you can get them to sign your autograph books.
To me if you have younger kids, this is a must have thing to bring with you. Heck even some adults have autograph books that they get signed.
So if you are wanting to participate in this activity, what kind of book do you need? Well you have a couple of options. You can buy one or make one. Personally we have done both. We didn’t know about this the first time we went so the next time we just went and bout one at a drug store near Disney World. After that we bought them at Wal-Mart when we got there. A couple of times, we made our own. The last time I made our own I wrote a blog post on how I did it and you can find that here. It was simple to make and we used this particle book a couple of times.
So don’t forget to either make an autograph book or buy one for your trip.
Welcome to day 25 of planning a Disney vacation. Today we are going to talk about resort hopping. Resort hopping is a fun activity that everyone will enjoy.
What exactly is resort hopping? Well it is where you leave your resort and go look at other resorts. When we go resort hopping, we like to make a day of it and got o the resorts on the monorail loop and then take a boat to the Campground and Wilderness Lodge. Then we like to go to Disney Springs and take the boat to Port Orleans Resort. Then we take a bus back to the Magic Kingdom and take the monorail to the Polynesian so that we can go back to our resort which is usually the Shades of Green.
Where the horses are kept at Fort Wilderness campground.
Resort hopping is a way to scope out other resorts that you might want to stay at or see what other resorts look like. A good time to go resort hopping is at Christmas time since all the resorts have their decorations up.
If you haven’t been resort hopping yet, be sure and make time to do this fun activity.
Welcome to day 24 of planning a Disney vacation. Today we are going to talk about entertainment at resorts. You may be thinking why on earth would we be talking about entertainment at the resorts when we are here for the theme parks? Well, you might be surprised that you might need some down time away from the parks, or you are looking for something to do on the day you arrive or leave.
So what are some options that you do at your resort?
Fishing at Port Orleans Resort
- Swim – Each resort has at least one pool and might even have several smaller ones.
- Catch a movie: Some resorts have movie night at night.
- Walk around the resort looking for hidden Mickey’s.
- Look at the gift shop.
- Some might even have volleyball, basketball or even tennis courts.
- Go to the campfire at the Wilderness campground.
- Go to the arcade.
- Do to the exercise room.
- Go fishing at the Port Orleans Resort.
- As well as other things.
Just because your resort doesn’t have something, doesn’t mean you can’t go to another resort. Like the campfire at the Wilderness campground, everyone can go to that.
So check out your resort while you are at Disney and enjoy it.
Posted in Planning
Tagged 31 days
Today we are going to talk about tickets. Tickets to Disney are not cheap and their is no way to say a lot of money on tickets. You can save a little bit but there is no way you will save a huge amount of money doing that. You will still be paying a lot for tickets.
Tickets to Walt Disney World can be quite confusing and I don’t want to spend a whole lot of time going through all the options.
So when you go to Walt Disney world, you have to know that there are day tickets and tickets that allow you to get into the parks more than one day. If you are planning to go to Disney for several days make sure you get that ticket and not single day tickets at each park. You can buy your tickets before hand or at the gate, but be sure to buy the correct ticket. So if you want to go to the parks for 4 days be sure and get the 4 day ticket. You will save some money because the longer you stay the cheaper your daily ticket price will be.
Besides the admission ticket to the parks, you can add a Park Hopper option that allows you to hop from park to park. Some people like this and others don’t. Also you can get a Water Park and More option that allows you a certain number of visits to one of Disney’s waterparks, Wide World of Sports admission or golf (miniature as well as regular golf). This can be a great deal if you are wanting to go to the water parks while you are there.
Besides regular tickets, you can get a yearly pass. There are several options for yearly passes, even ones just for Florida residents. The yearly passes are great if you go to Disney several times a year.
My best advice about tickets is be sure and do your research and get the option that is best for you.
Today, we are going to be talking about eating in your room to save money. Eating in your room is a good way to save money and can be a healthy alternative to eating out.
We have done different things when it comes to eating in your room. For us the easiest meals to eat in our rooms are breakfast and dinner, because we are at the parks all day long.
So what are some things that you can eat in your room? These ideas are meant for rooms that don’t have a kitchen. To heat water you have to use your coffee pot, but without the coffee. We have heated the water for years like this and it has worked out very well.
- bagels and cream cheese or butter
- cereal with milk
- cup of soups
- Cheese and crackers
- tuna or chicken salad on crackers
There are other possibilities, but this has been what works well for us. Eating in our room has helped us keep our expenses down and is somewhat healthy.
Note: We usually got to the store when we get down to Orlando to get some things for our meals because I don’t want to haul all of this with us.