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Disney On A Dime Discuss It's official... I'm going to Disney World! (on a $500 budget!) in the Money Saving Tips / Budgeting forums; My girlfriend and I just booked a room at Pop Century for a week (7 nights) over my spring break. We've decided to split the cost, which with her Cast ...
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    MainStreet, USA's Avatar
    MainStreet, USA is offline I'm walking right down the middle of Main Street, USA!
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    It's official... I'm going to Disney World! (on a $500 budget!)

    My girlfriend and I just booked a room at Pop Century for a week (7 nights) over my spring break. We've decided to split the cost, which with her Cast Member discount, worked out to be about $30/night for each of us, and even less if we can convince some of our friends to come along as well. My mom has set me a budget of approximately $500 for my vacation, and assuming nobody else shows up, $30/night for the week puts me at $225 total for the hotel.

    Seeing as I've already got an AP, that rules out the need for park admission (and parking, should I decide to forgo the bus and drive myself some days), so my only other significant cost (i think) will be food. I'm quite cheap when i have to be, and I'm thinking that $20-25 a day for food should be fine. I'm going to bring a cooler and fill it with ice and leave it in the hotel for things like milk and cereal and juices and that kind of thing for breakfast and I'm going to bring my own bottled water with me in the park. I'm figuring on two counter service meals per day (lunch and dinner) on most days, and then on a couple days I figure I'll bring a lunch in the park with me, and spend my whole $25 on something a little nicer. That all comes to about $200 for food for the week.

    $225 for PC, $200 for eats... that leaves me about $75 for those instances where I just need a quick snack before a show, a dining bill that was just a tad higher than I anticipated, maybe finally acquiring that set of mickey ears i've been after all this time... or who knows what might come up along the way. I've even thought to purchase a cheap poncho in advance, just so I'm not caught in a rainstorm and tempted to go buy a really expensive Disney one. I think I've thought of almost everything! I think I can actually pull this off and stay under budget!

    Can anyone think of any hidden costs or really obvious things I've forgotten to include in my grand plan here?
    -Don-
    Your heart can just take wing,
    You can live out all your dreams...
    ...it's time to Remember the Magic!
    Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pilot's Life for Me...

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    SnwhtNdwrfs's Avatar
    SnwhtNdwrfs is offline Dancing with the dwarfs!
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    If you are on property, have you checked into the dining plan? It might be a cost saver butI don't know what you planned on eating. It was a ton of food at some places we wouldn't have gone to otherwise.


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    MainStreet, USA's Avatar
    MainStreet, USA is offline I'm walking right down the middle of Main Street, USA!
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    I read up on it briefly, and although it looked like a good way to save $$ if you planned on spending a whole bunch initially, but seeing as I'm planning so thrify (it sounds better than cheap, to me anyway), I didn't think it would do anything for me in terms of saving.

    But since you mentioned it, I guess I could go back and take a closer look... just to be sure. Thanks!
    -Don-
    Your heart can just take wing,
    You can live out all your dreams...
    ...it's time to Remember the Magic!
    Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pilot's Life for Me...

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    SnwhtNdwrfs's Avatar
    SnwhtNdwrfs is offline Dancing with the dwarfs!
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    I understand thrifty! No problem. My husband and I decided to do it because we were going with out our kids and wanted to eat at "real" restaurants. It really benefited with that goal.

    I look forward to hearing about your trip!


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    MainStreet, USA's Avatar
    MainStreet, USA is offline I'm walking right down the middle of Main Street, USA!
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    I just looked up the Disney Dining Experience again (I assume that was the one to which you were referring?), and what it says is that for $50, I get $20 off of most table service meals, and a couple of counter service locations in DAK (which is probably my least-frequented park). Seeing as I expect most of the food I eat during a day at the park to either come from my backpack or from counter service locations, and only a couple meals from actual sitdowns over the course of the week, I doubt I can get enough money back in the form of discounts to make it worth the $50 for a membership. Another thing to keep in mind is that, with my gf being a CM, she already gets discounts on table service locations. And chances are, the only times I'll be dining at a table service location, I'll be with her anyway.

    Besides that, the applications suggests leaving 3 weeks for processing from the time my application is recieved. My vacation is 5 weeks away, and that's cutting it kind of close in case there is a hang-up somewhere along the line.
    -Don-
    Your heart can just take wing,
    You can live out all your dreams...
    ...it's time to Remember the Magic!
    Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pilot's Life for Me...

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    HappyDznyCamper's Avatar
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    Make sure the room rate covers tax as well, if not you need to add that into the room price, otherwise it looks prety good to me.
    Maggie

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    SnwhtNdwrfs's Avatar
    SnwhtNdwrfs is offline Dancing with the dwarfs!
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    I was referring to the Magic YOur Way plus Dining. I don't know if it would be available to you with the AP though. I had made my reservations and I had gone back and called to get my husband added. While talking to CRO (I guess that was who), I asked to add the dining plan. It was $35 a day (I think it may have increased a little-what hasn't) and we each got one table service, one counter service and a snack a day. (Drinks, gratuity, appetizer, dessert and entre included).

    Maybe that will help in understanding what I was talking about....Sometimes, I don't make sense but don't tell my DH that I said that!


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    MainStreet, USA's Avatar
    MainStreet, USA is offline I'm walking right down the middle of Main Street, USA!
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    Oh yes... I do recall reading about that someplace (although i don't remember where at the moment). Yeah, that probably would be a good deal if I was planning on doing a family vacation and that kind of thing, and spending a fair amount of money on each meal. But as is, I'm looking at spending $20-$25 a day, so ... an additional $10/day just isn't worth it.

    And camper, that room rate includes tax (i believe so anyway.... my gf gave me the numbers. I'll ask her tonight). However, as you pointed out in my other thread, I didn't include tips for MouseKeeping! I should factor that in. Hmmm... how much do you tip a MouseKeeper?
    -Don-
    Your heart can just take wing,
    You can live out all your dreams...
    ...it's time to Remember the Magic!
    Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pilot's Life for Me...

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    tiggerguy's Avatar
    tiggerguy is offline As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly
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    MainStreet, USA said...
    Hmmm... how much do you tip a MouseKeeper?
    I usually tip $1.00 per day per person
    Brian
    WDWRadio Moderator

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    MommytoMJM's Avatar
    MommytoMJM is offline DisneyWorldTrivia Mod - Living Disney as a Lifestyle
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    Awesome Don!! Hope you have a blast!
    Bonny June, Homeschooler, Webmaster and SNK/Adoption Advocate~~Marjorie June Mailani Adopted SNK, Disney Fanatic, Joyous, Cheerful, Incredible Kid~~Andrew, Cast Member, Disney Reservations Center~~Heart Mom to Cody (adoption loss 10-00)
    (linkie fixed...heh heh, thanks Val!)

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    Sam I Am's Avatar
    Sam I Am is offline L'Originale - Keeping you behind the rope
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    Parking at the Theme Parks is included with your room rate (they'll give you a paper allowing parking at checkin). Additionally CMs can park free by showing their ID - if she's with you.

    >>backpack<<

    backpacked food is a great idea - on a budget, sandwiches for lunch are a great ID. Peanut Butter, Jelly, and Bread last a week in the room quite nicely. Add some Applesauce and/or fruit - and you're saving loads.

    If playing in the parks with a CM, locker rentals are free with their ID. Make sure to take advantage of other CM discounts (she'll have to pay to receive the discount)..

    Have fun!! What are the dates??!

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    flutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam I Am
    Parking at the Theme Parks is included with your room rate (they'll give you a paper allowing parking at checkin). Additionally CMs can park free by showing their ID - if she's with you.

    >>backpack<<

    backpacked food is a great idea - on a budget, sandwiches for lunch are a great ID. Peanut Butter, Jelly, and Bread last a week in the room quite nicely. Add some Applesauce and/or fruit - and you're saving loads.

    If playing in the parks with a CM, locker rentals are free with their ID. Make sure to take advantage of other CM discounts (she'll have to pay to receive the discount)..

    Have fun!! What are the dates??!
    Note to self, must talk Sammy into coming in May....you get those discounts right



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    MainStreet, USA's Avatar
    MainStreet, USA is offline I'm walking right down the middle of Main Street, USA!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam I Am
    Parking at the Theme Parks is included with your room rate (they'll give you a paper allowing parking at checkin). Additionally CMs can park free by showing their ID - if she's with you.

    >>backpack<<

    backpacked food is a great idea - on a budget, sandwiches for lunch are a great ID. Peanut Butter, Jelly, and Bread last a week in the room quite nicely. Add some Applesauce and/or fruit - and you're saving loads.

    If playing in the parks with a CM, locker rentals are free with their ID. Make sure to take advantage of other CM discounts (she'll have to pay to receive the discount)..

    Have fun!! What are the dates??!
    As for parking, I'm an AP holder anyway, so I've already got parking taken care of. I've tested the lunch in a backpack idea on my last two Disney daytrips, and although it's less tasty than Pizzafari, it certainly is cheaper. But as for the locker tip... thanks! That's the first time I'd heard of that. I'll look into it.

    By the way, the dates are in my sig... March 18-25
    -Don-
    Your heart can just take wing,
    You can live out all your dreams...
    ...it's time to Remember the Magic!
    Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pilot's Life for Me...

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    MainStreet, USA's Avatar
    MainStreet, USA is offline I'm walking right down the middle of Main Street, USA!
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    I just had another thought that might save me some dough... any chance I can get Lou and/or DWT to sponsor me on a weeklong research venture? I'll glady write countless trip reports and review every restaurant I eat in if someone could front me maybe... say, a couple hundred buck-a-roos?

    Or does it not work that way? Sigh... That's just me being hopeful, wishing upon a star... you guys know how that goes.
    -Don-
    Your heart can just take wing,
    You can live out all your dreams...
    ...it's time to Remember the Magic!
    Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pilot's Life for Me...

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    MainStreet, USA's Avatar
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    I'm back from my spring break, and I just thought some of you guys might appreciate me throwing some of my actual cost figures out at you guys.

    Well... I did it! Not only did I stay under my $500 budget, but I think I even outdid myself this time! The resort (Pop Century) cost $380 for the week (with a CM discount), divided two ways for 4 nights, and three ways for three nights, meaning I myself spent about $163 on the hotel. Several of my breakfasts consisted of a bowl of cereal in the room in the morning, meaning I only bought two breakfasts the whole week, and a few of my lunches consisted of sandwiches, fruit snacks, and granola bars I brought with me into the parks. Using these little tips I was able to eat very well for my dinners, much better than I thought, and still stay way under budget. Aside from a small handful of counter service lunches and dinners at Casey's, Cosmic Rays, Pizzafari, Columbia Harbor House, etc, I managed to dine at 50s Prime Time Cafe (MGM), Boma (AKL), Whispering Canyon Cafe (Wilderness Lodge), Nine Dragons (China, EPCOT), and Portabello Yacht Club (Downtown Disney). Ok, the last one was a treat from my girlfriend's dad, but the rest I paid for myself, and when all the numbers were run at the end of the week, I spent approximately a whopping $185 on food for the week. Of course that's not counting my groceries purchased before hand, but they weren't much. So you get the idea. I managed to steer clear of buying anything in terms of gifts and suveniers (sp?) with the exception of one of those silly light-up glowing rose things my gf kept hounding me for, and so when the grand total is calculated, I managed to pull off a 7-night, 8-day stay on property at WDW for just over $350!!!

    Who says a Disney vacation has to cost a small fortune???
    -Don-
    Your heart can just take wing,
    You can live out all your dreams...
    ...it's time to Remember the Magic!
    Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pilot's Life for Me...

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