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Money Saving Tips / Budgeting Discuss WDW on a budget - tricks and hints in the Vacation Planning forums; I thought it might be nice for us to have a place to post our favorite penny pinching tricks....and I'll start off with a few of mine... 1) Stay in ...
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    disneydarling's Avatar
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    Cool WDW on a budget - tricks and hints

    I thought it might be nice for us to have a place to post our favorite penny pinching tricks....and I'll start off with a few of mine...


    1) Stay in a value resort: Unless you are planning on staying at the world for 7+ days, are looking forward to a splurge, or plan on spending ALOT of time at your resort you can save a lot of moola by going value. Having now stayed at 2/3 all stars and Pop as well as the Boardwalk I can officially say that dollar for dollar the values are a much better...well...value. The rooms in the "nicer" resorts are slightly larger but really not drastically better than the values. You should also resist the temptation to stay off site - you may save a few bucks but you will be forced to rent a car, drive all over in your own, or rely on lousy bus service.

    2) Brown Bag it: If you are staying at WDW for a couple days request a room with a fridge and buy a few essentials at a grocery store. Eat breakfast before you leave the resort (a bagel and cream cheese is quick, easy, and filling), and pack your bags with healthy snacks such as apples, oranges, and crackers. Eat a light lunch at WDW and then have dinner off site or back at the hotel. Make sure to bring a water bottle that you can refill in the parks to save money on bottled water

    3) Order the kids meal: Unless its really unappealing its always a good idea to order off the kids menu. The portions are good and you can eat an entire meal including drink for cheaper than you can buy an adult entree

    4) Remeber that kids under 3 eat free at the sit-downs...i just found this out recently and have been taking full advantage. For Riley and I to have full meals at a counter service I end up spending around 15 bucks...for the same price we can both eat at the Garden Grill and visit the characters!

    5) Resist the temptation to go nuts on souveneirs. Unless you would really use it and treasure it for years to come its better not to buy.


    Can't wait to hear some of yours!
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    CleveRocks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by disneydarling View Post
    2) Brown Bag it: If you are staying at WDW for a couple days request a room with a fridge and buy a few essentials at a grocery store. Eat breakfast before you leave the resort (a bagel and cream cheese is quick, easy, and filling), and pack your bags with healthy snacks such as apples, oranges, and crackers. Eat a light lunch at WDW and then have dinner off site or back at the hotel. Make sure to bring a water bottle that you can refill in the parks to save money on bottled water
    I totally agree.

    To this end, if you are staying at a WDW resort, use DIsney's Magical Express rather than paying for a car service, taxi or rental car to get to and from the airport. DME is free! ANd you can order a grocery delivery to get all the great food directly to your room.

    I've read so many people wasting money. I've read of people who spend $120 for a car service ONLY because they want food in their room and heard that car services offer a "free" grocery stop. I mean, if they want the amenity of a car service, then it's worth paying for rather than a shared bus ride like DME. But for those who choose the car service ONLY because of the "free" grocery stop, I just have to shake my head and laugh. That free grocery stop cost them $120. You can get a grocery delivery for a fee ranging from $12-$20.

    We love doing breakfast in the room. Bagels, cream cheese, margarine, fresh fruit, yogurt, American cheese, cold cereal, milk, OJ, instant oatmeal (heat the water in the coffee maker!!!), and so on. Plus some soda and junk food. Get a loaf of bread and some deli stuff and you can brown bag sandwiches, which we usually do about twice each trip.
    -- Eric

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    GIOny's Avatar
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    Do your homework before booking anything. If you have AAA, check their rates and look for any discount offerings on Mousesavers. Also check with the Orlando Fun Center for discount tickets.
    It's kind of fun to do the impossible!















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    I wish I could offer some tips but I think our trips to WDW are the one time I try not to focus on being frugal and on a budget. The closest we get is staying at the value resorts but in all honest we do that because we like them the best for that "Disney Feeling". We spend way too much no souvenirs each time and typically way too much on food (although this time around we went with the DDP so that saved us a good bit).
    Sometimes all you need is a reminder that out there lies a better place... a better world... a Walt Disney World.
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    Most of the proportions at sit down meals and counter service can be large, where ordering kids meals is a good idea, you can also share meals. My family does this all the time.

    It's not really saving you money, but buy your tickets as far in advance as possible, that way you have them paid off before your trip. This will also give you time to save up money for food and souviners.

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    If we know we'll have the points to go back with in 12 months we buy the season pass. Yea it's a little more that trip but next time we don't have to worry about tickets.
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    This sounds bad but my kids think Wal-Mart is a part of the Disney empire. "Mum, they sell REAL Disney stuff". Needless to say we make an effort to go there to spend up on T-shirts, caps and trinkets before heading to the parks.
    We also save by having our dinner meal just prior to the end of lunch service times. Saves on meal costs and allows us to have a light supper back in the hotel room after hours.
    Kids get paid their allowance in Disney Dollars in the lead up to our trips. Adds to their excitement and decreases my spending in the parks.LOL!
    Research the crowd levels, touring plans, holiday activites, special events & weather for the time you are visiting. Check out the extra magic hours and plan your ADRs accordingly. Plan rest days on heavy volume crowd days or go for extra magic hours then relax as the crowds enter the parks.
    We let each family member pick one "must do" activity/attraction, one "like to do" and one "if we have time to do" - this allows us to plan most of our days and all of us have something special to look forward to. It also helps the kids go past something that they want to exerience safe in the knowledge that they will get to do it but not right this moment.
    Take lots of photos but utilize Photopass. If you get more than one card the Disney CMs can combine them altogether. One CD costs about $120- cheaper if prepurchased and is great for Grand gatherings when you have multiple cards.
    If your camera/video recorder batteries go flat when you are in MK - go to the Kodak shop and for a fee they will charge up most brands of batteries. This is a lifesaver for an emergency. However you could just bring a powerboard from home and charge up all of your gear each night in the hotel room. (We found the hotel never has enough power points for mobile phones, chargers, hairdryers, electronic games AND camera gear)
    Take a Disney trivia book with you as you wait in lines. You may even get more attention from CM eager to pass on more trivia and tidbits of info about the parks.
    Don't miss Fantasmic! Book a dinner package that guarantees your seat. Well worth the few extra $$$ on the meal. You have been warned - this show often fills quickly. Have fun all.
    Kylee

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    i problem i had and it needed up saying me about $10 bucks was.. i was in epcot and my cam storage was full.. i got directed to the kodak shop near the front gates.. they said no its the one back there near i think it was figment but by the time i got back by there it was closed! ARUGH! well the nest day we went to animal kingdom and i stopped at their photo place and they tried like 5 times to get the info off my card and put it on a disc and the lady said my card was broke or something because it wasnt working.. which made me mad.. so we didnt get to take alot of pics in AK! another ARUGH!!!

    so that evening before haunted hayride we entered walmart into our garmin.. it directed us to the nearest walmart and i got my pics off my card and put on disc for like $2!!!!!

    compared to the $12 to $13 there in the parks

    on top of... they had LOADS of shirts, hoodies, all kids of souvenirs!!!!!!!!! i was like oh yes!!!!!


    i did some shopping there while waiting on my disc to be made....LOL
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    We never get family pictures! So we finally hunted down the people taking them because we really wanted some. When we looked at the prices the CDs are the best value, atleast in my opinion, and so we took all the pictures we could and ended up filling up one of their CDs with family pics. (My parents just never think or want to give their $500+ cameras to a stranger).
    Janice
    "Lefou, I'm afraid I've been thinking...."
    "A dangerous pastime..."
    "I know..." -lyrics sung by Gaston and Lefou

    My future: a skipper on the Jungle Cruise (or hiding from the skipper that keeps trying to get me to be on!)
    I'm the woman standing infront of you reading while the line infront of me has disappeared

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    we usually let the photo pass people take our cam and take a pic.. we know their not going to run with it...LOL
    All Star Sports July 2006
    All Star Movies October 2007
    Coronado Spring February 2010
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    All Star Movies September 2011
    Pop Century September 2012
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    We used to do the brown bagging all the time when we stayed over...until my adoptive sister came to live with us. She more or less refused to eat cold boiled eggs for breakfast and sandwichs and chips for lunch and wouldn't eat anything all day. And having hypoglycemia that's not good. And yes, we're letting her "win", but now we alot $40 a day on spending for meals while on vacation at Disney.

    I've found that with a $40 a day alotment, we can even eat at places like Ohanas for dinner and do counter service for breakfast and lunch and still stay in our alotment. Of course, depending on your finiaincial situation you could always lower the spending alotment on dining, but we find that if we set a specific number per day and tell ourselves we're not allowed to go over that, we tend to save some.
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    I thought I was going to be smart and Make the kids autograph books with Cinderella stickers and Cars stickers for DD&DS. However we ended up forgetting them in our Villa and I ended up finding some super cute books at Wal~Mart for half the price. So this year when we check into the villa and make our Wal~mart run I'm hitting them up, plus getting a few sharpies.
    We also freeze water bottles and take a few in the diaperbag along with the kool-aid singles. I also bring fruit snacks, goldfish for the kids, there in nothing like a crabby kid in the hot sun. A huge benifit is I have alot of Family who are CM's so we get signed in. Thats the only reason we have been able to go as many times as we have.
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    Coupla more tricks and hints:

    1. In counter-service areas, they very rarely list an entree separately, only as a basket. For example: A Burger basket is like $8, and the burger only is about 3/4 of that. Doesn't sound like much, but it saves money over a coupla meals and a coupla days.

    2. Another hint? If there is a double burger offered on the menu, order it, and then order an extra bun. My husband and I did this a lot and it saved A LOT of money. Worked well in Pecos and the Backlot where ya could build your own burgers.

    And don't forget all the wonderful things there are to do for free that are just still so magical!

    Some ideas?

    -Go play with the legos at the lego playground in Downtown Disney and then go watch (or splash in) the fountains!

    -The movie night at Fort Wilderness! What a wonderful night! If you truly have NO money or VERY LIMITED funds, stop by! You get to watch movies for free, meet Chip and Dale. You can buy snacks for a fairly reasonable price or you can bring your own. It's such simple Disney Magic.

    -Sit on the Beach at Polynesian, Contemporary, or Wilderness and watch the Water pageant at night and an extended view of the fireworks.

    -Hop a monorail and ask them if you can sit up front...this is especially exciting heading into EPCOT at night...it takes you right through FutureWorld and it is BEAUTIFUL.

    -Take a walk on the Walk Around the World....play games with who can find the most proposals, weddings, etc. Walk only on tiles that have certain words, names or letters...

    -Go to the Boardwalk and watch all the entertainment outside on the Boardwalk. It is exciting and funny and has no charge.

    -Park at one of the resorts that has a water launch and take it to somewhere else! This is especially fun from Old Key West to Downtown Disney.

    Even veterans try to save money! That's how we're able to do it more often!!!
    "T'weren't nuthin, ma'am. That's what us legends do."

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    airfare

    I remember seeing this on a travel show recently, they mentioned that it is generally best to look for airfare on Tuesday mornings. I guess that is when a lot of fares go on sale (I assume there are exceptions to this). But, yeah, I try to remember to check that Orlando airfare on Tuesdays and it seems to work out pretty well.
    What time is the 4 o'clock parade?

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    KingJamesUT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleShakChick View Post
    1. In counter-service areas, they very rarely list an entree separately, only as a basket. For example: A Burger basket is like $8, and the burger only is about 3/4 of that. Doesn't sound like much, but it saves money over a coupla meals and a coupla days.

    2. Another hint? If there is a double burger offered on the menu, order it, and then order an extra bun. My husband and I did this a lot and it saved A LOT of money. Worked well in Pecos and the Backlot where ya could build your own burgers.

    And don't forget all the wonderful things there are to do for free that are just still so magical!

    Some ideas?

    -Go play with the legos at the lego playground in Downtown Disney and then go watch (or splash in) the fountains!

    -The movie night at Fort Wilderness! What a wonderful night! If you truly have NO money or VERY LIMITED funds, stop by! You get to watch movies for free, meet Chip and Dale. You can buy snacks for a fairly reasonable price or you can bring your own. It's such simple Disney Magic.

    -Sit on the Beach at Polynesian, Contemporary, or Wilderness and watch the Water pageant at night and an extended view of the fireworks.

    -Hop a monorail and ask them if you can sit up front...this is especially exciting heading into EPCOT at night...it takes you right through FutureWorld and it is BEAUTIFUL.

    -Take a walk on the Walk Around the World....play games with who can find the most proposals, weddings, etc. Walk only on tiles that have certain words, names or letters...

    -Go to the Boardwalk and watch all the entertainment outside on the Boardwalk. It is exciting and funny and has no charge.

    -Park at one of the resorts that has a water launch and take it to somewhere else! This is especially fun from Old Key West to Downtown Disney.

    Even veterans try to save money! That's how we're able to do it more often!!!

    It's like you've seen everything I've done.

    One thing I did to save money for an anniversary date with my girlfriend was just to tour the resort christmas displays. We didn't set foot in a park, and dinner was gonna be at the counter service restaurant by Raglan Road, but it poured so we just headed back to Tampa. Just seeing all the resorts in one day and how they celebrate christmas was one of the most fun things I've done there in a while.
    Stitch Smash!



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