My family always budgets around $1,000 per person per 6 day trip. That includes food, airfare, hotel, park tickets, souvenirs, and transportation to/from the hotel. Having said that, I should note a couple of things -
1. We stay at Pop Century.
2. We tend to buy 10 day, park-hopper, no expiration tickets, and we only buy tickets every other trip. I guess that means that one trip is more than $1,000 and the next is less, but they average out to $1,000 apiece.
3. We live in the U. S., and you live in Canada, so your airfare to WDW is probably more expensive than ours is.
4. In terms of food budgeting, we put aside $30 per person per day. That includes breakfast at the hotel's cafeteria, 2 meals in a park (reasonably priced meals - we don't drink alcohol or buy big desserts), and probably a snack or two every day. We typically do one character meal per trip.
5. Do you buy pins before you leave? You can get good deals on sets of 10 from various sellers on Ebay. It saves a lot of money.
Hope this helps!
We spent more on our last trip (2007) than on our first trip (2005) only because we ended up having like $3000 spending money (this did not include hotel and tickets). So, we had two sit down dinners, ate breakfast at the resort (Pop Century) every morning and ate counter service for lunch every day in the parks. We bought snacks in the parks and we still came home with $400 (even after shopping sprees in Africa where my mom likes the handmade woven baskets and drops $60 for each). This was a once in a lifetime experience for us having that much.
Having said that, we're going back next year (in May) and will be staying at the Pop again. Back in 2005, we brought dry cereal and snacks as well as our drinks and then ate lunch and dinners in the parks. This worked out well for us and we (again) came home with money.
We're also light eaters and tend not to eat desserts at meal times. We tend to eat ice cream and dessert-y type foods as snacks. (except at the Brown Derby....we then eat one slice each of the Grapefruit Cake). I'm not a big morning food person and can get by on coffee and granola or a snack bar with a snack somewhere along mid-morning, lunch at 11 or so, 2 snacks in the afternoon and dinner around 6 or so. My daughter prefers cereal in the mornings with juice and my mom eats a ham, bacon and cheese croissant breakfast sandwich with coffee. She's the bigger breakfast eater than us. For lunch, we usually get a big meal and split it with each other then have a couple of snacks in the afternoon with another counter service meal at night. We do one character breakfast and one sit down dinner.
$50 does seem like a lot but that's just to me because I know our eating habits. We can get by usually on about half that per person.
As for souviners, that's what we mostly bring the money for!
You can also try pricing out your trip by visiting allearsnet.com and mousesavers.com. Both are good sources of info.
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