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Money Saving Tips / Budgeting Discuss How much will I need? in the Vacation Planning forums; I'm planning a trip to Disney World next March for 2 weeks. There will be 4 of us. We usually only do breakfast at the hotel (Pop Century), counter service ...
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    LaBretonne2002's Avatar
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    How much will I need?

    I'm planning a trip to Disney World next March for 2 weeks. There will be 4 of us. We usually only do breakfast at the hotel (Pop Century), counter service meals and a character breakfast or 2. How much do you recommend we save? We buy the refillable mugs at the resort and fill up our mug before we go to the parks (when we go back to our rooms and fill our water bottles) so we save a little money there?

    What's the average that people spend on souvenirs? Last time I went, we didn't get a whole lot of souvenirs because I underestimated what everything would cost. I can't remember what I spent last time.

    So I'm looking for find out how much (roughly) I need to save for my 2 week stay at Pop Century for food and hotel and park passes (prob go with length of stay passes)? What does everyone recommend for passes for us? We will go to the waterparks for 1 day each.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

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    HauntedGabe's Avatar
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    How many adults, children? Ages? It makes a big difference in food costs.

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    Stitch's Avatar
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    Are you doing the dining plan? What kind of souvenirs do you think you would buy? Pins, toys, hats?

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    It would be three adults - 39, 35 and 55 and a 15 year old. We're not into fancy dining - so it would prob be counter service meals like chicken fingers and fries, fish and chips, hamburgers and fries, that kind of stuff. I'm not sure if the dining plan would be worth it to us.

    Souvenirs - my son loves the pins, I would get a bag or tshirt. That kind of stuff.

    I would like to know how much would be reasonable to save for the hotel and tickets for 2 weeks next March. How much for food is a reasonable estimate with 2 character breakfasts? How much for the dining plan for 2 weeks?

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    Stitch's Avatar
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    The best thing to do is go to Walt Disney World Resort and price your dream vacation. Put in the hotel, the tickets and the dining plan. That will give you an amount to start planning with.

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    Sorria's Avatar
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    When we go, we usually eat at two counter service meals and one sit down meal per day. We usually budget ourselvs about $50 a day per person in dining. We go all the time so we really don't buy souvenirs that often, so I don't really have many recommendations on that aspect.
    Upcoming Trips to WDW:

    Dec 6-10: Disney Wonder
    Dec 10-19: Port Orleans French Quarter

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    LaBretonne2002's Avatar
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    I just checked the website to price my trip but it doesn't go ahead to next march. So i tried to price for 2 weeks starting next week (since it would be similar pricing) but it's sold out. I'm looking for pop century. Anyone have any ideas how i can get that information?

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    LaBretonne2002's Avatar
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorria View Post
    When we go, we usually eat at two counter service meals and one sit down meal per day. We usually budget ourselvs about $50 a day per person in dining. We go all the time so we really don't buy souvenirs that often, so I don't really have many recommendations on that aspect.

    That seems like a lot to me - maybe I'm wrong... that would cost me $200 a day for the four of us - so $2800 just for food. OUCH! I don't think I paid close to that last time.

    How much is the disney dining plan and what does it include?

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    Don't forget even though you are going to do counter service its still not cheap. For our family of 3; myself, dw, dd I budget at least $100 a day for food and that's just for counter service meals everyday. I know that's a little high but then I always have enough. Its hard to judge on soveneirs because everybody is different as to what they want to buy. Compare the prices at wdw.com for park tickets including everything you want, then remember an annual pass is $477.?? including tax. An annual pass also gives you other savings, like the room, some lunches, and 10% off at world of disney in DTD. At least you have a whole year to plan. have fun.
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    If you check the menus Restaurant Dining Menus from Walt Disney World you should have an idea of what you normally get and what it will cost. It can also help you pick or rule out a restaurant.

    I gave my children three months for them to earn money from their grades. (100s were $.25; 90s- $.10; 80s- $.05 and 70s- $.01; If they earned less then a 70 then they owed me $.05) I "paid" on a weekly basis using the change from my soda money usually. I was amazed as to how many grades they got each week but also how they worked harder for their Disney money. I then gave them a set amount on top of that. It worked out well for us. They then had so much money and they really were careful as to what they wanted to buy. Their money was harder to spend than my money was!


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    LaBretonne2002's Avatar
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    Yea my son thinks my money is easier to spend too. If it's his, then he's tight with it. lol My son is 14 so I'm not sure that would work but it's worth a shot... It's going to be a surprise trip so I won't be able to start til December.

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    LaBretonne2002's Avatar
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    How do you get an annual pass? Is it active from when you buy it or from the first time you use it? Also, what ages are considered kids? My son is 14 so would he be considered as an adult? Also where do i get one of the annual passes?

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    Hotel you will get a very accurate quote from the site indicated above.

    Food basically I'd plan $l0 x 4 per meal. Some are a bit cheaper, yet like AK is a bit higher. Breakfast generally 8 but with fruit or juice your up to $l0

    Water is $2.00, Pop 2.50, when the weather is warm we generally go through
    3-4 each.

    Snacks, generally 2 a day. (you're walking a lot) $4 or $5 each

    Adult beverages really very. Sit downs around $l0, Counter $6, Little store in hotel $4 or $5.

    Dining Plan: l counter, l sit down, l snack $4 or under. But remember the tip is no longer included in the sit down so tack on apx. $20 for a family of four to the $37.00 per day. You can make a small meal out of snack for breakfast at Pop Hotel. Bagel, muffin with your refillable mug.

    We have frequently done 2 weeks at a moderate hotel with 4 people. Only recently have we started with the DP. We generally ate at counter services back then and ate at sit downs total about 6 meals out of l4 or l6 days.
    Now that they are older and we've toured these parks often food is part of the adventure so it is really a personal decision if you want the DP or not.

    Do your homework though and see what is cheaper the AP or Length of Stay.
    If AP is close the perks are worth it.

    We have always given our kids a flat amount to spend. Depending on age it went between $l00 or $200. A standard T is about $20.00. They knew once it was gone it was gone. Pins are all over the place in price. There are threads on this and other sites and your DS might enjoy doing some research on his own which is a good idea if he'll be trading.

    Also note there will be a surcharge for the 3rd person over l8 in the hotel room.
    Last edited by HauntedGabe; 03-17-2008 at 09:31 PM.

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    LaBretonne2002's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the wonderful ideas! My son LOVES pin trading! We bought a mug at our hotel with free refills so when we have breakfast at our hotel or need a beverage when we come back to the hotel in the evening, we don't have to pay for it since it's free refills. It was a great investment last time and saved us a TON of money. I was at disney world twice (once in 94 and again in 2005) and we've never had a sit down restaurant. We had a character breakfast buffet and the rest as counter service meals. I was satisfied with that and really enjoyed the food.

    Does annual passes include the waterparks or is that an add on?

    I've tried pricing my trip for dates up to may to get an idea but the value resorts are sold out. Guess I'll be surprised when I find out how much it's gonna cost me...

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    Sorria's Avatar
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    Annual Passes do not include water parks or Pleasure Island. It is not really available as an "add on" either. If you want the four main gates, the water parks and Pleasure Island at an annual rate you'd have to get the Premium Annual Pass.

    $50 bucks a person per day may sound like a lot, but you figure in may spend up to $10 bucks for each counter service meal per person, so for us that would be $20 for breakfast and lunch combined, then we each have $30 to spend on dinner which would make us able to eat at someplace like Chef Mickey's, Boma or even Narcoosees. These may or may not be higher price-range restaurants than what your looking for. If you want lower-priced sit-down experiences, $40 a day per person might be better for you. Sometimes we spend all of our $50 a day in dining, sometimes we have some left over. Its kind of our budget we set up to make sure we don't go over our planned dining cost. Keep in mind also that our $50 a day plan includes the DDE and sometimes passholder discounts, but never includes the DDP, so we don't figure that discount into our meal price. As an example here is our upcoming meal plan for when we stay at the Polynesian in March. We've already made our reserations at our restaurants and have a petty good idea what we want to order:

    Day 1: breakfast at home, Captain Cook's, Ohana $17 left over from $50
    Day 2: Kona Cafe, Captain Cook's, 1900 Park Fare, $5 left over from $50
    Day 3: Captain Cook's, Captain Cooks, Chef Mickeys, $8 left over from $50
    Day 4: Kona Cafe, Bongos Cuban Cafe, Kona Cafe, $3 left over from $50
    Day 5: Captain Cooks, Captain Cooks, Boma, $11 left over from $50
    Day 6: 1900 Park Fare, Captain Cooks, dinner at home, $23 left over from $50

    So on every day we are spending less than our $50 per person alotment. And granted, we usually schedule two counter services and one table service on our vacations, but you can see here that there are many days that we are doing more than one sit-down restaurant a day. We usually make several Disney trips throughout the year that are small, and then we make one big trip where we stay at a nicer hotel and tend to eat at some of the nicer places. Needless to say, this will be our "big" trip for the year.

    But what I would do is set up a limit of how much money you are willing to spend on dining per person per day. (such as $50 a day per person, $20 a day per person, ect.) and then go look at some Disney menus of places you're interested in and look and see what you think you would order or find the average price of what they serve and try to stay within your set amount of how much your willing to spend. You may be able to get by on $40 or $30 a day if you skip a meal or bring breakfast items (poptarts, donuts, ect.) with you and eat those for breakfast and then have lunch and dinner in the parks/resorts. We used to do this for breakfast (which saved us a ton of money), but when my adoptive sister came back to live with us from her fathers house she complained about the cold breakfasts so we started doing every meal in the parks/resorts.

    Hope some of that helped.
    Upcoming Trips to WDW:

    Dec 6-10: Disney Wonder
    Dec 10-19: Port Orleans French Quarter

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