View Full Version : How much do you spend on Disney vacation prep?

07-06-2006, 08:53 AM
I'm often reading about pre-purchasing items to take to Disney (ponchos, trinkets, coloring books, bagallini, crocs, portable DVD players). So, as I'm starting to think of what I need for next month's trip, I became curious how much others spend on their preparations. There are a few things I have in mind for our family, but one example I know I will need to get is new tennis shoes for myself.
I understand often the pre-purchases are to save money while at Disney.

07-06-2006, 08:59 AM
Got kids a dual dvd player for christmas about 190 and some disney shirts and other disney items on sale from the store about 75 dollars right now they have 30 dollars in money and put dh and myself clothes on layaway about 225 and some new luggage yesterday from target for 44 dollars so pre disney i have spent. Almost $600.00 so far. I think i am done but who knows.

$600.00 :rolleyes1

07-06-2006, 09:22 AM
This year I got a new Baggalini and a new pair of Crocs. I make sure we all get new shoes a month or so before so they still look okay but are broken in. We are still using our dollar tree ponchos 4th year (luckily we haven't needed them yet!). I stopped spending $ on the little Disney toys because DD would rather pick ot her own things and it means more when she buys it herself. I also bought DD and my niece some pins to trade.

07-06-2006, 09:27 AM
Got it down to a science now. I've got everything I need, and can re-use it over and over again. All I need is sunscreen and a fresh pack of batteries for the camera and we're off!!!

07-06-2006, 09:28 AM
we just got some t-shirts on sale at the disney store 25.00, dh and I just got new shoes 80.00 . I also got the passporter for Christmas. were down to 67 days! :Pinkbounc :banana: :cheer2: :woohoo: :moped: :wave: :crazy:

07-06-2006, 09:33 AM
mine is on food for our family of 7 and also some new clothes for the family :love:

07-06-2006, 09:38 AM
The way we planned for this trip was a mess, first it was a 3 day then with the free dining we extended it . I went crazy and bought so many things that we might not even need. I already spent over 800.00 :scared1: specially when I do not take advantage of the sales(When I ordered my mickey luggage they were not on sale, so i have to paid more :guilty: ) The only good thing is that I do not see myself spending a lot at disney maybe one or two souveniers and that it. :thumbsup2

07-06-2006, 09:55 AM
I have bought new clothes and shoes for my trip.

07-06-2006, 10:34 AM
We are buying DS a portable DVD for Christmas so that he'll have it to take on the flight. Clothes and some food are always added expenses.

07-06-2006, 10:56 AM
"Disney prep" is a 9 month event for me!!! It basically starts the January after we get back when we book that years trip. Then the shopping starts! This year, we have spent more because it's DD first trip and of course she "needs" all new clothes and shoes for the trip. We also got her a Tink Backback and some books/coloring books. We also pre-purchased glow necklaces, etc. Plus we are getting a portable DVD for the plane. We always update the toiletry bag (I keep one always packed) plus get new shoes for us. I spend all year buying things because I will buy things when they go on sale and put them away.

Fast Pass
07-06-2006, 11:01 AM
Batteries for our digital cameras are one of our biggest expense. I buy two packages a month for about ten months before.

We re-use ponchos that we have not used but buy one or two extra in case someone forgot.

We get at least one new outfit(sometimes more depending on the old paycheck)per person.

We also buy a few gas cards.

07-06-2006, 01:17 PM
On Disney prep so far I have bought:

Baggalllini $21.00

From Dollar Tree:
hand soap
plastic toothbrush holder
over door organizer for bathroom ($10 total)

From walmart:
mister fans (4)
ziploc bags ($27 or so)

extra flip flops from Old Navy before they run out of the good colors. (I live in these all summer, and have never had a problem wearing ff in Disney). $5

I still have to pick up: film (lots & lots) tylenol, advil, etc meds (This will cost alot)

I pick up all this stuff alittle at the time, during the months before the trip.

I don't really buy new clothes for the trip, I may try tye-dying matching shirts this year. School will have started, so kids will have new clothes & tennis shoes broken in.

I will ship a box of snacks, using my groc budget for the week we are gone, and I may try ordering water& having it shipped for me this year since we are flying.

I voted $100-$200 :wave:

07-06-2006, 04:32 PM
Depends on how old my current pair of running shoes are. If I don't have to buy shoes, it would be closer to $100.

Along with the usual stocking up of pharmaceuticals, wipes, snacks, etc., I usually buy some new Disney t-shirts for DS, and I'm always on the lookout for the perfect carry-on/backpack/park bag, whether I need it or not. :teeth:

I tend to buy bigger items as I see them on sale, like my new Mickey luggage set. I'm also buying a portable DVD player (which should be on its way to me as we speak), but that will be used daily by DS as we transport him here and there. I'll also use it on my next two trips to NY.

So some of this stuff isn't necessarily for Disney, but would definitely be used when we see Mickey next time!


07-06-2006, 04:48 PM
Camera batteries and a new bottle of sunscreen are my only purchases.

I rarely buy clothes or shoes specifically for vacation as these things are purchased as needed. Even the sunscreen and batteries are things that I normally have- I just make sure that I have plenty before a vacation.

I've never prepurchased souvineers except for pins for trading. We do not purchase lots of trinkets anyway. We buy souvineers only if we see something special that would really be enjoyed later- not just in the moment.

07-06-2006, 05:48 PM
I voted $0-$25. Anything we need for our vacations we already own. If I bought something like a new pair of sneakers, I certainly wouldn't count that as pre-vacation spending as I would have needed to buy them whether we were going away or not. I really can't think of anything we buy specifically for our Disney trips. Pre-digital camera, I would have said film, but we no longer have that expense.

07-06-2006, 05:53 PM
I bought new luggage (the red mickey ones on sale, our cheap Target luggage was falling appart so needed it anyways)
6 $1 ponchos
A new bathingsuit for me and hubby from the Disney Store (needed these anyways as well)
4 shirts from the Disney Store (3 for hubby 1 for me) of which two would have been bought anyways.

Other then that I have been pretty good about not buying much, I'm sure a couple of days before we go I'll pick up some snacks for the room/trip and such, but otherwise I think we're doing pretty good here.

Okay to be fair I should probably put my new digital camera in here (so I voted wrong) since I did get it when I did so I can take decent point and shoot pictures at night and not have to drag the huge DSLR around all the time. I also got hubby a nintendo DS and 3 games so I guess that should probably count too, though it was a birthday present though it was gotten so that if he gets bored in line or waiting for a show to start (which he will even if it is only a 15 minutes) I can tell him to play his DS.

07-06-2006, 06:14 PM
Now that the boys are both teens we don't pre-buy too much stuff. My pre-trip expenses are usually:
Camera batteries
AA batteries for PSP and Disc players
2 gum/mint type items
4 snacky items Each of us picks something like Ghardettos, Jerky....
Couple of magazines and maybe 2 books (which I would have bought anyway)

So I voted for the $25-$50

07-06-2006, 06:24 PM
I've spent well over $200 in the past few months.

New luggage $400 (clearance on Overstock) was my biggest purchase... but I've bought Crocs, a Misty Mate, personal fans, clothes, t-shirt transfer paper, toys, dollar store stuff, filtered water bottles, toiletry items, first aid items, souviner stuff for my 2 year old daughter so as not to pay park prices for light spinners, glow sticks, stuff like that...

eta: I forgot the money I've spent on pins. Probably around $75. :rolleyes1

But on the upside... the only things we will buy at the park will be a princess costume for DD, and MAYBE a Pal Mickey.

I LOVE to pack. I bring A LOT but I'm a pro at keeping it compact. I think planning and shopping for our 9/30-10/6 trip has been more fun than it should be!!!

07-06-2006, 06:29 PM
We made tye dye mickey head shirts (10), bought 3 other sets for the girls and DDs of DS t-shirts for all to match, besides water bottles, ponchos, and other little helpful items. Plus the girls got a disney workbooks and a dvd player (actually 2, one form Grandma for youngest) for the trip.

The DIS boards helped so much with helpful ideas and we saved a bundle buying ahead and I gave the items to the girls and parents for christmas so that was a useful and easy presents especially for the parents.

07-06-2006, 06:55 PM
I put 25 - 50. I bought a fanny pack, two brita water bottles, and a fishing license lanyard. Our trip was 6 years ago and I still use the fanny pack almost every vacation, we've used the water bottles, and I loaned the lanyard to another friend going to Disney. Money well spent, I'd say.

We're pretty well set for vacations, though we do always manage to spend money getting ready when we're going camping!

07-06-2006, 08:00 PM
I was just thinking about how much I'd spent today:

Keen's (on clearance) 70.00
Small Backpack 31.00
Binoculars 7.00
Various ponchos 8.00
Misty Mate 8.00
Cooling Scarves 7.00
Tiny Fans 2.00
Total 135.00

Well, that doesn't count the new camera, but we were going to replace that anyway, Disney just gave us the excuse. The total will be more if I can find one of those Brita bottles!

07-06-2006, 08:03 PM
well, technically most of the stuff I've bought for Disney I would have gotten regardless. I always buy a pair of jean shorts every summer, and walking sandals as well. Snacks are the only things we used up. However, the 2GB card that I bought prior to the trip hiked my total up, since I wanted a bigger memory stick for the camera, but just HAD to have it before the trip :) I do tend to throw things into the vacation box as I buy them year round. Also buy birthday & Christmas year round as I see them on sale.

07-06-2006, 08:09 PM
Found a Holiday Belle dress at TJ Maxx for 14.99, but will use it for MNSSHP an Halloween and later for the dress up box, so I don't have to count that, do I??

07-06-2006, 08:45 PM
The first trip, I spent a little - on t-shirts (on sale at Disney Store), glow sticks, Brita bottle & filters, bottle w/fan, autograph books, rain ponchos, etc. - but now we reuse those things (except the glow sticks of course), so I don't spend anything, as we have it already.

07-06-2006, 10:24 PM
Well, we always seem to have a plentiful supply of vacation items on hand all year long. So we really don't need to stock up on much.

What I have bought has been purchased over many months.
I have bought a few toiletry items I've found on sale.
Along with $1 ponchos at Target.
Crocs for me and the kids (DH can't bring himself to wear them, yet!) :teeth:
Kids got new summer clothes, bathing suits, new shoes & sandals regardless of going to WDW.
DH, I, and the kids got a few new shirts from the Disney Store.
Disposable cameras for the kids.
Mister fans
Suntan lotion
Bug repellant wipes
A few items for the kids for the plane ride (not that they need much, they have a ton to bring already).
Kids got new wallets from the Disney Store.

We will be shipping snacks to the resort too.
And we have been looking for a personal DVD player for the kids.
And DH & I need new sneakers before we go too.
And I need another memory card for the digital camera.

I have no clue what the total is so far! :confused3 :teeth:

07-06-2006, 10:30 PM
so far, i have bought:

Maleficient t shirt for me (says "Evil Diva" on the back. how could i resist?)
Luggage (2 lge 2 small 1 matching shoulder tote. this is for the 4 of us, not just me. and it was 60% off!)
Crocs (had to try them out doncha know. they are almost worn right out (the soles) so i guess that means i have to buy a new pair. *grin*
travel bag (ie baggallini) currently in process of buying one
waist pouch (like the small baggallini) it can hold my camera and a bit of money

so so far, canadian, its over $200 (mostly luggage). Will still need running shoes for me, (but for working out too so thats ok ) and lots of other th ings!

07-06-2006, 11:23 PM
We're going in December, and I know I'll probably spend more than $200 by the time all's said & done (added to my trip budget). I've started picking up sunscreen, watershoes, shorts, etc. on sale for the kiddies. And then there was this great thread (something about what they would never go to Disney without), and a bigger list was born. :rolleyes1

07-06-2006, 11:36 PM
You didn't have an entry for "Too much!" I hate to even add it all up. Our trip is not until Sept. but I have bought so much (mostly from sales at Dis Store) and justified it by saying it was for our trip!!! If I bring all the shirts on our trip that I have purchased "for Disneyworld" I will have 2 or 3 for each day!! I'm trying to convince myself that something is not a good deal if you don't need it!!!

I don't know if anyone buys extra 'presouveniers' like I do (to keep from spending much more at the parks) but I was wondering...if you buy stuff like that, do you save it as a countdown for the trip, give the little souveniers each morning of the trip, etc?? Any ideas?

07-08-2006, 08:26 PM
Batteries for our digital cameras are one of our biggest expense. I buy two packages a month for about ten months before.

We also buy a few gas cards.

I use the rechargeable AA kodak batteries for my digital camera and I bring my battery charger. I bring a total of 4 batteries and have 2 constantly charging at a time during the whole vacation. I've saved a lot of money that way! I'll have 2 batteries charged and ready to go when we leave. When we get to Disney, I'll charge the other 2. The next morning they should be charged and ready to go. I carry the extra batteries just in case I should need them.

As for my memory card I have a 128 mb. Does anyone know if that will be enough? I know my camera has an internal memory. I'd rather not have to bring my laptop computer (to download pictures each day), but I guess I could do that just in case.

I like the idea of prepaid gas cards, but then you would be limited to that particular brand of gas right? If I bought Walmart gas cards ahead of time, I don't know if we could find a Walmart gas station off the Interstate on the way to Orlando; I guess I could search for the stations on their website to get an idea.

Since we're driving, I've been stocking up on stuff. I just bought the Brita water bottles today (that was $32). I've got the Dollar Tree ponchos, glow sticks, necklaces. I bought car games for the kids to play; even a U.S. Map that has stickers. We're going to use it when we spot license plates from other states (got that from the Target dollar section). I've bought 2 small bottles of detergent, small box of fabric sheets, shout wipes, spray & wash gel, a tide stick, some Wrinkle Release spray, some air freshener spray... Halfway into our 8 night trip, I will have to break down and do some laundry - while the kids swim; especially since I hear you go through 2 outfits a day in the summer!

We bought fanny/waist packs for the kids; I bought a daypack. I also bought the Misty Mate. The 2 gallon Hefty plastic bags will come in handy for the kids clothes (I'll let DD7 - going on 20 - pack her own outfits into the bags so there will be no fights with me in the mornings!) I bought a little popup hamper and 3 little plastic containers (Mickey colors: red, black, yellow) one for each kids on the closet floor that they'll use to put shoes, fanny/waist packs, water bottles, etc. every evening so we will be organized for the morning rush!

Also, styrofoam bowls, plastic spoons, mini cereal boxes at Sams. We'll rent a fridge at the hotel (Swan) so we can store milk, 1/2 & 1/2 for the coffee and other perishables. I plan to stop at a store near WDW to buy our breakfast foods and snacks for during the day (cereal bars, cheez its, triscuits, grapes, apples, etc.)

You think I've spent a $100 yet; probably, but whose counting!!! Hopefully, this will be our first of many WDW vacations!! Then that will be less I'll have to buy for the next trip, right??? :thumbsup2

Keep the ideas coming!

07-08-2006, 08:38 PM
For the camera, it depends on how many megapixels your camera is. My old camera was 3.2 and 512 MB held over 300 pictures. My new camera is over 7 megapixels and a Gig holds less than 300.

07-09-2006, 07:36 AM
a few items at the dollar store and snacks thats about it for us. we already have the DVD players in the cars and cameras.. granted our trip is only 2.5 hours to disney..we bring the vsmile and hook it up along with the kids leapsters..

07-09-2006, 01:38 PM
I re-subscribe to Tour Guide Mike and buy my boys 2-3 new books for the plane ride.

07-09-2006, 04:47 PM
I should keep track, but I estimate between $50-100, which is maybe a little high because there's only two of us at this point.

I don't think we spend too much because
1) We've already got most of what we need (digital camera, rechargeable batteries)
2) I don't count things that we would buy anyway, like new shoes or clothes. (Convenient, huh? I can hear myself: "Oooh, I need this new shirt anyway, and it's just in time for our vacation!" :teeth: )
3) The "big" extras, like another memory card/portable DVD player, we asked for--and received--for various gift-giving occasions.

Things we do purchase that tend to add up quickly:
Extra sunscreen
A cheap pair of extra sunglasses
Food & drink for the flight
Travel-size sundries (Wet Wipes, toiletries, pharmaceuticals, laundry soap, etc.; I keep the containers and refill them when possible)
Books: we're avid readers, so we try to pick up paperbacks at garage sales or the thrift shops, then leave them behind as we finish (check out the site bookcrossing for a fun idea!)
Water bottles. We already have our Nalgene bottles that we use when working out, but if I can find the Brita Fill & Go, or even the refills, I'll buy them; I'd also consider another filtration system if the price was right.

Oh, I do have to say this amount doesn't take into account what I'd like to buy. For example, since I started reading the DIS boards, I've developed a strong desire for a Baggallini bag. I don't need it, I just want it. :love: But--*sigh*--I already have the bags that work for us, so I'm going to try and resist! [I bring an insulated lunch box (~10 1/2"L x 8 1/2"W) that has a long strap that fits over your shoulder, and interior/exterior zipper pockets. I got it at target for about $6.00 and it fits the esssentials. My DH has what's called a "reporter's bag" he picked up overseas. Between the two of us, and sometimes a locker, we're all set. Still....those bags sure are nifty-looking....]

07-09-2006, 05:55 PM
This is what blows our budget. In one sense, you can't count new shoes, since you need them eventually anyhow (magical Dinsey math), but somehow....you just can't go without getting a few of those things. Nobody wants to walk around all week in ratty sneakers...in this group come haircuts, nails, eyebrow waxing, new make up, new clothes, new jackets, food items?, batteries, luggage, sunglasses...Nevertheless, we always end up with a big cc bill, and not all of it from Orlando purchases.

My nephew once took older sandals on a vacation. It was summer, and it so happened they were his only shoes... one broke...we had to stop everything to find a place that sold sandals/shoes in his size. We were at a relatively remote destination, no car, and had no idea where to look. The poor kid was walking around in broken shoes until we found replacements! We were VERY lucky to find a place that had flip flops, much less on sale! So getting these things ahead of a trip is a priority.

It depends on the trip too, and how much money we've got at the time. If we've just had a big unexpected expense, then things like a manicure get cut (Manicures also require time. Since it's not something I NEED, I always save it for last. Something I only do if I have the time and money and energy.) and we make do with what we've got.

Then there are things you might need for your house while your gone...

So the answer for us is that it varies quite a lot.

07-09-2006, 07:50 PM
I spend a lot of TIME on vacation prep but not a lot of $$$.

I do not buy trinkets, dvd players etc for trips. I may buy new shoes before a trip but this would have been purchased anyway.