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View Full Version : Am I Overspending? Advice, please?


my3kids143
05-17-2010, 05:05 PM
Hi Everyone,

We are planning our first ever trip to WDW, and Florida for that matter from June 26 - July 2 of this year. It will be my DH and I, DD8, DD3 & DS2.
I have read that going to WDW is expensive and can be costly but I didn't realize until now.
We had initially planned to drive from Ajax (Canada) until I found airfare for the 5 of us on Orbitz.com for $645.60 (my DS will be in lap) and since we need a car we now have to rent one.
Also, since we don't check into our Resort until the 26 and checkout is on the 2 we had to book 2 nights Hotel stay since our flights are from June 25 - July 3.

So here is my breakdown, can someone please let me know if this is to much too soon or can I cut some corners?

Bonnet Creek (purchased on eBay) 7 days, 6 nights = $900
Airfare = $645.60
Hotel for 2 nights (Priceline) = $120
Car Rental (Priceline) = $250
Disney Tickets 5 + 1 day base tix (Undercover Tourist) $670 (!!!)
La Nouba = $254.55
CRT = $140.22

Btw, these are all CAD prices.

So here I am calculating what I've spent so far and it's a whopping $2,920!!!
This is not even including the cost of food and souvenirs for the week.
I kind of wishing we should have just drove down but that's a 20 hr drive down each way and DH has to be back at work for July 5th.

Please tell me I'm not crazy and this spending is "reasonable" :rolleyes1

mrsklamc
05-17-2010, 05:10 PM
Did you buy the tickets already?

I think you're doing a great job. If possible and you haven't bought the tickets I'd look into seeing whether YES open enrollment is available for your dates, for cheaper tix.

my3kids143
05-17-2010, 05:18 PM
Did you buy the tickets already?

I think you're doing a great job. If possible and you haven't bought the tickets I'd look into seeing whether YES open enrollment is available for your dates, for cheaper tix.

Hi, everything listed has already been booked and paid for, that's why I'm a bit worried now, I don't want to break the bank! LOL!

mrsklamc
05-17-2010, 05:34 PM
Well everyone's going to have their own opinions of what 'overspending' is but considering how far you have to travel you're doing quite well. Although its more than I personally spend on a Disney vacation, it's far from the most I've seen anyone say they spent.

amylynne01
05-17-2010, 05:38 PM
I think it seems reasonable. I personally wouldn't do La Nouba, but it's already paid for. I think you can save on souvenirs by giving each kid a souvie allowance. Let them window shop for a few days, and then they can decide what to buy with their money. Maybe buy them each a Disney gc with their allowance, and once the money is gone, it's gone. I know I'm not going to have trouble with my girls with souvies because they'll be young (3 and 1 when we go) and we just won't go to stores.

Just one quick question. Most airlines allow for lap babies under 2 years old. Are you sure your DS can be in lap over 2?

my3kids143
05-17-2010, 05:45 PM
I was having 2nd thoughts about La Nouba with the kids but I hear it's excellent and something the kids would enjoy as well, plus I've always wanted to see a Cirque show. My DS actually won't be 2 until September :)
and my youngest daughter won't be 3 until August, but I just rounded them off :rotfl:

amylynne01
05-17-2010, 05:47 PM
I was having 2nd thoughts about La Nouba with the kids but I hear it's excellent and something the kids would enjoy as well, plus I've always wanted to see a Cirque show. My DS actually won't be 2 until September :)
and my youngest daughter won't be 3 until August, but I just rounded them off :rotfl:

Gotcha.:thumbsup2

triciari
05-17-2010, 05:47 PM
I think it looks fine. Don't obsess about it, just enjoy your trip!

4Seasons
05-17-2010, 05:50 PM
I also think you are doing quite well.
You should be able to control your food costs with a little planned grocery shopping (since you will have a kitchen in your condo) and taking advantage of coupons for local restaurants (each building in bonnet creek has a rack in the foyer with coupons, at least mine did).

I'll be there on business during the same time!

You are doing great! :thumbsup2

mermaidwannabe
05-17-2010, 05:53 PM
I think you are doing great especially when you consider how much you would spend at a deluxe Disney hotel plus your airfare is great! We had to spend $1800 on airfare for our family of 5 and that was a good fare from here that I had to jump on. I'm not even going to post here what we are spending total because I don't want to see it in print myself. ;)

englishteacha
05-17-2010, 06:40 PM
Seems OK to me. For our first vacation, we let the travel agent do the basic planning. For our trip in 2006, I did it myself, and I became obsessed with finding a bargain. I don't think we'll EVER get a trip that cheap again! Now that you've gotten the hang of planning a trip, next time you can seek out more bargains. :)

Personally, I've always stayed away from Priceline because I like to know what I'm getting into. I hate surprises. (I could have killed my sisters for giving me a surprise bridal shower!)

Here's a basic rundown of my costs for 2 adults:
Condo 8 nights offsite: $450
airfare: $400ish
car: $220ish
tickets: 9 days left on no expiry park hoppers with WP and more (paid for in 2007), will use 4 days
2 Give a Day tickets
Food: $450 (some offsite, some onsite, I will not cook in the condo! It's vacation!)

So other than our condo, our prices are pretty much in line with yours. If anything, ours costs more because we paid almost $1000 for our tickets in 2007 and have only used one day of them...so that day is a $1000 day thus far! [The per day costs drops dramatically, though, when you figure in 10 park days and 10 waterpark and more days came with the passes.]

my3kids143
05-17-2010, 07:27 PM
Seems OK to me. For our first vacation, we let the travel agent do the basic planning. For our trip in 2006, I did it myself, and I became obsessed with finding a bargain. I don't think we'll EVER get a trip that cheap again! Now that you've gotten the hang of planning a trip, next time you can seek out more bargains. :)

Personally, I've always stayed away from Priceline because I like to know what I'm getting into. I hate surprises. (I could have killed my sisters for giving me a surprise bridal shower!)

Here's a basic rundown of my costs for 2 adults:
Condo 8 nights offsite: $450
airfare: $400ish
car: $220ish
tickets: 9 days left on no expiry park hoppers with WP and more (paid for in 2007), will use 4 days
2 Give a Day tickets
Food: $450 (some offsite, some onsite, I will not cook in the condo! It's vacation!)

So other than our condo, our prices are pretty much in line with yours. If anything, ours costs more because we paid almost $1000 for our tickets in 2007 and have only used one day of them...so that day is a $1000 day thus far! [The per day costs drops dramatically, though, when you figure in 10 park days and 10 waterpark and more days came with the passes.]

Wow, I'm surprised because I thought everyone would say I'm spending way too much! I wanted to buy the Waterpark tickets but adding them on makes the tickets so much more expensive than they really are. My DH and oldest DD love the waterparks here in Canada so I have a feeling we will add it on at the gates. My DD8 has been asking to go since she was 4 years old and she has no idea that we are planning this so I really want to make it a memorable trip for her, hence the CRT lunch. And I refuse to cook while on vacation, so that's not going to save me anything :rotfl:

I'm kind of regretting bidding on Priceline but I can't cancel now so oh well...
Considering I got our 1st night at the Country Inn for $40 + taxes and our last night at the Marriot for $50 I can't really complain, it's either that or sleep at the airport :rotfl2:

Brancaneve
05-18-2010, 01:28 AM
As my DH always says, it's the little things, not the big ones that can break the bank. It looks like the big ones are covered, so now focus on how to avoid all the little purchases made throughout the day. Maybe a stop at the grocery for water bottles and snacks?

Carl Fredricksen
05-18-2010, 03:42 AM
Looks okay to me. We are staying onsite at a Value, no La Nouba, no CRT, no airfare, no car rental, and we still came in around $1700 excluding food and extras.

So I'd say you're doing very well IMO. :thumbsup2 Enjoy your trip!

VAfamily1998
05-18-2010, 06:38 AM
I wanted to buy the Waterpark tickets but adding them on makes the tickets so much more expensive than they really are. My DH and oldest DD love the waterparks here in Canada so I have a feeling we will add it on at the gates.

If cost is an issue, maybe just send your Dh and DD to the waterpark while you do something fun with the younger kids?

I think your budget looks great!:thumbsup2

Jennifer in MI
05-18-2010, 07:01 AM
I agree that your budget looks great. I don't know many people who get out of WDW for under $3000!

I agree with the PP who said to watch the little things. Souvenirs really add up. Plan ahead how much you'll spend and DON'T go over it.

Good luck and have fun!!

Alesia
05-18-2010, 07:10 AM
I was having 2nd thoughts about La Nouba with the kids but I hear it's excellent and something the kids would enjoy as well, plus I've always wanted to see a Cirque show. My DS actually won't be 2 until September :)
and my youngest daughter won't be 3 until August, but I just rounded them off :rotfl:

I don't think you'll regret La Nouba.

The thing with budgeting for a trip is that you can always do it cheaper, but at the expense of not getting to do things you want to do. Only you can decide which things are important to you and which aren't.

tinkermom23
05-18-2010, 07:12 AM
If cost is an issue, maybe just send your Dh and DD to the waterpark while you do something fun with the younger kids?

I think your budget looks great!:thumbsup2

That's what we did. DH took DS10 to the water park while I took DS3 & DD3 to DHS. We did all the things DS10 would have been bored with like Playhouse Disney and autographs from Little Einsteins. It worked great!

laurafergie
05-18-2010, 07:53 AM
I think your budget looks really good. The only thing that would concern me would be the Priceline hotel. The hotels tend to give King rooms to the Priceline customers - so a call to the hotel may be order to request a double room.

3boymthr
05-18-2010, 07:58 AM
If it makes you feel better our expenses for a family of 5 last year was $4,500+ :scared1:

Now my kids are older but: we drove, didn't have any extras, no WP, etc.

So I think your budget looks great; I wish mine had been that low. :thumbsup2

daisy2jae
05-18-2010, 08:03 AM
I'm not even going to post here what we are spending total because I don't want to see it in print myself. ;)

I have the same thought about our trip!

bettymae1121
05-18-2010, 08:07 AM
As for food...remember that the week you're in WDW is a week your not buying groceries at home. You'll have that weeks grocery money to use in WDW instead! :) I don't cook on vacations either, but there are ways you can eat at the condo for a few meals to save money while not having to cook. Breakfast is the obvious choice for that, cereal, bagels/toast, pop tarts, instant oatmeal, and fruit are just a few easy ideas that will save you money and get you out the door pretty fast in the morning (or you can eat in the car on the way to the parks).

For lunch or dinner, you can still make heat and serve meals. Frozen pizzas come immediatly to mind, just pop a couple of pizzas into the oven and open a bag of salad (you can get the kind that comes with salad dressing so you don't need to buy a whole bottle) and dinner is served! Or get a rotiserie chicken, a bag of rolls, and some steam-in-the-bag veggies. I'm not saying you have to eat every meal at the condo, but if you can do breakfast most mornings and say maybe half your dinners, that savings will add up!

And saving on snacks for the parks is a breeze, you can buy all sorts of goodies to bring in with you (both food and drink - just no glass bottles) and you won't have the hassle of taking time away from park touring to eat, on top of the $$$ savings. Of course there is always room in the budget for a Mickey Ice Cream Bar :mickeybar , but there is no reason not to bring the bulk of your snacks with you.

TamaraQT
05-18-2010, 09:05 AM
Hi Everyone,

We are planning our first ever trip to WDW, and Florida for that matter from June 26 - July 2 of this year. It will be my DH and I, DD8, DD3 & DS2.
I have read that going to WDW is expensive and can be costly but I didn't realize until now.
We had initially planned to drive from Ajax (Canada) until I found airfare for the 5 of us on Orbitz.com for $645.60 (my DS will be in lap) and since we need a car we now have to rent one.
Also, since we don't check into our Resort until the 26 and checkout is on the 2 we had to book 2 nights Hotel stay since our flights are from June 25 - July 3.

So here is my breakdown, can someone please let me know if this is to much too soon or can I cut some corners?

Bonnet Creek (purchased on eBay) 7 days, 6 nights = $900
Airfare = $645.60
Hotel for 2 nights (Priceline) = $120
Car Rental (Priceline) = $250
Disney Tickets 5 + 1 day base tix (Undercover Tourist) $670 (!!!)
La Nouba = $254.55
CRT = $140.22

Btw, these are all CAD prices.

So here I am calculating what I've spent so far and it's a whopping $2,920!!!
This is not even including the cost of food and souvenirs for the week.
I kind of wishing we should have just drove down but that's a 20 hr drive down each way and DH has to be back at work for July 5th.

Please tell me I'm not crazy and this spending is "reasonable" :rolleyes1

You are NOT crazy and the spending IS reasonable !! :thumbsup2

Now do you feel better? :) You were way ahead of the game when you chose Bonnet Creek. There is no way I would try to accomodate my family comfortably in a Value or Moderate room. So you got my approval with that alone. (Not that you needed it :laughing:) Anyway....relax...you are doing VERY WELL. I see one post on here that said they are staying in a value room and they are spending $1700 which doesnt include airfare or rental car!!!! :eek:
Relax....you did GREAT !!!!! :cool1:

Planogirl
05-18-2010, 09:53 AM
I just booked two ADR's and priced passes so I can understand the sticker shock. :) I think that you're doing very well - just keep in mind that you have a lot packed into that total price.

deerhart
05-18-2010, 10:20 AM
Your budget looks great (especially after I have looked at mine sticker shock doesn't even begin to describe it).

We have done Disney with a budget lower then yours (our first trip with the kids, stayed at Value w/ discount, didn't spend a lot on souvies etc) The next year we upgraded some and spent a little more (moderate, more spending money etc) and this year well we just sort of did what we wanted - Deluxe - (thankfully our incomes and budget can afford this, hence why we did it).

I, personally, would not do Circ with 2 young children. The 8yo might work but not the younger ones. I won't even take my kids (both boys) because after about 45 minutes I would either be answering all sorts of questions on HOW they did this or that, or they would be done with it. Now mind you, I saw Circ when they came through our city under the Big Top and sat 4 rows off the stage.

I would also not do CRT. In fact, we were going to do CRT this year and I decided the cost difference just didn't justify and instead went with the Princess breakfast at Epcot (we are also doing the Park Fare breakfast). Very similiar experience at half the cost.
\
The nice thing about your budget is that you don't have to pay for park tickets for the two youngest (nor for them at buffet meals). Part of our increased costs this year was my oldest hitting age 10 and on adult pricing for the dining plan and tickets (dp more then tickets). It will STILL save us money on the DP, just not as much

disprincessatheart
05-18-2010, 10:34 AM
If cost is an issue, maybe just send your Dh and DD to the waterpark while you do something fun with the younger kids?

I think your budget looks great!:thumbsup2

I'd do the waterpark - the 2 youngest kids will be free there too, just like in the parks, so why not take the whole family? Really for me I'd skip LaNouba. We've done it, but only after a dozen or so other trips to Disney. There's so much else to do and spend money on, and to be honest I think the younger kids would get bored after a while, so I'd save that for another trip.

Actually, with 6 park days on your tickets (if I read that right) and only being there 8 nights, I can't see how you'd have time for LaNouba without leaving a park early one day or how you'll fit in a waterpark day unless you're planning to do a park on your arrival or departure day as well.

deerhart
05-18-2010, 11:38 AM
You are NOT crazy and the spending IS reasonable !! :thumbsup2

Now do you feel better? :) You were way ahead of the game when you chose Bonnet Creek. There is no way I would try to accommodate my family comfortably in a Value or Moderate room. So you got my approval with that alone. (Not that you needed it :laughing:) Anyway....relax...you are doing VERY WELL. I see one post on here that said they are staying in a value room and they are spending $1700 which doesnt include airfare or rental car!!!! :eek:
Relax....you did GREAT !!!!! :cool1:

We spent about $2000 at pop century on our package (including dining). That was 8 days 7 nights, 8 day park hopper 2 adult tickets, 2 kid's tickets, and the regular dining plan. We only spent about $250 on plane fare though (while I hated traveling for my job, I sure do miss the perks of that traveling now LOL)

Ticket wise, each adult ticket is about $300, the kids tickets about $270, so of that $2000, over half was park tickets. Dining plan was about $600 of it, leaving about $230 for the room (I forget what deal we were on, might have been 1 or 2 nights free or free kids tickets). Last year we were on the buy 4 get 3 free so stayed for 9 days 8 nights at a cost of about $3000 at CBR (again park hoppers, dining plan - $816) but we also stayed in a preferred room (pirate rooms) so that increased costs some. Our plane tickets were $730

This year we spent way more because we moved up to a deluxe (using 40% off), and my oldest child is now 10. So now our tickets cost almost $1200 for the 4 of us (again park hoppers), and the dining plan is $1048 (we are again staying 9 days 8 nights). Our plane tickets are $850 this year. My room stay this year is over $2000 (again we are staying in a deluxe).

When you look at a budget, you have to look at all the expenses for where your staying. For example, out of her budget (just for the disney stay) I would have $1250 to put towards a resort stay for 6 nights. That is $208 per night. My rooms at the beach club with the 40% off pin code are with tax about $250 a night.

But again, its all about personal choices and the make up of the family. We would rather stay on site and NOT drive for our entire stay (NOT driving is very very important, I drive WAY to much for work), we want most of our meals paid before hand, we don't even really want to even consider the prices on the menu when ordering (thus I do not have to stress about the "cost" of the meals since it is already been long paid for). We MUST have hoppers because well we do hop around from park to park (especially to eat)

my3kids143
05-18-2010, 04:24 PM
I think your budget looks really good. The only thing that would concern me would be the Priceline hotel. The hotels tend to give King rooms to the Priceline customers - so a call to the hotel may be order to request a double room.

Oh, thanks for letting me know, I had no idea. I had originally wanted the Hyatt inside the airport but with my bid they offered me the Marriott instead.

my3kids143
05-18-2010, 04:40 PM
Wow, thanks so much guys! You really make me feel so much better by putting everything into perspective. I mean I know planning a Disney trip is expensive but once I totalled everything up last night I didn't realize how much I'd spent :)

I will definitely pick up a few things before checking in at BC such as water, breakfast stuff and snacks but no way am I cooking :rotfl:
I figure who knows when we'll do it again so lets go all out now, hence why I booked the CRT lunch ($140?!) for my DD8 so now I'm kind of having second thoughts but I had also booked the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique so she can have her hair and makeup done before lunch. I just want to make it memorable for her and since the lunch comes with a photo package I can sort of justify the price.

So thank goodness the two little ones are free or else this trip would be way beyond my budget! :rotfl2:

superme80
05-18-2010, 08:20 PM
I haven't seen La Nuba, but I have a seen a Cirque Du Soleil show. Honestly it was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. I say keep it! I think your budget looks great. DH and I are planning to go to Disney World in about 10 years or so. DH almost died when he saw MY budget. :rotfl2:

deerhart
05-18-2010, 08:50 PM
Oh, thanks for letting me know, I had no idea. I had originally wanted the Hyatt inside the airport but with my bid they offered me the Marriott instead.

The grand hyatt in the airport is very nice. We flew in late last year and stayed there the night before our disney reservations started.

my3kids143
05-19-2010, 11:09 PM
I really wanted the Hyatt for the convenience factor since we will be flying out at 8am and being right in the airport would have been so much better! I know the Marriott is 5 mins away but I'm reading now that parking there is $9! Why are they charging parking for guests is beyond belief?! :mad:

MinnieForMe
05-20-2010, 07:33 AM
Hi:
It looks pretty good to me! For future reference, you could have found a cheaper timeshare but Bonnett Creek is beautiful. I don't think you'll regret your choice of resorts.

You are in line with what we normally spend for a family of 5. Although, our airfare was almost double yours this year!

If it's already paid for, stop adding everything up that way you won't go crazy with how much you spent! Have fun!

my3kids143
05-20-2010, 08:05 AM
Hi:
It looks pretty good to me! For future reference, you could have found a cheaper timeshare but Bonnett Creek is beautiful. I don't think you'll regret your choice of resorts.

You are in line with what we normally spend for a family of 5. Although, our airfare was almost double yours this year!

If it's already paid for, stop adding everything up that way you won't go crazy with how much you spent! Have fun!

LOL! Thanks MinnieForMe, I've started to relax a bit now that the bigger purchases are out of the way :rotfl2:
But I've read that eating in the parks can be pricey and I have ADRs for 5 out of 7 days with even 2 meals a day on certain days. I've actually cancelled a couple of breakfasts since I've decided we will just have breakfast in our room - much easier with the DD 2.5 and DS 20months.

I could of booked Star Island at a great price, but after read the "We loooove Bonnet Creek" thread I was convinced, not to mention Star Island has a bunch of bad reviews compared to BC, plus BC is on Disney grounds :)

MrsPete
05-20-2010, 09:09 AM
Please tell me I'm not crazy and this spending is "reasonable" :rolleyes1Your prices are reasonable. I personally would make two changes: I'd buy the 20 month old an airline seat; it simply isn't safe or comfortable to hold him on your lap. Also, I'd think twice about LaNouba -- I'm not sure the younger children would appreciate it. Is it dark in this show? My oldest definitely didn't do well on Disney rides that included darkness. We saw a Cirque show in Vegas last summer, and it was phenomenal, but my kids were 12 and 15.

For kids the age of yours, I'd spend that money on another character meal instead. Chef Mickey's is wonderful.and we just won't go to stores.You can't avoid going into the stores. Many rides exit through gift shops. However, you can talk to your kids ahead of time about souveniers and what you will/won't spend. We decided years ago that we're a "no souveniers" family. Really, it all ends up in next year's yard sale anyway, and when you allow time for shopping the vacation turns into a buying expedition rather than fun family time. It's a choice we made when our kids were toddlers -- they're teens now -- and we've never had any problem with it.As my DH always says, it's the little things, not the big ones that can break the bank. It looks like the big ones are covered, so now focus on how to avoid all the little purchases made throughout the day. Maybe a stop at the grocery for water bottles and snacks?Definitely the little things! Don't forget stroller rental (unless you can manage it on the plane), sunscreen, disposable cameras. Those things add up. You absolutely need a trip to the grocery store for a couple cases of bottled water, snacks, and simple meals.If cost is an issue, maybe just send your Dh and DD to the waterpark while you do something fun with the younger kids?Waterparks are THE BEST for toddlers. Really, my kids enjoyed water parks more than the theme parks when they were that age. Do the water parks still let you in for half-price after 4:00?I think your budget looks really good. The only thing that would concern me would be the Priceline hotel. The hotels tend to give King rooms to the Priceline customers - so a call to the hotel may be order to request a double room.I've always called to request a double-double room, and I've never had any trouble getting it. However, I have noticed that they tend to put the Priceline rooms in the less-attractive locations. Near the elevator is common. At one Country Inns they put us literally behind the sign! We had natural light, but all we could see out the window was the back of that sign; for the price we paid, I was quite satisifed!I really wanted the Hyatt for the convenience factor since we will be flying out at 8am and being right in the airport would have been so much better! I know the Marriott is 5 mins away but I'm reading now that parking there is $9! Why are they charging parking for guests is beyond belief?! :mad:I love Priceline, but I do think it's unfair that you bid X amount, and then they hit you with parking fees on top of that! If you choose the hotel yourself, you know about parking fees ahead of time. When we stayed at the JW Marriott in New Orleans (with Priceline), they hit us with $25/day parking! It looks pretty good to me! For future reference, you could have found a cheaper timeshare but Bonnett Creek is beautiful. I don't think you'll regret your choice of resorts.You could find a cheaper timeshare, but I don't think you could do it in July. I personally would've stayed onsite and would've skipped the car . . . but that's personal preference.But I've read that eating in the parks can be pricey and I have ADRs for 5 out of 7 days with even 2 meals a day on certain days. I've actually cancelled a couple of breakfasts since I've decided we will just have breakfast in our room - much easier with the DD 2.5 and DS 20months.Yes, food will add up, but there are ways to minimize it. You can find menus/prices online so you can choose wisely. Order kids' meals for everyone in the family -- they're a good value for Disney, especially since they usually come with a drink. Order water to drink (in fact, you can ask for a free ice water any time -- don't feel badly about that; remember that you've paid for your very expensive tickets). Order a large meal for yourself and feed the two younger kids from your plate. Join the Safari Club (for Rainforest Cafe); not only do you get to go to the head of the line, you get good coupons all the time.

But don't skimp so much that you miss the great one-of-a-kind places at Disney. Your kids are just the right age for the character meals; I was never sorry that we splurged on those.

Does Beaches & Cream still serve the Kitchen Sink sundae? It's family-sized and very impressive. I ordered it quietly, and when the waitress came to deliver it, she flicked the lights, walked it around the whole room proclaiming all the yummy things that it included (and my girls' eyes were wide as saucers), and then she came and plopped it on OUR TABLE. My girls were in heaven. They came home and made their own "Kitchen Sinks". I even had to buy them a special cake plate with a leg under it. They literally talked about that sundae for two years, and even today if someone mentions it, they remember it well. It was a good spend (and it was actually less expensive than four individual sundaes).

my3kids143
05-20-2010, 10:07 AM
Your prices are reasonable. I personally would make two changes: I'd buy the 20 month old an airline seat; it simply isn't safe or comfortable to hold him on your lap. Also, I'd think twice about LaNouba -- I'm not sure the younger children would appreciate it. Is it dark in this show? My oldest definitely didn't do well on Disney rides that included darkness. We saw a Cirque show in Vegas last summer, and it was phenomenal, but my kids were 12 and 15.

For kids the age of yours, I'd spend that money on another character meal instead. Chef Mickey's is wonderful.You can't avoid going into the stores. Many rides exit through gift shops. However, you can talk to your kids ahead of time about souveniers and what you will/won't spend. We decided years ago that we're a "no souveniers" family. Really, it all ends up in next year's yard sale anyway, and when you allow time for shopping the vacation turns into a buying expedition rather than fun family time. It's a choice we made when our kids were toddlers -- they're teens now -- and we've never had any problem with it.Definitely the little things! Don't forget stroller rental (unless you can manage it on the plane), sunscreen, disposable cameras. Those things add up. You absolutely need a trip to the grocery store for a couple cases of bottled water, snacks, and simple meals.Waterparks are THE BEST for toddlers. Really, my kids enjoyed water parks more than the theme parks when they were that age. Do the water parks still let you in for half-price after 4:00?I've always called to request a double-double room, and I've never had any trouble getting it. However, I have noticed that they tend to put the Priceline rooms in the less-attractive locations. Near the elevator is common. At one Country Inns they put us literally behind the sign! We had natural light, but all we could see out the window was the back of that sign; for the price we paid, I was quite satisifed!I love Priceline, but I do think it's unfair that you bid X amount, and then they hit you with parking fees on top of that! If you choose the hotel yourself, you know about parking fees ahead of time. When we stayed at the JW Marriott in New Orleans (with Priceline), they hit us with $25/day parking! You could find a cheaper timeshare, but I don't think you could do it in July. I personally would've stayed onsite and would've skipped the car . . . but that's personal preference.Yes, food will add up, but there are ways to minimize it. You can find menus/prices online so you can choose wisely. Order kids' meals for everyone in the family -- they're a good value for Disney, especially since they usually come with a drink. Order water to drink (in fact, you can ask for a free ice water any time -- don't feel badly about that; remember that you've paid for your very expensive tickets). Order a large meal for yourself and feed the two younger kids from your plate. Join the Safari Club (for Rainforest Cafe); not only do you get to go to the head of the line, you get good coupons all the time.

But don't skimp so much that you miss the great one-of-a-kind places at Disney. Your kids are just the right age for the character meals; I was never sorry that we splurged on those.

Does Beaches & Cream still serve the Kitchen Sink sundae? It's family-sized and very impressive. I ordered it quietly, and when the waitress came to deliver it, she flicked the lights, walked it around the whole room proclaiming all the yummy things that it included (and my girls' eyes were wide as saucers), and then she came and plopped it on OUR TABLE. My girls were in heaven. They came home and made their own "Kitchen Sinks". I even had to buy them a special cake plate with a leg under it. They literally talked about that sundae for two years, and even today if someone mentions it, they remember it well. It was a good spend (and it was actually less expensive than four individual sundaes).

MrsPete, wow!!! Thanks a bunch for all that info! If it's true that the Waterparks are half price after 4pm we would go for sure! I don't think it's something we want to miss as my DD8 and DS20months loves the water, not to mention the hubby, he loves the slides :rotfl:

I am considering getting my son a seat on the plane, but he is so clingy and for 2 hrs it might now be so bad since he's so attached to his father.
Unfortunately, the La Nouba tickets are non-refundable/non-transferable, as long as it's not pitch dark I think the kids should be fine :rolleyes1

My DD8 just started getting an allowance for helping with chores and she's saving to go to Disney when she's 10 :rotfl: (this is a surprise, and she doesn't know) so I figure by then she will have a good amount to buy her own souvenirs. I won't go overly crazy in the souvenir shops as much as we will in the Outlet Malls. Ever since we started border-shopping I rarely shop in Canada anymore! I can't believe the variety and selection, not to mention the value! :)

MrsPete
05-20-2010, 08:31 PM
MrsPete, wow!!! Thanks a bunch for all that info! If it's true that the Waterparks are half price after 4pm we would go for sure! Don't get me wrong here -- I'm not 100% sure that's still true. I know it used to be true. It'd be worth a phone call ahead of time to avoid disappointment.

leebee
05-20-2010, 10:55 PM
I think you are doing really, really well financially. DD and I are going to WDW for 9 nites in August with upgraded free dining, staying at POP, 10 day park passes, using DME and the bus system. It's costing $1500 plus airfare (although I have $800 in Disney rewards to offset the cost!).

If you don't want to pay for parking at the hotel, have DH drop you and the kids at the hotel and then return the rental car. You can have the hotel shuttle take you directly from the hotel to the airport terminal the next day! (call first and make sure they have a shuttle but I am 99% sure that the marriott does)

We've used Priceline a LOT for hotels and it's just the best! You have amazing rates! Call both hotels ahead of time and request the double-double room instead of a king. I have never had a problem with them doing this.

BBB and CRT are costing a fortune. Can you skip these? OR... schedule dinner at 1900 PF; Cinderella and Prince Charming are the hosts. You can go to MK that day and bring a "princess" dress. Go to the barber shop on Main St and they will do DD's hair in an "up-do" (high pony tail), put in two different colored gels, and liberally sprinkle her with sparkles and pixie dust for about $16. THen take the monorail to the GF for dinner with Cindy and the Prince!

Remember that in July you will NOT want to be in the parks in the afternoons. It's just too hot! Perhaps you can consider simple meals in your condo after an afternoon pool break to cut down on restaurant costs. You could tour in the morning, do a nice ts lunch (cheaper than dinner for the same experience), return to your condo for some down time, then do make-your-own sub sandwiches with potato salad and chips, for example, for a light supper before returning to the parks. There are also the pre-packaged dinners (like Stouffer's mac and cheese or lasagne) that, with a bag of lettuce and some cut veggies, would feed the family for about $15. The condo will have a dishwasher! We found that "light" cooking in the condo is NOT a bad deal. Definitely do breakfast at the condo, and bring snacks (we take gummy fruit snax and chewy granola bars- remember anything with chocolate will melt and make a MESS- in both the backpack and on the kids!). Also remember something for a late-nite snack when you get back from the parks.

Keep working it! You could "skip" souvenirs by buying disney merchandise at the dollar store at home and bringing it with you- leave a surprise from Mickey every morning! Don't forget glow stix (also from the dollar store) for evening parades and shows. If you really need souvies, go over to the outlets and let each kid pick one tee shirt- they will be about half-price!

bearlyanne
05-21-2010, 02:25 AM
Do Canadians need passports to enter the US like we do now to go up there? If so, do you have them? If not, don't forget to budget them in.

You will love Cirque! and did reallly well with the rest of the trip imo.

DawnM
05-21-2010, 06:20 AM
For us that would be a lot, but we also don't have a fly in and rent a car, nor have we done La Nouba.

Use the car to stop at a grocery store and take snacks into the parks with you.

Dawn

VAN
05-21-2010, 06:35 AM
I see that you have already purchased everything. Had you not, I would have suggested dropping LaNouba. I've heard wonderful things about the show but for a first visit, I think you are going to have your hands full just taking in the parks. You will also be there during the summer (HOT) which can be very crowded.

At this point, I would just make sure you plan to stop at a grocery store to stock up on drinks, snacks, breakfast items in order to keep the food budget down. Allocate a set amount of money for souveniers for both you and each of the kids ... and then stick to it.

Otherwise, I think you will be fine.

Disney can be expensive ... or not. We did Disney on the cheap for many, many years with our family and did not feel deprived. Yes, I would have done things a little different than what you did; however, you've done it so just forget about it and enjoy yourself!

lisajl
05-21-2010, 07:07 AM
I think it looks good. You should go see La Nouba at least once.
It is well worth the ticket price.

Have a fantastic time at WDW!!! Can I come with you? :)

tink2dw
05-21-2010, 07:18 AM
2010 - Water Park Discount

Advance Purchase Discounts on Water Parks

If you own a 2010 Entertainment Book, you can access a private web site that offers a discount on Disney water park tickets.

Entertainment Book Offers $15. FREE shipping

http://www.mousesavers.com/misc.html

2TxAgs
05-21-2010, 11:27 AM
If you are concerned about expenses, the one thing I would point out is not to let your excitement about all the things you learn on these boards color your perspective. By that I mean - your daughter is only 8, and the other two are babies. Being at WDW will be such a unique and special opportunity. The kids have no clue about meals with princesses, hair salons, etc. Just BEING THERE will be special - do not add on expensive extras in order to 'make the trip special'. It already is!!!!!

There was a thread on here last week about how much is ENOUGH and several folks stated that all the 'extras' they purchased did not really add much to their trips. It's almost like saying: I've won a million dollars, but it would have been more special to have won a million and a hundred dollars. Don't lose site of the fact that just being there is a wonderful opportunity in itself. Especially for a first time visitor, there is so much to see and do that is included in the cost of your park tickets, you won't need anything else.

Have a great time!

amylynne01
05-21-2010, 12:08 PM
You can't avoid going into the stores. Many rides exit through gift shops. However, you can talk to your kids ahead of time about souveniers and what you will/won't spend. We decided years ago that we're a "no souveniers" family. Really, it all ends up in next year's yard sale anyway, and when you allow time for shopping the vacation turns into a buying expedition rather than fun family time. It's a choice we made when our kids were toddlers -- they're teens now -- and we've never had any problem with it. Definitely the little things!

Luckily for us, when we go in January, the girls will be just turned 3 and 19 months, and we can pick them up and keep walking. ;)

LovesTimone
05-21-2010, 05:50 PM
I'm just curious did you price out staying on property and doing a package with tickets and dining? I know that they have free transportation to the hotels round trip( magical express) or, my Friend and family always take a limo w/ one stop to pick up the extras for around 50.00 to 75.00 dollars depending on time of year.
I would not go with Water park add on for your first trip. Most pools have slides for the kids. Are you planning on spending a great deal of time at the water parks?
This year our 5 night trip for 3 adults Moderate resorts with PH tix and DXDDP is 2300.00 Which I think is good. Because I have spend alot more before at the mouse house.
Dollar store stuff is good. Glow necklaces are fun. when DD was little we would share with someone next to us while waiting for the parade. Take a break during the day for everyone to relax and nap. No-one wants a meltdown and in July with the heat that can happen very easily.
No matter what Have a Magical Vacation:cloud9:

traveljunkie2
05-23-2010, 12:38 AM
There have been so many great tips already. Your budget looks fine, it's just kinda scary to see it in black and white! I think that anywhere you can save money on the little things can really add up. We brought in an empty water bottle and a bunch of individual kool-aid packs (about $2 for 12 packs) and just kept refilling the water bottle and making more kool-aid throughout the day. We also had a snack bag with pretzels, cheezits, granola bars, etc. Either budget for Mickey ice cream bars (about $3 each) for everyone each day, or buy a big box of ice cream treats to have at the condo. Definitely take an afternoon break and save a ton of money by eating lunch or dinner or ice cream at the condo. Also, souveneirs are way cheaper at WalMart. You can also pick up things like twisty lollipops and taffy to bring into the parks as treats. Target and Michaels have lots of cool Disney stuff in the dollar bins.

I gave each child a budget of $15/day to spend on snacks/souveneirs. Whatever they didn't spend each day carried over to the next. They each bought 3 toys and a few ice cream bars and came home with over $85 each that they have put into our vacation fund for the next trip!

leebee
05-23-2010, 10:11 AM
If you are concerned about expenses, the one thing I would point out is not to let your excitement about all the things you learn on these boards color your perspective. By that I mean - your daughter is only 8, and the other two are babies. Being at WDW will be such a unique and special opportunity. The kids have no clue about meals with princesses, hair salons, etc. Just BEING THERE will be special - do not add on expensive extras in order to 'make the trip special'. It already is!!!!!

There was a thread on here last week about how much is ENOUGH and several folks stated that all the 'extras' they purchased did not really add much to their trips. It's almost like saying: I've won a million dollars, but it would have been more special to have won a million and a hundred dollars. Don't lose site of the fact that just being there is a wonderful opportunity in itself. Especially for a first time visitor, there is so much to see and do that is included in the cost of your park tickets, you won't need anything else.

Have a great time!

I know I've already chimed in here, but I really have to agree with this! On your first trip, just being there is going to be totally, overwhelmingly magical! You really, really don't need BBB and CRT for a first-time trip. Get some styling gel and glitter/confetti and do DD's hair in "princess style" EVERY DAY! We have also brought face paint for our AK day, which saves a bunch of money, too. Spend your dollars on sit-downs at Akershus (for the princess experience) or 1900 PF (but that's just Cindy, et al.) and Crystal Palace (for the Pooh guys)- and maybe Chef Mickeys for the traditional characters (although I don't love their food). The whole family will enjoy this! On your Epcot day, go over to the International Gateway and take the free Friendship water shuttle for a boat ride over to DHS and back; it's lots of fun and a great way to relax and give the feet a much-deserved rest. I know you cannot return your LaNouba tix (and I've seen it- it IS amazing- but we waited til DD was 13 to really enjoy this) but maybe you should rethink the water park tickets (you will have a great pool at your condo) and BBB/CRT if you really want to reduce the budget. Don't feed off all the excitement here on the boards... if you do nothing but go to Disney theme parks (not even park hop), you will have a most wonderful, amazing, magical time!!