PDA

View Full Version : WDW $ave $ ideas?


Rox.jea
06-20-2011, 02:47 PM
Hi I'd like to know some money saving tips you have for travel in WDW. As far as drinks go. Can you bring drinks & food into the park? Even if you get the dining plan is there a need to budget spending money? Just any ideas you have that save $ & what you should have with you & where to get it cheap.Just asking to make sure I don't miss a thing. THanks all!

zarvgirl
06-20-2011, 03:02 PM
We spend very little on extras once at WDW, we are a family of five and stay on property with dining plan.

Some costs we had and some ways to save.

-we took a small cooler with several drinks and quick snacks like granola bars, etc. each day into the park. We also had a stroller so didn't mind having this as it went in the storage area.
-we are not a big breakfast family but had fruit or something quick in the morning in the room. I ordered these items through wegoshop. Also beer for the room.
-with the Dining Plan we had more then enough snack credits to enjoy something every day.
-we charged things to our room ie: restaurant tips, etc. and then paid that bill off several times throughout the trip so not to add up and we knew what we had spent.
-we did take several cabs and budget for them beforehand approx. $15 each time. This just saved on travel time for several reservations.
-we had our mousekeeping tips already organised beforehand. $5/day
-we arranged for a stroller from orlandostrollers.com for the week. Great idea to have at the resort too.
-we bought any tourist items ie:t-shirts etc before going, from ebay or Disney store.
-we bought pins beforehand for trading.
-we don't go into many shops as that doesn't interest the kids and this is family time.

I think a big part of the saving is to have a budget. Know ahead how much you think you will spend and then try to stick with it.

Have a super trip.

Que_Sarah_Sarah
06-20-2011, 03:12 PM
If you can live on water, skip the soda. That is quite an expense when you think about it. Bring a bottle in with you for everyone in the family and refill them whenever you see a water fountain. At a CS restaurant, you can drink those bottles instead of getting a drink (Unless you have DDP or QSDP).

We always take granola bars or some other small snack to tide us over during the day. This prevents impulse purchases of snack foods.

Don't always get a CS entree (again, unless you are on one of the plans). The breadsticks at Pizzafari, for example, are plenty for one person for a meal and they aren't as expensive as a pizza.

Eat breakfast in your room. Bring things in your luggage and just buy some milk when you get there. The small expense of the milk will be made up by the money you save "eating in".

Don't always eat in the parks if you can avoid it. Earl of Sandwich at DTD, for example, is a great value.

Try a TS for lunch and a CS for dinner. The prices are lower for lunch entrees at sit down places but the CS prices don't change.

Consider sharing CS meals. Often times they are large enough for two people, especially if you choose wisely.

Marionnette
06-20-2011, 03:33 PM
Hi I'd like to know some money saving tips you have for travel in WDW. 1As far as drinks go. Can you bring drinks & food into the park? 2Even if you get the dining plan is there a need to budget spending money? 3Just any ideas you have that save $ & what you should have with you & where to get it cheap.Just asking to make sure I don't miss a thing. THanks all!

1You can as long as they are non-alcoholic and in plastic or cans. No glass bottles.

2If you have the QSDP, plan to spend a few extra dollars for another meal or be prepared to use a snack credit to substitute for the 3rd meal. The restaurant board has a very good list of what is available as a snack credit. If you are on the DDP or DxDP, expect to spend an additional $4-$8 per person for tips are tableservice restaurants.

3Take a refillable water bottle with you into the parks. Get a free cup of ice water at any of the counterservice restaurants to refill it or use a water fountain. Save your snack credit for non-beverages. If palin old water just doesn't appeal to you, then bring along some of the single-serve mix ins like Crystal Light, Kool Ade or Propel.

squirrel
06-20-2011, 10:35 PM
Food and Drink

The CS places will give you Free ice water. If you dislike Florida water, bring some Crystal Light, Nestea or Kool Aid pkgs to flavor it.

The food courts have microwaves and toasters. Bring Bagels, pop tarts or other things to toast for breakfast.

If you purchase one souviener bucket for popcorn, you can refill it with microwave popcorn popped at the food court.

Oatmeal pkg can be made with the hot water from the drink stations.


If you have kids:

Pick up glow bracelets/toys before going.

Check out www.disneyshopping.com and the outlet for any deals and have them shipped to your resort.

Firetwirl
06-20-2011, 10:53 PM
I'm not a big breakfast person so one thing I did was bring my own breakfast items with me so I could eat in the room or on the way to the park in the morning. I packed the small individual boxes of cereal and granola bars which was enough to hold me over till lunch. I also packed snacks for when we had down time in the room because its a lot cheaper then what you get at the resort. Another thing I did was I watched for sales in my local grocery store as my vacation was approaching so I didn't pay full price for my snacks/breakfast.

Rox.jea
06-23-2011, 03:22 PM
Food and Drink

The CS places will give you Free ice water. If you dislike Florida water, bring some Crystal Light, Nestea or Kool Aid pkgs to flavor it.

The food courts have microwaves and toasters. Bring Bagels, pop tarts or other things to toast for breakfast.

If you purchase one souviener bucket for popcorn, you can refill it with microwave popcorn popped at the food court.

Oatmeal pkg can be made with the hot water from the drink stations.


If you have kids:

Pick up glow bracelets/toys before going.

Check out www.disneyshopping.com and the outlet for any deals and have them shipped to your resort.


great idea w/ the ice tea packets :thumbsup2
I'll be on the DDP but I drink a tonnnn so this will come in handy. I'm gonna try this!!!

TGaines107
06-23-2011, 03:46 PM
We usually do breakfast in the room or stay at a hotel on hotel boulevard near DTD that offers free breakfast. We take our own snacks and water in the parks. Our luxury is to eat at a TS restaurant for lunch (Easier to get pics w/characters than use up park time waiting for them and allows us to re-charge in the heat of the day). We eat dinner off site or do hot dogs in the microwave or salads in the room, that kinda stuff. If we eat CS, we always split the meals. I hear some complain of the meal pricing for CS at Disney but to be quite honest, the portions are huge. Virtually everything at CS can be shared to save money and I guarantee you'll still walk away feeling full. You can pickup ponchos (rain) or mini flashlights (dark rides for the kids to use) at the dollar store, Walmart, etc. All of that is right outside the gates of WDW on Lake Buena Vista. Come to think of it, if you want to avoid WDW souvenirs and their associated pricing, Walmart has a huge Disney section.

jjsmom
06-23-2011, 04:06 PM
If you're staying on site, I thinkthe DP is a good deal. We use a snack credit for a small item, then hit the CS's around 11 for lunch. During peak seasons, the CS's get packed (I mean, NO TABLE available, packed) so eating lunch early has an added benefit.

You are allowed to bring in (I believe) a small collapsable cooler; although we've havent done that since DD (now 20) was using a bottle. That would be great for small children as it could also hold juice boxes and individual packs of snacks.

When I stay offsite (inlaws own Vacay home), I leave that morning with a large bottle of water and a fruit/ power bar if we wanted to get to the parks early. Usually we will eat a quick breakfast in. During the day, I get tap water from CS restaurants.

-If you're driving to WDW, make a stop at one of the local grocery stores. We use the Publix store near 192, i think on South I-Drive and Osceola Pkwy. It's actually quite close to Pop. Load your room with items that you may be tempted to purchase from vending machines. If you're an adult beverage drinker, they sell beer and wine too.
- If you're flying use a grocery delivery service. There are several suggestions on the boards.


There are CS restaurants that are better values and offer more food than others. We like: Pecos Bills, Cosmic Rays in MK, Electric Umbrella in Epcot. Wolfgand Puck Express in Downtown Dis. For snacks, the Bakery in Paris actually offers a sandwich.

-If you do the DP it's possible to share meals

About spending money; yes, you will need to budget that as well; depending on your family's needs, resources, and expectations. As op's have said: tips, cab fare (sometimes taking a cab is so much easier!). If you're flying you may want to purchase airport food before boarding. Also, are you renting a car? Plan on filling up before returning the car (avoid gas stations near airport) and paying tolls on 417 and the Beeline Expressway. If we're particularly tired, we'll use a Bellman and tip $2/bag. We also tip mousekeeping, a few bucks a day.

-If you're driving, of course, gas, food, lodging.

Happy Planning!:)

blueiis99
06-23-2011, 04:59 PM
when we go we stay on property, we fly in, and I still pack the small cereal boxes and buy milk (you can usually buy milk in any of the hotels...although i am not familiar with the value resports..so someone correct me please if that is not the case with PoP, Music etc)
I also pack cool aid. Although now it comes in much smaller containers. (my kids drink water but are picky about which one, (i believe Disney only has disanti, which we don't care for at all) so this is how i keep them hydrated. I bring water bottles, and fill it with water and Ice in the morning when we go for coffee, while the kids are eating the cereal in the room. That lasts us all morning.
I also bring some nuts or small foods i keep in my bag, for munching inbetween meals.

I can go all day with out anything but my 2 cups of joe...but the kids and the DH, can't so this helps cut costs and keep them from whining too much:sad2:

We really only pay for dinners...occationally we will splurge and buy icecream or churros or something...but its really not out of hunger, as mush as "hey, i can't get that at home, so can i have it here....dolewhip anyone?? ;)

oopsiDAISY
06-23-2011, 05:26 PM
Here is a tip I have not seen mentioned yet...

About souveniers: we have three children, and we decided on a souvenier budget before going. So I went on disney.com and ordered three gift cards for the children. This gives each child the independance of not having to ask
"can I have this or can we get that?" They know ahead of time how much money they have to spend on souveniers for the week, and they choose more carefully. This keeps you on budget too, curtails the impulse purchases.

Kitikat
06-23-2011, 05:37 PM
We do the same as most ppl....we eat breakfast in the room or pop tarts on the way to park....we each get free water at CS...we carry snacks because 4 kids are always hungry...We have TS or CS for late breakfast....late lunch or early/late dinner to be the rushes....We get glow sticks/light up sticks at home...making t-shirts is something the whole family gets involved in....everyone gets to pick a character they want/or design on theirs....our first trip I made tie dye mickey shirts...
Since we drive I've been cpning our snacks and soda for our Aug trip...We also are doing the free regular plan...We share meals and save a few for our last day....What ever snack credits we have left we go to Goofy's candy shop and get snack for the trip home...then we always have 1 cs each for a to go meal from Wolfgang Puck Express....
I know I'm forgetting somethings ...

blueiis99
06-23-2011, 05:40 PM
Here is a tip I have not seen mentioned yet...

About souveniers: we have three children, and we decided on a souvenier budget before going. So I went on disney.com and ordered three gift cards for the children. This gives each child the independance of not having to ask
"can I have this or can we get that?" They know ahead of time how much money they have to spend on souveniers for the week, and they choose more carefully. This keeps you on budget too, curtails the impulse purchases.

This is a great idea....You are much better than I. I have allowed the kids to peruse each store, and then we have 1 shopping day, for them to get what they want. This way they can think about what they truly want to have, and just no impulse buy. I haven't really ever set a limit. But your way coupled with my 1 day of shopping after perusing.... just might be a better bet for us! thank you for the wonderful idea! :idea:

jjsmom
06-23-2011, 05:59 PM
This is a great idea....You are much better than I. I have allowed the kids to peruse each store, and then we have 1 shopping day, for them to get what they want. This way they can think about what they truly want to have, and just no impulse buy. I haven't really ever set a limit. But your way coupled with my 1 day of shopping after perusing.... just might be a better bet for us! thank you for the wonderful idea! :idea:

Yes!! We did the same thing when DD was younger. It also afforded us a "down day" which was very nice for all of us. I love the gift card idea, btw.;). A lot depends on how the kids perceive money. If they were raised in a budget environment, then they will gravitate towards those values. Depending on the time frame, you can answer the questions about birthday/holiday gifts "what to get", and say that you have a trip planned to WDW and gift cards are very much appreciated.

Oh and back to original question; I forgot to add laundry money if you're going to wash clothes during the trip.

squirrel
06-23-2011, 11:55 PM
Pack your own laundry supplies! The cost of the little box of detergents is $2.

njmom47
06-24-2011, 08:49 AM
We ordered groceries, ate breakfast in the room and brought snacks and drinks and sandwiches to the parks..not everyone in my family is a big eater (and dh is on his own eating schedule) so we did buy a couple of cs meals in the parks. I thought that was great and will do it again (if we ever get back to WDW).

Teresa Pitman
06-24-2011, 09:37 AM
Not a food/drink tip - but buy things you might need BEFORE you go to the park. Those water-filled fan/misters are great, but cost much more in the park than if you get one at Target before you go. Same with ponchos - buy a few cheap ones rather than paying Disney's price. Bring sunscreen, bandaids, cold meds, etc., with you. Orlando Target stores will have Disney T-shirts and hats at a much better price. If you want to do pin trading, order pins from eBay or go to one of the Character Outlets before you go to the park.

Teresa

21hearts
06-24-2011, 09:50 AM
We got the DDP on our last trip (& plan on it for our upcoming trip) and we brought a small cooler with water bottles and single serve bags of gold fish, fruit snacks and teddy grahams for the kids. Our 2 year old DD is all-day-long-snacker (which is okay with us since she needs to gain weight). So we found its easier to carry snacks around with us for her then to have to stop and find a snack cart/place then wait in line and 90% of the time its too big for her to finish so mom and/or dad ended up eating a snack.

For gifts I would snap a picture on my cell phone and tag it with the price. Then at the end of the day the kids could pick two things that they want to keep. Then at the end of the trip they each got two things.

blueiis99
06-24-2011, 10:26 AM
We did the cheap ponchos (got them for a $1.00 each) I bought 2 for each person. However, we ended up buying the Disney ones, and here's why...

I HATE being wet at all. (It makes me very very cranky...to say the least) The cheap ponchos clung to us, and did not really keep us dry. I realized that the disney ones were much thicker, and bought each of us one. We'll P.S. 5 years later, we still have them, and we still use them. Last year I packed them when we did a quick Universal trip...and we were so greatful to have had those....(NO cranky mom!! :woohoo:)

I am a BIG fan of saving money...just sometimes you have to weigh the value. I'm certainly glad I spent the money then, its well worth it to still have the use of them now. :hippie:

DisneyScraps
06-24-2011, 10:49 AM
We just went on a budget trip.

We drove and I have a hybrid so it was really cheap. I packed a cooler with sandwiches and drinks for the drive down, We spent nothing except gas on the drive down.

We are military so we were able to get cheap tickets.

We did not park hop. We didn't buy souvenirs. We went Mon-Fri when the hotel was cheaper. We stayed at the Pop

I brought a ton of food. We carried in water and snacks and didn't buy anything in the parks. We ate breakfast in the room each morning. We brought our own liquor for pool side.

For the ride home we stopped at a grocery store and replenished the cooler. We did eat at Cracker Barrel on the ride home.

We had a blast and spent less than we usually do. We are going back in November for another trip so I wanted this one to be bare bones.

When it was over I asked my 10 year old that has been there 19 times if she thought she missed anything, she said no. She didn't even notice the things we cut out.

It was a lesson learned I am going to do it cheaper from now on.

luharvey77
06-28-2011, 03:56 PM
We did the gift cards for our last trip, which worked great. There is now an iPhone app to keep track of gift card balances, which will make it even easier.

kcrew
06-28-2011, 06:36 PM
On our 2 trips with DDP we spent almost NO additional money(at the time tips were included)
Things we did:
--got all of our Disney themed items at home. We made tshirts, bought them at the Salvation Army and garage sales and got a few on clearance at the Disney Store--we had Disney tshirts for every day of the trip and it put us in the mood.
--bought cheap glo sticks an battery operated light up toys at home.
--brought a suitcase of breakfast items with us to supplement our credits and since we were staying value we also brought a coffee pot, coffee, sugar, creamer AND the disposable coffee cups that come with lids.
--bought our autograph books and trading pins/lanyards on the cheap at home
--remembered the all important ponchos
--share some counter service meals
--got free ice water at the park as needed--did not want to haul around bottles