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Old 12-28-2012, 03:40 PM   #16
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Our biggest expense both of the last two trips were the tips for the TS meals. Without those we spent almost nothing. 3 adults, 2 kids, Dining plan we spent under $400 for 7 days and that included all the tips for the TS meals. We bought almost nothing that was not a snack credit or wasn't something we had said was a must have (I get a Disney photo album for each year we go so that is a must)
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:46 PM   #17
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DS20 and I went this past October for a long weekend. We didn't have a meal plan. We stayed at Pop. We brought cereal in plastic boxes (so it wouldn't be crushed) and bought juice and milk at the food court for breakfast. We had one table service meal. We each bought one snack during the day, except for the day we each bought a $25 Food and Wine gift card,and split all the items --that let us get a lot. He bought a tshirt, I bought two pins.

When the kids were little, we let them pick one or two souveniers. They don't need the glow sticks. They don't need every tshirt they come across. If you bring granola bars, trail mix, juice boxes, they don't need expensive snacks. I love to shop -- love walking through the shops, and will never deny myself that pleasure, but I've gotten so cheap over the last couple of years that little tempts me.

YES! You certainly can do Disney without going broke. You can do it well, you can have a ton of fun, and you can go home happy that you didn't max out your credit cards, spend every dollar in your pocket, or give in to the whines and cries of your kids. You're not naive -- you're not rich, and you accept that!

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Old 12-28-2012, 04:11 PM   #18
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You can be frugal. It all depends upon what you see and what you want to bring home. I say try to set a budget as to what you are willing or can spend and stick with it as best you can. Don't worry about it too much, just enjoy your vacation
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:32 PM   #19
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We spent about $250.00 for our 10 day trip, it would have been alot less, but we became addicted to pin trading and spent about $150.00 on pin and lanyards. We spend about $10.00 a day on extra food! So it can be done!!
Just returned from a wonderful 10 day Disney Dream Vacation
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:47 PM   #20
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Our last trip in Oct '10 (6 days) our family of 4 on QSDP with each kid having a $20 giftcard, we only spent $100 out of pocket. That's back when you got 2 snacks with QSDP so we used alot of those credits to cover our breakfast. We weren't on a strict budget, we found the dining plan was plenty of food and my kids got the few things they wanted so that's just how it worked out. It was one of the best trips we've ever had!
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:52 PM   #21
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As long as you've got the whole family on board with the plan, and barring emergencies, you should be good to go!
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:16 PM   #22
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Just for planning purposes, I'd allocate about $100 per day for incidentals.

Doesn't mean you has to spend it, but that'll give you a hard ceiling. Enjoy!!!
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:21 PM   #23
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My husband and I don't do too much more than the resort since we have annual passes. Our food is usually limited to counter service because we don't want to make plans to be somewhere at a certain time so the dining plan has never been in the mix for us.

When we went with our son and his family, he had already bought his admission (one day short on my recommendation just in case he didn't make it to the parks on his arrival or departure date - he later upgraded by one day), he had his plane tickets (excellent deal on round trip, non-stop from Detroit for $178), and the resort reservation was paid for (thanks mother-in-law!). So all he needed was food money (which is not a problem for the OP), and souvenir money. We took care of the souvenir money with $100 gift cards for the two kids. That was it. If they spent over $500 on the actual trip, I would be extremely surprised.

And we went the same week the OP is going, just last year.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:22 PM   #24
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It's not naive, its about knowing boundries and sticking to them. You can spend as little or as much as you want. Our kids rarely have more than $100 to spend even on a 10 day trip. When thier money is out, its out. No more no matter how much they have to have it. That works well with DH and I was well. We have went before on a 5 day trip and spent $8 only outside of what we prepaid for (DDP, Tickets, room). It's very possible.
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:39 PM   #25
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You are in total control of what you spend. If you know on vacation you want some fine dining and good wine and some clothes shopping then whatever you budget yourself to spend is what you will spend.

But if you don't want to spend any more money, DON'T!

On our family trips we give each of the kids $75 and we, the parents, don't usually spend anything.

Last family trip I ended up getting 2 different hoodies bought for me by DH but that is not the norm. We usually don't buy stuff.

If you are on the dining plan and eat 3 meals a day instead of the 2 they give you on the dining plan then you can plan on paying OOP for one meal a day. But if you do a CS breakfast as your OOP meal it should be pretty cheap. $7-$8 per person.

You seem to have all the main big expenses already paid for so any spending you do from here on out will be totally optional spending.
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:46 PM   #26
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I don't think that is naive thinking at all. Seems like most expenses are already taken care of! We don't spend a ton on souveniers either. I think they are over priced and we just don't need any more toys or stuffed animals. Once in awhile I will pick up some scrapbooking stuff or a mug or two, but that's it. The kids are usually okay with this as well. We just explain that the trip is a lot of $ and if we don't spend a ton of $ on souvies, then that is $ we can put towards the next trip!

~~Sarah~Proud ARMY wife and mother of 5 (soon to be 6!) Disney lovers!!!!~~
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2005-Stayed at WestGate Vacation Villas and Westgate Town Center/ 2007 May 5-19- Stayed at Horizons by Marriott/ 2009-April 18-May 2-Sheraton Vistana Villages/ 2010-February-Stayed at Blue Heron Beach Resort/ 2011-January 23-28-Stayed at Red Roof Inn Kissimmee(a VERY Budget friendly trip)/ 2013-April 16-27-Legacy Vacation Resort
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:27 PM   #27
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Thank you for the input! I appreciate it! these boards have been so helpful.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:58 PM   #28
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I agree, not naive at all! We aren't overly frugal on vacation, BUT we don't go overboard either. For a weeks trip we usaully only spend a couple hundred dollars out of pocket (we have always had the dining plan) and we come home with plenty of souvineers (TOO many)!
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:13 PM   #29
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Honestly, if your goal is to not spend much, it's easier to stick to that plan than you may think. There are times I've gone with a fair amount of money to spend and end up barely spending any of it, as well as sticking to the budget on days we go with very limited spending $$. I find that we are so wrapped up in rides, we end up not shopping much at all. Plus, giving the kid(s) x amount of money and sticking to that really does help a lot. I've also noticed, I tend to want to spend more $$ money at Epcot! So I have to make more of an effort to control myself there. Lol It can definitely be done though. Good luck and have fun!
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:31 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by scoutie View Post
That it's possible not to spend a ton of money on our six day trip to Disney? We've already bought plane tickets, park tickets, hotel at Port Orleans, and the dining plan. Character meals, autograph books, glow sticks for the parades have already been purchased. Each of my three kids will have a $50 Disney gift card to use in the parks. I know a few things will probably come up (Dole Whips!) but is it possible to not spend much more than has already been spent? Give it to me straight. If I'm being naive, let me know. I'd really rather not dip into my savings, though.
With a dining plan and souvenir money for the kids done, I think you could get out of there pretty cheaply. Use your snack credits for the Dole Whips. It just depends on how much stuff you see that you just can't live without...
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