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Old 12-30-2012, 04:02 PM   #61
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I just want to reassure everyone that I am an excellent tipper (always quite a bit over 20%), and have already included tips in my vacation budget. In my OP, I was wondering about "surprises" that might come up, that I hadn't anticipated.

After reading about the giant sundaes (and being reminded about alcohol), it looks like I want to add a bit more fun money than I had anticipated.


Everyone has been very helpful! I really appreciate everything!!!
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:36 PM   #62
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OP, we have been in this situation and found that our biggest extra expenses were alcoholic drinks or other fun (glow cube, etc) drinks not included on the DDP, appetizers not included on the DDP, and tips. When you eat out at that many expensive restaurants, the tips add a decent chunk to your costs. You also will need to spend a lot on bottled water unless you are able to take water into the parks or willing to just refill a bottle in the drinking fountain or ask for water in cups at a drink stand. If you have to buy enough water in the parks for a family to have appropriate hydration that is going to add up quickly. We always buy a case of water on the way to the resort and take those in our park bag.

I would let the kids know that in addition to spending their gifts cards, you could buy them one chosen souvenir item at the end of the trip. Then there would not be an expectation at each gift shop. I definitely think you can limit your spending that way. Its hard to keep in mind at the time, but most of that stuff in the gift shops seems so much more exciting at the time than it does once you get home and it just gets added to the toy piles in kids' rooms.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:27 PM   #63
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Be prepared!

Quote:
Originally Posted by scoutie View Post
Thanks for weighing in so quickly! I'm very excited! We leave Tuesday. My five year old keeps saying it is her dream come true.
I would say make sure you pack plenty of hoodies, maybe even a hat and gloves for little ones....I remember going once in late november and the cold surprised us....50's isn't that bad at home where we aren't outside all day, but being at the parks (esp. at night) in those temps made for some unplanned trips to the gift shop for sweatshirts, hats, etc.

Have a great trip!!!
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:38 PM   #64
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I think it is quite doable to not spend a bunch extra. This is how we were last year and I had purchased gift cards for my kiddos before we went and we were surprised at how little we actually spent while there . The dining plan was SO much food we weren't ever hungry.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:46 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Hopefully View Post
The only other thing I can think of is you may want to budget for some taxi's.
With all due respect, if one were trying to vacation in WDW frugally, taxi's are more of a luxury item than anything else. Disney transportation is, for the most part, efficient and will get you to your dstination, albeit you will have to budget time to get there.....
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:42 AM   #66
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For your 5 year old you may want to consider bringing something special to do up her hair for your character dining experiences, there are a number of little girls who have done the boutique wandering around the parks. On my next trip I am planning on bringing a can of glitter hair spray for my daughter along with a fancy ponytail holder, sparkly bobby pins and surprising her with a special hairdo done by me. I also make sure to put in her favorite character shirts in her luggage.
Last visit she was very interested in the face painting and fake tatoos, I am going to look around for a kit I can take with me to do that also.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:47 PM   #67
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Quote:
On my next trip I am planning on bringing a can of glitter hair spray for my daughter along with a fancy ponytail holder
Love it! Cute idea!

Quote:
I would say make sure you pack plenty of hoodies, maybe even a hat and gloves for little ones
They are packed!

Thanks again! We leave TOMORROW! Now if I can just stop worrying about massive crowds and possible park closures.....
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:03 PM   #68
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we only spend a few hundred extra. Some extra meals and some souvenirs. Do not forget about tips for restaurants and baggage.
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:04 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisHmsklMom View Post
For your 5 year old you may want to consider bringing something special to do up her hair for your character dining experiences, there are a number of little girls who have done the boutique wandering around the parks. On my next trip I am planning on bringing a can of glitter hair spray for my daughter along with a fancy ponytail holder, sparkly bobby pins and surprising her with a special hairdo done by me. I also make sure to put in her favorite character shirts in her luggage.
Last visit she was very interested in the face painting and fake tatoos, I am going to look around for a kit I can take with me to do that also.
Possibly too late for OP, but I saw some adorable Disney "princess" tiaras in the stores after Christmas. . .could complete her 'do!
For DS6, I bring the temporary tattoos (Phineas and Ferb, Cars, etc) for him to wear at the parks.
I second the idea to bring all character T-shirts--he often gets a "Hey, Lightning!" from a CM if he is wearing the Lightning McQueen "face" T-shirt.

Alcoholic beverages (Grey Goose Citron in France) can easily cost $10-$12+ each, so those are a treat!
As one PP said, I find it harder to keep my money in my pocket at Epcot (especially during Food & Wine Festival!).
Tips--as a former waitress & bartender, I tip all service industry people (mousekeeping, bellhop, room service, etc.)

Have a magical trip! 5 is a GREAT age to bring to WDW!
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:26 PM   #70
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They never said they had a dining plan that including TS. If you get the QS one you don't have to tip anyone.



We rarely choose to buy souvenirs but if we do we set a limit or pick one or two items we really want. (usually photos are our souvenirs.) If there's something you really want but don't want to buy, take a picture. When you get home you can describe it to someone at Disney and purchase it then.
I will be going to the world in september and i got free dinning and i've ordered some breakfast things from garden grocer i also got two cases of bottled water. I plan on drinning four bottles a day. As far as souvenirs i wright out a list of what i may like and put that much on a disney gift card. I now i have six that will be reloaded.As far as snacks i don't eat that many. I plan on at least two to three hundred in cash for tips and a starbucks at that airport. I belive having a set amount to spend is a good ideal,it teaches the child in all of us that disney time is speical and also meroies(Sorry for the bad speling) are more inportant that shopping.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:19 PM   #71
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I'm back, and I'm happy to say that I did stick to my budget. The kids actually had a bit of money left over on their cards (they wanted Mickey ears and a toy after the Star Tours experience), but that was all. The dining plan kept them (and myself....I even got a Dole Whip on it!) well fed, with a snack a day on the plan (desserts at lunch and dinner, so they didn't want any sweets).I did end up tipping Mousekeeping $20 over my "$5 a day" original plan, because I felt they really went above and beyond. All of you were right--the tips at dinner (and my nightly wine/margarita) were the most expensive part, but I had budgeted appropriately ahead of time.

So yes! It was possible not to spend a ton of money in the parks. My dd cried when we left, so I think she had a pretty amazing experience without having to spend the extra money! The princess lunch (pre-paid via dining plan) was her favorite part and my eldest son's favorite part was fighting the Dark Side at Hollywood Studios. My toddler's favorite part was taking the bus everywhere, lol! They all loved swimming and riding the rides, seeing the parades, fireworks and shows. We had a truly magical time!
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:28 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoutie View Post
I'm back, and I'm happy to say that I did stick to my budget. The kids actually had a bit of money left over on their cards (they wanted Mickey ears and a toy after the Star Tours experience), but that was all. The dining plan kept them (and myself....I even got a Dole Whip on it!) well fed, with a snack a day on the plan (desserts at lunch and dinner, so they didn't want any sweets).I did end up tipping Mousekeeping $20 over my "$5 a day" original plan, because I felt they really went above and beyond. All of you were right--the tips at dinner (and my nightly wine/margarita) were the most expensive part, but I had budgeted appropriately ahead of time.

So yes! It was possible not to spend a ton of money in the parks. My dd cried when we left, so I think she had a pretty amazing experience without having to spend the extra money! The princess lunch (pre-paid via dining plan) was her favorite part and my eldest son's favorite part was fighting the Dark Side at Hollywood Studios. My toddler's favorite part was taking the bus everywhere, lol! They all loved swimming and riding the rides, seeing the parades, fireworks and shows. We had a truly magical time!
Glad everything went so well and you were able to stick to your budget!

Funny about your toddler. When DS13 was 2, his two favorite things from the trip were the Safari and the buses.
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:02 PM   #73
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It was nice to read you mini trip report. Glad it all worked out for your budget.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:24 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoutie
I'm back, and I'm happy to say that I did stick to my budget. The kids actually had a bit of money left over on their cards (they wanted Mickey ears and a toy after the Star Tours experience), but that was all. The dining plan kept them (and myself....I even got a Dole Whip on it!) well fed, with a snack a day on the plan (desserts at lunch and dinner, so they didn't want any sweets).I did end up tipping Mousekeeping $20 over my "$5 a day" original plan, because I felt they really went above and beyond. All of you were right--the tips at dinner (and my nightly wine/margarita) were the most expensive part, but I had budgeted appropriately ahead of time.

So yes! It was possible not to spend a ton of money in the parks. My dd cried when we left, so I think she had a pretty amazing experience without having to spend the extra money! The princess lunch (pre-paid via dining plan) was her favorite part and my eldest son's favorite part was fighting the Dark Side at Hollywood Studios. My toddler's favorite part was taking the bus everywhere, lol! They all loved swimming and riding the rides, seeing the parades, fireworks and shows. We had a truly magical time!
I'm glad you had a great time!
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:15 PM   #75
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Smile ~Yay!!! I told you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by scoutie View Post
I'm back, and I'm happy to say that I did stick to my budget. The kids actually had a bit of money left over on their cards (they wanted Mickey ears and a toy after the Star Tours experience), but that was all. The dining plan kept them (and myself....I even got a Dole Whip on it!) well fed, with a snack a day on the plan (desserts at lunch and dinner, so they didn't want any sweets).I did end up tipping Mousekeeping $20 over my "$5 a day" original plan, because I felt they really went above and beyond. All of you were right--the tips at dinner (and my nightly wine/margarita) were the most expensive part, but I had budgeted appropriately ahead of time.

So yes! It was possible not to spend a ton of money in the parks. My dd cried when we left, so I think she had a pretty amazing experience without having to spend the extra money! The princess lunch (pre-paid via dining plan) was her favorite part and my eldest son's favorite part was fighting the Dark Side at Hollywood Studios. My toddler's favorite part was taking the bus everywhere, lol! They all loved swimming and riding the rides, seeing the parades, fireworks and shows. We had a truly magical time!
~Yay! Thanks so much for the update. I'm so glad you had a fabulous time! Now, you know that you're a savvy planner, some people just have it naturally!!!
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