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Old 02-18-2013, 06:00 PM   #31
jkc0325
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Another thing that saved me tons of money and tons of tears was to take pictures of my 3yo and 5 yo with all the things they wanted to buy. When they'd ask for a stuffed animal or a silly hat, I'd tell them we didn't have room in the luggage but I'd take a picture of them holding it so they could remember it always. It worked like a charm!!!
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:29 AM   #32
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Glow sticks! These are very big in the parks at the after-dark shows (MSEP, parade, Fantasmic, etc) and cost an arm and a leg at WDW. I go to Dollar Tree and get a tube of 10 glow bracelets, with connectors, for $1. (Actually, I get several tubes ) We connect these to make necklaces or just wear them as bracelets in the evening. Serves several purposes, foremost being FUN, but also: Stops kids from asking to buy Disney glow stuff, makes kids easier to locate/keep track of in the dark, and if you share them with the folks sitting around you, it's a good way for your kids to make friends while waiting an hour for a parade/show to start. I use them as bathroom night-lights also, hanging a bracelet around the outer (to help you find the bathroom) and inner (so you don't have to turn on the lights) doorknobs.

Pin trading? We don't do it. We decided this is "stand around" time that we'd rather spend DOING something, even if it's standing in a queue for a ride. Also, what do you do with all those pins once you are home? Hang them on the wall? If they are on a backpack, they fall off. DD has a pin hat which is a nice souvenir, but too heavy to wear comfortable, and the pin backings tangle in her hair.

Character meals. Not sure these are such a good deal anymore as the prices are pretty high, but remember that you are paying for the experience as well as the meal. When our kids were "into" the characters, we decided this is a "cheap" way for your kids to meet 4 or more characters at one time, get an autograph, and get a picture. We have found that waiting in line for just one character interaction eats up about 30 minutes, give or take. If you are sitting down for a meal anyhow, you might as well take advantage of simultaneously seeing the characters and avoid their lines out in the park... because at Disney, TIME = MONEY!

Car rental- use the mousesavers tips to stack codes and coupons.
Park passes- cheaper from Undercover tourist or officialticketcenter.com than buying from Disney. UT and OTC often do free shipping and the prices you see online include tax. Disney online prices do NOT include tax!

General Tips:
>Eat breakfast in your condo, or in the car while driving to the parks. We get yogurt, juice boxes, muffins, etc. from PUBLIX (NOT Goodings!) and keep them in the room.
>Take your own snacks into the parks but remember that chocolate melts, stuff gets sticky in the heat, and bananas bruise. We take in granola bars without chocolate, gummy snacks, fruit cups.
>Take your own water into the parks. If you have a freezer, half-fill water bottles the night before and freeze. Top them up with fresh water before leaving in the morning. Put the bottles in gallon sized zip-top baggies so they don't leak in your pack. The ice will melt during the day, keeping your drink cold and creating more liquid to drink. (doesn't work so well with flavored waters like fruit2O as the flavor tends to stay in the unfrozen part)
> It's been said before, but if you buy counter service meals, SPLIT them, especially at lunch. There really is enough food, and this leaves extra cash for Mickey bars and Dole whips!
>DON"T overbuy food for your condo/hotel. We fall into this trap all the time, thinking we'll want a snack or adult beverage in the evening. Honestly, after a day in a theme park, we just want to go to bed!
>While you are at the Dollar Store, pick up a microfiber towel or ShamWOW (they are over in the cleaning section or bathroom section). You will use this to dry seats at water rides (splash mtn, kali river rapids) or wet benches (rain?). It takes up minimal space and is really handy.
>Ponchos. Buy 'em, take 'em. Dollar Store ponchos are cheap and flimsy, but if you are going during a "dry" time of year, they work well. Keep them in a ziplock bag so if you have to wear one to keep dry, you can stuff them back in the bag to keep the inside of your backpack dry. I dry them with a towel back in the room and hang them to dry overnight. Flimsy ponchos don't always hold up; some people buy several per person and just throw them out. We have Disney ponchos (I've had mine for over 10 years) so we don't throw them out, obviously!
>Mister fans are annoying. They are heavy to carry around, and oftentimes leak. They also tend to spray on those who are standing in lines near you. We have had great success with the hand-held fans, also from Dollar Tree. If it's really hot (July/August) and you have a freezer, make frozen wash cloths. Wet a washcloth at night and fold it to fit into a ziplock sandwich bag. Freeze overnight, then stick in sandwich bags in the morning. (I put the baggies into an insulated fabric lunch pack that I got from Dollar Tree, too) These stay uber cold until midafternoon and are GREAT for cooling off with! You can even wet them while in the parks and reuse, but the frozen ones are just SO COOL and REFRESHING!
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:32 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkc0325 View Post
Another thing that saved me tons of money and tons of tears was to take pictures of my 3yo and 5 yo with all the things they wanted to buy. When they'd ask for a stuffed animal or a silly hat, I'd tell them we didn't have room in the luggage but I'd take a picture of them holding it so they could remember it always. It worked like a charm!!!
I am going to use this tip myself when we go in May! I always see lots of cool/funny hats/tshirts or trinkets, or cute stuffed toys, that I just have no use for, or its too expensive, but the picture itself would be a memory.
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:00 PM   #34
Shelly F - Ohio
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Undercover Tourist has the best ticket prices.

You can ask for free cups of water inside the parks.

Take your own snacks into the park.

Eat breakfast which is usually cheap and filling, at about 10:45 a.m and it will keep you full through late lunch hours then eat lunch late and pay the lunch prices then have a lite cheaper dinner.

Earl of sandwich is pretty affordable. We order one sandwich to split and two bowls of soup. Soup is $2.00.

Wetzel pretzel dogs are filling and cheap. $2.50 for a pretzel dog.

BCV has a great breakfast sandwich on sourdough bread (egg, cheese, bacon), that we had last week. It is big enough that it takes two hands to eat and comes with a side of hashbrown casserole for $6.95. I did not eat lunch that day it kept me full for awhile.

Renting a car and eating off property can a lot of $$.

If you are looking for a quick cheap lunch try the Hess station by the MK enterence. They have a nice cafe area with plenty of seating and the menu options are 2 hotdogs for $2.00/ grilled chicken sandwhiches/ subs sandwich/ mexican items/ pizza by the slice and whole one for $8.00 - the pizza is good. Our lunch last week was 4 hotdogs, a bag of combo's 2 bottles of pop for $7.35
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:54 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkc0325 View Post
Another thing that saved me tons of money and tons of tears was to take pictures of my 3yo and 5 yo with all the things they wanted to buy. When they'd ask for a stuffed animal or a silly hat, I'd tell them we didn't have room in the luggage but I'd take a picture of them holding it so they could remember it always. It worked like a charm!!!
Great tip!!
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:07 AM   #36
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I'm subscribing! Great thread!
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:07 AM   #37
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everyone has had some amazing tips, thank you all very much
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:08 PM   #38
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Not sure if this tip follows in this category, but its a good one. Bring your own water bottles and ponchos.
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:21 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by PrincessMom4
Not sure if this tip follows in this category, but its a good one. Bring your own water bottles and ponchos.
I bring Brita water bottles. You can fill them from the water fountain and the filter takes out the sulfur taste. Bring them empty and they don't make your backpack heavy!
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:34 PM   #40
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Quote:
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UndercoverTourist does have the best prices, but wanted to alert you that they are noting that Disney ticket prices are due to increase in the near future. You do get the MouseSavers Newsletter? If not, sign up for it and you get a little more discount when purchasing Disney tickets thru a special link to UndercoverTourist.

Enjoy your trip!
If you ever think you are going to WDW again -
I suggest buying the 10 day NON-expiring admission tickets.
We did use Undercover Tourist had them in a few days.
You can purchase them as hoppers or one park-one day.
Even though they are a lot of money up front - they will be good forever.
Esp. if you do not go often enough to get an annual pass.
We have purchased the 10 day non-expiring passes a few times.
When you see the increased cost in the tickets each year
you will be glad you did.
Have a great vaca !
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:05 AM   #41
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I agree with the shamwows!!! How many times have we gone on a wet ride.
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:41 AM   #42
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After creating your initial list of income and expenses, monitor your spending for at least a few more weeks to catch the things you forgot. Little things really do add up and if they are not taken into account, your budget may not hold up under the pressure.
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