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Old 01-06-2012, 07:37 AM   #1
Warren W
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If I want to take my family of four to Disney World, how much money will I need

My family is two adults, a twelve year old and a baby. I would love to go to Disney for Spring Break this year because we have never been. Just need to know how much money I need to make this happen for us, excluding cost of travel and cost of food outside the park. So for rides, admission, maybe snacks, and souvenirs, how much should I plan to spend?
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:19 AM   #2
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Let say you stay at a value hotel at Disney for 6 nights/ 7 days. I'm guessing the baby is under 3 yo. Not accounting for food, you will pay around $1800 for hotel for 6 nights and base tickets for 7 days from March 11-17. Snacks are any where between $2-4 each and souvenirs, it all depends on how much you would like to spend. We have been there as a party of 4 and 5 and come back with less then $300 in souvenirs. Others can't get under $600. It all depends on your life style and how willing oyu are to say no to your kid.
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:16 AM   #3
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It seems from your post that you're planning to stay and eat offsite.

Personally, I would stay onsite in a Disney value resort. We really like to be able to do extra magic hours (EMHs) and it's very convenient to use the Disney transportation to get to/from the parks. Also, since you have an older child and a baby this would give you more flexibility. We also have one older child and usually plan one night each trip where I take her for a late night in the parks while DH does something else with the little ones and gets to bed early.

If you are driving you can get groceries for breakfast and snacks and drinks. We did our first few trips (family of 5) very inexpensively this way. You are allowed to bring snacks into the parks so we would just buy a few counter service meals here and there and got free ice water instead of paying for sodas. We went back to the resort for a nap/swim/lunch each afternoon.

We really don't buy souvenirs. I would say we spend less than $100 each trip. We do like to get a few nice pins of some of our favorite things from that trip for our collection. My kids have also had fun stuffing a box of Mr. Potato Head pieces for $20 at Downtown Disney several times. The first few trips I had my kids earn Disney dollars prior to the trip so they each had a set amount of money to spend ($20-40) They always came home with some of the money.
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:51 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Warren W View Post
My family is two adults, a twelve year old and a baby. I would love to go to Disney for Spring Break this year because we have never been. Just need to know how much money I need to make this happen for us, excluding cost of travel and cost of food outside the park. So for rides, admission, maybe snacks, and souvenirs, how much should I plan to spend?
Good heavens, Warren! I saw from your other posts you've been thinking about this for a while.
So my task for you, if you chose to accept it, is this. Get on Disney's web site and price out a hotel and ticket combo that you like. If you really want your dining costs to be predictable, add in the dining plan also (and make reservations if you get one of the plans that includes sit down "table service" restaurants.) If you have any trouble with any of those steps, ask for help on these boards. I'm sure anyone would be happy to answer any specific questions, as many of the people here eat, drink, and breathe Disney.
Anyhow, you can price out the trip without being locked into anything until you choose to purchase it, and that will give you a better idea of your costs.
What I like about WDW is that the individual rides and attractions (except perhaps for a few in the Animal Kingdom park and I think the shooting gallery in MK? -- I'm not sure, because I have NEVER paid separately for any ride or attraction at Disney) won't cost you anything once you have your admission. They are included in the admission ticket.
Fastpass doesn't cost you anything. The ability to use it is included in your admission (just read more about it on these boards before you go, or find the machines once you are there and ask someone).
What will cost you money beyond lodging, tickets, food, and admission? I can't think of anything other than your souvenirs (we don't usually buy much, so for us $50 per person is more than enough for a week, but some people spend hundreds, or thousands!) and tips (at the table service restaurants, and for housekeeping, bell services, etc. at your resort). Oh yes, parking fees are high if you don't stay at a Disney resort and drive in ($14/day?)
If, after you price out a trip on Disney's site (and, btw, it's always best to look under the "specials" tab first, though that might not help if you stick to your Spring Break timeframe), the price seems out of this world to you, you can always find off-site accommodations and just go to Disney World for one day on the cheap (sort of). When I was growing up in Florida, we never thought to take a multi-day trip to WDW (of course, at first there was only MK). However, the tickets are much cheaper per day if you purchase a multi-day ticket, and WDW has grown so much that you would only see a small part of it in one day. So you will get a lot more for your money if you plan days or the full week to be at Disney World.
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Last edited by wishing4PA; 01-06-2012 at 10:52 AM. Reason: add parking
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:40 AM   #5
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Can you drive there? Or do you need to fly? Since I have no idea how far you need to travel - I'm going to leave travel costs to/from orlando out of the equation.

So NOT INCLUINDG TRAVEL COSTS: My family has 2 adults and 2 kids (9 or under). We have been to WDW and spent as low as $1800 and as high as $2600 for a week onsite.

$1800 was with free dining, in a value, during off season. Also spent about this much when we stayed offsite, rented car.
$2600 was with free dining, for 9 nights, during off season.

So, factoring in going in PEAK're likely looking at somewhere between $2500 and $3500 (or even more if you like to go deluxe and eat at fine restaurants a lot). Maybe even $2000 if you can drive there, don't need to rent a car, get a decent off-site hotel for around $75 a night, and eat mostly cheap foods (bagels and yogurts in the room for breakfast, bring some lunches and snacks in a cooler for lunch, etc.). These will be costs for room, tickets and food.

Obviously some people go cheap cheap on food alone and will only spend $400 on a week of food for 4 people and others will eat at lots of nice places and might spend $1400 on food for a week for 4...So a LOT of it comes down to - how much do you WANT to spend for a trip?
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:35 PM   #6
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Going to depend on how you like to vacation.

Our family
only use the room for sleeping therefore value resort is fine with us.
can't justify the cost of the dining plan because we are more snackers than eaters on vacation and do not want to have to be at a certain place at a certain time.
must have a rental car or our car.
can't justify spending the money for a character meal that my kids won't eat only to see a character for XX minutes, will do meet and greets in the park.
Will always have park hoppers

As a PP suggested you can price out a vacation on the disney site or if you give more details on dates and what you want I am sure a friendly DISer will gladly help you out.
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:11 AM   #7
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I'd definitely stay on site if you can. The value resorts are great. If you stay on site you can take advantage of extra-magic hours. Using Disney buses is easy. What we love about staying on site is that while we are at Disney we never think of the outside world since we don't leave Disney property. It is the only place I feel I get a total vacation. No cooking, no cleaning, no driving etc. We are a family of 4 (DD 13, DS 10) and it's usually around $50.00 a meal for us to eat counter service. For breakfast I bring stuff from home so that saves us money. We usually don't do sit-down meals because of the price, and the amount of time it takes for them. Your baby won't need a park ticket so you'll only have to get 3 park tickets. Snacks/drinks are can bring snacks in with you if you want to avoid that cost. For souvenirs I don't think your DD12 will want much, mine doesn't seem to see anything she wants. Tshirts are starting at $25.00. (that's usually the only thing DD gets if she sees one she likes). Like another poster said, go on the Disney website and price it out, that will give you some idea of cost.
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:32 AM   #8
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I appreciate any help I can get!
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Old 01-08-2012, 02:01 PM   #9
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Running your family through the WDW booking site for your family with the Spring Room special (15% off a value ASMo during the last few weeks of march) your looking at around 1900.00 for room and tickets. That does not include any food anywhere. Free dining is not being offered currently. I personally will not stay value resort again. Your 12 year old is a adult for tickets.

POR FQ will run your family around 2300 for Room/tickets. Also with Spring room discount. No food.

Deluxe even more.

That is for a Monday-Sunday stay.

When we have traveled before as a family of 4 we took 600.00 for souvenirs and tips but we were on free dining at the time.

Hope this helps
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Old 01-08-2012, 02:18 PM   #10
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I'd really recommend going to your library and pulling off the shelf three or four Disney guide books. They each have a section on budgeting. Make notes on what the components are, read for the options (onsite vs. off; dining plan vs. no; what sort of tickets to buy). Then hit the internet for prices.

Start with a budget, then try and work your trip into that budget. You functionally have three people - if your budget is $3000, that's a different trip than if your budget is $10,000. There will be give and take - if you drive you might (depends on where you live) choose to upgrade your hotel. If you are able to eat from a cooler, you might add hoppers. Or you might have a $10k budget and not need to make those trade offs.

But no one here can say "drive and then do a lot of dining - like character meals" or "stay value, and don't do hoppers." We don't know what your budget is, what your travel style is, or what your priorities are.

ETA: If your budget is small, you'll do much better staying offsite - particularly if you are driving to start with - and eating most meals offsite - and buying basic tickets. The add to staying offsite will be that you'll pay for parking each day. But Orlando has a glut of hotel rooms, and swinging by a grocery store for sandwich fixings or eating pizza for dinner is going to be the cheapest way to do Disney. I like onsite - but there is a lot of value offsite.
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:33 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Warren W View Post
I appreciate any help I can get!
You need to give more info as to what you prefer.

Dates /Length of stay ?
Value, moderate, deluxe accomodations?
Dining plan or out of pocket?
Souvenirs - what do you want to spend??

People would love to help, but you have to help them so they can help you.
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:58 AM   #12
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My advice would be to say on site.. especially if you have a baby, even if the baby is 3 yrs old or younger. Its so easy to just hop on the bus and ride back to you hotel and either let your kid take a nap or swim and then hop back on the bus and go to whatever park. Which for that you would also want to get the park hopper ticket :-)

Good luck!
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