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Old 01-03-2011, 03:00 PM   #16
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Here is my tip for a family on a tight budget. There are enticing things for sale everywhere you turn in Disney World. Money can flow like water if you're not careful. Here's what we do on each trip...

If our girls see something they want, we take a picture of it on Daddy's cell phone. On the last visit to that particular park, we look through the pictures at the end of the day and decide what item they want the most. It works tremendously well, and at the end of our trip, we've stuck to the budget to the penny, never use the credit card, and have the absolute time of our lives! Both girls get a few toys and trinkets that they still love and play with.

This also works well to cut down on the whining and begging. Our girls have been firmly trained that this is the rule, and no whining or begging will change the rule. They now see something they want and immediately say, "Daddy take a picture of that for me!"

A co-worker of mine went to Disney last year and called me from his cell to answer a work question. He was lamenting that his kids began whining and crying for stuff immediately upon entry into the park. I gave him my little tip, and it worked great.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:11 PM   #17
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Great tips. Subbing to this thread.

My tip (and I haven't even been to WDW yet...39 days to go )...get training for all that walking. We gave our 2 DD the trip to the world for Xmas. I told them that part of the deal is we have to walk every day until our trip. It's not how fast we go but how long we go for. To entice them (like the trip isn't enticing enough ha!ha!) I said I wold give them each a $1 a walk each towards spending money. So far, I haven't had to ask them to go. They are waiting for me with their shoes on.

Also, read the DIS boards. You'll learn a lot. I went from not even knowing there were 4 parks to being able to decipher the Disney speak acronyms!

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Old 01-03-2011, 11:03 PM   #18
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You are on vacation, so don't plan every single solitary second of the trip out, doing so will only lead to a lot of un needed stress when you are supposed to be having a fun time.
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Old 01-04-2011, 06:00 AM   #19
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my tip is

if you have trouble saving for your trip then purchase disney gift cards... they can be found in most grocery stores/walgreens and can be ordered online

they can be used for anything from paying for your trip reservation to paying for food / souvies / or park tickets

this way I can only use the gift cards at wdw or in the disney store and since I dont have extra cash laying around in a bank of some kind im not tempted to spend it before my trip

this has worked great for me for several trips now and am currently doing this to save for a trip in august
Next trip isn't until May but I don't have dates yet
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:34 PM   #20
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I'm not sure if this was said already but, buy water and have it shipped to your resort. We buy at least two cases from Costco and they ship free. Water is the one thing I won't buy in the parks.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:46 PM   #21
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Best tip

If you love coffee like we do you have to find out where to get descent coffee. I believe we googled "Good coffee at Walt Disney World" and it will tell you where you can get a good cup, not Nescafe instant which is sold everywhere at Disney. I know this works for Disneyland.:surfweb
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:53 PM   #22
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Make at least one early ADR for breakfast at a park restaurant before the park opens. We made 8:10 Crystal Palace ressies last trip and we got some fantastic pics on our way in of the castle with practically nobody else in the park or pics. They even have the photopass photographers out to take pics on the way in. Of all the pics I took on our last vacation my favorite are the ones of us on main street in front of the castle that morning with the streets empty!
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:26 PM   #23
Missing my day trips to Disneyland :(
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Talking about walking and blisters:

I have two awesome tips for walking all day. One expensive and one not so expensive.

After walking for a few hours, I used to develope lower back pain and leg cramps from walking on the stone streets and sidewalks. In November of '09, I had also ripped a tertiary muscle in my calf and it never healed properly. About a year ago. I invested in a pair of Sketchers Shape-Ups. (Yes, they are expensive) I don't have any more problems walking and my calf muscle has healed properly. Living near Disneyland, I went a lot and spent hours in the park. With these shoes I can last all day on my feet and not have any problems that day or the next. It has also helped cut down on the blisters I get on my foot as the shoe forces you to walk with a more natural and flowing step. They also come in a couple of sandal styles if you want to have an open shoe and not deal with socks.

Speaking of socks, here's where the other tip comes in. If you find yourself getting blisters from walking (and don't want to go with the Sketcher's Tip), go to a sports store (running shoe store is the best) and buy at least one pair of "Wright Socks." These are very thin socks that are double layered. Blisters are usually caused by your foot rubbing against the sock or shoe when you walk. The Wright Sock prevents that by allowing one layer of the sock to stay with your foot and another to stay with your shoe, making the layers rub against each other instead.

(I am neither an employee nor stock holder of the companies who's products I've mentioned.)

As a bonus tip.. Disney sells white ankle socks with a little Mickey or Minnie figure on them.. they are THE MOST comfortable sock I have ever worn for every day sock wear + plus it's DISNEY!
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:46 PM   #24
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When our children were younger (non-teenagers), our best tip we ever got was to buy fanny packs for everyone with a little water bottle attached. Every morning my DW and I would pack these with snacks (twizzlers, granola, anything that wouldn't melt!) and the bottle with water. When we enter the parks, we wouldn't take 5 steps before someone would hollar "I'm thirsty, I'm hungry! You know how it goes! We would just look at them and tell them to eat a snack or drink their water. Saved a lot af money! Plus we made a game out it by seeing who could find a drinking fountain first or who could come back with the most snacks still in the packs.
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:47 AM   #25
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Get the Disney Dining plan! We loved it and are getting it again for our trip in May! We would have a hard time paying for Disney with 5 kids to feed otherwise! We love the different experiences the kids get to have at each restaurant we choose. We also suggest making dining reservations as soon as possible once your trip is booked. Our last trip was booked only 3 months in advance, and though we enjoyed our restaurants, we didn't get everything we wanted. This trip we made reservations right away. If staying at a Disney Resort, reservations can be made 180 days in advance. Our kids will have a blast with all these great experiences, and I don't have to worry about a thing now that they are all booked!

2010: POR 7 days, 2011 split stay: POR 4 days CSR 7 days, 2012: CBR 12 days, 2013: POR 9 days, 2014: 12-14 days AoA???
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:35 AM   #26
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Ok I have a lot of tips. First off is using the dining plan to its fullest. When we get the dining play we always get the Deluxe. This gives us 3 meals per day and 2 snacks. With this in mind we use 2 meals for dinner and one for lunch, all sit down. Even with having to have our 3 year old DD on the plan last time we still saved an enormous amount of money. Granted I ordered more food than I normally would eat, and as a result my tips were more, but still in all we saved a good deal of money.

Also with the DDP we would bring our deserts back to the room and have them for breakfast. We would use our snacks to get orange juice and other drinks to have during the day.

This takes a lot of planning to get it all correct and my DW always does a fantastic job getting everything organized and planned for this.

The next tip is if you are staying on property to visit the parks with the extra magic hours at night They are practically empty and wait times are non existent.

On the flip side, visit the parks the day after a park has EMH due to more people visit on that day just because there's more time.

Plan your fast passes. Some rides are worth going and getting a fast pass right away, others not so much. But one good thing about the fast passes is that even if it says it is good for 11-1, it is actually good any time AFTER 11. We have used fast passes that were good for 10am at 9pm.

If you want to do toy story mania, be at the park the moment it opens and race to get fast passes. Even if you don't plan on being there until later, send 1 person with all of your tickets to collect fast passes for this ride.

Last tip, be EXTRA friendly to EVERY castmember. You will be surprised what they give you for being nice. Asking CM's for stuff will not get you near as much stuff. True story - we were at a shop and the CM's behind the register were playing a new board game that came out. We started playing with them and had a blast for about 20 minutes. At the end of it the CM's gave us a bunch of pins (that they could give away) and some other stuff they were allowed to give out. It pays to be extra nice to the CMs.
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:51 PM   #27
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:48 PM   #28
Missing my day trips to Disneyland :(
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In regards to fast passes, many people don't know that you can have more than one at a time.

Look at your fast pass, the bottom will tell you when you can get your next one. At Disneyland (and I believe it's the same as WDW) you can get your next fast pass at either the entry time of your current fast pass or 2 hours after you pick up your fast pass.

i.e. You get a fast pass at 10:30am the ride time is 11:45 - 12:45. You can get a fast pass for that ride or another ride at 11:45. If you got it at 10:30 and your ride time is 1 pm, you can get your next one at 12:30pm. There's fine print at the bottom of the fast pass that tells you when you can get your next one.

Since fastpasses can be used anytime AFTER the ride time, you can stock up on FP's and use them later.

I know that in Disneyland they have 3 fastpass computer systems. 1 for Disneyland (Magic Kingdom), one for DCA, and one for Roger Rabbit Toon Town Spin. You can get one fastpass for each system regardless of the times. (This is easy since DCA is in walking distance from DLMK.) I wouldn't be surprised if all 4 parks work on different fastpass computers.

Last edited by Chuckers; 01-15-2011 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 01-15-2011, 06:35 PM   #29
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Thanks so much for the tips! Everyone seems to enjoy them! Do you have any that are more park specific? Or resort specific?
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Old 01-18-2011, 12:28 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by nrhenley View Post
Thanks so much for the tips! Everyone seems to enjoy them! Do you have any that are more park specific? Or resort specific?
Fast passes: Get fast passes even if the wait time is short. You never know when the crowd will show up, if you return later to do the ride. We were in Norway and got fastpasses for Maelstrom. The wait time was 20 mins. By the time we got back, maybe an hour later, the waitline was almost to Akershaus.

With our FPs we were able to zip right through.

Resort specific: If you're staying at a deluxe resort I highly recommend getting the concierge/club level, instead of a dining plan. in '09 we had the QSDP, stayed at POFQ and it was just too much food. We stayed at AKL and on the club level this time. Breakfast, snacks and appetizers were covered. We planned our days so we would return to the resort for breaks and there was always something to eat and drink. We opted for the room discount package rather than the dining plan because we knew we weren't interested in making ADRs. We paid out of pocket for the 3 or 5 times we ate at counter-service restaurants and came out ahead of the cost of the dining plan.

Disney Gift Cards: I second the suggestion to get gift cards. The night before we left AKL I settled our bill. We had money left over on one GC and all my Disney Visa Reward dollars. The concierge was impressed I had so many GCs. Some were from the grocery store, and some DH won at work. It's a great way to do Disney on a budget, and much easier to stick to it.

"It's just as you prophesied! The planets of our solar
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Like flaming globes. Ah, ha, ha, ha..".~~Seinfeld
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