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Old 12-29-2012, 03:37 PM   #31
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We spend very little money (provided we have the DDP) OOP once we get to WDW. As PPs have mentioned, you will most likely spend more money on tips than anything else. I put my Mousekeeping $ in envelopes before we leave, so even that is taken care of ahead of time. Our kids really don't ask for anything while we are there, and my tradition is to purchase one mug for myself to bring home. I probably spend about $20 on each of them as souvenirs (if that).
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:44 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by erincon23 View Post
They don't need the glow sticks.
Target, dollar bin. Stick in bag. Hand out at parade time.
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:58 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by scoutie
That's reassuring! I'm not big on souvenirs at all, and my kids are good at knowing once their money is spent, it's gone. They won't be whining or begging for more. Since we're doing the dining plan, I shouldn't have to spend much on food, right?

I am disciplined when it comes to money, and won't buy things if its not in my budget. I enjoy splurging on vacation, but the Disney vacation is becoming much more expensive than I had thought. More than we've spent on trips internationally. I won't use credit cards if I can't pay them off the next month. I guess what I was asking if there were things that were going to pop up (extra fees, etc.)

We travel as a family quite often, but reading reviews of Magic Kingdom on TripAdvisor scared me. $$$$$$ was the title of many reviews.
There are theme park reviews on Trip Advisor?! Wow! I had no idea. I take all TA reviews with a huge grain of salt. It sounds like you are all set OP! It must feel great to have everything sorted out. My only suggestion would be to budget some amount daily for unexpected things. You don't have to use it, but that way if something unexpected comes up you are prepared :-) Have a magical trip! How cute your little one saying it's her dream come true!

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Old 12-29-2012, 05:53 PM   #34
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Even though you are on the Dining Plan, don't forget that tips are not included. We usually tip 18-20% and tips usually run us anywhere from $250-$300 depending on the number of table service restaurants in which we dine. Usually you will have to tip bell services if you utilize them on your way in or out and we usually tip mousekeeping everyday if we are in a regular room. (Usually stay DVC.) All of those tips can really add up.
We always budget a bundle for souvenirs and if we come home with extra, *bonus!*
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:00 PM   #35
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I'm going to have to disagree with most everyone else. To me, $50 is not much fun money for a week long trip. Especially at a park where everything costs so much! $50 is one hoodie. Or a tee shirt and some candy. Not much.

I was at the parks earlier this month with 3 other adults, and I spent almost $500 even though we were on the dining plan. Most of it went to tips (and twice an alcoholic beverage) and other random stuff. I only purchased 2 tops for myself, and one for my sister.

When a pop costs $3, your money doesn't go very far.
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:40 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by larryz View Post
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!!!
I have to agree with Larryz. I think you have it well covered. But the safety net of $100 per day is reasonable. Don't get caught up in the merchandise! You'll be fine and you'll save money.
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:08 PM   #37
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I agree to at least have a budgeted amount of about 100.00 a day but we spend less and we do not really try to watch what we spend but we are not big on spending just for the sake of spending.

Our last trip was 2 adults, a teen and a five year old. We had the regular DDP, brought some items from home to help cover some breakfasts. Everything was paid before we got there. We only spent extra for tips for meals, a few times for mousekeeping, (we only tip mousekeeping for special request or service beyond the basic), a couple really cheap candy snacks we choose not to use a snack credit on (though we ended up with some left and should have used them), a few low cost food treats for family at home, and a few splurges at the Totoonie gift shop for the little guy. We really were not trying to make it a budget trip but we really did not need or want anything else and our boys really don't ask for much. I don't think I ever said no to anything that week except the face painting and that was allergy no, not money.

Don't forget travel money for the drive or even food at the airport.
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:20 PM   #38
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I'm going to have to disagree with most everyone else. To me, $50 is not much fun money for a week long trip. Especially at a park where everything costs so much! $50 is one hoodie. Or a tee shirt and some candy. Not much
I agree that money can go fast, but we won't be buying candy, snacks or soda. They have plenty of Disney wear, so I'd be surprised if they chose to buy clothing, although they may. I'm guessing they will spend their money on two or three small things (or one big thing) in the Magic Kingdom. Since we're on the dining plan, the kids can have their one treat/snack in the parks, and we're bringing plenty of snacks and water to the parks. I know this makes me the uncool mom, but I hope they will be happy to have all of these new experiences. I've travelled with my kids all over the place, and they're used to getting just one or two souvenirs. The trip is the treat for us this time, and with the year we've had (car repairs, flooded basement--after the trip was booked) I can't really afford to splurge too much this time. I get edgy putting things on credit cards, so we're hoping to stick to a budget. I'm also bringing a few surprises (autograph books, a new princess dress, etc.) for the kids when we get to the resort.

I really hope the kids will have a magical time.

The alcoholic beverages is an excellent point, and had not occurred to me for some reason. I will be needing those, lol!!!

Even though you are on the Dining Plan, don't forget that tips are not included
Yes! In a later post, I had expressed how I most definitely had allocated for tipping. I was a former waitress.

We'll be bringing a hundred dollars a day as suggested for incidentals. We have scheduled in one resort day, and we won't be in the parks the day we get there or the day we leave. I feel good about being able to avoid all of the merchandise, though, and if that's the biggest pitfall, I think I'm safe.

I do appreciate everyone's input and hearing the other side.

How cute your little one saying it's her dream come true!
I hope that it will be every bit as magical as she hopes it will be!

Last edited by scoutie; 12-29-2012 at 07:49 PM. Reason: This English teacher had too many typos! :)
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:03 PM   #39
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We don't go for souvenirs, so yes, we can spend less than an extra $200 for that length trip with all you've prepaid.
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:08 PM   #40
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I would say with the dining plan, tickets purchased, a great place to stay, a the children understanding what they have to spend then you are set. As far as I'm concerned all you need is $ for the airport/travel portion. This is how we vacation. We go every year and they know they can save whatever $ throughout the year to spend if that is what they want to do. The snack credits go far for our family. We often allow them to go to the candy store because we have unused snack options.
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:19 PM   #41
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I replied earlier, but forgot to say, like others have mentioned, tip did take up a nice amount of our money ~ I had planned ahead, looked at menus, and knew around how much to have for each TS meal.

Also, on our last trip, we were there 8 days; I didn't give my 6 and 3 year old a set amount of money, but we spent around $50 for souvineers on each of them and that included a stuffed toy, a princess barbie, and a pin ~ we usually buy them ears, too, but they didn't need new ones for this trip (just the baby did) and I had made autograph books prior to our trip. I don't get t's at WDW ~ they're cute, but too pricey for me. And then my DH got a coffee mug and I got a charm for my chamilia bracelet. Don't forget to check your receipt from CS meals ~ we often had a 20% discount on the bottom of ours and that helped a lot!
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:44 PM   #42
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Your little girl sounds so sweet!!

One thing I'd suggest, is don't let your kids spend their $50 right away. Its easy to see something they like and snap it up, then go to the next store and see something better, then something even better in the third store. They mostly have the same things at every park and the popular items in the resort hotel shops too, so if they see something they like there's no need to rush and buy it. You should have no trouble on the last day or two asking them to decide which souvenir they've thought about and liked most, and being able to find it. When I'd go as a kid, I'd try to buy everything I saw that I liked, and I'd have spent all my money before I'd even seen everything. Now I can look at it as an adult, and we always save our shopping for the last few days so I know I've had a chance to check out everything that's available.
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:53 PM   #43
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I find it hard to help the kids budget their spending money. Especially if they are really wanting something in one of the parks that we won't be visiting again. I know that most things can be found at The World of Disney in DTD but not all things. I give the kids their spending money and then on occasion I'll buy them one thing above and beyond their budget. Usually on the last day of our trip.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:20 PM   #44
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Be prepared that most attractions exit you into a gift shop! We had the hardest time with DS until we told him he could look at the merchandise there, but we would be buying at the huge World of Disney store toward the end of the vacation. We would take pictures of the merchandise he thought he really wanted on my cell phone so we would remember what he really liked. We would purchase a very few small items on the spot (the gift shop exiting Pirates of the Carribean is pretty cheap!), but he looked forward to getting huge ice cream sundaes at Ghirardelli's at DTD, then shopping at WOD later in the trip. BTW, I don't think he ever bought ANY item we photographed! It all went out the window when we walked in that store!
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:45 PM   #45
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January will be our first trip with the dining plan, and I'm planning minimal extra spending. I like to walk through stores and look, but have no interest in buying anything. We have too much stuff at home already! On the other hand, my wife...

Avoid renting a car! Rental fee, gas, and tolls add up. On one trip we returned the car a little late and the extra charge was more than the entire week rental was supposed to be!

Last edited by DanInMN; 12-29-2012 at 09:55 PM.
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