Newbie Needs Budgeting Advice!


Earning My Ears
Dec 31, 2000
Hi everyone. I am currently planning my first trip to the Orlando area. My daughter (age 4) and I are planning to go to Animal Kingdom and WDW. We are on a very tight budget. I would appreciate any money saving tips you could provide! Thanks a million in advance! :eek:
Pack water bottles and freeze them if possible with juice or water. Soft drinks are ridiculously expensive in the parks and you get thirsty in the sun while walking and waiting all day. Pack a small soft sided collapsable cooler and fill it with your frozen water bottles and baggies of snacks like goldfish crackers, granola bars, fruit roll-ups. We put those in our fanny packs for while we were standing in line. Saves a lot of $ and whining!!!! You can also gain a lot of info about the cheapest and best places to eat in the parks by doing a search on this board.
Have a great time!!
Hi...are you planning on staying on site? All Stars is the value resort. Great for kids. Lori has some good tips. Try the budget boards for more ways to save. Good luck and have a great time.

I haven't decided about staying on/off site. Wht do you suggest?

These message boards are awesome!
You didn't say when you plan to go to WDW!!!
beleive me it makes a difference!! Do try to go in a Value Season. it will be cheaper on and off site! my dd is in high school and we wanted to pick a time that didn't disrupt school,so we chose dd spring break. OUCH,the prices are much higher, my budget jumped up by $2000.

Keep asking questions here!! poeple here are very helpful!!!
;) :)


Water bottles are a tremendous suggestion. Plan to bring a few finger snacks in a fanny pack or backpack to stave off the major hunger pangs in between meals (some nuts, fruit snacks, dried fruit). Set a budget and try to stick to it. Take advantage of the kid's meals at the counter service restaurants (adults can order them too if you wish). Share an adult sized meal (e.g., Tusker House at AK is really good for this if you both like chicken). Try to eat only two meals a day (big breakfast and early dinner/late lunch seemed to work very well for us; alternatively, you can eat breakfast in your room and an early lunch with a snack type meal for dinner).

Be sure to splurge on one sitdown character meal--it will be worth it to see your daughter's face!!!

Every one has had good suggestions for you. I would add trying to do cereal and fruit you have purchased outside the world for your breakfast before you reach parks. If you stay at one of the on site budget hotels, the food courts are not bad for breakfast. Especially if you can get by on dry cereal and a piece of fruit. The snacks in the belly bag are a great idea, but I would use the kind of belly bag that has a pouch for a water bottle instead of carrying a little insulated bag. The less you have in your hands, the better. We used the Brita bottles so the water didn't have a "City taste" to it. It is also fun to put iced tea and juice in the bottles for your drinks. Since your DD is not in school yet, take advantage of the value seasons. The crowds will be better too!! ;)

Hi. I'm no expert, but in our planning we have found staying off site is sooo much cheaper.But some say that the magic of staying on site is just incredible. To us the magic we get in the parks in fine, and we don't need to spend the extra $$ to feel it in the hotel. We would rather spend our$$ on something more tangible. As long as we have a clean place to shower and sleep, we're happy. Whatever you decide, I hope you have a wonderful trip. We are 38 days away and can't wait <IMG WIDTH="15" HEIGHT="15" SRC="/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif" alt="razz">
I agree that staying off-site can save you a lot of money depending on when you go. I recently paid $20 (Wyndham Orlando) and $25 (Sheraton World) per night (in Nov/Dec) through Priceline. Of course, if you're planning on going during a very busy time you'll pay a bit more. I also stayed on site at CBR on that trip as well.

If you don't have a car, I think that staying off-site is a harder. You will need to rely on the hotel's shuttle service which will usually cost you extra. Disney resorts include transportation which is usually quick and very reliable.

-- Robin
I used to visit WDW in early May, right after labor day. No lines and perfect weather. A Great time to go. True the value season is cheaper, but is it worth more money for no lines and better weather (it gets quite hot to wait in lines during the summer). If you need anymore adivce, just let me know..

IF you will have a car, you will save money by staying off-site, especially for a longer trip. But if you'll be there for under a week and don't plan to have a car, stay at the All Stars.

Value season makes a difference. Since your dd is young, go when most schools are in session. And consider sharing meals when you do eat at the parks. There will probably be plenty of food since portions tend to be large. If you stay at the All Stars, the food court is slightly cheaper than counter service in the parks. If you are used to camping and have equipment, consider getting a campsite at FWC. They offer discounts for AAA and value season rates. The location is so close to MK and the atmosphere is great for kids.

Choose your park passes carefully to get the best value for your needs. Have a great time! :)


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