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Going to Disney on a shoestring budget

Discussion in 'WDW Trip Planning' started by El Topo, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. El Topo

    El Topo New Member

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    My Cologne- Hello. I was wondering if I can get some advice on how to get the most out of Disney on a rather small budget. I have four children and a wife. Could somebody help me with some tips as to get the most out of my experience without spending too much money. Any advice would be helpful.




    Carlos
  2. JillC LI

    JillC LI Well-Known Member

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    Oh gosh, there are so many tips out there. Things like: travel during an off peak season, stay in a Value resort or stay off property, take advantage of special discount offers at certain times of year like free dining, etc. I recommend you contact one of the wonderful travel agents affiliated with this web site at Kingdom Konsultants, and they can help you out. They've sure been terrific for me! Enjoying a Disney trip on a tight budget is definitely doable with the proper planning and know-how.
  3. Jimmy Thick

    Jimmy Thick The driving force of the forums!!!

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    First off, I would not stay off site, the benefit of the magical express saves considerable money just by staying at a value resort on property.

    Another thing to to take advantage of would be to use the special offers like free dining which Disney is running now.

    PM me for more, detailed tips.

    Welcome to the boards El Topo.


    Jimmy Thick-No cover charge either!!!
  4. Master Yoda

    Master Yoda Pro Star Wars geek. Premium Member

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    Hi Carlos! I am Richard from Kingdom Konsultants. If you like you can PM me your details such as possible dates, age of your kids, budget, etc and I will be more than happy to see what magic we can work.
  5. janoimagine

    janoimagine Well-Known Member

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    Carlos - I would for sure contact Tammy W over at Kingdom Konsultants here is all her info ...

    Tammy@KingdomKonsultant.com
    www.KingdomKonsultant.com
    Toll free 1-866-566-7858
    Direct 1-719-964-1718
    Fax 1-270-964-1716

    EDIT : I have heard Richard is good too ... :)
  6. BigRedDad

    BigRedDad Well-Known Member

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    With 6 total people, it is hard to go on a "shoestring" budget. Tickets alone will be about $1500 for 6 day base tickets (4 children 9 and under and 2 adults). I am not sure how you define a "shoestring" budget, but on Disney property, you will need 2 rooms. If you go a Value resort, you are looking at about $200 per night. You can camp for much cheaper though. Once that is figured in, you need to think about meals. Paying Disney for food is not cheap. However, the portions are huge and 2 adults can easily share a counter service meal.

    There are a lot of things you can do. I think for 6 days the cheapest you may see is about $2500 for a party of 6 (camping). It will take a lot of work to get there, but possible.
  7. isman250

    isman250 Member

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    I always wondered this, but say you have the tickets paid for and hotels. I guess if you are doing per person for an adult for say a 4 day trip, would $400.00 spending money be fine??

    Or the real question is do you get the dining plan to save money, or will you really not save money by getting it?
  8. EvilQueen-T

    EvilQueen-T Well-Known Member

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    a single cabin at wilderness lodge is a moderate resort and sleeps 6, gives you a full kitchen including a grill. they also have some suites in the value resorts. depending when you're going the art of animation is featuring family suites. value season is the only way to go imo whenever possible. eat breakfast and either lunch or dinner at the resort if you have the type of room with a kitchen or bring things to make sandwiches which you can pack and take to the parks. kids usually have no problem going back to the resort if they get a little swim time as part of the deal plus it gives the parents a little break and it makes it easy to grab a sandwich at the room or take it pool side. if you purchase food in the parks share. the portions are huge. taking drinks into the park saves a bunch, it's one of those hidden costs that can really add up. don't park hop. if you have a car and want a sit down dinner do it off property, much less expensive. if your kids are old enough to grasp the concept of money tell them they have x amount to spend and stick with it, do the same for yourself. try to distract younger kids or don't park yourself by the toy vendors who are out around the parades and fireworks. if you have a while before you go make it a family project to save any change in a family jar, give up a few things during the year but deposit the same money into the vacation account for money to use on the trip. with young kids having something visual can really help like having a goal amount, something you can color in or see filling up that kind of thing to help save for the trip.
  9. brinneydee

    brinneydee Active Member

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    If I were you, I would do what the poster above me said and book one of the cabins at Fort Wilderness. You'd have a full kitchen, so you could buy groceries and be able to cook meals there in the cabin, which would save a lot of money on eating out. Also, you could buy lunch meat and things and pack a lunch to take into the parks each day, or plan on going back to the cabin for rest and lunch each day.
    Staying off property, you'd use a lot of gas each day driving to and from the parks, plus you'd have to pay for parking. You'd have to really get a great deal on the condo/hotel room to justify paying the extra, IMO.
  10. 828tnt

    828tnt Active Member

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    well said! ^^^^^^^^^
  11. olinecoach61

    olinecoach61 Well-Known Member

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    Fort wilderness is a great idea. WDW is a tough place to go on a tight budget but it can be done. I don't know where you live but you could save on airfare by driving.
  12. disneynut4u

    disneynut4u Active Member

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    If you're not doing a dining plan, 2 people can share meals. If you do counter service restaurants, you can order kid meals. Either way, the portions are large. You can't do that at buffet places though.

    Also, we figure $50 per day (minimum) for spending for each person (more if we're not on the dining plan), plus I also work the itinerary for the park I spend the LEAST amount in (AK) first, then the next least amount (DHS), ending with the park I spend the MOST in (for me it's EPCOT). This way, what money I don't spend on the first day, I can add to the next day, and so on, so that I have more money on the last day. It works for us.

    Now, we do take more than $50 each for spending for each day. We have gone on that before when things got tight, but we did fine.
  13. Sarabell

    Sarabell Member

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    We´re usually on a tight budget because of the exchange rate with colombian pesos (around COP$1800 for a dollar) so that means if we are able to save COP$200.000 per month (which is hard cause it´s a lot of money) that means we save close to US$100. It can take a long time to save enough for a trip, so we plan years ahead.

    For our trip in sept we planned to stay off property, but since Disney came up with the free quick service dining plan it was cheaper to stay at a Disney value, so look for these great offers and like others said, pick the low season to make the most out of your money. Plus the lower crowds make it easier to just go to one park per day without park hopping. That will save you a lot too. :wave:
  14. plaz10

    plaz10 Well-Known Member

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    Honestly..we find that we usually spend about 1,000 per person for a 1 week trip. Regardless of promotion. Tickets and rooms at a value + flights from Pittsburgh + souvenirs + food = about 1,000 bucks. If we get the dining plan, it's still the same price (using a Dining PIN or promotion, not buying it flat out) we can eat at nicer places for the 1,000 bucks.
  15. MMCoffman

    MMCoffman New Member

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    In September we are going for 6 days. We are staying at CBR, doing the dining plan, driving from Iowa (gas, hotels on road, food on road, etc) all for under $2800. That's $280 a day for everything for a total of 10 days. I don't know how one could spend as much a day as some of them listed above, yikes! Staying off site cost more during free dining promotions, and I definitely don't think staying in a cabin is affordable, as it's $700 more for that package. With 6 I would recommend a Value resort suite, or two adjoining rooms (this is cheaper).
  16. docdebbi

    docdebbi Well-Known Member

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    i second, (or is it third/fourth/fifth?) the cabins at fort wilderness. we have stayed there and they are great. the amount of room you get for the money is incredible. just running around outside the cabins was great entertainment for the kids while we adults chilled out inside. OH SO NECESSARY after a day at the parks.
    more importantly, you can do your food for almost nothing. if you take DME you have to pay to have groceries delivered from garden grocer, but it's cheaper than using a car service and stopping at a store. or you can ship it all from home, but i think garden grocer would be cheaper if it's a week's worth of food for six.
    if you do a big breakfast at home- eggs, waffles, cereal, bagels, etc, it's cheap and can really fill your crew up for a long time. then take some cheap snacks and bottled water (try crystal light packets to flavor it for the kids-and freeze it the night before so it's cold) into the park so you can skip lunch, then make a dinner at home- it's a major money saver. the food at disney is where we spend most of our money.
    also, bring things like disney stuffed animals/t-shirts etc from home and whip them out as "sourvenirs" when the kids are asking for one. they won't know you got them cheap at a walmart/ebay.
    same with night-time toys. bring the glow necklaces, light up toys, etc from the dollar store, they work the same and you save big bucks.
    same with misting fans, ponchos, many things you can buy there....cheaper at walmart
    plan ahead like you are, you can save big bucks
  17. plaz10

    plaz10 Well-Known Member

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    Curious...how many people in your party? We find that our biggest expense is always the flights. I'm all for trying to save some money and im hoping you've got a great tip on how you get your cost so low! We usually stay at Value and usually have a dining pin and upgrade. :shrug:where is my money going? lol
  18. MMCoffman

    MMCoffman New Member

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    We save A LOT by driving, over $1000. TIo us it's worth the savings, and we travel all over via car. This pricing is legit, we go every year to 18 months. Going during free dining saves us about $700. I'm a huge penny pincher, if I can save a $ I will. We don't have any less fun either. Last year we even got to do the Pirate & Pals Firework Voyage.
  19. EvilQueen-T

    EvilQueen-T Well-Known Member

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    my dad (the king of cheap) would say pitch your tent, sleeping bags, no new clothes, no park hopping, and store brand pb&j 3x/day and drink out of the water fountain. i'm not kidding about him being the king of cheap. when i was in high school he wore a hand me down shirt that had the name chuck on it...his name is sam not chuck. it drove us crazy back then so this past memorial day weekend they came down from up north and we took them for a day to mk, since it was right before his birthday we got him a birthday button with the name chuck on it. the cm in country bear jamboree had the audience sing happy birthday to chuck...payback is fun :cool:.
  20. plaz10

    plaz10 Well-Known Member

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    how long is the car ride? It would be about 24 hours via car from Pittsburgh. I'm so NOT willing to drive that. :lol: saved money be damned! haha. We would have to stop and get a hotel so we'd probably not save a bunch of money that way. Blah. Disney my love why must you be so expensive!

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