A big “Thank You” to Amanda for allowing us to write this guest post. We at MouseMisers specialize in providing information on saving money on your Disney trip, but that usually centers around package and other discounts well before you arrive at your destination. We wanted to write a bit about saving money while at Disney, after all, who doesn’t love saving money?
If your kids are anything like mine, you will spend half of your Disney vacation fending of requests from them to purchase just about anything they can get their hands or mouths on. On our last trip, we purchased a $50 Disney Gift Card for each child, and handed it to them when we arrived at Disney World. Each child was told that they could purchase anything they would like, they did not need our approval before hand, but that $50 would be all they would get during their entire trip, and that they needed to spend it wisely. During our 11 night trip, not one of the kids asked us to buy them anything! They each took their time finding items they wanted to purchase, and all chose fairly wisely, and were happy with what they got.
Not only did this make it a much more relaxing vacation for us parents, but it saved us a ton of money in the long run. We didn’t have to fight the kids over purchases, our expenditures were budgeted before we even left home, and the kids had a fantastic experience, as they were in charge of their purchases. Having now done this, I wouldn’t do another Disney trip without the Disney Gift Cards.
Dining at Walt Disney World can chew up a large portion of your vacation budget. The restaurants at Walt Disney World have earned a (not-undeserved) reputation for being quite pricey in comparison with nearby off-property eateries. However, the good news is that there are many ways to save money on food while at Walt Disney World.
An easy way to start the day saving money (and time) is to eat breakfast in your room. All Walt Disney World Moderate and Deluxe hotels come equipped with a mini-refrigerator, and Value hotel guests can request a refrigerator for a small additional fee. Simply stock up on milk, juice, yogurt, fruit, cereal, bagels, coffee, or anything else your family enjoys for breakfast and grab a quick bite before you head to the parks for the day. This not only saves you money, but you’ll get to the parks before all the other guests who are waiting in line at a restaurant for their breakfast.
You don’t have to give up a meal at the many fun and delicious Walt Disney World table-service restaurants to save money – you just have to alter your normal meal times a bit. Rather than having your large meal of the day at dinnertime, consider eating your big meal at a table-service restaurant for lunch. Most of the Walt Disney World restaurants feature the same or very similar lunch and dinner menus, with the only difference being the lower prices on the lunch menu items. You can then grab a bite at a quick-service location for dinner where the prices remain the same throughout the day.
In addition, you can even save time as well as money if you eat your table-service lunch meal during off-peak hours. If you choose to eat during the 2pm – 4pm time frame before the table service restaurants switch to the dinner menu you’ll enjoy even more advantages. You still get the low lunch menu pricing, reservations are much easier to obtain, and the lines for rides and attractions will be much smaller during the peak lunch hours of 11:30am – 1:30pm when everyone else is in the restaurants trying to eat.
While on our trip, I fell in love with Vinylmation. Well, I fell in love with a few of the Vinylmation characters. The problem with Vinylmation is that when you purchase them, you don’t know what you are getting, it is an unknown until you open the box. Rather than purchasing boxes at $10 a pop, and hope that I got the figurine that I wanted, I headed to ebay. I was able to find all of the figurines I wanted, and for most of them, I was able to pay less than the $10 Disney was asking, and I wasn’t saddled with a bunch of extra Vinylmation guys.
In addition to ebay, the Disney Store now offers many items found at the Disney Parks available online. Many of these items end up on sale online for some significant savings. It is also a great way to pick up those personalized Mickey Ears you forgot to get your neighbor before you left (might not save you money, but definitely cheaper than making a trip back to the parks).
This post sponsored by MouseMisers: MouseMisers aims to provide money saving tips and tricks to all those going to Disney. We provide Disney discounts and codes to help save money on your Disney reservations, along with Disney news that may help in your planning.You can find MouseMisers online at www.mousemisers.com, as well as on Twitter @mousemisers and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mousemisers. We are always happy to answer any questions you have, we want everyone to have the best Disney vacation possible while saving money at the same time.