Our June 2016 trip put us in the hole, financially. I mean, seriously to the point where we considered quick loans to pay off some bills. This next trip should not be so bad…or will it? Going this time is me, CJ, the 3 kids, my mom and my grandma. We will be at Bay lake Tower October 1-6 then the Grand Floridian October 6-10.
Here is the plan so far:
We are to arrive in Orlando at 8:07pm on a Saturday. I know, it seems like such a wasted night but the flights for like a week prior all had the same arrival time and we don’t want to leave from any other airport or have to take a non-direct flight. So when we arrive, we plan on going right to the room and maybe maybe snacking on pizza or something.
Sunday: Pool! Nap! Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Part!
Monday: Relax! Epcot. 6:50pm Biergarten in Germany for dinner. IllumiNations.
Tuesday: Disney’s Hollywood Studios then off to Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at 6:10pm
Wednesday: Magic Kingdom then off to Whispering Canyon Lodge for dinner at 6:45pm. Wishes fireworks cruise.
Thursday: Mom and grandma leave for home and we move from Bay Lake Tower to the Grand Floridian. Pool and nap. ‘Ohana for a late dinner (9:30pm)
Friday: Epcot. 5:30pm dinner at San Angel Inn in Mexico.
Saturday: Disney’s Hollywood Studios (our favorite park) and Hollywood & Vine at 4:50pm for dinner.
Sunday: Free day. Maybe Animal Kingdom during the day but we will have to visit the Magic Kingdom one last time! Then the Contemporary Resort for a late dinner at 8:50pm at Chef Mickey’s.
Monday: Leave to come home
I usually get decent customer service in Disney and this last trip was no exception! The first time someone went above and beyond for us was at about 11:30pm on a Sunday evening. We were at Bay Lake Tower so any items we needed had to be bought at the Contemporary. I realized we had no ointment for sores and Olivia had a sore that needed to be tended to. At 11:30 at night, where was I going to get this?
CJ called the front desk and they actually had a night manager come to the Pepper Market to open it up for us. Since it was late, he could not accept payment from CJ so he just gave CJ the ointment. (Cost was around $6) How is that for awesome customer service?! The next morning we did stop there and pay for it. Hey, karma and all that…
On our last full day there, we went to the Magic Kingdom for the evening. One of CJ’s favorite rides is The Carousel of Progress so of course we went on it. The bad news? He lost his phone on the ride. He reported the phone missing and they gave him a number to call the next morning. The next morning came and they had not recovered his phone. Unfortunately, we had to go home the next day so he figured it was gone for good. That is when panic set in.
We spent a small fortune in Disney this year because we took extra people so we really had no money to go buy a new phone. We were looking at about $600.00 to get a new Blackberry. The first thing that came to mind was to get an instant cash payday loan so we could get some extra cash until payday. I had heard about these types of loans but had never applied for one.
Fortunately we got a call from? Disney Lost & Found! They located his phone on the ride Monday morning and they were in the process of mailing it back to him for FREE since we already came home!
Well October saw a lot of expenses for us. Aside from spending $800 on food at the grocery store, we decided to pony up for an In-Shape membership. That’s another $70/month. Then we finally bit the bullet and bought a new hot tub cover which dinged our bank account for another $350 or so. With adult tickets hovering around $89 for a single day, the cost can add up real quick. A trip to Disney World for a week can easily match what you’d spend to go to France for the same amount of time.
So how do you save enough to go do Disney? Here are a few tips.
- Check out a budgeting blog, like this one, or this one. These guys are obsessed with finding ways to save money and help you figure out how to better manage your savings and income streams. Can’t say enough about them and how much they’ve helped us.
- Look for travel deals on certain websites.
- Check out http://www.mousesavers.com/ which posts tons of helpful coupons
- Consider a trip to Disneyland instead of Disney World. The difference? Disneyland is usually frequented by casual visitors who live nearby, while Disney World is much more a destination type place that involves more expensive hotels, plane fares and dining.
- Check Disney for deals. While they don’t offer the craziest discounts, it’s worth checking http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/special-offers for the latest offers.
- Buy a multi-day pass. If you’re going to be there for 3-5+ days, you can get a multi day pass that considerably drops the price from $89 to a more stomach friendly $50 or so.
- Go in the off season, between September and January. This is when hotel rooms are less expensive.
- Make your own meals. Eating out three times per day adds up real fast. Make some quick pb&j sandwiches and pack loads of snacks to fend off the hunger pangs (and dollars).
- Get the Disney hotel perks. Yes, hotels with “Disney” attached to their name usually have plenty of perks like free/discounted parking, cheaper meals, and free shuttles to get you in and out of the park easily.