Disney on a Budget

With less than 48 hours to go until we fly to DisneyWorld, we are deep in the throes of packing. We have tried our best to plan at once a magical vacation and a budget friendly trip, and with a little pre-vacation planning, you can save money as well.
The best way to save money on your trip is to anticipate those “little” extras that will empty your wallet once you arrive at the parks. Despite the fact that we are travelling to Florida at the end of the fall season, the UV rays in the sunshine state burn all year long, so remembering ahead of time to pack our sunscreen left over from the summer will save us a significant amount of money. I’ve also been warned that with a rainy period, Florida turns quickly into a mosquito’s haven. Although I would never be able to purchase bug spray in a Maryland store in December, I was able to purchase it very inexpensively online from Avon, thus saving me the high theme-park prices in the event that we are there during a particularly buggy time.

Generations of Disney fans have enjoyed the tradition of collecting the autographs of their favorite characters. While you are not likely to forget to pack diapers and snacks for your children, you may not remember pens and autograph books. By simply heading to your local craft store and purchasing a small sketch pad and Disney scrapbooking components, you and your children can create a homemade autograph book that not only saves you money, but adds to the fun and excitement of preparing for your trip.

Because my children absolutely adore the Disney princesses, we have decided to go one step beyond the autograph book and save money on favorite souvenir of all – the vacation t-shirt. Using a fabric iron-on sheet, I designed t-shirts for my children on my computer using just the basic paint program that comes standard and a regular ink-jet printer. When we are visiting with the princesses during special princess meals, I will pull out the t-shirts and fabric markers so that my children can have the ladies autograph the t-shirt directly. Not only have I saved money with this technique, but my children will have an especially unique vacation t-shirt. Thank you to Connie at Princess Time Toys for this wonderful idea!

One of the most expensive parts of a trip to any theme park is the constant request for those little treats inside the park. My children are most likely to ask for glow sticks and bracelets, especially when we are in the park at night for fireworks. With the sun going down before dinner time, it is likely that we will spend a great bit of time in the parks in the dark. Rather than wait and buy expensive glow sticks once we arrive in Florida, I stocked up on 15 sticks for a dollar packs at my local craft store. I plan on putting several sticks in my bag each day to use not only when the sun goes down, but when we are enjoying rides that have periods of darkness that might be frightening for my four and two year old.

As I write about my vacation this week, look for more tips on how to enjoy a vacation at Walt Disney World on a budget.
Written by: Amy Lupold Bair

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