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Budget Your Disney Trip: Make a Walt Disney World Dream Come True

Walt Disney World photo
by Kimberly LaPaglia, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 03-14-2011
  

Cool Tip: Click here to get a FREE PDF version of this article, fully formatted to print and put into your PassPorter Deluxe Binder!


Filed in Articles > Walt Disney World > Planning  

Whether you are fanatic about spreadsheets or mathematically challenged, financing your Walt Disney World vacation can be an accessible goal.


You can visit Walt Disney World whether you are penny-pinching or looking for luxuries. A dream vacation can be enjoyed even on a thrifty plan.

Budgeting Tips

Begin with a spreadsheet, the Budget Worksheet in your PassPorter, or other financing tools such as a pen, paper, and a calculator. Play with the numbers. Fill in the blanks for different scenarios. Try the cost for driving versus flying. A budget hotel versus a deluxe hotel. Eating out every meal, or having cereal in your room.

Investigate your transportation options. Should you fly, drive, or take a train to Orlando? Remember to factor in a rental car or round trip transportation between the airport and hotel. If driving, estimate how many miles per day you wish to drive and the cost of gas. Determine the cost of meals and any overnight hotels. You can look in to the train to Orlando, including the Amtrak Auto Train out of Lorton, Virginia. A sleeper car will cost more than riding in coach.

Experiment with hotels. Are you staying on Walt Disney World property? If staying on-site, get price quotes for hotels in the budget, moderate, and deluxe categories. Calculate various travel dates. Be aware that Disney has a value, regular, holiday and peak season that will greatly affect your hotel costs. Note that tax is 11.5% for the resorts, except the All Stars at 12%. Be patient and discover discounts. Plug in the different prices and see which works best for you.



Traditional Foot Shot front of Cinderella's Castle photo
Traditional Foot Shot front of Cinderella's Castle

We always take a foot shot wherever we go on vacation! - photo by DebiDebiDebi

Check out admission ticket options. When purchasing a package, tickets are probably included. If you’ll be returning within the year or going for a lengthy stay, consider annual passes. There are reputable discount ticket suppliers. You’ll need to research which tickets best suit your touring agenda. If you will not be visiting the water parks, and other minor attractions, avoid tickets with these features. Employees of Walt Disney World sponsors should check with their Human Resource office. For example, Eastman Kodak employees receive 12% off park passes and are eligible to purchase 20 tickets per calendar year.

At AllEarsNet, look at menus to estimate your food budget. Figure out a daily meal plan and enter the approximate costs in your document. If you are over budget, consider eating breakfast in your room. To save more, consider a Character Breakfast in the late morning, in lieu of a more expensive lunch.

Mickey ears and other souvenirs are tempting. Limit yourself to a certain amount of souvenirs per day or per the length of your stay. Beware of impulse buying. Will the Mickey hat still be fashion trendy back home? Then again, do splurge on a few items. This is a difficult area for us, too, but try to be a wise shopper.

Don’t forget miscellaneous expenditures such as tipping for bell-hop and maid services. Figure $1 per bag for luggage help and $1 per person per day for "mousekeeping."

Tip: Saving Incentive for Kids
To encourage our son to save his money (from allowance, birthdays, etc.) so he would have spending money for Walt Disney World, my husband and I told him we would match any dollar he managed to save. We also told him that he could keep any spending money he came back with from Walt Disney World. It worked like a charm! He not only saved a good amount of money (over $75), he gave close consideration to how he spent his money at Walt Disney World. It turns out he is much more careful about spending his own money than ours! If you are concerned about having to match a large amount, you could say you'll match the first $50 or whatever you are comfortable with. An added benefit --there was no begging for Mom and Dad to buy him something in every shop. - tip contributed by Holly

Save This Tip


Finally take all these components and calculate the total you need to budget. Determine if you can save this amount by your chosen dates. If your budget is higher than your allocated funds, delete some unnecessary items. If you just can’t trim another expense or have your heart set on a certain hotel, consider saving for 18 months instead of a year. In fact, it’s better to know you are going several years from now, then nixing the idea entirely. Delay instant gratification in order to reach your dream.

Compare purchasing the components separately versus buying a travel agent’s package. Usually a la carte is less expensive, however a package can offer time and money savings. For instance, one of Walt Disney World's promotions may be a package option that is cost-effective for those who need to purchase tickets. Annual passholders, for example, might do better on their own.

Money-Saving Tips
How do you allocate and actually save the money? For some folks, you may want to open a separate bank account and earmark it as a vacation fund. Or you might be disciplined enough to just keep a running total of how much in your account has been reserved for your trip. Challenge the whole family to brainstorm thrifty cost-saving measures!

Get a large coffee can and have everyone contribute their change. When the can is full, cash it in and add to your savings.

Think twice before renewing magazine subscriptions. Add the money you would have spent to your vacation fund. Spend spare time reading free online Walt Disney World sites.

Instead of ordering out, have the family make their own pizzas, add three pepperoni slices in the shape of Mickey as a reminder of your shared plan. Don’t forget to add the savings to your fund.

Hold a garage sale. Or look into selling on eBay. You probably have a closet full of stuff that your family no longer needs. I’ve sold "pick up only" items such as a sofa, computer desk, baker’s rack, and play gym. These were items that were not needed at our new house. I’ve sold less than 100 items on eBay, mailing the smaller items to winning bidders. Although I’m not a savvy salesperson, I’ve made over $1500 as a casual seller, mostly from toys and clothes that my son has outgrown.

Check out credit card reward programs, like the Disney Visa Rewards Card. We use American Express for most purchases and subtract the receipts in our checkbook. I tally up the purchases against the statement before paying off the full balance each month. The reward points really add up. For instance, I just transferred American Express points to my free Priority Club hotel membership. I then booked a Holiday Inn Express room with the points. The free hotel room will be used on our road trip to Orlando. There are many credit card and hotel programs. Check in to clubs that might suit your family.

Start your bank account 52 weeks from your travel date. When you make a hotel deposit or purchase advance tickets, take out of this account only.

Reduce the amount you need to save per week by adding any holiday, birthday, bonus, tax refunds or other special monies to your account. As you add the extras, notice that the weekly amount needed to save decreases. Let that inspire your family to discover innovative ways to hoard your funds!

When short for the weekly amount, cash in your coins early or skip a take-out lunch that week. Of course, if the trip isn’t a huge priority then you won’t go to such extremes. And that’s okay. But if your family really wants to visit the Mouse’s House, then you too can make it happen!

If you need a quick Mickey fix, decrease your hotel nights or budget one sit-down meal per day. For example, the day we do a Character Lunch, we share a breakfast of pastries. And then eat a fast food dinner of pizza.

Do we practice all these annoying, obsessive strategies? Yes! Our can of coins usually pays the road trip gas and/or food.

Saving for Walt Disney World trips has become a strategic game for us. Once you walk down Main Street U.S.A., you won’t recall all the little things that your family gave up in order to make the journey.


Cosmic Ray's Menu photo
Cosmic Ray's Menu

The beverage menu at Cosmic Ray's at the Magic Kingdom - photo by WDW_Fan




About the Author:
Kimberly LaPaglia is one of the inaugural Disney Moms Panelists. She continues her role on the Panel helping guests with Disney Cruise Line questions and any Walt Disney World questions posed directly to her. Kim has stayed at nearly all of the WDW resorts and enjoys sailing with Mickey. As a Disney bride for her 10th anniversary vow renewal, her family rode in Cinderella's Coach to the Wedding Pavilion.

Related Links:
Disney + Disabilities = Magic! - Enjoying Disney World with Disabilities last updated 11/07/2008
Saving Money for Disney - Tips and Tricks last updated 2/25/2011
Baby Steps - Six Sanity Savers For Baby's First Trip to Walt Disney World last updated 3/7/2011
Disney Dreaming - Book Excerpt from PassPorter's Walt Disney World last updated 1/16/2009
Walt Disney World for Veteran Visitors - Finding New Things To Do last updated 1/16/2009




Reader Comments:


We are planning a trip for Oct. 2011 and would love to save all the money we can. also,

     Mommyto2princesses on January 1, 2011 @ 12:21 pm
We do the separate savings account sit down and decide how much we need to put back each week to make the final payment at the 45 day mark or take the amount each week and send it to Disney then it is there and I get to see the amount shrink each week. To save money we each do without something like I don't buy a new book or we give up the new movies we buy. We also put our spare coin change into a container to save for spending money......I noticed the other week that Sam's Club was selling Disney gift cards not sure if that was just a christmas thing or not. I also will open a Christmas Club at my bank next week for our trip in December 2011 and that will be available incase something has come up and I am behind on where I want to be in paying for some reason.......hope something in this helps....

     Ceara's mawmaw on January 1, 2011 @ 12:30 pm

     Muffinator on January 1, 2011 @ 12:33 pm
We have a separate savings account. I figure out how much money we need for all the vacation expenses and then do a weekly direct deposit based on that. It may mean we have to cut back on other things but it's worth it to make it to Disney. I'm a stay at home mom too and I think family vacations are a good investment!

I have seen Disny gift cards at Stop and Shop. When birthdays come up, we sometimes ask for Disney gift cards and use those towards our spending money. My girls received gift cards from my mom which were enough spending money for them. That helped keep their spending in check once in the world. They knew once they used up their gift card they couldn't buy anything else. It's good practice for managing money for the kids.

You may already know this but be sure to watch for discounted packages. As new promotions come along you can change your reservation if it will save you more money. I think I changed our last trip reservation 4 times and each time the price got lower.

     Disney Dork on January 1, 2011 @ 12:42 pm
Our local grocery store (Kroger) sells Disney gift cards. I ask family/friends to give them as gifts for the kids so that they have spending money for our upcoming trip. The Disney gift cards work at the hotels, shops and even the vending carts.

     dreamingdisney on January 1, 2011 @ 12:42 pm
We also have a Disney ONLY Savings Account.
After shopping if I have any $1 dollar bills, I take them out and save them.
We put all our change in a Jar.
This year I will round off my Checks to the next dollar amount.
I have a tight budget on Groceries and Personal items. (Coupon User)
I am totally addicted to Saving for vacations.
I can go on, but those are just a few.
:luck::luck::luck::luck:

     Roxie2006 on January 1, 2011 @ 12:57 pm
I love saving for Disney! My family asked for Gift Cards for Christmas and we also save all of our $1 bills for spending money. Something new that I am doing this time - saving $5 bills for all of our tips. I have added them up and we already have enough for all 8 nights of Mousekeeping and 4 of our table service meals. We are leaving in under 4 weeks and are soooooo excited!smiley for :D

     Heidi - Planning Addict on January 1, 2011 @ 1:03 pm
I've seen Disney GC's at Walgreens and CVS too.

     missminniedreams on January 1, 2011 @ 1:08 pm
I too am a stay-at-home mom, so I understand that saving money is part of the 'job description'. smiley for ;) We have a house rule when planning vacations (we try to do Disney yearly, plus DD and I usually go somewhere with my mother and sister during the summer), that I try to take the least amount possible from savings - I pay for things by economizing on my household accounts. I take a set amount of cash each payday from my account for groceries and incidentals. Whatever is left by next payday goes into my "Mickey Money" jar. It kinda becomes a game after awhile, seeing how much you can save. If you are heavy coupon user (like me), and if (like our family) you almost never go out to eat, the money adds up fast.

     Katara81 on January 1, 2011 @ 1:23 pm
We do save our spare change but we try to spend wisely while on vacaction as well. We bring cereal (those sample packages which the kids consider to be a treat) and bring snacks as well. Every little bit helps!

     debrabrown on January 1, 2011 @ 2:30 pm
We use our airmiles Visa and hubby puts things onto that and we pay it off every mth. We have enough airmiles to pay for our flight, our car rental, flight insurance. I also try to stay at hotels throughout the yr if we go anywhere that offers rewards such as Country Inn and Suites and I am getting discounts there too.
Oh, and we own our own buisness so the kids and I go and seperate bottles for refund and we put that into an account.
We have already gotten one deal and saved over $150 (not much I know..yet) and was the latest deals.
I am a Stay At HOme mom too.
My biggest problem is this yr is that I have a root canal and a crown to get done and that is a $2000 job that I never anticipated. I will find out on Tues if I need work done and I pray not. We are still going, but geeze, that one hurt.

     Starbright on January 1, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

     Caldercup on January 1, 2011 @ 3:19 pm
We just bought some Disney gift cards at Wegmans! smiley for :D

     home4us123 on January 1, 2011 @ 4:10 pm
I also have the Disney Visa card and you can save when you book your trip if you pay for it with the Visa.

Also, everytime you use your Disney Visa, you earn "Disney Dollars". The true Visa card is $1 for every $100 you spend (if you are disciplined enough to pay it off every time); the Visa debit card is $1 for every $200 you spend. I use my debit card for as much as possible - in less than 1 year, I earned over $100. I'm looking into paying as many bills as possible via my card, so I can earn even more money.

I also use a separate savings account. Also, if my dates are flexible, I try to do that. And, I keep an eye on airfare to get the best deal possible.

I love the idea of a "Mickey Money" jar and I'll have to incorporate that for my spare change.

     dolphin041599 on January 1, 2011 @ 6:44 pm
When we book, I divide the total into how many months I have to get it paid off. Then I make monthly payments to WDW. We use the DDP, and aren't big suvie buyers, so aside from tips and the occas. suvie etc, we don't spend much. Maybe a Doonie smiley for ;)

     Sue M. on January 1, 2011 @ 7:12 pm
We use the separate savings account approach. I use an investment account with the company that manages my 401(k) so getting to the Disney money isn't "easy" (3 days to transfer to my bank account). This keeps me from spending that money on everyday stuff that I don't need.

I am fortunate to have a job that offers plenty of overtime. Since my paychecks are direct deposited I have my normal 40 hour check go into our checking account and any extras go into the above account.

I could also set up me direct deposit to deposit a certain $$ amount each week into the savings account - a good way to budget IMHO. It's nice to see that account grow over time smiley for :)

     smoore424 on January 2, 2011 @ 2:39 am
I have a direct deposit savings account that takes $50 out of my paycheck weekly that I use to save for Disney trips.
Check out this article as well
Saving Money for Disney: Tips and Tricks - PassPorter.com
(Yes I'm plugging my own article . . . )

     ilovedisney247 on January 2, 2011 @ 2:46 am
I have a decorated paint can (has Disney Characters on it, etc) that we put are spare change and one dollar bills in. I am also putting a certain amount of money away a week and at the end of each month make a payment on our trip. Then each week I have been picking up a $25.00 Disney Gift card when shopping. I plan to use these for our excursions, photos and spending money on our cruise and the park. Today I am going to sit down and see where else I can squeeze some money smiley for :)

     hethrn on January 29, 2011 @ 9:10 am
My DH has direct deposit for his paycheck so we have $50 going out to our savings account. We use DDP so we just pay off everything before we go. Last year we then divided up the cash before we went. We banned using our credit card while there and could only use the saved up cash. We figured save now so we can go again!

     southerngirl1014 on January 29, 2011 @ 3:50 pm
I love the Disney Jar Idea... I think I just might have to make myself one of those

     BlueCinderellaEyes on January 29, 2011 @ 4:36 pm
It seems like everyone is pretty much on the same page with the savings! I echo the Disney Visa (if you pay it off of course!) because it's feels almost like "bonus" money because you had to pay for your vacation anyway, so might as well turn that into money you can spend on your trip!



Places like Sam's Club and Costco occasionally do promotions around the holidays that if you buy a certain package of gift cards, you get a certain amount free. Example: if you buy a pack of $100 worth of Disney Gift Cards you get an additional $20 for free. So if you wanted to do cards instead of cash for spending money that's free money!



We have a "Disney Jar" that change, etc goes into and my step son has one in his room that he decorated himself (it's an old peanut butter jar he put construction paper on, etc) and that's his allowance money which is his Disney spending money.



Also, you are better off buying those "must have" souveniers at home before you go. If your kids are going to want an autograph book, look at the dollar store or at your local craft store (Michaels always has a ton of Disney things) and spend $1 or so on the book as opposed to $10 per book in the parks. Landyards, Autograph Books, Pens, etc...bring it all with you! No one will be missing out on the "must have" Disney items and you won't go broke!

     PixieMichele on January 29, 2011 @ 4:53 pm
I like to book my vacations way out; preferably a year or more- this gives me a specific goal and that way I can make payments towards the trip and I try to pay it off as quickly as possible.....

I also try to look for ways to save on vacation; with Disney a promotion and when we go other places I also try to find promotions/discounts.... In addition, I usually take breakfast foods and snacks with us when we go to Disney or anywhere else as that saves quite a bit..... I do value rooms at Disney and look for good deals on hotels when we go other places also.... I like to get the most bang for my vacation bucks!

     B.M. on January 29, 2011 @ 5:12 pm
ceara's mawmaw;3522837 >I noticed the other week that Sam's Club was selling Disney gift cards not sure if that was just a christmas thing or not.

Was in Sam's Club with a friend just the other day....they still had the Disney gift cards. $100 for $98 and change.

muffinator;3522840 >You can order Gift Cards online at the Disney Store (Buy a Disney Gift Card | Disney Store). They have a ton of designs as well. I got a Maleficent one around Halloween.
Cool, can you get any amount? And can you add to one or just get another one if trying to use this to save?

missminniedreams;3522872 >I've seen Disney GC's at Walgreens and CVS too.
Will have to swing into Walgreens here in Alaska and see if they have them too.

     jenifermg0 on January 29, 2011 @ 5:41 pm
We pay for our vacay with our income taxes. We save quarters for laundry and pressed pennies, and bring bottles of soda/juice. snacks, cereal and shelf milk.

     davishomeschool on January 30, 2011 @ 1:25 am
This subject comes up several times a year and everyone gives good advice on ways to save money.

In addition to the Disney Visa card which Dolphin has mentioned above concerning paying bills, I am sure electrical, electric and utility bills are included which is great.

Even though it is not mentioned directly I would like to add to "bills" clothing, food and gasoline as main items.

I am not sure if the Disney Visa card covers the food and gasoline but some do.

When you grocery shop, buy gasoline, automotive repairs and pay with money "out of your pocket" for other things think "Trip to Disney" If possible use the visa card and start earning money. You have to eat. So why not use the visa card. Money just spent on food alone will give you several dollars a month --- for Disney.

I am sure you can find more ways.

As a caution beware of some bills you might pay by telephone. Before you pay the first time check to see if that company charges YOU for paying over the telephone. Many do and will not inform you unless you ask. In those cases it's back to "in person", checks or autromatic payment by your bank.

     Papa Mouse on January 30, 2011 @ 1:00 pm
I almost never pay with exact change then when I get home I put the coins in a jar. This doesn't work when I pay with my debit card. smiley for :) I need to look into one of the "keep the change" savings plans at whatever bank it is. I can't remember now.
Our trip in August is being paid for with a "bribe" from work. When they let people go in March, they gave some of us a stay bonus if we worked through the rest of the year. For some reason they didn't offer that again this year. smiley for ;)

     Lemap760 on January 30, 2011 @ 1:09 pm
If you are flying, consider airports beyond the one that is closest. We usually fly out of Newark, but for our upcoming trip, the prices out of Newark were ridiculously high, at about $600 or so per ticket. We discovered Southwest out of Philadelphia in the low $200s, and on top of that, we had a voucher from Southwest for luggage problems on a trip to the west coast last year. The end result is that we are paying for four tickets out of Philadelphia at what it would have cost for a single ticket out of Newark. On top of that, my company's travel program extends the business travel hotel discount to personal travel as well, as long as you put it on your own credit card, so there is anither money-saver idea. Good luck!

     mickeyfans on January 30, 2011 @ 2:22 pm
lemap760;3552690 >I almost never pay with exact change then when I get home I put the coins in a jar. This doesn't work when I pay with my debit card. smiley for :) I need to look into one of the "keep the change" savings plans at whatever bank it is. I can't remember now.
Our trip in August is being paid for with a "bribe" from work. When they let people go in March, they gave some of us a stay bonus if we worked through the rest of the year. For some reason they didn't offer that again this year. smiley for ;)
Bank of America has an account where they round up your purchase and transfer it to savings and at the end of the year they match it, I don't know how much, not dollar for dollar of course but what ever it is it's free money.

     davishomeschool on January 30, 2011 @ 7:41 pm
pixiemichele;3552043 >Also, you are better off buying those "must have" souveniers at home before you go. If your kids are going to want an autograph book, look at the dollar store or at your local craft store (Michaels always has a ton of Disney things) and spend $1 or so on the book as opposed to $10 per book in the parks. Landyards, Autograph Books, Pens, etc...bring it all with you! No one will be missing out on the "must have" Disney items and you won't go broke!

I agree! We saved so much money by buying "souvenier" shirts and towels, etc. on sale at the Disney store before we left. I also made tees with Disney iron ons I found on ebay. We wore our t-shirts while there and the kids never asked me to buy them. I also bought personalized autograph books on ebay, which the kids loved. We brought our own big clickable sharpies to save money on souvenier pens. Bonus: the characters liked using them!

     goofyboysmama on January 31, 2011 @ 12:11 am
We use our Disney Visa card throughout the year for just about everything including all household expenses. We get points for that we use on vacation. It ends up being a nice bonus.

     MichaelF on January 31, 2011 @ 7:35 am
I am in the Bank of America Keep the Change program. They do round up every debit card purchase to the next dollar and then transfer that amount into your savings account. The first 3 months you are in the program, they match your amount in full, then you earn 5% on the amount transferred after that.

I also charge myself an extra dollar everytime I use my debit card and keep it hidden as "extra" money. Once it hits a certain amount, I transfer it to my savings.

I also stopped including my pay raises in my checkbook a few years ago. Every pay day I write in a certain amount and then add the rest of my check into my "Extra" money. I also have $50 from my Extra money DD into my savings every month as well. This way, I don't have to pay any fees on my accounts. I can save a good chunk of change buy doing all of this.

I also bought a piggy bank, in the shape of a pig, on sale at Target. Any change that my kids or I have go into the pig. We call it "feeding the piggy". Since I use my debit card alot, there isn't a huge amount in the pig, but it is getting heavier. We don't have a particular goal set up for that money, but when it gets heavier, we will.

     scrappyjae on January 31, 2011 @ 9:30 am
For our last trip, I promised DH that I could pay for 6 days, on site, and our airfare without it directly affecting our regular income.

I picked up a second "job" taking pictures for a local paper where the focus was youth baseball in the county. The reporters are generally responsible for taking their own pictures, but it was simply too much for them to cover 8 leagues alone. They contract out for that specific time of year. I think I pulled in $500 in 6 weeks.

I also judge projects for 4-H which offers a small stipend for our time and travel. Last summer, I worked at 10 fairs. The stipend isn't that big, but it sure adds up over time.

Another thing I was planning to do, was donate plasma once a week. There has been a great shortage, and we had just lost my grandmother after heart surgery. I know she had several blood transfusions and needed plasma as well. I wanted to give back. Unfortunately, I have a history of blood clots and was unable to donate. :(

Also, I calculated my "dumb" expenses. All the extra stops for coffee, or breakfast, eating lunch out (for myself) and put that money into our trip fund instead of spending $5 here, $10 there.

That's what I did... and I had our trip paid off WAY early.

     kwitcherkicken99 on January 31, 2011 @ 12:26 pm
kwitcherkicken99;3553684 >Also, I calculated my "dumb" expenses. All the extra stops for coffee, or breakfast, eating lunch out (for myself) and put that money into our trip fund instead of spending $5 here, $10 there.
.


COOL IDEA!!! I have stopped drinking this evil sugary chocolate coffee stuff (kinda coffee and hot chocolate mixed) that I was getting at the local Chevron quick stop.....more because I didn't need it than the money! I am going to start putting that $1.09 I was spending on it into a jar daily and see what happens! After all...that was $5.45 (minimum) a week I was spending. That adds up to $283.40 a year!!! OMG!!!!!!!!! And I actually prefer tea and ALWAYS have it in the cupboard at home and in a drawer at work!

     jenifermg0 on January 31, 2011 @ 3:41 pm
We also do the disney money jar - DH is very good about adding change to it!
I work a very per diem position in addition to my regular job - so that $ goes directly into the vacation savings.
We also save and return all the soda cans for the deposits and that money goes into the disney money jar!
It's amazing how quickly it all adds up!
we also ask for or purchase ourselves the Disney gift cards! We have them at Stop & Shop here!

     lfredsbo on January 31, 2011 @ 3:58 pm
I have the Disney Visa card and we put everything on it and I pay off monthly. The card is used when DH travels for business and his work pays him back...we got a ton of points from that. The card paid for all of our food and DD's BBB appt on our recent trip (we had 2 WS meals, 3 character meals, and lots of CS).

We have already started planning our next trip in 2014 or 2015. We picked the resort, tickets we wanted, other attractions, mears, and the addition of a possible child by then so we have a target to shoot for, each paycheck I put a little money into a savings account, but most of the trip is paid for with our tax returns, we see it as a reinvestment in our family.

Like many others I have the change jar, but thanks to cards that doesn't add up like it used too.

The biggie for us is couponing. I too am a domestic goddess and spend a few hours a week on the couponing in clipping, researching, planning, and shopping. www.fabuslesslyfrugal.com is the website I use, even if they don't work for your area check them out and it will help you get started. Its an extra 50-100 in our pocket each month that we can put towards a trip.

Finally ask family for the Disney Gift Cards, not just for the kids but for you and DH as well. If you want they can be used for food on the trip but DH and I had some and used them as our souvie money. Our local Albertson's sells them but I second the post the had the disney website for purchase, you can get some really neat designs (DH got one for the marathon).

Good Luck and happy saving.

     AngelLily03 on February 1, 2011 @ 12:02 am
For those of you whom tried the above coupon site given by Chelsey remove the first "s" to get

Fabulessly Frugal - Coupons, Grocery Store, Free Printable Coupons, Idaho, Was.

It's ready to go now, just click.

Thanks Chelsey.

Papa Mouse

     Papa Mouse on February 1, 2011 @ 5:41 am
papa mouse;3554611 >For those of you whom tried the above coupon site given by Chelsey remove the first "s" to get



Fabulessly Frugal - Coupons, Grocery Store, Free Printable Coupons, Idaho, Was.



It's ready to go now, just click.



Thanks Chelsey.



Papa Mouse




Sorry my fingers got away from me smiley for :), thanks! Hope this helps someone.

     AngelLily03 on February 3, 2011 @ 12:46 pm
We use our income tax return to pay for most of the vacation. Its our treat for a year of hard work. We do several thing for extra spending money. We do the change jar. My DD loves adding the change everyday. We have the bank of america keep the change savings account. It is great. You save money and don't even notice its gone. We watch our budget very close. Any week that I come under budget on a bill, groceries, gas, etc, I put that extra in the account. Once we get we take the amount of money we plan to spend on extras and put that on a gift card. If your able to watch the balance everyday, it helps us not over spend and go over our budget. I always bring snacks for my DD to help cut down there as well.smiley for :)

     disneyfan1219 on February 8, 2011 @ 12:16 am
They sell Disney gift cards for purchase at our local Kroger store!!! Our local Disney store closed...which put me in to total SHOCK!
To save money:
I move it into a separate savings account. I contribute out of each of my husband's and my paychecks.
If we go out to dinner and I budgeted 40...but we only spent 35 then I set it aside...and at the end of the month also add that to the bunch.

That way I talk myself into cooking cheaper meals...eating out less...and basically doing less shopping...cuz...wouldn't I rather have it for Disneysmiley for :rolleyes:.
YUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!smiley for :waytogo:

I have my DS (5 yo) doing the same thing. Would you rather have that matchbox car at the grocery? or add it to your Mickey House fund? I'm telling you...he has built up quite a little stash!

     Cheeser on February 8, 2011 @ 1:54 pm
Just stopped by Walgreens and got a Disney gift card. I'm going to try and get a 50.00 every week. We leave in 101 days!!!

     idoteech on February 8, 2011 @ 7:47 pm
Great ideas everyone! We are driving for the first time this year, so traveling with a cooler with tons of water bottles, juices, and small snacks. We will be on the dining plan so that should save us a few snack credits which can be used on souveniers like mickey krispies instead. smiley for :) If you are NOT on the dining plan and have access to a car, get water and small snacks, you'll save a little in the parks just doing that.

     nconover on February 9, 2011 @ 2:25 pm
Question: Can you use the Disney gift cards for tips on meals?

     nconover on February 9, 2011 @ 2:27 pm
nconover;3564535 >Question: Can you use the Disney gift cards for tips on meals?



I used our disney rewards visa card for meals and tip...I would assume other gift cards work the same way.

     AngelLily03 on February 10, 2011 @ 10:02 am
nconover;3564535 >Question: Can you use the Disney gift cards for tips on meals?

Meals, Souviners, Adult Beverages. Just about anything. We used ours on our last trip to help pay for tips at resturants!

     Mom23Princesses on February 10, 2011 @ 10:10 am
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