Disney Vacationing on Budget 2013

This year we are heading to Disney again for Christmas 2013 and I can’t wait to head back down to Florida! But with any vacation, there comes planning, packing and more planning! I don’t claim to be an expert on any of this but from years of experience of traveling with little ones, we have learned our fair share of what works and what doesn’t- so I thought I would share!

Here are some tips that we use to help our family stay on budget while vacationing to Disney: (this list will continue to grow as I post new ideas!!)

Here are some other great Travel Tips that may come in handy while heading out on vacation:

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Disney Travel Tip: Let The Kids Eat FREE

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Even though our Disney vacation is 6 months away, I feel that it will be here before we know. I want to make sure we have everything covered well in advance and one thing that comes to mind with our 3 food monsters, is how to afford meals while  on vacation.

One thing we are planning to purchase this time around to Disney is a Orlando Family Pack Discount Card from Kids Eat FREE Card! If you have never heard of Kids Eat FREE Card, here is the run down:

  • Purchase 1 discount card per child ages 11 and under ($20 each)
  • Receive one FREE kids meal for each full price paying adult
  • To use present the card to the server or cashier at time of ordering
  • Valid at only participating restaurants- restaurants may be removed from accepting card offer without prior notice
  • Kids Eat Free Card cannot be used with any other discounts or offer
  • 2 children with 2 Kids Eat Free Cards, will need 2 full price paying adult entree’s
  • Kids Eat Free Card offers child’s menu items that may vary from standard restaurant’s child menu choices in some cases
  • Kids Eat Free Card Meals may not apply to taxes, gratuities, bar drinks or carry out food
  • Card is Non-Refundable and Non-Transferable
  • Card expires 90 Days from first use

I know the first question you are going to ask is, why spend $20 per child to get FREE kids meals when there are other ways to save, right? Well spending this additional cost will depend on a few things and may not be a good option for every family!

  • First, what is the age of your child? Our oldest will be 12 so she will not be able to use this card, but our 2 younger daughters will be 9 and 5 when we head to Disney. So knowing that we can get 2 kids meals for FREE every when we eat at our favorite fast food places for our 2 youngest will be well worth the $20.
  • Second, is your going to eat a whole kids meal? My girls have bottomless pits so eating a full meal will be no problem for them. But if you have a child that eats very little or is a very picky eater, it may be easier to just allow your child to eat a smaller portion of your meal rather than give them a whole kids meal- saving you the $20 bucks.
  • Next, are you planning to eat out more than 4 times? If you are planning to cook all your meals at your rental house or from your hotel some how, this is probably not something you will want to purchase. But if you are planning to eat most of your meals at local restaurants, fast food places or at Disney, then you may want to consider purchasing this card.
  • Last, will you really save with this card? So I did a quick estimate of how many times we will eat out while on vacation. We do plan to eat most breakfast and a few lunches at our rental home, but we will have most dinners out! So with just one child eating out at  a place like Cici’s Pizza, which is on their very long list of fast food locations, you will save $5 per child, per visit. So say during our 7 day visit, if we eat out more than 4 times, we are saving money on our youngest daughters meals. So this will depend on how many times you plan to eat out and how long you plan to stay if this card will be a great deal for your family!

This card may not be for everyone, but for us, knowing we will not pay but just $40 for 2 of our girls to eat for the week, is a huge savings for us! I will of course have my coupon book with me and we will have plenty of food to snack on and eat throughout the day, but saving while eating out will help us keep our Disney Vacation on Budget!

Check out other ways our family plans to save while on vacation in Disney!

What ways do you save while vacationing to Disney?

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Disney Travel Tip: Save On Drinks

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With a family of 5, we tend to drink a lot! Especially when we are not at home, our girls think that they need to have something to drink every 5 minutes! So there are a few things we do to keep the cost of drinks to a minimal while vacationing in Disney.

  • Bring A Cooler- Disney allows you to bring a soft sided cooler. This is great to keep it full of bottles of water, bottled drinks, juice boxes, etc. Keep an ice pack in the bottom and you know have drinks that you were able to pick up at the Dollar Store, Target or your local grocery store at a better price than at the park! Just keep this in mind, Disney does not allow glass containers at any of the parks and no straws at Animal Kingdom due to safety of the animals.
  • Ask For A Cup Of Ice Water- This is probably my favorite part! Stop by any counter service restaurant and ask for a FREE cup of ice water (it is tap water). This is a great way to keep your family hydrated without the cost. Disney’s tap water does have a little bit of a funny taste and since my family is very picky when it comes to their water taste buds, I have another trick. Before you head to the park, fill your bag with drink mix packets (Kool Aid, Lemonade, Tea, etc) to add to the FREE cup of ice water! This will help satisfy their taste buds, keep them hydrated and keep money in your pocket! (EXTRA TIP: Buy a couple Filtered Water Bottles to make the tap water from Disney taste better!)
  • FREE Samples from Epcot Club Cool- There is a this great shop in Epcot that sells Coke Merchandise and gives you FREE Samples of Coke products from around the world! This is a great way to not only try out some great drinks from other countries but can quench your thirst with some sweet drinks!
  • Refillable Cups- Not all the parks offer this but both water parks at Disney offers a refillable cup for around $10 for unlimited drinks all day! This can be a great way to help spend less if you plan on getting several drinks throughout the day! Hot days at the park would make this deal worth every penny!

Check out other ways our family plans to save while on vacation in Disney!

What ways do you save while vacationing to Disney?

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