This week I’m offering a smorgasbord or hodge-podge of saving tips for your Disney vacation, with both money savers but also sanity-savers! This week I traveled by air (no, not on broomstick, I went by plane) instead of my usual 4-wheeled mode of transportation. What an experience!
I am a people watcher so even though I traveled alone, I gained so much insight, as well as sympathy for those traveling with young children. When traveling to Disney World by plane, one must know that the airlines are not run with the Disney magic or efficiency of the Disney World parks. After experiencing multiple flight cancellations and delays over a seven-hour period, I realized an emergency bag of entertainment is a necessity, especially for little ones, since they cannot take sneaky pictures to post on Facebook to amuse themselves and all their friends. I don’t care how bored the kids get, you do not want to buy snacks, games or books in the airport! Use the old motto, “Be prepared.”
Bring on the books! Whether your child can read or still needs the story read, make sure you take the old favorite but scour the library or yard sales prior to your trip to pick up some new stories for little or no cost. Recently, I stocked up on books at a yard sale for 10 -50 cents each! Also watch for activity books and joke books at yard sales. Sometimes they are new or slightly used.
Pack a deck of playing cards. Playing cards provide a source of almost endless fun with Go Fish, Solitaire, Spades, War, Memory, and Old Maid, just to name a few. Local dollar stores often have decks, some even sized for kid hands for cheap, cheap, cheap!
Kids going stir crazy? Lots of pent up energy and they are tired of sitting? Time to explore! Whether you are traveling by air or car, exploring will help burn off the energy before boarding the plane or piling back in the car for more riding. Airports have lots of sights to see, as you begin the journey around the airport, start a game of I spy. If you are traveling by car, stopping at interstate rest stops is a great place for a quick game of soccer or freeze tag.
Once you have arrived at Disney World with your sanity in tact plus the adoration of your kids, it’s time to keep the stars in your crown with your spouse for being super-frugal parent! Saving money on food is a great way to start in the parks. You can unpack the amusement bag almost (leave an activity book or joke book for passing the time while you wait for the event/ride with no fast passes left!)
If you are eating in the park, share meals while you are there. Be sure to pack a few snacks and water bottles in the amusement bag so you do not have to buy snacks and drinks in the park. We have found that sharing meals is economical and the serving size is always adequate for at least one adult and one child portion.
If autographs are your souvenir, rather than buying the autograph book, grab a Disney Park map as you enter the park, pack a sharpie marker in your amusement bag and have the characters autograph the map according to their appearance spot in the park. Voila! A souvenir suitable for framing for ~~FREE!
Make your Disney vacation magical! Create memories not debt!
Till Next Time, Leigh Anne
Leigh Anne, originally from Mississippi, lives in North Alabama with her husband and a menagerie of furry kids (FIDS), including dogs, cats, exotic birds, fish and a lionhead rabbit. Figment, her African Grey parrot, is named after Disney’s small purple dragon, Figment. She works as a motivational speaker and pastoral counselor. In 1974, Leigh Anne marched with the Enka High Marching Band in the Magic Kingdom daytime parade. Leigh Anne fell in love with Disney while on her Disney honeymoon with her husband in 2002. They have made an annual trip back to Disney to celebrate their anniversary every year since. Since they own a piece of the mouse with their Disney Vacation Club (DVC), some years they go twice! She also plans to be the grandmother that introduces all her grandchildren to Disney World first. She has a great start ~ 2 out of 3 so far! As a DVC member married to the best Disney shopper in the world, Leigh Anne has lots of experience in finding the most frugal way to have the most fun in the parks and resorts! Leigh Anne admits to being spoiled as a DVC member but is always on the lookout to keep their WDW vacations fun and frugal! She blogs at Queen of Hysteria and tweets @la_haygood