We’re All Ears

Years ago, I was enthralled by Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and Goofy.  My sisters, brother and I literally ran my poor parents ragged as we explored the many wonders of Walt Disney World.  I have many, many fond memories of this magical place in spite of the miserable sunburns that we all sported during our trip.  Just so you know, we are definitely coating the entire fam with SPF and donning sun hats.  That is one moment in history not worth repeating.

It was still special though.  Through my little seven year old eyes, there was not a place on earth as magical as Walt Disney World.  It rocked in 1988. 

(Yeah.  Go ahead -figure out my age.  I’ll wait.  {drums fingers on table}  Done?)

I’ve always wanted to return.

Hubs and the kiddos have never been.

So we began researching details and expenses several years ago.  When we realized that children under three are FREE, we decided to go with Zip just shy of her 3rd birthday.  She will be old enough to remember it better and still young enough (along with her baby brother) to save us some major moola.  (It’s all about thriftiness.)

The time has come…April 2012.  Our clan is heading down there next week.  We are beyond excited.  The kids were thrilled when we told them on Saturday.  It was so cute.  (I will be sharing in another post how we told them.)  I know…some of you may be wondering why we told them so early.  Yes, they probably will drive us out of our minds this week with questions and overall wildness.  But we need their help getting ready and they would have wondered what all the luggage was for anyways.  😉

I thought that I that I would do a little mini-series with all the details and info that we have learned along the way.  Perhaps some of you have been contemplating a trip to the Magical Kingdom and like us, you just weren’t sure how you could do it on a budget (and a family to boot!).  We have been saving and researching for months now, so it will be beneficial for us if I organized all of our ideas and lists into one coherent location.  I’m a bit scattered currently.  {rolls eyes}

So look for it beginning on April 16th….Disney on a dime.


What tips do you recommend for WDW on a budget?  with young children?  Please share….no joke, we really are all ears.

4 thoughts on “We’re All Ears

  1. Pingback: Part II: Money Magic | Thrifty Stories

  2. Pingback: Part I:Tick-Tock for Time | Thrifty Stories

  3. Christina @ The Frugal Homemaker

    woohoo! You and the kids and hubby will LOVE it. We went last summer so if you have any questions feel free to ask. But here are my tips:

    -bring food in the park (snacks, lunch, drinks, etc.) They don’t have any rules for this so you can bring anything and everything. There were people who even had those rolling coolers 🙂 But I suggest maybe a backpack?? And a stroller would be a necessity with your little ones. They have stroller parking areas guarded by Disney people. Everything is top notch – clean, helpful, just wonderful!

    -buy souvenirs ahead of time or make a stop at Walmart in Orlando and buy souvenirs 🙂

    -stay for the nightly shows at each of the Disney parks – they are ALL worth it. don’t know how far away your hotel is but if you can’t do the whole day – go in spend till 2 pm – leave and come back at 6 or something. The only one that is hard to do that with is Magic Kingdom cause you have to boat or tram in from the park entrance to the actual park so it takes a while to get in and out.

    -have the Disney people take pictures for you. We did the “photo pass” thing but didn’t buy any of the photos (I did download some screenshots of a few though) BUT when they finish taking the picture with their camera, they will take the same picture with your camera – that way ALL of you can be in some family pictures.

    -and I am sure you have read about the Fast Pass thing too. Have hubby run and do that for some rides.

    and have fun! 🙂

    1. heather Post author

      We are super excited. Been planning FOREVER. 😉

      We knew about the food… I knew that you could do coolers but they have to be the soft ones I believe. I’m not sure how much we’ll bring beyond water, juice, milk (for Pop) and snacks. What with the stroller, diaper bag, camera, wallets and four kids, Hubs is not real keen on being weighed down with a bunch of food. Some is ok. We have stuff for the hotel for naptime and evenings. 😉

      We are bringing our SitNStand stroller for the little ones. This will probably kick us off of the shuttle from our hotel-so we may have to pay parking. 🙁 We’ll see though.

      We are using an organizer and have already blocked a 3-4 rest every afternoon (except Tuesday when we do Animal Kingdom- that’s an easy park. We will still rest in the afternoon but just not return to AK. We’re going to Downtown Disney in the evening). So I think that we’re set.

      Hubs got some killer (and I mean Killer!) coupons for a couple of the restaurants (including a character meal for Friday) online. And I’ve found some huge tips on ways to save money on little snacks for the kiddos.

      I’ve already given the kids (and Hubs and me) t-shirts that we got for $5 bucks last summer at the beach. Then I was able to get a couple more on Black Friday at Walmart for $2 bucks each and at Gapkids for FREE. I used a gap coupon for $5 off a $5 purchase.

      We’ll keep the D people in mind for picture taking.

      Yup we know about the fast pass. It’s already noted in our organizer for each day. Love that thing.

      Do you recommend ponchos?


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