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We just decided to take our 4 year old and 14 year old sil to disney world for DS 5th Birthday. We will be leaving in May (17th or 18th) I think we are going to drive (12 hours) instead of buying airline ticket. I didn't realize how many things there is to plan! I NEED HELP! We are budgeting about 1500 for the WHOLE TRIP including any extra activities/souviners etc. I want to stay like 6 nights 7 days, but by the looks of the prices that isn't going to happen. Any advice??

by on Feb. 18, 2013 at 12:41 PM
Replies (21-27):
by on Feb. 21, 2013 at 6:38 PM
We went to Florida for a long weekend last May. We only went to Magic Kingdom and we ate most of our meals in the room at the resort. Our room was free because we "won" a timeshare package. We probably spent about $950 including gas for traveling and food. Tickets alone ran almost $500 for our family of five. We had so much fun!!

Quoting aidyns_mommy:

We def.couldn't afford that. Hopefully we can figure it out. I know we plan to eat most meals in the hotel room.

Quoting billssweety:

We just went to Disneyland, 8 hour drive, family of 4 and it cost us $2700, tickets into the park for a 4 day hopper were $245 per person, hotel we split with friends that went with us was $100 per night, we had a gift card from a credit card we got for souvenirs for $200 so that wasn't included in our budget, we did not eat in the park but at Ihop across the street where kids eat free so dinner was about $32 per night.....we had a blast and are already planning next years trip!

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by Bronze Member on Feb. 21, 2013 at 6:48 PM

I'll be honest, we HATED Hollywood studios...while it might be great for some kids, mine don't enjoy it nor do I, there's like one ride the kids like, the Fantasmic! show scared my 3 year old and scared my oldest when she was 6...we did 1/2 a day there with some passes and rider swap for the little ones and then left, went to the hotel for lunch and swimming and then went to Downtown Disney.

The girls all (11, 3 and 1.5) loved the Magic Kingdom, we spent 2.5 days there, and they actually liked tons of stuff in Epcot too.The ride in Norway, the ride in Mexico, Ellen's Energy Adventure, the food is fabulous, the circle of life, soarin', Figment, Mission: Space, Sea Lab, the Seas with Nemo and Friends, Turtle Talk with Crush, Test Track (PLENTY even for a 5 year old)...we spent 1.5 days (2pm-close on arrival day and a full week day) at Epcot, 1/2 a day at animal Kingdom (would have spent more time there, but it was raining that day)--it is an actual zoo with exhibits you can walk trails and see.

Vacation Offer
May 18 – May 24, 2013
2 Adults, 2 Children (15, 5)

Disney's All-Star Movies Resort

Standard Room

7-Day Tickets

Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan

Offer Subtotal

Quoting aidyns_mommy:

Thank you! (Tell your dd I said that too!)

Quoting spizzarks1978:

I worked for Disney in 2000 for a college program.  My suggestion would be to get the cheapest room you can find, your only going to sleep there anyway.  Get a meal plan package that way you don't feel like you are paying out money all day long.  Skip the Animal Kingdom and Epcot!!  There isn't much there for a 5yr old to enjoy.  Epcot is tons and tons of walking and is geared more to the adults than the kids.  Buy day passes instead of park hoppers.  You may find that you want to spend an entire day at one park yet end up paying more for the hopper.  The Magic Kingdom is the best park for kids.  It has all the rides/attractions the parades and fireworks.  The Disney Studios is also great for kids.  Super fun parades.  Many sit down 3D attractions and movie stuff that they will know.  Do the fire works show at the Disney Studios.  And spend a day just sitting by the pool.  Downtown Disney is free to get to and nice to walk around and look at all the shops.  Seeing as how you will have your car, go to the local grocery store and stock up on snacks n stuff to keep at the hotel and carry around with you so your not spending a ton of money on food in the parks.  The meal plan will give you some snacks too.  Get one of those refillable cups on the first day and use that over and over.  Bring a back pack to carry anything!!!  Having a shoulder bag will kill your shoulder after the first hour (even if it's just sweat shirts), and once you start filling it up with souvenirs it gets heavier and heavier.  A back pack is easier to carry.  Browse around the shops every day you are there then on the last day you can narrow down what you really want to by and see how much $$ you have left to spend.  That's always a big problem for some people,they buy buy buy on the first day and end up broke by day 3, of course u'll have to get a mickey or minnie on day one for the 5yr old lol ................ any other questions feel free to ask...... Oh I forgot to add that my DD who just turned 6 just took a trip to Disney with nana, some of these reccomendations come from her lol

by Ruby Member on Feb. 21, 2013 at 6:51 PM
$1500 is for gas and the whole trip? Save another year and double the budget. We spent $6000 on our 9 day trip to disney and that was 12 years ago.
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by on Feb. 22, 2013 at 7:13 PM

Check hotels on the Disney property that aren't actual Disney hotels, or look for some hotels right outside of the property that would be cheaper.  Try to get food at a food store and eat at your hotel room as much as possible, though they wont let you bring any into the park so you can't pack a lunch.  Do you plan on going to each park?  That's what's really going to cost, but Disney offers packages and park hoppers which can save a lot of money because you can "park hop" or leave and come back all you want that day (or however many days you have the park hoppers for)

I'm sure you don't want to wait or you might not be able to due to your schedule, but if I could offer any good advice, if I were you I would wait until Jaunary to get the best experience.  The 3rd week in January is statistically the slowest week of the year, the wait times on rides are 15-20min instead of 60-120min during the busy season.  The weather is SO much better and hotels are cheaper because it's off season.

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by on Feb. 22, 2013 at 7:38 PM

Awww how exciting! I wouldn't even know where to begin, but have fun!!

by Barb on Feb. 22, 2013 at 8:22 PM

I found some chat sites online about disney that were very helpful, then I bought a couple guide books.

Quoting Mommy2justone:

Awww how exciting! I wouldn't even know where to begin, but have fun!!

by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 1:33 PM
1 mom liked this

In case this touches anyone, I just went to Disney with my son with special needs (here he is in this photo!).  I wrote some tips about going to Disney with special needs and you can read them by clicking on this link.  Feel free to add your own tips too!

To those heading to Disney - have fun!  We had an amazing time!

p.s.  If you are looking for information about special needs besides Disney, please visit my page Shared Abilities  We are a community for SHARING information about special needs and celebrating all we are ABLE to accomplish!

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