Friday, May 10, 2013

Saving at Disney: Bring it from Home

Let's be honest.  Disney can suck money out of your pocket without you even realizing it!  Especially if you have kids who beg for every snack, toy, shirt, pin and more at each turn.  Here are a few ways our family has saved some money while at Walt Disney World.

Plan on bringing the following with you from home:
  • Medicines (prescriptions and over the counter), even if you aren't sick.  You can buy OTC meds at the gift shops in the hotels, but it will cost you a fortune.  If you do have your own car or rental car, do you really want to spend your time on vacation finding the closest drug store or Wal Mart just to save some money?  Just pack it and bring it with you.  It's much better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.
  • Sunscreen.  Again, you can buy this in the parks and at the hotels, but why spend a lot of money when chances are you already have this at home - or can buy it much cheaper at home.  If you are buying, consider buying the travel size tube or stick so you can easily carry it into the parks to reapply.  The florida sun is brutal!
  • Bugspray.  This also falls into the same category as sunscreen.  The mosquitos can be harsh in the swampy, humid, Florida heat.  Bring it from home and consider a travel size of this too!
  • Water bottles.  You can bring a case of water from home to carry into the parks each day or you can bring an empty water bottle and have it refilled for free at counter service restaurants.  You will get hot and you will want water while at Walt Disney World.  Who really wants to spend $2 on a bottle of water each time you get thirsty?  If you are flying and don't want to pack a lot of bottles of water, consider using Garden Grocer and have them deliver water and snacks to your room!
  • Snacks.  While it is fun to get snacks at Walt Disney World shaped like your favorite characters, these can add up and cost a lot of money.  Consider buying Disney themed snacks ahead of time and bring them into the parks with you.  If you keep your eyes peeled, there are a ton of Disney snacks at the grocery stores that can be kept in a backpack.  You can also make your own snacks if you are a creative mom or dad!
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  • Lunches.  This is an easy way to save money!  Bring items to have a picnic lunch in the parks.  There are so many off the beaten path places to have a nice lunch.  We bring 2 slices of bread in a Disney themed sandwich container for each person. We also bring Jif to go peanut butter cups and squeeze jelly packets from fast food places.  Don't forget to pack a plastic knife or spoon to spread it all on the bread!  You can also get Starkist tuna kits complete with mayo and relish.  Throw in some chips (Pringles work well because they don't get squished in their cylinder container), fruit (fresh, dried or in cups), and little Debbies and you're set! You can also use silicone cupcake liners to put into tupperware type containers to separate snacks and keep them from getting squished in your bag.  
So, there you go.  Ways our family saves a little bit of money on our Disney vacations!  Next week I'll share another bit on saving AT Disney!

What do you do to save money while at WDW?

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