We received a nice surprise in the mail a few months back. it was a tax refund for the final adoption credit for Lola and Diego. We weren’t expecting it, which makes it all the sweeter. I quickly began to make a list of the things that need to be fixed around the house, and Georges had other plans; “The kids don’t care about all these little things that need to be fixed, but a trip to Disney World, they will remember forever!” . He was right, so we began planning our trip to Disney World.
As the days went on, I felt like I was planning a month long back packing trip through the Amazon. I was ferociously consuming Disney blogs and pinning like a crazy women. Most of the advice I got, was good. But what I learned was that there really are not many short-cuts or money saving tips. I found our 3-star hotel on Groupon and got a great deal. It was not part of the ‘Disney Resort’, but we were ok with that. What did I learn?
- Water Bottles: I actually got some cheap BPE-free water bottles and decorated them with kids names and Disney stickers, so that we didn’t have to search for water fountains.
- Disney Pins: This was fun for the kids. I went to ebay, and bought 50 Disney pins for $24. I split the pins between the 4 older kids, and this added a second level of excitement to the trip. The kids searched out Disney employees that had pins and traded with them.
- Snacks; I made a trip to Trader Joes and stocked up on snacks to bring into the park with us.
- Lunch: I packed our lunches everyday. It was easy to find a nice shaded table for us to sit and have our lunch, and the money we saved really added up.
- Reservations: If you do want to eat at one of the parks restaurants. Make a reservation TODAY! Many of the restaurants are booked months ahead of time
- Fast Pass: You can now book your fast pass before your trip.
- Glow in the dark/light up toys: We purchased glow in the dark items at the dollar store, and handed them out before the parade.
- If you need to skip a park, and the city you live in has a zoo, then skip the Animal Park. It wasn’t much of a zoo, or an amusement park.
- Epcot: This is not the most exciting park for the little ones, so we turned into an educational experience. Make passports ahead of time to get ‘stamped’ in each country, have a map to show where each country is, talk about and point out architecture, and traditions from each country. We bought food in each country and tasted the local fare. The kids enjoyed this most..
- If you are at all tech-savvy, then take advantage of the Disney site. You can research and organize your itineraries here, as well as being able to store your restaurant reservations and fast pass times. You can link your Disney passes to the site, and in case you lose your passes, the numbers are recorded on line and you can have new passes issued quickly.