Mom and Daughter at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Room
  • On May 2, 2012
    Laura from NJ Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    We are planning to drive to WDW for the first time with our four children, ages 9-15. We are on a budget and wondered do you have suggestions for items we can bring from home (ie glow sticks, etc) that will help to save costs. Thanks.


    There are lots of great money savers. Certainly more than I can list here. But let me start with a few of my favorites;

    • We try to have breakfast in the room every day. We bring breakfast bars, cereal, bowls and spoons, and then buy milk and fruit at area grocery stores. It gets us out the door faster, avoids many of the more expensive dining breakfasts, and keeps the kids content until lunch.
    • If you are going to do table service dining, look at doing the restaurants at lunch, vs. dinner. Costs are lower, even though the menu is often the same.
    • If you really want to save, and because you are driving, think of making and packing lunch each day. Bring sandwiches and drinks in with you (yes, you are allowed to do that!), and you save even more! Don't forget to pack snacks and drinks for more savings.
    • Make buying souvenirs a SPECIAL, fun treat. We give our girls a "coupon" for one item. They can't pick until the third day of the trip, so there is no buyer's remorse. And there is a dollar amount limit. Then instead of focusing on not getting to buy things, they focus on the one, budgeted item. You turn a possible negative into a positive.
    I think that your biggest area of savings can be on food and drinks. After that it is about setting expectations on souvenirs and shirts. For the former, you are lucky that you are driving. A well time grocery store stop before getting here can save you a lot. With the latter you need to remember that you don't really need any of it, so as long as you keep that in mind you should be fine!

    Write me back if you want more specific cost-saving suggestions, like what dining choices to make, etc.

    Have a magical vacation!

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Meet the Panelist: Doug, Indiana

I am one of the Dads on the planDisney Panel, and I love to help parents plan their vacation, with a focus on showing them how it can be fun for them too. I am also here to help Dads plan some nice surprises for the Moms in their life (they deserve it!). Learn More About Doug

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