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Tips for Visiting Disney World on a Budget.

Disney World on a BudgetI married into a Disney family. My father in law is a member of the Disney Vacation Club and we have been fortunate to be able to stay at the Old Key West resort for many years.

We visit Disney a few times a year if we are lucky. We have found ways to see some sights on a budget. I just sent this to a friend whose family member is going for the first time.

Disney World on a Budget tips:
1) Pick up Disney toys/stuffed animals/clothes at Wal-Mart/Disney Store before the trip and hide them/bring them out during the trip.

2) Bring snacks and water into the parks – we brought cereal bars, raisins, etc. They check your bag, but it’s allowed. Also, pick up some rain ponchos at a dollar store and bring them in case of rain.

3) Take the monorail around to the Grand Floridian, Polynesian and Contemporary resorts and walk around each resort to see each theme, eat at the restaurants.

4) If you stay at a Disney world resort and plan on going to the parks, each day one park is usually open an hour early and closes late for Disney resort guests only. These hours are called extra magic hours and are available to resort guests only, not the general public. Each guest will have to have a resort pass and their park ticket. Visit www.disneyworld.com, click parks, then park hours for more information and specific days for which park remains open late.

5) Eat at Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney – great sandwich, low cost – they even have breakfast. While you are at Downtown Disney, visit the Lego store and let the kids play with hundreds of legos for free. You can also take a boat ride and see some of the resorts.

6) Walk on Disney’s Boardwalk – it’s just like New Jersey and there are carnival games up and down the boardwalk. There are restaurants, a bakery, ESPN zone with arcade, boat rides, a large family bike rental, you name it! You can see the fireworks at Epcot here too on the bridge.

7) Make a reservation for character dining and make it the end of the brunch time around 11 – 11:30 before it ends. You have more time for characters and less people by then. (our favorite place is at the Contemporary – Chef Mickey’s)

8) You can get a mini-fridge and stay at the Pop Century or All-Star resort and take the bus to the parks. Also buy the refillable mugs and get free drink refills at your resort during your stay. Check out your resort’s activity calendar for outdoor movies, crafts and more at the pool.

9) See the characters at the Epcot Character Spot – they are all lined up inside the building and if you go early, there is little wait time.

10) Go “Around the world” at Epcot:
- We like to eat at the Rose & Crown in England – make advance reservations – good kids menu, great food.
- Get a cheese plate in the bakery in France and have wine.
- Pick out an oyster in Japan and get a pearl – under $20 – our girls LOVE this.
- Sample foods from different countries, watch shows.
- Log flume ride in Norway (a little dark/scary for younger kids – Vikings)
- Take a boat ride from the world showcase back to the other side of Epcot.

For more tips, Sue Rodman from Field Trips with Sue recently wrote Free Things to Do at Disney World – I especially like the free hula lessons at the Polynesian resort.

The key is to get creative and mix the higher cost events with lower cost activities to stay within budget.

What else can you share that helps your family on a Disney trip? Happy trails!

Traveling with Food Allergies on a Cruise

Our family is planning our annual trip to Walt Disney World in September. We are also excited to be going on the Disney Dream for a 3 night cruise to the Bahamas as part of the trip. While I am looking forward to it, I am also a little anxious as my youngest daughter has food allergies. We have been to WDW before and they are very accommodating. We also have a kitchen and cook many meals in to stay safe and save money. My worry lies in part two of our trip – the cruise.

In advance preparations, I called the Disney Cruise Line and told them of my daughter’s allergies. They noted our record and said there would be a meeting on the first day of the ship with the chef and the dining team. That made me feel a little better. I am still anxious until I speak with the actual Dream cruise staff. I know that we will have the same staff each night for meals and that we will discuss our meals in full detail each time.

I have since been talking to other families with food allergies to find out how their best cruise travel advice with food allergies. I posted a message on the Allergic Living forums and received wonderful advice from Jennifer. I am linking directly to the post as it is detailed and informative. Allergy Mouse has also been in touch with her and they posted her experience on their blog. I will be sure to blog about my experience after our trip as well.

Please share if you also have any travel tips for those with food allergies!

Tips for Visiting Disney on a Budget

I married into a Disney family. My father in law is a member of the Disney Vacation Club and we have been fortunate to be able to stay at the Old Key West resort for many years. We like to visit Disney a few times a year if we are lucky. We have found ways to see some sights on a budget and I’d like to share some with you. I just sent this to a friend whose family member is going for the first time. I hope it helps!

Some tips:
1) Pick up Disney toys/stuffed animals/clothes at Wal-Mart before trip and hide them/bring out during trip.
2) Bring snacks into the parks – we brought cereal bars, raisins, etc. They check your bag but it’s allowed.
3) Take the monorail around to the Grand Floridian, Polynesian and Contemporary resorts and walk around each resort to see each theme.
4) Ask to ride the front of the monorail and kids get a monorail operator license!
5) Eat at Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney – great sandwich, low cost – they even have breakfast.
6) Walk on Disney’s boardwalk – it’s just like New Jersey and there are carnival games, etc. Restaurants, a bakery, ESPN zone, a boat ride, you name it! You can see the fireworks at Epcot here too.
7) Make a reservation for character dining and make it the end of the brunch time around 11 – 11:30 before it ends. You have more time for characters and less people by then. (our favorite place is at the Contemporary – Chef Mickey’s)
8) You can get a mini-fridge and stay at the Pop Century or All-Star resort and you can take the bus to the parks.
9) See the characters at the Epcot Character Spot – they are all lined up inside the building and if you go early, there is little wait time.

10) Go “around the world” at Epcot:
- we like to eat at the Rose & Crown in England – make advance reservations – good kids menu,
- pick out an oyster in Japan and get a pearl – under $20 – our girls LOVE this
- sample foods from different countries (cheese plate in France), watch shows
- log flume ride in Norway (a little dark/scary for younger kids – Vikings)
- so much more!

Happy trails!

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