Monday, August 2, 2010

Disney is expensive

Well, duh. If you've started planning a trip, you have likely already experienced the sticker shock.

If you are planning on taking kids with you, get ready. You can't begin to imagine how enticing all of those Disney goodies are going to look lined up on Main Street, framed inside the fabulously merchandised windows. Not to mention the Mickey Bars, Dole Whips, and frozen bananas you're going to have to purchase every time your family passes by an ice cream cart (and believe me, there are a lot of them). And don't forget, they'll need popcorn and sodas while watching the parade. Oh, and of course, your daughter needs a glowing, light up wand to wave during that same parade.

What am I trying to say? Unless you're EXTREMELY good at budgeting, the likelihood that you are going to spend more than you intend to is high. You'll be having fun, caught up in the magic of Disney, and things that you might never wear at home, like a floppy eared Goofy hat, seem like a great idea when you're in the parks.

Here's an easy suggestion to help cut down on the cost, especially if you are planning your trip far in advance.

Know how your kids get a bunch of crap for their birthday and holidays that they never really use? Ask the grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins for Disney gift cards instead! Even in small amounts, they add up, and if you let your child only spend on souvenirs what they have on their gift cards, they'll be much more selective. Everything looks good when you're spending another person's money. When you're spending your own, you tend to be much more picky!

You could even have a Disney themed birthday party and request gift card donations in lieu of gifts, as I know some parents have done. Kids don't get a bunch of toys they don't need, and parents don't have to search to find a gift. It's a win/win for everyone!

Since my husband and I visit at least once a year, we always have gift cards on our list. When giving gifts, I prefer to hand out Disney Dollars, which is Disney money that can be used in the parks. Kids find the "money" fascinating and fun. Just make sure you hold on to it for them or they understand that the dollars are just like real currency--if lost, they can't be replaced.

You can read all about Disney dollars at

So, start working on your holiday list now. And make sure, if you have a trip planned for 2011, Disney dollars or Disney gift cards are on it! Remember, every little bit helps!


  1. Before our trip, I made it a rule that everytime I was at the mall (about once a week) I would put at least $10 on a Disney gift card. I started doing this about 4 months before we left so by the time we were in Orlando, We had about $100 on the card to spend at WDW! Also, I would buy t-shirts at the Disney Store when they were on sale for all of us. I packed them and surprised them when we got to our hotel. I also bought lots of little things like sunglasses and wrapped them up. I put them in their carry on bags to open up on our trip.

  2. I have another friend who suggested this very same thing to me! She buys lots of treats for the kiddos in town before they head out on the trip, and it keeps them from wanting to buy a bunch of stuff for twice the price when they're actually there!