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 12.8 #204 (WDW Qual #4695

Apr 23, 2013 3:59 AM  WDW Talk Land
Questions for my mouse wait family on vacation tips and money saving advice!!!!!! My family goes to DW every year. I have my husband, 4 children, and my best friend in our group of 7. We live in Indiana and we rent an RV to drive down and stay in the fort wilderness campground and its the most amazing experience. I save all the wear and tear on my car, my kids have a little more free roam and not stopping for bathroom breaks or spend more money on fast food. The campground is very reasonable and using the RV we not only save money not needing 3 hotel rooms but we have a lot more space and it feels like home and no unpacking when u get there. Plus the campground is so magical. Last year we cooked every meal in the RV and we saved a lot of money but we lost about 5 hours a day doing this but we were short on money that year so it was a must. This year we plan on doing the meal plan for the first time. We also let the kids make their own autograph books that we use ever year and at the start of each year we save a page to put the family pic and year on. My question for everyone is what do u guys do to save money? How do you do things on your trip? Did you like the meal plan? Do you have any discount info besides military? What about time saving tips? Anything and everything will help!

This sounds like an awesome way to visit Disney!! We drive to save money as a flight just isn't an option if we want to go annually. Also, we are staying off site this visit, mostly due to food allergy issues, but it's also allowing us to stay for 2 weeks instead of 6 days. When we do stay on property it's during value season and we save either 30% on the resort or get free dining. - DizneyGirl  720.6 #7 5:28AM
We are planning a trip to WDW for the first time. When is the value season? - AZDisney  610.3 #300 7:28AM
We used to go every September, there's also other months, I believe October, January and February? - DizneyGirl  720.6 #7 8:51AM
Great! Looking at October. Thanks! - AZDisney  610.3 #300 9:35AM
That'll be a great time to go! - DizneyGirl  720.6 #7 2:11PM
Ah...Fort Wilderness! GREAT memories! I think you've got a great plan. We usually make sure we all eat a huge breakfast and then just snack throughout the day, doing just one meal outside of our resort. Helps! If I can think of any tips, I'll pass them along. - GoofyFanGuy  5.5 #386 5:04AM
I love the dining plan. We like character meals so it saves us a ton of money! - leveretttltl  89.5 #75 12:23PM
We save money by not doing the dining plan. We drive down and bring LOTS of snacks for the road and breakfast food to save time/money at WDW. We eat breakfast in our room then head to the park. We do a late lunch/early dinner at 2 or 3 and an ice cream or snack later. It saves soooo much money, and since we're all older, the dining plan wouldn't be necessary (i love the characters and all but...) We also stay at a Moderate Resort. POR. We don't think its necessary for our family personally to stay at the Poly or Contemporary. They're beautiful, but we only sleep in our room and get ready. We spend every moment possible in the parks. - ariel116  99.3 #66 12:59PM
I try to be flexible with dates & go when the meal plan in free. I love pop century for value resort. - perdita  71.2 #82 6:47AM
Can you get a meal plan without purchasing tickets? We currently have premium passes at DL, but will upgrade to Premier. I was also looking into that hotel, glad to hear you like it! - AZDisney  610.3 #300 7:31AM
If you have an annual pass you can but the dinning package at pass holder rates - mmddgp  590.5 #10 1:46PM
Cool. We cook our breakfast. Get only the quick service and table service plan. We usual stay in the value resort A few days because we don' have enough points to stay at a dvc hotel for 13 days. The annual pass saves us money with the dining plan ( that we discovered this year) - 5disneylovers  974.2 #5 8:13AM
So can purchase a dining plan with the annual pass? What is the advantage of a dining plan? - AZDisney  610.3 #300 10:02AM
You can purchase the dinning plan with the annual pass. The advantage is your food is paid for up front, if you like dinning with characters, dinner shows and sit down restraunts it saves you a lot. The down side is you have to book your dinning early or you may not get into where you want. - mmddgp  590.5 #10 1:50PM
Thanks for the information! It feels like there is so much I want to do at WDW, that I am not sure we will take a whole lot of time dining. Maybe a few places though. Thanks again! - AZDisney  610.3 #300 3:25PM
You save on dining when you stay at the value resort with your annual pass - 5disneylovers  974.2 #5 5:31PM
One thing I do that is not "money saving" lol but an easy way to save money is every time I buy groceries I throw a Disney gift card in the cart...either 25-50.00. It adds up really fast and I never miss the money! I also LOVE pop century!! :) - brittandkell  443.1 #450 8:16AM
We do that too - 5disneylovers  974.2 #5 8:46AM
Wow that's a great idea!!! I think I will start doing this!! Those cards never expire right?? - disneyworldsbiggestfan  62.6 #88 9:35AM
I don't think they expire. I've saved and used them for years. You can use them for tickets, hotel, food and merchandise in the park. - brittandkell  443.1 #450 11:11AM
No expiration - 5disneylovers  974.2 #5 7:06PM
We save all our change and buy as many gift cards as we can. What saves us the most is going while Disney offers free dining. - Schramke  502.8 #14 11:08AM
Sounds like you have wonderful adventures!! Mr I would love to buy a camper like that and travel the US, including Disney! I, myself, prefer the comfort of the resorts, lol. But, I would do it, and most certainly enjoy the experience! :) - mrsincredible  997.1 #4 11:24AM
I have always wanted to do that and even checked into it this year to rent the rv, pay gas and milage, rent the space at the camp grounds, it's pretty Much the same price to stay in 2 rooms at a valu. We take the kids during valu season, stay in valu resorts ( love pop century) we book room only with the annual pass, unless we can get free dinning. We eat breakfast in the room in morning, take snacks to parks for afternoon (some thing we can eat while watching the parade or standing in line) then eat dinner at the park later. I buy gift cards and pretty much use them for my whole trip( love getting the gas $ off from buying them from our area grocery store). Family members get the Ida gift cards for their birthdays that way they have their own spending money. Happy planning! - mmddgp  590.5 #10 11:58AM
There is someone in Orlando who rents revs. They bring to Ft Wilderness and set it up, then take it away when you are gone. As I recall it wasn't cheap when we looked into it. But it's just me and hubby so not worth it cost-wise. But for a family it might be a value. At least you wouldn't have to pay for gas and mileage for that monster vehicle. - TinkWannaBe  60.7 #92 3:29PM
Well we would need a big vehicle anyway, there is 8 of us. Thanks for the info though, I will keep that in mind - mmddgp  590.5 #10 4:48PM
We do the dining plan also and love it. I think it also saves you money. - Pooh147856  260.6 #27 12:58PM
Road trips are fun! For me, when i went to WDW, i decided to upgrade my Disneyland pass to Disney Premier Pass! It did save me some bucks (room and merchandise discounts). Also, that time i only added $250, yet i enjoyed a WDW trip for a total of 16days. I stay at a Value resort because The room is only used for sleep, shower and storage! Most of the time i am at the parks :) DINIng plan is great too! Make sure order the most expensive food haha - otilegna  2158.1 #63 3:31PM
We have packed our lunch and taken it into the parks. Backpacks start off heavy but then you can eat on the go like when you are waiting for a show or parade! Saves lots of time and money!! - kansasgirl  4.0 #599 8:35PM
How fun. We have gone with and without the dining plan. We spent about the same on food both times. Thhe difference? With the dining plan, we ate like kings and queens. Ordered the most expensive meal on the menu and always had dessert unlike when we didn't have the dining plan. However, with the dining plan there were restrictions on what you can order. If possible, I prefer to have a dining plan. A money saving tip is we bought a really good water bottle to bring to the parks. We would fill it with ice at our hotel and refill it when we ate or at drinking fountains. We would bring the powdered flavor packets to add to the water. This saved us a lot on drinks and helped us keep cool. - Disneyaddict  374.7 #559 9:21PM
I love everyone's help and the gift card ideal is amazing in definitely trying this one too. I'm still new here so I can get the reply to work but your right with renting the RV and has and paying the campground it does round out close to the same but I'm travling from Indiana and its so much more relaxing than cramming 7 people all their bags in a van for such a long drive and my best friend goes with us and pays some of all those cost with us too so that helps it saves her money too. The value resorts look amazing as well though. Has anyone heard of I think it's called like the disney club after I got my DVD this year they sent me advertisement on it does anyone do this or know anything about it - mikesbabygirl711  12.8 #204 6:55AM
Was it the Disney vacation club? I am not a member but there are others in here that can help you - mmddgp  590.5 #10 7:01AM

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