Disney Vacation 2012

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We’re back!  I haven’t had that much fun in a LONG time.  What a blessing!

I just want to jot down a few things I want to remember for the next time we go.

10 Things You Must Take On Vacation If You Hope To Survive

  1. Sunglasses– I would have gotten a headache every day without sunglasses that completely covered my eyes


    Tiny Timmy Tigger

  2. Hat – My scalp would have gotten really burned without a hat
  3. Sunscreen – I didn’t put sunscreen on the day we went to Downtown Disney, because I thought we would be inside the shops most of the day.  My shoulders were beet red by the end of the day!  The spray-on kind is very convenient.
  4. Cash and Quarters – For tips, arcades, drinks, and going out to eat with other family’s
  5. American Express Credit Card (best when going to Disney) – I didn’t call them before we left and I didn’t have a problem making any transactions
  6. A list of top attractions (must see places, restaurants, and rides) – We had a list for each park we went to and picked out a couple of restaurants we really wanted to try
  7. Fan/Spray Bottle for in the parks – This really helped with the heat
  8. Double stoller for the little ones and a rental stroller for the “big” kids – we brought our own double stroller for the boys and rented one for the girls
  9. Snack bag – we decided not to bring one into the park and we ended up buying a few snacks throughout the day, so now I wish we would have taken one
  10. Disposable water bottle – I brought one water bottle for everyone to drink out of and fill up over and over again(just don’t put your mouth on it if you don’t want to spread germs)
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Planning a Disney World Vacation on a Budget- Part 2: Food

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Saving Money on Food When You’re on Vacation


Entertainment Book, Kids Eat Free Cards, and Grocery Shopping


I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to cook when I’m on vacation.  As a 24/7 cook for three growing children, one hungry husband, and myself who needs extra calories for nursing, the last thing I want to do on vacation is worry about food.  I’ve lucked out when planning our Orlando, FL, and Walt Disney World vacation.  We will be staying in a time share condo and my mother-in-law and sister-in-law will be cooking many of the dinners.  So, we are only planning on eating out for dinner a couple of times.  Still, there will be times that we’ll be out and about with our tummies rumbling.  So, I’ve found a few ways to cut back on food and restaurant costs while we’re having fun around Orlando, in the Disney Parks, and also in Universal Studios.

List #2  Food

  • Entertainment Book– Go to Ebates.com and sign up, then search for Entertainment.com and shop through Ebates to get 17.5% cash back.  Wait for Entertainment.com to have a 50% off sale.  That is how I got my Orlando Entertainment book for only $12.37!  *Since purchasing my book, they have changed the website to focus more on the digital membership.  So, when you go to the website, you have to scroll to the bottom and click on “interested in the book membership?”  You will only get the Ebates cash back on the Entertainment Books.
  • Kids Eat Free Cards– If you have children, you will want to get one or two of these.  They are only good with the purchase of an adult meal, but that shouldn’t be a problem.  Who takes their kids out to just watch them eat?  They sell for $19.99 retail, which seemed a bit much to me since we will only be in Orlando for 7 days.  So, I scoured the internet for discounted Kids Eat Free Cards.  I ended up on eBay and found a few that may work out.  Some are selling for around $16, plus $0.99 shipping.  You just have to make sure that they are unused and unsigned Kids Eat Free Cards.
  • Restaurants Where Kids Eat Free in Orlando – The Kids Eat Free Card is great for those that will be going out to eat a lot, but I’m not sure we would use it enough to even make up for the cost of getting the card.  So, I went to a website called My Kids Eat Free and found a list of restaurants in Orlando, FL, where kids eat free on certain days of the week.  Some of the Restaurants include Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, Denny’s, and Perkin’s.  The list includes a few that will only have free kids meals for a limited time, so make sure you visit the restaurant’s website or call for details.  Most of the restaurants have Kids Eat Free Tuesday nights, so we will be going to Magic Kingdom on Tuesday and out for dinner later that day.  We will not be eating at any of the sit-down restaurants in the parks.  Most of them require a reservation 6 months in advance, or you’ll be waiting for a very long time.  They are also super pricey.  They can be between $30 and $50 per person.  Yikes!
  • Grocery Shopping– Make a shopping list of everything you’ll need while you’re there, and search for any coupons you can find that will help you save on the food and items on your list.  We will be doing most of our shopping once we get to Orlando.  That way, we will save on luggage space.  So, here is a list of what we will most likely be getting once we’re there.
    -Peanut Butter

I may add some more things to the list as our departure gets closer.  For now, I would say we’re sticking to the basics and things that we can take into the parks.  The Disney Parks used to say there is no food allowed, but they have since changed their policy.  You are now allowed to take in food and drinks that do not require heating (click here for Disney Park’s FAQ.)   This makes it a lot easier to save on food while in Orlando, FL, and the Walt Disney World Resort and Theme Parks.


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Planning a Disney World Vacation on a Budget – Part 1: Travel

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A 2012 Disney World Vacation

Save on Travel, Food, Entertainment, and Shopping


We’re going to Disney World in May!


My husband’s family will be going with us on our Disney World Vacation, which includes his Mom and Dad, brother and his girlfriend, and sister and her husband.  My mother and father-in-law gave us a week at the Sheraton Vistana in Orlando, FL, for Christmas.  So, we have one big expense covered.  However, there are many other expenses associated with a Disney World Vacation.  In order to plan for a Disney World Vacation on a Budget, I’ve started off by making a few lists.

List #1


Saving money on the way to Orlando, FL, and the Walt Disney World Resort

List #2


Saving money on food and restaurants in Orlando, FL, and the Walt Disney World Resort

List #3


Saving money on tickets and attractions in Orlando, FL, and the Walt Disney World Resort

List #4


Saving money on gifts and memorabilia before and after you go and while in Orlando, FL, and the Walt Disney World Resort

List #1 – Travel

The expense of getting to Orlando, FL, and the Walt Disney World Resort depends largely on where you’re traveling from.  We are located in Wisconsin, so we will be traveling quite a distance to reach the magical world of Disney.  Half of the family will be flying and my husband’s parents will be driving along with us (my husband, me, our 6 and 4 yr old daughters, and our 2 and 5 month old sons.)

So, before starting your travel list, you need to decide on the type of travel.  How are you going to get there?  If you will be taking a plane, you’ll need to think about how you’re getting to the airport and possibly renting a car to travel around Orlando, Fl, and the Walt Disney World Resort.  Write down everything you will need to take for travel purposes, such as plane tickets and luggage.  Here’s an example of my driving travel list I made for our 22 hour car trip.

  • Rent or Borrow a Large Van to fit all of us – My mother-in-law has this covered
  • Car top carrier for all of our luggage – Will have to rent or borrow
  • Baby carrier – already own
  • Car seat – already own
  • Booster seat – already own
  • 6 bags of luggage – borrow any suitcases needed
  • 6 pillows – already own
  • 4 water bottles, 1 sippy cup, and 2 baby bottles to fill and reuse along the way – Don’t buy water!
  • Small cooler – already own
  • Drinks – buy juice boxes and sports drinks from Costco
  • Snacks – buy a large bag of trail mix from Costco and separate into sandwich bags
  • Ice – get from store the day before departure
  • Sun Glasses – already own
  • Hats – already own
  • iPad – already own
  • iPod – already own
  • Portable DVD Player, batteries, and charger- already own
  • DVDs – borrow Disney DVD Collection from sister
  • CDs – already own Disney Songs collection and other Children’s Travel Songs
  • Books – children’s activity books and The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World 2012
  • Magazines – Disney Magazines, Parenting magazines, and other fun stuff to look at
  • Garbage bags for garbage
  • Plastic Ziplock Bags for anything that needs to be saved or separated after opening, like food or crayons
  • Entertainment Book and other coupons
  • Money and credit cards – We use the Blue Cash Preferred Card and get 6% cash back on groceries, 3% cash back on gas, and 1% cash back everywhere else!  The cash back we get on groceries is more than enough to cover the annual fee.


Part 2: Food Coming Soon! Subscribe to FamFinFun by Email to Get Part 2

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