There are very few people who visit Walt Disney World without having to carefully plan and budget their available funds. I use a very measured and logical (at least to me) approach for budgeting each of our visits. First – I always try to start early enough so I can plan how much money we can put aside on a monthly basis to meet our needs. We go often enough and have enough separation between visits so that we now have a permanent savings plan that covers all of our requirements.
Once you have an idea of how much you will have available you can then budget. Make sure that you consider everything. This is a list of the things we consider:
- PLANNING MATERIALS: This would cover guide books and any subscription websites you use. Remember there are a lot of free websites i.e. Chip and Co and Passporter where information is available either on the site or in a site’s discussion boards. Touring Plans is one of my favorite.
- AIRFARE OR OTHER TRAVEL: This can be a significant and variable expense. Be sure to consider baggage fees and perhaps parking fees at the airport. These things can add up quickly. Also remember that there is transportation from the airport and back but Disney’s Magical Express is both excellent and FREE. Try setting up an email alert on Airfare Watchdog.
- RESORT HOTEL: This can also be significant and remember that Disney does not add the 12.5% tax on the base prices they herald on the site or advertising. You won’t see this until you actually total up. There are a lot of choices so you have to pick the resort that meets your physical and monetary needs. By the way, the All Star Resorts are in a different county and the tax is 13%. Be sure to contact a Pixie Vacation Travel Agent who can answer any and all of your questions.
- PARK TICKETS: Pretty straight forward budgeting here, just don’t buy options you will not use. Also please remember, when you see a ticket price, it does not include the 6.5% tax until you total up.
- MEALS: This can be difficult to budget accurately and everything depends on your family‘s likes and eating habits. The various dining plans offered by Disney make budgeting food much easier if you can find one that meets your needs. Fear not, most people do well with at least one of the plans. Depending upon when you visit the Dining Plan might be free – be sure to ask!! Be sure to try our 100 Disney Foods to Eat Before you Die Challenge.
- SHOPPING AND OTHER EXTRAS: This is the most difficult category and only you know your family well enough to come up with a budget. I would suggest a daily limit and allow each individual to either spend it each day or carry it forward so they can do or buy whatever they want. This article might help Souvenirs for the Budget Conscious
This isn’t comprehensive by any means but just a group of ideas so that you can feel confident that you haven’t missed anything in your budgeting process. As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!
- Disney World Vacation Souvenirs for the Budget Conscious (chipandco.com)
- Disney World Dining on a Budget – Tips & Tricks to Save Money (chipandco.com)
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