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Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

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Saving on a disney vacation series child care tips

This is part of an ongoing guest post series on Disney World Savings, written by a life long Disney lover.

Walt Disney World has many different options for accommodating little ones.  However, there are plenty of tips on helping to keep them happy.  A big tip that I’ve mentioned before is to shop for Disney merchandise prior to your trip.  This way you can get toys and gifts on sale for a MUCH lower price than in the parks.  These gifts may not be marketed like the bright, shiny toys that your child wants in the park, but it can be a great way to keep your kids happy without spending a fortune.

Child Care Tips

You can rent them for $15 per day single and $31 per day for a double per park.  If you opt for the Multi-day stroller it’s discounted to $13 for a single and $27 for a double per day.  This is nice because you can show your receipt to Cast Member and get your stroller much faster than waiting in line each time to rent one.

Rather than renting, I suggest bringing an umbrella stroller because they are light and easy to fold up for getting on the buses.  Carry a back pack to hold all the essentials. I think you’ll find that it’s a lot easier to navigate lines and one less to-do in your day.

Character Pictures
All over the parks will be Character picture spots.  Often there will be signs with the times and characters that will be there.  You can also ask the cast members for advice and information on where the characters will be.

You can purchase an autograph book for the characters or you can make your own! This can be a fun way to get your kids involved before you leave for the trip and then keep them entertained on a hunt for characters!

Baby Sitting
Most Disney World resorts offer some type of babysitting or child care element.  None of these are cheap, but sometimes they can be helpful.  I’ve also heard of families vacationing together and one set of parents playing the babysitter each night if the others want to go out. Here’s some more information on the numbers and different resort programs.

Character meals can be a lot of fun for your children.  Reservations must be made and they are buffet style meals.  If you are on the dining plan, kids age 3-9 must order off the kid’s menu and children under 3 can share a meal with an adult (the meals are typically huge so this is not a problem).

Children ages 3-9 have a reduced ticket price and children under 3 get into the parks for free.

What childcare tips do you have?

Come back tomorrow as we wrap this series up!

    • hazybuck

      We just went back to WDW for the first time in years. Our children are now 19 and 15.
      Every time we passed by the ‘stroller pack,’ we just smiled and thought of the fond memories of days gone by. However, being able to say to the kids (at noon), “Meet me in Morocco at 7pm for dinner!” and enjoying one of our days apart was quite a treat!

    • Julie

      We’ve found that with our kids (ages six and younger) the key to having a great day at the parks is to get there when they open. They are fresher, we get to the popular rides before they get too crowded, and the youngest ones will nap in the stroller while we wait for the afternoon parade. We bring snacks to help all stay patient during the longer lines. Also, if you have an infant, the baby care centers are great for nursing and diaper changes.

    • SS

      we took our kids to Walmart for souveniers down the street from the hotel vs buying them at the park. WAY CHEAPER!

    • Kawee02

      I bought Mickey and Buzz t-shirts as well as a small Cars notebook for autographs before going to Disney. Remember a black sharpie too with a push top so you don’t have to worry about losing the cap and it’s easier for the characters to use. We took our 2 year old right before he turned 3 so he was able to go on a lot of rides, but he was still free! We packed a PB & J for him everyday so we could feed him lunch easily, even in line when we needed to. Bring a few other snacks, water and small toys (or iPhone) to occupy them in the lines. Oh and make sure you grab the fast pass for Toy Story Mania (Hollywood Studios) before you do anything else. That was the longest line in all 4 parks! Have fun!

    • kwikzotic

      Instead of a book for the characters to sign use a picture mat and then just add a picture of the fam at the park when you get home.

    • If you’re driving down, or have a car with you on the trip, we always wait and buy an umbrella stroller at the Wal-mart there in Orlando. They are around $20. Then you don’t have to pack one and use the room in the car and you can just leave it in Orlando when you’re finished (because if you’re like our family, the stroller wheels are worn down after a week of Disney!). We’ve saved a lot of time and money doing this. Plus, it keeps our strollers at home from getting so much wear on them.

    • For stroller options, check out Orlando Stroller Rentals (www.orlandostrollerrentals.com). We went to WDW this past May with a 3 & 5 year old and used them. They are much cheaper than renting at the park, not to mention, much comfier than the park rentals. They were easy to pick up to get onto the bus when that time came. My kids are not ones to use strollers in normal circumstances, but given a 7-day trip to WDW, we knew they would get tired quickly. It was, by far, the best decision I made regarding our vacation!

    • iker

      any tips for pets?