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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 what to pack

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

We’ve made a lot of decisions thus far and are almost done with the planning process.  Packing the appropriate items can go a long way to helping your family have a fun experience together at WDW.

What to Pack

There are a couple musts for Disney World.  Comfortable shoes might be the most important.  Be ready to walk A LOT.  Ponchos are another crucial item.  It often rains in the late afternoons and a poncho will allow you to continue exploring the park.  Sunscreen and water bottles are important as well, and not just during the summer.  Like I said, you will be outside walking a lot and it’s important to stay hydrated and protected.  Water is very expensive in the park, so packing your own will save you discomfort and money.

If you are worried about not being dressy enough for the nice restaurant reservations, don’t worry.  None of the restaurants in the park have a dress code except for Bistro de Paris.  There are several signature restaurants at the resorts or on the Disney World campus that do have a dress code.

Back packs will be very beneficial for carrying all your goods.  During the winter it can be warm in the day but cold in the morning and night, so it’s good to carry jackets.  The back pack also helps to carry anything you may purchase in the park or your baby supplies. Be aware that there are two lines entering the park: One will be guests with bags and another will be guests without bags.  Obviously, the guests without bags line goes faster, but having the back pack really comes in handy, so it’s up to you.

One big money saving tip I can share is to buy Disney merchandise on sale prior to going on your trip.  You will most likely book several months in advance which will give you plenty of time to grab some fun toys at a low price to give to the kids on the car ride and/or as you walk around Disney.  Buying merchandise at the parks can be very expensive and a strain on your Disney experience as the marketing department is very VERY good.

Another option that can be fun is to give your child a budget for merchandise.  This can be tough as a $20 budget won’t get them much, but it can be fun way to teach them about money.

Do you have any packing tips?

Tune in tomorrow as we start to go over the parks!

    • Nikki

      I have been to Disney Several times..and a great piece of advice I can give anyone going…ESP if you are flying…Pack some snack in your suitcase! OR if you have an extra suitcase…pack it full of snacks! Even bottles of water, capri sun, granola bars, pop tarts etc! they pack well! Carry them inside the park in a back Pack or diaper bag and snack while your in line! They allow coolers in the park just not hard coolers! Have fun! We are headed back to disney Summer of 2013!

    • wendi

      FYI you can get water FREE at any concession stand in the park.. Thus we carried sippy cups and water bottles and then just got them filled up again. (If you get the meal plan in your tickets you will have plenty of snacks to go along with your water..)

      • Disney Lover

        We just returned a couple of weeks ago. I was happy to discover that most places are now using filtered water. In the years past, it was not. Even the fountain drinks tasted off. It was a pleasant surprise to have tasty free water!!!

      • Goofy (guest post writer)

        Great point! We like to bring water bottles along for that reason too.

      • Shawna

        If you don’t like the taste of their water, you can always bring the little packets of flavored Crystal Light or something similiar and mix them in.

    • GASaver

      We ship a box of breakfast items and snacks to our hotel 3 days prior to arrival and pick it up at check in. Saves a lot of $$ on food.

    • ceejoy

      we rented a house (as cheap as a hotel room), brought our own food, cooked most nights, our kids packed their own lunches for the next day to take to the park. left an ice chest in the van and came out for lunch to have a “picnic” in the car with our lunches–our kids loved it! . Carried a backpack into the park with water, snacks, sunscreen. etc. also bought our disney merchandise before & after the trip, not during! We did Disney so affordably with just a little planning. It did not limit our fun one bit! Also, a huge time-saver–get the fast passes! they are free! just make one big loop around the park collecting fast passes at each ride you want to ride. Then circle back around the park–no lines or waiting! so worth it!

      • Hannah

        The fast pass thing may be a little miss leading. an FYI you can only have a certain amount of fast passes at a time. (Two i believe) You cant just loop the park and grab them all at once

        • Julie

          I thought it changed to 1 fast pass at a time but I could be wrong.

          • Disney Lover

            When you get a Fast Pass, look at the bottom. It will tell you what time you can get another – usually 2 hours later.

            • Goofy (guest post writer)

              Yup, that’s been my experience too.

      • Sandi

        you have the right idea. Since Disney doesnt mind you bringing in food, we take 2 soft-sided coolers in with us and pay the 14 bucks for a stroller rental to carry them around in. One cooler is for hot food, which is usually hot dogs, hamburgers, corn dogs, wrapped in aluminum foil. The other is cold, for drinks, fruit, sweets. Save so much money doing this. We eat breakfast at the hotel. And like you, cooked in the room, or grilled at the hotel. That way you can afford a few decadent dinners without wasting money on fast food.

    • momof3

      One suggestion for the “junk” kids love is go to the Outlet at the Premiere Outlets, just across the highway from the Marketplace. Some of the junk is regularly priced, but there are always deals to be had, and my kids have learned to wait and get more!

      The snacks are also wonderful, as well as drinks. Our family has rules before we go to Disney that we review: 1-Every child can do 1 special thing, whether it’s Bippidy Boppity Boutique, Ridemakerz, or the boat rental. Also, we remind them that we will be having a few really nice dining experiences and we are saving money by drinking water, unless the meal comes with a soda. We also bring cookies and a few packs of M and Ms, because, let’s face, it, a granola bar just doesn’t stack up against a giant piece of fudge, but they still cost less!

      By the way, see you all there on Saturday!

    • heather

      we have had several years of annual passes, including this year, and live here in florida…you can actually get free water and ice from any dining area that offers fountain drinks, in all the parks. we usually bring some 2-liters of soda and get ice, powdered drink packets, or juice boxes. also, the wal-marts in orlando have a ton of disney stuff if you want souvenirs for a better price.

    • julie

      Disney store has free shipping at ends tonight with code freeship and I agree to buy things ahead of time (on sale, of course)! Ponchos are 2 for $1 at dollar tree stores.

    • Luci

      If you are staying at a Disney resort, you can send your purchases from the shop to your resort where you pick it up the next day. Saves having to carry it around the park.

      I’m intending to bring a variety of dollar store items from home to surprise the kids: easy to remove window decals for the hotel mirror, glow sticks, balloons, stickers, favorite treats, etc.

      • Goofy (guest post writer)

        Isn’t that a neat service? Never used it personally, but I love that they have it.

    • Shawna

      We take our camper so we save ALOT by being able to cook breakfast and dinner at the campground. But lunches we always eat in the park and one item that we ALWAYS bring for our 10yr old is the Uncrustables peanut butter sandwiches and a small bag of chips or grapes. I take them out of the freezer the morning we head to parks and by the time lunch comes, it’s thawed. Uncrustables is what most of the restaurants serve for the peanut butter sandwiches anyway and at $5-$6 for a kids meal, this saves TONS of money. I also take flavor packets for my water if the FREE water tastes a little funny. Another money saver that I use is that if we happen to be flying on a long trip, I don’t want to spend $10 on a sandwich from the airlines so I bring the boxed Bumblebee canned chicken or tuna w/ crackers in my carry-on bag. They come w/ a small can of tuna or chicken salad and 6 crackers and are very filling when you or little ones need lunch but only have access to high dollar food. My local Publix sells them for $1.59.