I do a pretty horrible job of posting here all the things I do to plan and save at Disney. In just under 2 weeks, we are headed back for a quick weekend to celebrate (a month early) our daughter's 8th birthday. Here's how I have planned and saved so far:
Hotel- we are staying at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge and not paying a penny out of pocket. We are members of the Disney Vacation Club, and our monthly payment for that is part of our regular budget. The $700 price tag for our stay is far more than the month's payment, and far out of our normal range for 2 nights in a hotel.
Tickets - we have passes paid for on a previous trip, so we don't have to pay anything out of pocket. The kids have 4-day passes, purchased for $129 each. The hubs and I have seasonal passes purchased at our last summer's vacation.
Gas - we will need approximately 50-55 gallons of gas for the round-trip in our suburban. Gas in town currently goes for $3.42. We have a $.40 per gallon discount for a local gas station, which will save us at LEAST $8 on our fill up just before leaving town. I purchased a gas card at Publix with their $10-off coupon, saving 20% on that $50 worth. This accounts for about 34 gallons or so. I'm hoping Publix will run their promotion again, but otherwise we'll have to pay regular price for the remaining 16 or so gallons.
Food - I have been able to set aside some money each week to cover some of our food costs. I have recently been able to pay about $300 for Disney's dining plan. That will cover all our meals on Saturday as well as lunch on Sunday. (This includes 2 table service meals, 2 counter service meals, and 2 snack.) We will have to cover dinner on Friday evening as we travel down to Orlando, breakfast on Sunday, and dinner on Sunday as we travel back home.
Souvenirs, miscellaneous, and emergency - The kids are earning their $10 souvenir budget by doing their daily chores. The hubs and I don't typically buy souvenirs aside from a magnet, picture frame, or magnet to commemorate our trip. The rest we'll cover out of our normal budget. We do try to keep tight fisted when it comes to our spending at Disney, so there isn't usually much "miscellaneous" except for the occasional extra snack.
Our whole family is counting down to our trip next weekend!