Disney World- 3 Year’s in the Making

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Disney World
 
I’ve been a fan of Disney my whole life. I’ve always loved the movies, toys, characters, and theme parks. We took a couple family trips to Disney World when I was a kid. My husband and I took a trip to Disneyland and Disney World before we had kids as well. We’ve stayed on Disney property as well as off property. We’ve about done it all when it comes to Disney.We took our son on his first trip when he was one. It was amazing. He got his first hair cut in Magic Kingdom, at the Harmony Barber shop, he got complimentary Mickey Ears with “First Hair Cut” on the back, as well as his hair in a baggie with “Pixie Dust”. He absolutely loved all the characters. We got his pictures taken with all of them. He hugged Pluto, Goofy, Mickey, and Donald. My favorite picture is of him kissing Minnie Mouse. Before this trip he had never even showed an interest in Mickey Mouse, since that day, we still watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse everyday. Some said he’d be too young to enjoy it, but they could not have been more wrong. He had just turned one, but was a pro at walking, he had a blast playing in the splash pads in the parks as well. The wonderful thing about Disney is, it’s all about family. Even babies can go on most of the rides. He was able to go on tons of rides, and loved them. They also have “Parent Swap” on the bigger rides, so one parent waits with the small child while the rest of the group rides the ride, after the other person switches and can take 3 people back to the front of the line and ride it themselves.

We spent 3 days at Disney World that year and since the day we left, we’ve wanted to go back. We had planned on going back the next year, 2009, but due to my husbands health issues we racked up quite alot of debt (compiled with credit card debt) it just wasn’t possible. In May of 2010, we welcomed our beautiful baby girl into the world and along with her came more medical bills, to top it off I didn’t return to work full time. We were on the brink of filing bankruptcy. The next six months we were hounded by collection calls. Fortunately, most of the places were willing to work with us, we were able to do settlements on most of them, and the rest got reduced payments. There was a light at the end of the tunnel again. 2011 brought new hope. We managed to get about 90% of our debt paid off, and with our tax refund we set aside enough for Disney World!

More than 3 long years later, we have our trip set and we are leaving September 13th of this year! We could not be more excited! However, I have a new approach on things. Getting out of debt has made me more cautious with my money. I’m always looking for good deals, coupons, and freebies! I did a lot of research on this trip to get the most for our money.

Disney World has several “seasons”, I found the extreme cheapest time of year to go is September. We are staying on property because I just feel like it is part of the experience. However, there are many great hotels nearby, off property, that are more than fine if you are on a tight budget.

We decided to fly because our daughter hates being in the car. We don’t even go anywhere more than 30 minutes away because she cries so hard she throws up. Disney World is more than a 15 hour drive, so we are going to fly. I did some research and found that Southwest was offering the best deals at the time as well as no charge for luggage! I also found that flying on Tuesday and Wednesday are the cheapest days of the week, so we are leaving on Tuesday and returning on the following Wednesday. The benefit of flying, Disney offers free shuttle to and from the airport. This trip will be both our children’s first airplane ride as well, I’m a little anxious about that.

The particular time we are going, Disney is offering a free dining plan so two meals a day are provided free, so that will be a big savings. We plan to bring some cereal or donuts along for breakfast so we don’t have to eat out. September also kicks off the Halloween Festivities at Disney World as well. For an extra charge you can get tickets to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. The kids, and Disney characters get to dress up and trick or treat around Magic Kingdom, as well as a special Halloween firework display. All the times we’ve gone, we’ve never gone around Halloween, so this will be neat.

We are especially excited for our daughter since this will be her first trip, we can’t wait to see her with the princesses. It will be even more fun for my son, he is now 4 and will really be able to enjoy it all! My husband and I are just as excited for us tho too! Disney World is fun for everyone! There really is something magical about being there and seeing it thru your children’s eyes. The magic in the air really does make you believe “Dreams really do come true”.
If anyone has any other tips on how to save while we’re there I’d love to hear them, or any “Must See’s” while I’m there, let me know!!

About 

Amanda is a stay-at-home Mom of two boys, a teen and a tot. She loves to share stories, talk about education, movies, books and coffee. A big supporter of community building and outreach, Amanda shares many activities, entertainment and events in her local area of St. Louis.

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