Sticking to a Budget on a Disney
You developed a budget before
you left home. The park tickets were purchased
in advance at a discount price, the hotel was
booked, and transportation arranged. Disney on a
budget is working
until you arrive at the parks with all their
temptations. Now you have the daily Disney trip
budget to stick to for food, souvenirs, and
miscellaneous. How do you prevent the last minute
temptations --buy the cute $45 Mickey shirt,
purchase an extra pin, a couple of extra sodas
for everyone on a hot day, a splurge at Mama
Melrose's (the greens salad is exquisite and
so is their focaccia base pizza!)? Why not treat
yourselves to the Kitchen Sink at Beaches 'n
Cream...after all, you deserve it. But if these
aren't in the budget, you can quickly spend
an extra $250+ per day. Instead of having fun,
you'll be worrying about money.
Some ideas on how to defeat
the urge to splurge: take only the money you
have budgeted with you for the day; leave the
rest in the hotel safe. When it's gone, no more
spending. You might love having the Disney logo
clothes to wear today, but they won't be nearly
so trendy to your wardrobe once you are back
home. Let the family miser carry the credit
card. Make sure each child knows how much money
he has to spend for souvenirs or treats and
let him know when it's used up; if he spends
his allotment in the first 15 minutes, he has
made a choice to learn from; tomorrow can be
a different choice.
Food portions are large at
the restaurants, including at the Disney counter service locations.
A hamburger and fries can be split between two
children, or order a combo meal with an extra
sandwich (you may not see the single sandwich
as a menu option; just ask for it) and share
the fries. Carry some dry drink mixes (Kool
Aid, lemonades, tea) and ask for a cup of ice
water with your meal instead of a beverage.
Two adults can split one meal, or two meals
can be shared by three adults, and you will
feel more comfortable than stuffing yourself
or letting food go to waste. You don't need
to feel cheap or conspicuous when you do this;
it is done all the time and no server will frown
at you. They will be happy to supply the extra
plate. Carry some dry snacks or fruit with you.
If you watch your weight carefully, this is
a good time to continue to do so.
Do be sure that your budget
has allowed $$ for some impulse buys—you
won't feel deprived and you will be pleased
with yourself for winning the Disney challenge—succeeding
at Disney on a budget.