Obviously with a blog name of "Inspired by Numbers" it can be assumed that I like numbers. I did a lot of number crunching when it came out planning our vacation and I'm here to share what worked for us to make the trip more affordable.
First up, we drove instead of flying. Plan tickets would have cost us about around $400 to $600 for the two of us to fly. Gas for our car cost us about $250. We did stop and stay at a hotel on the way there but on the way home we made the fifteen hour drive non-stop. While food poisoning was getting the best of me I told myself that we should have flown. But, I think my reasoning for that statement is that I just wanted to be there because nobody likes to travel while their sick. And a two-ish hour plane ride would definitely make me get there faster then a fifteen hour car ride. I say car ride because my hubby did all the driving and I was just along for the ride. Yes he is superman :)
Another way we saved money is that we didn't do the dining plan. Before I go any further let me say that the dining plan can save you a ton of money but for us, it would have ended up costing us more. We originally signed up for the dining plan but after talking with some Disney loving friends they suggested that I check out http://allears.net/ where they have menus for all of the restaurants including all of the prices. After that research I realized that we probably would not get our money's worth out of the dining plan based on our eating habits.
What we did do was the rapid fill cups at our resort. I only drink water so I didn't get one but we got one cup for my hubby for $20 and he could use the beverage station at our resort for our whole stay. They had pop, coffee, tea, hot chocolate. They even have sinks right there at the beverage station for you to rinse your cup out before you fill it up with another drink. This worked out really well for him.
Speaking of food, I brought some food with us. Nothing grand or extravagant but some granola bars, boxes of raisins, fruit snacks and some bottled water. We took two bottles of water to the park everyday which lessened the amount of drinks we were buying there. The snacks were great for the car trip as well as munching on it the hotel room after we got back from the parks.
Obviously there are some places where we could have saved some more but you can't win them all right? We had an absolute blast and I even told my husband today "I would rather be at Magic Kingdom" so this trip hopefully marks the beginning of many Disney vacations.