D&sney Math

So, experienced visitors to the happiest place on earth,
I am staying in a place with a full kitchen. I’m bringing with me peanut butter and jelly, lots of snacks, chicken soup mix and mac and cheese mix. If I remember it, I’ll buy some poptarts, too. My plan is to eat in one-two meals a day and out one to two, whenever possible. (Selam loves peanut butter and jelly, so the plan is to bring sandwiches into the park, but supplement with a drink or fries or something from inside—so like a half and half.) I’m figuring on spending about 85 dollars on groceries–fruit, veggies, yogurt, milk–maybe even less, and 15 on one of those cups that gives you free Diet Coke refills all week.

Knowing Disney general prices, do you think I can spend 50 dollars a day on the rest of the food for two people?

Is that enough? too much?

Also, I’m not a big souvenir person, but I figure we can’t walk through ninety million gift shops without Selam wanting something. I think I’m just going to tell her that she can buy one thing and she should decide what that is. Do you think she can get a T-shirt or hat or whatever it is that kids like for about 30 dollars? yes, I know you can get tons of d*ney junk elsewhere cheaper, but she’s 5. That concept will be lost on her. She’s actually likes having her own money and spending it, and is understanding about choosing between 2 pieces of crap for 2 dollars or one slightly bigger piece of crap for 2 dollars, when I’ve let her shop at the dollar store, so I think she’ll be okay with it. I just know that souvenir junk is pricey. I don’t know how pricey.

Given her recent mood and energy level, I’m thinking of rebooting and instead of just 2 long days at the park, switching to a 4 or 5 day pass, and therefore not spending the whole day there. Her energy is just shot lately and forging ahead for the sake of the tickets sounds like yuck to me. I can spend 350 on 2 days of tickets or 490 on 5. While I would miss that 140, I suspect I would miss my sanity more. This does however, affect my budget plan so I am trying to figure out where else I can cut a little bit. I am blessed with a normally very flexible kid who is not a big whiner or beggar. That may change while in the presence of roughly 10,000 other small children who are about her age and may be whining and begging, but I hope not.

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7 thoughts on “D&sney Math

  1. Let me preface this: We went 20 years ago this fall. Things might have changed. But Andrew was five and Allison was a week shy of two (a stretegic money-saving move on our part–she got into the parks for free and was a lap-sitter on the plane).

    I read all the “how to take your kids to D$sney” books. I got several terrific tips, but by far the best one was to buy both kids the autograph book they sell in every one of those 5,000 gft shops, and a fancy pencil, and the five-year-old had a blast geting autographs from the characters in the parks. He turns 25 ths summer, and he stilll has that book! Allison? Eh, not so much, but she was skeptical of “a guy in a costune” as she called them. She was pretty discerning already at 23.75 months!

    If Selam is the kind of kid who is not scared off from the cahracters, this might be the best money you spend all week! They were relatively inexpensive, as I recall.

    I can’t help you with the food math,

  2. Seems like if you are not spending full days in the park, it should be pretty easy to manage the restaurant $$.

    We brought a blank book at a bookstore before we left, and did the autograph thing. That was pretty fun, and she still likes flipping through that book from time to time. I had intended to paste photos into it, too, but never got around to that part! CG was pretty skeptical of people in animal costumes but liked meeting non-animal characters (although she LOVED Minnie Mouse).

    I think we told CG she could have one treat a day (for the 3 days we were there). One day she picked getting her hair done in the princess area (which was kind of pricey–probably $25 or $30); another day she picked a dollar’s worth of sugar candy. I forget what the 3rd treat was. If Selam is good with the concept of picking one souvenir from a trip, seems like your approach will work. (CG would spend time obsessing over what is the perfect single souvenir in that scenario, which would make everything awful. My parents usually give her $ to spend on vacation and it just ends up stressing her out to no end b/c she feels like she has to spend that exact amount. But I digress. Clearly Selam doesn’t have that problem!)

    We are still using two plastic mouse-sized plates that we got in one of the restaurants–for a kids’ burrito. (In fact, I think I ate a kids burrito at one meal, in a place where we ordered and then took the food elsewhere to eat.Not sure I’d build your budget around that, but I did it.) They’ve been one of our best souvenirs!

    • My favorite souvenirs have all been of the “free with meal” variety, too. I have plastic cups from various places that I treasure. I’ll keep my eye out for freebie opps.

      Selam really doesn’t have much of a concept of money, so I think we’ll be okay. Her grandparents sent us a gift card with Tiana’s picture on it. Although there is too much money on that card for her to spend on trinkets, I think I’m going to give it to her when we finally get around to purchasing. She’ll love having a credit card!

  3. When we walked into the park the first day Bereket said she wanted the first doll she saw. I told her we were going to be there five days and that on the last day I would buy her two things and her aunt would buy her one, so she should think about what she wants. She said ok, and waited until the last day. She did change her mind a few times during the week regarding what she wanted.

  4. We were just in Disbey in June. The autographs aren’t a big thing much anymore. The characters are stationary & you can track them down in their various grottoes & mini theme areas. If you can spring for a character meal, do it. Expensive, but if you dine in Cindarella’s castle you “meet” all the princesses. You do need a reservation for that, but you can book on the property. The other character dining spots are just as fun, if princess mania is too much for you. Free fun – ride the boats & monorail between the properties. Oh, and the ceremony when they open the main park each day is really sweet and fun. Have a magical time. I love Disney, even as an adult.

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