Getting Ready for a Disney Vacation
As some of you may know or realize from my gallery pics, we love DISNEY!
Not the Disney that you take little kids to who are all screaming after an hour at the park because they want to go back to the hotel to swim in the pool. Not the Disney where the kids are crying because they don’t want to eat that warm bologna sandwich, water, apple and cheese and crackers you so graciously packed into that new backpack which carries 75 pounds of warm food and water! Not the Disney where everyone with kids is sweating and spraying water from a $35 Disney water bottle with a plastic fan through the hair of the screaming children before it hits you square in the face. Then as those parents scream to their children that they just spent $1800 on this great vacation for the next four days and that there is no way in hell they are going to swim at the hotel until 7 hours of heat and exhaustion have passed at the parks because this is the G_ _ Dam_ Happiest Place on Earth! No, those days are over.
I am talking about the adult version of Disney. Staying in a great hotel where you can drop your wet towels on the floor and someone will magically come in and hang newly washed towels. I am talking about leaving your bed an absolute mess and jumble and coming back and having it made so tight you can bounce a quarter off the top! Yes, this can happen at many hotels, but Disney just adds that piece of sunshine, sprinkles and sweetness that gives me cavities just thinking about it.
One day, I want to retire and live in The CASTLE. Anyone that knows my husband and I realizes that I speak the truth, I am not making it up. We are retiring there.
We have made a game of how to do Disney on a budget and how to do it well. Here are some of our tricks of the trade:
1. We stay at the Downtown Disney Hilton. It is not considered an actual Disney hotel, which are far too large and hold WAY TO MANY CHILDREN. We love children, just not when we are relaxing and there are enough of them at the parks. The Downtown Disney Hilton is right across from Downtown Disney, soon to be renamed Disney Springs. It is a lovely hotel that is geared more for conventions I believe, which is great because it is filled with lots of adults…not kids. Yes, there are kids, but not nearly as many as a Disney resort. The resorts also tend to be so large and the walks very far. Everytime we stay, which is normally in February, April and September, which are lower attended Disney times, we get the least expensive room and ask for an upgrade. We are always given an upgrade, almost everytime it is to a suite which can cost three times the amount we paid for the room. They are great about that when it is a slower time of year.
2. We bring our own alcohol! This is huge because drinking in restaurants and bars and Epcot is very costly. We make our own drinks and take them to the pool. You can bring vodka in a water bottle and just get a glass of cranberry or orange juice or just ice and be a happy camper. We also bring a cooler full of great appetizers for that 4-5 pm time after hanging out at the pool. We go up to our room, bring out the cheeses, olives, specialty hams, crackers, salmon and crab cakes (premade at home) and monge! Then in an hour when we go to Downtown Disney to eat at our favorite places, either Wolfgang Pucks, Fultons Crab House or Portobellos we share an entree and split a salad. We don’t consider it cheap, we have enough medical bills to consume any extra cash we have so that there never seems to be enough for a vacation. So suck it if you think we are cheap!
3. We go online and applied for the Levy Preferred card, which are the three restaurants that are our favorite. We get points for each dollar we spend and get $25 in our birthday months, which covers April and September…kind of. Get one for you, your email at work, your husband and his email at work, that is four cards or $100 a year. We also sign up for Benihana’s Restaurant, which is in the Hilton, and get a free birthday entree. You can do the same at Shula’s (which have the best steaks ever), Rainforest and Earl of Sandwich. All these are at Downtown Disney. I love this place…did I mention that already?
4. We are annual passholders at Disney, but choose to be the Florida Resident weekday holders, so we can only go Monday through Friday, which suits us just fine and is the least expensive and I buy the monthly payment plan…easier on the pocketbook.
5. For breakfast I usually make ahead at home, english muffins with cooked ham, a slice of cheese and egg, wrap each one and microwave it in the lobby store available for their guests. We get free Starbucks coffee each day or a water per guest and breakfast is free.
6. Lunch is whatever we want because we noodle around town most days. We always visit the Mall at Millenia, Ikea, Bass Pro Shop and some other shopping areas. Most we sign up to receive deals on our birthday months, so woo hoo for me!
7. Yes, Punkin does get stuff too. For him, he’s happy if I buy some camouphlage longerie at Bass Pro Shop…can’t see me, can ya?
Do you have some Disney savings tips? Many readers would love to hear those so please share…I wanna hear them too!