Chances are you've heard the news, and it isn't nice.
It just got more expensive to go to Disney. Now, ANY overnight guest at a Disney resort is going to have to pay for parking. It was a matter of time I guess before Disney followed suite to the other resorts in the area. While the good news is, that the parking fees aren't as high as many other places, the bad news is what was once free, now has a charge, and it was very sudden.
Value Resorts are now $13 a night to park
Moderate Resorts $19 a night to park
Deluxe Resorts $24 a night to park
At this time, you will still get complimentary parking at theme parks, if you choose to take your own vehicle.
If you are a DVC member, or renting DVC points, you are also exempt from the parking fees.
Word has it, that in part this is because so many people were driving into resorts, parking their cars and using Disney transportation in order to avoid the fee of parking at the different theme parks. While I'm not sure if that's true or not, Disney transportation can often be crowded, I wouldn't really be surprised.
This change happened so suddenly, there aren't too many details as to if in the future, as part of a package, Disney will waive the parking fee. In the meantime, if your budget might be a little tighter because of this change, I recommend trying to save in other areas, here are a few ideas.
Bring your own food into Disney
Stay offsite (but watch for additional parking or resort fees)
Use your Target card to get discounted Disney gift cards
Bring your own drinks (for some of the time)
While this is a change no one likes, Disney was one of the last to impose the parking fee. I wonder if this is going to lead to some "creative" parking, or a ton of pop up parking garages.
Anyone who has been to Disney World has experienced the bunnies hopping past you, the ducks waddling up, hoping you'll drop some popcorn, or share that Mickey pretzel, or even the various birds who will swoop past at Animal Kingdom, and snatch the french fries out of your fingers that were enroute to your mouth. It seems that a new kind of creature has been feeling left out of the helping to make magical memories and decided to slitter out to join the festivities!
You can click right here to go right to the news article, and watch how everyone gives this dancing snake plenty of room to waltz. Poor guy, I think he (or she?) really wanted a partner to dance with!
A while back, we talked about when to tip at Disney, and when not to. We also talked about how much to tip, but the last few weeks a disturbing trend has popped up among a lot of the Disney sites in regards to saving money, and I wanted to talk about that, and why it’s not appropriate to do. I’ll use one example I read about a few days ago.
A woman trying to budget how much she would need for meals wondered if the tip at Disney’s table service was automatically included in the meal price. A few people answered that when you were a party of 6 or more, then yes, 18% was automatically added, but you could go up, or down, as you thought. Parties of 5 of less, the tip was up to you to add on.
Quite shockingly, a large number of people said that because they thought the food was overpriced, they left no tip at all, or else, 5 – 10% of the bill. They admitted that the food was excellent, the service wonderful and they were happy with everything, but felt like because they were already spending so much at Disney on other things, including, in their minds, overpriced food, that it was perfectly fine to short the people who had been their waitstaff.
This is not okay.
I don’t care who you are, if you have the money to sit down at a restaurant, at any restaurant, then you have the money to tip those hard working men and women who take your orders, refill your drinks, get you this and that, and do it all with a smile, even though they are spending 8 hours running back and forth between multiple tables.
The argument that Disney food is overpriced was brought up time and time again, so I was curious (since we are mostly quick service people) and looked up a few sample menus.
From the Sci Fi Dine In at Hollywood Studios
Drive in BBQ Burger - our signature blend of beef, BBQ spice, brioche bun, house-made BBQ sauce, bacon, and cheddar served with crispy-fried jalapeno and onion straws $19
Chili Lime Salmon Fajita Salad - mixed greens tossed with roasted corn, peppers, shredded cheddar cheese, cilantro-lime vinaigrette topped with crispy tortilla chips and house-made avocado green goddess dressing; also available with grilled chicken $15.5; $16.5
Flame-broiled New York Strip Steak - with red wine demi glace, creamy-four cheese macaroni and cheese with bacon-panko crust and seasonal vegetables topped with onion straws $32
From the Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom
Freedom Pasta - grilled chicken or sauteed shrimp, pasta, artichokes, mushrooms, and tomatoes tossed in a roasted red pepper cream sauce $23
Our Tavern Keeper's Favorite - pot roast served with mashed potatoes and garden vegetables $20
These seem pretty similar in price as to what you would get at any casual sit down restaurant, like an Applebees, Chilis, or Red Lobster. Even the more expensive meals, are on par with what you would pay at a more upscale restaurant.
Disney is known for having some of the finest chefs, the best ingredients, and service that is second to none. It isn’t right to go and expect such quality, and not be willing to pay for it.
Disney’s menus and prices are all over the internet. If you aren’t sure if table service is for you, time wise, or price wise, I encourage you to look over the menus, add in the gratuity, and see if it’s something your budget allows. If it’s not, then either save a little by bringing in your own drinks to the park, or having snacks or a meal form food you’ve brought in but for goodness sake, don’t skimp on your server’s tip! They work hard and deserve it, just like you work hard and deserve your paycheck. It’s not the staff’s fault how much something costs. It’s up to the patron to decide if they want to buy the service, or skip it. If you've spent a few thousand on a Disney vacation, is spending another hundred more to tip accordingly, really going to put you in bankruptcy?
There is never a reason to not tip your server.
Every where I turn, it’s been A Wrinkle in Time. It’s all over the stores, the TV, and even the kids book club at my son’s school. I thought it would be fun, for all of you Wrinkle in Time lovers to have a fun bit of trivia. Maybe you don’t know this, or maybe you did but forgot, and want ot pass it along to a coworker tomorrow!
This new Disney film, is NOT the first time Disney had their name on A Wrinkle in Time.
Back in 2003, another version came out. (And I’m just going to add, and this is MY opinion only, I rather think those kids fit the image I got from the books of Meg, Calvin and Charles Wallace better, than the new cast does)
Have you seen this? We borrowed it from our local library. It was quite well done, as Canadian shows seem to be. I'll be interested to see the new version to compare.
Want to link to read more about this?
Disney isn’t going to stop it’s rides or shows for a little rain, yet you’d be surprised at the number of people that leave once the sprinkles start. Take advantage of those shorter lines!
A rain poncho is one of the most necessary items in your Disney bag. Chances are good, you’ll use it at least once, if not every day at Disney.
While you can buy both child sized and adult ponchos at Disney, those would cut a little too much into our Disney Budget, at around $10 each. Like with any rain poncho, it can also be difficult to fold it down as small as when you took it out of the package. While Disney will replace (at no charge) your poncho if it rips, we’ve always been very happy with the alternative we’ve gotten at Target.
Target sells Coleman disposable ponchos, in COLORS for $1.50 each. I usually pick up 3 sets for everyone (including the stroller) and in different colors. Yellow, red, blue or green. You'll find these in their sporting goods aisle.
You can also buy the clear ones at Walmart for $1, but when we get separated from each other for a few seconds, it’s so much easier for me to spot the “red poncho” than to remember what so and so is wearing, and scan the crowd filled with Disney Parks or clear ponchos everyone else is wearing. In all the times we have gone, it’s rare that we have run across other colored ponchos, so that’s one of my favorite tips to share with people.
If you google, you’ll find tons of suggestions on your rain gear, but I really like these because yes they are thin, and only come in one size, but they have NEVER torn on us! For the little man, I tie knots on the side, to raise it. These also shake dry pretty easy, and we can wear a whole day, hang overnight, and roll up pretty small to use again. We usually get 3 days out of a poncho before we get new ones. They are still physically fine, but for some reason start to smell funny after that.
If you are wondering on size, I am 5’6 and the poncho comes around my calves. Mr. Disney Magic is 6’3 and his go about to his knees, so if you are in shorts, you shouldn’t get your clothes wet. Each poncho has a hood, and doesn’t really cling to you, even with all the moisture in the air, though I will say, once the rain stops, and the sun comes out, you start to heat up like you are in a mini greenhouse!
For $1.50 each, (shop around, you might find them less!) you really can’t go wrong with these! Make your trip easier, and cheaper by trying them next time!