Easter is coming! But so is our Disney trip. As much as I LOVE hiding a riot of colors in our yard and watching the kids run around, each year it's a bit of a struggle to stuff those eggs. My kids aren't really into candy, and food allergies complicate things at times. We've done stickers, coins, small trinkets...but so much of it just lays around.
This year, I wanted to do some fun surprises, but also help toward their Disney savings, so I quickly created some Mickey Money! I'm sharing the printable with you.
Print it on colored paper if you like, or color it! Assign each kid a particular color and you can use this for Easter eggs, chore rewards, or anything else! Hey...I'm not above a bribe if need be.
I realized belatedly, that these print out kind of big, so I'm going to show you how to make these smaller. You'll simply choose to print off two pages per page printed. Here's how:
I hope you enjoy this fun little printable! I'm hiding fifteen of each of these for my kids, which they can trade in for the $15 gift cards I picked up at the Disney Outlet.
You can easily find $25 gift cards at Target too, or maybe you just want to let your kids collect, and you'll reward at vacation time! Either way, less junky stuff laying around, and more Disney moola!
You can click below to find the file. You can also click here, to access my other fun, free printables. (Like an awesome stroller sign, or packing list!)
I hope you have as much as I will passing these out to my kids!
If you'd rather be rope dropping than taking time to linger over breakfast, you aren't alone! But, the fact of the matter is people have to eat. Even if you aren't a huge breakfast eater, chances are someone else in your party is, and you really do need a little fuel to keep you going!
You could grab something at the park once there, and many do, but just as many would rather watch their dollars, and breakfast in the room or while waiting in the transportation line.
These ideas are all perfect for those staying in a value resort. There's a fridge, but no microwave except for in the food court. If you are are in a room with a microwave or a small kitchen, then you have a LOT more options!
Chances are you already know how easy a few of these are, but there could be some surprises! I've got a list of 25 for you! Chose one or combine a few for a fast, easy breakfast and spend your money on more important things! Like souvenirs!
1. Cold cereal (You can buy milk from a resort food court or have delivered!)
2. Thawed breakfast sandwiches (heat in the food court microwave)
3. No-cook overnight oatmeal
4. Pastries (donuts, honeybuns, etc)
5. Yogurt and granola
6. Fresh fruit and cheese
7. Granola bars
8. English muffins and jam
9. Fruit cups / Applesauce
10. Precooked bacon or sausage
11. Bagels and cream cheese or avacado
13. String cheese
14. Cottage cheese
15. Graham crackers
16. Crusty loaf, cheese, and olives or pesto
17. Biscuits and apple butter
18. Instant breakfast shakes
19. Dried fruit
20. Beef jerky or meat sticks
21. Instant oatmeal (using water from the well washed coffee maker)
22. Crackers and sunbutter
23. Smoothies (there are several refrigerated brands)
24. Bread with cheese, tomatoes, and avadaco
25. Last night's leftovers!
While there are so many more things you can do, maybe some of these will give you ideas for your next trip. We always pack breakfasts, (budget, time, and food allergies!) but I actually really love doing that, because my kids and I are not huge eaters first thing in the morning. By tossing some of these into our park bags, we end up having a snack when we are hungry, but save a ton of time and money!
Sometimes there's a kind of gut punch feeling when you get your Disney vacation quote. Maybe it's because financially, it was a hard year. (Or two.) It could be the fact that Disney never seems to get cheaper. Whatever the reason, it's possible you wonder, "Well, can we do it? Should we do it?"
I've talked before about not going into debt for a Disney vacation. I've also talked about ways to get FREE Disney money! You know I'm all about enjoying the same magic, but for less!
But what do you do, when year after year, the price goes up, and you aren't sure you are getting the same value? Let's talk about the four elements of a Disney trip. Hotels, food, souvenirs, and tickets. How can we cut costs but still enjoy ourselves?
Without a doubt, hotels can be the most expensive part of your trip! Part of that is because if you are a family of five or more, to stay on property, you'll need a suite or else two rooms. That REALLY adds up. But, let's be honest. Staying on property is pretty expensive. With less perks now for those who do stay on property, you might just be able to save a LOT of money by looking for a resort elsewhere.
The amazing thing about Disney, is there are tons of resorts by Hilton and Holiday Inn and others, that cost half (or less!) than a Disney Value Resort, and you get a resort that usually comes with a fantastic pool area (think mini water park!) and other great resort activities, that might include games, breakfast, and transportation, to name a few.
If you don't spend much time in your resort room, or if you don't care if your walls are decorated in Mickey Mouse, this might be perfect for your family.
Comparing prices between an off property resort, and an All Stars room saved over $1,000 for a week in June. That's a LOT!
Food...now, some people are foodies, others just want to snack. With Disney having such a generous policy letting you bring food into the park, that might be something you want to consider to save big. After all, the average price of a soda is $5! A great compromise might be a resort room breakfast, a snack from your backpack, and then a huge late lunch in the park. Depending on your appetite, you might be able to split a meal, with just buying an extra side. Dinner can be off property or back in your resort room.
We find at the end of the day, we are tired and like to eat light. There's a LOT of stuff you can make or have delivered that would fit that bill!
If you make the majority of your beverages water, you'll save a ton, and prevent possible seriously problems, like dehydration or sunstroke!
Without a budget, it's so easy to spend your money on the amazing Disney goodies. T Shirts can set you back $30 or more! Disney pins start around $8, and there's just so much that looks fun and wonderful and well, you just want!
Define your budget and set limits. Are you wondering how much to bring? Tell yourself, Okay! I can buy something at each park. Or, give yourself a dollar amount. "I can spend $50 at each park." See if you can stick to that! It might be hard but you can still find some great souvenirs. You might not even want to spend that much! Maybe you just want one special thing!
It's easy to overspend!
While Disney has moved into ticket pricing that varies by season and day, there is still a bargain to be found. The longer you stay, the less it costs. It's usually around $10 more for days 6 to 7, which might allow you to extend your stay, especially if you are staying off property, and possibly even skip paying for Genie+, since you'd have an extra day or two and not be so pressed to do it all.
If you have your heart set on going to Disney, then go for it! There are many ways to save, and the sooner you start, the easier it is. In fact, you might find that frozen pizza really saves your budget!
Start braining storming, involve the whole family, and remember...doing Disney simply, and cutting a few corners isn't going to reduce the magic. It's going to help you get back there quicker!
I had quite a surprise, and discovered I was #7 on a list of Disney Mom Bloggers! I'm excited to check out a few of these other sites myself!
Click here and check out some of these great blogs! If you aren't already following me on Facebook, I'd be grateful for the add!
I admit it...total sucker for a pretty gift card. It could even be empty and a little voice in my head goes Ohhhhhh and it sounds a LOT like the Little Green Men from Toy Story for some reason...
A few years back, I was incredibly disappointed when Disney did away with the pretty gift cards! They completely stopped, and only had the red Mickey. I bet you know which one I mean. The one that everyone sells.
I'm thrilled that a few months back, they brought BACK these amazing gift cards. Best of all? There are SO many incredible designs to choose from. I bought myself the three above. When you order your gift card, it comes in a nice envelope.
And then once you open the envelope...is your gift card, in a beautiful card!
The card tells where you can use it, how you can use it, and the value of the card.
I'll be honest...I'm not sure what I love most! The pretty card, the pretty gift card, or the fact possibilities are endless...you could frame the cards...make ornaments...bookmarks...gift tags...there's a lot of creative possibilities here.
We typically pay off our Disney vacations with gift cards. Here's why! (Hint! I don't pay retail!) And when strolling through the parks, a gift card is how we cover our meals, souvenirs, and etc. The kids also have a souvenir, and one of the ways I like to tell which is the food card, which is Kid #1's card, etc, is by each thing of person having their own separate card. It helps me see if we used all we had budgeted for or not.
As a matter of fact, there are a LOT more ways to use a Disney gift card than you may realize! I've got a list of 11 different ways you can use your Disney gift card while on your vacation.
Our kids loving making their own purchases too, and it's such a time saver to pull out the Iron Man card and know who it belongs to, or the Darth Vader one. I'm never even worried about my kids losing their gift cards. Why? Well, because of the 10 second, less than a dollar way to make sure you kid won't lose it!
When you buy these gift cards from the site, there is a minimum of $25 to get the card. If you are a card collector, Disney Stores and Disney Parks will still let you put as little as $15 on a card. When we vacation, I snag a few of these cards for $15, and gift them along with the kids' birthday cards, or Easter baskets. It's an easy way to help them save. As a matter of fact...one year Santa even dropped some in the stockings! How awesome of him!
We are planning our summer trip to Disney World, and there are droids to be build, saber accessories to buy, and more plushies than our van can likely hold, so the boys know they need to save up!
Stop by Disney's site to browse their gift cards. What's your favorite? I've so many I love!