You’re probably already well aware that your Disney trip isn’t going to be cheap. If you’ve done any planning at all, you’ve already seen the cost of tickets and you’ve probably booked a hotel too. Those who are a bit closer to their vacations time-wise may have even priced out food at the various restaurants. All of this is wonderful because it means you can go in with a solid budget and come home with enough money to start planning your next trip. That said, there are some things that should be included in that budget that have a tendency to be left out of the plans of eager vacationers.
Planning on eating out or staying in a hotel? For the vast majority of Disney World visitors the answer to both of these is a resounding “Yes!” Obviously, this means factoring the cost of your meals and your room into your expenses, but many people forget to also include the cost of tips. Your housekeeper and waitstaff all deserve to be paid well, so show them how much you appreciate them with a nice tip.
Parking at Disney Parks and Resorts costs money. Unfortunately, many visitors are completely unaware of this fact, meaning they get stuck paying an extra $20+ a day to park when they hadn’t budgeted for such a thing. $20+ a day adds up fast, and this could easily blow a budget. Therefore, it’s important to head into your trip knowing that you’ll pay to park, and setting some money aside for that purpose.
Sure, you may think you’re going to leave souvenir-free. However, unless you have incredible self control, this probably isn’t the case. You see, Disney World has hundreds of amazing products for sale in their parks, and it’s nearly impossible to avoid shopping around at least a little bit. For this reason, we highly recommend budgeting at least a small amount for souvenirs.
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Another thing you may not think you’ll spend money on—that nearly everyone does end up splurging for—are the amazing Disney World snacks. At Disney World, food is everywhere, and delicious treats such as Mickey bars and popcorn call out your name around every corner. People on vacation deserve to indulge in these snacks, but doing so probably means you’ll want to plan on spending a little extra.
5. Rain Gear
Florida is a super rainy state. During the summer it rains nearly every afternoon, and it rains regularly throughout the rest of the year as well. Many people leave the parks when the rain starts to fall. However, we recommend sticking around, as the storms rarely last more than an hour or two. That said, staying in the parks means donning a poncho, and if you forgot to bring your own, a Disney stamped one will cost you a pretty penny. Budget for a poncho or bring your own, because you’ll almost certainly need it!
6. Bottled Water
While cups of water are free at every Disney World quick-service eatery, bottled water is far from free. In fact, a simple bottle of Dasani water costs around $3.50. Therefore, if you’re not a tap water drinker, the cost of water could definitely sneak up on you, especially considering the amount of water one needs to drink in the Florida heat. Obviously, you could get around this issue by bringing your own water bottles in, but either way, this another thing you will want to budget and plan for.
7. Forgotten Items
No matter how hard you try not to, it’s pretty likely you’re going to forget to pack at least one thing when getting ready for your vacation. Fortunately, the Disney Resort gift shops sell pretty much anything you could possibly need, so you can just run downstairs and pick up the missing item. Since forgetting an item is nearly inevitable, this is a line item we recommend everyone add to their Disney Budget. You’ll be glad you did when you realize your toothbrush is missing or you forgot the sunscreen.
8. Travel Day Expenses
Finally, we have to mention travel day expenses. Many people get so wrapped up in planning the fun part of their Disney trip, they forget to account for the less fun travel days on either end. You’ll want to plan for at least one meal in the airport or on the road, and more if it’s a long trip. Other potential travel day costs (aside from gas or plane tickets) include snacks and on-plane internet or movie access. Plan for these things so they don’t surprise you!