Mom And Kids Animal Kingdom
  • On Apr 2, 2008
    Tammy from OH Asked

    I would like to plan a WDW vacation for my two children and I in June. My son is 12 and my daughter is 9. I have never planned a huge vacation like this before and don't know where to begin, or how much it will cost. We will need airfare as well. HELP!

    Start with the budget. Figure out how much you have to spend and let that shape your other choices. It's possible to have a great week at WDW and spend less than $2,000 (drive, go during the value season, stay off-site, pack meals, etc). It's also possible to have a (really) great week at WDW and spend $30,000+ (fly first class, go at Christmas, concierge suites, signature dining, VIP guides, etc.).

    Once you have a budget in mind, you can start to make choices. To do this, you need to be informed. Get some guidebooks. The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World is a MUST, also the Birnbaum guide and the Passporter guide. Get familiar with the WDW website, allearsnet.com and disboards.com. Now you know your options.

    Ask yourself questions:

    - Will we spend much time at our hotel? If not maybe a less expensive hotel is a way to save.
    - Do I mind cooking on my vacation? Maybe you want to budget more for restaurants.
    - Will we visit more than one park each day? Allocate money to the park hopper ticket option.
    - Are there shows we want to see? Allocate money for a night at Cirque du Soleil.
    - Do I feel comfortable taking my kids out of school to take advantage of value rates?
    - ... and so on.

    Also, ask your children some of these questions; they are old enough to participate in the planning. Give them the guidebooks to look at. They'll have a better time if they have a say in what goes on during the vacation. Would your daughter swoon for a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique makeover? Does your son want to go on a fishing cruise? Factor those things into your decision process.

    Very few people have the means to take that 100% first class trip. We all make compromises and no one else's choices will be exactly the same as yours. Just start with a budget and make a ranked list of the most important items to you. (Value vs. deluxe, counter service vs. table service, etc.) Then go from there.

    And we're happy to help :-)
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Meet the Panelist: Erin, New York

I have three teenage daughters. We're DVC members obsessed with Disney travel. We've been to Walt Disney World countless times and have visited Disneyland & Disneyland Paris. We've taken several Adventures by Disney and Disney Cruise trips. Learn More About Erin

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