It’s time for another of my exciting “Mom and Me” Disney trips. Next weekend my almost 16 year old son and I will be on our way to Orlando for some one-on-one time. We have been planning and prepping for a couple of months and now it’s almost time to go!
On Sunday we went to the grocery store together to get all of our snacks and travel meals. It’s hard to get enough protein when you’re on the go, but we did our best. We got cheese and nuts and some beef jerky and lots of chips and fun snacks. He and I are both off of sugar, so we needed some other kinds of junk to keep it exciting.
This kid is such a different personality than my son I went with in March. The last trip was mellow and quiet. This trip will be much more chatty and opinionated. But that’s what I’m looking forward to the most…..him just being himself and getting to connect over whatever he likes. Even if it’s hours of discussing coin collecting (his favorite topic of the moment).
I’m giving you a cost breakdown of each trip so you can see that it’s possible to do Disney even if you have a smaller budget. Of course, it’s not the cheapest trip you could take since you could go to a local park and spend the night under the stars for nearly free. But if you really want to do something spectacular on a budget then this is a possibility. My kids know that we are doing budget trips and not the whole dining plan, resort kind of vacay. They’re excited to save money and still have a great time.
As a reminder, I have an annual pass so my tickets don’t cost anything. I’m definitely getting the most out of that! And we offered the kids a trip if they wanted to skip Christmas 2016, Christmas 2017 and birthday 2017. That means we have $300 to put toward the trip. With that we told them they can have a 2-day pass (non-park hopper) with a $60-$70 upgrade of their choice. Either they can get the park hoppers, add a third day, go to a nice restaurant or buy a souvenir. Or something else they want….it’s really up to them.
The son I went with in March chose a deal that Disney was doing when we went (they no longer offer it) for a 4-Day special pass (it had a bunch of limitations, but worked for us!) and this next trip my other son chose to add a day, so we will have 3 park days. We’ve got our Fast Passes and all our plans are made. He made all of the decisions.
Here’s a cost breakdown:
- Travel (driving….again) $140
- Lodging $152
- Park Passes $307
- Food $50 (took most of our own)
- Extras (drinks, etc) $25
- Total $674
This trip cost $58 less than the last one because I found a great deal on the lodging. There are several places to stay nearby that aren’t luxury, but they’re clean and safe. 🙂 My next trip is with my 9 year old in September and we won’t be driving. 18 hours in the car with him in the backseat isn’t going to work. So I’m keeping my eye out for flights.
One of my goals for this trip is to let this son do all of the leading. Wherever he wants to go or how he thinks we should spend our time is what we will do. Even in small ways, like just following him while we walk instead of letting my experienced Disney knowledge take over, I will let him be the leader. As I have prayed for each trip, this is something God has impressed upon me, so I am ready to follow.
Even if you’re planning a family trip, you can do it for a good price. If you don’t have to go at a certain time, watch for deals Disney offers. They come out with them during the slower seasons, like the tickets we got my son in March. You can also sometimes get free dining plans or great discounts on the resorts if you want to stay there. And check all around for the best prices on tickets. It’s hard to find for just 2 days, but if you’re going 4+ days you can start to get deals.