When it comes to planning your Walt Disney World vacation, there are always the usual expenses to take into consideration such as traveling there and back whether it involves airfare or fuel for your vehicle if you're driving and maybe a hotel stay depending on how long of a drive you have. Of course, you've got to think about your theme park tickets and your resort cost as well. But, what about all those extras that you don't necessarily think about until you're presented with a situation that requires an additional expense?
If you've vacationed in Florida, you know that the weather here can be incredibly unpredictable. I'm sure that you've heard the term "liquid sunshine" before and let me tell you, it's no joke. You've heard us talk about how we can tell when the rain is coming and we try to get out of the park and back to our vehicles prior to it starting. But what happens when you rush out of your hotel room first thing in the morning because you couldn't wait to get on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and it starts pouring? There you are with no umbrella or poncho and you're far back in the Magic Kingdom. You certainly don't want to have to buy new clothes or shoes inside the park, but a poncho could certainly do the trick. Here's the thing; the fancy Mickey Mouse ponchos are better quality than most, but they're not inexpensive, especially if you've got a few people in your party. A quick trip to your local dollar store prior to your vacation can potentially save you a bunch of money.
The next thing we should talk about are Disney snacks. There are SO MANY special snacks throughout the parks and resorts that it can make your head spin. All of them might not sound appealing to you, but there are bound to be a few that grab your attention, especially when you visit during the Halloween and Christmas seasons. The Disney chefs go all out when it comes to their delicious baked goods and specialty [alcoholic and non-alcoholic] cocktails. If you watch the vlogs that our team shares over on the DIS Unplugged YouTube channel, you may have seen us trying some of the festive deliciousness already. I highly recommend that you plan around $6 or so per person, per day for snacking. Sometimes, a late afternoon snack can make for a lighter dinner, too! Deni gave a few of the Halloween snacks a try at Magic Kingdom earlier this week; check out her article to see which ones and what she thought!
Most Disney fans consider a souvenir budget when planning their vacations, but I'm here to tell you that you might want to consider all of the special holiday merchandise that comes into play these days. Disney is really upping their game with Minnie Mouse Ear headbands, holiday pins, and all of the lanyards, Loungefly mini-backpacks, and coffee mugs that many of us can't have enough of even though our kitchen cabinets are already way too full. Ahem....
I mean, the designs keep getting cuter and cuter and what are we supposed to do, resist buying them? Well, sometimes that's just not an option. With the parks not being as busy as they were prior to the COVID-19 changes, thankfully shopDisney.com has tons of great merchandise to satisfy most of us, but if you're traveling to Walt Disney World for vacation, I highly recommend that you take all of the special merchandise into account because I'd be willing to bet that you'll see some items that you're not willing to leave behind. Like Halloween popcorn buckets... I mean, seriously.
One last point I want to bring up are those last-minute purchases that you really don't plan for like when your darling child simply cannot go on without that Mickey balloon. You know that you can't bring it home if you're flying, but it's the one thing that will make the kiddo elated so you splurge on it. If I'm going to spend the money on one of those little floating gems, I do it during the first day or two of vacation so we can have it kicking around for as long as possible.
I feel like it's always better to end your vacation with a little bit of extra money, so padding your budget a bit if you can might be the way to go.
What are some unplanned expenses you've run into during your Disney vacations? Please share them with me in the comments section!