Before we get into all the neat secrets of the college program we are going to get the biggest topic out of the way and that is to set a limit for yourself and stick to it.
Learning how to make a budget and sticking to it are one of the biggest things you must learn to do before you get down to Orlando. With all of it’s shops, restaurants, and shows it can be overwhelming and that paycheck that you just worked your assets (we are keeping this Disney friendly) off for a week can be blown through in a night before you can even say “What’s next?” So at least two weeks before you are ready to head down to meet this mouse make sure you have some rough outline of a budget set up.
- Plan to reserve maybe 30-50 dollars for food for that week. When you go to buy your food check out both Publix and Wal-mart’s prices and look to see if they are offering any sales. Wal-mart generally will have lower prices but Publix had better quality food and tends to run a lot of buy one get one free deals so definitely worth a look. And try not to make it a habit buying from the Wallgreens by Vista, Chatham, or Patterson because although they are conveniently open 24 hours a day, their prices are normally jacked up and their food is generally subpar.
-There are so many different shows and night time entertainment opportunities that it can be completely overwhelming and you are going to want to do everything all at once. DON’T. I’m saying not saying you shouldn’t go to Cirque du soleil or Medieval Nights but try only going to one show every other week or even better, every three weeks. When you think about it, this really isn’t a tough thing to do, I mean let’s face it you have the golden key to all four parks of the Walt Disney World resort. People pay $78 a day and you are getting in for free so use this as your primary source of entertainment and when you feel like you absolutely “need” something new then see a show. The other thing to do is waiting for the discounts to come up. There are off seasons for everything in Orlando and if you take advantage of this you will see a show like Cirque go from $80 to $40 practically overnight. So just think before you go out. On a final note consider buying the Water Park and More annual pass. It costs about $140 and it gets you into both of Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon water parks as well as Disney Quest, Disney’s multistory arcade and fun center, for the year and it gives you a lot more options for you days off.
-The only two things I am going to say on restaurants is this: 1) Try, when you can, to eat sit down meals for a lunch or late lunch and avoid dinner because lunch prices can be anywhere from $10 -$30 cheaper than dinner and trust me those savings add up. 2)Check to make sure you get a discount at that restaurant at that time because discounts don’t always apply all day and you want to make sure again that you are using as little of your paycheck as possible.
Again you are going to be working for the Mouse for a few months and it definitely feels good to finish your tenure knowing that you have made some good money when you return to college.
Next week: The most efficient way to get from here to there at the Disney parks
Have a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day