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Author: Budget Diva

After a long 12 hour drive, we are back home and already missing Disney World!! Our family of 5 opted to drive to Disney to save money but let me tell you, next time we are flying! I learned many things (both good and bad) after the vacation that I would love to share with reader’s so that you too can learn from my mistakes.

Mistake number 1: Driving straight (12 hours) with 3 kids under the age of 5. We had been given advice from many friends and family to drive straight-through and some people advised us to stop and spend the night somewhere half way. The kids were entertained with their road trip goody bags for about an hour or two and the snacks were exciting until about half way into the trip. Luckily the movie’s helped pass a few hours and the kids finally fell asleep about 7 hours into the trip. But by hour 9, the kids had had enough and were tired of being in the van. They started arguing, screaming, crying, etc You get the picture! Let me tell you, the last three hours of the trip were not fun for anyone! I would advise breaking up the trip.

Mistake number 2: Staying off property. We chose to stay off property for several reasons, the main reason – to save money. We stayed 6 nights at the Embassy Suites Lake Buena Vista. The hotel is wonderful, but with traffic in the evenings, it took us almost 45 minutes to get back to the hotel. Every minute counts when you’re on vacation and by 8 o’clock the kids were extremely tired and ready to crawl into their beds instead of sitting in traffic in the van. We also chose to stay off property because we wanted a ‘suite’ to sleep our large family of 5. Next time we will either stay in the Value Resorts to be closer to Disney World or save up for several years and stay at the Bay Lake Tower Villa’s at the Contemporary to be within walking distance to Disney. Staying on a monorail loop resort is definitely the closet you can get to Magic Kingdom and I think it is definitely worth the extra money and this is the BUDGET Diva talking!

We had a wonderful time at Disney World and can not wait to return! The parks were all so clean, well kept and the staff was amazingly friendly and helpful.

We were able to save a lot of money by bringing food into the park, by packing our lunches everyday in our cooler.

It was extremely hot for late April/early May so we did end up splurging and purchasing a cute Disney stroller fan for our baby to keep cool, I guess we should have read Disney Diva’s Buy Before you Go to the Park articles.

The week flew by, but we were able to ride almost every single ride except for Space Mountain (our kids were too little for this) and Splash Mountain (lines were really long).

Between the Chef Mickey’s breakfast, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for my 5 year old, dinner at 1900 Park Fare and Spirit of Aloha dinner show, we were pretty tired by the end of the week!

The highlight of our week was the Spirit of Aloha dinner show, it was the best money we spent all Linkweek! Such a fun, festive and authentic dinner show. Be sure to check out my upcoming reviews. Aloha!
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Kristin is the founder and co-director of Tips from the Disney Diva & Devos. She started writing the blog when she realized there were many people going to Disney World and having a miserable time, and it was all from a lack of planning. She knew that she could help and has assembled the finest writing team she can find !