Ballet Feet

Ballet Feet

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Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
As a mom to two girls, I often heard "it takes a village to raise a child" but it also takes a village to make a mom. If it wasn't for the love, support and random sharing of other moms I don't think I would be enjoying this journey of motherhood quite as much. PR Friendly contact me at

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Disney World...can we do it?

My oldest daughter (Lil' L) has been in love with Disney princesses since she was just over 2 years old.  Shortly there after she found out about the magical place called Disney World in Florida and she has been unrelenting in her begging to go see the castle and meet the princesses.  We explained to her that going to Disney is a BIG trip and that we needed time to save money and plan our trip - she bought into that and we bought some time.  

Around the time Lil' L turned three she decided that she wanted to save all the money she received (Christmas, birthdays, etc.) for our upcoming trip to Disney.  I found the largest plastic jar I could and we decorated it with princess stickers and wrote Disney on it as a reminder of what she was saving towards. She has been a great saver and given the opportunity to spend some of her money or save it for Disney, it inevitably went into the jar.  Around this time Lil' E was born which delayed any thought of a cross country trip (another break for us!)

Fast forward to 2013, Lil' L is now 5.5 years and Lil' E is 2.5 years and both are equally enamoured with princesses although Lil' E is far less "girly" than her sister.  However, both love to don princess dresses, tiaras, wands and shoes and play make-believe.  After two  years of stalling, one day my husband announced that this was the year we would go to Disney World.  What?!?  The good news was the girls were out of earshot.  I love my husband but  I don't think he did much research before he made his grand announcement.  I am all for visiting Disney World but I don't want to be paying for it for the next few years.  So the research began, I checked flights, low season, accommodations, attraction pricing and no matter how I worked it, this trip is likely to cost between $4,000-$5,000 for a family of four.  Once I shared this information with my hubby, he changed his tune a bit.

I am not sure how other people manage it but that seems like a pretty expensive vacation for two young children and their parents.  I want nothing more than to bring my girls to Disney and see their little faces light up and the wonderment in their eyes as they see Cinderella's castle and experience everything Disney while they still believe, in fact it will probably bring me to tears.  However, I have to be realistic and that means that I can't justify spending that kind of money on a family vacation for one week.  

So I put it out there to you the experienced mamas that have made the trip - how did you manage to do Disney on a budget or did you just suck it up and consider it a once in a lifetime trip?

Evolution of my Lil' L princess : )
Princess at one year
Age 2 from Mulan

Age 3 - Cinderella

Age 4 - Snow White

Age 5 - back to Mulan


  1. We took the girls when they were 5 and 3 and started planning and cutting back on unnecessary spending well in advance. To save money on the actual trip we drove the van to Florida and stayed offsite at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort.
    We saved on airfare and a rental car!
    We spent almost $0 on Christmas that year (a big save!), and gave the girls the trip as their gift. We managed to keep it a complete surprise. Under the tree there were Disney themed beach towels and bikinis and gift wrapped 'Disney Passes' (purchased in advance from CAA), brochures and pictures of characters and palm trees. Their stockings held inexpensive Disney themed treats and activities for the trip and autograph albums for collecting character signatures. On Christmas morning as we opened gifts, we turned it into a game. They went 'crAzY" when they realized that we were leaving the very next day for a much longed for trip to the Magic Kingdom! We did not indulge in the character dinners or on site souvenirs while there (too pricey) but what we did do was make a scrapbook/diary of the journey and every now and then we dig it out and enjoy the magical memories of our first trip to see Mickey and Minnie and our daughters special princess, Ariel The Little Mermaid.

  2. Dani that's awesome! Great ideas, really want to make this trip happen : )

  3. My brother's family went last year. His wife is a champion at finding deals and being frugal and getting the most bang for their buck. I know they had been saving for awhile and I know she made use of a deal that came up through her workplace but I know she also scoured travel places, AAA, and whatever else she could find to get her hands on any deal out there. She may have also added a tax refund and Christmas bonus to the pile of savings. They wound up doing the meal deal which is wasteful for just a couple but apparently a great deal for a whole family.
    I'm pretty sure it was less than $5000 in American monies. And a bunch of the family pitched in with other things because we knew they were going. I think we got them the autograph books, pens, and lanyards (for their tickets) for Christmas? My sister got them shirts and socks they could wear on the trip - stuff like that.