At the current time our thoughts and prayers are with all of Florida that they all stay safe and the hurricane miraculously heads out to sea!
We all know visiting the mouse isn’t cheap so when trying to save for Disney World, every little cent helps! This Diz Lover has a few tricks up her sleeve for SAVING MONEY.
*1. My number one way to save is by booking my vacation at least a year in advance and making payments every pay period until the vacation is paid off BEFORE we go. **Get a membership to BJ’s or Costco! Both stores offer Disney Gift cards at a discounted value, and you are absolutely able to make your payments with Disney Gift Cards! Currently you can purchase a $150 BJ’s Disney Gift Card for $147.99 . However, over the summer I was purchasing $100 gift cards for around $94.00 . Its good to always keep an eye out and keep checking for deals.
I have also heard if you use your Target Red Card you get a discount when purchasing Disney Gift Cards.
I personally like to use my Disney Visa Credit Card to purchase discounted Disney Gift Cards through Bj’s so I receive reward bucks as well! Those reward bucks come in handy for tips or anything purchased inside of Disney World. So I am earning reward dollars as I save by purchasing through BJ’s. You can also use your reward bucks to pay towards the vacation. Disney Visa Credit Card also gets saves money at any Disney Store location with a purchase of $50 or more and it also gets you exclusive character pictures at certain Disney Visa photo spots inside of Disney World.
If you happen to have a balance left when the remainder of your vacation is due, if you use a Disney Visa Card you get 6 months interest FREE to pay it off.
I usually get one Disney Gift Card that I have registered on Disney Gift Card Website (just in case I ever lose it) and then every Disney Gift Card that I purchase, I combine onto the 1 registered Disney Gift card before I make payments. You can constantly pay the balance and then reload the card. God Forbid you need to cancel and receive a refund – who the heck would want a refund on all those gift cards? Better to have it refunded to only one!
Since we always use the dining plan we do a lot of table services, so I like to bring a loaded gift card that I can use for tips – YES – tips; you may use a Disney Gift Card to pay for tips as well as your meals or any merchandise. Disney Gift Cards are good throughout most locations in Disney World.
*2. I use a crowd calendar and try to go during non-peak times… usually your room per night is a lot cheaper during these times.
*3. Use a Disney World travel agent at no additional cost. They will search for discount codes for you to apply to your vacation. If you don’t have a TA, you can always keep checking by calling Disney to see one comes out and if it applies to your vacation package. Disney Travel Agents can also help you with so many things like dining reservations, fast passes and more! *Sometimes if you book your next vacation BEFORE you check-out of your current vacation you can catch a promotion like free dining or a 40% off code – just call reservations from your room for more info!*
*4. Purchase a dining plan! My family really enjoys most of the table service restaurants that Disney World offers so we normally get a dining plan – and we like to purchase deluxe most of the time.
Not only do we save 30% on food, but this way all of our food is paid before we go – sort of like an all inclusive experience. Having a dining reservation in the a/c is a great way to take a break in the heat of the day. If you like character meals the dining plan is really worth the value.
*5. Do not spend money or use snack credits on water. Any quick service will give you a cup of water or a cup of ice for FREE! Just ask! A cup of ice is great in the heat while waiting for the afternoon parade! Or, fill your thermos up in your quick service cafeteria at the hotel before you venture out to the parks. In the past when I had a stroller rental delivered I would have a pack of water delivered with it; or a pack of water delivered from Amazon, – but since learning about the free water, I no longer see a reason to.
*6. Bring your own snacks if you can! If you are close enough to drive, driving will save you a lot more than flying and you can pack whatever you like. If you are too far and need to fly, you can ship packages to any Disney resort 2 weeks before your trip and they will hold it for you until you arrive. Just write your confirmation code, guest name and check in date on the outside of your packages! Sometimes I find it worth it to ship myself cheap umbrellas, cheap dollar store ponchos, and snacks. I like to buy travel dollar store containers for soaps and try to gauge about how much shampoo I will use and ship that to myself when I fly, so on our flight home I don’t have a ton of liquid to stuff inside the suitcase. (We all know how expensive it is to fly and checking luggage with weight overage charges.)
*7. Don’t buy Disney merchandise inside the parks! Buy Disney merchandise at the dollar store and Walmart prior to your trip and pack it to surprise your family when you arrive. I have bought a lot of Disney themed apparel from retailers like Kohls and Walmart. Both stores have great Disney apparel at reasonable prices!
*8. For birthdays and holidays request Disney Gift cards in lieu of other gifts! (You can use any major credit card gift card to pay towards a vacation balance as well.)
*9. Purchase your Autograph Books and Pens before you arrive at Disney! In the past I have purchased a simple Autograph Book from Amazon that saves you more than half the cost inside the park. Some pens inside of the World can cost you around $10.00! Buy before you go!
Happy Saving For Disney!