Every morning I get on my computer and pull up the Disney World website. Over to the right of the screen is a little message for me. Today it said, “104 days until your vacation.” That is enough to bring tears to my eyes. I love Disney World, and I do refer to it as my home away from home. My family and I go once a year, and to some, I have been dubbed a Disney expert.
One thing I get told a lot is that Disney is way too expensive. Some don’t understand how it can possibly be affordable. Give me a few hours and I can come up with tons of money saving ideas for any given vacation. Below is a run down of some ways to save, save, save…
1. Sign up for Disney newsletter. When you sign up for the newsletters, you will know about any discounts or specials going on at that time. Also, in the past Disney has sent out pin code offers to people who get the newsletter. These pin code offers are so much better than what is given to the general public. They don’t send them out as often any more, but who knows, you may get lucky.
2. Get a Disney Visa card. With this card you get 0% interest for 6 months if it is used to purchase your vacation, plus you get discounts on items throughout the parks.
3. Do research on what are the value season dates. These are times when kids are generally in school. You can save hundreds of dollars by just going in September instead of June. If you absolutely refuse to take your kids out of school for a few days, you may pay a little more money. That’s the boat I’m in this year.
4. Stay in a value resort. These aren’t the most glamorous hotels, but they are very kid friendly and cheap. If you have kids, or you don’t think you will spend a lot of time in your room, then I suggest a Value resort. I’ve stayed in one. Not my choice, but if you are trying to save money, it’s a good idea. The themes are so much fun. Kids will love it. You can always get on a bus to one of the nicer resorts and walk around. No matter where you stay, that should be on your “to-do” list. Every resort is spectacular. *We are staying at a moderate resort for the first time this year. This is another great option if you are trying to save money , but don’t want to stay in a Value Resort.
5. Buy your air and vacation package together. With Expedia and other vacation planning companies, you can save money when combining your air and hotel. * If you go through a Disney Vacation planner like on DisneyWorld.com or Smallworldvacations.com (whom I use often), when a better deal comes along than what you have already paid for, a lot of the time they will refund you the difference.
6. Add the dining plan to your package. It is totally worth it. Food is EXPENSIVE at Disney World. You can save a lot of money by just getting the dinning plan. The plus with this is that they offer it free during certain times of the year, and when you use the dinning plan you can go to more expensive restaurants and get food you wouldn’t normally order. It’s already paid for, so there are no worries (except for the tip). *Advanced dining reservations are recommended for most restaurants.
7. Thinking about pin trading? Get pins on eBay. Pin trading is a big deal at Disney. When you approach a cast member wearing a lanyard, you can ask to trade a pin from your lanyard. My kids love this. Pins can get a little pricey. On eBay, you can find groups of 100 pins that people may be trying to sell for less than $15. Considering you go to the park and see they are $12 a piece, that’s a great deal.
8. You can purchase souvenirs on Disneystore.com. Sometimes when you are trying to save money, you may not want to splurge on 100 souvenirs. A lot of the items they sell in the Disney souvenir shops are also sold online. Disneystore.com has a “Theme Park” section where you may be able to find that special something that you left behind. A good thing about the Disney Store, they run sales and specials on Theme Park merchandise all the time.
These are only a few money saving tips. There are all kinds of ways to save money on a Disney vacation. Visit DisneyWorld.com often for specials, and sign up for the newsletter. Also, a great website for helping save money is MouseSavers.com. They are very knowledgeable and give tons of tips and reviews.
More than anything, do your research. It’s a fantastic place to visit, and I strongly feel everyone should go a least once in their lives.
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