Disney is one of my Happy Places – Here is how I make it so!

One doesn’t have to be a big Disney Fan to enjoy vacationing at Disney Parks and Resorts.  One just need to manage their time, money and resources to get the best out of it.

If you are like me, on a budget, then first off look for deals that come from Disney directly.  They are usually always offering a discount of some sort.  Now let’s be honest you may not fit into the latest discount but doing a little looking never hurts.  Sometimes travel agencies can find discounts for you and for some paying someone else is time vs. money well spent.

Personally, I always book directly from Disney and my airfare through my local carrier servicing my closest airport.  How I save money:

Credit cards cash back offerings throughout the year – which I apply to pay my vacation bill or get as cash for pocket money on the trip.  Think about tipping people for serves, laundry machines and extra’s.

Airline credit card can offer extra luggage free and other benefits.

Look for transfer balance offers:  do the fee numbers and see if you can get zero interest payments for 6 or 10 months to pay off your vacation over time.  This will require you to be able to pay off the whole vacation within at time period.  This is how I did it one year.  I charged by vacation and got extra luggage and more points from the airline by using their cc.  I then transferred that balance to a card that was offering a 6 months zero interest on transfer balances. (this card had no balance) for me it worked but again do the numbers.

Plan at least a year in advance and do your research for down season’s (if applicable).  Discounts happen in high seasons, holidays and sometimes these extend into lower seasons.

Budget for one full meal per day as expensed out and make this reservation made 60 days in advance. So 10 days, 10 eating out meals.

Purchased food when on location that covered one to two meals per day. I have dietary restrictions so I need to, but it also saves on money.  Check that the resort has a general common area with a microwave or pay the extra to have a kitchenette in your room.  Weight the cost of buying food and extra room cost.  It may help but then you have to be dedicated to cooking or preparing your food.

Bring your own snacks for the duration of the trip – this cost adds up really fast.

Bring a filtered water bottle – so you can fill up from anywhere in the resort or parks.  Tip:  Disney offers free cups of water at various food locations.

Bring rain poncho’s, blister cream, band aids and travel assortment of meds. Know where the first aid places are in each park as well as bathrooms.  All parks have maps on the Disney Website.  They really do provide you with a lot of information.

Bring sneakers and sandals with a back strap – loosing your flip flops is a nightmare!  Shoes should be comfortable for walking a minimum of 2 miles and standing in line for as long as 2 hours.  Tip:  No new shoes.

As a matter of fact, I actually have a vacation wardrobe which all has sunscreen in the clothing, fast to dry, wicked light to pack, all clothes have multiply pockets and I layer what I am wearing -Depending upon the weather.

Build a backpack for each person when going to the parks. – rain poncho, water bottle, snacks, personal use items, extra phone charger battery.  Light weight sweat shirt for cool times and it doubles as a back rest and protector for the stuff in your backpack.

In the PARKS:

Pick a place to meeting if someone in your group gets lost!  The Parks are Big!

Do your research on what the layout of the parks are. When the parks open and close and when and what events maybe happening.  This will help with managing your time and making priorities as what to do.

Never believe for even a moment that you will do everything or see everything in a park in a day.  They are not designed that way and neither should you.  Pick your priorities and be a little flexible, if needed.

Use mobile order when in the parks order early for the set time you want.  Remember everyone else is doing the same but most people eat as the regular times.

Disney has great websites and the information is fabulous and detailed about booking their services especially restaurants. After all they want you to eat with them.  Also, check out Disney Food Blog (it’s free) for videos on food reviews, park information and ride details specific to each park.  I use it.  (I am not compensated for telling you this)

Buy some items before going on your trip.  While this may sound funny but think about it.  Retail and on-line stores like Target, Walmart, Shop Disney and Disney Outlets all carry items you may need.  Does paying a lot for a cool cloth, fan water bottle, family matching tee-shirts or pass up an on-line sale for your favorite character because you want to wait until you are actually on property?  Especially if you have kids.  Let them bring Mickey with them on the plane vs. buying it at the park but again it’s your choice.

Set a budget for shopping and stick to it.  Enjoy the shopping experience instead of worrying about how much you are spending.  I use loaded Disney Gift cards for shopping and extra eating for my Son.  His budget, his money.  Works great! Ask for cards on Holidays and Birthdays to help.

If you are a Big Disney Fan then look for specials like park passes, residence discounts, Vacation Club membership discounts and others.  Also at Disney Springs some of the restaurant groups have discount programs so head over to the Disney springs website for more info.  I have personally never used these because of my dietary restrictions and because I visit generally only once a year.

 

Let me know if you have an questions.  I am happy to share my experiences or direct you if I know to links, sites that may assist you.

 

To borrow a phase:  Magical Day, Everyone.

ERP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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