Thursday, July 8, 2010

Guest Post - "Can You Afford a Trip to Disney"

I'm excited to share a guest post today from one of my favorite blogging buddies, Kristin.  Kristin always posts great deals, but her features on Disney are by far my favorite.  She shows you how to pay for a trip for Disney by being a Smart Shopper!  My little one is too young now, but we'll be taking this challenge in just a few short years!  

Can You Afford A Trip To Disney?

Let’s be honest. If you were to go to to book your vacation at rack rate (regular price) your mouth would drop open and you probably wouldn’t even consider going. Their regular price is HIGH!
But Disney is great about giving specials often! You just have to know where to look for them. You can find the current list of specials here. You must click through their link in order to have the special applied to your quote. Otherwise you are going to pay rack rate.
They also offer special discounts to the Disney Visa credit card holders. These specials are often offered to card holders before they are offered to the public. (I am using an exclusive discount code for card holders for my vacation.)
Also Disney issues exclusive, one time use codes called PIN codes. These codes are randomly emailed or mailed to people. There is no known rhyme or reason to who gets these codes, but you can read some tips here.
Also while you are at Disney, they often offer you a bounceback offer. This is an exclusive discount only available during specified dates and YOU MUST book it before you check out.
There are also discounts offered through AAA, your employer, etc etc. You can buy your tickets from Undercover Tourist and pay less than you would pay at Disney. (It’s even cheaper if you sign up for the newsletter at If you arein the military or a resident of Florida, there are even more discounts available to you. There are so many discounts to Disney!

But how much does Disney cost?

Disney can be done cheaply. You don’t have to break the bank. There are many things to factor into the cost of your vacation, but let’s see how cheap we can do Disney for a family of 4.

Family #1

They have 2 kids ages 6 and 3. They want to stay on site for 5 nights. Staying May 21st – May 25th.
For $1005.12, they get 5 nights at All Star Movies plus park tickets (2 adult and 2 children) for the entire family! (They used the kids play and stay for free offer available on Disney’s site) They plan to bring a cooler to their room to keep soda, bottled water and juice boxes on ice. They have purchased breakfast foods such as pop tarts and cereal bars for breakfast. They also plan to pack their lunch and bring it to the parks with them. (If they don’t have a car, they will order groceries ahead of time fromGarden Grocer.) They will eat counter service restaurants for dinner (approximately $30). This keeps their daily food budget at $40 a day.  (or $240 over the 6 days.) They plan to spend $50 total on souvenirs (they bought a few at home at the Dollar Tree, Michaels $1 spot, Target’s $1 spot and on clearance at major department stores). They also have $100 budgeted for miscellaneous expenses.
Without any transportation costs factored in, Family #1 can do Disney for 5 nights, 6 days for just $1395.12!

Family #2

They have 2 kids ages 6 and 3. They are willing to stay off site  for 5 nights. Staying May 21st – May 25th.
They found a great rate of $39 a night at the Champions World Resort that is about 4 minutes from Disney property. After taxes it comes to about $250 for 5 nights. They signed up for the newsletter at MouseSavers and bought 2 adult tickets and 2 child tickets for 6 days and paid $857.81. The total for hotel and tickets is $1107.81. They then have to pay $14 a day for parking ($84 for 6 nights). That brings their total up to $1191.81.
They plan to mimic the rest of family #1′s plans: $390
Without counting the cost of transportation, Family #2 will spent $1581.81 for the same basic trip! Who would of thought staying on site at Disney could save you $200!

How much should you budget for your Disney fund?

These are the low ball figures for a 5 night, 6 day vacation. This figure does not include travel.
1 Adult – $750
2 Adults – $1000 (each additional adult is $400 ea)
2 Adults + 1 child – $1250
2 Adults + 2 children – $1500 (each additional child is $250 ea)
So yes, Disney is affordable for a family of four. You can save up about $1500 in a year even if you don’t have much money to set aside from your income. There are so many ways to find extra money! You’ve just got to apply yourself to saving it.

So how much is your Disney vacation? (Please be sure to include all the factors of the overall cost!)

Our trip is $3085. It is for 2 adults and 2 children. We are staying 11 nights at Pop Century and have 10 day park hopper tickets. We also have 2 quick service (also called counter service) meals and 2 snacks per day (10 days) per person. We also are eating at Chef Mickeys ($80). I budgeted $150 for gas and I think $100 for souvenirs.

Thanks for sharing this great post, Kristin!  You can visit Kristin over at Couponing To Disney.  

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