Hello! We’re already planning our Disney trip for next year – because that’s how it works! It’s never too early to plan! Here are 5 helpful tips to plan your Disney trip! Read to the end to see my gift card tips!
photo credit: Disney Photopass
#1 GET A DISNEY PLANNER – The first time we went to Disney World with children I thought I could handle it myself – I had booked a non-Disney resort and thought I got a good deal, but then my friend who works for Disney introduced me to a Disney planner who got me on Disney property with meals for about the same price! I also got free monogrammed minnie mouse backpacks for the kids and autograph books as part of the package! Here’s my Disney planner is you’re looking for one!: http://uponastartravel.com/, or ask around – there is no cost, Disney pays them directly for helping you!
#2 TIMING – Most people recommend that you book the resort one year before going, the character dining six months out, and the FastPass rides 60 days out. Disney planners can do all of this for you which saves you staying up until midnight, etc. Certain times a year like February, September and November are less crowded and cheaper. In my opinion there’s something of value to going to Disney that makes it ok to take the kids out of school (especially since my school district is super supportive of it) and get a better experience with less crowds!
#3 DISNEY DINING – Part of the Disney experience is dining with Disney characters. The Disney dining package makes it easy and more affordable to book places like Cinderella’s table, Be Our Guest and other dining experiences. Certain times of the year Disney offers a discount and even free dining. Our Disney planner takes care of the reservations, and one time when we had to wait longer than 30 minutes for our reservation, we got extra FastPasses to rides which was awesome! Disney knows how to please customers.
#4 DISNEY CREDIT CARD – I highly recommend getting a Chase Disney credit card – there’s a no annual fee option, but the annual fee option gives you twice the points and there’s a statement credit that makes up for the annual fee. I usually accumulate a couple hundred dollars a year in Disney bucks, which helps to pay for a vacation! The Disney credit card also allows you to get special discounts on Disney travel packages, and a number of other perks. The Disney credit card also offers 0% financing for promotional periods of time on Disney trips. Although I don’t endorse credit card debt, this is an option to be aware of.
#5 GIFT CARDS – Sam’s Club and other wholesale clubs have discounts on Disney gift cards which you can use to pay for your vacation! I save on average 7% by buying the gift cards from Sam’s Club. In November/December look for Target’s gift card sale – you can get 20% off of Target gift cards. I then turn around and use them to buy Disney gift cards. In the end, between gift cards and Disney redemption bucks from my credit card, I save hundreds of (more like a thousand) dollars on the Disney trip!
Hope this helps!