Disney Vacation Series- How to Book Your Trip
I wish I could explain to you how magical it is. If I could buy every kid in the country a trip to Disney World I'd do it. Seriously, you guys know I'm a total cheapskate. I LOVE getting a good deal. I'm not going to lie, Disney will cost ya- but it's worth every. single. penny. It takes a lot for me to say that about anything. There's nothing bad about Disney.
I know that a lot of you have reached out and said you really wish you could go, but financially it's just not in the cards for you. Now, I obviously don't know everyone's financial situation, but I'm hoping the basic information I am sharing with you today could ignite a spark that encourages some of you to go for it!
My Disney info is going to be posted in multiple posts, like a series. There's SO much information to share that you really have to break it up. For today, we're going to chat about booking your first trip! How stinkin' exciting is that. Let's do this!
1. Get a planner- I know. Everyone who does Disney says this. BUT, for real. Get a planner. Regardless of how much you know, planners are FREE and do everything for you. There is A LOT that goes into creating the trip of your dreams. Your planner will help you with dinner reservations, fast passes, booking rooms, character meals, and so much more. He or she will also stay up to date on discounts and apply them as they become available. Want to check out my planner?? You can follow "haleyandthemagic" on Instagram to drool over all of her Disney pictures! Shoot her a message, I'm sure she'd love to start planning your future trip! Also, Haley lives in Springfield, Missouri, but that doesn't mean you have to. I've actually never met Haley in person- So, yes, you can use her even if you're not local. She's a wealth of Disney information.
2. All you need is 200.00 and dream- OK, that's a little dramatic, but for real-- when you're working with a planner you book your trip with a deposit of 200.00 and then you have up until 30 days before you travel to pay off your balance. This is one of my absolute favorite things about planning this way. The 200 comes off of your balance, you know your rooms are held, and you can make payments however often you'd like up until the balance is due! SO, if you don't make a single payment until a month before you travel that's perfectly fine! I saw that my planner is now booking for 2019 dates!-- Book now, pay later.
3. But can't I stay off of Disney property for a lot less money?- Yeah. you can. And you're missing out if you do. If there's one thing i'm most passionate about it's this. Stay in the magic. Disney resorts are absolutely the heart and soul of the trip if you ask me. Spend the extra. Stay on property. We love to have off days just to hang out at our resort. Last time we stayed at Disney's Wilderness Lodge and it was amazing. I highly recommend it (that's another post). But whatever you do, Stay on property. It's absolute magic.
4. How do I make a payment on my trip?-- You can make payments through your planner. This will be the first year that I pay using the target gift card trick. Here's how it works- You get a Target red card (this is not a credit card, it's connected to your checking account) this card gives you 5 percent off any target purchase ALL of the time including gift cards. So, you go to target and purchase Disney gift cards (can buy them in increments of 500.00) and It will take 5 percent off of your gift card total. That can lead to hundreds in savings!
5. How should I get there?-- We drive. From Missouri. I swore I'd fly this time, but with both kids I just feel more comfortable road trippin' it again. If you do fly, Disney's magical express will pick you up from the airport and take you to your resort!
6. Do I have to buy a dining plan?-- Nope. You don't have to, but we do. I love that once we arrive at Disney we don't have to use cash for anything! It's so fun to get whatever you want and not worry about staying on budget. If you do the Disney Dining plan it also includes one sit down meal per day which can be used on character dining. Totally worth it. I have a lot more to say about Dining at Disney but we'll save it for the next post-- just know that my husband and I both ADORE the dining plan.
7. When is the best age to go?-- I've had several people ask this. Disney is literally for every age. A lot of people say it's a waste to take kids under 5 or 6 and I completely disagree. You're going to want to go more than once. I plan to go every couple of years- and I can't wait to plan a girls trip, a trip with just my husband, etc! There's a Disney trip for everyone and every occasion.
8. The Walt Disney World App is life-- it's the most amazing thing ever! It acts as a gps around the parks, tells you the wait times for rides, lets you make reservations, tells you park hours for each park.. IT's a lifesaver!
Ok-- this is a bare bones post for absolute beginners. It's meant to show you that you can absolutely plan the trip of your dreams and have plenty of time to pay It off! I can assure you that it's absolutely worth the money and the time it takes to research and plan! In the next few Disney posts we will talk about my favorite places to dine, the things you HAVE to use fast passes on, where to stay, and what to pack! But, first-book your trip!!
This year we decided to wait and tell the kids we're going the day we leave! I'll be sure to post video of that on Instagram so follow along if you're not already!