Jan 13 2014

Disney or bust

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Shane and I love to go on vacation (who doesn’t?) and we don’t do it nearly enough. We’re hoping that as our kids get a little older, we can start doing an every-other-year big trip, and a few mini weekend trips scattered throughout the year. My two big kids still talk about our vacation to Tennessee from last June, and even our Brown County, Ind. cabin rental trip from more than a year ago.

They love it, we love it. Let’s do the big one.

For awhile, I figured we should wait to go to Disney World when Johnny was 9, Vivie was 7 and Amelia was 4. I figured if we wait until then, they’d be sturdier, have more endurance and be able to go on most of the rides.

But then it occurred to me that my big kids are at a fun age for a first trip (just turned 3 and 5) and Amelia won’t remember anything, but she’s fairly portable and we could do it.

Crazy? Absolutely. Should we do it? Ok.

We’d like to go again when the kids are older, but we’re just itching to go soon (maybe this fall?). Part of it is to have something really fun to look forward to and plan. And come on. It’s Disney!

This won’t be a low-budget trip. I know you technically can do it cheaply — drive, camp, and make all of your meals at your campground. That’s not what we’ll do for this trip.

We’re planning to stay at a hotel of some sort (haven’t decided whether to do on-property or off), and we’d rather fly. Two hours in flight vs. 18+ in the van each way? Yeah we’ll fly.

Even though it’ll be our most expensive family vacation to date, it doesn’t mean we’ll be paying for it all out of pocket at full price. No ma’am.

We’ll use credit card rewards, coupon codes, online rebates, selling stuff we don’t want…and of course good ol’ fashioned saving to finish it off.

  • I’m entering every day in the Disney Resolutions¬†sweepstakes to try to win a free trip. That’s the cheapest way to go of all! Hope I win :D
  • I’m on the monthly newsletter mailing list for Mouse Savers, which can clue me into deeper discounts. They also have a special link for deals via Undercover Tourist for tickets.
  • I plan to have a travel agent price out some options for us. They offer a free service, so why not?
  • We have two credit cards in play, earning some substantial bonuses. More on that to come.
  • I used some Amazon gift card money to buy some guide books (The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2014 and With Kids 2014). Perhaps they will help us save money and have a better trip.
  • There are plenty of Disney-related blogs out there to help with planning and saving money. Gotta love the internet!

 

How about you? How did you save on a trip to Disney?

photo credit: Express Monorail via photopin cc


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4 Responses to “Disney or bust”

  1. We are aiming for a Disney trip in early 2015. My son will be four and we can go right before he begins school. Hopefully avoiding the spring/fall/summer school break crowds. It’s definitely an expensive trip, but well worth it. My family went a lot when I was growing up and I have many fond memories.

  2. We went to Disney in March of 2012. My kiddos were 4 and almost 6. It was the perfect age for them for a first trip. They were able to do alot of walking throughout the day and since there is plenty of sitting (on rides, shows, attractions, even watching parades, meal times) they actually didn’t get very tired.

    We saved money by driving (15 hrs, I think) and since we drove, we were able to pack plenty of snacks, cereal & drinks for our week there. We also took refillable water bottles & crystal light juice & lemonade packets. I carried snacks and a water bottle for us all to share in my backpack each day and filled it at the water fountains when needed. Saved us a bundle! Oh and for birthdays & Christmas leading up to our trip, we put Disney gift cards on the kids’ wish lists, so we got plenty of help from relatives!

  3. We are going to Disneyland next week! We earned close to $400 with our Disney Rewards Visa that is going towards the cost of tickets to the parks. I used the credit card for everything that I could and then paid the card off each month so I was never charged any interest.
    You can also use Disney gift cards to pay for tickets, so I just purchased $300 in gift cards from Giant Eagle and earned 60 cents in fuel perks.
    This is our first trip to Disney land, but we’ve been to Disney World many times. As parents, we took our oldest when she was around 2 1/2 while I was pregnant with our youngest. This meant that she was free, which saved a bunch. There is still so much that they can do at that age and its truly magical for them.
    The 2nd time we went as a family, our oldest was 3 1/2 and our youngest was only about 6 months old. A lot of rides are kid friendly and I could just take the baby on the ride with me and just hold her in my lap. Each park has a baby station that is really nice. Nice comfortable chairs for nursing, clean changing tables, and baby supplies for sale if you forgot to pack anything. We flew but got a really good deal on air fare and got a great deal by booking our resort and car rental through expedia.
    I always pack lots of snacks and treats. Before we leave each day I grab a few different things to keep on hand for the kids. Way cheaper to bring snacks into the park.
    We also get a room that has a kitchen/dining room. We stay at the Lake Buena Vista Resort Village and Spa. It’s basically like having an apartment and it’s close to a walmart so we can go grocery shopping. That way we eat breakfast and dinner at the resort and just eat out once per day. It also has a nice pool for kids with a giant pirate ship slide.

  4. That is awesome! Have a wonderful time!

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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