Jan 16 2014

How I saved money with Disney Movie Club

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I used to think most movie/music/book clubs were a rip-off. Sure, you could get a bunch of media for a cheap price, but there’s always a catch, right?

Not in all cases. I found a pretty good deal for movies from a Disney Movie Club membership, and I thought I’d break down the price I paid through the club vs. what I’d pay on Amazon for the same items.

I wanted to own some new Disney movies for a few reasons:

  • Disney’s “vault” makes it difficult to obtain legitimate copies of particular movies once they’re out of stores. For instance, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is now in the “vault.” You can’t buy it in stores right now. If there’s a legit copy for sale, it’s going to be really expensive. And can I even be sure it’s not an illegal bootleg? I can’t.
  • I don’t trust third-party copies for sale on eBay or Amazon resellers to be real. Bootleg copies are everywhere, thanks to that pesky vault.
  • To help familiarize my kids with some of the characters and rides we might see at Disney World some day.
  • Vivienne is a big fan of Cinderella right now. Sure, I could rent or borrow from the library perhaps, but will I be able to do that in a few years when Amelia is old enough to enjoy it? I had Aladdin in my queue on Netflix back when we had a DVD trial, and the “very long wait” meant we weren’t able to see it during our trial period.

I’ve seen DMC promotion codes on the web and in my mailbox.

But I came across a code on this forum that is the best: 10042B 

You select 5 Blu-Ray titles for $1, buy another title right then for $11.95 (which will go toward your purchase commitment!) and have the option to buy another title for $8.95 (not toward your commitment, just a deep discount). This scenario means 7 Blu-Ray combo packs (which include a DVD and in some cases a digital copy) for $21.90 including shipping. After that, you only have two more titles to purchase at full-price.

This is a great code! (Other offers out there are lousy, such as 4 movies for $1, another at $9.95, then buy 4 more at regular price. NO. Don’t do that offer).

   

Here’s what I got. The prices today for the same thing on Amazon are linked and listed next to it:

Total it would have cost on Amazon, with free shipping: $171.59 (plus sales tax)

Every 4 weeks or so, DMC mails out a card with the featured movie of the month. You need to accept or decline, and not forget this detail or they’ll send it to you anyway (and you either keep it and pay for it, or deal with return shipping). If you decline the offer, you can still purchase a title of your choosing to fulfill your agreement, which is what I did.

With my next order, I bought:

  • Mary Poppins Blu Ray/DVD/Digital copy combo ($29.95 + $3.95 shipping on DMC) ($29.99 on Amazon)
  • Cinderella 2 & 3 DVD combo ($10.98 + $1.49 shipping) ($19.96 on Amazon)

Total I paid via DMC: $46.37

Total it would have been on Amazon: $49.95

  

The Mary Poppins finished off one more movie commitment, and I bought the Cinderella set because Vivienne is a fan of Cinderella. That month there was a buy one at regular price, get your other titles 50% off promo going on.

For my last title, I pre-ordered Frozen. DMC is having a pre-order special. While normally you have to spend $29.95 on a Blu Ray for it to count, the fine print on that title said it would count as a title. I did have to pay shipping, but it was still a decent price.

  • Frozen Blu Ray/DVD/digital copy ($24.95 + $3.95 shipping via DMC = $28.90)

The same Frozen Blu Ray/DVD/digital copy combo is going for $22.99 on Amazon. I went ahead and ordered our copy through DMC because it would be the cheapest way for me to finish my agreement. I didn’t buy additional titles at 40% off, because I wanted to fulfill my agreement for the cheapest price. Also, once my account updates that I’m done, I’ll have VIP status and should be eligible for steeper discounts, if I want to participate.

All total, I paid $97.17 and got 10 movies, so $9.72 per title. I’m counting the Cinderellas as 1 title, even though there are two movies in the pack I bought and didn’t need to buy it. If we exclude the Cinderellas, it would have been $84.70 for 9 titles, or $9.41 each.

If I bought all of them on Amazon, it would have been $244.53 plus tax.

WHOA. Rather than spend all that on Amazon, I could have purchased cheaper copies of certain titles. Maybe just a DVD, rather than a combo pack, for instance. But even if I did that, I’m still coming out way ahead with DMC, and I have Blu Rays, DVD and in some cases digital copies of my titles.

So, if you don’t have many Disney movies and there are enough titles in the inital promo to get your interest, a membership might be worth considering. Please note that more titles are available after you sign up — it’s just the sign-up titles are limited. No access to movies in the vault, unfortunately.

Also, why did I choose the Blu-Ray combo packs over DVDs? I don’t even have a Blu-Ray player right now! Well, I’ll tell ya. The code I linked to is for Blu-Ray membership only. I only had to buy two full-priced Blu-Rays, but if I had the DVD-only membership, I’d have to buy 3 DVDs at $21.95+shipping at best). So, true, I’d be able to get one more title for my money, I’d still be spending a little more thanks to the extra shipping. Having the combo packs give me an extra copy of the same title, so if we get a Blu-Ray player at some point (I’ve seen some for as little as $49.99 for a basic refurbished model), we could play the Blu Ray copy in our living room, and could watch the DVD copy upstairs or at a hotel or in a portable DVD player if we had one.

Please note, my Amazon links are all affiliate, as always, but the link to DMC is not. I could link to a way of me getting two free movies if you signed up, but it would mean you’d have to buy 4 movies instead of 2 to fulfill your obligation. I’m not interested in making a buck at your expense!


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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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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

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

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