Budgets aren’t fun. Trips to Disney ARE fun!
How can we put these two things together when planning a vacation?
I’m going to touch on 3 things below showing you how to best take control of your money within any budget and still get the most magic out of your Disney vacation.
1. How to save for your Disney trip?
Most people don’t know that they can make payments on their Disney vacation. If you package your vacation (room, tickets and dining), you pay $200 down with the final payment due 30 to 75 days prior, depending on your Disney trip.
Let’s break this down….pay your deposit and then pay along the way. Do you want to vacation next summer? Then put your $200 down and we can divide the months by your total amount due and you can pay monthly.
Another great option is to start the booking process and then move your reservation when you’ve made a hard decision on dates. This means you can safely have your vacation money set aside for as long as you want. There are no penalties as long as your vacation dates are finalized by the time the final payment is due. This option is available on Walt Disney World vacations only.
Example: Want to take your daughter for her 5th birthday and she is only 3 1/2 years old now? Pick a tentative date, make the deposit, and once you get approval for your vacation time, swap your money over to the new date.
2. How to spend your money?
Only your family knows what works best for you. There can be pros and cons for any choice you make when booking a Disney vacation, but making sure that your budget allows for the best of what is offered is where a travel agent, like the experts at Magical Memory Planners, can really help you.
Staying in an inside cabin versus a veranda on a Disney cruise or staying off-site versus on-site at the theme parks can make or break a family trip financially. If you’re working with a smaller budget, you’ll need to decide how to spend this portion of your vacation. Downgrading your room can help accommodate extras you wouldn’t normally have in your budget like a character meal, professional photo or a few extra Mickey ice cream bars! You can probably squeeze in an extra day of vacation just by changing hotel locations. While an on-site hotel can give you free airport transportation and early access into the parks, an off-site choice may have more space, a kitchen in your room or complimentary breakfast at a much smaller price tag.
Souvenirs can be expensive, so set aside an amount per person or even shop locally and bring them with you. Another great item to pack and bring with you is your own quick breakfasts such as cereal and pastries. Packing refillable water bottles and snacks can also be huge savings. Food choices and prices can be overwhelming! Decide your food budget ahead of time.
3. What does your family value out of a vacation?
Values are important in deciding how to plan your Disney vacation. Does time together as a family mean the most? Or do special experiences? Are you looking to spend your evenings enjoying fine dining restaurants? Making these important decisions about what you want most out of your vacation helps steer your money in the right direction. Doing a vacation on a budget means thinking outside the box and by thinking outside the box you don’t jeopardize any magic.
Whether you separate during the day and plan sit down dinners together at night or spend extra time relaxing and laughing at the pool, knowing what’s most important to you helps keep your values in check. You can make the magic happen on any budget. Maybe stay at a hotel with a better pool and amenities and do one less park day or eat smaller meals in preparation for one large buffet character meal.
It all starts with a budget and recognizing what type of vacation you want. Disney is a do-able vacation…..it’s overwhelming and even sometimes frustrating, but I can guarantee that the reward is very, very fulfilling. Let the experts at Magical Memory Planners help you get your priorities in order so we can put your budget to work for you.