Planning Our Next Walt Disney World Trip!

Well, we agreed we were going to skip Disney this year and take our 10 year old to Universal Orlando. But things change, and when Disney’s “free dining” promotion came out in April, I couldn’t resist the temptation to just see what was available. Luckily, the dates were extended an extra 3 weeks early to Disney Chase Visa cardholders. Meaning instead of August 20th, we could book free dining starting August 2nd (this is why having the Disney Visa is a good thing, even if you don’t plan on using it often.)

After grabbing a reservation at an All-Star resort (not exciting, but fine) I continued to look around and couldn’t believe my eyes when a value studio popped up at Animal Kingdom Lodge for a few hundred more than we would be paying for our stay at All-Star, and we wouldn’t have to upgrade from the quick serve plan (stays at deluxe resorts include the standard dining plan.) We’re normally not Deluxe resort-type people. We figure our hotel just needs a clean room and a decent pool. But hey, if you twist my arm, I guess I’ll stay at a deluxe resort complete with a savanna with zebras, giraffes, and ankole cattle, one of the best pools on property and 3 of the best restaurants in all of the Walt Disney World resort. So we are doing 4 nights at AKL with free dining! We are so very excited.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

In addition, months before I booked this trip, I decided to try out renting Disney Vacation Club points to see what it was all about so I could report back about my experience. So after we check out of AKL Jambo House, we check in for one night to AKL Kidani Village, which is the DVC only part of Animal Kingdom Lodge. We will be staying in a Savanna view studio. With me so far?

5028312859_fea2849a06_b
photo credit: Loren Javier via flickr

Then, while planning our week, something else happened…Disney released the dates for the 2018 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, with the first date being the night we are scheduled to leave. And is also the day before my husband’s birthday. We happen to love the Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom, even if we have to go in August. So, we added on a 2 night stay at Pop Century, taking advantage of the room discount promotion currently going on.

mnsshp (83 of 106)

We are looking forward to seeing the brand new Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios. We have a Fastpass for Slinky Dog Dash and plan to “rope drop” Alien Swirling Saucers. I’m very excited to try some of the yummy-looking food at Woody’s Lunch Box, too. We will also be spending a lot of time in Animal Kingdom in Pandora, one of our favorite places!

disneysum2017 (238)

Our dining reservations are all set as well. We will be trying some new restaurants, like The Plaza in Magic Kingdom, Trail’s End at Fort Wilderness, and Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge. We’ll be hitting our faves Tusker House, Garden Grill, and Be Our Guest too. We simply love free dining and can’t wait to try some new snacks on this trip.

7102903991_56a02e3862_h
photo credit: Nicole Pacitti via flickr

So, those are the details of our 7 day August trip. We can’t wait to share all the fun with you! Make sure you keep up with all our adventures by subscribing to the blog.

Advertisements

Questions to Ask When Planning Your Disney Trip Budget: Part 5

So far in our series of questions to ask yourself when planning a Disney vacation budget we’ve looked at: where you’ll stay, when you’ll travel, what kind of tickets you’ll need and how you will get there. The next question we’ll tackle is, “What will we eat while we’re there and how do we afford it?”

img_0442

Food, glorious food. I get pretty excited about planning meals for our trips. My husband might say that I’m obsessive about finding the perfect reservation at the perfect time of day. I love trying new places and revisiting old favorites, but I am aware that all those restaurant meals can add up quickly. Here we’ll look at some options for keeping costs down while still enjoying the culinary delights that Disney has to offer.


  • Consider bringing food from home. In our situation, we go “snack and breakfast” shopping at our local Aldi (a great discount grocery store) a few days before we leave for vacation. We purchase bars, cheese and peanut butter crackers, cheese cubes, salami, toaster pastries, soy milk and cereal, and trail mix, along with drink mixes to liven up our bottled water. I pack a plastic tote with our food, bring some zip-lock bags to pack with snacks each day, load it in the car and we’re set. If you’re flying, we understand you can’t bring all that food with you. Amazon is a fantastic resource for buying groceries and you can have them delivered right to the resort (for a small fee!) Just stop by the front desk and pick them up when you arrive. Another idea is placing an order at Walmart and choosing a store close to the parks. This is the closest one I found. You can set a time to pick up your order and it’s a free service. However you do it, just make sure you have a good assortment of snacks for long days at the parks. It stinks to have a hangry toddler when you’re about to meet Cinderella at the Magic Kingdom.
  • Think about checking out the Disney dining plan. This is a hot topic among Disney veterans. Some people can’t imagine a vacation without it, and some think it’s too much money for too much food. We’re somewhat in-between on the matter. On our first vacation to Disney, we paid out of pocket for our meals. We did some sit-down meals and a character meal, but we ate a good share of quick-service and I felt like we had to be really careful budgeting for our meals. With the dining plan, everything except tips is prepaid, so it feels like you can really treat yourself. On our last two trips, we had free dining. Even though we didn’t pay for the dining plan, I tried to maximize our dining credits. Meaning, I tried to find the most expensive character meals and ordered the most expensive entree at the quick-serve restaurants. We pride ourselves on finding the priciest snacks and meals that we don’t have to pay for!
    img_0514
    All this food for one snack credit? Yum!

  • The Tables in Wonderland card could work for you. If you are a Florida resident, annual passholder or DVC member, you are eligible for Tables in Wonderland. This card gives you 20% off all food at participating Disney restaurants. It does have an annual cost. Click this link for a list of restaurants that participate in the program.
  • Use the Disney website to get an idea of how much to budget for food. Once you have snacks bought, use the Disney website to look at menus and prices for the restaurants you’d like to visit. You can pretty much budget out every meal you’ll be eating on Disney property. For example, say you were interested in trying 50’s Primetime Cafe in Hollywood Studios. You might decide to have the meatloaf at $18.00 and skip the soda in favor of one of their famous peanut butter and jelly milkshakes ($6.00.) Now you know what you’ll be spending and how much to allow for a gratuity. The Disney Dining Calculator is another resource for meals like buffets, that don’t always have an exact price on the Disney site. You plug in the number of people in your party, and where you’ll be eating for each meal and it can help you decide if the dining plan will be a good value for you or not.
screenshot-1_edited
Entree Menu at 50’s Primetime Cafe

I hope these tips can help you navigate the world of dining at Disney. By no means is it cheap to eat “in the world” but it is good to have some tricks up your sleeve for keeping costs down.

6 Questions to Ask When Making A Budget for Your Disney Trip: Part 1

When planning a Disney vacation there are so many questions that need to be answered when deciding on your budget. We feel that these questions are some of the most important factors in planning your vacation. We often talk about how nice it would be to be able to go at the drop of a hat, and stay at the Contemporary or Polynesian Resort. Unfortunately that is not in our budget! So how do you decide on what you can afford?

These questions will help you figure out what the majority of your budget will be spent on. By spending a little time planning at the beginning you will be able to figure out what works best for your party. You may save a substantial amount of money by looking at the trip this way. Over the next couple of posts we will go into detail about each of these questions.

The first one is “How will we get to Disney?” Your two choices, obviously, are flying or driving. If you don’t live within a day’s drive of Orlando, you will probably be flying. We don’t have much experience first-hand with air travel to Disney, but MouseSavers.com has an entire post dedicated to helping you find a cheap flight. So start looking at your options even before you book your exact travel dates. Many airline sites will give you the cost on a particular day and allow you to search the calendar around your chosen departure date for cheaper fares, so you may discover substantial savings if your travel dates are flexible. Florida does have quite a few airports, so flying to Tampa or Sanford may be more economical. If you do fly to another airport, you have to factor in the cost and hassle of a rental car. If you are staying at a Disney resort and you fly into Orlando International Airport (MCO), Disney provides a free shuttle known as Magical Express, which, in addition to whisking you away to your resort in comfort, lets you bypass baggage claim and have your bags magically brought to your room!

magical-express-bus

If there are many people traveling with you, it may be more cost effective to drive to Disney. We are nine hours away, which is manageable as a day trip.  We have found that if we drive several hours and get a hotel room in Jacksonville, where we can find really cheap rates, we can get up early and get a full day in the park. Same thing when we leave. We left after a full day at the park after seeing Fantasmic! and drove 2 hours to St. Augustine beach, which made the drive the next day a little more enjoyable. And we got some much needed beach time after a crazy and fun-packed week.

20161216_104801

 

Either way you slice it, you’re going to have travel-related expenses (unless you live in Orlando, lucky ducks!) but deciding what mode of transport works best for your family, while keeping an eye out for deals, will be your first decision of many in your Disney trip planning!

Stay tuned for Part 2, as we talk about the next important question, “Where will we stay?”

A Review of “Early Morning Magic” at the Magic Kingdom

Hi everyone! We just got back from our trip on Saturday and are trying to settle back into the routine of making our own coffee and having to make my own bed every morning. Geez, you get so spoiled on vacation. Oh, and Christmas is in 4 3 days but who’s counting? We had a great time at Disney, and forged ahead through lack of sleep, a grumpy nine year old, and a pulled calf muscle (ouch!)

 

We pride ourselves on saving money on our Disney trips, but usually treat ourselves once each trip. Disney is well known for offering upgrades or add-ons for your family vacation. Many folks choose to pay a little more to have an exclusive event added to their itinerary. These include dessert parties, holiday parties, and after hours events. Last spring, Disney debuted a new event known as Early Morning Magic-Fantasyland, and soon after started a similar event in Hollywood Studios. For $69 per adult and $59 per child, your party gains entry to the Magic Kingdom early and has unlimited access to 3 of the most popular rides in Fantasyland-Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and Peter Pan’s Flight. Also included in the price is a breakfast buffet, which takes place in Pinocchio Village Haus. I figured, “Hey we’ve paid more than that for a meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table, and I’d much rather ride rides without a wait for an hour. What the heck!” So, I booked our party of 2 adults and 1 child for Tuesday morning (it only occurs on select Sundays and Tuesdays) and planned how I was going to get the 3 of us up and ready so early while on vacation.

We were ready to go by 6:45 am (miraculously) and decided not to trust our fates to Disney transportation. We drove to the Ticket and Transportation Center (did you know you can park free at any of the parks with your resort parking pass?) and as we entered the TTC, a Cast Member asked us if we had early dining reservations. We explained we were doing Early Morning Magic and he ushered us over to an area where a bus was waiting-apparently only the resort monorail runs that early in the morning. We were whisked away on our “private” bus to the front of the Magic Kingdom by 7:25, got our bags checked quickly and were greeted by a cast member asking if we had early reservations. We were directed to a line at the far left of the entryway to the park. This queue consisted of the Early Morning Magic folks as well as all people with pre-park opening reservations at Crystal Palace, Be Our Guest and Cinderella’s Royal Table. A cast member came through and checked our Magic Bands for our reservations and gave the three of us each a special wristband.

 

At 7:44, there was quite a crowd behind us, and at 7:45 am on the dot, the rope was dropped and the crowd surged through the tunnels under the train station and out into Town Square. We walked at our quick but relaxed pace, got some nice shots on Main Street (they did have Photopass photographers out!) and in front of the Castle.

We immediately went to 7 Dwarfs Mine Train, where CMs were checking for wristbands, and rode 5 times in about 20 minutes. We then walked over to Winnie the Pooh, and rode twice. You had to get off of the ride each time, but walking back through the queue took only a few seconds. Then over to Peter Pan, which we rode 4 times. We each sat in a different spot each time so we could see new unique details in the ride. It was approaching 8:45 am now, and folks who had rushed through their early breakfasts were already lined up at 7DMT, but were not yet permitted to get on the ride. We sailed past them and rode again 2 times. Then it was 9, the park was officially open, and we decided to get over to Space Mountain to ride before the lines started. We actually waited about 20 minutes to ride Space Mountain, and then it was time for breakfast!

 

We sauntered back over to Fantasyland and showed our wristbands to the CMs at the front of the restaurant. There was a well-stocked double sided buffet with breakfast goodies, as well as coffee, juice and hot water for tea. There was fruit, frittatas, french toast, bacon, sausage, assorted meat and cheeses, and a selection of pastries. The restaurant was not at all crowded and the food was hot and fresh. We went up several times and only felt slightly rushed when a CM offered to “clean all that up” for us as we sat lazily talking and sipping coffee (this was about 10:15 am) Understandably, they had to get the dining room ready for lunch. All the staff there was very friendly, and a couple of Cast Members stopped to talk to us and offered to take our picture. So, by 10:30 am, we had ridden 4 of the most popular rides at the Magic Kingdom, got some great photos taken and enjoyed a delicious breakfast.

 

So, the question is always, “Is it worth it?” To which I usually reply, “It depends.” Is it in your budget to splurge a bit? If so, I think this add-on is a good value for what you get. Do you like rides? My daughter is crazy about the Mine Train and I adore Peter Pan, so for us, it was really exciting to ride multiple times without waiting. If your little one is more interested in meeting princesses, an ADR at Cinderella’s Royal Table is a better splurge. We had a blast and I’d certainly consider doing it again. Disney Early Morning Magic-Fantasyland runs on select Sundays and Tuesdays from 7:45-10:00 am, breakfast is available from 8:30-10:00 am. Regular theme park admission is required.

 

10 Things We Love about Walt Disney World: Pt. 1

I think a lot of people are confused when we tell them how much we, the adults love being at the Disney parks. Yes, a huge part of it is sharing Disney magic with our 8 year old, especially when she was in her six year old full-blown princess obsession. Even at eight, watching her eyes light up when she met Cinderella’s Prince Charming was unforgettable. Aside from that, there are many reasons why we are so in love with this most amazing place. Here they are, in no particular order.

  1. Main Street, U.S.A. Walking through the gates of the Magic Kingdom into Town Square, bustling with activity, and making your way through the crowd to Main Street (representing an American town between 1890-1910) is a first you’ll never forget. There are so many things to love about this section of the park. The Main Street Trolley Show is a song and dance show that takes place every morning with dancers in seasonal turn-of-the-century costumes. The Main Street Vehicles take weary visitors up the hill towards Cinderella Castle. There are countless details to take in. Make sure to read up on all the little details the Imagineers conjured up, like the party line telephone where you can listen in on some good old-fashioned housewife gossip. Don’t hurry through this part of the park. There is so much to discover.

    SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
    Main Street Trolley Show
  2. The Monorails: What can I say about this mode of travel around the Seven Seas Lagoon, and to Epcot, except that it’s pretty darn cool. Especially when it goes through the Contemporary Resort. It’s transportation that is so uniquely Disney!

    SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
    Monorail at Epcot
  3. The parades. Specifically the Festival of Fantasy parade at Magic Kingdom. Watching for Maleficent’s mechanical dragon to breathe fire never gets old. The costumes are, well, fantastic, and the floats are so imaginative and fun. It’s also a great chance to see many characters, from princesses and princes, to Mickey and his buddies.

    wd082wdw2015091212986926
    Colorful Dancer at the Festival of Fantasy Parade
  4. The food. Yes, for a theme park, Disney has some amazing food. We love the character buffets, such as Crystal Palace, at Magic Kingdom, and Tusker House, at Animal Kingdom, for meeting characters and filling up for the day, but there is literally something for everyone. For example, Epcot has a veritable world of dining options for every taste in World Showcase, from Moroccan to Norwegian to French and beyond. We recommend “eating around the world” if your stomach (and wallet) are up for it.

    SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
    Epcot’s Very Own English Pub
  5. The Characters. Yes, I’ll admit it. I get giddy when meeting my favorite characters from childhood, whether it is Tinkerbell, Mary Poppins, or Piglet. There is just something magical about interacting with characters you’ve read about or watched in films. I think what makes it so special is that the cast members who play the characters are so completely committed to bringing those characters fully to life. It was so much fun to hear Anna talk about her adventures with Olaf and Kristoff, and to listen to Mary Poppins give my daughter advice on cleaning her room. I can’t stress this enough-you don’t have to be a kid to meet and enjoy the characters. Just willing to let a little magic in your heart!
mk_pfthbluec2char_7523836731
Anna Sharing Stories from Arendelle

How to these compare to your favorite things? Look for the next five things we’re crazy about at Walt Disney World coming soon!

Getting Excited for Your Disney Vacation

 

When it comes to planning a Disney vacation, the research and trip planning most likely will happen months and months before you actually travel to the Sunshine State. After you book your dining reservations, the next six months until vacation time tend to crawl by. It may be hard to stay motivated to fill the jar everyday and forego the Starbucks when you’re majorly craving a Frappuccino.

Fear not. We have a few tips for getting through the days and keeping the excitement going until the day you arrive at your resort.

  • Create a countdown calendar. It can be as simple as a dry erase board that the kids change every day or a little fancier like this if you’re handy, or feel like you deserve a splurge. Get creative. If you are online, you can also create a virtual vacation ticker on a site such as distickers.
  • Watch Youtube walkthroughs of the parks. Get the family together and queue up walkthrough videos of all the parks. This can be really helpful in becoming familiar with the layout of the parks and is one of our favorite ways to rekindle our enthusiasm. There are also videos of fireworks, shows, parades, you name it. If it happened at Walt Disney World, someone has filmed it.
  • Disney movie Night. Grab a couple of DVDs and some homemade popcorn and watch some Disney! Introduce the kids to some classics or find a new favorite together.  Do a Princess movie night, or watch films that feature animals (Robin Hood, Lion King and Bambi, perhaps?) It means so much more to the kids when they meet a character at the park that they have seen in action in a film. Talk about what questions they may have for that character when they finally meet.ak_upcountrylandingchar_7517218736
  • Purchase your warm weather clothing. It may be a perfect time to assess your wardrobe needs while waiting for that trip to begin. We plan a couple of trips to the thrift stores to look for comfortable light-weight clothing and hopefully a few Disney shirts.
  • Have a family meeting about what everyone is most looking forward to. Talk to your children about their favorite characters and what they want to say when they meet them. Ask each family member what ride or unique treat they are most excited about trying. Having these things in mind will help when it’s time to finalize your itinerary and get everyone in the family filled with anticipation for your upcoming adventure!

Smart Packing for the Parks

This post is about what to bring in your bag for the parks. There are some items that really must be packed. You don’t want to have to buy sunscreen at Disney World, or run back to the resort halfway though the day, do you? A little smart packing will help you have your best day at the parks.

Ponchos or small umbrella. I’m sure I’m not the first person to tell you it rains in Florida. If you go in the spring, summer or early fall it will rain almost daily. Don’t let that ruin the magic for your visit. Just be prepared. A dollar store will carry cheap plastic ponchos for, well, about a dollar. We invested in some IKEA ponchos that breathe a bit, but they are bulky and we don’t use them as much as we thought we would. Ponchos are also good if you don’t care to get wet on Splash Mountain or Kali River Rapids. A small umbrella fits nicely and can shield you from rain or the unrelenting sun. Just be careful if you’re there on a crowded day or you could end up poking someone.

Snacks. Sure you could pay $2.79 for some apple slices at Prince Eric’s Village Market, or you could just bring an apple. Hopefully you will have brought a small arsenal of snacks on your vacation. Trying some of the signature snacks at the parks is great (yes, Dole Whip float,) but for avoiding crabby toddlers, tweens and adults, please bring a little something. Hummus and crackers, pretzels, grapes and jerky all make great eat-on-the-run snacks. You are allowed to bring food into the parks, so don’t fret that security will pat you down, confiscate your Sun Maid raisins and throw you into Disney jail.

Sunscreen. Not much to say on this. It’s Florida, when it’s not raining, the sun is scorching. Protect yourself and your loved ones from the horror that is sunburn while on vacation.

Baby wipes. No, it doesn’t matter if you have a baby, just trust me, you’ll be glad you have these. Comes in extremely handy for wiping all manner of stuff of hands, faces, and freshening up halfway through a long day.

Sunglasses and/or hats. Anything to protect your eyes. It’s bright down there, folks.

Smart phone and camera. Hopefully you have downloaded the “My Disney Experience” app on to your phone. Keep your phone in a handy outside pocket because you will be referring to that app often throughout your day. It has your Fastpass+ times, dining reservations, maps, and characters nearby. Keep the camera in an easily accessible pocket too, You really never know when something magical will happen and you will want to capture it. Cast Members will kindly use your camera to take your picture at character meet and greets, so have it out and ready to go. An extra charger is a good idea too.

A set of extra clothes (or at least undies) for the kids in a ziploc bag. Yep, it happens. You know what I mean by “it.” Kids get very excited. They don’t want to stop having fun. They wait too long to tell you they have to go. It’s good to be prepared and not have to stop your day just because of a little accident.IMAG0237

Autograph book and pen. Getting the characters’ autographs is fun. It’s a great souvenir of your trip and something to help kids interact with the characters if they’re feeling shy. My daughter wanted an official Disney autograph book, but any small notebook or sketchpad will do. Make sure the pen is easy to hold, like a sharpie. Imagine how tough it is for Pluto or Mickey to sign autographs with those giant hands. Help a mouse out.

Yes, this seems like a lot of stuff. Please make sure you have a bag that is comfortable to carry for hours on end. I recommend a day pack-style backpack with padded straps, or a cross-body bag. This is my personal favorite bag. Lots of pockets and very comfortable. We usually don’t bother with water bottles because they get very heavy and free cups of water are available at any Disney counter-service restaurant. Obviously add to this list any items-you-can’t-do-without. For me, it’s lip balm. Yes, I am an addict, but that’s for another blog. Anyway, for you it might be gum, or Pepsi (neither are available in any Disney parks.) This blog has a very detailed listing of every little thing you might want to bring with you. I like keeping it light so I can move around the parks quickly. See what works for you. Happy travels!

The Best Ways to Save Day to Day

We talk a lot about budgets and saving here. Well, sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin when you want to put aside extra money for a trip, car or house. Luckily, a vacation is more within reach than saving for a house. Here are some really simple ways we have adjusted our daily lives to allow us to save over time.carousel

  1. Have a set goal. It is really hard to sacrifice lattes and date night for some unknown future reward (at least in my case.) Set a concrete date of when you would like to travel. Go online and research resorts, the parks, anything to get you motivated. Watch videos! Youtube is chock-full of parades, walk-throughs of all the Disney parks, and more. Sometimes we just listen to the background music of Main Street U.S.A or Tomorrowland (check it out here.) Staying motivated will make saving less of a chore and more like a game!
  2. We eat (and drink) at home. This one is tough I must admit. We live in “Foodtopia,” Asheville NC. So much food everywhere. Great coffee, artisan doughnuts, more tacos than you can shake a stick at. But wow, can it add up quickly! Making food at home is way cheaper and healthier, so we try to stick to that at least 5 days a week. And all coffee, iced tea, cold brew, is made at home. The one area we luck out in is beer. My husband works at a brewery, so he gets freebies. It’s nice.
  3. Entertainment. Do you have to see that movie in the theaters in 3D or will Redbox suffice? I only see movies that really benefit from a big screen (For example, “The Force Awakens” in 3D changed my life.) There is a $5 movie night at the theater close to us, so if we need to see something, that’s when we do it. Did you know there is a place that will lend you books for free? We love our library, and even check out digital books, magazines and movies!  We also realized that Cable TV was a luxury we could do without, and now we stick to HULU and Netflix for much less money per month.
  4. Use rewards credit cards (wisely!) We use the Disney Chase Signature Visa, which gives 2% back on groceries and gas. You can use the rewards on any Disney purchase including vacations. There are many credit cards that offer reward points, but it only works if you pay off that balance monthly. We use ours like a debit card to pay for daily expenses and then save our rewards for a special “free” treat during the trip.
  5.  Put that change to good use. Any extra change laying around or stray bills found in the wash can all go into a container. Make a fancy label for it if you’re feeling creative. You would be surprised how much you can save with that simple, painless act. We put our “jar money” directly into our vacation account. It’s fun to watch the account grow this way!

Following these tips is a good start to getting that vacation. It’s not always easy, but just keep focused on your goals (we’ll cover ways to stay motivated in a future post) and all the work will be worth it.

How Flexible Are Your Plans?

When planning your Disney vacation, keep an open mind and go with the flow. Obviously, some people have to plan a vacation around school or work holidays, but if not, check one of the many crowd calendars online to find the best week to attend the parks. The less crowded the week is, the more likely Disney will be offering an incentive for you to visit! The free dining plan package has been offered for several years now and is by far the most popular discount that Disney offers. It is in such high demand that the Disney phone lines are jammed the minute the deal is made public, and the more popular resorts can sell out in hours. What we have done is research when the discount has been offered in past years and made a reservation in that time period. Although the dates are never quite the same, you can easily change your reservation once the dates are released. IMAG0384

We realize we might have to change when we travel or choice of resort, but getting that discount is worth it to us. Here’s an example: In 2015, we planned to go for seven nights in December, and stay at Caribbean Beach Resort. We thought for sure our vacation would be included in the free dining. When the dates were released, we quickly realized our dates were not included and we had to scramble with plan B. It seemed like every resort was sold out, but by inputting different arrival and departure dates on the website, Todd was able to come up with a new (and longer) vacation in November, at Coronado Springs. This was all planned in April, so there was plenty of time to get time off from work and arrange a pet sitter, etc.

It’s the same for many of the other deals that Disney offers. You might get 20% off your room rate if you can put your trip off for two weeks. There is a function on Disney’s website that allows you to see the room rates throughout the year. The lowest rates seem to be in September, which is still a little too hot for my comfort. So I keep looking for the next lowest…you get the idea. You are free to price out several different vacations on the website and choose what works best for you!

IMAG0304
The beautiful Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Save

Save

Save