Disney is magical…but not without money. It’s no secret that the price to stay and play at Disney is quite expensive. We are currently immersed in budgeting our next Disney trip. Here are a few tips to help you budget for yours!
- Begin planning for your trip at least 1 year in advance, but preferably 18 months. Disney Dining begins accepting reservations 180 days (6 months!) in advance. There have been many families disappointed to find out that they couldn’t get their dream dinner at Cinderella’s castle (or other amazing Disney restaurants) because reservations fill up the very day that they begin taking them! If you haven’t started planning your budget in time, you won’t know if you have enough to spend on the Disney Dining Plan or your Disney restaurant of choice.
- Start a Disney savings account or spreadsheet. We do a monthly budget in our house and put aside money for our vacation each month. If you need more help with this or need to get rid of some debt before you can travel, take a look at Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.
- Buy Disney gift cards in advance to use as souvenir money in the parks. You can get these online and at most grocery stores. If family members ask what you’d like for Christmas or birthdays this year, consider asking for a Disney gift card. It’s easy to blow your budget out of the water when you are experiencing the Magic of the parks. And Disney has an extremely clever way of separating you from your money…Magic Bands! It doesn’t even feel like you’re spending money when you’re using them! However, if not prepared in advance for souvenir spending, you will be shocked when the bill comes. See our post about preventing your children from wanting (and whining about!) everything they see at Disney World.
- Invest in a Passporter Walt Disney World Guidebook and our Money Saving eBook. We think the planning is a huge part of the fun! There is nothing like the anticipation of an upcoming Disney trip and these books help you plan and budget every single minute of your trip so you have minimal surprises when it comes to money.
- Get on mailing lists from Mousesavers.com and Undercovertourist.com to be alerted of savings as they are available. We have saved a lot using these sites.
P.S….our secret tips to save thousands of dollars on every Disney trip you will only find in our WDW Travel with Kids eBook available now! You will not be disappointed!