6 Tips For Affording A Walt Disney World Vacation

Sometimes that dream Disney vacation feels a bit unreachable.  Those nostalgic Disney World commercials on television and of course the adorable puppy dog eyes from your children asking to meet Mickey.  They are all eating away at you with the single burning question.  How can I afford a Disney trip for my family?  Here are six tips to help you afford that dream Disney vacation.

6. Save Holiday Money Gifts

Every year my family seems to compile extra cash from special holidays.  Take every birthday check, tooth fairy dollar bill, and Christmas cash gift and put it away towards your Disney vacation.  I mark a special envelope that says “touch this and you don’t go to Disney”.  In this envelope I save the money that we are given as gifts.  If a Disney vacation is important to your family then every member should be happy to participate.  This is how I recently paid for all the park tickets & dining on our Disney World visit.  A year’s worth of holiday gifts lumped together to make a memorable trip.

5. Use Credit Card Reward Points

I have been practicing this gem of an idea for a few years.  We put all groceries, gas, and bills on a credit card.  We pay the credit card balance at the end of each month with the money in our checking account.  We are racking up extra rewards points because we are charging so much each month.  No extra debt occurs but we are cashing in the points each year to help pay for vacation.  The Disney Visa card is one to check into if you are interested in this tip.  They offer card holders special discounts on resorts and dining as well as a 0% APR for six months on Disney vacations.  Smart use of these card rewards can really give a boost to your vacation savings!

4. Save on the Little Things

Every dollar counts when saving for your Disney vacation.  Skip that morning latte and save a little extra.  My family even went a little bigger and downgraded our TV cable, lowered our cell phone plan minutes, and even postponed our gym membership.  All which saved us over $150 month.  I set aside this extra money for a few months and used it to pay for our overnight accommodations at a Disney resort.

3. Yard Sales and Side Jobs

With online avenues for yard sales on the rise, selling your belongings has never been easier.  Most towns have online yard sale pages where you can post your items for sell.  I recently went through my children’s toys to sell for extra spending money.  I easily made over $100 by posting up items on my community yard sale page on Facebook.  Kids can do extra chores and teens can babysit or mow grass to raise funds.  Your family will feel proud to know their Mickey ears were bought with hard earned money!

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2. Military and Cast Member Discounts

This tip may seem a bit unconventional but sometimes it pays to know someone!  You may be unaware but members of the US Military and also Disney Cast Members can often share their discounts with friends and family.  You must be traveling with a Military member but they are allotted up to 11 four day park hopper passess as well as up to 30% off of up to three resort rooms.  If you have a close friend or family member in the Military who can coordinate their trip with you then the savings can be amazing!

1. Disney Gift Cards

Request Disney gift cards when family calls to ask what everyone wants for Birthdays or Christmas.  They never expire, have no extra fees, and can be used for all things Disney!  Cards are also super cute and customizable for every occasion.  Also check out wholesale discounts on gift cards through stores like Costco.

About Lauren Young

My name is Lauren Young.  My first trip to Disney was as a toddler before I could even remember Mickey and Main Street.  We've celebrated family reunions to first dates in the happiest place on earth! Fast forward to today where I enjoy seeing the magic of Disney World through the eyes of my three kids. I'm a proud Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer wife, stay at home mom of three under the age of 5, wannabe domestic goddess, a writer, and a southern Georgia peach thru and thru! Before my kiddos took over my 9 to 5 (or shall I say MY ENTIRE LIFE), I happily worked in the travel industry.  My days were filled with planning corporate retreats & beach weddings at a beautiful resort on the Oregon Coast.  Well I tossed the sand filled high heels and have fully embraced the spit up stained loungers life.  But a girl still has to make time for her other loves, right?  So in those spare minutes of the day you will find me blogging on my travel website, Swoon Me Away (  I also enjoy trying to be crafty, planning fabulous parties and daydreaming about my next Disney vacation!