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Prior to the pandemic in 2020, 18.6 million people visited Disneyland and 20.8 million visited Walt Disney World in 2018 alone! This was true to Disney’s trend of visitors, which was on a steady upward swing.
Now that things are reopening, you’re probably planning on visiting these theme parks with your family. But with those eye-watering prices, you might think you won’t be able to afford going but just once or twice in the next few years.
That’s where you’re wrong! With some smart moves, you’ll be able to go on Disney family vacations on the regular.
Here’s a helpful guide on how to take more Disney vacations!
Pack Some Essentials Yourself Instead of Buying Them at the Park
There’s no doubt about it: Disney sells a lot of essentials, but they come at high prices. Multiply that by your family size, and you’ll be hemorrhaging money!
Make sure you pack these things in your backpacks before you step foot in the park (depending on the weather):
- Water misters
- Bottled water or water flasks
What a lot of people don’t know is Disney actually allows you to bring in your own food! While this doesn’t mean you can just bring a cooler full of meals in, it does mean you can pack a few sandwiches, candy bars, and soda cans. Packing these small things translates to big savings!
Make Your Own Mickey Ears
If you’re bringing your kids to the parks, they’re sure to beg for their own Mickey ears. These are very pricey, so they’ll eat into your vacation budget.
What you can do is DIY it! Simply buy some headbands and circles, some fabric, glue, glitter, gemstones, and whatever you want to make the ears look unique.
Turn it into an arts and crafts project to do with the whole family. Your kids will have fun and they’ll be eager to show off their homemade ears when they go to the parks.
And the best thing is, you’ll all get Mickey ears for a fraction of the price!
Buy Disney Gift Cards
You might wonder how you’ll save money by buying gift cards; a dollar is a dollar, right? In this case, you’d be wrong!
When you buy Disney gift cards at wholesalers like Costo or Sam’s Club, or even Target, you actually save a little bit of money! These gift cards are 5% off, so whenever you make purchases (such as for the tickets, merchandise, food, etc.), you’ll save a little money.
Don’t Buy the Dining Plan
On that note, you might be tempted to buy the Disney Dining Plan. You prepay for meals and get up to 30% off, so it seems like a great deal!
However, it’s very likely that you’ll just end up gorging on a bunch of food. So you’ll just be very full and waste money in the process too.
If you find it hard to control your impulses, then avoid the Dining Plan and pay for your food as you go. That way, you’ll have better control over your spending.
You might be thinking: wouldn’t the same happen with the gift cards you just mentioned in the previous section? If spending really is an issue for you, then just use the gift cards to buy your tickets, nothing else.
Buy the Right Type of Tickets
There are 2 types of tickets: 1-park and park hopper. There’s no “right” answer as to which type you should buy, but you need to consider which location you’re at and how long you’re spending.
For instance, if you’re visiting Disneyland, Disneyland and California Adventure Park are located very close to one another. So if you’re staying even just one or two days, it can be worth it to get the park hopper.
On the other hand, Disney World is huge and will take lots of time to explore. While the park hopper tickets allow you access to 4 parks there, if you’re just spending a few days there, it’s probably not worth it to buy this type of ticket.
Join the Disney Vacation Club
The Disney Vacation Club (or DVC for short) is a program that’s similar to timesharing. However, instead of splitting time at a property between several people, you get a “share” to use at Disney hotels.
First, you put a down payment down, and then with subsequent years, you’ll pay annual dues. You choose a “home” Disney Vacation Club property where you’ll spend your points on. You’ll get additional perks there.
You can also use your DVC points at other Disney properties! Not only that, but you’ll enjoy exclusive benefits like discounts at Disney stores, cruises, etc.
While it does take a significant upfront cost, if you stay at Disney resorts and visit the parks enough times, it’ll definitely be worth it in the long run!
How to Save Even More With DVC
As a Disney Vacation Club member, you’ll already be saving a significant amount of money when it comes to accommodations and other perks. But did you know you can save even more?
For example, there’s DVC resale vs direct. In general, resale is cheaper since you’re buying through a 3rd party.
While you lose some benefits by buying resale, you also gain some that direct members don’t get! So take a look at the list and determine what’s important to you and what’s not. If the savings are worth the sacrifices, then go ahead and buy resale from a trusted and reputable reseller!
Enjoy Your Disney Family Vacations
Disney family vacations are special and people of all ages can enjoy them.
So don’t skip out on trips! By following our tips, you’ll be able to take your family on multiple visits, creating lasting memories that you’ll remember for years to come!
For more tips on travel, make sure you read our other blog posts!