I cannot believe that I am saying this, since we just went to Walt Disney World 3 months ago, but we’re planning ANOTHER trip to Walt Disney World for this summer!
This is totally bragging and I don’t care: between Mr. Geek and I we have some VERY talented family members. One in particular, my younger cousin and his team, just recently won an insanely prestigious design contest. We’re planning to go visit him!
You can read the Disney Imaginations 2019 press release here.
Now how many do I need to plan to become a Disney pro?
Here is what I have learned so far:
Timing is EVERYTHING.
Booking a Disney Vacation over prime time Thanksgiving vs. the end of summer/early fall? No comparison in price. I’m already shocked at the sticker price of our Thanksgiving vacation versus the quotes I am receiving now.
But do I regret splurging on that Thanksgiving trip? Absolutely not!
Even with the new Disney ticket pricing schedule, our upcoming trip with hotel, flight, and tickets are significantly cheaper. If your schedule allows to go on the off season, do it!
Purchase Discounted Tickets
Our last trip, I just accepted the 4 day park tickets plus Hopper at face value through Disney with our package.
…then Mr. Geek informed me that he gets discounted park tickets through his work program. HE TOLD ME THE MONDAY AFTER WE GOT BACK FROM OUR TRIP.
Are. You. Serious?!
It’s okay. He didn’t know. But it is something to investigate through your company (or a relative’s workplace).
Not everyone gets Disney park benefits from their job, but there are trustworthy and reputable websites that sell discounted park tickets, such as Undercover Tourist. Do your research before purchasing park tickets.
Travel day should NOT be a park day.
First of all, I KNEW THIS I need to come clean and confess that already knew this tidbit when I planned our trip Thanksgiving 2018 trip!
I just ignored it.
We landed, took the Magical Express, checked in, plopped our luggage, grabbed our pre-packed park bags, and hit Magic Kingdom by 2:30pm!
And by Happily Ever After in Magic Kingdom, Mr. Geek was like this:
So let me get this straight, Chrissy, you got your husband up at 4:40am, through TSA security crazy early, waited for our flight, flew down to Orlando, then expected him to NOT be a crankypants by fireworks?
Yes. Yes, I did.
I admit that is a very unreasonable request.
Well, not this time! We will NOT be using our travel day as a park day to avoid this.
Skip the dining plan–or at least rethink it.
After a quick Google or Pinterest search, you will notice that this is a much heated debate for Disney World visitors.
In November, we left Orlando cashing in our leftover snack credits and with an unused Quick Service Meal. So sad!
We are more likely to snack or split a Quick Service meal during the day, bring in our own snacks (especially for Mr. Geek’s dietary restrictions). Sure, we splurged on major dining reservations at restaurants like Be Our Guest and Sanaa, but we could have paid out of pocket without losing those other meals and snacks. We also had groceries from Garden Grocer delivered to our room that allowed us to eat breakfast on the go.
But we will still be purchasing refillable mugs this next trip! I love refilling the mugs for our morning coffee giving us less temptation to splurge at Starbucks in the parks.
If you truly can’t decide on a dining plan or which one to get, I have been playing with this amazing calculator to help me decide!
Don’t knock the Disney Value Resorts.
When we were in Orlando, Mr. Geek said, “Next time, we really should stay at a resort closer to the parks.”
I started pricing out this summer’s vacation staying at the moderate resort.
“Josh, I just don’t think we can go to Disney this summer,” I yelled upstairs, because that’s what married couples do, speak through walls and stairwells.
“WHAT?! WHY?” he snapped back. I was shocked. Did I just hear disappointment over not having another Disney vacation? Who is this guy??
I showed him the estimate for our stay. He asked, “But what about the resort we just stayed at?? That was fine.”
Pop Century, friends. We stayed at Pop Century.
This summer will be my third time staying at Pop Century, Mr. Geek’s second. We’ll be bussing it to the parks–or the new SKYLINER!
It’s just a place to sleep and maybe swim. The attractions to us are the parks. If you’re someone who needs the FULL immersion and theming of a higher Disney resort, make reservations for meals there. We got to explore the higher end resorts without the price of staying there.
Value resorts are just fine for us.
Use the Disney Chase Visa
I need to preface this by saying I do not applaud credit card debt! I budget and track all of the spending each month (well, since I met Mr. Geek–he has truly helped me become financially healthier).
However, this card is like our little mini Disney Vacation savings plan. It is attached to our bills and subscriptions and I pay off the balance every month. Move your points over to your redemption card before your trip and you’ve got a card for goodies around the parks!
Depending on the card you have, you can get up to 2% back on purchases that can be redeemed for Disney purchases.
Right now, I average about $30 a month. When we were using the card together, we averaged $50 a month.
I will use this card for every little thing as long as I have the cash in the back account to immediately move over! And it saves up quickly!
What are your Disney World Planning tips? Share them in the comments below!
Want to read more Disney World Tips? Check out my Disney category for more posts!