2018 was a big year for our family. In 2018 we decided to expand our family from a family of four to a family of five. We experienced great loss with family members passing. Our oldest began public school in Kindergarten and our son started preschool. Lots of changes happened but in the midst of it all we managed to make it to Walt Disney World twice. The first trip was in January. An eleven day vacation that involved staying at three different resorts, visiting all four parks (a couple more than once) and celebrating MacKenzie’s 5th birthday. Our second trip was in August. This trip was an adult-only vacation. Four days, one resort, the Deluxe Dining Plan and attending the Moonlight Magic event in Epcot. So how did we manage this? How were we able to make two visits happen in one year and how could we afford it?
Our trip in January was not originally a trip we were supposed to take. We were originally supposed to head to Disney in September of 2018 but our trip was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma. So our flights were paid for almost 6 months before we took our trip in January. We took all the funds that were refunded to us for our cancelled trip in September and poured it into our January trip, making an eleven day trip much more affordable.
Canadian Residents Deal
Over the last few years Walt Disney World has offered a fantastic deal to Canadian residents. Currently there’s a deal for Canadian residents, four day park pas for as low as $316. That’s a great discounted price. So we took advantage of this deal. Making the cost of our park tickets much cheaper than they would have cost otherwise.
One Kid Under 3
On our January trip Lincoln was still under 3 and do you know what that means? He was free!!! Although we had to pay for his flight, we didn’t have to pay for his dining plan, we didn’t have to pay for his entrance into the parks. So although we had a trip for a family of four we only paid for a family of three. A good reason to head to Disney before they turn 3.
We are DVC Members which means we have annual allotment of points to use towards staying at Disney resorts. We’ve been members since 2013 and we pay an annual dues but other than that we have our points to use as we see fit, when we see fit, if there’s availability. So accommodations is not a cost we have to consider when budgeting for our trip. We pay monthly for our dues and that’s part of our ongoing budget so that part of our trip expenditure does not exist.
No Park Hopping
For our January trip we did no park hopping. This decreased the cost of our park passes. We stuck to one park per park day. We like to spend the whole day at one park, not wasting time heading from one park to another that could be spent on attractions, watching stages shows or dining. For reasons why we don’t park check out this previous post.
On our trip in January we may have been there for 11 days but we didn’t have an 11 day park pass. We only had a 6 day park pass. We didn’t head to any parks the day after we arrived and we placed a couple non-park days in-between park days to give our kids and ourselves time to recover from the full days. Also this gave us a chance to check out our resorts’ pools, head to Disney Springs, check out Tri-Circle-D ranch, and move from one resort to another. If we had a park pass for each of our days our cost would have doubled and we would have been exhausted.
No Park Passes
On our August vacation we didn’t even get any park passes. We spent most of our days pool hopping, dining at different resort restaurants, shopping and Jeff did some golfing. By not purchasing park passes our expenses included our dining plan, our flights and our merchandise.
Heading to Disney without kids cut down our expenses for our August trip drastically. Our dining plan was only us, we only had to pay for 2 adult flights, you get the idea.
Shopped the Flight Deals
Our January vacation we were very creative with our flights. We shopped around a lot to find the cheapest flights we could find. Because of that we didn’t arrive until very late on our first day and we flew out of a city a couple hours drive away. But we saved a significant amount of money and since we were there for such a long period of time, the loss of the first day wasn’t a loss at all.
There are a number of ways to take inexpensive Disney trips. These are a couple of the tricks we used that enabled us to make 2 trips in one year. Use these tricks and maybe you’ll be able to head down this year instead of next or maybe you’ll finally make the leap and buy into the DVC membership or head down for a quick trip just you and your spouse. By not making each and every trip extravagant you may find you’ll end up at Disney more often than you ever imagined. Happy Planning, Friends.