Layaway was a feature once popular at department stores which let you purchase a product without paying the entire cost up front. You would find the item you wanted to buy, take it to the Layaway counter, pay a deposit, and then come back and make periodic payments over time. Once you paid for the item in full, they’d let you have it. Some stores put an expiration on the layaway, which meant you could only postpone your final payment for so long before they put the item back on the shelf and refunded your money.
Layaway almost completely disappeared during the 1980s with the increasing popularity of credit cards and store cards. However, layaway has made a comeback in recent history because of the recession. It’s a great way to buy a product that may disappear from the shelves before you are able to pay for it – and it’s interest-free (although some stores charge a small layaway fee).
While department store layaway has had its ups and downs, do you know where it’s been alive and well for years? You guessed it: Disney!
When you book a Disney vacation, you reap the benefits of “Disney Layaway” (Disclaimer: This is not a real thing. This term was made up for this article, so don’t call and ask for it or we’ll all feel silly!).
Let’s take a Walt Disney World vacation, for example:
When you book a Walt Disney World vacation package, you pay a flat $200 deposit. This is especially helpful because it’s hard to cough up a few thousand dollars all at once, and the interest on a credit card would be awful. Plus, if you’re going to visit during a busy time of the year, rooms become pretty scarce when you’re within 6 months, so it’s nice to reserve the room and tickets early without paying for the entire trip.
Disney then puts the vacation on “layaway” for you. In this case, there is an expiration period. You will have to pay the balance no later than 45 days before your check-in date, but if you plan far enough ahead, this gives you plenty of time to save.
So, between the time you book, and the 45-day mark, you can make as many (or as few) payments as you’d like – whatever fits your budget. If you play your cards right, you’ll have very little to pay when you reach 45 days, thus making less of an impact on your bank account or credit card. And best of all, there are no fees or interest charges for this luxury.
While the due dates and deposit amounts vary, this “layaway” system works for Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line vacations as well. You’re not just limited to Walt Disney World in Florida.
Unfortunately, just like in the days of driving to the department store every time you wanted to apply a payment toward your purchase, you’ll have to call Disney and sit on hold every time you want to apply a payment toward your vacation…unless you book with a travel agent.
Among many other concierge style services – which are all free, by the way – A Disney Vacation Planner allows you to make as many progress payments as you want for your Disney vacation, and it only takes about a minute of your time while you enter your payment information on their secure website. You can do it from work, in a coffee shop, at home in your PJs or even on your smart phone. They save you precious time sitting on hold on long distance calls. Not to mention, they’ll send you friendly reminders so you don’t miss that all-important 45-day mark in the hustle and bustle of your busy life.
And you’re not limited to using a Credit Card – you can use a Debit Card, Disney Gift Card or a Disney Visa Rewards Point Card!
Now, think back to the days of layaway. If the item you bought went on sale after you’d put it into layaway, would you be eligible for the sale price? Not likely. But if so, would the store contact you and offer to reduce the price for you and offer a refund? Not a chance – and unfortunately, neither will Disney if you book directly with them. Unless you spend all day researching discounts and take the time out of your day to call Disney and specifically ask for the lower rate, you’ll end up paying full price.
But guess, what – if you book with an authorized Disney vacation planner, they’ll watch for new discount offers and if your reservation qualifies (and the new offer is a better deal than your current booking), they’ll make the change automatically! And if the new deal might cost you a few extra dollars but would offer a nicer hotel or more amenities, they’ll present you with the options and let you make the decision based on your budget. You’ll never be up-sold and you’ll always know whether or not you qualify for a new discount.
To recap, if you want to take a Disney vacation, put it on “layaway”, pay using multiple forms of payment from the comfort of your computer, and benefit from a possible post-sale price reduction – all while receiving personal attention and concierge treatment – be sure to contact a Disney Vacation Planner. You’ll be guaranteed their unparalleled service, expert support, and an economical and magical vacation.
Learn more about planning your Walt Disney World vacation. Plus overwhelmed with all the planning? Destinations in Florida can help you plan your perfect trip.