Sarah did a great job! The small things really add up over the course of a year or longer. You just have to be consistent in order to Coupon to Disney! Sarah has some good lessons that she has shared with us.
My Disney Trip Savings Report!! We decided to take our December 2016 Disney trip in May 2016. I was able to find this group shortly after and amp up my savings. I am really impressed with what I was able to accomplish in 8 months with all of the tips, tricks, and encouragement from this group! My husband was blown away.
Our entire Disney trip with no discounts, coupons, etc. would have been just over $6000 for hotel, food, tickets, souvenirs, flights, etc. With all the discounts we were able to take advantage of, the price tag came down to $2500! And on top of that I was able to save almost $2600 in all of my money making/saving programs to cover the ENTIRE cost! WHAT?!?! I attached the breakdown of my savings.
You can signup for the following money making apps by click the links of the money saving app.
Swagbucks (enter the code DISNEY70 for 70 bonus SB)
Receipt hog draf1623
Find and Save (use code C446)
We were able to splurge on some vacation extras because of all the savings and not feel guilty about it! It took a lot of work (and a lot of documentation) to earn this much but it was so worth it.
Details of our trip:
2 adults, 2 children, 1 infant
Flight from IAH to MCO (3 flights with points)
6 nights at Art of Animation (Military Rate)
4 day Park Hopper (Military Salute Tix)
Quick Service Dining Plan
2 Character Meals
Custom Baymax Cake
Rain Forest Café Meal
MiniGolf (had 2 vouchers)
Memory Maker (split among 4 families)
Lessons to Share:
1. Buy more gift cards than you think you will need before the trip! It’s better to have too much than to be kicking yourself thinking about how much more you could have saved (I went over budget by about $200 because of the cake we ordered and from an unplanned sit down meal).
2. With young kids a nice double stroller was definitely worth it. We could move faster and the kids didn’t get as cranky.
3. Having the Disney Dining Plan would have been cheaper for us than the Quick Service by about $120!
4. Memory Maker was only worth it to us because we were able to share the cost with the families we were traveling with. We didn’t have time to take advantage of all the photographers to feel like it was worth the full price.
5. Having a Game Plan everyday was very helpful. I followed some of the plans that Kristin has posted and modified them for our FastPass+ times. Take advantage of the FastPass+ system! It can really streamline your visit if you use it right. Study the park maps before you go too. We saved a lot of time knowing what we were doing and where we were going next.
6. Planning the trip was addictive! It consumed me for the couple months before the trip. I had all the details planned out and typed up. Knowing that some things weren’t going to work out was hard to swallow. Like when the first ride on your to do list is temporarily closed! It was and I had to let go of my carefully planned itinerary for the day…
7. Using all the savings programs was like a part time job. Some of them are worth your time while others are NOT. A few programs I got the initial pay out then closed my account because the time or effort was too great for the rewards offered.
8. If you want to deck out the whole family in Disney gear for every day of your trip, shop at Goodwill! We found so many unique shirts there and the price was great.
9. Having matching shirts for 13 people (size ranging from 18month to XLT) is hard! I could probably do a separate post just on this. We ending up buying out several Target stores when those glow in the dark Mickey shirts were on clearance (and clothes were 20% off on cartwheel). The shirts were all in boys sizes which was fine for the kids and for my sister and I (apparently I can wear an XL in boys). For the other sizes we had to modify the shirts. I bought the correct sizes on amazon for the other adults and got a romper for the baby. We used a rotary cutter to cut out the design then used a spray adhesive to attach the material together. Finally we did a zigzag stitch on the sewing machine to make sure the edges didn’t come up. They looked fantastic! It was probably half to a third of the price for custom shirts. Cha-ching!
8. Using the Disney vacation account was easy and helpful. It tracks your totals for you and you can see all the activity. Plus you get a kickback for each $1000 you spend. Our traveling companions all used the same account with us so we could reach $1000 more times!
9. We never got around to ordering our cases of water through amazon now. It would have been helpful for someone traveling in our group with all the water she bought! She will not drink tap water…
10. Get to the bus stop before 8! Breakfast at the resort is quicker that early and you get on the first bus. The first couple hours at the park are critical! We could check off so many rides before 10:30am just because people weren’t at the park yet. We had one lazy day where we didn’t go to the park. The resort restaurant was a zoo at 9am and the bus stops were packed. I felt bad that they were all just wasting their park time.
11. Change your payment method at the resort to a gift card before your last night! WHOOPS!
If you are not a member of my Facebook group Saving for Disney with C2D (The SavEars) you should go join! It’s FREE and we help each other out. You don’t have to be saving for Disney to join. It’s a fun way for all of us to connect, and get to know other like minded individuals. If you are new to Swagbucks, they will be more than happy to help you along and answer any questions you may have!
If you haven’t joined Swagbucks yet, you can join through this link. Be sure to enter the code DISNEY70 to get started with 70 SB (this is exclusive to CouponingtoDisney readers; you only get 30 SB if you don’t use this link and code).