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Want the insider scoop on booking a Disney vacation? Here are 7 things that Disney won’t tell you about, but can take your vacation from good to amazing!
So I love Disney as much as the next person… we’ll, maybe a little more than the next person. But that doesn’t mean I take everything Disney tells me at face value.
When planning a Disney vacation, there are often tweaks you can make to Disney’s vacation packages that will take your trip from good to amazing.
So before you book, here are 7 things that Disney won’t tell you about booking a Disney vacation.
1. More Expensive Resorts Aren’t Better
Disney’s resorts can run anywhere between $75 to $700+ per night. But more doesn’t always equal better.
Resorts are divided into 3 tiers- value, moderate, and deluxe.
Values are great if you just need a place to sleep because you spend all your time in the parks
Deluxe resorts have all the amenities and quick access to 1 or 2 parks.
But the moderates are where it’s at. You get a lot of the perks of both the Values and the Deluxes with a reasonable price tag.
Some things you can expect at a moderate resort are:
- Pools with slides, splash pads, and hot tubs
- Food Court and Table-service dining options
- Special Transportation to parks or Disney Springs at some moderate resorts
- Incredible Theming
Decide exactly what amenities you’ll use at your Resort and don’t pay for more than you need.
2. You can get the sale price even after you book
So you’ve put a deposit down on your dream resort and a week later Disney announces a 15% off or free dining promotion. What do you do now?
Simple! You call Disney and ask them to apply your deposit towards the new offer. You can even switch to a different resort if it’s a better deal.
It doesn’t take long and you may just save hundreds with that one phone call.
3. Don’t just buy the default ticket package
If you book 6 nights at a resort, Disney will automatically offer you a 7-day ticket, but wait a minute!
Speaking of booking a vacation package, pay close attention to the ticket options Disney automatically adds to it.
What if you’re arriving late the first day or leaving early on the last or just want a day to sit by the pool? You may only need a 4 or 5-day ticket.
And then there’s the ParkHopper option. Do you want to be able to go to multiple parks each day or are you fine with 1 a day?
Consider how you like to vacation before hitting that check out button.
4. Quick-service restaurants have some of the best food at Disney
Disney has hundreds of restaurants to choose from with options for any taste buds, but don’t think you have to have a reservation to get some great food.
Although some table-service restaurants are worth the hefty price tag, many are not. You can find better quick- services places that offer amazing food at a reasonable price.
Plus, quick-service meals offer more flexibility and take less time away from rides and shows.
While you may want to include 1 or 2 table service meals, think twice before you make a reservation every night.
5. The Dining Plan doesn’t usually save you money
Disney offers something called the Disney Dining Plan where you basically pre-purchase credits to be used on food.
You pay a flat rate per night for everyone in your party. You can add it to your vacation package anytime and you’ll know exactly how much you’re spending on food.
But there is a catch… it’s rarely a good deal. Disney isn’t looking to lose money.
You have to eat the most expensive thing on the menu almost every time for it saves you money. Plus it’s an enormous amount of food and many people don’t end up using all their credits.
There are situations where it is worth it (like if you want to do a lot of character meals), but most of the time you are better off skipping it.
6. All Fastpasses are not created equal
So you go on My Disney Experience 60 days before your vacation to book your Fastpasses and you’re immediately overwhelmed with the number of options.
Here’s the thing- you really only need a FastPass for some rides, but how do you know the difference?
Here a few rules to go by. Some attractions will be an exception, but this is enough to get you started.
- Roller coasters (7 Dwarfs Mine Train) and simulators (Flights of Passage) always need Fastpasses
- Dark Rides (Winnie the Pooh) and boat rides (Pirates of the Caribbean) are nice to have Fastpasses for, but are doable without them
- Shows (Philharmagic) never need Fastpasses
7. You don’t have to pay full price for souvenirs
It’s nice to have something to remember your trip by, but Disney Parks merchandise isn’t as exclusive as it may seem.
You actually have a few options for getting discounts on your souvenirs.
- If you have a Disney outlet near you, you can pre-purchase items to take with you and they are often 50-90% cheaper than what you’ll see at the parks
- If you want a current item, look on shopDisney. They have hundreds of items from the parks except they regularly run sales so you can get some great deals.
- If want to shop on vacation, you can head to one of the two Character Warehouses in Orlando. These are just Disney outlets, but they have tons of Disney Parks merchandise at rock bottom prices.
- Finally, if you have an annual pass or Disney Chase VISA, you can use them to get discounts on merchandise at Disney World. Just tell the Cast Member when you check out.
One more thing before booking a Disney Vacation
You now have all the insider info to take your vacation from great to amazing!
Disney may not tell you everything, but we’ll make sure you know the best deal every time. Whether it’s saving time or money or both, I’ve got your back.
One last thing… grab your Disney World Vacation Checklist by signing up below. You’ll know exactly what to do and when to do it for your dream Disney trip. Get it now!
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