If you are like me you’ve just finished watching the Disney Parks Christmas Parade and are now wanting to book your next vacation to Walt Disney World or Disneyland. But paying for the magical vacation can be tough. In a previous blog post Saving For Your Disneyland Resort Vacation I provided you with five tips on how to save for your vacation. In the post I showed you how you can put aside a certain amount of money per week to help pay for your Disney vacation.
These are the two money saving methods I suggested.
The first shows how you can start with a larger amount to deposit and then lower the deposit amount each week, as your vacation nears closer you are only paying a few dollars per week.
The other example depends upon how much you want to save and for how long. In the example, we have 24 weeks before our vacation, if we save $185 per week we will have a total of $4430.12.
I suggested to put the money was to be put into a Savings account, but now you can put it into a Disney Vacation Account and use it to pay for your hotel, tickets, dining plan and transportation.
Disney Vacation Account is an online program operated by Walt Disney Travel Co., Inc. that lets you create a personalized budget and savings plan for the following Disney vacation destinations:
- Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida
- Disneyland® Resort in California
- Disney Cruise Line®
- Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai`i
- Adventures by Disney®
With the Disney Vacation Account you can deposit money into your account every week, every two weeks, once a month or any time you want.
Here is how it works.
- Estimate Your Budget
- Create a Plan
- Track Your Progress Online
- Book Your Vacation – don’t forget to do this part. Do this at least 40 days prior ( I suggest sooner to take advantage of any specials for early booking)
- Pay For Your Vacation – no later than 30 days prior to date of arrival. Double check with your Walt Disney Travel Co. travel agent when booking for your final payment date.
You start out by setting up your account by estimating the cost of your Disney vacation. There are tools on the website that will help you estimate this cost. You can also enter your own estimations as well. For example I know it is going to cost about $2000 for our family to fly from Sacramento to Orlando.
Once the budget is in place a plan will be created for you. The savings goal is set to be reached 90 days prior to your vacation. However, if you have not yet fully saved enough for your vacation you can put the rest of your money into a traditional savings account and buy a Disney Gift Card closer to your date of travel.
You can also change your contribution amount and goal amount at any time.
Even though there is calculation amount shown, you can contribute any amount to your account at any time. You can use a debit card, credit card or Disney Gift Card. Automatic contributions to take place every week, every 2 weeks or every month. You can also make one-time contributions at any time by visiting the Your Account page and clicking “Make a One-Time Contribution”. Because this is not automatic you will need to set a reminder in your calendar to make a deposit into your Disney Vacation Account. You can change the schedule of your automatic contributions at any time.
Disney will not charge you any fees to create or maintain your Disney Vacation Account. $10 is required to open a Disney Vacation Account and a Disney Vacation Account is only available for residents of the 50 states of the United States, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. at this time.
There are some cool features with the Disney Vacation Account.
- Use your Disney Vacation Account to book your vacation online or over the phone through Walt Disney Travel Co. When you call to book your vacation you only need $200 to book it and your Disney Vacation Account number.
- Friends and family can help pay for your vacation by giving you Disney Gift Cards. These gift cards can be used as payment towards your vacation by using the “Make a One-Time Contribution” feature. So the next time someone asks you what you want for your birthday, tell them you want a Disney Gift Card because you are going to Walt Disney World. This is also a nice way for a newlywed couple to save up for their dream Honeymoon at Walt Disney World.
- You can earn free $20 Disney Gift Cards. You’ll be eligible for a $20 Disney Gift Card for every $1000 you spend on qualified vacation purchases with your Disney Vacation Account prior to December 31, 2015 (date subject to extension), up to a total maximum of $500 in Disney Gift Card(s) per household. Request your Disney Gift Card(s) 4 to 6 weeks in advance of your vacation date to allow time for delivery to your mailing address.
- There are no fees and all of your money is fully refundable. That’s right, if you change your mind or something happens and you can’t go on your vacation the money in your Disney Vacation Account is fully refundable. You will still need to cancel your reservation if you have made it.
Please visit the FAQ about the Disney Vacation Account for all the details.
I hope this helps you save for your next magical Disney Parks vacation.