Mom And Son Giraffe
  • On Apr 16, 2008
    Heather from NJ Asked

    Just got back from a trip with our family of 5 plus my parents.We SO want to go back but the expense is a roadblock. How do you all afford to return year after year? What are your budget secrets? Help!

    Heather,

    Where there's a will, there's a way!  :)  Seriously though, we are a family of 5 as well so I know rooms that accommodate 5 are harder to find and generally more expensive.

    I'm sure this will sound like a sales pitch but it's the honest truth for my family...join the Disney Vacation Club!  DVC has made it possible for us to visit Disney several times a year for the same amount of money we previously paid for one trip.  You can choose a studio room for a 'cheaper' trip, a three-bedroom Grand Villa for a deluxe large gathering, or anything in between.  That flexibility has been really great for us, and the new Animal Kingdom Villas can accommodate 5 guest in a 1-bedroom suite.  This also gives you a full kitchen and grocery delivery service so you can prepare meals in your room for a very cost-effective option.

    Beyond that, staying off-property (gasp!) can save a lot of money.  There are lots of rental companies in the Orlando area where you can rent condos or full houses for a great weekly rate, and these also offer a kitchen.

    Annual passes are great if you plan on going to Disney 2 years in a row.  Buy them one year and then schedule your vacation the following year a bit earlier, even if just by a week, so you get two uses from them.  This can save hundreds over the cost of buying Magic Your Way tickets each year.  Passholders are also eligible for discounts and promotions like % off of food and occasional discounted room rates. 

    Keep an eye on your local budget airline and watch for great rates.  Southwest, for example, has a Ding! program you can download for unadvertised sale fares.  With fuel costs what they are now nothing is cheap, but driving is likely more economical for you than flying.  Run the numbers on what gas and a hotel room to stop along the way would cost you - that may be very worth your while.

    Just a few ideas that hopefully provide some insight for you!
thumbnail image for Heather

Meet the Panelist: Heather, Kentucky

I'm a member of the original 2008 Moms Panel and am happy to be back again to help you plan! We are DVC members who visit 2-3 times per year with our 3 young daughters, and I am only one visit away from being able to say I've stayed in every Disney resort! Learn More About Heather

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