Hotel Cost, Planning, Travel, Travel Cost

Wilderness Lodge
Wilderness Lodge

We are always looking to save money when visiting Walt Disney World.  One of the primary expenses to consider when planning your trip is lodging.  Any money saved on lodging can be directed to other expenses or set aside to upgrade your lodging on a future trip.  Here are various options for getting your lodging costs down:

Discount packages

Disney will often discount the “rack rate” of the rooms at different times of the year.  “Rack rate” is the published price of a hotel room.  The rate will change throughout the year based on what Disney perceives the demand will be.  The perceived demand often doesn’t match the actual demand, so Disney will offer limited discounts to the rack rate.  These discounts will be offered to annual passholders, Disney Visa Card holders, and/or to the general public.  These will sometimes be detailed on the Disney web site.  We always look at our favorite website, MouseSavers, to see what is available.  Any reputable Disney Travel Agent should also look for and apply any available travel discounts to your reservation.

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Planning, Travel

TripIt

One of our favorite travel tools is TripIt.  TripIt is a web site (with associated mobile apps) that gathers details of your travel, including hotel reservations, airline tickets, cruise itineraries, rental cars, and other travel information.  TripIt then presents you with a comprehensive itinerary in a simplified format that allows you to easily view the information.  (Note: some information on these screen shots is hidden, so they may look a little strange)

TripIt Dashboard
TripIt Dashboard

 

Features

TripIt has two kinds of accounts, free and pro.… Read the rest

Credit Cards, Disney Cruise, Disney Gift Cards, Disney Parks, Flight Cost, Food Cost, Hotel Cost, Planning, Ticket Cost, Travel Cost

I had the great privilege and honor to be invited back on my favorite podcast, Rope Drop Radio, to discuss various ways to take Disney vacations for less money. 

Derek and Doug, the hosts of Rope Drop Radio, are two dads who love Disney.  Their goal is helping you navigate the Disney Parks and never missing a rope drop!  They want to share tips and tricks, travel plans, and must sees to help you have an amazing Disney trip! 

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes.Read the rest

Disney Cruise, Planning

Last week, I published the cheapest per night cruises you could take on a Disney ship in a verandah stateroom.  Now, I want to look at inside staterooms.  These are likely to be the ten cheapest cruises per night you could take since inside staterooms tend to be the cheapest category of stateroom.  Here are the ten cheapest cruises (as of May 29th, 2017 when I collected the data) for two adults and two children in an inside room based upon a per night price. 

Cruise Name Number of Days Date Ship Departure Port Inside Price Inside Price Per Night
11-Night Westbound Transatlantic Cruise from Barcelona.
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Disney Cruise, Flight Cost, Hotel Cost, Planning, Travel Cost

Planning | Travel | Boarding | Sea | Sea | Tortola | St. Thomas | Star Wars Day | Castaway Cay | Go Home

Our 7 Night Eastern Caribbean Star Wars Day At Sea cruise on the Disney Fantasy didn’t start out as one of our normal cruises.  As we discussed in our post about planning an off season cruise, we had originally planned to book our standard spring break cruise for 2017, but finances got in the way.  We instead picked a different destination for spring break, and in October 2015 we booked what we thought would be a standard 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Fantasy.  In January 2016, Disney announced new Star Wars Day At Sea cruises for 7 night sailings on the Disney Fantasy — and in March 2016, we received notification that our cruise had been switched to the Star Wars theme.  Interestingly, the price of the cruise almost immediately went up by 50%.  We weren’t upset that it got changed, but I probably never would have booked it for that price, even with the Star Wars addition.… Read the rest

Disney Cruise, Planning

Spring Break 2016 Cruise – Part 1 – Planning

Spring Break 2016 Cruise – Part 1

After completing a few spring break cruises, we had our routine down.  Once the spring itineraries were released in late 2014, we immediately booked the Disney Wonder for our Spring Break in 2016.  We can always determine our school district’s Spring Break since it is the week that precedes Easter Sunday.  The prices had really started to climb out of our normal comfort zone, so we decided to get an Oceanview stateroom (rather than a verandah).  We have done this in the past and it always worked out for us.  We don’t spend a ton of time in the room, so having the large porthole window is more than enough.  We had taken this cruise once already, in 2014, so knew what we were getting into.  We had also booked it for Spring Break 2015.… Read the rest

Planning

We are always listening to various Disney and travel related podcasts. Here are a few of our favorites and why:

Disney Podcasts

Rope Drop Radio – This is a new podcast that just started up.  They started with a few podcasts about Disney Cruise Line, so I was instantly hooked. … Read the rest

Credit Cards, Planning, Travel Cost

We have a pretty good supply of credit cards we can use to earn points.  We always try to spend in the bonus categories on the cards that make the most sense.  (Note, when mentioning the number of points earned in each category, that is for each dollar spent.)  Here are some of our main categories that we spend money in:

Disney Gift Cards – We use a Chase Ink card to buy Target Gift Cards at Staples in order to Stack onto the Target 5% off.… Read the rest