How We Saved an Extra 14% on Our Disney World Vacationfeatured

Planning our trip to Disney I read many articles on the best way to save money.  I love to plan and research but could not find much information that I could use.  Several ideas mentioned included:

  • Disney savings account. A $20 gift card for each $1,000 spent was not worth putting my money in an interest free savings account.  Account must be open for 120 to earn reward to keep you from just transferring the money the day before you pay.  
  • Booking your room through Disney Vacation Club Point rental.  This option can save you significant money on deluxe accommodations.  I preferred to book directly through Disney for the ease of adding the dining plan, park tickets, Magic Express, etc.  All those things are possible through DVC rental just more time consuming.  A great option if you are wanting to pursue this is  
  • Staying off Disney property.  I preferred the proximity and ease of transport of the Disney accommodations.
  • Booking in “low” season.  While there is never a day you will find Disney deserted there are slower times of year.  Disney often offers free dining plans and/or hotel savings at those times.  The deluxe hotels will usually have a higher percentage of savings but may be harder to book with free dining.  I did take advantage and booked during a promotion to save on our hotel.  I basically stalked Disney’s website until a sale that fit my needs was posted.  You can also use a free Disney travel planner to book.  If you want to book a sale rate make sure to do it quickly as Disney only allots so many bookings and when they are gone they’re gone.

So by now you may be wondering what secret way I was able to save an extra 14% on our vacation.  Disney only requires a small deposit be made at time of booking then you have until thirty days before your visit to finish paying.  Using this fact I was able to pay our entire balance in gift cards.  Our local grocery store Kroger sells gift cards and offers fuel points on their purchase of 2 points for every dollar spent.  Kroger occasionally runs a special for 4 points for every dollar spent.  By buying Disney gift cards at this time I was able to earn 2000 fuel points on each $500 gift card.  The points can be redeemed at Kroger and Shell gas stations in 1000 point increments.  The 1000 points saves $1.00 per gallon up to 35 gallons for a total savings of $70 (per $500 gift card).  There are some things to remember about fuel points:

  • They expire at the end of the next month so you have at most 60 days to redeem.  This is important if you don’t purchase a ton of gas.  My husband’s business uses hundreds of gallons per month.  Otherwise since the cards never expire buy as much as you would use of the points each time Kroger runs the promotion.
  • The $1 off up to 35 gallons must be used in the same transaction
  • A Kroger Plus card is required
  • Program is not valid in all states so check with your local store for restrictions

Our upcoming trip cost us around $5000 so I was able to save right at $700 using Fuel Rewards.  Another idea is when people ask for gift ideas for you and your kids Disney gift cards are a great suggestion.  Remember, however, gift cards are exactly like money and there is little recourse if they are lost or stolen.  Hope this helps make your dreams of Disney closer to reality.

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