We are in full Disney vacation planning mode in the wake of Disney’s Armed Forces Salute Renewal Announcement for 2013-2014 and I’m preparing to make sure we get the most Mickey we can get with the least amount of money…and this is how we do it! (Go ahead, channel your inner Montell Jordan. I know I am.)
1. Pick the Right Disney Parks Ticket Option
Our Armed Forces Salute Ticket of Choice? 4 Day Military Promotional Tickets with Water Park Fun and More Option. This gives us 4 days of parks AND 4 days of water parks resulting in 8 days of Disney awesomeness! Don’t forget to buy it at your installation’s ITT office!
Why? We are park monogamous. We don’t park hop because we’d rather not go through the park-to-park transit in the middle of the day. We are also hard core park goers…we stay from open-to-close on most days.
2. Visit Disney Off-Season
Summer means hibernation for Floridians and I’m still pretty scarred from childhood summer trips to Disney. The crowds! The heat! The mid-day thunderstorm! Oh, and most importantly, the higher prices!
Disney has pricing seasons. Any money savvy vacation planners, should definitely take note of when they are.
Check out YourFirstVisit.net for an awesomely detailed price season analysis.
3. Stay at the Walt Disney World Resort
Yes. Just do it. As a child I never stayed on resort so it was always my dream to see what it was like. Our first full resort/park vacation in 2009 sealed the deal for me for life. Not only are you conveniently located on Disney property, you have the option to use resort transportation or you can drive your own vehicle without having to pay additional for parking…it’s a resort perk!
You have several pricing options when it comes to finding the right hotel, but if budget is driving your decision…
4. Pick A Disney Value Resort
The way we see it, we’re hardly spending any time in our rooms. We’re not there to chill out in our four walls…we’re at Disney to hang with Mickey! We’ve stayed on resort twice, both times at value resorts (Pop Century & All-Star Movies) and it was fabulous.
Did you know that the resorts are offering military discounts, too? You can save 30, 35, 0r 40% on rooms booked at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL or 40% off rooms booked at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA. I always call direct to (407) 939-5277.
5. Add the Disney Dining Plan
Homeskillet and I opted to add in the meal plan as an experiment during our 2009 trip and it more than paid for itself! As budgetistas, we opted for the quick-service dining plan and then studied the hell out of the menus of all of the participating restaurants. At that time the plan allowed for two quick service meals and two snacks per person per day (way too much food, in our opinion), but now is 2 meals and 1 snack per day…much more our speed.
Fun foodie fact? Wolfgang Puck Express in Downtown Disney offers a fabulous 15% military discount all the time. It’s our fave stop. We never miss it. AND it’s considered a quick service meal. Bonus!
So what are you waiting for?! Let’s start planning and saving for our next Disney vacation right now!
Are you planning on heading to Disney? What’s your favorite thing about visiting?
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