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Old 05-01-2013, 03:19 PM   #1
saraelizabethpearl
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Disney on Budget in October

Hello all. First post here. Was hoping to gain some wisdom.

I'm planning a surprise trip for my son to Disney in October over Columbus Day weekend. He's 9. It will be just he and I. I've never actually planned anything more than a weekend away and as a single mom, I'm on a tight budget.

Obviously I'm planning to stay at one if the more inexpensive resorts, and am trying to hold out for any coupon codes before I book for free dining of a percentage off rooms, but are there any tips or tricks you guys can offer to get me started? I'm a little overwhelmed and don't want to miss any good deals or overspend when I don't need to.

Thanks in advance!
Sara
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:26 PM   #2
Marionnette
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saraelizabethpearl View Post
Hello all. First post here. Was hoping to gain some wisdom.

I'm planning a surprise trip for my son to Disney in October over Columbus Day weekend. He's 9. It will be just he and I. I've never actually planned anything more than a weekend away and as a single mom, I'm on a tight budget.

Obviously I'm planning to stay at one if the more inexpensive resorts, and am trying to hold out for any coupon codes before I book for free dining of a percentage off rooms, but are there any tips or tricks you guys can offer to get me started? I'm a little overwhelmed and don't want to miss any good deals or overspend when I don't need to.

Thanks in advance!
Sara
Tip #1 - Set a budget. Once you know how much you're willing to spend, you can work from there.

Tip #2 - Use the disneyworld.com website to get an idea of pricing. Pick your dates and resort plus add tickets and maybe even the dining plan.

Tip #3 - Add or eliminate things from the trip that you planned on the Disney website in order to bring the total price in line with your budget.

Tip #4 - Use a Disney travel agent to book your trip. They will be able to watch the deals for you and book your table service restaurants for you. It's a huge help for newbies and it costs nothing extra.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:39 PM   #3
ceecee
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Stay at a Value Resort, they are cheaper and your son will love it! The first year we went, we didn't get hopper tickets and saved that way, they were much cheaper without the hopper feature. We got the 5 day tickets from AAA, the only thing is you have to stay at one park and not go to several in one day. We spent a day at Downtown Disney and one at the pool and visiting other resorts. It was relaxing and fun, we stayed at the ASMo and DD loved it. I priced a package with AAA and then did it on my own with a code and we saved $900.00. So price it out on the website and you can add and subtract from there the features you want. You can also share meals and save quite a bit that way. October is a great time to go, watch for free dining in September if you are at all flexible. If you do find a better deal after you book you can revise your reservation, we have done that before.
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:22 PM   #4
TarrahA
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I agree with both previous posters - I think a value resort @ base tickets should be all you need to book for, but that's totally up to your itinerary though.

1) use the website to price out the full rack rate of your trip, record the diff tiers - just room, room w/ tix, room w/ tix & dining. That way, you know what your price comparison should be for all available options & you can now try to price your trip using Disney room, tix from outside source (mouse savers/undercover tourist, etc), and out of pocket food spending to see what the better deal is b/w the two.

2) According to the code watching threads here on DIS, there is FD for Sept confirmed thru 25th, but Oct discount details won't be out til Jul/Aug. however, it's a recurring trend that Columbus Day dates are blacked out for FD. So I would either plan to change dates or just hope for a room only discount. If a room only discount is given, your best bet is to buy your tickets from a 3rd party like stated above & pay OOP for food, especially since its just the two of you. I'd only recommend the dining plan if it was free or you were expecting to do a lot of character meals & order the most expensive items at every meal in order to maximize value.

3) Check out the October Code Watch thread in the trip planning forums, full of tons of useful info to help save $$. Also explore the budget boards & I found a lot of articles on Pinterest that are related to doing Disney on budgets, along with tons of crafts to do while waiting

4) You can pay for your Disney reservations with Disney gift cards. If you have a Target red card, either the credit card or the one linked to your checking acct, you get 5% off purchases, including gift cards. For every 10 prescriptions you fill there, you get 10% off one transaction. Only issue is they only offer $50 increment cards, so you'll have to buy multiple cards to get to your total Disney trip cost, but there is potential to save 10% off your trip cost if you have prescriptions you can use, or 5% if not. I'm looking at saving $100 just by utilizing this. Also, haven't confirmed it yet but I've heard you can take your cards into any Disney store & they can combine your balances onto one card for you. Keep the card(s) after booking tho, if any refund is needed, they'll apply it back to each card used, so it's important to keep up with those until you are at the resort! And of course you can't get refunds on gift cards so just be sure you're going before buying any or you'll be stuck with them if it doesn't pan out.

Hope I helped some!
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