I want everything paid for up front!

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by amiskell28, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. amiskell28

    amiskell28 Can't wait to get back!

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    Hi all - I know myself, and I know I'll be able to better relax on our Disney trip if most expenses are paid for ahead of time.

    We last went in 2009, had the dining plan, etc, and it was wonderful knowing I didn't have to spend out of pocket. (For reference, this time we're staying at WDW for 3 days prior to a DCL cruise.)

    Certain things will be paid for upfront: airline tickets, park tickets, resort room, memory maker, special event tickets, cruise, excursions....

    But - we don't have the dining plan this time. And, of course, misc souvenirs etc will come up. I read here that one good way to 'pay upfront' for these type of things is to buy Disney gift cards and use for food and misc.

    Question: can the GC's be used anywhere on site? Can they be used on the Disney cruise ships?

    Anything else anyone can think of that I can pay for up front?

    TIA everyone!
     
  2. georgina

    georgina DIS Veteran

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    No idea about cruise ships, but there are only a handful of places at the parks/resorts you can't use GC (like balloon vendors or maybe those carts that sell light-up stuff at night?). I don't know about DS places either.
     
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  4. kuhltiffany

    kuhltiffany DIS Veteran

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    Yes, you can use GC almost anywhere and on the ships. We were at WDW for 2 weeks in August and used GC and credit cards for everything, no cash involved :).
     
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  5. disneyeveryyear

    disneyeveryyear DIS Veteran

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    One easy way to deal with the gift cards is to just charge everything to your MB (if you are staying onsite) and then pay the bill at your hotel, the night before you leave, with the GCs.

    One other thing to think about is the cash to tip housekeeping.

    Are you renting a car, or just using Disney transportation? That would be something else to think about.
     
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  6. LovesTimone

    LovesTimone Christmas Day 2017

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    We use our magic bands to charge to the room, then they just charge the CC on departure day. At any time you can go check to see where you are. You could go the day before like once you return to the resort for the last evening, then pay whatever you have charged with gift cards, and then double check when you check out. Super simple. So if you know your going to have breakfast on departure morning, you can pay in cash, CC or GC at the time... you still could charge to your room up till midnight on the day of check out.

    I like to pay once, this way you don't have a bunch of odd and end amounts on different cards.

    Prepay your credit card.

    On the cruise's aren't most cash and cc free and you just charge to your room. Which is wonderful... You could pay in advance to your account, and then check on it daily to see where you are. Do keep up with your bar bill and tipping, we have had some ... hmmmm some discrepancy. Deal with any issue before you leave the ship. I have a ziploc in the beach/ pool bag /day bag and envelope in my bag to stick receipts in. As well one thing that we do is we tip our cabin stew the night before departure in person. This way we know that he or she gets its directly. Baggage handlers we always tip them, in cash... So you could set up a envelope with tips ready to go. We tip a couple of bucks a bag.

    We pay in cash in ports, I don't even take my CC on shore.
     
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  7. StacyStrong

    StacyStrong DIS Veteran

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    I don't buy gift cards, but I do pull "x" amount of dollars out of my checking account every 2 weeks to account for food and extras while at the parks. In that sense, the money is already accounted for and "prepaid".
     
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  8. friedela

    friedela Mouseketeer

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    No advice here but just wanted to say good for you! We had the same mindset that we wouldn't be going until the entire trip was paid for (we refuse to go into debt for vacations) and it was such a nice feeling knowing the money was there. It was still hard to swallow how fast it goes but at least we didn't have a mound of bills to pay when we got home :)
     
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  9. Sleepy425

    Sleepy425 DIS Veteran

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    Besides experiences like HDDR and CRT as well as tours, I can't think of other things you could pay ahead. But I always go with Disney gift cards (bought at a discount - currenly 8% online at BJ's). Now that your spending is tracked in MDE (if you are staying onsite), it makes it even easier for me to stay within my budgeted amount. Or, in my husband's case, it makes it easier to see you're going over so you can call your wife at home to go buy you more discounted gift cards :rolleyes:
     
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  10. Deb & Bill

    Deb & Bill DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention

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    With the Disney app on your cell phone, you can now track your expenses all the time so you can go to the front desk to pay them off from time to time during your stay. Just don't wait until check out day.
     
  11. MrPTato

    MrPTato DIS Veteran

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    I have yet to find any place that won't take a Disney GC on property. The balloon vendors, if they don't have a machine, will send you to someone real close by that will ring it up and give you a receipt to show the vendor to get your balloon. We stockpile the gift cards because you can get them from 5-10% off. We have a pre cruise, cruise, and post cruise stay coming up that are all being funded for with gift cards. I don find it easier, like a prior poster said to just use the MB and then I go down every couple days to pay the balance off with the gift cards.
     
  12. Marionnette

    Marionnette Children see magic because they look for it

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    I would caution against purchasing Disney GCs until you are close to your trip. My reasoning is that once purchased, the money is sunk in Disney and cannot be refunded. Your only recourse would be to sell them (likely at a loss). If you're not getting them for a significant discount, you would be better off opening a bank account dedicated to Disney savings and having a debit card attached to it. CapitalOne360 has a checking account that bears interest and has no minimum balance fees. I've found that it's a great place to park my Disney cash.
     
  13. cruiser21

    cruiser21 DIS Veteran

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    My first thought was why not just take cash if you don’t want to use a credit card. I’ve never understood paying for Disney trips with gift cards. By doing this you’re turning a refundable trip into something that’s non refundable. If I have to cancel a cruise or WDW trip it’s most likely because I need the money for something else. If it’s paid with Disney gift cards I’m stuck.
     
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  14. amiskell28

    amiskell28 Can't wait to get back!

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    Excellent points, both of these. I like the idea of the dedicated account for the Disney money.
     
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  15. Searc

    Searc Mouseketeer

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    You can see your room charges on the My Disney Experience app. No need to go to the front desk.
     
  16. Marionnette

    Marionnette Children see magic because they look for it

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    Well, there are discounts available on Disney GCs and they can range from 5% to 40% or more. That's hard to pass up. In my case, I have DVC dues to pay and they accept Disney GCs. So I'm comfortable having a "stash" of GCs because I know they will get used. But for someone who seldom visits or who may not be able to "invest" their precious cash in gift card currency, I don't feel it's a good idea.
     
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