This fall, I am heading to Disney with some of my best family friends and their daughters for their first trip. Planning for your first Disney trip can be overwhelming, especially when you have kids in the mix. Over the next few months, as I am planning our trip, I will be sharing all of tips and tricks to make your trip as magical as possible. This snippet is to help you dive into your booking and give you all a few tips to save when planning your Disney trip.
Using a Disney certified travel agent for all your booking needs is very common,in my experience, they haven’t always been able to offer the best rates. Having a travel agent assist you is great, but it is super easy to do yourself as well as long as you know the right tools to use. I prefer to make all of my reservations and bookings myself, so that I am able to adjust anything at the drop of the hat, rather than having to go through my agent to amend it. Another factor to consider is what they are getting you to sign up for. Most agents really push you to purchase one of the three pre-paid dining plans, but in most cases, it can leave spending more than you need and wasting money.
The 3 tips I am going to share will help you be your own Disney travel agent and save you money on the front end, to give you a more relaxed spending budget when you are in the parks.
- Timing: Holidays, and school breaks are the busiest times to visit Disney. If you have the flexibility to do so, try planning your trip during low peak times. We are going at the end of September, after kids have gone back to school and there are no holidays near. The only event that will keep the parks a little busier is the Not So Scary Halloween party that runs from September-October. Before deciding when you want to go check out this crowd calendar. I always check this out to not only gauge when I should plan my trip, but what days I should go to each park, we will talk more about that later down the road. If you are planning to fly to Orlando, visiting during off-peak will significantly lower the price of flights. Pop tip: Consider bundling your flight and hotel if you are booking through a travel site like Expedia or Travelocity.
- Price comparisons: You have heard me say it over and over again but research and price comparisons are the most important piece to planning any vacation. I always start on Disney and then work from there, checking prices on Expedia, Travelocity, and booking.com.
- Park Tickets: Mousesavers is the next place I go to find savings. They offer all of the deals and discounts you need to save on all aspects of your trip. The last concern is ” will I still get all of the magical benefits if I don’t book through Disney”, the answer is YES. On our trip this fall, we are spending half of the price Disney quoted us, not even including park tickets. Disney does have specials throughout the year, but there are a lot of contingencies attached. As long as you stay on Disney property, you are guaranteed ALL of the benefits including extra magic hours and fastpass+.
Disney can be an extremely expensive trip, there is no doubt about it, but weigh all of your options and do your research before committing. If you use these tricks, I promise it will save you tons and leave you with a little extra wiggle room for spending while in the parks.