NOTE: This post won’t apply to everyone; if it applies to you, I hope you will take it to heart. The opinions in this post represent my thoughts only and do not represent anyone else.
One of my most frequenly-asked questions is, “How far out can I book a Disney trip?”. The answer to that question is 500 days before checkout day. And when answering, I usually follow-up with…and I highly recommend doing that if you can.
As a debt-free family I would like to help families stay that way also. I live debt-free now, but for many years I was bound by the chains of debt like so many others. That’s not something I wish on anyone, especially not young families.
I follow the Dave Ramsey principles to a certain extent. However, I don’t agree with the idea of putting off vacations until you’ve paid everything else off. By then, your children may be grown. The precious time of having young children is miniscule and fleeting, make no mistake about that. So, anything I can do to help families enjoy special time together and make wonderful memories now is what I would like to do.
Today, I am sharing my thoughts on Disney travel from my perspective, all things considered. I prefer to travel the way I want as I am sure you do too. My opinions here may be unpopular with some readers but please know that I am leading with my heart here.
Some people believe that staying off property in a less-expensive hotel is the way to go. They choose to drive to the parks and pay to park, or to be dropped off and picked up at certain intervals of the day. They think that’s a good way to save and still have the same experience.
As a long-time visitor of Walt Disney World long before becoming a travel agent, I cannot agree with that thought-process. Having stayed both on-property and off-property, it is my opinion that staying on property is a totally different vacation. Enveloping yourself in the Disney bubble 24/7 is worth the price to me. I also like being able to freely come and go tot the parks as often as I’d like. With the Disney transportation running roughly every 20 minutes throughout the day, I can accomplish this easily. The first option is just not the same vacation in my opinion.
I want my guests to have the best experience possible. I also know that you can have the very best vacation while staying debt-free, or at least working on your debt-free goals. Cash-flowing your vacation is the best way to go!! Here is how I’d like to help!
Since Disney allows guests to book up to 500 days before checkout date, you have a good amount of time to pay off your vacation. Here are some of the advantages to booking early:
Price is Locked In
On average, the price of a Disney vacation increases by 7% annually. If you book today for a trip 500 days away, you lock in that vacation at today’s pricing. That means the 7% yearly inflation increase is not going to get to you. It further means that if Disney increases their ticket prices after your vacation is booked, your price will not increase.
Easily Manageable Payments
Disney requires a $200 deposit to book. After that, you can divide the remaining balance into monthly, bi-weekly or weekly payments. This affords you the opportunity to earn the extra money by working a side-gig, re-budgetting or foregoing another variable expense to cover the vacation payments.
Let’s look at an example:
A 6-night stay at Disney’s Pop Century Resort in December, 2023 for a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children, age 9 and 6) with 5-day park tickets would cost $4,460. The $200 deposit would be paid when booking. The remaining balance of $4,260 could then be divided into 15 monthly payments of $284 OR bi-weekly payments of $142.
I process the payments automatically for my guests. They provide the payment method and I process the payments. There is no fee for me to do this and no interest charged on the amount.
I realize there are opportunity costs associated with reaching a financial goal. You may be able to save via one or more of these methods. You may have to give up something in order to plan this special trip for your family. But it IS doable! And, making lasting memories with your family is what you will remember when all is said and done.
I’ll make a deal with you. If you’ll agree to book as early as you can and cash-flow your vacation, I will agree to send you information, tips and hints each month to keep and build the excitement of your trip while you wait and plan.
How can I help you achieve your vacation goals today?