***Update: As of July 25, 2017 Disney has discontinued the Disney Vacation Account. If you would like to let Disney know that you are disappointed in this, please go to: https://disneyvacationaccount.disney.go.com/contact-us/
Saving for Disney
It’s no secret that a trip to Disney World is going to cost you some money. Maybe a lot of money. And maybe some people can just decide to go and put it on their American Express Black, but most of us can’t. We should do a little cutting back in other areas and do a little saving. This post will help you with the process of saving and also with actually gaining you more money to save. Read on!
Disney Vacation Account
The Disney Vacation Account can absolutely help! What is it? It’s an account that you can put money into to save up for Disney. It’s your money. Disney will refund it at any time if you request that they do so. And they refund it in the same way that you paid it. You can put money into the account in a couple ways: credit/debit card and Disney Gift Card. We’ll come back to this.
How to Open the Account
Go to https://disneyvacationaccount.disney.go.com and hit “Sign Up”. The first thing it will ask you to do is to set a budget. Don’t be overwhelmed. What you put here doesn’t really matter. You can literally put anything and you’ll be fine. If you would like to really use their help with setting your budget, you can. Or you can just completely make something up.
Setting a Budget
Ok, say you do want to set up a budget to start saving toward, here’s how:
- Think about when you want to go to Disney World
- Plan to have your entire amount ready at least 30 days before your trip
- Decide how much you need. If you don’t know, you can go to the Disney World webpage and quote some different options out to give you an idea. You can also include spending money if you’d like.
- Decide how often you’d like to contribute. If you would like to mimic a direct deposit, you can put your debit card in as the payment method and then have Disney pull it at the same rate as your paycheck goes into your bank account.
- Don’t stress too much about any of this. You can always change it.
Next you’ll put in your information, set your contribution, review everything and complete your account.
How to Pay
Ok, fast forward a year or two or six months or whatever. You’ve fought the good fight and you have your money saved and ready to go. All you need to do is request your saving account number. All but the last 4 digits will be sent immediately to your email. You can readily see the last four digits on the website. Marry those together and put it in as a Disney Gift Card on the payment screen. You can also call it in. If you’re using my services, I can handle all this for you.
Why Should I Use the Disney Vacation Account?
Ok, this is the best part! You should use it because it’s convenient and because it saves you money. Those are my two favorite adjectives when describing services.
It’s so easy to save money this way. Small amounts that I don’t even miss. Then I check my balance and wow!
I can add Disney gift cards. This is really nice because although you can combine Disney gift cards easily (Here: https://www.disneygiftcard.com/Manage), they only hold up to $1000. Sometimes vacation packages can cost a lot more than $1000. So I can add all my Disney gift cards to this account, and when I’m ready to pay, I only use one number.
It’s easy to use the account to pay. It’s even easier than one gift card because you don’t have to enter a PIN.
If you need a refund from Disney after you’ve paid, they refund directly back into your DVA. I love this because I don’t have to keep track of gift cards.
The account is quick. I can add a Disney gift card and it’s ready immediately. Caveat: They say it could take some time, but I’ve never had an issue.
Disney gives you a $20 gift card for every $1000 you spend with them through your DVA. 2% I’m not getting 2% at my bank!
But you can save even more:
You are able to save even more because this “stacks” on other discounts.
Let’s say you have a Discover card that gives you 1% back. You can put $1000 in the DVA with the Discover, get $10 from them and then get $20 from Disney. Saving $30 total. Nice!
But let’s not stop there.
If your grocery store offers fuel points, you could buy gift cards from them with your Discover, getting the fuel points and the Discover cash and also the 2% from the DVA. Now you’re saving real money!
Get creative and keep stacking.
I routinely go to Disney for 10% off or more!
I will write a whole post on this and link it soon. Comment below to follow changes.
150 Days. This is Important.
To be eligible for the bonus, you need to open your account at least 120 days before you pay for your trip. You need to pay for your trip at least 30 days before your trip. So you need to open your account at least 150 days before your trip. Why don’t you just hop on over and do it right now? Put $10 in it. The money doesn’t have to be there for any certain time, the account just has to be open.
Requesting Your Bonus
After you’ve paid for your trip, you can request your bonus. I suggest doing this as soon as you finish paying for your trip. It usually takes about 10 days to arrive.
You can also request a gift card for any spending money you have in the account, but you won’t get the bonus on that amount.
You also only receive the bonus on flat $1000 multiples. So if you pay $2200 for your trip, you’ll receive $40. BUT, if you keep your account open for next time, that $200 counts toward your bonus next time. So if your next trip is $2900, the $200 will tip you over to a $60 bonus, plus $100 toward next time. Disney has been flawless with this for me for over 20 trips.
It’s also worth noting that you only need to request the bonus the first time. After that it will automatically come whenever you spend $1000 with Disney.
What Can You Use the DVA For?
Short answer: anything you pay Disney for while you are still at home.
- dining plans
- Magic Your Way packages
- specialty tickets or events like the Halloween Party or Pirates and Pals Cruise
- prepaid meals like Cinderella’s Royal Table
- Annual Passes
- Disney Vacation Club dues (dues that Vacation Club members pay each year)
- and anything else that you can pay Disney from home
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