Disney World in April 2015, Start Planning Now!

There are three main expenses when vacationing at Disney World – park tickets, airfare and hotel. If you start planning early, a significant savings can be had!

Park Tickets:
Park tickets are roughly $325 for a 7 day ticket. For a family of four, that is $1350! There are ways to save a little on the price of park tickets. For example, purchase your tickets through an employer savings program or a discount ticket supplier or eliminate the park hopping and no expiration options. But these savings don’t compare to savings you will find by signing up for the World Arrival credit card from Barclaycard. This one card will get you $440 worth of travel expenses for free. And this includes park tickets purchased from Disney! If a husband and wife both got this card, your park ticket expense goes from $1350 to $470.

Here are the details of the card:
You get 40,000 miles which equates to $400 in free travel. You’ll then get 10% of the miles back once redeemed, which translates to another $40. You must spend $1000 on the card in the first 90 days. And the $89 annual fee is waived for the first year.

Once you meet the $1000 spending, I would recommend purchasing the park tickets right away. The park ticket prices increase annually (usually in the summer) so you might as well lock in this year’s price now (the tickets don’t expire until 14 days from the first day you use them)!
At roughly $300 roundtrip from New England to Orlando, this is another $1200 expense for a family of four. Numerous times each year, Southwest offers 50,000 points when you sign up for their credit card. This will equate to roughly 2.5-3 roundtrips. If both a husband and wife sign up for this card, all four roundtrips will be covered (plus $10/ticket in taxes) with additional points to spare! The flight expense goes from $1200 to $178 ($69 x 2 annual fee and $40 in taxes).  Unfortunately, the bonus is only currently 25,000, so wait until the bonus goes back up to 50,000.

Here are the details of the card:
There are a couple of different offers. One card has an annual fee of $69 and the other is $99. And you must spend $2000 on the card within the first 90 days, so it is probably best to stagger the husband and wife sign-ups so you are not trying to meet a $4000 spending requirement! 

Of course, we know that staying off-site is generally cheaper than staying onsite (although adding the cost of a car rental, parking at both the theme parks and the hotel, and gas, sometimes makes the price difference almost a wash). If staying off-site is better for your family, then you can skip this section. But after numerous Disney trips, we have determined that utilizing the Disney timeshare is the best way to save money and stay onsite at a deluxe hotel.

We plan our trips 11 months in advance using the Disney Vacation Club (DVC). You can do this as well, even if you are not a DVC member. The DVC resorts are only found at the deluxe Disney resorts. Staying at a deluxe DVC resort is roughly the same cost as staying at a value resort. We are most familiar with the Boardwalk, so I will use that as an example. During April vacation, the stay costs 108 points for 7 nights in a studio. The going rate for point rentals is $12/point, so that equates to $1296 during April vacation. Alternatively, pricing out April vacation week through Disney at a value resort is no less than $1200, and that is with a discount.

Obtaining the points to make this DVC reservation involves renting points from a DVC owner.  Some of my family and friends own at DVC, so I often have access to points for rent.   If you are interested, please email me at itineraryexperts@gmail.com.

One difference with DVC as opposed to booking a normal room through Disney, especially during vacation weeks, is that booking at 11 months is necessary to obtain the best room. To reserve April vacation 2015, that means making a reservation in May of this year. 

So, here is a recap:

(4) park tickets = $1350
(4) roundtrip flights = $1200
7 nights at Pop Century = $1200
TOTAL: $3750

Now, with these 2 credit cards and DVC:
(4) park tickets = $470
(4) roundtrip flights = $178
7 nights at The Boardwalk = $1296
TOTAL: $1924

That is almost a 50% savings and staying in a MUCH nicer hotel!

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

** I do not receive any commission from Barclays should you decide to apply for this card.


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