Let’s be honest, any trip to Disney isn’t going to be cheap. But, with a little planning and forethought, a Disney trip or cruise is possible. Here are some practical ways to save cash, gift cards, and other necessities for a Disney trip:
Disney Gift Cards
- Sunshine Rewards & Quick Rewards- If you have the time, you can join Sunshine Rewards and/or Quick Rewards to earn Disney Gift Cards. You will have to complete some surveys to earn the money and redeem it for the gift cards.
- Target- By using a Target Red Card, you save 5% on purchases. That means a 5% savings on Disney Gift Cards! Target also has Gift Card promotions almost every week (you purchase qualifying products and get a Target Gift Card at check out- EX. but two razors, get a $5 Target Gift Card). You can use those Target Gift Cards to buy Disney Store gift cards! Or, use the Shop Kick APP. Shop Kick is a mobile app where you can earn points by just checking in Target (and also by scanning certain products). Build up points and earn a Target Gift card. Use that Target Gift Card to purchase Disney Store Gift Cards.
- Disney Movie Rewards – When you buy DVD’s or Blu-Ray Disney movies, you can enter your magic code on the Disney Movie Rewards Website. Then Redeem the points for Rewards/Gift Cards. (Click on Get Rewards – Gift Cards, usually in $5 increments for 550 points).
- Sam’s Club and or BJ’s – Sam’s Club and BJ’s sometimes offer slightly discounted Disney Gift Cards (sometimes only offered seasonally). We like to use our yearly Sam’s Club rebate for discounted gift cards and/or snacks for the trip. We also get 2% back on our yearly Costco purchases, and sometimes use that money for vacations snacks or other necessities.
- SPG Points- Starwood Preferred Guests can use their SPG Points to stay at the Walt Disney World Swan and/or the Walt Disney World Swan Dolphin hotels (about 10,000-15,000+ points per night). This hotel is not an actual Disney resort, but it is located on Disney Property and you are able to use Disney’s transportation to/from the parks and get the extra magic hours. There is a resort fee (which is waived if you are a SPG Platinum member) and taxes that you will be responsible for. You can collect Points by staying in Sheraton, Westin, or St. Regis hotels. You can also receive rewards by signing up for a SPG personal credit card.
- Hotel Points – If staying off-site (not on Disney property or in a Disney resort), you can use your hotel points from previous trips or business travel to pay for your hotel stay (or at least some of it).
- AirBNB – Another off-site option is AirBNB. You can get $40 for signing up HERE. That’s an easy way to make $40 toward your stay! Other options are HomeAway and VRBO.
- Sprinkles – Sign up for Sprinkles Rewards – get a free cupcake in Disney Springs if visiting the week of your birthday
- Starbucks – Sign up for Starbucks Reward Program to get free coffee offers (you can also get a FREE drink on your birthday) at the Disney Springs Location only. You can also get FREE Starbucks Gift Cards by using Shopkicks. Starbucks locations inside Disney World accept Starbucks gift cards for drinks, snacks, and even Disney-themed Coffee mugs (souvenir SCORE!). You can also use your Starbucks App to make purchases as long as you have a balance. You can also pay for Starbucks with Disney gift cards or a combination of Starbucks AND Disney Gift Cards. You can also use your Disney Dining Plan Snack Credits at Starbucks. You can earn FREE Starbucks Gift Cards by using Shop Kicks.
- Landry’s Gift Card –Landry’s Gift Cards can be used at Rainforest Cafe, T-Rex Café, or Yak and Yeti Restaurant. Rainforest Café is located in Animal Kingdom and Disney Springs. T-Rex Café is located at Disney Springs and Yak and Yeti is a quick service restaurant in the Animal Kingdom.
- Cups of Ice Water are FREE at Disney World Parks – Simply ask for a cup of ice water or bring your own refillable mug.
- Gas Buddy – Gas Buddy offers a Trip Cost Calculator to help find out how much gas money you will need for a specific road trip. You can also use the AAA Triptik or Gas Buddy Apps to find the cheapest gas in your travel area.
- Publix– Publix offers $10 off $50 Gas Card with a grocery purchase ($50). This coupon is featured in the weekly sales AD very regularly.
- Discounted Gas Gift Cards – Shop Card Cash and/or Gift Card Granny sell discounted Gas Gift Cards.
- Plenti Points – Earn Points at participating businesses with your Plenti Card (Macy’s, Winn- Dixie, Chili’s, Exxon, Mobil, etc.). Then use your points toward purchases (500 points are worth at least $5 in savings on your purchase). Read More HERE.
Shop for Best Flight Deals – If at all possible, we try to travel in the off-season. I also shop around and check different airports. Our closest airport is Birmingham, but I always check Atlanta, Huntsville, and Nashville to see if the little extra drive to the airport will end up saving our family a lot of money (I also factor in parking costs).
My favorite way to shop for flights is with Google Flight Search. After putting in your desired dates for travel, the website will compare the prices on your selected travel dates with other days in the same month (and the following months). The best prices are highlighted in green, and if you are flexible, you can find some fantastic deals. If you don’t find the deal you want, check back often. I have found great travel deals while looking mid-week. I have also found fantastic deals on flights while just randomly checking on a Saturday night. It only takes a few minutes to check!
It’s a good idea to have a plan to save money for a vacation. For instance, If you can save $25 each week for one year, you will have saved $1300.00. Also, Disney will let you put down a few hundred dollars, and then you can pay off the remaining balance in payments, which can help with budgeting.
Here are more ideas to round up some cash to save for a Disney Vacation:
I love rebate apps. It may feel like just a dollar here and a couple dollars there, but it is super easy and it adds up fast! Try it for 6 months and see how much extra cash you have. Maybe enough for one or two meals at Disney? Money for souvenirs?
- Ibotta – Ibotta is very easy to use and they have partnered with over 300 retailers – Publix, Costco, Walmart, Amazon, Sam’s Club, Groupon, etc. Just find the rebates you are interested in redeeming (Krazy Coupon Lady is great at listing deals at stores with the corresponding Ibotta rebate). After shopping, take a picture of your receipt. Ibotta matches the products on the receipt to the rebates and puts them in your account. You can sign up for Ibotta through THIS LINK and you’ll receive a $10 Welcome Bonus after your first Rebate. When I first started using the Ibotta APP, I honestly ran to Walmart and bought two packs of gum for $1.92. I then scanned my receipt, received a $1.00 rebate for the gum and then the $10.00 Welcome Bonus showed up in my account. I continued to redeem more rebates over the next two week and received another $10.00 ($5.00 & $5.00) Bonus. It felt good to have $35+ dollars within a few weeks (my product rebates + bonuses). In addition to racking up cash rebates for products and services, you will also continue to receive bonuses if you refer people to Ibotta.
- Check Out 51- Check Out 51 also works similarly to Ibotta. You send in a photo of your grocery receipt to get rebates on particular items.
- Walmart Savings Catcher APP- This APP is very simple to use. Simply click a photo of your QR Code on the bottom of your Walmart receipt. If Walmart finds a lower price, you’ll be refunded the difference. The money is transferred to an eGift Card that you can spend at Walmart. This comes in handy for road trip snacks or other travel items.
- Ebates –Simply sign up and get a percentage (usually between 2% and 15%) of what you spend back as a rebate into your Ebates account.
- Receipt Hog – Simply take photos of all your purchase receipts. You will be rewarded with “coins”. 1000 coins earns you $5.00 into your Paypal account. You can also play games to earn coins, and earn entries into contests.
- Coupons.com – Coupons.com also has a rebate APP. What I like about this one is that there is no minimum payout. The rebates show up in your Paypal account in a few days after purchase and upload of receipt photo.
- Roll Those Coins -We collect loose change (My hubby hates carrying around change) and put it in a jar. I have read that if you fill an entire 2-liter soda bottle with dimes, you will end up with $700. Even if you save only $2.00 in change per week, you’ll save $104.00 per year.
- APPs that Save Your Change – If you make a purchase of $3.75, the “Change” .25 will be placed into your savings account. Some banks also offer this service to their clients. Acorns rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and funnels your digital change into an investment account.
Side hustles are a great way to make a little extra money. The nice thing is that these jobs can be done on the weekends or in the evenings after your day jobs. Most let you work as much or as little as you like. Every little bit helps!
- Upwork – Get freelancing work for jobs such as writing, designing, and web developing.
- Fiverr – If you have a specific skill, like digital marketing or graphic design, you can get jobs on Fiverr.
- Freelance – Find other freelance work at Freelancer or Guru.
- Rev – Transcription work. Medical, legal, sports, business audio and video files. Get paid per minute. Get paid weekly (on Mondays) through PayPal. You do have to take a basic grammar/English Test to qualify. It helps to be a decent typist and to have a good pair of headphones.
- Shutterstock or Dreamstime – Sell your quality, high-resolution photos. (Click on Become a Contributor)
- Foap – Sell your iPhone photos.
- Rover – APP for finding pet-sitter jobs
- Website Testing – Get paid to test websites on sites such as UserTesting, Enroll, , WhatUsersDO. Assignments vary and may take between 15-30 minutes each. Each assignment can pay up to $10-12.
- Virtual Assistant – Work from home helping companies with marketing-related tasks and make around $15 per hour. Try these websites: FancyWork, BelaySolutions, Red Butler, TaskRabbit
- Online Teacher or Tutor – At VIPKid, you can teach English to children in China. Become a language instructor through Berlitz. or CheggTutors
- Retail Auditing – Being a field agent through the Field Agent APP is similar to being a mystery shopping, but you send in your information immediately through the APP. Tasks include taking a photo, taking a service, counting items on a shelf, checking prices, etc. I know someone who makes almost $300 a year with this APP.
- Proofreader – Learn how to become a Freelance Proofreader for some extra cash.
Sell Some Stuff
You can do a little spring cleaning, and get cash for your valuable items! You’ll have a cleaner home (and garage and shed), and you’ll have some money for your travel fund. We recently cleaned out all of our DVD’s and took them to 2nd and Charles. The DVDs they sent back home with us (because of overstock), we ended up selling on Decluttr. We made $120 from both sales.
- Sell old phones on Gazelle or at a local EcoATM to get instant cash.
- Sell your goodies at Yard Sales, Consignment Shops, Facebook, Letgo
- Sell old books, DVD’s, CD’s or video games at a store like 2nd and Charles or online at Bonavendi or Decluttr. You can also sell on eBay or Amazon, but fees may apply.
- Sell Gift Cards you’ll never use on Raise
Some companies will offer cash or credit if you refer others to their company/business/services.
- Ibotta – (Already mentioned above) Get $5.00 or more for each friend that joins and redeems on Ibotta. Receive $20 for two successful referrals, $50 for the next five, and $100 for every ten after that. There is no limit to how many people you can refer and no limit on how much money you can earn.
- Ebates – Get $5.00 for referring friends and bonuses are available.
- AirBNB – Get credit from AirBNB to use for future vacations. Get $20-$75 per referral.
BTW, I will be get a credit if you use these referral links from my website. If you want to sign up through these links, you will get the credits/money/benefits, and I will too! Thanks so much! I appreciate it!
You can also find great deals and find fantastic advice for a trip to Disney HERE:
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How do you save for Disney Vacations? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
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