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How to plan a trip to Disney World with no money

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Disney is the place that makes dreams come true and takes all your money! ( just kidding, but really ) 

Let’s be honest, Disney trips are expensive. However there are some creative way to fund your trip , from using cashback aps to asking for help from family, using payment plans and even starting a side hustle.

Want to learn how to plan a Disney World or Disneyland trip when you don’t have the money?

My family and I used to rarely go on vacations for various reasons, but the main one was that we didn’t have the money RIGHT NOW or felt that we could not take time off from work.

Then one day we just decided that we are going to start going on vacations no matter what and that’s exactly what we did. With a little planning, creativity, and commitment, we finally went to Disney World in Florida for a parents/adult only trip and Oh‘ boy am I glad that we did! 

I am going to share with you how we planned our trip when we did not have the money. I am also including a Disney trip planner in this post that you can print out to plan and organize your trip. 

Let’s get started!

Best tips to plan your trip to Disney World with little to no money

1. Start planning your Disney trip early

plan your trip to Disney World

One of the best things that you can do is plan your trip to Disney World early. Doing this is truly a game changer. This gives you time to figure out how you are going to pay for your trip, where your going, what activities you want to do and more. Believe me you vacation will go so much smoother when you sit down and take the time to plan.

How far in Advance should you plan your Disney trip?
You should plan your Disney trip at least for a minimum of 6 months, this will give you plenty of time to get everything in order before you go. If you need to find more creative ways to make extra money or pay off debts before going on your Disney trip, you should plan 12 months in advance.

Set your Budget 

Create a budget for your Disney World trip early. Take a look at your finances, figure out what you are spending your money on and look at what expenses you can cut out to use to fund your Disney trip.

After you do that grab a pen and paper and start writing everything that you will spend money on when you go on your trip to Disney World.

Be sure to factor in all expenses for your Disney trip when you budget

-Hotel

-flights

-Park tickets

-parking at Disney/ or at your hotel 

-food

-gas

-rental cars

-luxury expenses 

– souvenirs

– upgrades

– family t-shirts 

-new outfits 

Once you have everything written down, now it is time to figure out how the heck you going to pay for your Disney World trip.

How are you going to fund your trip? 

If you are planning a trip to Disney World with no money, you have to figure out how you are going to pay for the trip. Lets be honest, Disney is not going to give you park tickets for free, unless your a huge influencer and even then there are still other expenses that you would need to pay for.

There are many ways to fund a vacation.

  • Loans
  • help from family
  • credit card
  • credit card points
  • Cashback apps
  • purchasing one thing at a time slowly until your trip

Doing these steps early will allow you to come up with the money or if you are borrowing money, to have everything paid off or almost paid off by the time to take your Disney trip. You do not want to end up in debt or with a high credit card bill due to your Disney trip. Believe me, we ended up with a high credit card balance and we are still paying off our balance. 

Get organized! Plan your trip early with my free printable.

Ready to plan your trip? Use this free printable to plan your trip, add up all our your expenses, track debt, plan your must see at the parks, packing list and more. This includes 9 printable pages.

2. Ask Family and friends for help

This is something that we often forget about, asking family and friends for Disney gift cards or for a whole Disney park ticket. You would be surprised how much you can get just by asking, but do it during the holidays. So when birthdays and Christmas come around and someone asks you what you want, or what to get for the kids, say Disney gift cards . 

Now you may be wondering…..

Can you use multiple Disney gift cards to purchase tickets?

 Yes and no, okay let me explain. You can not use more than 1 gift card to purchase a Disney park ticket. However you can combine your gift cards into 1 gift card for up to $1,000 through the Official Disney Gift Card Website. With $1,000 you can purchase up to 9 Disney World tickets depending on what type of ticket you purchase ( 1-day, 2-day, park hopper etc.…) and the season that you plan to go. 

Do Disney gift cards expire? 

No, another cool thing about Disney is that their gift cards do not expire. So you can stack up gift cards for as long as you want. Also you can re-load Disney gift cards up to 1,000. Plus you use gift cards on most food places at Disney, shops, tickets and more. 

3. Find Creative ways to make money

This step is for those of us who are on a strict budget and don’t have any wiggle room. Sometimes you have to tap into that inner hustler mindset that we all have and find ways to make extra money. There are many ways to make extra money, here are a few quick ways.

  1. sell things that you have around the house
  2. get another part time job
  3. become a uber/lift driver
  4. deliver groceries
  5. babysit
  6. ask your boss for a promotion or another position that pay more money

These are just a few ways that you can make extra money, for more ways check out this post from gathering dreams on creative ways to make an extra $100 a day.

4. Use cash back apps

Using Cashback apps are a great way to get free gift cards and free money in your bank account. It is so easy to do, you just have to remember to submit your receipt or connect your loyalty cards. I have personally used cash back app and it is a commitment, but it so worth it, I have made hundreds within a year with cashback apps.

Here are some Cashback apps that I have used in the past. I have been using Ibotta for my cashback on my groceries.

Find a hotel that serves free breakfast, this will save you money and time . If you do not have free breakfast at the hotel you’re staying at, find a grocery store to purchase your food and bring it back to the hotel. You can buy cereal, milk, breakfast bars, protein bars, oatmeal, bagels and cream cheese.

6. Don’t Save money

I know what you’re thinking!

You’re crazy, how can I go to Disney and not save money. 

If your are really good at saving, then Definitely save for your Disney world trip.

However….

For many of us saving money is hard and when we do finally save money, there is a possibility that we might spend that saved money on something else.

You’re behind on a bill, your kids need shoes, you’re low on money, these things will come up and can ruin your plan to go to Disney if you use your money you saved for your trip for these things. 

So how do you go to Disney if you don’t save money?

In these 3 easy ways 

  1. Get Disney gift cards and stash them. Every time you go to the store add a $25,$50 gift card, doing this will start to add up fast.
  2. Use your credit card to pay for your hotel, flights, park tickets, and transportation in full. Be careful with this one, you do not want your balance to be too high as this will result in high interest. For those of you who do not know, if you have high interest on a balance you will basically be paying interest every month and not paying down your balance, which will take forever to pay off. 
  3. Use a payment plan to purchase your tickets in full ahead of time and then slowly pay off the balance. Basically, you pay for your park ticket or hotel and split it up in 4-12 payments. Check out the next section below for payment plan options that I have used in the past and still use today.

7. Payment plans

Using a payment plan option is the best thing that we could have done to go to Disney World with no money. Its easy to sign up for and keeps you on track to quickly pay it off so that you are not in debt.

What are the payment plan options? 

This is when you want to make a purchase and a company will allow you to split up your purchase so that you do not have to pay everything at once. This allows you to secure your trip and take your time paying for your purchase. 

What companies offer this option? 

  1. Klarna
  2. Paypal
  3. Affirm 
  4. Afterpay
  5. Zip (previously quad pay)

There are many more, however these are the ones that I have personally used. 

What payment plans do I recommend? 

I have been using payment plans for years and I have learned which ones are worth you time and actually help you. 

  1. Klarna – allows you to split payments in 4 bi-weekly payments with no credit check or 6 monthly payments with a soft credit check. You will have to make the first payment upfront, which I like because you will pay your balance down quicker. 
  2. Affirm– this is my favorite one to use. Affirm allows you to split your payments in 4 bi weekly payments or 3,6,12,24 months with a soft credit check. Depending on your purchase limit, credit and payment history you may have to make the first payment up front. 
  3. After pay – allows you to split your purchase in 4 bi weekly payments. After pay works mostly with stores that have merchandise, like Target, lululemon, etc.

8. Use Credit Card points

If you have credit cards with a good reward program start using your credit card for purchases and then pay them off at the end of the month. This will allow you to earn rewards and then you can cash out those rewards to add towards you trip to Disney World.

What are the best reward credit cards?

Start using your rewards card 6-12 month in advance so that you can build up points. Remember to only use your points for your Disney trip.

5. Get gift cards for food purchases

purchase a gift card

Whether you’re going to Disney with friends or family, you’re going to be hungry. Its very easy to spend way more money when you use a credit card.

So what the alternative solution, purchase gift cards months in advance when you are planning your trip to Disney World.

You can get free gift cards by using rewards to purchase gift cards or use cashback apps to purchase your gift cards.

In Disney park 

Purchase Disney gift cards for your food purchases at the Disney World parks. You can use your Disney gift cards at most restaurants and cart within the Disney parks. 

Cool right! 

Outside of the Disney Park 

One great way to already have the money for food is to purchase a grocery gift card. Look at a map around the hotel you will be staying at to figure out what  grocery stores and fast food options are close by. Then think about how much you may spend and purchase your gift cards ahead of time.

9. Get Refundable flight/hotel /car reservations

I know it is tempting to get cheaper non-refundable flight tickets or hotels. However you never know what things may pop up and if your tickets are non-changeable or non-refundable you can lose your money. 

You want to save as much money as you can , so it is best to book your Disney trip early and make sure that they are refundable or changeable when possible. 

When we went to Disney World last year I thought we would be in our new home by the time our trip came around. However we weren’t and I had to change my flight to another airport. Luckily I purchased the changeable ticket and was able to change my flight and only had to pay $11 extra. 

10. Get a job a Disney World

Another way to get free or discount Disney park tickets when you don’t have the money is to a job at Disney or Disney World. If you work for the park you will get complimentary admission, along with many other perks like hotel, merch, and food discounts.

I think I need to work for Disney. (lol)

Disney World facts

Here I have some basic facts to help you during your planning process.

Do Disney park tickets expire? 

Disney tickets expire 13 days after you purchase your ticket. Once you make your reservation Disney tickets will expire and the length of time depends on what ticket you purchased. For example; a 2 day ticket expires 4 days after your selected start date. However a 7 day ticket expires 10 days after the selected start date. Check out a full list here for Disney expiration dates

If I buy a park ticket from target, when do I have to select a day ?

Right now Target only has Disneyland tickets online and not Disneyworld, If you purchase a ticket from Target they will email you instructions to make your reservation. You can also purchase a Disney gift card to purchase your Disney World park ticket.

WHAT’S NEXT ?

TripAdvisor

Now that you have my secret ways to pay for your next Disney trip
 

How much do you want to or can you spend on your Disney trip all together from tickets to hotel to food EVERYTHING!

How are you going to Fund your trip?

When are you going on your trip?

What things do you need to pack for your trip? Check out this Ultimate Disney packing list

I hope this post helps you guys find ways to go on your dream Disney Vacation even when you don’t have the money. Remember you can do it!

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Looking for more Disney World tips check out our related posts below>>>>

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