Saving For Your Disney Trip

There’s no denying that any Disney Vacation is expensive. Saving for a Disney Trip is one of the first steps in the planning process. It can take some time to save up for your trip. This post is going to talk about how to save for your Disney trip. I have a lot of thoughts about this so let’s just jump right in!

#1- Start Early

There are a few things you should know about me. First, I am a planner. I really like planning ahead. It’s not often that I just kind of “fly by the seat of my pants”, as it were. Second, I have the travel bug. In my family, we’ve decided it’s a genetic thing. My Grandpa can get home from one trip and immediately start wondering when the next trip will be and lamenting the fact that he “never goes anywhere.” I definitely inherited that. And because of that, we have a special “Travel” savings account that we just continually add to for our next trip, whatever and whenever it might be. Basically, we always know there will be a “next trip”. 

If you’re a Disney trip novice, I recommend starting to plan around a year ahead. This will give you a good amount of time to save up and to keep your eye out for deals, discounts, and promotions. Depending on the time of year, you can get discounts on Disney hotel rooms, packages and even FREE DINING PLANS. A year will give you time to figure out approximately how much you might need to save up for your trip. And to make appropriate reservations (but that’s another post for another time). 

#2- Create a Savings Plan

Once you’ve done your early estimating, figure out how much you need to save and break it down into manageable bites. I like to use spreadsheets. I know, I’m a nerd (also hereditary). Here’s an example of how I would breakdown our savings plan…

#3- Find Extra Ways to Find Extra Funds

Obviously your primary source of income will be the first place you start saving from. But sometimes our budgets are already stretched thin. The more creative you are with your money saving, the quicker you’ll be able to save! I have a few suggestions, in addition to having a designated savings account. 

#1- Ibotta app– if you haven’t tried this app, you need to! You’re already going to be buying groceries, so why not make a little extra? You get “cash back” for certain purchases (verified with a receipt you scan into the app) as as for completing certain challenges within the app. Then you can redeem your cash back via Venmo (this is my new favorite method because it’s actually cash right into my bank account) or various gift cards. You can also get bonus cash back by inviting your friends to join in the savings fun. I’ve earned almost $300 by using this app!

***Join by following this link or download the app and put in my referral code hskqwnc. The app is available for android and iOS users. By following my referral link or using my code, you’ll get a $10 bonus when you redeem your first offer!***
#2- Shopkick app- I don’t find this one to be as lucrative as Ibotta, but it’s good for an extra $25-50. And that could cover a meal or souvenir at Disney! Shopkick is still evolving and you can use it similarly to Ibotta or you can use your phone and scan items in the store to earn “kicks”. The nice thing about Shopkick is that you can redeem your kicks for a Disney Gift Card! You’ll get an email with a digital code that you can use to pay for your trip or to pay for things on your vacation. Invite Friends and you each earn 250 kicks!
***Try Shopkick and we’ll both get points toward a free gift card! 😀 Use code GIFT503676 or download

#3- Change jar- We have a jar that we keep on our dresser and every time one of us gets change, we put it in the jar. We also stick our gift cards in the jar and occasionally we add in cash we get for gifts or we just take out a little extra in cash and put it in the jar. And then when we get close to the vacation, we take out the coins and see what we have. It definitely adds up.

#4- Garage/Yard Sale- Everyone has extra stuff laying around that we don’t really use or need to keep. Sell it! With social media, you can even just post your items online to see if your friends or friends-friends have been looking for those things for their lives. You’ll clean out your house and add to your fund!

#5- Don’t Treat Yo Self- This might be one of the only times I say this (haha). But your Disney trip will be the ultimate Treat Yo Self, so you can do without for a few months as you save. Take the money from your Treat Yo Self days and put them in your Travel account.

What to Wear to the Parks – Guys Edition

Hello everyone!

Recently Wendi wrote an awesome post about what to wear when you travel to Disney or any other theme park. It was catered more to women, but I’m here to help out the guys! A lot of the same principles will apply, but guys get the advantage of having deep pockets and usually comfortable shoes. As Wendi mentioned in her post, it’s really nice to go into a park without having to take a bag. That way you can go through security quickly and not have to lug a lot around. I’ll tailor my suggestions to that end. Here are my tips!

#1. Comfortable shoes

When you go to a theme park, you will do a LOT of walking. When I’ve traveled to the parks I often log about 25,000 steps per day. Most guys’ shoes are comfortable already, but maybe avoid things like high tops or other kinds of shoes that could rub against your heal. I usually just wear my running shoes or similarly built sneakers. Like THESE Nike Pegasus Running shoes from Amazon.

#2. Fun shirts!

It’s not required, but walking into the parks with a fun nerd shirt is the best (to clarify, it is required to wear a shirt). I’ve gotten multiple compliments on my pixilated Star Wars shirt or my Zelda: Breath of the Wild shirt. It’s just fun! I also recommend finding some shirts that are made of breathable material, like workout shirts. I have a Spiderman and Captain America shirt with that material and they breathe really well. If you plan to attend a park during the rainy season, you must plan to get wet. These shirts will be super helpful since they dry so easily. If you don’t have any nerdy shirts, get some! Here’s a similar Spider-Man shirt on amazon for only $12.99!

#3. Comfortable shorts

I’ve gone to Disney many times with normal khaki shorts and I’ve loved them, but recently I’ve found something even better. Costco was (is?) selling long Adidas basketball shorts with zipper pockets. These ones on Amazon look similar! They are amazing. I often get really anxious riding a rollercoaster that my phone is gonna fly out of my pockets. Not with these babies! They also breathe well, so Splash Mountain recovery is quick!

#4. Sunglasses/glasses and a microfiber cloth

I often like to wear my glasses into the park so I can see the shows better. I have sunglass attachments that I keep in my pocket. One thing that drives me nuts is going on a rollercoaster and hooking my glasses onto the inside of my shirt, because then it creates smudges all over. That’s why I bring a small microfiber cloth to clean them off afterward. It’s made a lot of difference.

#5. If rainy season, a poncho

Disney sells ponchos in every gift shop in the park, but they cost $10 each. If you can find a small poncho that folds down well, you should be able to slip it into your pocket and “save it for a rainy day.” In Florida it will often pour rain for about 20 minutes or so, then clear up. On other days, it will rain the whole day. I was at work yesterday without my poncho and got to experience the joy of that firsthand. Save yourself some trouble and some money by buying a poncho BEFORE you get into the park.

#6. Sunscreen/hat

If you can sunscreen yourself before entering the park, that is a good idea. I usually don’t bring it into the park myself, but thought it was important to mention it here so y’all don’t get burnt. It’s also handy to try to wear a hat. They don’t take up much space and they usually have bins on the fast rollercoasters so you can store them during the thrills. Make sure you SPF is at least 30! This Neutrogena is one of our favorites!

Those are the items I regularly bring. Pretty simple. That’s the best way to experience the parks, in my opinion. If you bring a backpack, you will get super sweaty from the humidity. Disney has free water at every quick service food location, so you should be able to effectively stay hydrated. If you want to save a few bucks on money, maybe you can pocket a protein bar or two. But I personally love to keep it simple.

I hope this helped! If you have specific cases or questions, please contact us and we’ll help you pack according to your needs. We’d love to hear from you!

Disney Fashion Series: What to Wear to the Parks

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Disney Fashion is definitely a thing now. From character merchandise to Disney Bounding to what a person should wear in the theme parks, the category of Disney Fashion is full of fun!

In this, our first post in our Disney Fashion Series, we’re going to start with the basics…What should you wear in the parks?!
If you’ve been to a theme park, you’ve undoubtedly seen the whole spectrum of apparel. I see women in high heels and I simultaneously feel awe and pain. So how do you balance your fashion persona and your desire to not have your feet fall off?
Lucky for you, I’m here with some suggestions!
I get that tennis shoes are not for everyone. But hear me out for a minute (and I’ll give you alternatives too). Walking a theme park is no easy task. If you’re park hopping, you’re going to walk MULTIPLE theme parks! On average, we log about 20,000 steps when we visit for a full day. I don’t even want to think about doing that in heels. Or in any shoe that has not been “broken in”.
I love Sketchers! That new memory foam insole is a dream when you’re Disney-ing. Their shoes are light so you don’t feel like you’re dragging cement blocks around on your feet. I have a couple of different pair that I use for Disney as well as for regular campus hiking, walking around Costco, dance auditions and just general meandering. They wear well and the honestly last for quite some time. If you’re interested, here’s a link to a pair very similar to what I routinely wear.
Alright, for those of you who don’t want to feel like Disney is an athletic event, I’ve got another option for you. I recently purchased a pair of Oka-B ballet flats. I had been looking for some stylish flats that were also happy walking shoes. I had been looking for this very reason. When I’m in training at Disney, we have to be in business casual, but there’s a decent chance we’ll be walking around the parks from time to time. I had a friend suggest Oka-B.

So I bought a pair. And let me tell you…These shoes feel like a second pair of skin. They don’t slide on my heel. They have arch support, which is really unusual for ballet flats. And they’re comfortable to walk in. I hiked around campus in them for an entire day. No blisters. My feet got the normal amount of tired from extensive walking, but they didn’t hurt. I used them for my day of Disney orientation when we went into the parks. They were pretty comfortable. I think they’re best for days when it’s going to rain because then you don’t have to worry about wet socks etc. As it starts to get a bit hotter, your feet expand and sometimes feel a little squished. But I still love them. I have 2 other pair on the way and I can’t wait! They’re made in America and sold out of Georgia. And you can buy them on Amazon or through the Oka-B website! Worth every penny, guys! (I really want the Dorothy flats that are glittered)
So now that we’ve got your feet taken care of….Let’s talk about pants.
Disney has security screening outside each of their parks. If you have a bag, you have to have it searched. If you don’t have a bag, you can expedite the process and go through the “No Bag” screening line. You typically still have to go through a metal detector, but that takes less time than having every item in every bag searched and then going through the detector.
What I’m saying is that if you can go bagless, DO IT! Even if the majority of your party can go bagless and just one person can stand in the bag line, your life will be less stressful. So on that note…
“But Wendi! Pants with pockets tend to be hot and uncomfortable. And we’re talking about Florida or California here!”
Guys. Do not doubt me. I got you.
Leggings with Pockets. They are a thing and they are magical. They come in a variety of lengths. All you need is your phone and maybe your ID and a credit card. Get one of these phone cases with a card slot and you’re set. My phone slides right in the side pocket on these babies at this link. They’re cost effective and they’re breathable and perfect for Theme Park weather. Follow my link here to the ones that I’ve really loved!
What if you need or want a bag? Well, I’ve got some an option for you there too. Now that we live in Florida, sometimes it’s nice to be able to take a bag. We just pop in for a couple of hours so we take snacks or even lunch. That way we’re not spending all of our Disney College Program monies in the parks. A bag like this is a great option.

You’re never fully dressed without sunglasses. Well, at least that’s the case in the Sunshine State! Obviously everyone has their own sunglass preference. I’m just telling you that you’ll definitely want a pair. Maybe a less expensive pair, just in case they get lost or scratched. Like these.
I’m going to do another post about character apparel so I’m just going to tell you this about tops: find something light and airy. And don’t wear multiple shirts if you don’t have too. The more the layers, the more you’re going to sweat. You want to wear something that is breathable! Trust me.

These are just a few thoughts about your Disney Park apparel! Everyone has their own style so you should choose what works best for you. But these are tried-and-true tips! Do you have any tips of your own to add? Comment below! 

And stay tuned for more Disney Fashion Series posts!

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