A trip to Walt Disney World is a dream come true for many families. While Disney has thought ahead and greatly accommodated all travelers’ needs by creating resort categories, we all know that being able to stay at a deluxe Disney resort would make that magical dream vacation all the more magical. Believe it or not there are ways to stay at a deluxe Disney resort and stay true to your Disney vacation budget. My family has been blessed to be able to visit Walt Disney World almost every year. While we always stay on Disney property we do not always stay deluxe. What I can tell you is that when we do stay deluxe I make Disney’s Polynesian Resort my home.
Number of days….
My family needs and loves a long Disney vacation. We like to stay 9-10 nights. When we decide that we are going to stay at the Polynesian, we cut our trip in half to about 4-5 nights. Yes, this is a huge sacrifice on our Disney travel time but treating ourselves is so worth it!
What do we forego on our trip?
Another way to save a great deal of money is to skip the Disney Dining Plan. Believe it or not you can really save a lot of money by planning out your meals and by eating at counter service locations. Simple tips like sharing meals or eating a late lunch can help your family save an ample amount of money. Typically when we have done a “fancy” trip like Polynesian we only eat at 1 table service restaurant on our trip. We usually make that meal a buffet or family style location like Crystal Palace or ‘Ohana. This keeps everyone happy because we do not have to discuss budget before we eat. Nancy has a wonderful guide that teaches you how to have magical meals on Disney property and how to still save a TON of money. I would highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of this resource if you have not already.
Time of year matters…
We are October travelers…we love everything about Disney during the month of October. When you choose to stay at a deluxe resort and you are on a budget you may have to sacrifice your favorite time of year to visit. We have always stayed at the Polynesian during the month of August. In August, we have found some really fantastic deals. The value season for deluxe resorts is from January 1st –February 16th and again from August 21st-September 29th. According to Disney this is going to be the “value” pricing period for deluxe accommodations.
Would you think of renting?
Disney’s Vacation Club (DVC) is a wonderful timeshare program that is any Disney dreamer’s magical dream. With this program owners are able to take advantage of staying at deluxe accommodations for a fraction of the cost that you would pay at the rack rate. What many people do not know is that there are a TON of DVC owners that need to rent out their points. You and I can very easily rent their points for a fantastic rate. I have never personally rented DVC points but I can tell you that many of my friends have and they have been very satisfied with the results. If you visit disboards.com there is a forum called DVC-Rent/Trade you can find a plethora of renting information there.
Watch out for the deals…
Nobody wants to book a vacation go on it and find out that they missed out on a fantastic promotion during their travel dates. If you are booked I highly recommend that you watch Disneyworld.com for current offers and deals. There are always new promotions being released. If you find that there is a better promotion going on than the one you are booked under, call your travel agent and ask them to modify your existing reservation for the new promotion. I always book my trip about 11 months in advance so between the time of booking and travel a lot happens in the way of promotions. I can honestly say that I am always able to modify my reservation at least 2 times.
Part two of this money saving article is going to be all about my “budget deluxe” stays at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. I will discuss why we sacrificed so much to stay deluxe and also discuss if we thought that it was worth it or not. For now, I would love to hear your tips for deluxe “budget” Disney travel.
Kelly, her husband, and three children live in the Chicagoland area. Kelly has been traveling to Walt Disney World since the age of two. She considers Walt Disney World to be her primary vacation destination. With 20 plus trips under her belt she still enjoys researching and learning new things about the most magical place on earth! Kelly began Disney Guru in August of 2010 with the vision of sharing fun vacation tips and magic with all fans of Disney World.