Thrifty Thursday: Paying at the Disney Parks

I am a huge fan of the Key to the World cards at Walt Disney World. For those of us who use our debit cards for everyday purchases and rarely ever have cash on hand, it is a real convenience to carry that one card to make all our purchases. For all guests staying at a resort on Disney property, the Key to the World card is the most convenient way to pay for things while at the parks.

I am often asked by new visitors, “Do I need cash in the park?” I tell them that depends on what they hope to buy while there. With the Key to the World card, you only need cash at the parks if you want to buy a Mickey balloon or something from the carts during the shows. Also, if your kids enjoy collecting pressed coins you will need quarters and pennies on hand for that.  

Some people believe that it is difficult to keep track of what they are spending with their Key to the World card. I have a very simple method of keeping track of my charges, so when I go to the desk to check out of the resort, I have all of my charges in chronological order. It is the simple little Debit Card Register.

My Debit Card Register is only 2 1/2″ x 3 3/16″, holds 18 pages and is easy to carry. Each time I charge something, I just jot it down on the next available line. Each line has a place for date, description of charge, and amount. It does not have a column for balance but I wouldn’t take the time to add it up each time anyway. If I want to know what I have spent so far, I just add it up and put it on a line of its own in a different color pen.

I can keep track of what I am spending this way and it is a very cheap solution. You can buy 5 Debit ATM Mini Checkbook Registers for $3 at Amazon and they last forever. I certainly don’t use 18 pages per trip so whenever I end a trip, I mark off the rest of that page and whenever we go again, I just start a new page. I carry my debit register and my Key to the World card together in a clear, plastic folding card holder. This is all I need for the parks.

We do take cash to use at the resorts. This is necessary for mousekeeping, bell services, and parking valets. However, at the parks we stick to our Key to the World card and it works just great. It couldn’t be more convenient.

Happy touring!!

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Brenda is a native Texan born and raised on the Gulf Coast. She visited Disney World twice as a teenager and always dreamed of growing her family Disney. She took her first-timer husband and their three children to Disney World in 2000 and they now spend every Thanksgiving there. Brenda writes with a comedic twist on various Disney topics. She will be sharing tips she has learned during her travels and also hopes to enlighten people on little-known freebies that Disney has to offer. She wishes she could have met Walt Disney and considers herself to be a student of Walt. In parallel to his dream it is her wish that everyone would take at least one trip to Disney World in order to share in its magic with their families.

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