In Kevin Barry’s book, the Ultimate Guide to an Affordable Disney World Vacation, Barry explores the many different ways that you as a family can save money on your Disney World vacation. Captured within the 119 pages are tips on saving on flights, rental cars, park tickets, hotels, food expenses, and more. The story is written around the quest of the Barry family in planning their next trip to Walt Disney World, and gives detailed information on how much they are saving in their planning.
For me, the book is a good read, and has a lot of great information; however, there are some tips that I prefer not to tackle, that you need to make sure you are careful about before implementing. For me, the first is the tips that are provided for securing cheap/free air fare by getting credit cards. I know that there are disciplined people out there that can implement this process and save a lot of money on their flights, but the key here is that you need to be very disciplined to make sure you don’t run up thousands of dollars in debt. To his credit, Kevin talks about this in great detail.
When it comes to park tickets, the biggest question is really whether or not you and your family want to implement the park hopper add-on. This is a significant cost, and if you plan your trip correctly, you absolutely can get away with not purchasing the park hopper because it will save you money. In this regard, Barry does a good job against recommending it. Additionally, he also does a good job in making sure that you know that you can’t get your park tickets at just any location. The place to get tickets is at the Disney World website, where you will pay full price, or through select resale sites such as the Undercover Tourist website, where you can get a discount.
All in all, the Ultimate Guide does a really good job in providing tips on saving money on your next Walt Disney World vacation. At the cost of around $12, it’s a good investment, and in this blogger’s perspective, is worth the cost to have some great detailed information that you can use to save money on your next trip.
Have you read the Ultimate Guide? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments, and thanks!
Brian and I have been working the credit card system for years, but I had never thought of using credit cards for flights and hotels (beyond what we use our Disney Visa for). I found Kevin’s tips on these things quite interesting. Not sure that I want more credit cards to keep track of, but I can totally see the value in doing this – especially if you’re planning a “once in a lifetime” trip and really can’t afford it any other way. People do tend to get in trouble using credit cards, though, so those people need to be cautious when considering these tips! I hadn’t really thought of that!
Thanks for the comment, Heidi. I don’t think about airfare that often when it comes to going to Disney because the reality for us is that the adventure of driving to WDW is as much fun sometimes as the actual arrival. Since we are only about 12 hours by car, we turn that into a great time of seeing things along the way and reliving memories of when we took Sophie (who was 7 weeks old at the time) to visit my Grandparents in Tampa way back in 2001. We drove that time, and have been doing so ever since.
Thinking about it, to follow all of the tips in the book, you would need to get at least 3 high-balance credit cards to make his plan for reduced airfare, hotels, and dining work. And probably to get the most out of it quickly both partners would need to be on board with spending thousands months prior to the trip intended. This is a bit frightening! So my favorite tip was also about the Park Hopper option. I will never buy that again!
Thanks for the comment, Lee, I agree the idea of spending thousands of dollars pre-trip — even if it is for things that you use every day, like groceries, etc, still seems a bit excessive. Also, we took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course through our church, so the big thing for us is to not use credit cards for anything anymore. :)