Book Review: The Ultimate Guide to an Affordable Disney World Vacation

ultimate guide to an affordable walt disney world vacation

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!

Disney Vacation Offer!

©Disney. All Rights Reserved.

©Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Many of you know that I am a travel agent with Pixie Vacations.  If you do not know, then you do know now!  Today Disney has released a special promotion that you and your family may be interested in.  Take a look at the details below, and call me at 919-606-6725 or email me at if you are interested in this offer:

Starting today, December 28, 2015, you can save up to 25%* on rooms at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels for stays most nights April 14-June 11, 2016 when they book by March 31, 2016. Ask about other great rates for stays most nights Feb. 22-April 13, 2016.

Plus, you can receive 1 more ticket day FREE when they upgrade to a room and ticket package with a minimum 4-day Magic Your Way® Ticket.

It’s a perfect time for your Clients to discover all-new Star Wars™ adventures at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Garden Rocks™ Concert Series at Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival, the new nighttime experiences at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park and so much more.

*The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Length-of-stay requirements may apply. Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room. Additional per-adult charges may apply if more than two adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Advance reservations required. Offer excludes campsites, 3-bedroom villas, Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows and Disney’s Art of AnimationResort—The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms. 25% savings for select Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts; lower savings may be available for other Resorts. Everyone in the same room must be on the same package.

Also, there are special savings for Disney Visa Cardholders that wish to stay at a Deluxe Villa resort.  Check out these details:

When Disney Visa® Cardmembers book their spring vacation, they can save 35% on room accommodations at select Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts. Plus, when they purchase a Magic Your Way® room and ticket package with minimum 4-day Theme Park tickets, they can get one more ticket day FREE!*

Guests can choose from Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, Disney’s Old Key West Resort, Disney’s BoardWalk Villas, The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows. They’ll also enjoy exclusive savings just for Disney Visa Cardmembers.

This offer must be booked by Feb. 28, 2016 for travel April 3-June 30, 2016. Subject to availability.

Number of rooms allocated for these offers is limited. Length of stay requirements may apply. Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room.

Remember, I can help make your Disney vacation a reality!  Shoot me an email, give me a call at 919-606-6725, or even leave me a comment and I’ll reach out to you.  Where will your Disney Dreams take you next?

Christian Guide

A Christian’s Guide to WDW – #Review and {Giveaway}

Christian Guide

Jeff Chaves is back with a second edition to his excellent book, A Christian’s Guide to Walt Disney World Resort.  Jeff is an ordained minister, and as a result, he has incorporated ways that you can enjoy your Disney vacation while not checking your faith at the door (or leaving it packed in your suitcase).

I was privileged to be able to review his first edition of the book, which was available in a digital format only, and was pleased with being able to keep it on my phone and reference it.

This edition is available in both a paperback or Kindle format, and the paperback version is small enough that it won’t be like trying to carry around the Unofficial guide in your pocket!

I wrote these words in my initial review — but the sentiments are exactly the same now, and I am honored that Jeff chose to include my words in his book:

This book has so many incredible tidbits of information in it, all of which is designed to show you that, even though you are a family on your Walt Disney World vacation, that doesn’t mean that you need to stop, put your Faith and Christianity in a dresser drawer, and forget it until you get back home! Chaves does a great job of doing what so many of us forget to do when we are on vacation — getting us to slow down, examine the wonderful intricacies that is Walt Disney World, and gleaming the wonderful insites that Walt Disney and his Imagineers present to us, all while tying it into wonderful lessons from the Bible.

In the book, there are two devotionals that I truly felt the most connection with.  The first was the devotion tailored around the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at the Magic Kingdom.  In it, Jeff shares the Bible truth that can be found in Luke 15:13-24:

God accepts anyone who turns to Him. ~ The story of the Prodigal Son.

This devotion struck me because I, like so many of us, was once that lost son.  I did my own thing, I didn’t follow God, for much of my life I didn’t even go to church.  That has all changed now, but I remember who I was before I found and accepted Jesus into my life, and this devotional does a great job of reminding me that anyone, even a pirate, can still find God, that there is still time.

The second devotional that I relate with is also tied to a Magic Kingdom attraction, this one being it’s a small world.  The Bible truth that Jeff shares with us is a very important one:

Everyone must come to Jesus like a little child.

13 And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. 14But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.16And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them. ~ Mark 10:13-16 (ESV)

I have always loved it’s a small world.  I love the song, I love the different scenes, I love the final scene where everyone is gathered and bathed in white clothing.  In his devotion for this attraction, Jeff reminds us of Jesus’ words about how we need to receive the Kingdom of God like children — because our children are full of innocence and belief, and far too often when we get older we lose that innocence.

A Christian’s Guide to Walt Disney World Resort is a great read, and worth the $8.99 cost for the paperback (or $5.99 for the Kindle version).  If you would like to purchase a copy, just head over to their Amazon page for more details.

In addition, Jeff has given us an extra copy to give away!  To enter, just complete the Rafflecopter information below, and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

102 Ways

Review: 102 Ways to Save at WDW

This review for 102 Ways to Save Money at Walt Disney World by Lou Mongello is part of a Magical Blogorail sponsored campaign. Copies of the book were received free of charge for a review. Opinions are those of the reviewer and do not represent those of the author.  Your opinion may vary.

102 Ways

About Lou Mongello

When I was first learning about Walt Disney World, the one name that kept coming up over and over again — besides those like Mickey Mouse or Walt Disney — was Lou Mongello.  Lou is an icon in the Disney fan blog arena for good reason.  He started his podcast WDW Radio in 2005, and it has been the winner of the best travel podcast award time and time again.

Lou Mongello is an internationally-recognized expert and historian about the Walt Disney World® Resort. A former attorney and IT director, he is the author of 102 Ways to Save Money For and At Walt Disney World, the Walt Disney World Trivia Books (Volumes I and II), as well as the Audio Guides to Walt Disney World, in which Lou takes you on a virtual tour of the Disney parks and resorts, enjoying their details, history, stories and overlooked experiences, all with the ambient sounds of the parks surrounding you.

Podcasting since early 2005, Lou is also the Host and Producer of WDW Radio, and the WDW Radio LIVE NewsCast, a LIVE weekly online video broadcast and chat covering Walt Disney World news and rumors where the viewers can voice their opinions and thoughts, comment on the news in real-time, ask and answer questions, and be an interactive part of the live broadcast. The show is also available immediately after broadcast on the WDW Radio YouTube channel

keynote speaker at numerous events nationwide including fan gatherings and corporate events, Lou has also appeared on television as a Disney expert, and has been interviewed, written for or been featured in: the Orlando Sentinel,, Robert Scoble, Southern Living Magazine, Cookie Magazine, Fodor’s, The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, and numerous others.

He is also the founder of the Dream Team Project ( He and numerous volunteers have been raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America since 2003 to send seriously ill children and their families to Walt Disney World.

Lou Mongello is available for speaking engagements including corporate and scholastic events, both in Walt Disney World and around the country. For more information, please use our contact form

About The Book

102 Ways to Save Money for and at Walt Disney World is just that — 102 ways to save money on your vacation!  Contained in this book are some really great ways to save money, and while they are certainly geared towards your Walt Disney World vacation, if you expand the thoughts some, you’ll find that many of these money saving tips can be applied in your own life, and for other vacation destinations as well!  As a result, this is a great resource for any person to have in their possession.

My Thoughts about the Book

Chances are, if you are on my site, or any of my friends’ sites, you are a Disney fanatic.  You live, breath, and experience Disney as much as you possibly can.  Disney Magic is so much more than just a marketing term for you — it is the key to making memories with your family that will transcend the boundaries of time, space, and age (your kids ages, not yours of course!) and remind you all why you love one another like you do.  For my family, the price of those memories is indescribable — and that is why we go to Walt Disney World every year, sometimes twice a year.

As you know, though, going to Walt Disney World is not an inexpensive endeavor — there are costs associated with it.  That’s where Lou’s book really does come into play.  Within these pages are great tips on how to save money — both while you are getting ready to go to Walt Disney World, but also after you are already there.  However, it’s more than that.  Use your imagination, and realize that many of these tips can be utilized for almost any vacation destination.  That, my friends, leads me to my favorite tip in the book — and one that I hope we all will embrace and make our own…

Tip #8: Don’t DO Anything That May Affect You Long-Term

I know that in today’s day and age, credit is a term that is often used interchangeably with cash.  I also know that, with the way that the economy has been, and with all of the negative news that we have endured for what seems forever, the idea of making our own memories and creating lasting memories that we will remember for a very long time is a very strong pull.  However, it’s extremely important that we stay realistic about our finances.  That’s why I feel so strongly about Tip #8.    Memories are incredible things — but if your finances are not able to experience Disney in person, then I urge you to experience Disney at home, and there are many ways to do so.


As I explained before, the tips contained in this book are great for many different vacation destinations, not just Walt Disney World.  Additionally, while many of these tips can be found on the Internet at various websites, it takes a great deal of work to track down all of those tips and consolidate them so you can look them up at a moments notice, and because of all of that, Lou’s book really is worth the $15 (or less) it will cost you.  If you like to go to Walt Disney World, take the time to get this book, and put it to the test — use it and find out how much you save on your next Disney vacation!


Disney expert and podcasting pioneer, Lou Mongello, shares 102 ways you can have the most magical Disney vacation without breaking the bank in this comprehensive, detailed, 197-page guide.  102 Ways to Save Money For and At Walt Disney World guide is a MUST HAVE for any family planning toward a Disney vacation.

Purchase the Book Here 


Enter to Win a Copy of Your Own + a Walt Disney World Audio Tour from Lou Monghello

If you would like a copy of Lou Mongello’s 102 Ways to Save Money at Walt Disney World please enter to win our giveaway below.  Please click here if the entry widget is not shown below.


5 Minutes for Mom Ultimate Blog Party 2014 #UBP

April 4th, 2014.  Set your reminders now — the 2014 Ultimate Blog Party is underway on that date!  Running from April 4th – 11th, 2014, this is an excellent opportunity for you to experience some new blogs, have some fun, learn some things, and win some prizes!  Hosted by my friends at 5 Minutes for Mom, this is an annual blog party that truly does open up some excellent blogs for you to review!

For those of you that are new to this blog, My Dreams of Disney was started in September, 2010, as a way for me to document the memories that I and my family have of our trips to Walt Disney World.  Over the years, though, we have seen our blog expand by leaps and bounds, and now we help you plan your perfect Disney vacation!  I started as a part time travel agent in February 2013, and it is my goal here at My Dreams of Disney to help you turn My Dreams of Disney into Your Dreams of Disney!

Part of how we accomplish that is in our listing of Disney Planning Resources, as well as trip reviews, articles written with my friends at the Magical Blogorail, and more!

As part of the #UBP for 2014, I have decided to include a prize in the list of prizes to be given away during the week!  My prize will consist of the following Disney related items:

A $25 Disney Gift Card!

A $25 Disney Gift Card!

and a 50th Anniversary Edition of The Muppet Movie!

You could win this!

You could win this!

To follow along with all the action, just click on the button below to go to the main party page!  The Ultimate Blog Party 2014 is about to begin — are you ready for it?