Money Matters

How Stateroom Category Affects the Price of Your Disney Cruise

by on January 29, 2015

t_logo_fbYou’ve decided on the ship and itinerary you want – now it’s time to get the best price on your Disney Cruise. There are two factors you can control when booking your cruise to keep costs down. First is your dates – and we looked at that yesterday if you want a refresher. Second is your stateroom category. Some people have strong feelings about their staterooms, right down to wanting to book the exact same one from cruise to cruise. Others take the approach of “it’s where I’m sleeping so who cares – I’ll take what’s cheapest.” But whatever your preference, your choice can have a big (or surprisingly not so big) impact on the price of your cruise.

Click the image to see it full size.

Disney Cruise Line pricing per cabin on a 7-night cruise.

Disney Cruise Line pricing per cabin on a 7-night cruise.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Least Expensive Dates for your Disney Cruise

by on January 28, 2015

TouringPlans logoIt’s the end of January. The Northeast is covered in snow. You’ve finished paying for Christmas. So who’s ready for a Disney Cruise? I know I am. There’s no question that among the mass market cruise lines (and, yes, as much as I love them, Disney is still mass market), Disney charges a premium for their cruises. For me, it’s worth it, but the price means I have to be careful about when I sail. For the next edition of the Unofficial Guide to the Disney Cruise Line, I looked at a year’s worth of fares to see when the most and least expensive times to cruise are. Let’s take a look…

I used the Disney Fantasy for this look at fares. Why? Because it’s the easiest for comparing apples to apples year round. The Fantasy has two itineraries, Eastern and Western Caribbean 7-Night sailings out of Port Canaveral. This means that unlike the Magic and Wonder, I’m not comparing European or Alaska cruises to ones in the Caribbean. And, unlike with the Dream, I’m only looking at 7 night cruises, not 3-, 4-, or 5-night itineraries.

Sunset is my favorite time of day on a Disney Cruise, but time of year is what really impacts your fare. Photo - Laurel Stewart

Sunset is my favorite time of day on a Disney Cruise, but time of year is what really impacts your fare. Photo – Laurel Stewart

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

What You Get at Disney World for $500, $1,000, $1,500, and $2,000

by on January 21, 2015

Abuela Testa's gaspacho soup mix is an excellent money-saver

Abuela Testa’s gaspacho soup mix is an excellent money-saver

For the next edition of the Unofficial Guide, we interviewed dozens of families planning their first Disney trip, and Disney-specialist travel agents who talk to Orlando-bound families every day. Almost all of them said the cost of a Disney vacation was the biggest surprise, and more important to them than when to travel, where to stay, or how to beat the lines.

All money questions involve trade-offs, of course, and only you know what you’re willing to do to save a buck. For every person who thinks a $65 per day food allowance is malnourishment, there’s another who says they can feed a family of 5 on $10 and some budget gazpacho made with leftover Taco Bell sauce and hot water.

To give you a realistic idea of how much to budget, we’ve created the following set of charts showing the kind of Disney World vacation your family can get for $500, $1,000, $1,500, and $2,000. Each column represents a different family demographic, and each row represents a different budget amount. Our starting assumptions are at the bottom of the page.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Disney World AP Discounts Released for Travel through mid-June

by on January 8, 2015

t_logo_fbDisney has released Annual Passholder discounts most nights through mid-June at Walt Disney World resorts:

There are two discounted percentages. The higher discount is for travel dates April 6 to June 15, 2015.

  • All-Star Sports and Music, Pop Century: 15-25%
  • Art of Animation suites: 15-20%
  • Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach, Port Orleans Riverside: 20-30%
  • Deluxe resorts and villas: 30-37%

Exclusions: All-Star Movies, Port Orleans French Quarter, Fort Wilderness campsites, Grand Floridian Villas, Bay Lake Tower, Polynesian villas, all 3-bedroom villas.

Thanks to Tammy Whiting of www.StorybookDestinations.com for the information.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! November 2014 Photo Report of the Disney Outlet Store

by on November 28, 2014

MMM positiveBlack Friday. One of the biggest shopping days in the ‘Murica calendar. There couldn’t be a a more appropriate day of the year for a photo report of the Disney Outlet Stores (other than April Fool’s Day of course.) I will be said to see November go though, because as a theme park fan this was a HUGE month. We said hello to the much needed parking garage at Downtown Disney, and goodbye to my beloved NASCAR Sports Grille at Universal CityWalk. Both Universal and Disney opened new eateries: the unbelievably great Cowfish at CityWalk, and the just plain unbelievable (as in not believable) food truck park at Downtown Disney. The Magic Kingdom unveiled the awesome new queue for Peter Pan’s Flight, and the entire WDW resort area is starting to look like Christmas with the Wilderness Lodge getting its King Kong-sized tree and the Grand Floridian & Contemporary resorts putting up their must-see gingerbread houses. This may go down in the history books as the greatest month of all time, at least until next month.

Enough jibber jabber! Who is ready to hit the Outlets? Remember that clicking on any picture will open a full size version of it (don’t say we didn’t warn you).

We’re going to start off with my of my all-time favorite items I have ever seen at the Outlets: a Luigi’s Flying Tires toy! The huge rumor over in California is that the Luigi’s Flying Tires attraction is going down in January for “refurbishment”… and not coming back. Even mainstream film and pop culture sites have picked up on the story. Seeing this toy at the Outlets would be like stumbling upon a Habit Heroes comic book, or a pin for Stitch’s Supersonic Celebration. Originally $9.95, this bad boy is now just $4.95, but its value to me is priceless.

IMG_1514

Staying true to the ride itself, this toy also doesn’t work.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Disney Cruise Line Updates Onboard Rebooking Terms

by on October 28, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

One of the best ways to get a discount on a Disney Cruise is to book your next one while you’re already on a Disney Cruise. If you book during your cruise with at the Future Cruises desk, you’ll receive a 10% discount off the published fare, a reduced deposit for 7-night or longer cruises, and a $100 to $200 onboard credit depending on the length of your cruise. Guests who name a travel agent to “own” the reservation at the time of rebooking are also eligible for any onboard credits the agency may offer.

Today Disney updated the terms for rebooking offers. It’s a fairly well known tactic for guests who know they’ll be cruising again, but aren’t sure exactly when, to book a cruise while onboard and rebook it at the date they know they can cruise later to keep the booking incentives. At one time, there was no limit on how many times and how far out you could rebook, which lead some guests to “walk” their reservations as far out as five years from the date originally booked.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

How Much Do Toiletries and Sundries Cost at Disney?

by on October 24, 2014

Despite copious planning with packing lists, it’s all but inevitable that mishaps will occur when traveling. Little Billy gets a fever during your trip and you neglected to bring the Children’s Tylenol. You thought you husband was packing toothpaste and he thought you were, so now you have none. You accidentally left your sunscreen at the pool yesterday and are now about to be burned to a crisp by the thousand degree sun.

IMG_7076

All of these problems are easy to solve at Walt Disney World and on Disney Cruise Line. (Disneyland’s close proximity to the external world makes access to replacement items less of an issue there.) The ship and hotel gift shops are well stocked, with most categories of personal care items represented. So while you won’t be totally left in the lurch in any of the above situations, you will likely pay a premium purchasing these personal care basics at a Disney location rather than at home. But how much of a premium will you be pay? Let’s investigate…

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Limited Time Offer – Onboard Credit for DCL Wonder and Fantasy 7-Night Cruises

by on October 8, 2014

Mt. Rustmore at Castaway Cay. Photo - Laurel Stewart

Mt. Rustmore at Castaway Cay. Photo – Laurel Stewart

Yet another discount to pass on today. This one is for a $100 onboard credit on certain 7-night cruises sailing from Port Canaveral on the Disney Wonder and Fantasy. Because this offer is sponsored by an industry group (CLIA – Cruise Lines International Association), we recommend that DCL subscribers check our Fare Tracker to see if the cost of the cruise is going up or down and ask your travel agent if the onboard credit is the best possible deal you can get. This offer is for new bookings only and the booking window is now through October 13.

Information comes via Small World Vacations:

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Disney Visa Discounts Available for Disneyland through Mid-December

by on October 8, 2014

©Disney and Chase

©Disney and Chase

It’s a good time to be a Disney Visa cardholder (Ed. – note to self, we should probably do an article on the Disney Visa and its pros and cons one day). Since releasing discounts for Walt Disney World for cardholders, Disney has today released discounts for Disneyland in California for travel weekdays (no Fridays or Saturdays) from the end of October through December 18 (the Thursday before Christmas). So if you’d like to travel to catch Halloween or some truly spectacular Christmas theming, book by December 18 by calling Disney or contacting your travel agent.

As always, thanks to Sue Pisaturo at Small World Vacations for passing on the info about this Disneyland discount.

Offer details are at http://disneyrewards.com/offers/dlrroomq1/ and are as follows:

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Walt Disney World Discounts for 2014 and Early 2015 to be Released to the General Public Thursday

by on October 6, 2014

t_logoOn the heels of the Disney Visa cardholder discounts released this morning, we hear resort discounts will be available to the general public starting Thursday. As far as we know, the discounts are the same as the Disney Visa discounts and are as follows. The discount can be applied to previous bookings if there is availability. Call your travel agent or Disney for more information.

If you’d like to get email notifications for discounts and other news pertinent to your trip dates, use our Trip Planning Dashboard.

As always, thanks to our friends at Small World Vacations for the info.

Stay Play Dine Discounted Magic Your Way Packages 

Booking Dates – 10/6/14 – 12/29/14

Travel Dates

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print