Update: This program has ended. It was nice while it lasted!
Saving money for a Disney vacation may seem like a huge endeavor for a couple or family, especially if you live out of driving distance to a Walt Disney theme park. This is where the FDIC insured Disney Vacation Account can come in handy! Not only will your savings not be as easy to transfer back into your checking account for an impromptu splurge, but having a Disney Vacation Account has other perks and rewards.
Disney Vacation Account – Make Money While You Save
Every penny counts when saving for a Disney vacation. You know you’ll have to pay for airfare if you fly, and gas if you drive. There are hotel and resort tickets, food expenses, souvenir spending, and so many more unexpected expenses when traveling. Take care of the Disney expenses (hotel, dining plan, theme park tickets) by putting money aside into a Disney Vacation Account.
“You’ll be eligible for a $20 Disney Gift Card for every $1000 you spend on qualified vacation purchases with your Disney Vacation Account prior to December 31, 2017, up to a total $500 in Disney Gift Card(s) per household.” Source: Disney Vacation Account login screen.
Register for an account at least 8 months before your vacation to receive this bonus. Your account must be active for 120 days before you’re eligible for the gift card bonus, and they say to allow 4-6 weeks for shipping of your giftcard(s).
Take The Math Out Of Planning
One really neat feature about using the Disney Vacation Account is that it allows you to set up multiple savings accounts within one account. So, you can save up for your Disneyland vacation for this year, your cruise next year, etc. You select when you want to go on vacation, when you want to reach your savings goal (remember: it takes 4-6 weeks to get the bonus giftcards), how much you want to save, and how often you’d like to contribute. The website then processes all of this information to tell you how much you need to save on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. You are even able to select “One-time”, so if the idea of putting your money away for a long stretch doesn’t appeal to you, this may be an option. This offers a LOT of flexibility, while also letting you set realistic goals for saving.
Just sit back and watch your savings grow!
Unlike some bank savings accounts, Disney Vacation Account charges no fees. You can even withdraw your money at any time, without penalty, should your vacation plans change.
Save Even More By Loading Your Account With Giftcards And Credit Cards
If you are a Target shopper and hold a Target Debit Card or a Target Red Card, you can purchase Disney Giftcards at a 5% discount. Normally, you get no discount on giftcards, but Disney Giftcards are considered “Entertainment” by their system. Purchase a giftcard at a 5% discount, and then load it to your Disney Vacation Account. Not only do these contributions count toward earning bonus giftcards, but you’re saving even more on your vacation!
The Disney Vacation Account allows you to contribute toward your vacation with a credit card. If you have a good, cashback rewards credit card, this can allow you to stretch your budget even further.
Set Up Automatic Withdrawals, Contribute, And Forget About It
Although we go to Walt Disney World more often than out of state people have the opportunity to, I still have automatic withdrawals set up for my Disney Vacation Account. I’ve been doing a small amount for several months now. I don’t plan on using the money toward my Walt Disney World visits, but rather toward our eventual Disneyland trip. We’re not sure when we will go, but when we are ready, the funds will be there. I have it set up to a very low amount that I don’t notice or miss. Most of the time, I forget it exists. This automatic withdrawal works very well for me, and it could for you, too.
Cash in Disney Movie Rewards
If you are a Disney Movie Rewards member, you can upload all of your codes from your Disney DVDs and Disney Blu-Rays until you have enough points to purchase a $10 Disney giftcard (Limit 4 redemptions per member). While it may not seem like much, remember that it’s free money that you wouldn’t have had if you didn’t have a Disney Movie Rewards account. The giftcards are not always available as rewards, but when they are, it’s about 1,100 points for a $10 card. You can also get some movies at this price point, but I’d rather have the savings.
Spending Your Disney Vacation Account
To spend the money in your Disney Vacation Account, login to the website and click “Use Savings.” It will then prompt you to select a resort. Then it will tell you how to use your Vacation Account funds by booking through the Disney website, or by telephone. After adding your vacation package- hotels, tickets, cruises, etc, you will be able to use your Disney Vacation Account number to pay. After checking out, you have the option to place the rest of your savings on a Disney giftcard, for spending in the parks, or you can withdraw the cash with no penalty. Don’t forget to request your bonus after spending $1000 or more!
The peace of mind offered by contributing to a Disney Vacation Account can alleviate much of the stress of planning something that should be stress-free! All you need to start is a $10 deposit and you’ll be on your way to saving toward the Disney Magic.