Sunday, January 22, 2017

How to Save Money for your Disney Vacation using Disney Vacation Account

How to Save Money for your Disney Vacation using Disney Vacation Account



Have you ever heard of the Disney Vacation Account? If you haven’t you are not alone. But maybe you have heard about it but have no idea how it works, or if it is even right for your family. In any case, after you finish reading this article, I hope I have given you enough information to make the right decision for your family.

What is a Disney Vacation Account?

A Disney vacation account is a simple way to save money for a Disney vacation. The Disney vacation can be to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida; Disneyland in Anaheim, California; Aulani in Hawaii; on a Disney Cruise or taking an Adventure by Disney trip.
What are the benefits of a Disney Vacation Account?

There are several benefits of a Disney Vacation Account. I will give you the top 3.

Goal Setting
When you first set up your Disney Vacation Account it requires you to set a goal and will suggest a plan to get you there. Many people dream of a Disney vacation but never reach out to take hold of the dream. It is a proven fact that setting a goal with a deadline and having a plan makes success much more likely.
The plan will ask you which destination you are saving up for, and how much you will need to save (I will discuss this more in a moment.) And from this information it will come up with a plan, but this plan is also flexible. Disney knows that in life sometimes a curve ball is thrown and you may have to change your dates, budget and even your destination at any time. In fact, you can even cancel the whole thing. 
Dedicated Money 

Do you have a draw full of those $5 bills you have decide you are going to use for your Disney vacation? Or perhaps a piggy bank or water bottle jug filled with your daily change. Those are some great ideas for saving money, because it’s easy to drop your money into them, but…it also means it’s easy to take it out too. 

A Disney Vacation Account is money dedicated to a Disney Vacation. All the money you put into it is yours and you can get it back at any time. But, not necessarily instantly, it takes effort to get it back. 

Disney does not charge to hold onto your money. It is a free service even if you get a refund at some point instead of taking a vacation. Disney also gives you suggestion on how much you need to put into your account on a regular basis to make it to your set goal.  You may say, but I can get a savings account with my bank and do the same thing… 

Bonus Money 

Yes, you can do the same thing with a bank savings account, but your bank will not give you as much FREE money as Disney will by using their savings account. For every $1,000 you spend (not save but SPEND) out of your account on a Disney vacation you will earn $20. There is a maximum of $500 you can earn.  Your account also must be open a minimum of 120 days. You also must remember to request your cards 4-6 weeks before your trip.

Step by Step Instructions to Set up an Account

Step 1
Goal Setting

The first thing you need to do is have a goal.
First questions asked is which Disney vacation would you like to save for? Then it asks you to name your Disney Vacation Account. I find most people will say “Last Name Destination Year” (RMH Travel Disneyland 2020)

Calculate your saving Plan
 
When you would like to take your Disney Vacation? 

When do you want to reach your savings goal? This question lets you know that you can have a Disney Saving Account for 5 years, and reminds you that part of your budget needs to calculate having final payments ready to be paid before the trip starts and they would automatically fill in the month and year you would need to have final payment amount. (this doesn’t mean that you necessary need everything by this time, as you should also calculate tips, souvenirs and food budget, and these can be saved for up until departure.

How much do you want to save? is the next question, with a blank amount. They have a vacation estimator on there that may help but it is still very over whelming for some, especially if you are unfamiliar with the Disney destination you are interested in saving for. If you want to use a Disney Vacation planner who has been there, I offer my services for free. Click here to get a quote.

The final question on this page is how often do you want to contribute? You have the option of weekly, every 2 weeks, monthly or one time. And the date you want to start contributing. I have filled in a mock quote for you to see.
 
Step2
Your Information

The next screen will ask you to log in to your Disney account. If you have ever signed up on ANY Disney site than you already have a log in.  (if you have NEVER signed up for any Disney Account, then you can create an account.)
 
When you log in, it will populate your name and mailing address if you had entered this information in any of your Disney accounts, if not you will be asked to fill it out. You are also asked to read the contract over carefully, as it tells you about terms and conditions. Most important is that they can hold on to your money for up to seven days before refunding it. Also, if you request a refund it will be put back on the cards you used to pay. i.e.: Disney Gift Cards, your Debit Card or Credit Card.

Step3
Your Contribution
They ask that you please enter your debit or credit card information, the card that you wish to fund your account with. If you are going to be using a gift card, you will still need to fill out this information with a debit/credit card information. You still haven't opened a Disney Saving Account yet. And will not be charged but once you open the account, what you selected on the first page will be active. So, for me, on Jan 23, 2017 they will take my first payment of $53.20 and every 2 weeks after that on Monday they will take $53.20 more, unless I cancel it, or adjust it. (more about that later)
 
Step4
Review Your Account

Before opening the account, they ask you to review all the information.

Then you get your confirmation screen.
  
 
Now your Account is Set up! Now what?

So now that your account is set up.  They take you to this screen.
 
But, if you are logging in, on another day, you will go to the log in button in the top of the home screen, and you will be taken to this page.
 
Click on view your account and you will be brought back to this page:


Now that your vacation is set up. Let us review how we can manage our Disney Vacation Account. 

Manage Your Account
Make a One-Time Contribution

When you make a one-time contribution, which is the only way you can pay using gift cards, (also the gift card amount may only be between $5-$1,000 for each transaction) or by using your credit/debit card. It still does not affect your re-accruing payment unless you select Edit Saving Plan after your payments have gone thru. 
 
 
Manage your Account
Edit Savings Plan

Notices it still says current account balance is the same, but if the amount had been different, I could click every two weeks and it would give me a new amount that will be taken out of my account and I can click up-date. Or if I would like to switch my payments to monthly or weekly, or let’s say I got more money than I excepted I can increase my savings goal, or something has come up and I want to change my dates, etc. You can adjust any of these options, and Disney will update your savings plan. 
  
 Once you make a change they give you a confirmed page. At this point because this vacation is a mock up and the re-concurring date was too close, I switched it to monthly payments, and to start on Feb. 10, 2017 instead. So, now every month on the 10th they will pull $116.28. They asked me to confirmed and then I got the screen above.
Manage Your Account
Edit Contribution Method
  
 So, this is the edit contribution method page, they assumed first that maybe you got a new card and the expiration date needs to be updated, or you can choose to give them new credit card/debit card information.  
  
Manage Your Account
Stop Automatic Contribution
  
Notice they offer to take you to update your savings plan instead of stopping automatic contributions.
 

 
  
When you confirm, they inform you that your Disney Vacation Account will remain active, your savings will be available and you can start making automatic contributions again at any time. You of course will also get an email.
 

Of course, the last thing on Managing your account is a FAQ link that you can read over if you have any questions.

~Next Steps~
You have saved up all your money, You’re ready to book your Vacation!

Next Step
View Account Number

When you hit view account number it will ask you for your password again as a percussion, it will then take you to this screen:
  
You will also get an email for Disney with the first twelve digits of your account number. The last four are displayed on the page above. 

Now you should be able to make a payment online or over the phone. If you booked through a travel agent, you should call the number from the list below. 

  • Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida: 407-939-7626
  • Disneyland® Resort in California: 714-520-7032
  • Disney Cruise Line: 800-511-9333
  • Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina Hawai’i: 714-520-7032
  • Adventures By Disney®: 855-223-2231
Please note: this is the only time and way YOU can make a payment for your Disney Vacation when working with a travel agent. Usually only travel agents can make the payments for you, but with this program YOU must and they cannot. But, it is still great to work with a travel agent because they can give you lots of great advice. Click here to get a quote. 
 
Next Step
Request a Disney Gift Card

After paying off your vacation, you may still have money left over, especially if you calculated for food, souvenirs, shows, excursion, etc. With the remaining balance, you can request it, in the form of gift cards.  
You may ask, why would I want gift cards, instead of asking for a refund? Well, if you paid with your Disney Visa, you only get the 0% interest for 6 months on the amounts you paid towards your vacation, and right now all money in this account is considered "Vacation" money, but if you request a refund and use that money to buy food, you won't have the 0% interest on that amount.  Plus some find it more secure. 

When you click on the request a Disney Gift Card, you will be told to call (407) 939-7734 to make your request. You must have your full Disney vacation Account number.  You will also be told you can only purchase $1,000 in Disney gift cards using your Vacation Account every 90 days. 

Next Step
Open Another Account

Let say you are ambitious enough to want to plan two Disney Vacations. Click on open another account and you will be taken to the set-up page and asked to answer ALL the questions on the 4 pages to set up the account. And then it will take you to that pages, account information. Of course, when you log in on another day, under the opening page you will find two vacations listed instead of just one. And will need to click on the one you want to edit, or get account information, etc. 

Next Step
Request a Refund

Let say you paid off your Disney Vacation and there is money left over and you don't want to have to worry about Gift cards, you can request your money back after you paid your vacation off. Or, for what ever reason things have come up and you need the money. Please remember to cancel any re-occurring payments, if you are cancelling your trip. Also remember it may take up to seven days for you to get the money. The money will go BACK onto the cards you used to pay the vacation. So, Disney Gift Card back to Disney Gift Card. 

 Using your Savings Account

Use the funds in your Disney Vacation Account to purchase your Disney vacation. With your Disney Vacation Account, you can buy park tickets, pay for hotel rooms and cruises, purchase a package that includes flights or even a dining plan, and more.

Please note, a temporary hold of up to 7 business days may be placed on any new funds that you contribute to your 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 (date subject to extension), up to a total $500 in Disney Gift Card(s) per household. Your Disney Vacation Account must be active for a minimum of 120 days at the time of spending in order to receive this bonus. Request your Disney Gift Card(s) 4-6 weeks in advance of your vacation date to allow time for delivery to your mailing address. See FAQs for complete details.

 Requesting your Disney Vacation Account Bonus Cards
 As we discussed earlier one of the benefits of using a Disney Van Account is free money. For every $1,000 you spend (not save) on your vacation account you are eligible for a $20 gift card. The maximum you can earn is $500. Your account must be open a minimum of 120 days, and you must request your cards 4-6 weeks before travel (so right after final payment, or just before). 

Since I have yet to use this service all the way thru I can only relate what I have read. Once you start putting money into the account, and making purchases an account details page will appear. Once you made enough purchases that make you eligible for the bonus a "Request my Bonus” button will appear. (or maybe it’s there the whole time, but remember you can only request 4-6 weeks before you travel) . Here is a snipped from their FAQ section in regards to this matter.
Well, I hope I explained how to use a Disney Vacation Savings Account well enough to you, that you feel like you can do this. I tried not to be too long winded but to be thorough in my explanations. Again, I would like to offer my services as a Disney Vacation Planner/Travel Agent. Whether you want someone to hold your hand and walk you thru every step or if you have gone many times and feel confident in your planning abilities, I am here to help you. If you think you can do it on your own but would still like to help a single mother out, booking with me is as easy as booking with Disney and you usually get a little extra, in regards to reminders of your most important dates, and I usually give small gifts of thanks to my clients. If you are interested in a free quote, please click here. 

You can also check out my website: www.RMHTravel.com
I have Facebook Group Page for Walt Disney World and Disneyland. 
You can also like my Facebook page for information about Disney Cruises, Aulani, Adventures by Disney, other cruise lines and All Inclusive.