Disneyland Discounts Tips & Info


Disneyland currently has vacation package, room-only, and other discounts available for 2014, and a recent question we received asked us to compare the different discounts Disneyland offers. The good news is that it’s much easier to understand the various discounts at Disneyland than it is Walt Disney World’s discounts. The bad news is that this is because there are far fewer types of Disneyland discounts.

The biggest “missing” discount when it comes to Disneyland discounts is the lack of “free dining,” a fall staple at Walt Disney World. This is because Disneyland’s dining plan (if it can even be called that) is mostly an afterthought on Disney’s part, and not something that’s all that integrated into their vacation packages. Disneyland also lacks PIN codes, and some of the other novel discounts that are from time to time found at Walt Disney World. Basically, Disneyland has vacation packages and hotel rooms with percentage off discounts as their main types of discounts, with a few variations on those same types of discounts.

Still, some of the Disneyland discounts that are offered are better than others. Discounts are quite predictable as they typically repeat from year to year, so to get an idea of how the various discounts stack up and when they might be offered, we’ve put together this article rating Disneyland’s discounts.

We’ve put this article together much like our Walt Disney World Discount Comparison post as a way to judge which discounts are best, rather than to offer specific information about current discounts. A myriad of fan sites and blogs (as well as Disneyland.com!) post dates and prices for every discount the moment it’s released. However, very few actually analyze the discounts and offer commentary as to which are worth it. In other words, this post is meant to help those of you who are unfamiliar with Disneyland Resort discounts understand how good the discount you’re considering really is (despite Disney’s best marketing efforts, some discounts are better than others).

In the course of planning numerous Disneyland trips in the last several years, we’ve learned a lot about traveling frugally to Disneyland Resort. Hopefully this Disneyland Resort Discount Guide is a helpful primer for those who don’t visit Disneyland as often, but are looking to save the most money possible when planning your Disneyland Resort vacation! (more…)

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2014 Tips

The 2014 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Parties at Walt Disney World will incur in September and October. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2014 is scheduled for the following dates: September 1, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, 23, 26, and 28; October 2, 3, 5, 9, 10, 13, 16, 17, 19, 21, 23, 24, 26, 28, 30, and 31. You can purchase tickets (ranging from $57-77 per person) on Walt Disney World’s event page.

On these nights, the Magic Kingdom closes at 7 p.m. to guests who haven’t not purchased tickets for the Halloween Party. So you can prepare for the Halloween Party now, here is our analysis based upon the last several years (we go to it yearly) to help you determine whether this expensive hard ticket event is worth it to you, and if so, what your “Plan of Attack” should be to efficiently conquer the various offerings.

Note that this guide covers Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, not Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland. For info about the latter, read our comprehensive Guide to Halloween Time at Disneyland!

Should I Attend?

So at over $60 a pop for tickets to the 2014 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, you might be trying to determine, “is it worth it?” If you’re asking this, you’ve probably never been, otherwise you’d know the answer to this question. Our opinion, as Disney-biased tourists, is that it most definitely is worth the price: at least once. Once you’ve experienced the party once (it doesn’t change much year-to-year), you might determine that it’s simply too expensive to experience again. For a one time event, though, it’s definitely worth it for everyone except those on traveling on thin budgets. Personally, we prefer Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, but I think it’s fair to say that the two are about equally popular with guests (the guest costumes at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party are pretty awesome to see).

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Star Wars Weekends 2014 Tips & Info

Star Wars Weekends 2014 will occur May 16-18, May 23-25, May 30-June 1, June 6-8, and June 13-15, 2014 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World! Star Wars Weekends are geared towards all things Star Wars (including the animated TV show, Star Wars: The Clone Wars). Celebrities are in attendance, there’s a special parade, shows, and every day ends with fireworks! It’s a lot of fun whether you’re a hardcore Star Wars fan or just a fan of fun (we fall into the latter camp).

If you’ve been to Walt Disney World countless times (and it’s probably not a bad assumption that you have if you’re reading this blog), you might be looking for ways to see the place a-new. One way to to find new experiences is to visit during a seasonal festival or weekend event. One such weekend event is Star Wars Weekends, held in May and June at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

This post has been updated for 2014 to reflect changes to Star Wars Weekends, including the ‘retirement’ of Hyperspace Hoopla and the addition of the Symphony in the Stars fireworks, as well as new strategy and tips. We attended Star Wars Weekends the weekend of May 23, 2014. 

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Disney Vacation Club Buying Guide

If you travel to Walt Disney World or Disneyland and are able to see or hear, you probably are familiar with Disney’s “Best” Kept Secret: Disney Vacation Club (or “DVC” as the cool kids call it). Disney Vacation Club 2014 prices are higher than ever, making many wonder whether buying into Disney Vacation Club is actually a good idea for their families.

Like a lot of frequent Disney vacationers, at one time or another, you’ve probably wondered whether Disney Vacation Club is right for you. Maybe you’ve taken a tour, maybe you’ve done some research online on one of the great resources such as MouseOwners.com or DVCNews.com. Heck, maybe you’ve even crunched the numbers yourself!

If you’ve considered purchasing Disney Vacation Club, one of the biggest considerations, no doubt, is whether it makes good economic sense. Unfortunately, as with almost everything in life there is no definitive answer to this question that fits everyone. From a purely economic perspective, Disney Vacation Club will not make sense for a lot of people. However, it’s worth reading on to see if it makes financial sense for you, or if there are other compelling reasons for you to make the purchase.

As mentioned above, if your main reason for purchasing an interest in Disney Vacation Club is to save money, whether it’s a good deal for you depends of your party size and resort tier preference. Contrary to Disney’s claim that Disney Vacation Club will save you “70% off” of future resort stays, this is not actually the case. If this were true, do you really think Disney would actually be offering the program–and that it would be wildly profitable for the company? Sure, Disney might take a bit of a hit to guarantee that you will be a loyal customer for years to come, but 70% off?! As we all learned in grade school, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Disney’s 70% savings number assumes things that aren’t realistic to reality, such as paying rack rate in the most expensive Disney hotels and no return on investment for the (unfinanced) money invested in Disney Vacation Club. Even assuming these things, I’m still not quite sure how Disney arrives at its 70% off number, especially in 2014 when DVC direct prices are substantially more than they were just a few years ago. I think it might be equal parts magic and advertising puffery, but I’m not entirely sure.

It’s also worth noting that Disney Vacation Club is a pre-paid vacation plan, which differs slightly from the traditional definition of a timeshare. In the strictest sense, Disney Vacation Club can be viewed as an asset, but not a tangible one. This is an important distinction to some people, but it doesn’t matter to a lot of people.



Is Disney Vacation Club A Good Fit?

Accommodations Preferences – This is the threshold question, because if you’re (voluntarily) a Values and Moderates type person, Disney Vacation Club may never make financial sense for you. However, it can be a difficult question to answer, because it’s tough to anticipate your vacationing habits in the future. If you only roll Deluxe, and anticipate demanding posh accommodations in the future, Disney Vacation Club might be right for you. If you presently have kids or anticipate soon having kids, and are tired of sleeping in the same small quarters with them at a Moderate Resort Disney Vacation Club, and its wonderful one-bedroom units, may be right for you as it gives you the option to separate yourself from the kids at night! Similarly, if you have to book two or more rooms at a Value or Moderate, it might be for you… (more…)

Walt Disney World Discounts: Examined

Disney World has already announced discount vacation packages and other room only, military, and free dining discounts for 2014. Some of these Disney World discounts are better than others and discounts are quite predictable as they typically repeat, so to get an idea of how the various discounts stack up, we’ve put together this article rating Disney’s discounts. To see which discounts are best for particular “types” of guest read our summary and review of all Walt Disney World discounts below.

Rather than this being a generic post providing specific details (like dates) of the various discounts at Walt Disney World, this post will instead editorialize. You can find the information concerning applicable dates and the like on DisneyWorld.com or on a myriad of other fan sites that simply copy and paste the information from DisneyWorld.com. This post is meant to help those of you who are unfamiliar with Walt Disney World discounts get an idea of how good the discount you’re considering really is (despite Disney’s best marketing efforts, some discounts are better than others).

I’ve planned every Walt Disney World trip we’ve taken over the course of the years, and I’ve learned a lot about traveling frugally to Walt Disney World in the process. Hopefully this provides a primer for those who don’t visit as often, but are looking to save the most money possible when planning their Walt Disney World trip! (more…)