So…I’m on a Disney kick again, much to Josh’s chagrin. He’s not really a fan, but me…I kinda can’t help it. I love Disneyland. My family has been three times in the past thirteen years, once when my kids were 3 and 5 (horrible trip), another time when they were 5 and 7 (another awful experience), and again when they were 7 and 9 (FANTASTIC). There’s a lot to be said for not giving up.
Anyway, there are lots of ways to save money on a Disney trip. This time around, I decided to harness the power of Amex Offers, Target, and the Disney Vacation Account program. How, you ask?
Step 1: Amex Offers.
Over the past year, I’ve been opportunistically using Amex Offers to buy Target gift cards. Last year, I was able to stock up on Target gift cards for half off during the awesome Smart and Final promo, and currently, I’m maximizing the Staples.com offer (spend $100, get $25 back).
Step 2: Target
Once I have the Target gift cards, I use them to buy Disney gift cards at Target.com. I select my Target debit card as the payment method (even though I am actually using a gift card to pay) to save an extra 5%.
Step 3: Disney Vacation Account
This is the step I’m not sold on. It might be one step beyond. I decided to open a Disney Vacation Account so that I could add all of the Disney Gift cards to one central location, like a big Disney bank, then withdraw funds when I was ready.
However, once I began to book our trip, I learned that you cannot use the funds from a Vacation Account to pay for a “hotel only” reservation at Disneyland, and that if you want a refund, you will be refunded to the original form of payment. Seriously?!? I didn’t keep all of my gift cards, so a refund won’t work, and I don’t want to buy an entire vacation package – I want to wait for a deal, then pounce on a room.
I think the only way for us to get value out of the account will be to cash out into one gift card, then use it while we are actually at Disneyland:
Questions for discussion:
- Why does Disney make this so challenging?
- Has anyone else created a Disney Vacation Account, and if so, what did you think?
- Anyone else headed to Disneyland in the near future?