Save an Extra 10% on Every Disney Vacation

Frequent Disney travelers have become accustomed to Disney running regular special offers throughout the year.  With the right amount of planning, patience and luck, most visitors will not need to pay rack rate for their vacation. But, let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to save a few extra bucks? Here is a relatively easy way to save an extra 10% on your Disney vacations.

The key to your savings is that you live near a Target store.  One of the items that Target sells by the registers is Disney gift cards; they are usually sold in $50 and $25 amounts.


These cards can essentially be used for anything related to Disney, including at the Disney Store, Disney World, Disneyland or Disney Cruise Line.  Since Target technically categorizes these as “entertainment” cards, there are a couple of discounts that can be used to purchase them:

1. Target REDCard 5% Discount



If you use a Target REDCard on any purchases at Target, you get an automatic 5% discount.  The REDCard is available as both a Debit card and a Credit card, and you can use it as soon as you apply in store for it and are approved. While this 5% discount does NOT apply to Target gift cards, it will apply to the other gift cards (“entertainment” cards) that Target sells, including the Disney cards.

EDITED – Target still allows the 5% discount using a REDCard, but has changed it’s policy regarding the Pharmacy Rewards Coupon, originally posted below.

2. Target Pharmacy Rewards 5% Coupon


Target runs a Pharmacy Rewards program that offers an additional 5% savings, if you’ve earned it.  To earn the 5%, you must enroll in the program and get 5 prescriptions filled. Once your fifth prescription is filled, you will receive a coupon for 5% off a shopping trip.  This coupon can be combined with the REDCard discount, effectively saving you 10%.

Since the cards are in $50 increments, you will need quite a few to pay off an entire vacation.  While it is certainly possible to purchase thousands of dollars worth of these cards, it may require several trips to Target, which in turn would necessitate several pharmacy reward coupons. So, it is best to give yourself plenty of time to purchase all the cards.  Then, it’s the fun part: paying for your trip with dozens of gift cards.  Disney cast members will sit patiently on the phone with you while you read each gift card number, but here’ s a better idea: let DW Dads book your trip and we can take care of this part for you!

There are certain risks associated with this plan. For example, while you should be able to return the gift cards (as they are considered merchandise), you will have abide by the Target return policy.  If you are outside of the return window, and you have to cancel your Disney trip, you may be stuck with hundreds or thousands of dollars in Disney gift cards.  Some guests have started small, only buying enough gift cards to pay for souvenirs and food.  Even that is a great way to save a little extra money on your next Disney vacation.


The Stroller: Your Disney Parks Base of Operations

If you have ever been to Disney Parks you know that you tend to walk a lot of miles.  While your little ones are full of energy and enthusiasm, the amount of walking is often too much for even children who normally walk at home; therefore, a stroller is necessary.   Some families dread the idea of bringing a stroller or renting one at the parks, but I am here to tell you that it has become a key tool in our touring and our “home base of operations” as we tour Disney Parks.  The benefits of the stroller go far beyond taking your kids along for the ride, and here are some of them.

1) On our Disney vacations the stroller has become the “home base of operations”, which means it’s not only for the kids, but it is a place to hang our backpack and hold our drinks and snacks.


2) Keeping your children buckled into the stroller keeps them from wandering away from you as you make your way through the crowded parks.

3) Not only does this stroller provide a place to hold our bags while we wait for the afternoon parade, it also provides a place for our 2 year old to nap and a place for our 3 year old to fall asleep at the end of the night.


4) It provides a seat for your children for outdoor events like parades and shows rather than having them sit on the ground.


5) You can decorate your stroller to make it stand out – Last trip I used some wire and some portable battery powered EL lighting to provide some fun decorations for night time touring.


We like to bring our own stroller which easily folds up so we can take with us to gate check at the airplane and easily on all Disney Transportation.  If you do need to rent a stroller however you can do so in the parks (pretty expensive), from outside companies, or even find a stroller exchange online.