If you've ever found yourself wishing for a Walt Disney World visit but when you look at your bank account you see that the only vacation you could afford is a window-shopping trip at your local Disney Store, you're not alone. The costs for a real Florida trip can add up quickly, even if you can find discounts and ways to try to cut the expenses. But there are many different methods that can help you save up a lot of money, and one way can easily get you more than $1,300. Here are some things to try in order to save up for a Walt Disney World trip that you may not have considered before:
1. Open a Disney Vacation Account
Did you know that there's a Disney Vacation Account program that lets you schedule regular, automatic contributions into an FDIC-insured savings account? All you have to do is decide how much you want to save and how often you'd like to contribute (monthly, weekly, every two weeks or one time only); have a debit card, credit card or Disney Gift Cards to make the contributions; and then watch your savings grow. The account is completely free and Disney can even help you determine the exact amounts you'll need to save (for park admission, your room, meals and more). The account can be opened with a $10 contribution and you can even have your savings refunded if you need to. And best of all is the account's rate of return: Disney will give you a $20 gift card for every $1,000 you spend on vacation purchases with your account, with a maximum of $500 in gift cards per household. That's like getting 2 percent of your purchase back, which is much more than most banks offer.
2. Get some gift cards at a discount
Guests who purchase Disney gift cards at Target can save 5 percent on them if they buy them with a Target debit card. That's because Target classifies the cards as "entertainment" rather than gift cards, and Target debit card holders save 5 percent on their purchases. Since you can use the gift cards at the parks, this can be a good way to save a little money and help limit your park spending at the same time.