The Deal Mommy

Disney World Hacks- Haley’s #FT4RL Presentation, by Popular Demand!

I know the FT4RL ers out there can attest: Haley presented a TON of Disney World hacks in her presentation. So many, in fact, that we couldn’t keep up!  Fortunately, she’s kindly agreed to share her slides online- with the NSFB (not safe for blog) stuff redacted. Enjoy!

Update: Haley has graciously agreed to share more of her knowledge at our next Family Travel for Real Life conference, which will be April 23, 2016, in (where else) Orlando.

Disney Travel HacksHaley’s #FT4RL presentation

Planning a trip to the World? Haley mentions Undercover Tourist in her presentation, especially for last-call no expiration tickets.

Any to add? Please share in the comments.

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23 thoughts on “Disney World Hacks- Haley’s #FT4RL Presentation, by Popular Demand!

  1. RKToledo

    The good stuff has been redacted because NSFB but you ask for missing hacks in the comments?!
    Quid Pro Quo Clarice. I’ll show you my good stuff if you show me yours.

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  6. Brian

    Touringplans introduced personalized plans a while ago, where you an add any attraction/ride you want. You are also able to add break times for meals, rest, what have you. You are also able to re-optimize the plan at any time. It’s the best $12 anyone can spend if they plan a Disney trip.
    Best room discount though is renting DVC points. Stay at ‘deluxe’ properties for a fraction of cost. If traveling with a large party, there are 2 and 3 bedroom units, with full kitchens to save on food cost.
    Finally, NEVER get any dining plan. Eat where you want, what you want, when you want. It won’t cost any more than a dining plan, usually less.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Hi Brian,
      All very good points. I’m also a huge fan of the TouringPlans Pro app.
      And YES to no dining plan! No one eats that much food.

      The 2-3 bedroom units? I’d personally go offsite for 1/4 or less the cost.

      1. Brian

        True about the 2-3BR units. You could get a whole house offsite. Basic studios, though, in deluxe resorts (walk/short boat ride to MK, Epcot, or Hollywood Studios) can be had for ~$250 (average for a week). Even less if you can avoid Fri/Sat nights.

        1. Chuck

          Staying offsite in a rental gives up a lot of value. Onsite means free airport transfers, special morning/night hours only for Disney resort guests, and easier access to parks and other amenities. Magic Bands are included and make a lot of things easier, plus you get earlier access to FastPass to help ensure you get the best attractions.

          Note: Fisney accepts ApplePay in most locations so you can use your Discover/ApplePay 22% bonus (thru 12/31/15) to save even more money. Charge your costs to the room then pay with ApplePay before checkout.

          1. Eliza

            My new strategy is to stay the majority of my time at the Swan/Dolphin on points, points & cash, or cash depending on value. With 1 night stays at a Disney Value at the beginning and end to get free transportation (when it makes sense). I tend to go down to Disney for long weekends and have little baggage and no kids. So this isn’t for everyone, but works well for me.

            Last trip I arrived in MCO at 11:30 PM on a Thursday, then took free Disney express to All-Star Music ($85 ). Slept in the next morning, then headed via Disney Tranport to Downtown Disney/Disney Springs to sort out my annual pass and have a light lunch at the new Jock Lindsay’s Hangar. Then grabbed a bus to Dolphin and checked in for two nights/three days (free nights from an SPG promotion) of Food and Wine Festing with friends. Sunday evening, I left EPCOT, stumbled back to Dolphin to pick up my bag at guest services and grabbed an Uber ($25) to the MCO airport Sheraton ($74 + earned 2,000 pts on a BRG) to grab a couple hours of sleep before my morning flight back to reality. It was a great balance of convenience and frugality.

          2. thedealmommy Post author

            I think the not having a car bit helps Swan/Dolphin make more sense. The parking on top of the resort fee just offended my sensibilities.

  7. Haleyb

    Both the touring plans app and ride max (which came first but is less well known) are good tools for repeat guests but neither can be as responsive as a human and first time guests often don’t know enough to plan for breaks. On my last trip Len from touring plans was also onsite and I tweeted him a line photo that surprised him. Len is great, very generous with his knowledge. Predictive software can only get you so far and the posted/official waiting times the predictions use have been less accurate since the full FP+ roll out.

    I’m not a huge fan of renting points because the various ways to get discounted gift cards (or Apple Pay/Discover which is awesome) means I can “book with cash” for less than renting points. DVC units are bookable with cash and discount codes will often apply to them at the best % discount. That said renting points can be a good option if you ‘need’ a 2-bedroom unit since they get booked solid and are rarely available for cash bookings. I prefer staying at the club level of the Deluxe hotels (Beach Club is my favorite now, after staying at Grabd Floridian and Beach Club in the same month earlier this year), but I am a spoiled princess.

    We will stay offsite for long trips. We need 7 or more park days for offsite to be our choice, because offsite is for slower paced more relaxing trips. Short stays we will only stay onsite. When our kids were tweens onsite was super because we could let them have some freedom. I remember some rainy days spent in the AKL club lounge while the kids went off and got soaked at MK. Everyone was happy! Then there was a period of time where we had to have a second bathroom and renting a timeshare unit was our best option (although we did sometimes decide on 2 rooms at Pop Century).

    So many choices 🙂

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Glad to hear! If you are thinking of Orlando already, you might want to check out FT4RL on April 23rd. Haley is sharing more tips and tricks.

  8. Rachel

    I would add that stays at Swan and Dolphin qualify for booking FastPass+ 60 days out. We hired a private SUV for our airport transfer at $110 + gratuity roundtrip (it also includes a stop at the grocery store), which was a better deal than a rental car and parking fees and it was still cheaper than booking a Disney resort with a similar location (and that’s not even counting the mountain of SPG points I’ll earn!).

    1. HaleyB

      Here is a Town Car tip: If you do not have checked luggage ask to be picked up/dropped off at the Airport Hilton. As you exit the terminal look for the elevators. Take them down to the lobby of the Hilton. It is so peaceful and relaxed and by far the fastest way to escape/enter the chaos that is MCO. Another advantage, the driveway is covered so if it is raining out you will stay perfectly dry!

      Many of the Town Car services will make a quick grocery stop if you want. Ask them to stop at the one that has a liqueur sternest door if you want any adult beverages, they should know which grocery store it is. I also like to have an Amazon Pantry box delivered. Make sure to have them put your confirmation number and check in date on the box. If you are staying at a convention hotel the box will go to their business center and you can either pick it up or have it delivered to your room for a small fee. For other resorts it should be at the front desk.

  9. Shonuffharlem

    I just stopped taking my kids to Disney six-years ago. And I live in Florida. It’s cool the first billion times people there in other stuff in love to do! And definitely better values with lower or no lines. The Ultimate Disney hack is DON’T GO. If you must have amusement park’s, fly to Texas instead. Cheap annual pass to six flags with two parks, best water park in the world, Sea World, cheap airfare hotels and car rentals.

    I really hacked it up with my son. Us Floridians actually did a week in Wisconsin Dells (fyi about 99 percent of Floridians don’t know what that is). He remembers that the most of all trips.

  10. HaleyB

    Disney is not for everyone.

    If those things that sets Disney apart from the rest of the Theme Park world do not appeal to you (the shows, the attention to detail, the scope & variety of activities, the cleanliness, the magic) and thrill rides are what you are after Six Flags is a good thrill ride park.

    It is hotter than is reasonable in Texas, though. I live here and I would never go to Six Flags in the Summer.

    HaleyB

    1. Jia

      Haley,
      I unfortunately do not have a twitter account but I would love to contact you about your services. I’m a type A crazy planner and would love some extra advice. Do you have an email address I can contact you at?

      Thanks,
      Jia

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