Disney – Give a Day, Get a Day

by Beth Montgomery on February 25, 2010 · 4 comments

in Entertainment & Fun

Excited about our Disney trip, I’ve been researching ways to save money without losing the quality of the experience and came across Disney’s Give a Day, Get a Day.   Have you heard of this?   What a wonderful program!

You can search for ways to volunteer in your area.   By volunteering one day, you’ll earn one ticket to Disney absolutely FREE!   Volunteer opportunities listed include those available within the next 60 days and change daily with new opportunities being added all the time.   You can do Habitat for Humanity and build a home for someone in need, walk dogs at the humane shelter, make baby blankets, and so much more!   There’s something for everyone.   Even those hesitate to jump in and volunteer!

Keep in mind you must:

  • Live in the U.S. , Puerto Rico, or Canada to participate
  • Be 18 years of age or older to sign up for volunteer opportunities
  • Be at least 6 years of age to earn a FREE ticket by volunteering (note: children ages 6-17 must be accompanied by an adult when volunteering)
  • You must register with a participating opportunity for your volunteer day to qualify
  • Tickets must be used by December 15, 2010
  • Your volunteer opportunity must be verified to qualify for your FREE ticket

There are also restrictions, black-out dates and more, so read up before applying. If you plan to head to Disney though, it’s a wonderful way to give back and save money!

How did you save money on your family vacation to Disney?   I need your brilliant tips!

Thanks Ann!

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{ 4 comments }

1 Jill Levenhagen February 25, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Well, I have a few ideas. One is…those lanyards and pins are CRAZY expensive (like $5-$20 each pin), but such a fun thing for the kids to do the pin trading thing. So, I buy a good “lot” of them on Ebay (this spring I’m buying a lot of 40). It doesn’t matter if it is a grab bag of mystery pins…you really don’t need to care what they are like as long as they are authentic Disney pins. Then get a lanyard on Ebay or at the park, pin them on and let the kids trade for the pins they like with “Cast Members” (all the park staff have lanyards and are required to trade whatever your kid wants from them). So, this is really fun and saves TONS of money if you think of it in advance. It is a great memento of your trip when you get home. I also used the bottom clip to clip on a laminated tag with my sons name and our phone numbers, in case he would get lost. FYI…I also bought some of those light sticks and brought them so that I would not buy them for watching the parades…all the kids get them and wave them around.

Second, if you are staying in a Disney resort…take some detergent and pack light. It is SO EASY to wash clothes at their resorts. I pack for 1/2 of the days and do one big laundry night in the middle. But the detergent they sell is expensive in the vending, so bring it. You can get change, but I also found that to be easier to just already have my quarters (in case the machine is out).

Third, if your kid is like mine and lives on PB&J…check the refrigerater case of the counter service restaurant of your hotel right away when you get there for Uncrustables. They will run around $2.50…and a drink and side is extra. It may not be cheaper than a kids meal, but for my son, we wasted most of the kids meal so it was better to get what we knew he would eat. The best way it saves money is if you are on the Disney Dining Plan. You buy this meal for your kid, and then you are not using one of your “counter service” meals. They don’t make a distinction between adults and kids for meals, so now you have another counter service meal to use for an adult (which is more in the $8-$10 range, instead of using the credit for a $5 Kid’s Meal). You can’t really do that at a Table Service Restaurant, since you are all at the same table and the server will just charge it all to the Disney Dining (at least I haven’t tried paying for the kid’s meal outright to save the credit, it might work if your server is game).

That’s all I can think of on saving money there…for now!

2 Beth Montgomery February 25, 2010 at 11:57 AM

Wow! I’m glad I asked. I didn’t even know about the lanyards! I’ll have to look into that.

3 Shelley February 25, 2010 at 5:14 PM

Is this your first trip? We went on our first trip in 2008 best vacation I ever had !!!

Tour Guide Mike – best money I spent. I didn’t get park hoppers and just went by his recommendations. Other people I work with went at the same time they all said they had long waits – we followed TGMs plan and walked on most every ride, every day !

visit http://www.couponingtodisney.com she has lots of tips.

I had the sit down dining plan and loved it and loved the food, glad we had the experience, but if I go back I will get the counter service meal. The reservations that you have to make really limit what and how you visit the parks. Plus you have all the tips to pay still. If you do the dining plan be SURE to make a ressie at LeCellier at Epcot. All the restaurants were great but LeCellier was by far the best meal we had.

If you are flying you can ship a package of snack foods to the resort, ( I sent WAY too much though) pick it up when you get there. Take bottles for water and Crystal Lite to go. Water is free in the parks just refill your bottles.

Get the resort mug for free refills, we sure got our money’s worth out of them.

Oh I could think of a ton of things.
.-= Shelley ´s last blog ..Bi-Lo Steals and Deals 2/24 =-.

4 Ann-Marie February 25, 2010 at 7:19 PM

First – we’re planning to also do the give-a-day, get-a-day thing for when dh and I go to California for our 10th anniversary in the fall. We’re going without kids (yay!) and would like to use this for 1 day at Disneyland in Anaheim. I need to book the day of volunteering soon, I fear it’s going to be so popular that they will give out all their free passes or cancel the program.

For money saving…
This is kind of a funny way that I saved up a little $ without my husband knowing. I was always sending his shirts to the cleaner – at least the ones that aren’t wrinkle-free, and instead I started ironing them at home (which I hate!). I banked $1.50 per shirt each time I painstakingly ironed, which I would have spent had I sent them to the cleaners. Over about 4 months I had $80 saved. I used this to surprise my husband with a behind-the-scenes tour of Epcot on a segway!

If you are staying at a Disney resort, then you’ll have free shuttle transportation from the airport to the resort, and from the resorts to the parks. You can also then take advantage of Extra Magic Hours, where one park each day will open early a couple hours, and one park each day will stay open late a couple hours.

We chose to purchase 10-day, no expiration, park hopper passes. It was mighty $$ at the front end, but since my youngest (then) was under 3 he was free, and we only used 4 days of the 10. So the next time we go we’ll only need to buy Dylan’s tickets, and have 6 days’ worth of tickets for dh, myself and dd#1 (dd#2 will be free as she’ll be under 3 then). Even on that next trip, we won’t use 6 days, probably 3-4, so again we’ll have at least a couple of essentially free tickets for the 3rd time we go.

Here are great links for everything Disney:
http://www.allears.net
http://www.mousesavers.com

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