Last Updated on December 5, 2022 by Heather
Sometimes you don’t always have all of the money that you need for a Disney vacation when you start the planning process. Sometimes there are deals or promotions that you need to be able to take advantage of in order to get the best price, but what do you do if you can’t pay it off in full?
You can absolutely pay for your Disney vacation in installments over time. There is a sort of layaway program that Disney offers for you to get the best price on your Disney vacation and not have to pay it all upfront.
What Parts Of My Disney Vacation Can Be Paid By Installments?
When you build your package with Disney, you can combine your hotel and park tickets. This makes it easier for several reasons but it also makes it easier to make payments towards the package in one place. If you were to book a room reservation only and then want to add park tickets, you would have to pay for those in full at the times that you order them. That’s why I always recommend adding tickets to your package even if you may change your mind on how many days or what type of tickets. It is easier to make changes to existing tickets than to add them after.
What Can’t Be Paid For By Installments?
There are a few catagories that you can’t bundle into your Disney package but that doesn’t mean that you still can’t pay for them over time, it just isn’t being paid for in the traditional scnence.
- Airfare – When you book airfare you have to pay for them 100% upfront. There isn’t any way around that. However, if you can plan ahead there are ways to make the sticker shock a little easier. What has worked really well for my family is to get a credit card for your favorite airline. For us, we have a Southwest card thru chase. When you sign up you get a nice large amount of points and you earn points for every purchase that you make. I’m NOT saying to go out and max the credit card on wasteful things. What we do is put everyday bills on the credit card and pay it off each month. Groceries, gas, and other things that you buy on a daily basis will add up quickly and you can earn points month over month. Then when you are ready to buy your tickets you can use those points towards the tickets. On our last trip, I was able to get 2 of our tickets for FREE by having so many points through Southwest.
- Food – Prior to Covid you could add a dining plan to your Disney package and have that paid in installments with the rest of the package. That unfortunately isn’t an option anymore. What I like to do is try and get a rough idea for how much I think food will cost and then divide that out wither per week or per month before we go. Then I go and buy Disney gift cards either weekly or monthly for that amount so that by the time we go I have it covered.
- Souveniers – For souvenirs, I do that same thing as with the food. I go out and buy Disney gift cards so that I can “pay” for that amount over time. One cost-savings trick I have found is if you have a Target near you and you have a Target Red Credit or Debit card you can buy those gift cards and save 5%. That can add up to a lot of savings depending on how many gift cards you are buying.
I like the idea of using gift cards because that can help keep you on budget. Now, you may be thinking about using your magic band to make purchases and while you can’t link a Disney gift card to your magic band you can go to the front desk each day and pay off the room charges with a Disney gift card. I also like to give my daughter a gift card or two for her spending money as well.
How Much Do You Have To Put Down On A Disney Vacation?
So in order to lock in a Disney vacation, you only have to make a $200 deposit on the day that you book the package. This is great and makes it more affordable for guests to get their trip booked and locked in at a nice low rate. Once you have booked your trip, you have up until 30 days before your travel to pay off the trip. If you are going to need a longer time to be able to pay it off, that will be something that you will need to consider when choosing the date to book the trip. Payments do not have to be a set amount, or on a regular schedule. You get to choose how much and how often you make a payment, as long as it is paid in full by your 30 days mark.
How Far In Advance Can You Book?
You can book Disney Worlds Vacation packages up to 499 days in advance. This is convenient for families that want to stay at a popular resort during a bust period, making sure that you can get a room. This is also handy for people who are going to be paying for their package over time.
What Is Disney’s Cancellation Policy?
Disney has a reasonable cancellation policy. Even before Covid they would allow guests to completely cancel their trip before the 30 day mark and get a full refund. Once Covid hit, they knew that they would have to change this policy. Since March 2020 and as of right now, for arrivals through April 30th 2021 you can cancel your trip up until the date of check in. That is a huge deal for guests that may be traveling from states that have current travel restrictions. There is no word on if that date will be changed as it had been extended a few other times in 2020.
I hope that you found this information helpful. It is important to note that this is only if you are booking directly through Disney. If you are using a third party there may be different rules on how much a deposit is, how long you have to make payments and what a cancellation policy may be.
Thanks for reading and make sure you check out my full guide to planning your next trip to Walt Disney World!