FREE Disney Parks Vacation Planning DVD AND Countdown to Disney Printable (+ Reader Tips)

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Your FREE Vacation Planning DVD will include a complete tour of the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and a tour of the Disneyland Resort in California, affordable ways to play and stay during your Disney vacation, planning tips and more!

Countdown to Disney Hip2Save

Add some fun to the days/weeks leading up to your Disney trip! Head over here where you can print a free Countdown to Disney image (use cardstock paper if you have it on hand!). Then just cut the sides of the paper to fit into an 8ร—10 photo frame. Each day, use a white board marker and write on the glass frame to indicate the number of days left in your countdown. How fun is that!?

Check out these Disney reader tips:

At Disneyland, you can get a free cup of ice and water at any of the quick service restaurants; not the food carts, but the pizza place, Harbour Galley, etc will do this. Huge savings and then you don’t have to carry your own water bottles around. If you or your kids don’t like plain water bring those bottles of Mio or Crystal Light. Always pick up a few ponchos at a dollar store to bring into the parks. They’re great for the water rides and it saved us from getting soaked last July when it suddenly starting raining.


We always take our crock pot and find a grocery store nearby (we take our food in a cooler if we drive). Put dinner in the crock pot before we leave in the AM and then we head to the hotel around 1 to eat and then we take sandwiches back to the park with us. We save SO much money this way and the maids always mention how smart it is. LOL. We also make sure the hotel has a hot breakfast and eat a huge meal before hand. Take snacks into the park and drinks for the times when the kids are fussy. We ALWAYS take a “park break” and go back to the hotel to rest.


For my family and me, the best decision we made was to purchase a Magic Your Way package, which included Disney Dining. We stayed on-site at Pop Century. Even though it is rated as a “value” resort, we thought it was great. The rooms were standard hotel rooms, which was fine for us. The grounds were lovely, and the hotel pools were nice. It was WONDERFUL to have our meals paid for in advance. It took the worry out of vacation and truly allowed me to enjoy myself. It felt luxurious to be able to tell my kids they could order a dessert if they wished and to choose whatever beverage they wanted. If we had not purchased the Disney Dining Plan, I would have obsessed over how much I was spending at every meal. Also, we thought the character dining was fantastic.

Consider renting a house instead of staying on property. We rented a beautiful 3 bedroom house with our own private pool for a hundred bucks a night. There were Disney themes throughout the house so it still felt like Disney and it was nice to have someplace to get away from all the craziness. After factoring in the price of the car we had to rent, it came out to about the same price as when we stayed at a moderate resort. And honestly, I didn’t miss having to ride the bus after the fireworks.

Memory Maker

We purchased the Memory Maker. It was so nice being able to take as many pictures as we wanted and to be able to download those pictures when we got home. I loved the Disney transportation, too. The one feature I purchased that I wish I hadn’t was the park-hopper option. I thought we would use it, but I think we only ended up using the park-hopper one time. If I’m blessed enough to be able to take another Disney vacation, I think I’ll save the $250.

Join The Discussion

Comments 19

  1. Amanda

    Going in 19 days, can’t wait!!

    Someone told me as a tip, to Amazon Prime items you need or food items from Prime Pantry to your hotel and you don’t have to carry anything extra in your luggage.

    • Adam

      That’s an excellent idea. Need all the savings you can get, after they raised the rates again this week. ๐Ÿ™ If you haven’t bought tickets yet, seriously look at the annual pass if you might come back in the next year. ~$700 for the year, or $120 a day.

    • Lisa

      Oh, I hadn’t thought about Amazon Prime…great tip! I do know it has to be within 2 weeks I believe for the hotel to accept and store your items. If you have magic bands, use skin temporary tattoos to decorate. Put the band on a water bottle or something about the size of the wrist that will be wearing it, to allow it to be curved as you tattoo it. Put on the tattoo like normal let it dry then use clear coat like clear nail polish. Get cheap tattoos after Valentine’s Day, if you don’t already have ones.

    • Cassie

      You can also use amazon prime now if you are an amazon prime member. They have free 2 hour delivery (plus tip) of many items including cold groceries such as milk, string cheese, yogurt, ect. A great way to have breakfast in your room or some healthy snacks to bring to the parks. Also look for a $10 off $20 for your first order.

  2. Danii

    We live 15 minutes from Disneyland while my husband attends Chiropractic school (graduated in December!) so we are annual Passholders!! My son is 15weeks old and his first Disneyland trip was at 17 days old!!๐Ÿ˜Š

    TIP; Download the Mousewait app, or Disneyland app for wait times, ride closures, showtimes, etc..

  3. Katie

    We are going in a month! Anyone have suggestions for which water park is best for younger kids (ages 5 and 2)? Hoping it’s warm enough to go one day!

    • Tia

      I’d go with Blizzard Beach. Most of the parks have heated pools so you’ll be fine in the water. It’s the in & out that will make you cold if it’s not hot. I live in S. Fla and the weather is starting to level out around 80 so it should be quite comfortable next month. Hope the little ones have an awesome time!

  4. Karen

    May will be my daughter first trip on her own with her friend to Disney, second in her lifetime. Is the memory maker a good gift for me to get for them? They are 18 and the girl whom is taking her goes every year. Any thoughts?

  5. Katie Bailey

    Hey everyone! I’m a Disney Travel Agent and would love to help any of you plan your trip – at no cost to you! Email me for a quote

  6. Jamie

    Get $200 to spend at Disney by signing up for for the Disney Chase Visa (no annual fee) after $500 in purchases in the first 3 months. Every little bit helps! Let me know if you want a referral by emailing me at

  7. Amy

    Anyone have any tips on Disney cruises?

    • jennifer

      I need cruise tips, too! Does the chase Visa points work immediately after you spend the $500. Also, can I use the points to pay for my tips at the end of my cruise?

      • Jamie

        You will get the points on your next statement following your $500. You then submit for a gift card that may take a few weeks to get. I’m not sure if it can be used on tips or not. I can put in a referral for you if you’d like to check it out.

  8. Tomoko

    Anyone need an invitation for Disney Rewards Visa $200 Gift Card Offer ?

    New card members can earn a $200 Disney Gift Card with the Disney Rewards Visa Card after you spend $500 in purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    This offer is for “NO ANNUAL FEE” Disney Visa Card and referral only.

    Email me your first name and email to can send you an invitation email through chase.

  9. sam

    is this premier card or regular card?

    • Tomoko

      Hi, Sam.This is “Regular Disney Rewords Visa card (No Annual Fee). If you are looking for a referral please email me ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. sam

    Good Morning Tomoko,

    Unfortunately I had applied few days back. Thank you so much for the reply. I had only $100 as bonus?


  11. Samantha

    Right now you can sign up for the Disney Visa and if you spend $500 in the first 90 days you get a $200 giftcard back! NO ANNUAL FEE ๐Ÿ™‚ We are doing this deal as a way to save on our December trip this year. I attached the link to apply. If you sign up through the website there is a fee if you sign up through the referral link there is no fee.

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