Happy Frugal Friday!
Last week we had a 7 day adventure with Mickey Mouse and the Georgia Mountains!
We planned our Disney trip with a lot of help from our friends Joe and Michelle Dillon. We love supporting this fellow LEO Family and you can book with them for FREE here Vacation Planners.
(For Southern Indiana/Louisville friends wanting to book with a local planner contact our friend Amanda Williams. Her services are free too! Amanda.email@example.com)
We originally booked our trip at the beginning of March 2020. We have been planning and saving for this trip for several years, we had a few setbacks as we had a flood in our kitchen and then Annabeth had the opporunity to dance in Chicago so we pulled from this trip savings for that trip. By March we were finally ready to book and planned for 4 park days, 5 nights at the All Star Movies Resort. Within two weeks, the world shut down due to COVID-19. When Disney finally reopened, they decided not to reopen the All Star resorts right away so we were automatically upgraded to Pop Centrury Resort. Disney upgraded us for free which was a great deal since Pop Century runs higher price per night than All Star Movies.
Our awesome vacation planners also credited our account when Disney ran a sale. We were credited about $250. Between the credit and the upgrade we came out about $400 ahead of where we would have been without the sale/room upgrade!
Other ways we saved on vacation -
- We asked family and friends for giftcards for the kids' birthdays. They each came to Disney with at least $75 to spend on the souveniers of their choice. Thank you everyone!
- We packed our own food so most days we ate at least two meals from our packed groceries. We did not have the meal plan so we were able to choose to just buy our favorite meals.
- We have always made pressed pennies as the kids' souveniers on vacation so over the past year we've been saving all of our quarters and pennies. Fun Fact: Disney uses a credit/debit card machine at each Pressed Penny location. We used our cards there and used the loose change to pay the Florida Tolls and for small items in the stores.
- Annabeth found an Anna-Safe sucker but none of the stickers would ring up so the store gave us the $4.95 sucker for FREE!
- Mark and I chose Buy One, Get One Free candy bars as our treat. The stores actually had a great deal of little candy souveniers buy one, get one free.
- We chose most of our gifts/souveniers from the 70% dated 2020 items. I like having the year on ornaments and things anyway so this was a great deal! Bonus buy for being there at the end of the year! :)
- On the way home, we stopped in Dahlonega, GA with an Air BnB in the mountains. This was much less than staying at a local hotel and much more fun to be in a cabin! We eve had our own deck overlooking the mountains.
- Our last stop was Amicalola Falls State Park. We paid the $5 parking fee and had a great fun day at the falls and hiking.
- Mark hiked the Approach Trail into the Appalachian Trail - a lifelong dream.
We had the most wonderful week away - the cleanest park on earth, low heat most days, low crowds, socially distant lines to wait in, and SO much magic and fun. Now we look forward to saving for the next vacation.