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Disney on a Dime: Money-Saving Secrets for Your Walt Disney World Vacation Paperback – September 26, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The Intrepid Traveler (September 26, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1887140573
  • ISBN-13: 978-1887140577
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #686,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A great resource…for frugal ideas to make a trip to Disney possible, or…just for more ways to save. " -- Michelle Jones in, January 2006

"Budget traveler[s] looking for unique ways to cut the cost of their next Disney vacation should invest in a copy." -- Kimberly Button, BellaOnline's Budget Travel Editor,November 2005

"Covers all the basics to making a successful budget trip to WDW…[The chapter on free activities] was a great read." -- Jason Dziegielewski in, November 21, 2005

"If you follow their tips we are sure you can save money on almost every part of your trip. " -- BetsyAnn & SuzyQ, The World on a Budget Forum, November 2005

"Invaluable as a planning tool for folks considering a first WDW trip." -- Kevin Yee in, November 2005

"Think you can’t afford...WDW, get a copy of this book and you may be surprised that you can." --, December 8, 2005

Complete with maps and phone numers, DISNEY ON A DIME should be the first...vacation planning book you buy. -- Jennifer Brown in on December 2005 Travel Genre

Not only helps you save money, it also ... [gives you] all the information you need to plan your trip. -- USA Travel Magazine, January 3, 2007

The book's strength is [the authors'] patient explanation of all the options you have among [Disney's] bewildering array. -- D.C. Stultz,, January 17, 2007

This guide will provide you everything you ever wanted to know about saving money at Walt Disney World. -- Jennifer in on December 4, 2005

From the Publisher

The Walt Disney World® Resort offers more to do in one location than any other place on earth. If you have never been there, you can believe all the hype about it that you’ve seen on TV or have heard from friends and family. It’s a magical place, one that lives up to its nickname, the "Happiest Place on Earth," for millions of visitors a year. Less happily, you can easily spend a small fortune taking your family to Disney World. Worse, the hype — and a quick glance at the prices — may give you the impression that you have to spend an arm and a leg to enjoy a Disney World vacation. This is not true!!! Staying at Disney World’s top resorts, dining in its most lavish restaurants, and buying all the merchandise it offers, would run you many thousands of dollars in a week’s time. But those experiences are simply icing on the cake when it comes to enjoying WDW. You can have a great Disney World vacation without spending a cent on any icing. We know because we’ve done it, not once but nine times in ten years, with first two and now four children in tow. In this book we will break down what is vital for your vacation and what is not. We will show you how to save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on your Walt Disney World vacation. And we will help you make that vacation a reality by offering specific suggestions for cutting your everyday spending and for making extra money to grow your vacation savings account as quickly as possible. What "Disney on a Dime" Is NOT: • A traditional guidebook. • A book that describes the various parks in detail. • A book that tells you what rides are best, where to sit, and so on. • A book that shows you how to ride 40 rides in a day. • A book that talks about luxury resort options and ways to waste your money. What "Disney on a Dime" Is: • A book that offers hundreds of specific tactics and strategies for saving money for and on your Disney World Vacation. • A book that will help you get the most for every dollar you spend. You will discover, among other things: • How to cut your costs in half by being creative and knowing what you can and can’t do. • How the ticket system works and how to use it to your advantage. • What loopholes exist in the system and how to use them to stretch your budget. You can reduce your vacation budget by at least $200 by using just one of our tips and by thousands by using all of them. We guarantee it! (See page 223.) Why We Wrote This Book We believe that no childhood is complete without a trip to Walt Disney World. So naturally, we wanted our children to have that magical experience while they were still little and thought the characters (Mickey Mouse and friends) were really real and magical. When our two oldest children were small, though, money was tight. We had to find ways to cut expenses in order to go and we succeeded through trial and error. If we had relied on the cost information available online, and from travel agents and Disney, we would have given up before we started. We wanted to go to Disney World for five days and stay for seven nights. When we looked online we were quoted a price of about $3,500 just for tickets, some food, and lodging — and this was almost a decade ago. We consulted a travel agent and got the same price. Instead of throwing our hands in the air, we looked around for a better deal. We decided to stay offsite, buy tickets on our own (rather than as part of a package), eat the majority of our meals at the hotel, and drive instead of fly. We calculated that if we did that, we could go for around $1,400. We called another travel agent to see if he could beat that. He laughed at us on the phone: "Impossible!" And it was for him, but not for us. Since that successful experience, we have returned to Disney World many times and have found many more ways to save money and stretch our dollars. By trying out new tricks, keeping our eyes open, and sharing tips with other Disney-loving friends, we have discovered how to go several times a year with four young children and still spend less annually for all our Disney trips than some of our acquaintances spend for a single visit. Saving money isn’t brain surgery; it is easy. You just have to be aware that there are options beyond those you see advertised. You don’t have to live in the lap of luxury in order to have a good time. You can have a wonderful time at Disney World on the budget you can afford. In fact, you’ll have a better time because you won’t be worrying about how long it’s going to take you to pay it off. After watching us take numerous trips to Disney World over the years, friends and acquaintances were constantly asking how we could afford to go so often. Many of them assumed that it had to cost several thousand dollars to make each trip and wondered if we had a secret source of income. A lot of them thought they would never be able to go even once because of the supposed huge expense. We decided we wanted to help people like us make their dream vacation a reality, and Disney on a Dime was born. How This Book Can Help You Disney on a Dime will help you save money and get more for the money you spend. If you have to watch every penny, you’ll find the tips you need to make a Disney World vacation affordable. If you are fortunate enough to have a bigger budget at your disposal, you’ll be able to stay longer and do more using the tactics we offer. We sincerely hope that our book can help families everywhere to make their vacation dreams a reality by stretching those hard earned dollars. Have a magical time!

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

152 of 165 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Shea HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is an interesting mix. First off, it's short. There are just over 200 small pages. It sends mixed messages. "No childhood is complete without a trip to Walt Disney World". How's that for guilt for poor parents? Then it says "It is likely to be one of the most expensive trips you will ever take." I suppose they're trying to convince you to buy the book, but it bothered me a bit.

A lot of the tips here are common sense. Make a budget. Their sample budget shows that tickets (just entrance fee, no food or anything else) cost a family of 4 $710 - but lodging is only $160 for the exact same time period. That's a really scary statement, but it's true. They say to have a penny jar and to open a savings account. Use coupons at the store, have a garage sale. So far I'm not seeing the real value of this. I knew these things.

They talk about not buying souveniers. They say to take all hotel freebies you can get your hands on. They say to take the plastic cups your drinks are served in. Again, not quite tips that I want to know or need a book to think up. There's a section on what to pack - no tips on saving money there.

Now of course many of the tips are helpful. Send for the free Disney planning DVD that Disney offers. Get a hotel with free breakfast. Get a Disney Dining Card if you want to eat at restaurants a fair amount. Sign up for every official Disney mailing list on the web so you can get news of discounts and coupons. On the other hand, they push you taking food into the parks, something against Disney policy. When I go somewhere, I don't deliberately plan my family's health around rule breaking.

The lodging has a good amount of detail on Disney hotels, then lumps all non-Disney places as "off site" even though some are right in the Disney system.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Vincent Sharma on October 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book had some good information in it. For instance, it had several tables that laid out how ticket prices change based on number of days, adding options like Park Hopper, etc. It showed the prices of different resorts based on which season you went, and had helpful suggestions on how to negotiate better rates with Disney resorts. It also did a good job comparing flying vs. driving costs. Having said that, there was nothing too earth shattering in this book, and most of the stuff in it can easily be looked up online. In fact, since ticket and resort prices constantly change, this book is sure to be out of date less than a year from when it is published. The authors gave some good advice, and I wish they had spent more time giving recommendations instead of just presenting you with tables of information, much of which will be obsolete very quickly. Overall, a quick read but very little information that you can't figure out yourself or find online for free.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By D. Meyer on July 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
In preparation for a trip to WDW, I decided to check this book out. I was hoping for some hidden tips while at the Parks. For the most part, this book offered tips on how to save up for your trip prior to ever making it to Orlando. Even those tips were obvious and not all that helpful.

What do you get instead? How about telling a family they can go to to WDW for just dollars a day after they have paid for their tickets? How? Stay at an off-site motel for $30 a day (where can you find something for that anymore?) and make sure to eat ALL your meals at the motel. So one is supposed to drive to an from the park while trying to get the most with their admission ticket? The gas prices alone from this venture would do you in! Or better yet, look like a real cheapo and bring your own food (which I am fine with until...) the author suggests you steal from the toppings bar at a counter service restaurant to make the most out of your sandwich. Or better yet, order a double hamburger and for an extra 75 cents..order an extra bun and you have 2 burgers for the price of one! If anything, there were several times I laughed out loud while reading the ideas expressed in this book!

I completely understand that WDW can be expensive. I appreciate trying to find ways to save here and there. However, I truly believe that if a family were to follow the ideas in this book, they would not have an enjoyable experience at all!! Not to mention, it sure wouldn't be fun having people look at you with disgust as you steal from a restaurant!!

This book should be called "Disney for the unfathomly cheap"... enough said. Don't waste your time with this book. Better luck reading more traditional WDW guide books or perusing various message boards full of avid WDW fans only happy to offer you their 2 cents on how to save.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By thediva on June 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
Seeing as how we're rabidly saving money for this trip, we have taken to more unusual date nights. Wanting to get out we headed to our local B and N, where I proceeded to pick up this book and read it, all of it. It was a fairly entertaining book - not much new really but well written and frankly once you've read one solid tour book on WDW (Like the Unofficial Guide) then you've read 80 percent of all of them. The book had a couple of good ideas sort of worth considering, but mostly it was just good for a laugh. Then again I prefer not to eat Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches for supper - saving a buck here or there is one thing, makin gmyself feel so deprived I would rather be at home then on my vacation is another. Regardless the book is certainly worth a read, but do it the way I did, in a nice comfy chair, with a late in one hand as you browse it at your local library or bookstore. After all, it's all about saving a buck right?
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