Is It a Good Idea to Save for Your Disney Trip Using a Disney Vacation Account?

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I’ve written about ways to save on your Disney vacation by using miles and points for airfare and hotels.

But many folks still need to save for theme park tickets, souvenirs, meals, and incidentals.  And there’s a tool that can help.

You can open a Disney Vacation Account to plan and save money for vacation expenses.  It can be a good motivator to put aside cash each month for your trip.

Is It A Good Idea To Save For Your Disney Trip Using A Disney Vacation Account

A Disney Vacation Account Could Help You Save for Your Next Disney Trip!

But is it a good idea?  Let’s have a look!

What’s the Deal?

Link:   Disney Vacation Account

The Disney Vacation Account site will help you plan, budget, and save for your trip.

1.   Budget Estimator

You can estimate how much your vacation will cost by factoring in expenses like Disney resort hotels, theme park tickets, airfare, food and drink, and shopping & entertainment.

Is It A Good Idea To Save For Your Disney Trip Using A Disney Vacation Account

Use Tools on the Website to Estimate Costs for Your Disney Vacation

Once you have an idea how much you need to save, you can set up an account and start contributing.

2.   Sign-Up for an Account

It’s easy to set up a Disney Vacation Account.  If you already have a Disney account, sign-in using your email address and password.  Otherwise, you can create a Disney account here.

Like an online savings account, you can make automatic contributions on a 1-time, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis.

Is It A Good Idea To Save For Your Disney Trip Using A Disney Vacation Account

Save for Your Trip to the Magic Kingdom by Using a Credit, Debit, or Disney Gift Card

And you can load the account using a debit or credit card.  Or using a Disney gift card.

Disney gift cards are a great idea because you can buy them at some office supply stores.  And earn 5X points or 5% cash back with cards like:

  • AMEX SimplyCash – 5% cash back at US office supply stores
  • Chase Ink Bold (no longer available) – 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points (5% back) at office supply stores
  • Chase Ink Cash – 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points (5% back) at office supply stores
  • Chase Ink Plus – 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points (5% back) at office supply stores

Or, if you have a Target prepaid REDcard, you could use it to save 5% on Target purchases, including Disney gift cards.

Note:  These appear to only come in $50 denominations at Target, so it could take some time to load to your Disney Vacation Account!

And if you buy online, you could 1st go through a shopping portal to earn more cash back, miles, or points.

3.   Track Your Progress

You can track your progress online by signing-in to your Disney Vacation Account.  Some folks find this useful because it helps them visualize how close they are to meeting their goal.

Is It A Good Idea To Save For Your Disney Trip Using A Disney Vacation Account

You Can Visualize Your Savings Goal Using the Tools on the Disney Vacation Account Website

This could be a good motivator!

4.   Use Your Savings for Disney Tickets, Hotels, and More

The funds in your Disney Vacation Account can be applied to vacation bookings (including tickets and hotels) made through Disney only.

So you can NOT to use the money to book discounted Disney tickets through other websites.  Or pay for hotels other than Disney on-site resorts.

And for every $1,000 you spend on qualified vacation purchases from your Disney Vacation Account, you’ll receive a $20 Disney gift card.

Note:   To receive the Disney Gift Card bonus, your Disney Vacation Account must be open for at least 120 days.

The maximum you can earn is $500 in Disney gift cards.

Is It A Good Idea To Save For Your Disney Trip Using A Disney Vacation Account

Don’t Worry, Kids. You’ll Get Your Money Back If Your Disney Plans Fall Through

But the great news is, you can receive a full refund and get your money back at any time!

So if you have to cancel your Disney plans, you can get your money with no penalty.  Disney says they’ll try to refund your original form of payment 1st, but if required they’ll issue you a check.

Are There Drawbacks?

Yes.  I wouldn’t use the Disney Vacation Account to save money for a Disney vacation, because you will NOT earn interest on the funds!

You will earn a $20 Disney gift card for every $1,000 you spend from the account.  So it might be worth it for folks who know they’ll definitely use the money for eligible Disney purchases.  Or if you’ll be using the money soon.

But if you won’t go on your Disney vacation for a few years, you might do better opening a regular fee-free savings account.  Or putting your money into a short-term investment.

Is It A Good Idea To Save For Your Disney Trip Using A Disney Vacation Account

You Will NOT Earn Interest on Your Disney Vacation Savings!

That said, some folks might appreciate the easy vacation savings.  Setting up an account with automatic contributions could be good for those who don’t have the discipline to add funds to a savings account regularly.

And if you need your money back, you can get a refund.  But Disney prefers to refund your original form of payment (debit, credit, or Disney gift card).  However, the terms say they could issue you a check.

Bottom Line

Folks who want to save for a Disney vacation can automatically set money aside by setting up a Disney Vacation Account.

You can contribute using a debit, credit, or Disney gift card.  And if you’re not able to use the funds, you can get a full refund at any time.

When you spend $1,000 from your account on eligible Disney vacation purchases, you’ll get a $20 Disney gift card.

This could be good for folks who need help budgeting and saving.  But for most, it’s not a good idea, because you won’t earn interest on the money.

Remember, there are other ways to save money on your Disney vacation.   But my favorite tip is how you can earn 5 hotel nights and 2 flights to Disney World from 2 credit card bonuses.

I’ve also outlined 5 great Disney World hotels you can book with points.  And here are the best ways to get free or cheap flights to Orlando using airline miles.

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8 responses to “Is It a Good Idea to Save for Your Disney Trip Using a Disney Vacation Account?

  1. There is also the issue that Disney IT is horrible. The site has glitches regularly. Just a few weeks ago, they accidentally took out two monthly payments for people who were set up for once-a-month contributions, and the DVA site was closed down for a week while they fixed the problem. Disney does a lot of things well, but their websites are clunky and glitchy.

  2. I AGREE!. I couldn’t access my account for over a week. So I bought 3 day passes with my credit card, went to the park, then went to downtown disney to upgrade my tickets to annual passes. i told the really nice ladies I had a Disney Vacation Savings Account and they looked at me like I had a second head! Then I was told at the Disney ticket office that I could not use the money in my vacation account. WHAT?!! So why do I even have this account? I ended up doing monthly payments, requested all my money in my account be put on giftcard and now I have to physically go back to apply the gift card to my remaining balance. I thought it would be easy to use the money in my account but it was far from it! Just make sure you know exactly what you can use it on.
    Only thing that was nice was using gift cards to apply to the account. I bought several at them at 40% discount when I had good AMEX offers.

  3. In the past 18 months I’ve funneled over $20k through a DVA. I used it primarily as a way to combine gift cards that I bought with category bonuses into one account for purchases. (easier than reading off a stack of gift cards to a phone agent). Website is very glitchy, and if you have a problem with your account it’s impossible to get someone on the phone to fix it for you. I had a very frustrating experience trying to cash out my last $496 for a gift card before our final trip. In the end it all worked out, but it took a lot of effort on my part. The 2% bonus was nice ($20 for every $1000 spent), it amounted to about $300 for us. It’s not that you can’t get the bonus until your account is 120 days old, it’s that you don’t get the bonus on any spending you did in the first 120 days. So even if you request your bonus over a year after opening the account, you won’t get a bonus for any spend you did in the first 120 days of account opening.

    Thankfully we’re done with Disney for awhile, but if I were still doing Disney trips I would absolutely use my DVA for the reasons I stated above. Just know it can be a frustrating experience.

    At least Disney phone agents all seem to know what it is now… when I first started using it I had to educate most of the agents I spoke with.

  4. I wouldn’t recommend this….all reports lately are about the gkitchy website and IT issues…it’s not a great idea- and from everything I’ve read,which is quite a bit, once you use a disney gc in the account,to get a refund,you have to save EVERY gc you used,and the gc money goes back onto those gc’s. So it’s not as simple as ” buy a gc, drop into account,then late change your mind and getva refund from account,and get the money in a check”. Refunds go back onto the same gc you used to fund it(or 100 gc’s) you won’t get cash back for gc input.

  5. Re: ” I wouldn’t use the Disney Vacation Account to save money for a Disney vacation, because you will NOT earn interest on the funds!”. Interest in a Saving Account? where? I submit that the 2% you earn from the Disney Vacation Account ($20 gift card for $1000 spend) is way better than any interest you’d earn at a bank. saving account.

  6. We’re going to WDW this weekend and I was able to purchase $100 Disney gift cards from Target (I had the AMEX promo to get $30 back after $100 purchase from Target).

  7. So you can use the money in the account to book park tickets or to get Disney gift cards? Seems like it might be worthwhile to earn another 2%. We are planning a WDW trip for February.

  8. If i were to use my chase sapphire to partially fund this:
    1) would i be charged a ca fee ?
    2) would i receive 2% “travel”?
    3) would this qualify me for travel insurance benefits ?