The Honeymoon Girl (aka Patty; aka my wife) is joining in the posting fun today, with a guest post on a topic near and dear to her heart: Disney World.
In this post, she shares some tips on saving cash while honeymooning at the magical wonderland.
If you have suggestions of your own, please leave them in the comments section below!
Take it away, Patty!
This is The Honeymoon Girl, Michael’s wife Patty, comin’ at ya for a guest post about one of my favorite topics…Walt Disney World!
I’ve been to Disney World in Orlando, Florida 10 times, and if it wasn’t for Michael’s love of travel, I may have been there 20 times by now!
Michael opened up my eyes to the wonders of other domestic and international travel, and how to travel hack so that we could visit far-off places without breaking the bank.
However, I will always have a special place in my heart for WDW, and that’s why my guest post today is about honeymooning in Disney (and saving some cash while doing so)!
Disney Deluxe Hotels Rock, But They’re Expensive
Disney World offers a wide array of hotel options. The most impressive, expensive, and arguably best-located, are within their Deluxe collection. Unfortunately, staying at a Deluxe Resort Hotel is going to cost you a pretty penny. WDW’s famous Grand Floridian resort, which overlooks the Magic Kingdom, is going to cost you more than $500/night, before taxes, on any week during the year. During more popular times, it can go for $700+/night! For a 7 night honeymoon, you’re looking at at least $3,500+tax, before you eat any food, go on any rides in the parks, or even buy your favorite Mickey-ears headband!
Though the Grand Floridian is wonderful, my favorite place to stay is on the lagoon between Epcot and Hollywood Studios (the park formerly known as MGM). I love that Disney offers boat transportation from these hotels to Hollywood Studios, and that you can walk, bike or boat to Epcot through a quaint, less-busy entrance in the Epcot World Showcase. From this area, you would take Disney Bus Transportation to the Animal Kingdom. You can also bus or walk + monorail to the Magic Kingdom.
One of the hotels in this area is called Disney’s Boardwalk Inn. It lures you in with a charming turn of the century, 1920s-style boardwalk, overlooking a beautiful lagoon. However, you’re going to have to pay for that kind of charm! For a typical 7-day honeymoon, you will pay $3,000+tax, before setting foot in any of the parks.
There Are Two Great “Points” Hotel Options at Disney World
Now here come the cost-saving tips! There are 2 Starwood owned hotels called The Walt Disney Swan and The Walt Disney World Dolphin, just footsteps away from the iconic Boardwalk Inn. These are the only 2 hotels on Disney property that are not actually owned by Disney. They are owned by Starwood, and if you’ve ever read The Honeymoon Guy’s posts before, you probably know that Starwood has one of the best loyalty programs around.
Because the Swan and Dolphin are on Disney property, you are free to take advantage of the Disney transportation system (i.e. the boats, monorails and buses). That alone is a huge benefit, since paying for parking or cabs around Disney is going to cost you a lot of money over the course of a honeymoon. As I mentioned before, the location of these hotels is superb. You get that magical “I’m in Disney World” feel, much more so than when you’re staying off-property. In short, I highly recommend them!
So how do you get SPG points to redeem for the Swan or Dolphin? There’s the standard stay-in-SPG-hotels answer. This is a reasonable option, especially if you travel for your job.
If you don’t travel enough to rack up a boatload of SPG points, you may want to consider getting a Starwood Hotels credit card from American Express. Michael holds the SPG Business card and I hold the SPG Personal card. Some of the appeal of the cards comes from the signup bonuses for them. The cards’ signup bonus offer is for a 25,000 point bonus when you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months. If you’re planning a wedding, then you know the unfortunate truth that $3,000 (even $6,000) can be spent really quickly! If both you and your fiancé get this credit card, and meet the spending threshold within 3 months, you will have 50,000 points from the bonus + at least 6,000 extra points from your spending to use at this resort!
“Like” The Honeymoon Guy on Facebook for a 1:100 chance of winning a set of 3 eBags Packing Cubes and an Anker Portable Phone Charger. It’s that simple!
Great Use of Starwood’s “Stay 4 nights, get the 5th Night Free” Deal
The Swan and the Dolphin each go for 10,000 SPG points per night. Here’s the kicker though: SPG offers a great “Stay 4 nights, get the 5th Night Free” deal, when using points, so staying at least 5 nights is a great way to maximize your dollars-saved-to-points-used ratio. Whereas some hotels are in locations that might leave you bored after two or three days, that description does not fit Disney World. So this Starwood perk is great for Disney World.
A Few Disney Restaurants Should Not Be Missed
Now that you’re on your way to free lodging, you can feel better about splurging on WDW’s amazing fine dining restaurants, souvenirs, and of course, the parks!
For an unforgettable dinner, I would highly recommend going to Victoria and Albert’s, a 5 star restaurant at the Grand Floridian. For a special occasion like your honeymoon it is absolutely worth the price.
I also love all the restaurants at the World Showcase in Epcot. My recommendations for romantic honeymoon dinners are Paris, Italy, and Canada; the latter of those serves the best steaks in WDW.
If you love Disney movies as much as I do, you’ll enjoy my last restaurant recommendation: the Be Our Guest Restaurant in the New Fantasy Land section of the Magic Kingdom. It has 3 beautiful, themed dining rooms, based on the ballroom, west wing and rose gallery of the Beast’s castle. And you should definitely “try the grey stuff” for dessert. It really is delicious, just like the song says!
Book Popular Restaurants Early or Miss Out
Now, if you want to eat at Be Our Guest, or other fine restaurants around WDW, you’ll want to book your restaurant reservations as early as possible. These restaurants book up fast, and I mean REALLY fast. You can book as early as 180 days out on the WDW Dining website, so make a note on your calendar, and book your dinners early.
Save a Few Dollars on Disney World Tickets
There are a few ways to save money on the parks, especially if you’re a Florida resident, or in the military.
If you’re not either of those, you can still save some money by booking through the UnderCoverTourist.com website, which is 100% reliable (I’ve used it myself multiple times) and recommended by one of my favorite money-saving Disney websites, MouseSavers.com. Even if you book through the Disney website, you’ll save money by booking multi-day park-hopper passes, instead of individual tickets to the parks.
Hope you enjoyed this money-saving post about honeymooning in Walt Disney World in Orlando! If you’re looking for a magical, fun-filled getaway after your wedding, this could be it!
Thanks for reading!
~The Honeymoon Girl~
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Want to see more posts on this topic? Let me know in the comments section below! Share your Disney tips also!