Let’s be honest: A Disney vacation is not cheap. It’s not something most of us can do on a whim, especially if you have a large family. And there will always be something more important to spend that money on. That’s why it’s taken us three years to book our “Return to Disney” trip. This week I’m featuring a series of posts dedicated to helping save for that Disney vacation you’ve been dreaming of. Affording a Disney vacation isn’t always easy, and sometimes it’s just not possible. But sometimes it’s not so out of reach as it seems.

The first time we took the family to Walt Disney World, it wasn’t because we had planned and saved for it. We afforded it because an opportunity dropped into my lap. My agent called me with a book project that was already 6 months behind schedule, the original author had quit, and the publisher had rejected everything he had written because it was really that bad. And would I take the project, and write this book in 3 months? Before I had a chance to start laughing, she named her price…and I quit laughing and said “Sure, I can do that.” (For the record – don’t try to write a high-level tech security book in 3 months. It’s not fun.)

windfall

Windfall

That’s one way to afford a Disney vacation – sudden windfall.

I think that’s what we expected to happen again. I’d write another tech book, or something else would fall out of the sky, and we’d have a windfall to pay for our next vacation.

Didn’t happen.

So we just kept on doing what we’ve always done – dealing with life as it came and dreaming about going back, but without any actual plan for affording a Disney vacation. We tried saving up for it several times, then the car would break down, or the kids needed things, and that tiny fledgling vacation fund would vanish. It’s incredibly disheartening.

affording a Disney vacation

Disney Fund

So I’ve found a new way.

Over the rest of this week I’m going to share what has finally worked for our family of 6. We’ve finally been able to do it. And the really maddening part is, the solutions were there all along. We just didn’t see them.

So – before I start telling you what worked for our family, I’d love to hear your stories. What are your best tips for affording a Disney vacation?

Next in the series:

Budgeting For a Disney Vacation