Using The Disney Vacation Account (Updated September 24, 2016)
(Unfortunately Walt Disney World has discontinued this program.)
Have you ever heard of the Disney Vacation Account? If you have not you are not alone. I know Disney travel agents who do not even know it exists. Or maybe you have heard of it but have no idea how it works or if it is right for your family.
Either way you have come to the right place today. I am going to do my best to explain what it is and how it works. Whether it is right for you or not is up to you but I hope you will have enough information to make the right decision for your family.
I hope this article helps you. Feel free to click on anything from the Table of Contents below if you need instructions on a specific part of Disney Vacation Accounts.
Table of Contents
- What Is A Disney Vacation Account?
- What Are The Benefits Of A Disney Vacation Account?
- Step By Step Instructions
- Signing Up
- Putting Money Into Your Disney Vacation Account
- Using Your Money To Make A Payment
- Requesting Disney Gift Cards For Your Remaining Balance
- Requesting Your Disney Vacation Account Bonus Cards
- Planning Two Vacations At The Same Time
- Getting A Refund
- Disney Vacation Account FAQs
A Disney vacation account is a simple way to save money for a Disney vacation. The Disney vacation can be Walt Disney World in Orlando, Disneyland in California, a Disney Cruise, Adventures By Disney, or Aulani (the Disney resort in Hawaii.)
There are three benefits of a Disney Vacation Account.
It is a proven fact that setting a goal with a deadline and having a plan make success much more likely. Many people dream of a Disney vacation but never reach out to take hold of the dream.
Disney Vacation Accounts require you to set a goal and will suggest a plan to get you there. There will be no more of this, “We are going to Disney someday” junk. Now you will have a goal with a deadline and Disney will help you come up with a plan!
Because Disney knows life throws a curve ball every now and then the plan is also flexible. You can change your date, budget and even your destination at any time. In fact you can cancel the whole thing (more on that later.)
Do you have a sock drawer that you keep money in for your Disney trip? Or maybe you have a piggy bank or one of those bottle water jugs. None of those places are bad because it is easy to drop your money into them.
But is it too easy? I don’t mean it’s too easy to put money into them. I mean it’s too easy to take money out of them.
You wake up and decide I want a Starbucks so you take money out of hidey-hole (whatever that might be for you.) The next day you decide to order pizza so your hand dips into your Disney fund again. Before you know it your Disney fund is gone and you really have no idea where it is.
A Disney Vacation Account is money dedicated to a Disney Vacation. All the money you put into it is yours and you can get it back any time. Yes I said you can get it back at anytime but not necessarily instantly. But the money is far enough away that you aren’t going to dip into it for Starbucks or a pizza.
Disney does not charge to hold onto your money. It is a free service even if you get a refund at some point. Disney does suggest how much you need to put into your account on a regular basis.
You can also earn free money! For every $1000 your spend (not save) out of your account on a Disney vacation you earn $20. The maximum you can earn is $500. Your account must also be a minimum of 120 days old and you must request your cards 4-6 weeks before your trip.
A Seven Day Hold
One important thing to note: your first deposit into the Disney Vacation Account is subject to a seven day hold. Why? I have no idea! But if you have a hold on a reservation you can probably call into Disney (or have your travel agent do it) and have them give you a grace period till your funds are available.
Here is your step by step guide to setting up and using a Disney Vacation Account. I spent hours working on this but that doesn’t mean there might not be a mistake. Disney might also change it at some point. If you see a problem please let me know!
I have included pictures for most steps to make it easier for you.
The first thing you need to do is have a goal. It seems odd that you are not being prompted to either log in or create an account but you are doing it right.
Do not worry if you do not have all the details just yet. You can go back and change your goals at any time. This is just a starting place. Choose your vacation and your travel dates.
Now it is time to calculate your savings plan. If you are concerned about getting an accurate budget Disney has a budget calculator to help. This will help you get a better picture of how much you need to save.
(Please note: filling this out does not commit you to putting any money in the account. You can fill it out just for fun if you want.)
It is also one of the more complicated things to do because you need some information about Disney World. If you are unfamiliar with Disney World you might need to do some research or you could use a Disney vacation planner. If you want to use a Disney vacation planner I offer my services for free. Click here to get a quote.
Now Disney wants your personal information. You will need to enter your name, street address, etc. Fill all of that in and then move on to the next page.
Your screen should look something like this now:
If you already have an account with Disney go ahead and log in. If not click create account. Even if you have a Disney account you may be prompted to create a Disney Vacation Account.
The last step for setting up your Disney Vacation Account is credit card information. This step made me a little nervous but I confirmed with Disney (twice by phone) that I would not be billed. I tested it personally and was not billed. The information is for future use only. So go ahead and fill it out.
Take time to correct any mistakes you have made.
Do you see the error message I got? If you don’t worry. Whether you see it or not look for the continue button and hit it. You should also get some email confirmations from Disney.
You should see the first screen below. If this is what you see skip the click on either Make One Time Contribution or Set Up Recurring Payment. Then you can skip the next two photos. Important reminder: your initial deposit is subject to a seven day hold before you can access the money!
Your screen didn’t look like that? No Problem. Look for the Your Account button at the top of the page and click it.
Then click the View Account Details button. Now you should be ready to go.
There are two ways to put money into your account. You can make a one time contribution or a recurring payment. Use whichever you prefer. If you set up recurring payments you can still make one time contributions.
This one is pretty simple. Just fill out the form. Disney will charge your credit, debit or gift card just one time.
Want to contribute to your Disney Vacation Account on a regular basis? You can set the amount and the frequency of your contribution.
Using your money is easy. First get your account number. Click view account number.
Then click send.
Disney should send you an email with the first twelve digits of your your account number. The last four should be displayed on the page.
Now you should be able to make a payment online or over the phone. If you booked through a travel agent you should call the number from the list below.
- Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida: 407-939-7626
- Disneyland® Resort in California: 714-520-7032
- Disney Cruise Line: 800-511-9333
- Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina Hawai’i: 714-520-7032
- Adventures By Disney®: 855-223-2231
So you have paid off your paid off your vacation but you still have money left? No problem. You can get a refund (Getting A Refund) or get gift cards for your vacation.
Call (407) 939-7734 to make your request. You must have your full Disney Vacation Account number. You can only purchase $1,000 in Disney gift cards using your Vacation Account every 90 days.
Your Disney Vacation Account must be active for a minimum of 60 days in order to purchase a Disney Gift Card. You should request your Disney Gift Card at least 4-6 weeks prior to your trip to allow time for delivery to your mailing address.
One of the benefits of using a Disney Vacation Account is free money. For every $1,000 you spend (not save) on your vacation account you are eligible for a $20 gift card (it’s not much buy hey every bit helps!)
The maximum you can earn is $500. Your account must also be a minimum of 120 days old and you must request your cards 4-6 weeks before your trip.
So how do you get your gift card? According to the FAQ you need to go the Account Detail Page. There is a button for Request My Bonus. Hit that. (Unfortunately I cannot verify that because I cannot find the link because I am not eligible for a bonus.) But that is what it says. Click here to see for yourself.
Ambitious Disney savers may even want to save for two trips at once and you can do that! Click open another account.
If you decide to cancel your vacation you can always get your money back! You just need to request a refund. Click the request refund button.
Still have questions? Visit the Disney Vacation Account FAQ here.