How to Go to Disney Without Debt


Transcript

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- All right. So, this episode is going to be

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very supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

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(upbeat music)

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Guys.

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I can not even tell you how
excited I am about this episode.

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We're going to talk all things
Disney, and better yet,

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how to go to Disney without debt.

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That's right. Two of my favorite things:

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living a debt-free
lifestyle and Disney World.

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I mean, just add some
pizza, and we are good.

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I'm telling you: Disney, I love.

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Some people are Disney people.

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Some people are not Disney people.

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If you're not a Disney
person, I still love you,

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and I hope you become
debt-free and all the things.

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But come to this side of the world,

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because it is so much
happier and so much better.

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When I took Amelia for
the first time to Disney—

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Caroline has not been yet;

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my goal is another 12 months
and we'll take her too—

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but seeing Amelia's face, my daughter,

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my own flesh and blood,

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see Cinderella's castle
for the first time,—

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it was one of the
greatest moments of my life.

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I mean, I had so much fun.

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I love it. I love it so much.

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So, today's episode—
obviously, I'm really excited—

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but we're going to go over all the ways

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that you can save money if you're planning

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for a Disney trip. And I'm talking

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about thousands of dollars of savings.

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Now, Rachel Bshero—she
used to actually run

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the Disney Food Blog, and she's going to share

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all of her money-saving secrets with us.

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That's right.

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But first, I want to give you

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a little tough love about Disney.

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I want you to feel my love for it.

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Now, we've got to go a little
bit down to Earth.

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We've got to bring it down, people, to reality.

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(calm piano music)

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Here's the deal:

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There's a couple things
you have to remember

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when you're planning for Disney.

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Number one: You need to be
in agreement with your spouse

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that this is the time to go to Disney.

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I won't say that Winston and
I fought about Disney World.

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I'll say we had some relationship-building

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opportunity moments around the subject.

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I may or may not have
asked to go to Disney World

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when Amelia was two months old,

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and he looked at me like I was insane.

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And he was under the impression that

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you had to go to Disney World
when your kids had memories.

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He was like, "Rachel,
why are we going to spend

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thousands of dollars—a lot of money—

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to do something that Amelia's
not even going to remember?

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We'd be going for you."

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And I was like, "Mmm hmm!
That's exactly right.

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We are going for me. Yes."

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But really, it took a little while—

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It took some convincing.
It took a few years later.

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We figured out a way to go.

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We did it really inexpensively
because we only went

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for two days. We did two
full days with Amelia

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at Magic Kingdom, because she
was only three at the time.

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So, we did it that way.

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Winston got on board, we agreed,

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and it was happily ever after from there.

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So, make sure you and your
spouse are in agreement.

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Now, you have to remember,
too, that there are other ways

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to bring joy to your kids.

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Disney is not the only way.

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It's a great way, but
it is not the only way.

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Remember that.

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And just because little
Emma from preschool,

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her parents took her to Disney,

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does not mean that you guys have to go.

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You cannot compare your
life to everyone else's.

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And remember: You are not a bad parent

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if you decide not to go to Disney, okay?

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So, now, if you're struggling
with some of this comparison

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around Disney, I totally get
it. I've been there before.

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So, listen, I came out with
my Contentment Journal.

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Click the link in the show
notes, watch the video about it,

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learn more, because contentment
in life—including Disney—

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is very important.

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And last but not least,

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when it comes to going to Disney World,

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you have got to be financially ready.

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Now, listen, I don't want to
be the evil stepmother here,

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but some of you guys are
not ready to go to Disney.

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It's such a hard truth, and I'm so sorry

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I have to be the one to
say it, but I'm going to,

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because I love you too much to
put you in financial distress

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to go to Disney World.

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So, if it's not in the budget

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or if you're on 
Baby Steps 1–3,

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which means you're getting out of debt,

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you're saving up for your emergency fund,

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Mickey, the fireworks
over Cinderella's castle,

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the Jungle Cruise, Tower of Terror,

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all the things are going to have to wait.

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But for now, don't worry. You can go,

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but you have to pause on the dream.

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But listen, the great thing is

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the average person takes 18 to
24 months to get out of debt,

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and it takes about a year,
some people would say,

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to plan Disney the right
way. So, if you're in debt

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but your goal is to go to Disney one day,

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just tuck these tips away for later,

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because you can use them.

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If you're ready to go
to Disney—or you're not—

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and before you get on Space Mountain,

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I want to make sure that
you have life insurance.

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Listen: People will pay
thousands of dollars

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to go to things like Disney. But you guys,

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40% of Americans don't
even have life insurance,

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so we need to get our priorities straight.

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There's no excuse for this,
because term life insurance

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is actually, really
affordable and will make sure

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that your family's taken care of.

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I can say, personally, I
have such peace of mind

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knowing that if something happened

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to either Winston or myself,

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my family would not have
to worry about money.

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And that's why we use Zander Insurance.

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All it takes is a simple phone call

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or a visit to their website.

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We recommend getting a
policy that is 10–12 times

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your annual income to cover your needs,

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and Zander will shop around
to find you the best rates

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and policy that's right for your family.

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So, go to zander.com and get started today.

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Coming up, I'm going to
show you how you can save

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thousands of dollars and hours of time

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on your Disney vacation.

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Purchasing a home is a
huge financial decision,

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and you're going to need a
mortgage company you can trust.

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I recommend Churchill Mortgage.

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They treat you like family
and will walk with you

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every step of the way.

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When starting the home-buying process,

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you need to become a
Churchill-certified home buyer

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and get your rates secured.

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These two steps get you
further in the process

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and put you in a better position
than a generic preapproval.

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With this, you have
more negotiating power,

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are guarded against rate increases,

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and can close seven to 10 days sooner

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once you find your perfect home.

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All right, so, I've gathered a
list from Disney travel experts,

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podcasters, my Facebook
community, friends, family,

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and my own personal experience

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on how to save time and money at Disney.

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Now, if you're just starting to save up

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for your Disney trip, make
sure to go to my show notes

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for my Disney saving goal tracker.

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It's fabulous.

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Use it. Save up for that Disney trip.

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All right, keep your hands
and feet inside the vehicle

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at all times, because this mind
train is about to take off.

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Here's the list.

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Number one: Bring your own stroller.

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Disney charges $15 a day.

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Listen, lug that stroller around.

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We did that with Amelia. It's great.

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Number two: Don't buy a
ticket for every single day

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that you're there, especially
if you're there for a week.

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Your kids are going to get tired,
and they're going to want to enjoy

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a day at the hotel's pool.

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Number three: The best part
of the day to ride the rides

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is during the fireworks,
because no one is in line.

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So, experience the fireworks.
They're life-changing,

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but then, the next night, go
ride all the rides. It's great.

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Number four: Buy Disney
gift cards on a discount.

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So, check your local warehouse
clubs, like Costco and Sam's.

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Number five: Buy your mouse
ears beforehand on Etsy—

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like these—or online, so you
can wear them to the park,

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because the ones in the park are expensive.

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Number six: Arrive before
the park opens, okay?

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The parks are way less
crowded in the morning,

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so make sure to book your Fast
Passes—those reservations—

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later in the day when
the lines are longer.

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Number seven: Use the envelope system

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for your kids' snacks and souvenirs.

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Studies show that you spend
up to 100% more

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when you use your card or your
Disney MagicBand versus cash.

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So, people, use cash while you're there.

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You have to have reality.

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That just brings you back to reality,

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because you're going to be
in this magical land.

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Reality's the cash. Use cash.

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Number eight: If you go
before your kids are three,

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they actually get into the park for free.

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I love it.

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Number nine: Make sure to
bring sunscreen and Band-Aids—

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those kinda things—because
you're going to pay a premium

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for those in the park.

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Number 10: Skip the Park Hopper tickets

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and only go to one park per day.

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Next, you can use the
PhotoPass photographers

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so you don't have to buy all the packages

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with their pictures. You can
actually hand them your camera

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or your phone, and they'll
take the pictures for you.

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They're so great at that.

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Number 12: Use discounts if
you're military, AARP, or AAA.

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Number 13: Don't listen
to the timeshare pitch

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to get the discount tickets, people.

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Mmm mmm. No, no, no.

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You are there because you have saved up

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for this Disney trip. Don't
sit through that stuff.

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No, no.

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Number 14: Disney has
now tiered their pricing

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by season, so travel in the
off-seasons for lighter crowds

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and cheaper ticket prices.

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We went in September, and I'm telling you

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it was like the perfect time to go.

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I think the tickets were cheaper,

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and there were not a ton of crowds.

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It was so amazing to the point
that, on the flight home,

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I was like, "Winston, should
we homeschool the girls

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so we can go to Disney all the time,

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and we won't have to take
them out when they're older?"

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He looked at me like I was nuts—

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like he does a lot of
the time—and I was like,

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"Okay, that's fine. We'll
stick with our original plan."

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But for real. It's true.

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Number 15: This is my tip.
One of my favorite moments.

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Someone told me this. I'm
going to share it with you.

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When you go to Tales with
Belle in Magic Kingdom,

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you audition for all these parts,

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so you have to tell your kid–

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and I think the younger they are,

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the better this is going to work—

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that they have to growl really loud,

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because when it's the Beast's
turn and everyone growls,

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if they growl so loud,
everyone's gonna be like,

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"Oh, my gosh. They're so cute."

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And then, they will pick
your kid to be the Beast,

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which means, at the end of the tale

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and after "Be Our Guest," they
get to go and dance with Belle.

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They have a big part, and
there are so many photo ops.

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I felt like a stage mom.

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I did it with Amelia. We were in line.

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I was like, "Amelia, growl!

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Growl louder! Growl louder!"

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And sure enough, she got picked. And, oh,

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it was absolutely
precious. So, remember that.

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Now, a big place to save
money is where you stay.

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And there's a big debate.

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Should you stay on
property or off property?

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Staying on Disney grounds,
the hotels are amazing.

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But they are expensive,
so you might just assume,

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"Oh, they're just too
expensive. It's not worth it.

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But staying on property
can save you some money.

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So, look into it, because number 16:

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If you stay on property,
you have free transportation

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to and from the airport
and to and from the park.

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If you stay off property,

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you have to pay for an Uber or parking.

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Number 17: You get the Magic Hours,

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and the Magic Hours are truly magical.

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It's so fun.

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When the park closes, you get extra hours

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before the park opens or after
the park closes to yourself.

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I mean, with everyone else
staying on Disney property.

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But the crowds are way less.
You get to go on so many rides.

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Number 18: The dining plan
package is not always a savings.

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There are restrictions and rules around it,

0:11:12.010,0:11:14.690
and it actually can be really
expensive, so research that.

0:11:14.690,0:11:18.030
Number 19: You have the
ability to book Fast Passes

0:11:18.030,0:11:20.050
three months out versus three days out,

0:11:20.050,0:11:21.840
so if you stay off property,

0:11:21.840,0:11:24.440
the Fast Passes you may
want may be all booked up.

0:11:24.440,0:11:26.870
Number 20: If staying on
property does not seem

0:11:26.870,0:11:28.100
like a better deal for you, that's great.

0:11:28.100,0:11:29.510
So, check out some Airbnbs

0:11:29.510,0:11:31.850
or some cheaper hotels off property.

0:11:31.850,0:11:35.050
And last but not least, bring
your own food to the parks.

0:11:35.050,0:11:36.250
This is great for snacks.

0:11:36.250,0:11:38.550
You can even pack a family picnic.

0:11:38.550,0:11:39.383
Do that.

0:11:39.383,0:11:43.680
You can't bring coolers or
glass bottles, but bring snacks.

0:11:43.680,0:11:45.250
Okay. What tips do you have?

0:11:45.250,0:11:46.260
I want to hear from you.

0:11:46.260,0:11:48.700
I love gathering all your
tips. They're so fun.

0:11:48.700,0:11:50.510
All right, coming up next:
I'm bringing out my friend

0:11:50.510,0:11:52.630
and Disney expert, Rachel Bshero,

0:11:52.630,0:11:55.820
who wrote for the food blog
for three years at Disney,

0:11:55.820,0:11:58.633
to talk about some fun
insider tips to Disney dining.

0:12:01.936,0:12:04.323
Okay, Rachel. You worked where?

0:12:05.530,0:12:06.793
- At Walt Disney World.

0:12:07.660,0:12:08.493
- That's right.

0:12:08.493,0:12:09.570
Yes, she did.

0:12:09.570,0:12:13.020
Okay. And where did you meet your husband?

0:12:13.020,0:12:14.600
- At Walt Disney World. (laughs)

0:12:14.600,0:12:15.640
- Where, Rachel?

0:12:15.640,0:12:17.480
Tell us.
- At Be Our Guest Restaurant.

0:12:17.480,0:12:19.520
We were both working there.

0:12:19.520,0:12:20.527
Very romantic.
- I mean, it's just

0:12:20.527,0:12:22.280
living my dream—my dream life.

0:12:22.280,0:12:24.900
Okay, so what did you
do at Walt Disney World?

0:12:24.900,0:12:27.080
- So, I did food and beverage marketing

0:12:27.080,0:12:28.850
and public relations.

0:12:28.850,0:12:29.990
Part of that was writing

0:12:29.990,0:12:32.760
for the Disney Parks Blog about food.

0:12:32.760,0:12:34.810
- Which is where all the people go

0:12:34.810,0:12:37.150
to learn all the food tricks.
- Great, great job.

0:12:37.150,0:12:38.440
- And we have the expert here,

0:12:38.440,0:12:40.850
because food's a huge
budget-buster in life,

0:12:40.850,0:12:42.990
let alone on your Disney trip.

0:12:42.990,0:12:45.560
It can be very expensive,
so talk me through

0:12:45.560,0:12:47.360
a few of your money-saving tips

0:12:47.360,0:12:49.500
when you think about food and Disney.

0:12:49.500,0:12:51.620
- Yeah, so, one of the biggest tips,

0:12:51.620,0:12:53.990
if you're going to be eating
at a table service restaurant—

0:12:53.990,0:12:56.923
which is what they call
the sit-down restaurants—

0:12:56.923,0:13:00.360
lunch is often less expensive than dinner,

0:13:00.360,0:13:03.180
so it's really great if you
can do your big meal at lunch.

0:13:03.180,0:13:05.610
It's also great for
traveling with small kids.

0:13:05.610,0:13:09.070
They get a break from the
sun, a little bit more quiet,

0:13:09.070,0:13:10.590
so it's a really great money-saving tip.

0:13:10.590,0:13:13.070
- So good. Okay, I feel
like a pro, Rachel,

0:13:13.070,0:13:15.340
because we did this with Amelia.

0:13:15.340,0:13:18.790
We went to Cinderella's—what's it called?

0:13:18.790,0:13:20.900
- Cinderella's Royal Table.
- Royal Table—

0:13:20.900,0:13:23.300
during lunch, because
someone said the lunch menu

0:13:23.300,0:13:24.930
is cheaper than the dinner
menu, and I was like,

0:13:24.930,0:13:26.200
"Well, that's perfect, because
you're going to kind of pay

0:13:26.200,0:13:28.970
an arm and a leg for those." And so, we did.

0:13:28.970,0:13:30.450
We did lunch, and you're exactly right.

0:13:30.450,0:13:31.650
It worked out so well.

0:13:31.650,0:13:33.850
Okay. So, there's the sit-down restaurants

0:13:33.850,0:13:36.040
and then there's the quick-service.

0:13:36.040,0:13:38.990
So, what are your favorite
quick-service restaurants

0:13:38.990,0:13:40.000
at Disney?
- Oh, my gosh.

0:13:40.000,0:13:42.810
So, my very favorite is the bakery

0:13:42.810,0:13:44.940
in the France Pavilion at Epcot.

0:13:44.940,0:13:48.397
It is so good, and it's not that expensive.

0:13:48.397,0:13:49.230
- And the cinnamon rolls?

0:13:49.230,0:13:51.070
Is it the same as Gaston's?

0:13:51.070,0:13:51.903
- No.

0:13:51.903,0:13:52.736
- Oh, separate.

0:13:52.736,0:13:53.960
Ooh, do tell. Okay. Keep going.

0:13:53.960,0:13:55.460
- So, that's the Magic Kingdom.

0:13:55.460,0:13:56.970
I'm talking about the one in Epcot.

0:13:56.970,0:14:01.420
So, they have authentic
French pastries and baguettes

0:14:01.420,0:14:05.100
and sandwiches and salads,
and it's pretty inexpensive.

0:14:05.100,0:14:06.670
You can get stuff for under $5.

0:14:06.670,0:14:07.580
- So good.

0:14:07.580,0:14:09.995
So, the character meals
are really expensive.

0:14:09.995,0:14:10.828
- They can be.
- And I'll say

0:14:10.828,0:14:12.230
we had hit or miss.

0:14:12.230,0:14:15.200
I'm wondering—a family
that's on a super-tight budget

0:14:15.200,0:14:16.470
and they don't have a
lot of money to spend—

0:14:16.470,0:14:18.780
should they put their money
there or somewhere else?

0:14:18.780,0:14:20.730
- You know what? At the end of the day,

0:14:20.730,0:14:23.310
you're in a beautiful park.
There are characters everywhere.

0:14:23.310,0:14:25.910
You don't have to do the character meals.

0:14:25.910,0:14:27.340
Take the pressure off of yourself.

0:14:27.340,0:14:29.500
You don't have to eat in the castle.

0:14:29.500,0:14:31.660
You don't have to do dining with Mickey.

0:14:31.660,0:14:33.160
You're going to see them other places,

0:14:33.160,0:14:34.380
so save some money.

0:14:34.380,0:14:35.490
- Yes. Oh, that's great.

0:14:35.490,0:14:36.323
That's so good.

0:14:36.323,0:14:39.170
Okay. So, there's hidden
dining gems all over Disney,

0:14:39.170,0:14:41.920
like the pastry place in Epcot.

0:14:41.920,0:14:42.780
Didn't know that.

0:14:42.780,0:14:44.950
Okay, what are some other great
places that people can eat?

0:14:44.950,0:14:47.820
- Yeah. So, I love eating at the hotels.

0:14:47.820,0:14:50.080
You don't have to stay at
the hotels to eat there,

0:14:50.080,0:14:52.419
so it's a great way to get the experience.

0:14:52.419,0:14:53.252
- Smart.
- They're a little bit quieter

0:14:53.252,0:14:55.820
than in the parks, but it's so great.

0:14:55.820,0:14:57.960
One of my favorite date
nights with my husband

0:14:57.960,0:14:59.660
was actually going to the Polynesian.

0:14:59.660,0:15:02.150
We would get Dole Whips and
then we'd sit on the beach

0:15:02.150,0:15:03.550
and watch Magic Kingdom fireworks,

0:15:03.550,0:15:05.150
and it cost us $10.

0:15:05.150,0:15:07.330
- Oh, so good.
- Yeah, it was really great.

0:15:07.330,0:15:08.290
- Oh, that's fun.

0:15:08.290,0:15:09.990
Eat a dessert and watch the fireworks.

0:15:09.990,0:15:12.560
Okay. So, I love saving money.

0:15:12.560,0:15:13.530
You know that about me, Rachel.

0:15:13.530,0:15:16.220
So, what are other quick
money-saving tips—food-wise—

0:15:16.220,0:15:17.360
that you can think of?

0:15:17.360,0:15:19.850
- You can bring in
bottles of water to fill

0:15:19.850,0:15:21.470
once you're in the park.

0:15:21.470,0:15:23.280
You can also ask for water at any

0:15:23.280,0:15:25.450
of the counter service restaurants—

0:15:25.450,0:15:28.410
just a glass of water—so you
don't have to buy the bottle.

0:15:28.410,0:15:31.050
- Oh, that's good.
- So, that'll save you $3.

0:15:31.050,0:15:34.080
You can't bring a cooler
or anything like that,

0:15:34.080,0:15:35.760
but you can definitely pack some snacks.

0:15:35.760,0:15:38.800
If you have any food
allergies, that's really great.

0:15:38.800,0:15:41.020
They do have a lot of
allergy-friendly menus

0:15:41.020,0:15:43.680
throughout the park, but
it's just a really great way

0:15:43.680,0:15:44.650
to keep the kids.

0:15:44.650,0:15:46.770
No one wants to be hangry at Disney World.

0:15:46.770,0:15:47.620
- It's true. It's true.

0:15:47.620,0:15:49.610
- So, keep snacks.

0:15:49.610,0:15:53.420
One of my other favorites,
Via Napoli Pizza.

0:15:53.420,0:15:54.383
I know you love it.

0:15:55.820,0:15:57.840
They have amazing pizza.

0:15:57.840,0:16:00.270
They fly their flour and
tomatoes in from Italy,

0:16:00.270,0:16:03.000
like real deal pizza.
- No way.

0:16:03.000,0:16:06.040
- You can get a large pizza,
big salad, and share it.

0:16:06.040,0:16:08.870
And it'll feed a family of four or five.

0:16:08.870,0:16:09.703
Amazing.

0:16:09.703,0:16:10.840
- Oh, I love it.

0:16:10.840,0:16:12.830
Rachel, so good.

0:16:12.830,0:16:15.550
I mean, seriously. The
food part—it's a big deal.

0:16:15.550,0:16:18.060
Knowing these little gems
and little, quick ways

0:16:18.060,0:16:20.010
to save money here or
there helps tremendously,

0:16:20.010,0:16:20.970
so thank you.

0:16:20.970,0:16:21.803
Thanks for coming on.

0:16:21.803,0:16:23.557
- Yeah, absolutely.
- Love it.

0:16:23.557,0:16:26.140
(upbeat music)

0:16:30.450,0:16:31.370
Okay, guys.

0:16:31.370,0:16:34.040
Obviously, I love Disney,
and you probably watched

0:16:34.040,0:16:36.930
this whole episode thinking,
"Wow! She goes all the time."

0:16:36.930,0:16:39.200
I've only been three times,

0:16:39.200,0:16:41.460
but that's how strong the magic is.

0:16:41.460,0:16:44.160
I kind of just feel like I'm
there now. I'm not going to lie.

0:16:44.160,0:16:46.140
It's just so great,

0:16:46.140,0:16:48.770
and I do have a goal to be at
Disney World more in my life.

0:16:48.770,0:16:50.950
So, that is a goal I have—
which, goals are good.

0:16:50.950,0:16:52.070
We talked about this, right?

0:16:52.070,0:16:55.800
Goal setting, so good. But
I hope that this episode—

0:16:55.800,0:16:58.470
you got some great info. But don't forget,

0:16:58.470,0:17:02.920
Disney is 100% better when it's debt-free.

0:17:02.920,0:17:03.753
That's right.

0:17:03.753,0:17:06.100
Now, thanks to Rachel Bshero for coming on.

0:17:06.100,0:17:08.500
And make sure that you
subscribe to this channel

0:17:08.500,0:17:12.360
and to my new podcast so you
don't miss my upcoming episode

0:17:12.360,0:17:15.630
all about the biggest areas
in your life to save money.

0:17:15.630,0:17:18.360
So, remember to take control of your money

0:17:18.360,0:17:23.033
and create a life you love
and live happily ever after.