How We Got Away With a Super-Discounted Disney Vacation

A timeshare presentation sent this couple on a Disney getaway.

Following the beat of the African drums and shakers, my boyfriend and I gathered around the energetic Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe at Animal Kingdom. They dazzled us with their acrobatic dance moves as we waited for our turn to go on one of the Kilimanjaro Safaris. Later, on the safari, a zebra whizzed past us and we saw a sleeping lion. These are just some of the enchanting moments that my boyfriend and I had on our weekend getaway to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

When most people plan a trip to Disney, they assume that they will spend a small fortune on theme park tickets. With single-day adult tickets costing well over $100 per person per day, fun at Disney quickly adds up. At first, even though we planned to be in town for two days, we figured that we could only afford to spend one day at Disney if we wanted to stay on budget. So, you could imagine our surprise when wound up spending $189 and got four adult, single-day Disney theme park tickets to Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Blizzard Beach Water Park.

Read More: See How Much It Costs to Run Disneyland for Just One Day

How did we manage to find such a great deal, you might ask? Two words: timeshare presentation.

The Presentation

I first got the idea to visit Disney when I was staying at a Hilton hotel in Chicago and a staff member approached me with an offer to visit a Hilton Grand Vacation (HGV) resort of my choice. Out of all the resort locations across the country, I chose to visit Orlando. Since I had only visited Disney briefly once before, I figured this was the perfect opportunity to visit again.

In exchange for a discounted three-day, two-night stay at an HGV resort in Orlando, I would attend an HGV timeshare presentation. After successfully completing the presentation, I would receive $100 off theme park tickets of my choice. We could redeem the discounted theme park tickets before the presentation with the understanding that if we missed the presentation we would have to pay full price for them.

More on Discounted Travel: Real People Share Their 28 Best Money-Saving Travel Tips

A year later, our bags were packed for a weekend in Orlando where we would stay at the HGV at Tuscany Village, a charming family resort near attractions like Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld.

What We Got

To our delight, while booking our Disney tickets, the concierge let us know that Expedia was running a new promotion where each single-day theme park ticket included complimentary water park tickets, as well. With two water park options, we chose Blizzard Beach Water Park. Tickets to Blizzard Beach are valued at $130 ($65 per person including taxes).

So, let’s recap: Currently, two single-day, adult tickets to Animal Kingdom cost $288 ($144 per person including taxes), but with the $100 off from the timeshare presentation, we spent $188 on our tickets. We got complimentary water park tickets that would have normally cost $130 ($65 per person including taxes). In total, we saved $230.

Related: How We Paid for Our Disney Vacation in Cash

Additional Expenses

To give you an idea of some of our other expenses, here’s how much we spent on food, lodging and transportation:

$19 for two large pizzas
$24 for cocktails
$28 for breakfast
$246 for lodging
$125 for Uber rides to theme parks, hotel and airport

My Advice

If given the opportunity to sit in on a timeshare presentation at a property near Walt Disney, weigh the options and benefits carefully. Although we spent some time out of our vacation at a timeshare presentation, we would have never found ourselves at Disney so soon if it wasn’t for the timeshare presentation incentives. We also wouldn’t have been able to discover such a cost-effective way to spend time at “The Most Magical Place On Earth.”

Read More: Hidden Travel Fees to Avoid Before Booking Your Vacation

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