Full Disclosure: This book was received free for review purposes. All comments/thoughts on the book are my own and no compensation was received for a positive review.
Since I’ve started this blog it’s focused on my work/life balance which is a big struggle of mine. Spending time with my family, while having a clean, organized house is something that I struggle with each day. I spend too much time with the family and the house is a mess. Spend too much time on the house, and we all miss out on time together. What I haven’t focused on much is my love of all things Disney, especially Walt Disney World. My husband and I used to take yearly trips to Walt Disney World, we’d pass the time on long car rides with the Walt Disney World Trivia Book: Secrets, History & Fun Facts Behind the Magic (Volume 1 and Volume 2) and we certainly don’t discourage our girls love of Disney Junior and the Disney Princesses.
To get me through my long days at work, I listen to quite a few Disney podcasts. One I’ve listened to for many years is Lou Mongello’s WDWRadio. I started listening to Lou because I loved his trivia books so much. I’ve kept listening because I’ve learned so much from him. I was listening to a show last week (Top Ten Myths of Walt Disney World) and heard him mention his new book 102 Ways To Save Money For And At Walt Disney World (available for $13.95 on his website). I was given the opportunity to read and review this book for my blog and am so excited. I didn’t receive any compensation for this review and all opinions are my own.
Let me start with the appearance of 102 Ways To Save Money For And At Walt Disney World. This is an e-book with 200 pages of beautiful full color photographs from Walt Disney World and useful money saving tips. Just seeing those pics makes me want to book a trip now (but I’ll be good and wait for 2015).
I love that as I was reading these tips, Lou mentions not only the pros, but the cons of some of the choices. For example, it will be cheaper to stay off property, but he lists out all of the amenities that are free to on-site resort guests – such as transportation to and from the parks. He also explains when it is beneficial to book a package vs. booking a room only rate and that free dining may not be the best deal for you.
I also love that the examples are specific. When he recommends splitting meals Lou gives examples of restaurants and the meals there that are great for sharing. And he also gives the locations (and prices) of where a specific dish (like Tonga Toast) can be bought cheaper.
When Lou discusses budgeting for souvenirs, he lists the common souvenirs (Mickey ears, anyone?) and lists the prices at publication.
Since it’s an e-book it’s also loaded with links to videos and podcast episodes relevant to the topic.
I really wanted to read 102 Ways To Save Money For And At Walt Disney World because I’ve travelled to Walt Disney World dozens of times. I’ve read the books, listened to the podcasts, so of course I know all the possible ways to save money, right? WRONG!
Here’s some of what I learned (without being too specific because if you are planning a trip to Disney World you really should read the book):
~ As policies in Walt Disney World are always changing, it’s great to have a reminder of the deposits that are now required for dining reservations and the cancellation policy. I mean who wants to lose money because they didn’t cancel a dining reservation in time? That’s more Dole Whip I can buy. :)
~ The Disney Dining plan has changed A LOT since I last used it in 2006. And it may not be as much of a money saver for us now as it was then.
~ I’ve known that you can ship things to your hotel before you arrive, but I never knew how. It’s all explained in the book.
~ Refillable mugs have gone high tech!
I would write more, but I don’t want to give away too much of what’s in the book.
And did you know that there are 40 FREE things to do, get, see, eat and collect? I think I knew of nine items on the list like free Walt Disney World Vacation Planning DVD. The other 31 were new to me. I’ll be going back to that chapter next year when we really start planning our trip.
Final Thoughts: I loved this book! (I really, really did.) There were a lot of practical tips and the layout and organization will make it easy to go back and use it in all of the stages of our next Disney World vacation. And, being an e-book, I won’t have to add it to our packing list. I can access it on my phone or iPad while we are there.
Have you read 102 Ways to Save Money For and At Walt Disney World? What are your favorite money saving tips at Walt Disney World?
This book was received for review purposes. All opinions are my own.