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Disney Gift Cards...

M0710NM4N

New Member
Original Poster
So I'm planning a trip for 10 days next year and since I'm horrible at saving, it might be best for me to start purchasing gift cards and wondered if they can be used anywhere within Disney? If not... where would these not be able to be used?
 

dreamfinder

Well-Known Member
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Very few locations don't accept Disney gift cards. Some of the 3rd party vendors might not, or some of the carts/roaming sales points might not. But that's about it, and usually those ones have a workaround where you can go to the certain store/register, pay for it, and then show them your receipt.
 

Dave Ber

Well-Known Member
From what I have found, if you can use your magic band to pay then you can use the gift card, in fact I am not sure on property where I have not been able to use it yet
 

M0710NM4N

New Member
Original Poster
Appreciate the replies. I'm basically hoping to not really carry any cash, just buy a bunch of cards and then combine them (up to $1000 per card from what I understand).
 

MickeyCB

Well-Known Member
We pay for the bulk of our trips with Disney gift cards. Room (before we were DVC), food and most merchandise locations. Love it, because here in Pittsburgh we have a grocery chain that owns gas stations. For each $50 you spend on gift cards you get 10 cents off a gallon of gas. My husband has this down to a science, and almost always gets free fuel fill ups.
 

M0710NM4N

New Member
Original Poster
We pay for the bulk of our trips with Disney gift cards. Room (before we were DVC), food and most merchandise locations. Love it, because here in Pittsburgh we have a grocery chain that owns gas stations. For each $50 you spend on gift cards you get 10 cents off a gallon of gas. My husband has this down to a science, and almost always gets free fuel fill ups.
Howdy neighbor! I'm up here near DuBois PA. Not sure if we have anything like that around here or not. But it sounds like you have had the occasional place that doesn't accept them?

I'll have to figure out how much in cards and how much in cash I should I bring. Been over 10 yrs since my last trip and everything was paid for by my mother after my fathers passing. I will be adding the standard meal plan with the 1 quick and 1 sit down etc so won't have to worry about meals aside from the odd times my daughter and I might want to have an extra meal. 10 day trip with just 2 adults... would $2000 in cards and $1000 in cash be overkill or underkill? I dunno... haha.

I believe that last we had the same meal plan (though for some reason I recall one night doing the Fantasmic dinner and show but can't recall if that was something extra or how we worked that out with the Travel Agency, I just recall them asking us about it)... something I would like to try again since I have still never seen the show! 10 yrs ago (roughly) we ate at the Hollywood Brown Derby which was awesome, then a massive thunderstorm rolled in and had to wait it out till we headed to the show and they were close to cancelling it, but a crowd was chanting about opening it up and they finally did. We went in and sat down and within maybe 10 mins of the show my stepdaughter was feeling ill and we had to leave... insert 10 sad faces here. LoL
 

Gaston's gal

Well-Known Member
We usually pay for all of our meals with Disney gift cards. I do bring a little cash to use to pay at the snack carts. I like to get my Disney gift cards at Target with my red card which saves 5%. Enjoy!
 

M0710NM4N

New Member
Original Poster
We usually pay for all of our meals with Disney gift cards. I do bring a little cash to use to pay at the snack carts. I like to get my Disney gift cards at Target with my red card which saves 5%. Enjoy!
Is that a personal preference with paying cash at the carts or because some don't accept gift cards? Just trying to get an idea where to expect to pay cash.
 

Gaston's gal

Well-Known Member
Is that a personal preference with paying cash at the carts or because some don't accept gift cards? Just trying to get an idea where to expect to pay cash.
I haven't tried to pay at the carts with a gift card. I think it is also smart to carry a little cash just in case Disney has IT issues and can't process the cards.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
The snack carts do take Disney gift cards. We get lots of them for gifts throughout the year and it helps when a trip is planned. One thing I do is put a small sticker on the card Ive used and I keep a tally on what balance is left so I know which card Im using and whats left on it. Disney will give you a receipt with the remaining balance listed, but Ive had them make errors at times. Weve done fine with taking $100 /day in cash but always find we do not spend it all. Nice to come home with some cash left in your pocket!!
 

MickeyCB

Well-Known Member
Howdy neighbor! I'm up here near DuBois PA. Not sure if we have anything like that around here or not. But it sounds like you have had the occasional place that doesn't accept them?

I'll have to figure out how much in cards and how much in cash I should I bring. Been over 10 yrs since my last trip and everything was paid for by my mother after my fathers passing. I will be adding the standard meal plan with the 1 quick and 1 sit down etc so won't have to worry about meals aside from the odd times my daughter and I might want to have an extra meal. 10 day trip with just 2 adults... would $2000 in cards and $1000 in cash be overkill or underkill? I dunno... haha.

I believe that last we had the same meal plan (though for some reason I recall one night doing the Fantasmic dinner and show but can't recall if that was something extra or how we worked that out with the Travel Agency, I just recall them asking us about it)... something I would like to try again since I have still never seen the show! 10 yrs ago (roughly) we ate at the Hollywood Brown Derby which was awesome, then a massive thunderstorm rolled in and had to wait it out till we headed to the show and they were close to cancelling it, but a crowd was chanting about opening it up and they finally did. We went in and sat down and within maybe 10 mins of the show my stepdaughter was feeling ill and we had to leave... insert 10 sad faces here. LoL
Hi, and how crazy is this?! My husband is from DuBois! And you do have the grocery store chain there, it is Giant Eagle that offers this program.

Regarding the amount of money, the problem with Disney is the sky is the limit on what you can buy and spend money on. For example it sounds like you will be pre-paying for the Disney dining plan (DDP), and that gives you 1 quick service and 1 table service entitlement per nights you stay. (I call them credits), but if you decide you would like to make reservations for more than your allotment you will need to pay with either your gift cards or cash for those. Also, you may choose a table service that requires more than 1 credit, example Cinderella's Royal Table that takes 2 credits per person, leaving you to decide on one less table service vs paying for an additional one.
You can also spend your money on events, tours etc. that are fun but usually not cheap.

$300/per day ($150 per person), seems generous to me, but again you can spend that on one tour.

One thing that is really cool is if you are staying on property and want to travel light, you do not need anything with you except your magic band, because with rare exception, maybe in Disney Springs, everything can be paid for with a tap of your band and charged back to your room. My husband just goes to the front desk when we are checking out with our gift cards and pays off our balance.

Regarding seeing Fantasmic, we simply waited in line in the evening and had great seats. I believe you can also fastpass it, not sure if that is a good use of a fastpass. Maybe someone else here can comment on that.
 

Tinkerbella16

Well-Known Member
I bring one big gift card to pay for everything, each trip. TS, QS, snacks, drinks and souvenirs. I usually come home with money left on the card and that money will go toward my next trips deposit. You can use the gift card basically anywhere. I do wish you could do mobile order on the app with gift cards since that is how I pay for my food. Maybe that will happen someday. I buy my gift cards at Target with my red card and save 5%. I pay my entire trip this way as well. It isn't a huge savings, but every little bit helps.
 

Ricky Spanish

Well-Known Member
We will be at WDW next week for a 10 night stay.
Paid for the entire trip (except for the $200 down payment) using gift cards bought with Target's red card.
We will also be taking gift cards with for meals.
Saved $210
 

bigrigross

Well-Known Member
Only thing you can't do is mobile ordering at QS restaurants.
You can if you just charge it to the room and then go to the hotel lobby and pay it off with the disney gift card. My last trip, bought some oakleys in Disney springs. Charged it to my room and used my gift card to pay it off the next day. Get all of my gift cards for a discount so its a small bit of savings.

Edit: I wrong, very wrong about the mobile order. Thanks captainamerica for pointing that at.
 
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CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
You can if you just charge it to the room and then go to the hotel lobby and pay it off with the disney gift card. My last trip, bought some oakleys in Disney springs. Charged it to my room and used my gift card to pay it off the next day. Get all of my gift cards for a discount so its a small bit of savings.
No.

You can't charge mobile orders to your room. Credit, debit, or dining plan only.
 

HMFan999

Well-Known Member
If you have a Sams Club membership you can purchase Disney Gift Cards at a little below their face value (e.g. $500 GC is $484.98). I usually pay for my entire trip with these gift cards and end up saving a few hundred dollars.
 

MickeyLuv'r

Well-Known Member
The snack carts do take Disney gift cards. We get lots of them for gifts throughout the year and it helps when a trip is planned. One thing I do is put a small sticker on the card Ive used and I keep a tally on what balance is left so I know which card Im using and whats left on it. Disney will give you a receipt with the remaining balance listed, but Ive had them make errors at times. Weve done fine with taking $100 /day in cash but always find we do not spend it all. Nice to come home with some cash left in your pocket!!
I mark the gift cards with a mini-sharpie. Often the $100 giftcards are purple, but other denominations $50/$25 are both RED. As I use each giftcards, I then to WRAP the most recent receipt around each card, and/or mark the balance on each with the sharpie.

I also happen to carry a tiny tube of hand sanitizer, which is multi-purpose. It is handy for cuts, and also works to erase sharpie! Sharpie is super handy for marking many items, but it does rub off of things like water bottle sometimes.

I also try to only use the cards one at a time, as opposed to using part of one, and part of another.

You CAN technically use your magic band and pay the hotel with giftcards, but WDW recently changed rules on this. Make sure you know the policy, so you don't wind up with your cc getting charged by accident.

Otherwise, you can't use the giftcards to do the online ordering. I have to say, online ordering DOES save quite a bit of time, if you eat at any of the places that offer it. Also, well, online ordering allows you to customize your order, now the total $, and double check it before placing the order. That is rather nice, instead of relying on a cast member to hear you correctly when you order and not knowing total $ until you place order.
 

MickeyLuv'r

Well-Known Member
We also always use cash to tip certain folks at WDW (bellmen? housekeeping? taxi?), if you opt to tip/use such services. Gift cards are fine for tipping at a restaurant.

And while this is a kind of duh - you can't use Disney giftcards outside of Disney! If you want food at the airport, for example. More than once, I have been at Universal, and nearly been tempted to hand a Disney gift card to a cashier. They've told me it happens all the time!

further....

Disney giftcards are non refundable!
Goodness, you are MUCH better off putting the $ into a savings account until JUST before your trip instead of tying up your $ in giftcards! Just if you plan on buying them via Target, know your credit Target cc limit. You can pretty much ALWAYS cancel a WDW vacation, if you run into an unanticipated expense before your vacation. WDW might refund back to a giftcard(per WDW vacation rules), but not give you cash back. Disney giftcards are really only useful at Disney. Once you buy, you are stuck with them. If I didn't have a good savings buffer, I would only use a limited amount of giftcards to pay for a WDW trip.
 
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