I came back from a Disney trip a few weeks ago and I saved over $300 with an $11 book. Read on friends….
Birnbaum’s Guide to Disney is a long time around guidebook and the only official Disney guide book. There are a few versions published such as Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Disney for Kids, and more! Even though this book is exclusively made with Disney’s blessing it’s nicely objective. What I like the most is how visually appealing it is.
Let’s go over Birnbaum’s contents a bit. It truly is a comprehensive guide.
- Preparing for your trip
- Getting Around
- Each theme park has it’s own chapter
- Everything Else (waterparks, Disney Springs, and more)
- Food Options
- Cruise line
- Trip preparation tools
There are also a ton of maps. I am a visual learner so it’s appreciated.
The book can cost anywhere between $8-$20 depending on the time of year, sale, store, and more. Even if you pay the highest amount for the book, it’s so worth it for the information alone. I can’t see anyone who gets this book still having too many questions about Disney World. From keeping track of the price fluctuations I can say that amazon usually has the best price.
What I don’t totally like about Birnbaum’s book is that it’s so similar to a dictionary. What do I mean by that? It’s very informational and you can’t really read it like a “story.” It’s more like a look something up and walk away book.
Alright, alright – I’ll get to the juicy stuff. You may or may not know that here at PlanningTheMagic we are focused on going to Disney on a budget. That’s why on my latest trip, and every trip for that matter, I made it my focus to spend the least amount of money possible. Here’s more about the specifics of that trip.
I’m a Disney Vacation Club member so I get 10% off most of these places with just my card but I wanted this method to be readily available for everyone.
Birnbaum has a ton of coupons and that’s why I purchased the book.
List of a few coupons for 2017
Arribas Brothers – 10% off – Disney themed crystal and porcelain
Free Train or Carousel Ride – With purchase of one ($3.00 Value)
Free Chocolate Bar at Ghirardelli’s
Wolfgang Puck Express – 10% off
Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company – 20%
Erwin Pearl – 10% off
House of Blues – 20% off Lunch and 10% off Dinner
Paradiso 37 – 10% off
Harley Davidson – $15 off purchase of $75 or more
WDW Golf – Free Same Day Replay
WDW Fishing – 20% off 2 hour excursion ($30-50 value)
Kids Nite Out – $5 off child care services
Sprinkles – Free Ice Cream Topping
How could you use them for maximum saving?
Case Study #1
Earl of Sandwich is a place that offers great sandwiches in Disney Springs. An individual can eat here for about $14.99 including entree, dessert, and drink. We have 4 adults on this trip bringing us to $60. Let me break this down visually.
Krystel (me) – $14.99
Lisa (Girlfriend) – $14.99
Papa (Grandpa) – $14.99
Mama (Grandma) – $14.99
Here’s a selfie for some extra visualization.
Earl of Sandwich has an eClub, when you sign up you get a free sandwich. Link here (will open in a new tab so you can keep reading), I’ve signed up for this but Lisa hasn’t, my grandparents share an email address that also has not been used to sign up. New details:
Krystel (me) – $14.99
Lisa (Girlfriend) – $8.99
Papa (Grandpa) – $8.99
Mama (Grandma) – $14.99
Now we are at $48
Birnbaum’s book has a 10% off coupon so now we are at $43 (and change!) That’s about 30% off.
Think about it this way, if you have done your budget for Disney and know that you will spend about $1000 on food. Which is probably average, we’ve just saved you $300.
Case Study #2
There a few options when you need to rent a stroller at WDW.
Magic Strollers – 7 Days – $75
Disney – 7 Days – $105
Kingdom Strollers – $85
Orlando Stroller Rentals – $105
Magic Strollers seems to be the most cost efficient yet you will find a 10% coupon for them in Birnbaum’s bringing the cost down to $67.50.
Case Study #3
My grandmother is one of those people who likes to go big or go home, on top of that, she was convinced this would be her last Disney trip. With me as a granddaughter…year right.
Anyway, she really wanted to do Characters in Flight, which is this hot air balloon at Disney Springs. This is us right before we got on.
When I first looked up the price it said $18.50/each. No way, that’s $74. Don’t fret! Birnbaum’s had a coupon for $10/each and we all rode for $40. I’m happy we did it but even happier that we saved on the tickets, the ride itself is only like 10 minutes long. We saved $34, yay savings!
Case Study #4
On a different trip to Disney, back in 2015. I went into Basin, which is an all-natural store full of awesome looking and smelling soaps. I went in there and spent $80 (I cringed as I wrote that). Too bad our handy guide book has a 15% off coupon that I did not use. I lose $12. The good news? Now we know.
Case Study #5
Wolfgang Puck Express is a little more expensive than Earl of Sandwich but there is also more diversity in the menu. You could probably spend about $20/person here on a meal. For a family of 4 that would be $80. But with a coupon, we shall save!
You made it to the end! I love that you’re serious about saving money at Disney World and found value in this post.
Almost every decision we make in life has some type of risk. Should I purchase this $10 or $15 book to prepare for my Disney vacation? Will it provide me at least $15 of value? Birnbaum’s will. I had to purchase the book to find the coupons and hope I can make them work. You have a list of most of them above and a head start.
Any questions? Or have you used Birnbaum’s for anything good? Comment below!