We, (well, my husband and I) are really excited about Disney
World Homeschool Days 2013. Why? Because we are making plans to attend!
My kids aren't excited at the moment because they don't even know that we are planning a trip to Florida in October - we are keeping it a complete surprise!
If it wasn't for Disney Homeschool Days, I don't think our
family would take a trip to Disney because of the cost - one day's admission to
Magic Kingdom costs $95 ($101.18 with tax) and Hollywood Studios where the main homeschool days event takes place this year, costs $90 ($95.85 with tax) for ages 10+.
However, if you go during Disney Homeschool Days, ticket prices and packages are considerably discounted.
That same one-day Hollywood Studios ticket during homeschool days costs $78.96 (includes tax) - a savings of $16.89 per person! The only
downfall, the one-day only ticket is only for homeschooling Florida residents.
For Disney World Homeschool Days 2013 (October 1-18), you can choose between three ticket levels for the number of days you want to visit Disney: Starter, Hopper and Premium ticket packages. The Starter level allows you to visit one theme park per day for the number of days you choose. The Hopper level gives you the perk to "hop" between parks = visit more than one park per day. The premium level includes the park-hopping perk, as well as access to both Disney water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, and DisneyQuest, Disney's Indoor Interactive Theme Park, for the same number of visits as your ticket package.
The cheapest package begin at a 3 Day Homeschool Starter Package for $154.75 (including tax) all the way to an 8-Day Starter Package for $199.18 (including tax). The starter package allows you and your family the opportunity to visit one theme park per day at discounted rates. If this is your children's first time to Disney, or you are on a tight budget, the starter package is a perfect no-frills option to see most of what Disney has to offer for the least amount of money.
If you would like to be able to visit more than one park in a day, you can purchase the Park Hopper package. With the Park Hopper ticket, you can start off at one park, take a break for lunch and then finish the rest of the day at another park. You can add the Park Hopper option to any homeschool package (except the one-day) for just over $20 per person.
Normally, the Park Hopper costs an extra $59 per person, per ticket package - that adds up to an extra $239 for a family of four. During Disney World Homeschool Days 2013, a family of four will save $159! If you want the flexibility, that's some pretty good savings.
As I mentioned above, the premium package allows you to visit Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach and DisneyQuest during your visit, for an additional $40 or so per person (compared to the starter package). With this option, you can visit the water parks and indoor theme park for the same number of visits as your ticket package, AND it includes the Park Hopper option too. The regular price for this option is an extra $84 per ticket, so this package is a great deal too.
I've been doing a lot of research for our Disney World Homeschool Days 2013 trip to choose the best ticket option for our family and budget. From what I've read, many people recommend not adding the Hopper option, especially for Disney newbies.
I was seriously considering this option (because I like flexibility), until I factored in the park-to-park travel time, and figured out the math. I discovered it's more economical in the long run to just add another day to your ticket package. During Disney Homeschool Days, you can add a whole day to your ticket package for less than adding the Hopper option.
For example: If you add the Park Hopper to your 3 Day Starter Package, you pay $21.20 extra. If you go from a 3 Day Starter to a 4 Day Starter, it only costs $5.86 more per person for an extra day!
Because our budget isn't limitless, we are leaning towards not purchasing the water parks option, although they look really fun. Instead, we are considering purchasing an additional day to explore the theme parks, specifically, the Magic Kingdom.
Whether we forego the water parks, depends on where we will stay (I'm still deciding); if our hotel/rental has a nice pool, we will not add the water park option, to save some money. A nice benefit of purchasing multiple day tickets, you don't have to use them consecutively, you can take a day or two for rest and some relaxation around the pool, etc. in between park visits.
So far, Disney hasn't announced any lodging discounts or special offers that would run during Disney World Homeschool Days 2013. Disney is offering hotel discounts and special dining offers that will expire at the end of July 2013, for visits up through the end of September. If Disney is going to offer any special promotions for October or the rest of the Fall season, they should be made known at the beginning of August - hopefully! I will post an update if I hear of any money-saving offers to help you stretch your homeschool dollar further while attending Disney World Homeschool Days 2013.
Below are the discount ticket prices for Disney World Homeschool Days 2013. You have three levels to choose from and all are greatly discounted. For our family - two adults and two children ages 10 and 6, we would pay $1,168.32 for just a basic 4-Day Ticket; during Disney World Homeschool Days 2013, the same one-theme-park-per-day ticket only costs $642.44 for the four of us (a savings of $525.88). As you can see, it's a great time to visit and save money!
Homeschool Day Package Prices
1-Day Starter Package (For Florida Residents
Regular Gate Price
$90 Hollywood Studios Admission=>Save $16.89
Prices include 6.5% Florida state sales tax, subject to change.
If you have visited Disney, or attended Disney's Homeschool Days in the past, feel free to share any money-saving tips with other homeschooling families. :)
Do you have a money-saving story or tip to share with other homeschooling parents?
Please share them to help others!
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