We wanted to provide you some in-depth answers to many of the frequently asked questions we’ve received about the ‘Keys to the Magic Kingdom Challenge’:
- How does this credit card rewards plan to Disney really work?
- How long will it take to plan our trip and earn all these bonuses?
- What is expected of me as part of the Challenge?
- When do I have to take my trip as part of the Challenge?
- Are there blackout dates I need to worry about?
- What is a “nearly free” trip to Disney World?
- Does this plan work for Disneyland in California?
- How can Brad and Laura offer this program for free to 500 families?
- What will this do to my credit rating?
How does this credit card rewards plan to Disney really work?
This plan combines your smart financial habits (paying your credit card off on time and in full every month) and your normal everyday spending and turns them into a nearly free trip to Walt Disney World.
The plan calls for you to open very specific new credit cards that offer huge signup bonuses for reaching certain ‘minimum spending requirements.’ Once you reach that spending amount on each card (and pay it off in full so it costs you $0 in interest!) you’ll earn the signup bonus; when you put a few of these very specific bonuses together according to our plan, you can turn them into a nearly free trip to Disney World.
We’ve done this, hundreds of other families have done it, so we know it works and it’s surprisingly easy. For the highlights, read our article on how we took our family to Disney for nearly free by clicking here.
How long will it take to plan our trip and earn all these bonuses?
We think it will take most families less than 12 months to open the necessary credit cards and reach the minimum spending requirement on each.
It all depends on your spending levels on your credit cards each month; we’ve had people follow the plan and get it all done in as few as 3 months (they were able to charge day care to their credit cards!) as they opened multiple credit cards at one time.
Our family took roughly 12 months to complete the plan as we just opened one credit card at a time and directed all our normal spending on that card until we reached the bonus requirement. At that point we then opened the next card and kept repeating the process.
What is expected of me as part of the Challenge?
The Keys to the Magic Kingdom Challenge is meant to be a fun group of families supporting each other to succeed with the Disney travel rewards plan.
All that we ask if you apply and are accepted is that you follow through on the plan and keep us updated on your progress. We also ask that you use our credit cards page when opening new cards. The small commission we earn allows us to keep helping families plan their trips for free. And, we only post the best offers we can find online, so there’s no downside to using our links.
We are limiting the number of families involved in the Challenge and making it an application process because we want to spend a lot of time personally assisting each family, but we can only do that if we know you are going to take it seriously.
When do I have to take my trip as part of the Challenge?
There are no time limits on any aspect of this Challenge group, so we’re not asking you to rush to take your trip or to earn the rewards points.
For many people this will be a 12 or even 18 month process to earn the rewards points and book the travel, and that’s absolutely great — whatever works for your family and your travel plans.
Are there blackout dates I need to worry about?
With our Disney World plan we focus on miles & points that are incredibly easy to earn and redeem so you’ll barely have to worry about blackout dates.
The Walt Disney World park tickets have no limitations and the airline frequent flyer mile programs we recommend give you an enormous amount of flexibility to avoid blackout dates (even for larger families!).
The hotel is the only portion of the plan with any limitations, but even that is a small concern. The Disney Swan & Dolphin hotels are enormous and there are hundreds of rooms available every night to be booked with Starwood points.
That said, they sometimes do sell out the hotel, especially in peak holiday times. For that reason, we ask that you have some flexibility with the dates of your trip. Even plus or minus a few days can make all the difference. We are confident that you’ll be able to use your Starwood points nearly every day of the year at these hotels, but a small bit of flexibility will make your trip a certainty.
What is a “nearly free” trip to Disney World?
We call this a “nearly free” trip to WDW because it will not cost you $0, but pretty close! Our family spent approximately $150 in total on our airfare to Orlando, WDW Park Tickets and hotel rooms at the Disney Swan.
We think you can easily save $4,000+ on these “big three” costs, but there are always going to be costs associated with a family vacation like food and souvenirs.
Another example is an $11.20 government fee that gets tacked on to your frequent flyer ticket when flying round-trip in the US. So this is not entirely free, but “nearly free.” And if you want to really ramp this plan up, we have ways to save on this fee, the small resort fee that the hotels charge on award nights and transportation to/from the Orlando Airport as well using rewards points!
Does this plan work for Disneyland in California?
Yes, it sure does! While we focus on Disney World in Florida, we have also mapped out a plan for Disneyland in California and it works equally as well. So if your Disney plans are taking you to California, don’t let that stop you for signing up!
How can Brad and Laura offer this program for free to 500 families?
We have always offered our time and travel rewards coaching assistance for free through our site Richmond Savers. We’re just a regular family and we’ve been amazed at how this strategy has transformed our travel lives and we want to help other families do the same!
We have unfortunately spent a lot of time on people who didn’t follow through or take action, and that’s what actually led us to form the Keys to the Magic Kingdom Challenge. If you’re committed to taking action, we’re committed to making this a reality for you and your family. We’re genuinely here to help!
It is important you know that we do earn a small commission, at no cost to you, when you sign up for a credit card through our affiliate links and ads. This enables us to receive some compensation for our time and assistance, at no cost to you. We assure you that we will always send you to the best possible offer available on the internet, regardless of whether we have an affiliate link to it or not.
What will this do to my credit rating?
This strategy only makes sense for people who are financially responsible and have an excellent credit rating, which is needed to get approved for the premium travel rewards cards described in the plan.
We’re both CPAs so we did a ton of research on the credit rating impact before we moved forward with this plan for ourselves; we determined that there would be a small 2-5 point hit to our credit rating for each card we opened, but that the drop was temporary and might even be offset by another aspect of the credit rating calculation which benefits from you having more credit available (credit utilization percentage drops when your credit available increases).
We weren’t looking to make any major purchases with credit, so we determined that it made sense for us to move forward with this, but you of course have to figure out what works for your situation. To give you an example of our scores: Brad’s score started out at a 797. At one point in time it dropped by 25 total points (to a still outstanding 772) and at last check it was at 814. So this has not negatively impacted us at all, and we’ve earned well over 1,500,000 miles & points that we estimate are worth over $30,000 in (tax free!) travel!