Book Review – 102 Ways to Save Money For and At Walt Disney World by Lou Mongello

blog mongello bookBeing a self-proclaimed Disney fanatic, I am always looking for ways to get my Disney “fix,” so when I saw that Lou Mongello, Disney expert and host of, released a new book on ways to save at Walt Disney World, I had to read it. 102 Ways to Save Money For and At Walt Disney World did not disappoint even a well-seasoned traveler like me.

What I LOVED about the book:

  • It is a quick read. In a world of Disney guidebooks hundreds of pages long, this one only took me a couple of hours to get through. It is still packed with information, though. He just presents it in a precise, organized manner without overwhelming the reader.
  • I agree with his philosophy of planning ahead. Walt Disney World isn’t like other theme parks. It’s huge! According to the book, “it is as large as the city of San Francisco!” If you wouldn’t visit San Francisco without some research, a guidebook, and a map, you probably shouldn’t visit Walt Disney World without the same.
  • It allows for individual travel choices. For example, too often I hear advice to not rent a car when at Walt Disney World since one can use the free resort transportation. He mentions that but rather than leaving it at that, he also gives ways to save on rental cars if that is the reader’s choice.
  • It adds little snippets of trivia. All the savings tips are great, but the “Did You Know” sections made reading it fun.
  • There is a list of free, yes I said free, things to do at Walt Disney World in the back of the book. As many times as I’ve been to Walt Disney World, even I found a couple of new ones. I can’t wait to do them on our next trip!

In being completely honest, there were a couple of things I didn’t love about the book, although they are minor. In fact, one has nothing to do with the writing of the book and the other is more of a difference of opinion.

  • I downloaded the Kindle edition to the Kindle app on my phone and the formatting was off. While I could see that the intent was that the information was presented in an outline style, the numbering was split on different lines, which meant that I had all sorts of floating numbers or i’s (in the case of Roman numerals). Hopefully other technology has not had similar issues.
  • He advises, “Try booking your flights as early as possible, with 4 months apparently being an ideal time.” I book over 30 flights a year for myself, my family and friends, and colleagues and I generally find that about 2 – 3 months out is the sweet spot unless you are booking over a holiday season or for a major event. That also coincides with the data from a recent study by CheapAir. Of course, there could be a major sale four months out, too, so the only thing you can do is watch the fares and try to catch them at their lowest.

All in all, I do recommend this book if you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World. It would be a great companion to more detailed guides for first-timers or stand-alone for those who have many visits behind them. It should save you well over the purchase price.


6 thoughts on “Book Review – 102 Ways to Save Money For and At Walt Disney World by Lou Mongello

  1. Amy

    Being a military family on limited funds, I too like the idea of free things to do. I’m wondering though of it would be the same at Disneyland. Also, I’ve always struggled with when to purchase airfare, so it’s nice to hear from a frequent flyer where the sweet spot is. Thank you.


    1. kim051172 Post author

      It is pretty Disney World specific , but some of the savings tips would work for Disneyland. I hope it helps you! With many family members either veterans or currently serving, I understand some of the financial constraints. Be sure to check out Disney’s programs for the military for special deals on stays and park tickets, which are good in both California and Florida. Right now, they only go through September 27, but hopefully they’ll announce something beyond that soon.


  2. Lynn Green Brooks

    Lou is awesome! He knows so much about WDW. I was so excited when I got to meet him at MK. I love anything free at WDW. We are a family of 5 and prices can get high for us. This book is on my “Want” list.


    1. kim051172 Post author

      I am also traveling in October, although to Disneyland, with a 2-year-old and a mildly autistic 5-year-old (and a mildly autistic 10-year-old). Have fun!



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