Kayla’s Reader Success Story to Disneyland


Our latest reader success story comes from Kayla, and it’s all about the “happiest place on earth” – Disneyland.  Here is Kayla’s reader Success Story to Disneyland.


Using credit card points and miles for discounted trips was something I hadn’t heard of prior to July 2022. Fast forward to March 2023, and my family of 4 was going on an EXTREMELY discounted trip to Disneyland for my son’s first birthday!

My  journey began one day when my coworker mentioned your account. Over lunch, I decided to look at it and was immediately interested. That night I did a deep dive into every post.  My husband was very supportive when I suggested we open ONE credit card to see what we think.  I applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, and while we were working toward the sign-up bonus, I kept researching and learning more and more about it.  When September/October came around, and Jess joined the team, I decided that I should purchase Award Travel Academy. 

Purchasing Award Travel Academy was nerve-wracking at first because it is an investment, and it was about something I was still quite cautious about.  But if there is anything I’ve learned, it is that it is worth every penny for organized education.  Yes, I COULD learn the in’s and out’s of credit card points and miles from Instagram and Google, but frankly, if I had to learn by doing ALL the research by myself, I wouldn’t have taken the plunge.  I would not have done this if it weren’t for the clearly taught lessons in Award Travel Academy. I binged the lessons and decided it was worth the effort.


Putting ATA to Work

After hitting our minimum spend for the CSP, I decided to go for the Capital One Venture card.  Why?  Because I knew I wanted to go to Disneyland for my baby’s first birthday in March.  We invited my parents to join us since they have a dream of going to Disneyland with their grandkids.  In October, I applied for the Venture card, and three days after receiving the card, I saw the story about the increase in Disneyland tickets and how Get Away Today had a discounted price for a few more days!

I offered to buy my parent’s tickets, and they could Venmo me their portion.  The wonderful thing about this was I got to use a large expense ($2,000 for 5 three-day park-hopper tickets!) on my Venture card, and once I got my minimum spend, I could use my points to go back and erase a huge portion the charge! It was WONDERFUL!  That is when everything got booked for our first points/miles vacation.  The following is the breakdown of how we booked:

  • Flights: Southwest SLC -> LAX (roundtrip)
    Used a flight credit from a canceled flight. (Saved $645)
  • Hotel: Hyatt House Anaheim
    Used 63,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points for 5 nights (Saved $4,000)
    I emailed Hyatt a week before our trip and was upgraded to a suite for $10/night!
  • Rental car: My parents booked a van using their AARP rate and they actually paid for the entire thing and owed us a little bit (due to us buying their Disney tickets). We paid $0 for the car rental.
  • Disneyland tickets: Purchased through Get Away Today
    Used 83,500 Capital One Miles + $350 (Saved $834)


My husband and I went to Disneyland in April 2022 with our older son.  It was a spur-of-the-moment trip, but we made a weekend road trip out of it. We stayed at the same hotel as where we stayed for our honeymoon.  It was gross and a mile away from Disney.  I vividly remember telling my husband when walking to the parks with our son, “When we come back, we are staying at a nicer hotel. We will save the money and splurge.” Well, we did stay at a much nicer hotel that was also half the distance.  Even better: we actually stayed there for almost free! We spent less for our 5-day Hyatt stay than our 2-night gross motel stay!


Woman with small boy near car at amusement park.

Kayla was able to use points and miles for tons of memories at Disneyland!



Because we didn’t feel the tight wallet that we typically feel when visiting Disneyland, we felt that we could splurge a little.  Therefore, we booked a character breakfast for my baby’s birthday, and it was such a magical experience.  While my one-year-old (whose birthday it was) didn’t really care, my three-year-old was in HEAVEN! I was so glad that it was something we could make happen! Prior to using credit card points and miles, a character breakfast was something I never would’ve considered. My husband told me, “This is something I have always wanted to try.”


Man, women and two children with cowboy and cowgirl characters.

Being able to splurge for a character breakfast at Disneyland was a dream!


Future Plans

Thanks to Award Travel Academy, we were able to book a spectacular vacation.  We could afford experiences we wouldn’t have been able to without that knowledge!

We have filled the rest of our 2023 vacations with a week-long trip to Boston to see the iconic Yankee VS Red Sox game at Fenway Park, as well as a week-long trip to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico for my husband’s birthday! Let’s not forget the mommy staycation that I booked for myself to recharge. 🙂

I will be the first to say that Award Travel Academy was easily one of the best investments I have ever made.  I have and will continue to save thousands of dollars on vacations because of what I’ve learned.


Thanks Kayla, for sharing your story with us, along with your successes due to Award Travel Academy! Kayla’s Reader Success Story to Disneyland is an easy one to replicate – what are you waiting for?

Man and woman holding children standing outside building with Mickey Mouse on lawn.

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