WDW from the UK – currency

So we’ve talked about booking travel, hotel, cars …
What about changing money?
What are the options when visiting WDW from the UK?

Well, there are lots!

1. You can change all your money into dollars here in Britain before you leave – at a travel agent, bank, the airport just to name a few.
2. You can change all your money into Travellers Cheques before you leave – either the actual paper cheques or onto an official travellers cheque pre-loaded card
3. You can get a card, pre-loaded with dollars before you leave the UK
4. You can withdraw cash from banks and ATMs in the US
5. You can use your credit card (don’t forget to inform the company before you go or it might get frozen due to abnormal activity!)
6. You can change up to $50 per person of foreign currency daily at Guest Relations in each of the Parks or $500 at the Concierge Desk in the WDW resort hotels
And 7. A mixture of any or all of the above!

When we go to WDW we tend to stick to numbers 1, 4 and 5. We have never taken paper travellers cheques to FL although we have used them in other places in the States. We have also used the pre-loaded travellers cheque card, but did not like not being able to keep track of exactly what we had spent.

We have never used number 3’s option of the card pre-loaded with dollars and then used like a debit card. I know that it is pretty popular over here though, as you can add to it all the time, thus building up a good supply of spending money over the coming months before your trip.

We have also never brought English Pounds to be changed as per option 6, but it is helpful to know that this could be done if it was required.

We tend to change the bulk of our spending money into dollars whilst still in the UK. As with almost everything in life there are many ways to do this, some involving a fee, some more risky than others. It is also a waiting game and always a gamble to see what sort of exchange rate you are going to get.
We will always use a well known or reputable company even if their rate is slightly lower so that we know we are going to get the money! There are always deals on the Internet but I just couldn’t do it, not brave enough incase it were a hoax.

We also use ATMs in Disney to top up our cash.

There are several in each Park – here are just a few of the locations :-
Magic Kingdom – in City Hall and the Tomorrowland arcade
EPCOT – near the main entrance and in Germany
DHS – in Pizza Planet and near Keystone Clothiers
AK – at the entrance and near Chester and Hester’s

There is also one at TCC, in most resorts and three at DTD. All incur a small fee ranging from about $2-$3.

And of course we use our trusty credit card. I would imagine Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted in FL, we use our Amex card while we’re in the USA just because we know that it will definately work. Next time we will be using our John Lewis MasterCard though (for US readers – John Lewis is a very nice department store – think Bloomingdales … ) to get my points, think of all the Waitrose vouchers I can get ;-). It is far easier to use a credit or even a debit card at a lot if places now with the invention of chip and pin. In fact the first time I ever used a chip and pin machine was in Walmart in FL back in 2001 with my regular bank debit card, on the very last day as I had ran out of cash! Good job I hadn’t discovered it before or I may never have been able to afford to go back hehee.

We always inform our banks and credit card companies that we’re going to America, after an awful incident in Boston where the bank froze our account! Luckily we were able to use a different card and cash already had but it taught us a good lesson.

Just for fun, you can also buy and use Disney Dollars at City Hall in MK and guest relations in the other Parks. They can be spent in most of WDW and are a dollar for a dollar.

So there we are, a brief ‘how-to’ regarding changing currency and how to pay for things at WDW.

I hope you found it informative and interesting 🙂

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