Has anyone tried giving teens (18 and 15) Disney gift cards to pay for food while touring the parks without parents by their side? Yes, I know I could just give them access to my credit card - but I am just not convinced they (my 15 year-old in particular) has the cash management skills for that kind of freedom yet. I think they’d both do better at budgeting if they knew there was a hard ceiling.
Can I purchase gift cards that work in WDW from Canada? Any way I could like - give them a purchase limit via My Disney Experience or something like that?
We gave our kids charging privileges to their magic bands at the ages of 13 and 16 with instructions on our expectation around limits. I think you can set up a limit at the desk when arranging the charging privileges but we didn’t bother. They did very well with that and respected the limits without issue. When a question arose regarding whether something was ‘too much’ they simply texted to ask before proceeding in the rare occasion we were not all together. I think it made them feel really good to have that independence, and we felt good knowing they could get whatever they needed if we were not with them.
I do not know the answer to your gift card question with regard to US/Canada
I don’t think MDE will let you use a gift card for payment, so if they want to mobile order, it will go to your credit card anyway. I’ve done the same as @OBNurseNH and had them charge to the room with their magic band. My guess is your 18yo would keep your 15yo in line. You can tell them that if they don’t follow your expectations, you can stop their ability to charge. Also if they are using MDE, you should be able to see what they are up to.
Actually you can use gift cards to mobile order on MDE. You just have to enter the gift card # each time, it doesn’t retain the gift card as a payment method. I type the gift card number into “notes” on my phone and then just copy and paste it into each order. I think gift cards would be a great way to give teens independence whether they are mobile ordering or just regular use. And, as long as you have the card entered on disneygiftcard.com, if the card gets lost you can just transfer the balance to another card, so it’s fairly low risk. I’m all for giving older kids independence, it’s good for them to have the experience and a break in “togetherness” for everyone!
We’ve done this with 15 and 13 yr olds. It provided interesting results. The “responsible” one wound up $10 over budget and was hysterically upset. The “irresponsible” one was fifty (50) cents under. Families don’t always guess correctly and even $10 isn’t horrible. Probably a great lesson.
They had room charging thru their Magic Bands.
I’m recalling now that at least one adult in our group was convinced we were insane to allow room charging, being convinced both kids would be hundreds of dollars over their (self-imposed) limits.
I always liked it when that person was proved wrong.
For our 2020 trip our DD had some gift cards purchased at Walmart in Canada and they did work in WDW. They were a small amount, so if they hadn’t worked it wouldn’t have broken the budget to not use them.
This is true. My kids have always had spending privileges and a budget. I never thought they would go over and they never did. But I guess one could check the charges each day and cut one off if they went over. It’s not like you don’t know where your kid lives or anything. Repayment could be made.
I wonder if you could call a credit card company and say I need my spending limit temporarily lowered to some ridiculously low amount and then set those cards for each kid
My 8 year old has a debit card through Chase bank. I wanted to teach him about digital money. I can transfer funds as needed and monitor it. You can also set a “cap” for the spending line item so it would decline if it went over.
I send him to his school book fairs with that card - or he will sometimes decide how much he wants to spend of his own money if we are going to Target and he wants a toy.
I buy my kids a gift card from Target and then send it to them digitally. They save it in their photos in their phones and then they can use that to pay for food. This avoids lost gift cards. I give them a certain amount and then they can budget how to spend it. I check the balances on the Disney gift card website.
Not entirely true. You can register your gift cards in the Disney gift card site, and if you lose a card, you can transfer the remaining balance over to another one. It is the same way you can combine your gift cards into a single gift card if you want.
My daughter just went with her school band because they marched in the parade.
I got a Disney visa card (my number) with her name on it. I forget what it’s called. She has it for emergencies. And used it on the trip.
We put that credit card number in her phone/Disney app so she could mobile order.
She bought a pair of sunglasses when she lost hers. Then called in hysterics because she also lost them. I was like, dude, it’s Disney. Just buy another pair and don’t worry about it. Stuff happens.
Otherwise, she was very good with the money and respected the limits we had set before she left. She hardly bought anything. She would use the card to buy smashed pennies. Then her friends would give her cash and they would split up the set.
I did not want her carrying around cash or anything that could get lost. I figured if she lost the credit card we could cancel it.
DS14 has a GoHenry debit card and it’s been a really good experience for both of us. Gives him a little financial independence but it has guardrails built in. I can do a quick transfer if he needs money (like for a book fair, haircut, or we made a bet on who would have the highest score on Toy Story Midway Mania and I lost).