Save money at Disney World. That may not sound like a doable statement, but it is. A lot of us still have this idea that going to Disney World and saving money are mutually exclusive ideas, and way back in the day, it used to be. It’s not like that anymore. While Disney used to be the place you went on vacation if you had money to burn, it can now be more affordable. Here are some tips to save money and still experience the wonder of The Magic Kingdom.
Save Money at Disney World with These Tips
With these tips, you’ll be able to experience Disney World in all its glory without worrying so much about your pocket book. Because let’s be honest, it’s hard to have fun when you’re worrying about your wallet.
1. Go During The Off Season
Just like it is with almost anything, the off season is one of the best ways to save money. Everybody and their brother goes to Disney World during the summer and for holidays. Instead of visiting during those peak times, head to the park during the off season. You’ll find better pricing because they need more visitors. Another bonus of the off season is that the park isn’t so crowded.
2. Check with Disney for Deals
I wasn’t kidding when I said that Disney has become more affordable. There was a time when going to Disney meant paying through the nose and living with it. Now, even Disney is offering deals on their park. A great way to save money is going right to the source and seeing what sort of offers Disney has going for your desired vacation time. Just remember that off season tip. You’ll get the best deals from Disney in the off season.
3. Purchase Multi-Day Passes
There are a lot of ways to save money on your Disney trip, but extra cheap tickets aren’t one of them. That’s one cost you’ll just have to live with going into it. However, if your trip is long enough, and you plan on being at the park everyday, consider getting a multi-day pass. With a multi-day pass, the ticket price isn’t quite so bad. In fact, an adult pass is almost 50% cheaper if you opt for a 7 day pass.
4. Don’t Drive
You might think that driving to Disney would save money, but these days, Disney offers buses via the free Disney Transportation System. All you need to do is get yourself that far, and then you can use the free DTS. While this saves you money on gas, be aware that the buses are generally crowded, and the travel is slow going. If you have the patience for that, it’s an excellent way to save money, and especially hassle. Have you ever tried finding a parking spot at the park? Yeesh.
5. Don’t Stay at the Resorts
While the magic of Disney Resort vacationing is touted heavily on television, you can save money and still vacation in style without them. Rather than staying at one of the resorts – which gets especially pricey for families of more than 4 – consider staying at a McMansion instead. There are hundreds of them, and they’re only a few miles away. They’re swanky, too. They come decked out to the nines with pools, grills, big-screen TVs, and more, and 3 bedroom rentals start at as low as $165 a night.
6. Pre-purchase Souvenirs and Trading Pins
Souvenirs purchased at the park can cost a pretty penny. Instead of purchasing souvenirs at the park, purchase souvenirs ahead of time and pack them with you. The Disney section at Walmart has a great selection of Disney items at an affordable price. You can also find several cheap Disney items at your local dollar store. If your child insists on buying souvenirs around the park, this is a great time to pull out a special surprise that you have pre-purchased, saving you a lot of money! If you are into trading pins at Disney World, you can find Disney trading pins at Amazon.
7. Pack Lunches and Snacks
Packing our own food was one of our top ways to save money at Disney World. You are allowed to bring in food and snacks that do not require heating to the parks at Disney World. It’s always a good idea to eat a big breakfast at your hotel before arrival to the parks and then eat a packed lunch and/or snacks throughout the day. Our favorite foods packed were peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips, granola bars, and other light snacks. By evening, you may run out of food to eat depending on how much you packed, so you’ll either have to opt for eating at the park (which can cost about $40+ for a family of 4) or you can wait until you leave the park to eat.
8. Request FREE Water
You know I love freebies. Request free water at Disney World Parks at any counter service or snack station. You can also bring your own Brita water bottle with a filter and fill up in case you stop at one of the water fountains for water.
9. Bring Your own Small Spray Bottle
If you go to Disney World during the spring, summer, or early fall, you may want to bring your own small spray bottle and spritz yourself or your children to keep cool during hot months. Spray fans are sold in the park, but they are pretty pricey.
10. Take Your Own Stroller or Borrow One From a Friend
We borrowed a large stroller from a friend and took it with us to the parks to avoid having to pay for lockers. It had a large basket underneath to fit all of our belongings. We were able to use the cup holders in the stroller for drinks, the middle compartment for a few loose items. We could hang our camera bag and other bags from the handle of the stroller. Our small kids switched riding in the stroller when they were tired. It was a HUGE lifesaver on our Disney World trip. A double stroller is a good option if you have very small kids.
11. Bring Your Own Camera and Take Your Own Photos
You have the option to buy photos with the PhotoPass service, but you’ll be paying a lot for your memories. Bring your own camera and take your own photos. You can use your camera to take photos of your family with all of the characters as well as around the park.
12. Don’t Forget an Autograph Book and Pen
Never leave home without a Disney autograph book and pen! You can buy these at the park, but it may be wise to purchase them in advance and have them handy to avoid standing in lines and being tempted to spend more at souvenir shops!
13. Pack the Sunscreen
Protect yourself from the sun. Pack plenty of sunscreen for the whole family to avoid getting sunburned. Take small breaks around the park to avoid getting overheated.
14. Watch FREE Disney Parks Vacation Planning Videos
Make the most of your time at Disney by watching free Disney Vacation Planning videos. Just click the Mickey Mouse banner ad below to access videos.
Save Money Without Skimping on the Magic
The Magic Kingdom is a wonderful place to vacation as a family. Heck, it’s a wonderful place to vacation as an adult if you’re a big time Disney lover. And while, for most of us, it seems like an expensive proposition, the costs can be heavily mitigated with some smart decisions. There is nothing stopping you from seeing Disney World in all its glory while you save money.
Do you have any other tips on how to save money at Disney World or Disney Land?