Are you ready for all the best secrets? I’ve got the best Secrets on How to Save Money at Disney World & Disney Land that you don’t want to miss!
PRO TIP: Several of you have asked for my Full Disney Trip Packing List. Click Here to Download the Full Disney World Trip Packing List. There’s a section to write in everyone’s name so you can check it off as you pack! Some items you won’t need for every person so I always write my name first so that I can check off just my area on each item.
How to Save Money at Disney World
Buy Discounted Disney Tickets Online
Purchase your Disney Souvenirs Before You Go
If you ask anyone about Disney they will tell you how much everything costs once you get to the park. I like to purchase Cheap Disney Shirts from places like Zulily, Walmart, Target and JCPenney before heading to the parks so we aren’t tempted to spend $40 on a T-Shirt or Costume.
I am going to do “Pixie Dust” Bags for my kids every morning with cheap toys I got at the Dollar Tree, Disney Beach Towels and other items that we need, but can also be souvenirs so they aren’t always begging for new stuff.
Save Money on Disney Vacation Packages
Don’t worry about trying to round up the perfect package. Chances are, you are better to buy your lodging, tickets, and airfare ala cart. By purchasing these items separate, you are able to take advantage of any discounts as they become available. Also, remember you don’t have to book everything in the same day, wait and watch for price drops. I booked our flights when I purchased our hotel and I should have waited because the prices dropped almost 20% after I had already purchased.
How to Avoid Paying for Parking at Disney World
One tip I learned from a friend, if you stay off site and you don’t want to pay for parking at Disney you can either use Lyft or Uber to get to the Parks or Park at Disney Springs and ride the shuttle to the park you’re headed to. This is also great if you are going to be
Book a Condo at a Nearby Resort
One of the best deals I found on Condos was at a nearby resort, We paid around $1200 for 7 nights for a 4 bedroom condo + our resort had a pool with water slides, free mini golf and more! If you are traveling with a larger family or in a group this is a much more affordable option!
Eat Breakfast Before You Hit the Park
If you are staying in a Condo then you can save a lot of money by eating one meal in your condo each morning! We like to eat Breakfast before we hit the park, then bring along snacks for the park. I typically only make Character Reservations for breakfast and then 1 or 2 dinner reservations during our trip. It’s much cheaper than the dining plan and we don’t spend that much time waiting in lines or sitting down to eat.
Get a FREE Birthday Button at Guest Services
You can get a FREE Birthday Button at Guest Services if it’s your birthday, You can also get a button for it being your First Time, Celebrating an Anniversary and other milestones.
Buy Disney Gift Cards at Target for 5% off
If you have a Target Red Card you can save 5% off everything at Target including Disney Gift Cards! This is a fantastic way to save an extra $5 on every $100 you spend at Disney! You can even use these gift cards to purchase your park tickets if you are buying direct or to pay for meals and snacks inside the park!
Put a halt on Park Hopping
Avoid park hopping options and save. If you visit just one park a day, your tickets will cost you much less. If you have a large family or small children, park hopping can be tiresome, and you can often waste a lot of time going between parks. Instead, choose one park a day and enjoy it to the fullest and save.
Pay Attention to the Crowd Calendars
Some times of the year are less crowded at Disney, those times are also less expensive for Condos and Hotel Rooms because they want to keep them full, Look up a Crowd Calendar before you book your trip because not only will the parks be less crowded, chances are you will save on just about everything else during those same weeks as well!
Go BEFORE Your Kids Birthday
Did you know that there are 2 different age limits at Disney that will save you money if you travel before your kids have a birthday! Kids under 3 are FREE and don’t need a Disney Ticket at all which is a huge saver! Kids 10 and up are considered Adults and need Adult Dining Reservations and Tickets. If you have kids around these ages make sure you book your trip BEFORE their birthday’s to save!
Take in a Time Share Presentation
Many timeshare companies in the Orlando area will give you free rooms or at minimum a free Disney gift card if you listen to one of their sales presentations. These are typically two hours in length and include a free breakfast. You are not obligated in any way to buy anything when the presentation is over and you still get the free gift.
Take your own Water Bottle
The quick service restaurants will give you a large cup of water free if you ask for one. Take a quality water bottle that you can refill throughout the day. Walmart has some great Water Bottles that will keep your drink cold even in the summer heat. You can also carry drink mix packets with you if you wish and treat yourself to a sweet drink instead of paying $4.00 and up for a beverage. Plus, no wasted time waiting in line!
Bring Your Own Glow Sticks
Our local dollar store has so many different Disney Character Themed Items, Everything from Glow Wands to Bubbles, Coloring Books and more! I stocked up on toys for the Plane Ride, Park and Fireworks Shows so we weren’t tempted to buy all those items off the cart that cost $20-$30 each!
Have a Plan For Autographs
Grab a notebook that can be used as an autograph book at your local Dollar Tree or Target. If your kids will want to collect autographs, a park book will cost you $12.00 and up. Another fun idea is to use Sharpies or Fabric Markers on T-Shirts or Pillowcases that can be a Souvenir after you get home!
Buy Disney themed clothing ahead of time.
Don’t spend $30.00 on a Mickey Mouse t-shirt at the gift shop. Instead, spend $10.00 or less on one in your hometown. Even the local mall Disney Store offers specials on Disney themed clothing items, such as 2/$20 t-shirts and B1G1 night shirts and gowns. If your kids will want to sport Disney themed clothing items to the parks, buy them ahead of time and present them to the kids at the hotel.
You Might Also want to check out my post on the best places to Buy Cheap Disney Shirts Online
Pack your own sun care items.
This may seem like an odd tip, but while visiting Disney you are going to need sun care items such as sunscreen, aloe vera for burns, sunglasses, and hats. Plan ahead and pack these items. Should you need to buy them at the park gift shops you will pay as much as five times more for them. Just think, a $10.00 tube of sun block, a $20.00 hat, and $15.00 sunglasses can add up to nearly $50.00 just because you didn’t plan ahead. Don’t let that happen.
Take your own pictures.
It may be tempting to buy the professional pictures offered by the park; instead, take your own camera and Use fun and free photo editing sites such as PicMonkey or apps to add fun captions and edits to your pictures. They will look great and still be fun to share.
Enjoy your character meal during breakfast.
This is a great tip! If your kiddos are insisting on a character meal, book it early in the day for breakfast time and save. Character meals are priced per person, so you can easily cut costs by choosing to eat the least expensive meal of the day. For example, the average character breakfast costs $15.00 to $35.00 per person, while a dinner experience will cost $35.00 to $60.00 per person. Especially if you are not staying on site, or you don’t have a meal plan this is a great way to save almost half and you still get all the same Character interactions. We saved over $100 just by opting for the Princess Breakfast over a Dinner!
Opt for Lunch over Dinner
If you’re wanting to try some of the Amazing Disney Restaurants like Be Our Guest then opt for Lunch Reservations over Dinner Reservations! This is a great way to save money and still have an amazing dining experience. Plus you’ll be able to hit the rides later at night when the lines are shorter if you opt for lunch over dinner!
Order Adult Quick Service Meals on the Dining Plan
Did you know that your Quick Service Meals on the Dining Plan can be used on Any Menu Item. You only have to order off the kids menu at Table Service Restaurants, so you can actually use all your Quick Service Meals on Adult Meals and split them between multiple people leaving you with more meals on your plan + You won’t have as many left overs!
Bring in your own Drinks & Snacks!
A lot of ballparks and theme parks don’t allow you to bring in outside food, but Disney allows you to bring in your own food! So take advantage of this and load up a backpack with snacks so that you aren’t constantly spending time waiting in line or paying crazy high prices. Then you can still splurge on the few snacks that you can’t get anywhere else (Dole Whip Anyone?)
Freeze Your Bottled Water
If you are staying in a Condo stick your Water Bottles in the Freezer the night before and then throw them in a cooler or the bottom of a stroller, as the water melts you’ll have Ice Cold Water to drink and you won’t have to stop or find a water fountain!
Bring Your Own or Reserve Your Stroller Ahead of Time
If you have little ones (Typically 7 and under) Then you’ll most likely end up needing a stroller. I would recommend either bringing your own or renting one from a local company. Make sure you reserve your stroller in advance, there are some great stroller reservation companies in Orlando that will rent you a stroller for a week at a time. You can rent a double stroller for around $70 for an entire week, this is much cheaper than renting a stroller in the park which typically costs around $30 per day for a double stroller.
You can also order a cheap stroller off Amazon and have it Shipped to Your Hotel!
See how easy it can be to save on a Disney vacation? With these tricks you can save on tickets, souvenirs, meals, incidentals, and more. Every dollar you save is worth it, so give these tips and tricks a try and see what a difference it makes to your travel budget.
Disney World Savings Tips
You can also check out some of our other posts on Saving Money at Disney World:
Here are my TOP 10 Ways to save on a Disney Cruise! If you are looking to travel on a Disney Cruise Vacation, make this dream a reality with these awesome money saving tips! A Disney Cruise can very much be a reality for you and your family, and for a lot less than you might think!
So you are heading to a Disney Park for an Awesome Family Vacation, but what about the Disney Dining Plan? Is it worth it, or is it not? This is a great post to read if you are debating on whether or not to get the Disney Dining Plan. I will break down the Disney Dining Plan and let you know the pros and cons associated with it!
Freebies at Disney, Yes Please!! Who knew you could get Freebies at Disney, maybe that is what makes it the happiest place on earth! Check out how you can get Free Movies, Free Water, Free Fireworks, and Free Entertainment at Disney! Here is a list of the Top 10 Disney Park Freebies!
Here you will find the BEST ways to save on Disney Hotels. Should you stay on the Disney Property or Not. Check out the pros and cons of your Disney Hotel, and what perks can you get that you may not have thought of. Saving on a Disney Hotel can be easier than you think. Here are 7 ways that you can save on stay on budget with your Disney experience!
Use these tricks and tips on your Disney Vacation and save while you are away! Plus, be sure to share these tips with your friends!