Hey there, all you Disney fans! Headed to the Most Magical Place on Earth soon but worried about the damage to your wallet? Don’t sweat it. We’ve got you covered with 10 of the best money-saving tips to make your Disney World trip more affordable and help keep some cash in your pockets for those Mickey Mouse ears and turkey legs. These insider tips from frequent Disney visitors will allow you to experience all the magic without breaking the bank. Whether it’s the best time to go, how to save on tickets, or where to find cheap eats, you’ll be navigating the parks like a pro in no time and maybe even have enough left over for your next Disney adventure! So grab your magic bands, forget about your worries, and dive right into the 10 best ways to save money on your Disney World vacation.
Research Disney World Ticket Options to Find Savings
If you want to save big bucks on your Disney World vacation, the first place to start is by researching your ticket options. Disney ticket prices have increased a lot over the years, so you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
A one-day ticket will run you at least $100 per person, so a multi-day ticket is usually your best bet. The more days you buy, the less each day costs. You can often find discounted Disney World tickets on the official website, through your hotel or travel agent, or via third-party sellers like Undercover Tourist, Park Savers, and Boardwalk Ticketing. These authorized resellers frequently offer 5-30% off the gate price.
For the biggest savings, consider waiting to buy tickets until you arrive in Orlando. Several off-site ticket booths and even some hotels offer deeply discounted last-minute tickets to fill empty dates. You do risk prices going up or certain dates selling out, but you could save 50% or more off the gate rate.
If your dates are set, look into package deals that bundle your hotel, tickets, and other add-ons. Disney World frequently runs seasonal specials and promotions that can net you free dining plans, gift cards, and ticket discounts of up to 30% when you book a vacation package.
Don’t forget about other money-saving ticket options like the Park Hopper, allowing you to visit multiple parks in one day, or the Water Parks Fun & More option for access to Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. With some savvy planning, you’ll be experiencing the magic of Disney without breaking the bank.
Look for Discounts on Disney World Hotel Rooms
One of the best ways to save money on your Disney World vacation is to hunt for discounts on your hotel room. Disney releases discounts and special offers throughout the year that can knock a decent amount off the nightly room rate.
Check Disney World’s official website regularly to see if any new deals have been announced. They often run seasonal promotions, especially in the off-peak months from January to May and September to mid-December. You may be able to get up to 30% off select Disney resort hotels.
You should also look for package deals that bundle your hotel with tickets. Disney’s Magic Your Way packages can save you time and money. And don’t forget to check third-party sites like Expedia, Hotels.com, and Kayak which sometimes have lower rates than booking direct.
If possible, avoid staying during peak seasons around Easter, summer break, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The parks will be extremely crowded and hotel rates skyrocket. You’ll get much better deals if you can visit in the off-season or shoulder months.
Annual pass holders and Disney Vacation Club members typically get special discounts and promotions as well. If you plan on visiting Disney World multiple times, it may be worth investing in an annual pass or DVC membership solely for the hotel perks.
By shopping around, being flexible with your dates, and taking advantage of the many ways to save on Disney hotels, you’ll be able to splurge on the fun stuff – like meeting the characters, watching those amazing nighttime fireworks shows, and riding Space Mountain over and over! With all the money you saved on your room, you can experience the magic of Disney to the fullest.
Pack Food and Drinks to Save on Meals
One of the easiest ways to save money at Disney World is to pack your own snacks and drinks. Food is expensive in the parks, with meals costing $10-$15 per person or more. Bringing your own provisions can save you a bundle.
Pack breakfast foods
Start your day with cereal, granola bars, muffins, or bagels you bring from home. You’ll avoid paying park prices for breakfast and also save time waiting in food lines. Fill reusable water bottles to stay hydrated in the heat without paying for drinks.
Bring lunch and dinner items too
Why not pack sandwiches, nuts, trail mix, and fresh or dried fruit for lunch? Dinner could be pasta salad, chips, and dips or wraps. Don’t forget utensils, napkins, and extras like condiments or salad dressing. You can easily save $30-$50 per day by providing most of your own meals.
Take advantage of backpack-friendly snacks
Pack snack mixes, protein bars, crackers, pretzels, and dried snacks that won’t get crushed in your bag. Single-serve treats like applesauce, pudding, or fruit cups also travel well. Look for non-perishables and foods that don’t require refrigeration. Minimize mess by avoiding sticky or greasy options.
Know where you can eat your food
While you can’t dine at table service restaurants without paying, there are plenty of spots for a DIY meal. Find shade and seating at outdoor vending areas, in certain quick-service restaurant overflow sections, or on walkways and planters away from heavy foot traffic. You’re also welcome to eat on any Disney resort boardwalk, at your Disney resort, and even poolside.
Saving on food is one of the smartest ways to cut costs for your Disney vacation. With some planning, you’ll be enjoying delicious snacks and homemade meals in the parks without the hefty price tag. Your wallet will thank you, and you can put the money you save toward another magical memory.
Use Disney World Transportation to Avoid Parking Fees
One of the easiest ways to save money on your Disney World vacation is to take advantage of their free transportation options between parks and hotels. Parking fees at Disney World can cost up to $25 per day, so avoiding driving yourself can add up to big savings, especially on longer trips.
Use the Monorail
The Monorail is a fun way to get around and services the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and select Disney resorts. It departs about every 10 minutes, so you never have to wait long. The sleek trains whisk you quickly from park to park, and kids will love the ride.
Ride the Bus
Disney’s bus system is efficient, comprehensive, and best of all, free. Busses depart resorts and parks approximately every 20 minutes to transport you wherever you need to go on Disney property. The busses are air-conditioned, handicap accessible, and can accommodate strollers and scooters. Each bus is clearly marked with its destination, so you’ll never end up on the wrong one.
Take a Boat
For a more leisurely ride, opt for Disney’s fleet of boats and ferries. They service Epcot, Hollywood Studios, the Boardwalk Inn, Yacht & Beach Club resorts, and the Swan and Dolphin hotels. The boats depart about every 10 to 15 minutes, and the fresh air and water views make for a peaceful journey.
By relying on Disney’s transportation during your vacation rather than driving and paying for parking, a family of four can save $100 or more on a week-long trip. When you add up all the magical memories you’ll make at Disney World, saving money on parking and transportation means you’ll have more in your budget to create lifelong memories with your loved ones.
Take Advantage of Free Activities at Disney World Resorts
One of the best ways to save money at Disney World is to take full advantage of all the free activities and amenities at the Disney resorts. As a guest, you have access to so much without paying extra.
Explore the Resort Grounds
The Disney resorts are beautiful and filled with details that bring the Disney magic to life. Walk around, sit by the pool or lake, and just soak in the atmosphere. Check out the giant sorcerer’s hat at Hollywood Studios or the giant dragon slide at Art of Animation. The resorts are attractions in themselves.
Watch Fireworks from Your Resort
You don’t need to be in a theme park to see the fireworks shows. Find a spot at your resort with a view of Cinderella Castle or World Showcase Lagoon and enjoy the view. The music is even piped in so you get the full experience. You’ll avoid the crowds and get to see the fireworks in a more relaxing setting.
Take Advantage of Entertainment
Lots of the resorts offer live entertainment, games, and activities for both kids and adults. You might find poolside games, dance parties, campfires, movies under the stars, and more. The schedule varies by resort, so check with the front desk or recreation calendar for your options. It’s a free way to enjoy some Disney fun without a theme park ticket.
Explore the Themed Pools
The Disney resort pools are more than just pools—they’re themed experiences. Battle a sea serpent waterslide at Beach Club, plunge down a giant sorcerer’s hat at Hollywood Studios or chill in a hot tub surrounded by a giant dragon at Art of Animation. The pool areas make for a fun free afternoon, especially for kids. Many also have splash pads, waterslides, and other activities.
Taking the time to experience all your resort has to offer will enrich your Disney vacation at no extra cost. You’ve already paid for these amenities, so you might as well take advantage of them! Between the entertainment, fireworks shows, themed pools, and more, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy on a non-theme park day.
So there you have it, 10 of the best ways to save money on your Disney World vacation. Follow these tips and you’ll be able to experience the magic of Disney without breaking the bank. Take advantage of the deals and discounts, pack smart, eat affordably, and plan ahead. Most of all, go in with realistic expectations about costs. Disney World may be the happiest place on Earth, but it doesn’t have to be the most expensive if you’re savvy. Now get out there and enjoy your dream Disney getaway on a budget. The memories you’ll make with your family will be worth every penny.