When it comes to Disney you could be overwhelmed by prices. Thinking about how much everything will cost is going to make your head spin. But, before you get dizzy, I want to help! When my husband and I decided to make the trip, I was so concerned with saving money that I spent A LOT of time researching! Here are the top 10 ways I found to save money!
We live 17 hours away from Orlando, and we drove all the way down, without stopping for the night. It was insane, but it saved us over $500. Thankfully we had family and stayed with them on the way back. Driving can be super fun, or super stressful, so even though it saves some money, it may not be worth while.
2. Pack food
When you eat all your meals out, no matter where you are, it is going to be expensive. Pack some things like granola bars, fruit, and “healthy” cookies to make the cost a little easier!
3. Stay in a Disney hotel
Now, there are two ways you can look at the hotel. If you stay in a Disney hotel, you have free transportation/free parking, beautiful pools, fun gift shops, and lots of family friendly activities. The cheapest I have seen the value resorts were around $96 a night, which fits a family of four. Plus, they are SO magical! It is totally worth the money, especially if you are taking kiddos!
The other way to look at it, is booking and non-Disney hotel with a kitchen/free breakfast. I booked the Wyndham Bonnet Creek (timeshare) Resort. It was absolutely beautiful, and we got a steal by only paying $82 a night. Then we paid $20 parking at the parks, and we spent about $40 on breakfast food. So, did we save money? Not really. But, we were able to get a more “luxioiurs” vacation feel, without paying a luxurious price.
Bottom line, I would opt to stay in a Disney hotel next time.
4. Buy before you go!
I read a lot about this topic, and a common necessity – ponchos! Disney ponchos are so cute, and I love them, but they are twice the price of Walmart ponchos! It rains at random times in Florida, and since they are rather compact they fit easily in small backpacks. It did rain our last day, and I was so happy we had them!
Disney clothing can be found in a lot of great shops like Target, Walmart, and Kohls! We stocked up on some festive apparel to wear at the parks, and we spent a lot less.
Gift cards are a very strategic way to save money as well. If you have a target credit card, you can purchase Disney gift cards for 5% off, then the more you buy the more you save! You can use gift cards pretty much anywhere at Disney. We mostly used them for food!
5. Take advantage of quick service dining
Disney offers so many delicious and fun restaurants it can be hard to choose where to eat! Everyday we ate at a different quick service restaurant, and they were all delicious! My personal favorite was the Flame Tree BBQ in Animal Kingdom! It cost just over $20 and it was wonderful!
Before you go, check out menu’s for prices and food options to make sure you get the most for your money!
6. Buy discount tickets
Undercover tourist sells discount tickets to many places in Orlando, including Walt Disney World. You can save up to $40 per ticket!
7. Decide which ticket is best for you
Disney has so much to offer it’s easy to get swept off your feet! There are many options for tickets, including “Park Hopper”, “Water Park Fun & more”, or the base ticket.
The base ticket will allow you to leave the park and come back (if you need an afternoon nap), but the park hopper will allow you to leave one park, and visit different in the same day!
8. Take advantage of free things Disney offers!
Disney Springs and Disney’s Boardwalk are both fun and beautiful places to visit for free with that magical Disney feel!
Check out this blog for more information on all the free things you can find!
9. Do some research
I can tell you all day what worked best for me (and I would love to!), but you may have different plans or expectations about what will work best for you!
10. Make a budget
This has to be the most important one! If you are making a budget, you can practically afford anything! Obviously it may take more time to afford it, but it can happen! We set aside $200 a month for 8 months so that we could meet our budget goal.
If you are concerned with the cost, price everything out and divide the total by how many months away you will be vacationing.
Your budget can include the hotel, transportation, tickets, food, and spending money! It takes so much off your mind to know you have a goal, and once you reach it you will be having a magical getaway!