Every year, Disney World gets more expensive. Over time, we've learned a number of tips that help us to save money at Disney. This article is a comprehensive list of some of our favorite money saving tips that you can use at Disney World and surrounding areas.
To figure out how to save money, first we need to examine where Disney guests spend money! Typically Disney World guests spend money in the following four areas:
1. Park Tickets
Generally speaking, it breaks down to these four areas. Below is a comprehensive list of tips and links that can help you to bring down the cost of your entire Disney vacation.
How to Save Money on Disney World Park Tickets
Disney World park tickets are not an area where you can expect to save a lot of money. You can chip away at the costs by using the below tips.
Check Disney’s website often for deals and upcoming events
Call Disney to see if there are any additional deals not listed on the website
Use a travel agent to get personalized service and to take advantage of all potential deals
Take advantage of “Free Dining” periods when staying onsite
Pay off Disney packages with Disney cards purchased from your local grocery store. You can rack up fuel points!
If you're not staying onsite and are using a Disney package:
Buy Tickets from a Discount Ticket Vendor such as Undercover Tourist
Use AAA to get discounted tickets
If you work for a large company, check with your HR dept to see if they have special deals
Consider annual passes if you travel to Disney more than once a year
Member of the military? There are military discounts available through Disney
How to Save Money on Disney World Hotels
Go off-season to get the best prices on Disney World hotels.
Stay offsite at local hotels using traditional discount online booking tools such as Undercover Tourist!
Consider renting a house if you are travelling with another family. You can significantly lower the cost of your stay and also save a lot of money on food if you have a full kitchen and shop at local grocery stores
AAA can offer major discounts on stays at the Disney World resorts as well as hotels outside of the Disney complex.
If you're travelling with a large party, see if anyone has an annual pass. If ONE person has an annual pass, they can use annual pass discounts on up to 3 different rooms.
Contact a Disney Travel agent to get the best pricing on lodging
How to Save Money on Food at Disney World
Bring snacks with you. If you are flying, consider shipping a box to the resort in advance.
Use Amazon’s free shipping to send bottled waters and other food snacks to your resort
Hot and thirsty at the parks? Most counter-service restaurants will give you free ice water in a cup.
Eat before table-service restaurants shift to dinner time (usually around 4). Try and eat dinner between 3-4 to get lunch prices, and snack later on at night.
If you use the Disney Dining plan, you can get a drink with your meal. Drink tap water for lunch and get a bottled water to go.
Club Cool at Epcot allows you to get free soda! Stop by and sample soda from all across the world.
Try and get a fridge in your room. With good planning, you can make breakfast and/or lunch in your room. Don’t forget to bring necessities such as plasticware, paper bowls/plates, and ziploc bags if you're taking the food into the parks.
Bring snacks and bottled waters into the parks. Everyone does it and Disney doesn’t seem to mind.
If you go to Disney in the off-season you can often get “Free Disney Dining” packages that can save a tremendous amount on food costs.
How to Save Money on Souvenirs at Disney World
Buy souvenirs BEFORE you go to Disney. You can purchase them at stores at home, or go to Orlando outlet malls. The “Character Warehouse” is very close to Disney world. This outlet store sells official Disney merchandise for heavily discounted prices.
Have a “souvenir day” near the end of your vacation. Let the first half of your vacation be for window shopping only, and then allow yourself to buy all the souvenirs on one day.
Glow sticks and bracelets. You can buy these at the Dollar Tree or Walmart for very low prices. Then you bring them to the park and pull them out at night! Every night Disney brings out glowing souvenirs on a cart, and they are expensive! Save the money and get them for a cheaper price.
Ponchos are a purchase everyone will potentially make in the frequently changing weather of Florida. Summer storms come through and you will get absolutely drenched without one. Bring them beforehand! They are easy to store in bags and can be purchased for 75% less than what they will cost at the Disney parks.
Hopefully these tips can help your family to save money at Disney World. Obviously none of the tips are going to save you thousands of dollars, but if you bundle them together, you can save a significant amount! If you have found any additional tips for saving money, please share them below.