Do you know how to do Disney on a budget the right way?
You can save money for your Walt Disney World vacation in so many ways if you know how to do it.
Don’t stress yourself about breaking the bank for a chance at experiencing the famous mouse and all the magical attractions.
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In this guide, I’ve put together a few tips in helping you do Disney the cheap way! These tips are all doable and can get you on your way to fun vacation.
How to Save Money at Disney World
1 – Shop Around
Remember that hotels are less expensive off-site. If you do stay on site you will get special perks such as free transportation within the property.
This will help you save money on car rental or cabs.
2 – Book a Vacation Package with Your Tickets
Through the authorize vacation sellers, you will be able to get a significant discount on your Walt Disney World vacation package.
Your theme park tickets will also get scooped up in that whole package price.
3 – Use Professional Organizations or Club Discounted Rates
If you’re a part of a professional organization or travel club, always check to see if they have any theme park discounts.
Dental and pharmacy professional memberships and companies like AAA (American Automobile Association) are just a few examples of organizations that may have theme park deals.
AAA usually has significant discounts on Walt Disney World tickets.
4 – Stay at an All-suite Hotel with an In-room Kitchen
This tip is important because it gives you the chance to save on your dining budget.
You can go grocery shopping and based on the planned-out meals, you can do breakfast and dinner at your hotel or vacation rental and do a lunch at one of the parks.
Just have it all mapped out. It will cut your dining budget in half.
5 – Look for a Flight Leaving on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Saturdays
Days like Tuesday, Wednesdays and Saturdays tend to be the cheapest days to travel.
Booking your actual ticket on a Tuesday mid-afternoon about 3 PM to 4 PM has been said to be the best time to book flights.
The industry is usually updating prices and for some reason I’ve been lucky when it comes to booking flights during that time.
6 – Check Local Travel Agents for Disney Discounts and Deals
There are a lot of authorize travel agents in the Central Florida area. I personally use Destinations in Florida as my theme park vacation planner.
Travel agents can help you put your whole plan together. They usually know the different Walt Disney World discounts and deals that are available right away before anyone.
They also know different time frames that are best for you to book. They’re really good with when it comes to planning a customizable Disney vacation.
7 – Purchase the Multi-day Park Pass Short of Your Total Vacation Time
Get cheap tickets that are one or two days short of your total vacation length.
If you will be at Disney for four days, maybe book only two days to go to a park. On the first day in Orlando you may be tired or jet-lagged.
Use that day to explore Disney Springs or discover your resort.
On your last day, you may not want to go to one of the parks and try to travel back on the same day.
8 – Do Free (or almost free) Activities at Disney
…or almost free.
Things such as animal viewing at Animal Kingdom Lodge, resort tours, campfire tales at Fort Wilderness Campground, and more can all be done at Disney for free!
9 – Take Advantage of 51+ Disney Freebies and Souvenirs on Your Vacation
Hopefully your Disney trip does not dig too deep into your wallet. In case it does, take advantage of some of the free stuff throughout the parks.
Free Disney Items:
- Celebration buttons
- Trading cards
- Art classes (Disney resort guests)
- Sample soda at Epcot
- Cup of water at theme park kiosks, and much more!
10 – Use Discounted Travel Sites for Hotel Deals
Book portions of your vacation through website like Hotels.com for great hotel deals. Hotels.com also offers a FREE night special.
When you book 10 hotel nights through their website, you’ll receive one night free.
You may get one of your nights at a participating Disney area hotel for free if you take advantage of this vacation reward.
11 – Book Vacation During the Off-season
Be sure to use Disney crowd calendars to help you determine the best season to book your Disney vacation.
I recommend early November or mid-January. You will be able to maximize your days and really enjoy the whole property offered by Walt Disney World.
12 – Don’t Forget About a Vacation Home Rental
A vacation home is another great option where you can get a wonderful deal on lodging for your Florida vacation.
I am a fan of vacation home rentals with resort amenities for families or friends traveling to Disney on an extended vacation.
It’s a great way for everyone to help contribute money to lodging without you having to take the whole burden on yourself.
Plus, many homes come with 5+ bedrooms.
You’ll want to choose one of the best vacation homes near Disney and also convenient to top restaurants and major Orlando attractions.
An Orlando, Florida vacation home gives you the option to stay on a property in a resort community with options to have a condo, townhouse, or single-family home.
13 – Research Dining Options at Walt Disney World
The dining options at Disney can be overwhelming. It is very important to plan out what you want to eat at each theme park.
Have an idea of what’s on their menu. If you plan on having lunch there, then decide where you want to eat and possibly what you want to eat.
This is a very important first timers tip in enjoying Disney on a budget. Disney Dining Plans are also a good way to stick to a dining budget.
Listen to a Disney Expert: Is the Disney Dining Plan Worth It?
14 – Bring Your Own Snacks and Water
Having snacks and water will help hold you over between your meals. Water is very important to have especially in the severe summer heat.
Just make sure that your snacks are within the Walt Disney World guidelines.
15 – Purchase Disney Souvenirs Offsite
You can use websites like Amazon or go to the Disney Orlando Premium Outlet Store in the tourist area of Orlando. The cost of many Disney merchandise is at least a 50% off.
Shopping at the Orlando Disney Outlets are the only places that I pick up my theme park souvenirs.
Also, the local stores like Target that are near the parks usually have a vast collection of Walt Disney World merchandise for lower retail prices.
16 – Buy Ponchos, Water, and Sunscreen Before Your Visit
Don’t get caught up in the Disney rain and the high Disney price tag of $20 for a poncho.
Many of the items such as a poncho, sunscreen, and water can be bought at Dollar Tree for as little as $1.00.
17 – Use Discount Websites for Cheap Orlando Activities
Get great discounts on different activities happening around Orlando. Websites such as Groupon has some of the best activities to do off of the Disney properties.
Hope these Disney saving tips helped you for your next trip to one of the most magical places in the world.
Let me know some budget friendly tips you use when planning your Walt Disney World vacation in the comments below!
If you enjoyed this article, then you’ll love these:
- How to Eat at Disney for Free?
- Magic Kingdom for Adults the Complete Guide
- How to Pack for Walt Disney World?
- Is it Weird to Go to Disney Alone?
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Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!
(Original Article Date: November 27, 2018/Updated January 1, 2020)