February 24, 2018

10 Ways to Save on a Walt Disney World Vacation


We all dream about taking our kids to Walt Disney World to see Mickey, Minnie, Tinkerbell and Cinderella. But before dollar signs begin to flash before your eyes as you think about a trip to see the most famous mouse in the world, never fear. It’s easier than ever to do Disney on a dime.

Take a look at my 10 favorite tips for saving money at Disney World and still have the trip of your dreams. Even better, you won’t even need a Disney savings jar.

Disney on a Dime

Choose a Vacation Rental: When we went to Walt Disney World recently we rented a house in Kissimmee, which was less than 10 minutes from the parks. It had a game room, a pool and separate bedrooms, which was perfect. This is also ideal if you’re traveling with another family.

Book a Hotel Room On-Property: Package deals are aplenty, enabling you to get a package of hotel, park tickets and dining for less than you would by getting each one individually. Look for Special Offers on the Walt Disney World website and track #WaltDisneyWorld on Twitter for great deals.

Look to Groupon Getaways for Hotel Deals: If you’re planning to stay in a hotel, sign up to receive emails from Groupon. I’ve seen several deals to save 40-60% at both the Hilton Garden Inn Lake Buena Vista and the Nickelodeon Suites Resort.

Buy Park Hopper Tickets: Don’t limit yourself to going to only one park per day. We’ve been to Walt Disney World twice, and both times, we’d go to one park in the morning, take a nap, swim, then go to another park. It’s a lot less stressful to know you can go to any park on any day. Get your park tickets before you go through Best of Orlando (I did). They frequently run deals like buy four days, get one day free.

Choose a 10-Day No-Expiration Pass: If you think you’ll be back to Walt Disney World again, buy a 10-day pass with the no expiration option. This can be the best way to buy Disney tickets and offers the least expensive per-day rate and it never expires, so hold onto it and come back next year (or the year after that).

Get the Apps: While not purely a money-saving tip, get apps to help you navigate the parks. They’ll tell you ride wait times, parade and show times, and even crowd forecasts to help you figure out which park to go to on which day. Saving time equals more valuable park time and is worthwhile to me.

Pack a Suitcase Full of Food: Take an extra suitcase and fill it with breakfast cereals, juice boxes, granola bars, cookies, oatmeal packets, paper plates, plastic bags and utensils. No question you’ll save above and beyond the $50 you may spend on checked bag fees. Just be wary of the weight limit.

Ask for a Fridge: Not all rooms come with a refrigerator, so if you’re staying in a hotel, make sure to ask for one. This is ideal for saving milk for cereal or bottled waters to take into the park each day.

Use the Coffee Maker to Make Hot Cereal: Nearly all rooms will have coffee makers, so you can easily use them to heat water for hot cereals, like oatmeal and Cream of Wheat.

Make Lunch the Biggest Meal of the Day: Avoid counter service restaurants between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. They get so busy. Instead eat around 2:30 for fewer crowds, and then have a small snack or dessert at dinnertime. Not only will you save money, but you’ll feel better going to bed not quite so full.

I could go on and on with tips for saving money at Disney World and how to do Disney on a dime, but these alone will save you buckets of money on your stay. Have fun on your next trip to the happiest place on earth!

For more ways to do Disney on a dime, check out my list of Free Things to Do at Disney World. And, don’t forget your Disney packing list. Get ready to have a blast!

Photo Credit: robert_rex_jackson

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