If you are planning on heading to Disney, but need to keep your money in check, here are 10 great tips on how to save money at Disney:
- Set a budget and stick to it – This is the most important money-saving technique you can do. Before your trip, sit down and create a max budget. You can set a daily budget or a “total trip” budget, whatever you think you’ll have an easier time sticking to. By setting a budget, you avoid being as influenced by vacation-brain impulse purchases.
- Plan ahead to save money on airfare – Depending on where you live in relation to the park, airfare will be one of your most costly expenses. The good news is you can, and should, purchase your plane tickets far ahead of time to alleviate some financial burden. Once you decide when you want to visit the park, start stalking airfare rates every day. You may even consider signing up for daily email updates through a website such as www.airfarewatchdog.com. By buying your airfare early, you give yourself time to catch a great deal.
- Consider visiting at a non-peak time – This option is not available for everyone (some people need to work around school vacations), but if your vacation dates are flexible, you are sure to save some money. The price of nearly everything goes up during peak visiting times such as spring break. You are likely to save money on airfare, transportation, and accommodations if you can manage to visit during the off-season, such as early spring or fall.
- Crunch the numbers for staying on-site vs. off – A lot of advice extols the cost-saving potential of staying off-site — and this may prove to be true — but be proactive and do the arithmetic before making your decision. Staying on-site can have its’ frugal advantages. For one, if you stay on-site, Disney provides free transportation between the airport and its’ parks. If you are planning on staying within the Disney complex for your entire trip, not having to rent a car that you’ll barely use could be a huge cost saver.
- Consider camping – Disney offers affordable camping-style lodging in the park. Depending on the length of your stay and the ruggedness of your family, this might be the perfect cost-saving option. If you camp, you will be able to take advantage of the free transportation, and the close proximity will allow you to get to the park nice and early when the lines are short. Children will most likely find the camping yet another magical part of the trip.
- Buy your tickets ahead of time to avoid rush-shipping fees and long will call lines – While Disney does offer free pick up at will call, the lines are often crushingly long. The last thing you want to be the start of your trip at the Magical Kingdom is a long line in the bright Florida sun. If you order your tickets in plenty of time, Disney will ship the tickets to your home at no extra cost.
- Get smart about food – Just like any kind of traveling, food often becomes one of the highest expenses; so get smart and think ahead. When picking your accommodations, consider paying more for a hotel room with a kitchenette. It may seem silly to pay more, but that slightly higher room fee will pay for itself in what you save on eating out. Simply picking up a carton of eggs, bread for toast, and coffee could save you hundreds of dollars on eating breakfast out, depending on the length of stay and size of your family. Another huge cost saving measure is bringing your own snacks into the park. Easy to carry snacks, sandwiches, and bottles of water will be a huge saver. Do not underestimate how much the cost of on-park food will add up.
- Try to pack everything you might need – Souvenirs and emergency purchases can get expensive fast. Before you leave for Disney, try to anticipate your needs. Make sure you have an idea of what the weather will be like so you don’t end up buying an overpriced sweatshirt or rain coat. Make sure you pack a small, simple first-aid kit. You’ll kick yourself for not bringing Band-Aids when you’re paying for a small box that’s twice the price of what they are back home.
- Calculate the difference between per-day tickets and multi-day tickets – The larger the ticket package your purchase, the cheaper the tickets get per day. If you are planning on visiting Disney more than once, consider purchasing the larger package for the total number of days of your vacation. Do the math and see which option makes the most sense for your travel plans.
- Look into refillable cups – Disney offers refillable cups for purchase. The cups may seem incredibly overpriced at first, but they often pay for themselves by the end of the trip — especially on multi-day trips.
If you have other suggestions on how to save money while in Disney, be sure to leave us a comment here!
Bio on the Writer of this Post
Hello, my name is Roxie Reynolds. I am a college student from South Carolina who loves to travel. I created my blog www.iheartdreaming three months ago as a place to share how I travel to Disney on a “college kid” budget. If you love Disney come check out my blog www.iheartdreaming, you can also find me on https://www.facebook.com/iheartdreaming, https://www.facebook.com/groups/heartdisney/, and https://twitter.com/iheartdreaming1